With the popularity of decks growing among homeowners, this type of improvement project is becoming one of the most common additions to homes across the country. Whether your building a deck on your own or you’ve decided to hire deck builders Augusta, there are some fundamental aspects of the job that must be considered to ensure the construction phase is safe for everyone involved.
You DIYers must be particularly careful about keeping these five important best practices in mind, or if you have hired outside help, be sure that your deck building company is in compliance with these safety measures at all times.
1.Comply with Local Codes
It’s very simple, if your deck doesn’t comply with the codes and ordnances in your town, you won’t be able to build the deck. You will need to submit your plans to the local building authority that regulates the construction of decks in your area. This could all take some time in the event your deck plans don’t meet the standards required. If they don’t comply, you won’t be issued a permit which is something you will likely need to have in hand before work can begin.
2. Shore Your Footings
This is where the foundation of your deck is concerned and you do not want it to be insecure or shaky. Otherwise your deck is going to fall down, simple as that. Be sure your footings are being dug deep enough to weather any shifting or freezing of the soil. If your posts are sunk in too shallow, you will start to realize just how shaky the ground can be that your deck is built upon and you’ll have to do the work all over again.
3. Know the Importance of Railings
If your deck is elevated from the ground at any height, you must place a great deal of emphasis on installing the right railing around your deck. The International Residential Code (IRC) states that all decks over 30 inches from the ground must have a 36 inch minimum rail height. You must also be careful about the spacing of the balusters upon which the railing is supported. These should be no wider than four inches apart, otherwise small children and pets could slip through and fall from the deck. The railing should also be to resist up to 200 pounds of pressure.
4. Always Use Suitable Screws
There are plenty of different screws out there from which to choose for your deck project. The type of material used in the construction of the screw can make all the difference. Choose those screws that are best equipped to handle all types of weather and go with construction screws over lag screws. They are a stronger option overall and you won’t need to pre-drill the wood before driving them in. It also helps that you won’t need a ratchet to do the work either.
5. Routine Maintenance
Even the best planned decks can start to deteriorate if they aren’t routinely inspected and maintained for as long as you own them. So consider implementing a maintenance routine on an annual basis that includes checking for damaged or loose boards, cleaning your deck thoroughly, and then re-applying a strong sealant to protect the wood from the harsh elements including humidity, heavy rain, even wind and direct sunlight.