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Dazzling Decks: Things to Consider Before You Swing the Hammer

With the additional time many families are spending around their homes, now may be the time to invest in home improvements. A popular addition that can add useful outdoor space and enhance the value of your home is a deck. If you’re looking to liven up your backyard, here are some things to consider:

Building Permits

Chances are good, if you’re building a deck, you’ll need to get a building permit. And given the cost of the average deck ($7,000 according to HomeAdvisor), it’s a small price to ensure that your deck is built properly. In some cases, if you’re building a free-standing deck, a building permit may not be required. Check with your city or local government to ensure you have the proper permits and everything follows local regulations.

DIY or Hire a Professional

Are you the handy type that loves to take on your own home repairs? If so, you might be able to save some money by tackling the project yourself. However, make sure to honestly evaluate your skill and comfort level. Serious mistakes could cost you thousands in repairs down the road. Also consider that you may need access to specialized tools and equipment.

Budget and Materials

It stands to reason that the larger your deck, the larger your budget will need to be. But another factor to consider is the building materials. Using treated lumber can save you money up front though it will require regular maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape. Maintenance free composite materials will reduce the amount of upkeep down the road, but it will increase your initial building costs.

Additional Features

Before you finalize your dimensions and order supplies, make sure to consider future options or additions. Items such as fire pits, outdoor kitchens or pergolas may require extra space. Whereas features like hot tubs, fountains or pools may not only require extra square footage added to your deck, but considerations such as additional supports, electrical hook ups and plumbing may need to be taken into account. Compiling your complete wish list now can save you time and money later.

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