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. They can have one level or several. They can have benches, hot tubs or barbecue grills built into their final design. Many homes have wrap around decks or just a large one in the front or rear of the home. Most people prefer to hire a general contractor to build one. They will design, plan and build one according to the homeowner’s vision.
The homeowner should carefully select the general contractor. They 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.
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.
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 boards to the dump after they are removed. The contractor will likely encourage the homeowner to keep pets and children away from the demolished pieces. The general contractor will usually pick up the new 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 the outer structure. The general contractor will first place support posts in the ground using concrete mix or blocks. The concrete helps keep it 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 it 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 general contractor will usually build the platform portion next. Two by four boards are placed side by side on the top of the 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. Flower boxes, benches or other accessories can be added at any time. These items can be installed or removed easily.
- Deck: Flickr