This comprehensive deck building checklist, with planning-stage questions and deck materials list, will get your project on the right footing.
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Spare yourself some hassle and headache, as well as last-minute deck building budget busters, by going over this project checklist of essentials. Though it won't cover everything needed for special upgrades, such as a fireplace or full outdoor kitchen, checking your plans against these points should keep your deck building project on the right track.
- Does the deck comply with area building codes?
- Is there plenty of space for planned outdoor activities?
- Is there enough space for amenities and furnishings, such as patio tables and chairs, and for the people who will use them?
- Will traffic flow easily between the house and the deck?
- Is it easy to access the yard from the deck?
- Are individual spaces for specific uses designated on a large deck?
- Will the deck work well visually with the house?
- Will at least a portion of the deck be shaded, if desired, during peak use times?
- If privacy is a concern, are privacy screens planned?
- Does the deck include storage elements, such as built-ins or access doors?
- Do you have detailed plans of the final deck design?
- If you plan to work with contractors, builders, and other professionals, have you reviewed and signed contracts specifying all work, materials, and responsibilities?
- For more information go to Build a Deck.
- Does your project list include all project components that follow?
- Have you budgeted for all the project components?
- Substructure (ledgers, joists, posts, beams)
- Railings (rail posts, balusters, top rails)
- Stairway parts (stringers, risers, treads)
- Post anchors
- Joist hangers
Other Deck Materials:
- Alternate materials planned for decking and railings
- Fill for under deck, such as weed-blocking landscape fabric and river rock
- Site clearing and prep
- Digging footings
- Pouring footings
- Constructing substructure
- Installing decking
- Building stairs
- Installing railings
- Finishing deck
- Do the final deck plans account for any special features, such as an outdoor kitchen, spa, or gazebo?
- Will structural elements adequately support heavy features, such as a spa?
- If plans include adding a special feature later, will proper prep work-such as roughing in utilities-be done during initial construction prep work?