Avoid These Common Deck Installation Mistakes

Posted on: 29 November 2017

A deck can be a beautiful and convenient way to enjoy your backyard. If you construct your own deck, you can save money and can also design the deck to your own liking. However, there are many common mistakes you will want to be careful to avoid. 

Be Careful Not To Disrupt Utilities

Before you prepare for laying down the footings, you will want to make sure you do not hit a power, gas or water main. Striking any of these can lead to a serious injury and can cause a disruption in a public utility, at the very least. Call before you dig and mark the area where the utilities are located. When digging for a footing, you should consider using a shovel because you are less likely to hit a utility and less likely to cause serious damage if you do.

Check Your Clearances

A continuous handrail should be installed on stairs that have four or more steps. The handrail must be graspable when walking up and down the stairs. It can be a mistake to install the handrail after the stairs have been installed because you may discover that the handrail would otherwise not fit. Also, make sure that the deck does not prevent access to utilities or does not block entry into a portion of your home.

Plan Your Structure Carefully

One of the most common reasons for why decks collapse is that they become disconnected from the home. The deck shouldn't be nailed to the ledger board. Instead, the deck should be attached using galvanized lag screws or through-bolts. They produce a connection that is stronger and lasts longer.

One easier solution is to build a freestanding deck. An attached deck requires flashing to prevent water intrusion. Even when the deck that is connected to the home is flashed correctly, it can still have collection zones. Dirt and debris can become trapped and can cause the wood to erode. You will also prevent corrosion by using fascia and caulking the fascia to minimize the collection zone.

Install Hardware Correctly

Make sure to use the right fasteners. When you do not use the right fastener, such as a fastener that does not have the appropriate corrosion resistance, your deck will fail much sooner. Because it is important to use the right fasteners and because of everything else that can go wrong, you may want to consider hiring a deck installation specialist.