Making a Decking Plan
Designing Your New Decking Plan
So you’ve got a nice back yard, but want to get more use out of it – why not add a deck? A good deck starts with a good decking plan. There
are three things you need to decide:
- how much you can spend
- what kind of material you want to use for your decking
- what design elements you would like to incorporate
The final element you need to consider is who is going to build it. Buying the materials and building it yourself is easily the cheapest
option; the next cheapest is buying a decking kit and building it yourself; the most expensive alternative is
to have it built by professionals.
To start with a basic deck is not very expensive. If you are looking for just an area attached to your house to give it a little extra
room and a better design, you are looking at minimal costs for materials, and probably about as much cost in labor as the actual deck itself.
The more ambitious your deck design, the more you are going to have to pay for it, as you would expect. Before you decide that you want to go
more cost effective and just throw up a basic deck with a basic decking plan, be aware that most states require a building permit for a deck to
be added onto a house.
A good resource on figuring out costs and checking out design ideas is www.deckplans.com, where you
will find an assortment of frequently asked questions, links to permit resources, and even some free deck plan designs with cost calculators.
These designs are based on the floating deck design that allows for greater flexibility in usage once your new decking plan has been chosen.
Decking materials are very important when choosing your decking plan, as the material will decide what you can and cannot do with your deck
once it is completed. Also, the design itself depends on the materials you use. For example, if you are going to be using 5/4 inch and composite
decking material, they need to be supported on 16 inch centers, while the 2x6 decking material can span up to 30 inch centers. The hardware that
will be used also differs based on the material you choose to build your deck with.
Your decking plan should include all the elements you want before you start construction, this includes all stair and ramp plans and any
aesthetic design touches you want to incorporate. The types of decking you choose, whether they are natural wood or composite decking, will
affect the design elements you want to use during the designing phase. Keep in mind all the little touches will make your decking plan unique
and, in the end, it will be your deck, whether you do the actual construction or not.