A deck can often be the thing that makes a house feel like a home. Even a house with a beautiful interior can suffer if the views of the outside are subpar. Dupont Construction and Remodeling can help you achieve a gracious home that is welcoming outside as well as inside.
If you think of your deck as an outdoor expansion of your home, you want it to be comfortable. You and your visitors should feel just as at home on the deck as you do in the living room. That means your deck needs to be safe.
Dupont Construction and Remodeling has the expertise you need.
Our services include both new deck construction as well as deck remodeling. As a small, family-owned and operated business, Dupont Construction and Remodeling works closely with our customers to ensure their satisfaction. When it comes to safety, our detail-oriented crew goes above and beyond concerning local building code compliance.
Insecure decks are a national problem. According to the North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), there are over 50 million decks in the United States. NADRA estimates around half of these decks require repairs or replacement. Deck safety is something that should be taken very seriously. Here are some tips to ensure your deck is a safe place for your family.
Before You Begin
Make sure you prepare before you choose the kind of deck and the kind of work you want. You will enjoy your deck more if you aren’t worried about its vulnerability. Whether you would like to build a new deck or remodel an existing one, there are essential things to consider.
It can be frustrating to feel like you have wasted your money and time on unnecessary work. If you already have a deck, there are indicators you can look for to determine its overall integrity. It may be that it is already sound, or you may need to make some changes.
Do You Need to Remodel Your Deck for Safety?
- Ask yourself this question. When was the last time your last deck inspection? You should have a deck-building professional inspect your deck annually, and get a written inspection report. A deck builder can complete an inspection for you or someone certified by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).
- Look at ledgers and fasteners. The ledger is the board that connects the deck to your house’s frame. Many experts believe that ledger failure is the most common cause of deck collapse, often when the nails become loose. Check whether your deck ledger uses screws since screws are provide additional security.
- Examine the deck’s wood. Like any outdoor structure, decks take a lot of abuse from the elements. A wooden deck is at risk for problems like rotting, splintering, and holes from insects or cracks from age. Wood deterioration threatens the structural integrity of a deck.
- Stairs and railings. The worst-case scenario of deck collapse isn’t the only consideration. This statement may seem obvious, but stairs and railings should be secure and firm. Codes vary depending on your location, but stair rise should be around 4 inches minimum and 7 inches maximum.
- Clutter. It may not be the responsibility of a remodeler, but this is a simple change you can make today. Stairs and surfaces should be reasonably free of objects that might cause trips and falls.
NADRA and ASHI can help you find qualified deck inspectors and provide detailed inspection guidance. You may be eager to begin remodeling, or hoping to avoid the expense and hassle. Either way, you will be glad you made time for a deck inspection.
Are You Planning to Build a Deck?
Maybe you look out at your backyard and notice something is missing. You want that relaxed, inviting backyard hangout for your friends and family. If you are thinking about building a deck, there are additional considerations.
- Fasteners. As with deck remodeling, attention needs to be paid to fasteners. A deck that uses only nails is not a safe deck. A soundly constructed deck needs lag screws and bolts.
- Flashing. When installing a deck, make sure that your deck ledger is flashed appropriately. Flashing prevents weather damage to your ledger. Flashing can be made of vinyl or metal, so do your research on the most cost-effective option for your budget.
- Tree Branches. If you have trees in your backyard, you will need to take everything from roots to branches into consideration. Tree limbs can present obvious risks if they droop, break, or fall on or near your house. In addition to creating a nuisance, damp leaves from the branches overhanging over your deck can present a slipping hazard.
- Tree Roots. Find out the kinds of trees that surround your house, if you don’t already know. This important feature can be easily overlooked, but it is crucial to the long-term survival of your deck. Certain tree roots grow very large and above ground, which can threaten the structural integrity of your deck over time.
- Materials. Consider the most durable materials for your budget before you dive in. When you think of decks, you probably picture wooden ones, since wood tends to be the most popular deck-building material. You may find that less traditional options like composite, plastic, and aluminum decking are the best fit for your situation.
Dupont Construction and Remodeling Can Help You Meet Your Goals
Whether you want to build a completely new deck, or update your existing one, contact us for a free estimate. Our knowledgeable professionals can inspect your deck, and are ready to discuss your safety concerns and questions. As a business based right here in Central Minnesota, we want to make sure our neighbors are safe and happy.
We know the preparation that goes into a creating safe deck can seem like all work and no play. But remember, you are literally laying the groundwork for future family gatherings and fond memories for years to come. You take care of your friends and family, and let Dupont Construction and Remodeling take care of the rest.