How to Turn Your Dream Deck into Reality
So you love the look of that deck you saw on HGTV, or the seed of inspiration you found on your Pinterest board? We totally get it! Adding a beautiful composite deck to your home is a wonderful way to increase both the living area and the resale value of your property. But for some homeowners, the hardest part is simply knowing where to start – the size, the overall design, finding and hiring the right people to do the job, establishing trust. It can be overwhelming, but we’ve got you covered!
We’ll walk you through everything that needs to get done in order to create your own dream deck.
Start with Sizing*
Make a list of the features that are most important to you in a deck – things like an outdoor kitchen, hot tub or dining area. This list will give you a better idea of how big the deck might have to be. One option is to ask a contractor or landscape designer to provide guidance on the size, shape and features that would best accommodate these types of activities. Or, if you’re not planning to work with a professional, you can start by mapping out the size of the deck that you’re envisioning by using a long piece of rope or string. Stake out the corners of the area that seem appropriate to the size of your home and property and take a measurement to determine the approximate square footage of the deck.
This measurement should give you a basic idea about the scope of the project you have in mind when you start reaching out to contractors or decking/lumber retailers. Other items that you’ll want to think about include:
- Deck layout
- Number of stories (if you’re planning a multi-level deck)
- Location of access point(s)
- Type of railings and potential local building codes
- Special features like built in benches, outdoor kitchen, fire pits
Order Composite Decking Samples
Sometimes colors and textures can appear different on your computer than they do in person, so you should always try to get a sample of the product so you can see it first-hand. And, since your new deck is going to be a part of your home for a long time, you definitely want to make sure you absolutely love it! Once you have an idea of what you’d like your dream deck to look like, go online and order composite decking samples from DuraLife. Samples are one foot in length and cost $5 each (shipping included). Enjoy a full refund on the cost of your samples if you order DuraLife decking for your project – just be sure to save your receipt!
Decide to Go with a Pro?
Once you’ve got a handle on what it is you think you want from your new deck, the next step is finding the right builder for the job – whether that’s you or a professional. If you’ve decided on a contractor, locating reputable deck builders is a lot easier today thanks to the internet. Spend some time researching contractors in your area through professional review sites such as Angie’s List, Home Advisor or by simply searching for “deck builders” with the name of your town. You’ll often see reviews posted by local homeowners who were clients of the business.
Another option for finding reputable contractors in your area is to reach out to composite decking retailers such as local lumber yards. Often, they’ll have a number of contractors that they’ve built relationships with and are happy to pass along contact information. At the end of the day, these guys want their materials installed correctly and putting customers in touch with the builders they know do a good job is the easiest way to make sure that happens. Retailers are also often able to recommend contractors that have experience working with specific products, like DuraLife.
Friends and neighbors are another great source of contractor referrals. Keep in mind that the deck building season in many areas of the country is short – and the best contractors can be in high demand. So start reaching out well before you’re ready to build.
Going the DIY Route
Photo Credit: Krissy Abram
If you’re all-in and ready to put your craftsmanship to the test, then doing it yourself is the perfect strategy. Once you’ve determined your layout and ordered your materials, you can officially get started. Measuring, installation and framing will likely be your first couple of steps. DIY blogger Krissy nailed down her building strategy and timeline and was able to create her dream deck with the help of DuraLife’s Step-ClipTM system. With vision, determination and a little bit of elbow grease, you too can create your vision with your own hands! Get some friends and family to help and make it a fun, creative time for all.
Making your dream deck a reality — whether you decide to hire a professional or tackle a project yourself — is possible with careful thought, planning and research. And when working with quality composite decking, like DuraLife, you can rest assured we will be there for you every step of the way!
*Be sure to check with your local municipality on the size; there may be restrictions.