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<< Home Improvement Articles >>

Deck Design - Why Firm Foundations Are Essential

By Arpad Nyikos

Preparing a deck design for your backyard is all the rage as a home improvement project for this summer, however there is great temptation to build a pallet like structure that just sits on the ground outside your back door.

Yes there are many ways to prepare the ground so that an unconnected deck design structure will sit level to the ground, for example by using concrete slabs in four corners... but it's still just a big pallet sitting on the ground and the slightest soil erosion below will result in a rocky deck!.

The only way to make a deck design that you can be proud of, that will stand the test of storms and wind AND that you can build onto as years go by, is to prepare firm LEVEL foundations before you start to build up. A ground level deck design shouldn't just sit flat on the ground, its important to raise the deck frame off the ground to allow for drainage AND to protect the wood, however, keep in mind that the top level of your deck should not be higher than the entrance to your home - so that the rain doesn't run off your deck design and through your back door.

The importance of anchoring your deck design at the very start of your project cannot be over emphasized and are an essential requirement for:

  • Complying with planning permits for your area.
  • Hopefully improving the value of your home.
  • Quality workmanship will improve the usefulness of spaces in and around your home.
  • Adding value to the time you spent doing the work - it's much more worthwhile when the job is done properly.
  • Allowing you to extend your decking later - for example if you want to add an extension for a BBQ area or a step up to encompass your new hot tub with deck surround...

Your First Step in preparing the ground for your deck design foundations will be to find out where any underground pipes extend out into your backyard, you don't want to dig into any electrical or water pipes of any sort.

Your second step, (with the details from step one in your posession) should be to apply for a building permit and benefit from their sound advice regarding deck design in your area. There is no guarantee, but if your deck is going to add any value to your home you must have your paperwork regarding the proper building permits in order.

Once your permit comes through you will have permission to create an anchor ledger at the side of your home to which you can connect your deck design using masonry anchors and you will know where you can dig to place your concrete footings where your post anchors go.

Get all these initial components nice and level and firmly placed and it's plain sailing for the rest of your deck design construction.

Arpad Nyikos has written numerous articles dedicated to home improvement trends to add value to your home or simply add quality to your home life, plus improvement projects and different ways that you can finance them. You can read more about deck design here at A great way to keep ahead with your home improvement project is a FREE subscription to Home Improve E-zine

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About the Author
MSM is a Practicing Planning Agent & building design team offering Architectural Services to their clients specialising in residential development.  The views & opinions expressed here are personal ones based on relevant life experiences.  These views & opinions are not intended to be actioned or copied by others.

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