Specialties Within Deck Construction and Maintenance
Many homeowners choose to build a deck or patio or add one onto their home. However, there is some construction and maintenance involved with this type of project. This is especially true if you are constructing a customized deck with steps, a fire pit, and railing. It is certainly beneficial to be familiar with wood types, building tools required, and stains used to coat the outdoor porch or deck, before getting started. Here are a few useful terms you should be familiar with, regardless of whether you are tackling the patio project on your own, or having a professional build it.
Cantilever – This is essentially a construction method, which consists of extending the joists of a deck beyond the support beam. It may also involve extending the support beam beyond the connecting posts.
Fascia – These are the wooden slats or boards used to cover any rim joists or end joists. They are also referred to as a skirt.
Baluster – Often referred to as a spindle, this is one of several vertical supports, which are used on decks in between railing posts.
Dead Load – This refers to the actual weight of a custom porch or deck structure. It includes the railing, plank system, steps, permanent fixtures, as well as any fire pits or benches used.
Ledger – A board or piece of wood that is placed horizontally on a deck in order to attach it to a house or structure. This board helps support one side of the deck or porch.
Pier Block – This is a masonry post. It serves as an above grade footing for any wooden posts, and is typically made from precast concrete. These are typically installed once and require no maintenance.
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Deck construction and maintenance covers several different services. Homeowners can hire a contractor that can help design a backyard patio, pool deck, or porch. Contractors help plan how a new patio is to look, what materials are needed, and what permits are required for the project. Custom decks, patios, and porches often increase a home's value and are great for entertaining.
Since decks, patios, and porches are outdoors, it's important to stain the wood to help it withstand harsh weather conditions. If proper maintenance isn't performed, expensive repairs may be needed down the road. Some decks may be DIY, but others require a professional contractor. Contractors often have pictures of previous work they have done to show potential customers. These picture show different deck plans the contractor has built and can be a great starting point for customers when trying to decide what deck plan they want for their backyard or pool.
Construction time varies on each company and the size of the project. Some may have more contractors available to build the deck together, which can decrease the amount of days it takes before it is completed. A maintenance job, such as washing, sealing, or cleaning the wood generally only requires one or two contractors. The more contractors that are hired for the job, the more expensive it is due to having to pay for each individual to work. Customers can schedule a time to have a contractor perform maintenance on the deck as often as they would like to avoid difficult and expensive repairs.