Decks, Designs and Decisions

By Real Home Advice Magazine June 9, 2019
Decks, Designs and Decisions

Is your deck looking a little tired!  The existing boards are worn and you have checked and are concerned about the sturdiness of the framing system and foundation? Perhaps you have moved into a new home and your first project this summer will be a new deck? There are a number of considerations that go into planning for the design, functionality and purpose and the materials of your deck, and it would be wise to go through your checklist so you may know exactly what you are looking for – whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or if you will be hiring a contractor to come in and do it for you.

Design Considerations and Decisions:

  1. How large or small a space do you have in your yard?
  2. What is the deck’s function: for dining and your BBQ, seating area, incorporating a gazebo, hot tub, planters, arbours, bench seating, storage space for a pool perhaps or children’s toys?
  3. What space would you require to cover all your requirements?
  4. How creative do you want to get around irregular spacing in your yard?
  5. What will the optimal height of your deck be?
  6. Would you want one level or multi-level tiered system?
  7. What is the position: if the deck is attached to the house, what type of rectangular shape?
  8. Is this a stand-alone deck and would an octagonal shaped deck suit your property?
  9. How much shade do you have or want?
  10. And how many access points would you need?
  11. What type of material would you like to use?
  12. What kind of hand railing are you looking for: composite,   wood/aluminum combination, glass, vinyl?
  13. Is it necessary to have skirting around the perimeter?
  14. Are you looking for a splash deck for your above-ground swimming pool?

Do Your Due Diligence & Action Steps:

What are the requirements in your local area regarding permits? Did you know that according to the Edmonton Zoning bylaw requirements – if you are planning a deck with no walls and/or with a floor height of over 2 feet, you will require a permit? And if the deck is to be built on a corner lot or in the front yard of a lot, you will need to talk to a Development Planner from the city office.

Call in your local utility company to make sure you are not interfering with any buried cables or water lines.

You can find free Deck Plans online to suit any shape: rectangular, octagonal or curved. Your local home building store should also be able to help you. Whether you are building yourself or you have a contractor – it always pays to know your plan. Enjoy and have fun planning, designing, and building your new deck!

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