A new deck can breathe new life into an outdoor place to entertain your guests. Your house will look like an entertainment haven, with parties and the gatherings that will take place there. A deck can have one level or several. Decks can have benches, hot tubs or barbecue grills built into their final design. Many homes have wrap around decks or just a large deck in the front or rear of the home. Most people prefer to hire a general contractor to build their decks. The general contractor will design, plan and build the deck project according to the homeowner’s vision.
The homeowner should carefully select the general contractor they have build their decks. The general contractor should be licensed and bonded. The contractor should also carry a large insurance policy that protects the homeowner in case of any mishaps. Finally, the homeowner should ask the contractor for a list of references. People that enjoy their contractor’s work will happily agree to be a reference. The homeowner should call these references and inquire about the contractor’s prior work.
The general contractor will usually pick up the deck materials from the hardware store, though some will have the materials delivered. The materials will need to sit in the yard while the frame is built.
Large deck projects may need to be authorized using a permit. The homeowner or general contractor can obtain a permit from the city. The city will send out an inspector to look over the property and building plans. The inspector will make sure all plans will be up to local code. If the plans are not up to code, the contractor may need to add some revisions. Once the plans are approved, it is okay to begin work.
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The contractor will usually begin the job once the homeowner signs the contract and pays half of the project cost. The first payment is used to purchase all materials for the job. This first payment may include some labor wages for the contractor to live on while working on the project.
If the home has an existing deck, it will need to be demolished before building can begin. The demolition process usually does not take more than a day or two to complete. The contractor can take the old deck boards to the dump after they are removed. The contractor will likely encourage the homeowner to keep pets and children away from the demolished deck pieces. The general contractor will usually pick up the deck materials from the hardware store, though some will have the materials delivered. The materials will need to sit in the yard while the frame is built.
The deck frame provides structure for the decks. The general contractor will first place support posts in the ground using concrete mix or blocks. The concrete helps keep the deck rigid for years to come. If cement mix is used, the support posts will need to cure for a day or two before the contractor continues building. Cement blocks are often used instead. The homeowner can choose whether their deck is made of wood or composite materials. The composite materials will retain outside temperatures more than wood.
Once the support posts are in place, it is time to build the frame. The frame provides an outer structure for the decks. The general contractor will usually build the platform portion of the deck next. Two by four boards are placed side by side on the top of the deck frame to build the platform. After the platform is finished, a railing needs to be built. The railing can be created in a variety of awesome styles using items like fun wood cutouts or metal panels. The general contractor can add flower boxes, benches or other accessories to the decks at any time. These items can be installed or removed easily by the general contractor.
- Deck: Flickr