Preparing your Property for a New Deck or Porch

A porch or a deck is a nice attractive addition to any home that adds a great deal of value and leisure but to be built properly you first must prepare your property for the addition.  Without proper preparation and planning the deck that you are building could be deemed unsafe and you could be forced to demolish the deck or have to pay a stiff fine.  The steps to preparing your property for a new deck include planning out the deck, preparing the ground around the deck, and getting a building permit.

Planning
Planning out how you want your deck to look is the most important stage of preparing your property for a deck.   This stage will give you a generally idea of how the deck is going to look, what materials you will need, and it is also crucial for getting a building permit.  When you are designing how you want your deck to look you need to take into consideration how the deck will fit into the natural flow of your home. 

The size of your deck directly affects the amount of materials you will need for its construction as depending on how large the desk is you will need more support beams and footings in order to obtain a building permit.  It doesn’t really matter what size of wood boards you use as the cost will be relatively the same no matter if you use all 2 by 4 pieces or if you use the 2 by 6’s however the type of wood that you use can be very important.  You should pick a wood that is weather and pressure resistant like redwood, pine, or cedar as these will all maintain well over time and are resistant to decay.  

Ground Work
The ground work stage of deck design is very important as the entire structure will be support here.  Depending on the type of foundation that you are thinking of using for your deck the ground beneath the deck should be level to provide the most security and support.  You should also ensure that you are able to dig at least 4 to 6 inches into the ground easily where you are going to want your footer to go before you begin construction on your deck.

Building Permits
Almost every county requires that a building inspector approve your plan and work site if you are building a structure like a deck.  If you are a first time deck builder you shouldn’t skip this step despite the small fee attached to it as the building inspector could spot flaws in your design that in the long run could save you a great deal of money.  Skipping this step can cause you a great deal of trouble as if you are caught there are rather stiff fines involved and depending on your insurance company they may not cover you if you have had work done on your property that is below your local code standards.

When you are undertaking any type of project it is important that you wear all applicable safety equipment and follow all instructions found on labels or packaging.