What To Know When Building A Deck On Your Home

Building a deck on your home is an excellent way to improve the overall value of your property. It’s also just a fantastic addition to make for entertainment and relaxation purposes. Before you get started, there are some things you should consider. Let’s look at some points you should ponder before you dive into building your deck.

Set Your Budget

A deck is no different than any other construction project. Before you start buying or building anything, you MUST have a budget set. Entering a store like Lowe’s or Home Depot when you are contemplating a project is just as bad as going to the grocery store without a list while you’re hungry. You will think you need to buy tons of things you don’t actually need. Set a budget before you go into any type of home store.

Also factored into this would be the quality of materials you plan to use, and how much you plan to pay your contractor if using one. A rule of thumb with construction projects is to set your budget, then add 20%. There may be overruns and delays. If you build in that potential upfront, you won’t go over budget.

Check To See If You Need Any Permits

This will vary widely based on where you live. Not every city/county/state will require you to have a building permit to add a deck onto your existing property. Some do require building permits to expand an existing structure. Contact your city/town to see what the laws are for this style of construction project. You don’t want to run afoul of the law because that will cause your project to get shut down.

Will This Be a DIY Project Or Will You Hire A Contractor?

For individuals with construction know-how, building a deck onto their home isn’t a particularly difficult project. For those who are novices to construction, this is not the best project to try. It is possible that you know enough about construction to stain/paint your deck, or do other projects in that vein. But the building part may be best left to the professional deck contractors in your area. Be honest with yourself about your abilities.

Consider The Purpose You Want Your Deck To Serve 

When you think about your deck, ask yourself what purpose is this deck going to serve? Do you plan to entertain large groups of people on this deck? Will you be using it for cooking outdoors? Is it primarily for relaxation? Once you know what you want your deck to do, then you can properly design it. The amount of space available for you to build on will also factor into how you design your deck.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. What type of materiel do you want to use? There are many new options out there.
  2. Do you have a design or plan? You will need plans for a permit and to receive a quote from a contractor.
  3. What is your time line? Most contractors need lead time.
  4. IS YOUR CONTRACTOR LOCAL or FLY BY NIGHT? GET REFERENCES! Go look at their work, in person.
  5. Check with the local lumber yards. Many times, they have great quality, prices, & options.

To Sum Everything Up

A deck is a terrific addition to any home. But before you jump headfirst into this project, make sure you have crossed your t’s and dotted your I’s. Outline a budget, consider your deck’s purpose and design, check about permits, and consider if this is a DIY project or a project for the professionals. Once you have those points covered, you are set to begin your home improvement project!

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What To Know About Using Metal Fasteners Near Salt Water

Whether you’re building a deck on a seaside home or repairing a boat to go fishing, the materials used to make your fasteners may be the most crucial component of your work. Below is a review of the types of fasteners that best fit a seaside environment. Consider this information the next time you’re looking to build anything that will exist near or in a saltwater environment.

Typical types of fastener material

When choosing fasteners to use in a near-ocean water environment, there are typically three different materials to consider: stainless steel, aluminum, and hot-dip galvanized (HDG). There are pros and cons for each and each of them has a different scenario with which they are best used. Let’s review each type.

Pros and Cons

Hot-Dip Galvanized

HDG fasteners can often be found as the most cost-friendly choice of fasteners used near,. This is the case because they are coated in non-corrosive material rather than built completely out of it. The option of coating also allows for more flexibility in how they look, which can be good for builds that will be more visible, like road signs. However, being simply coated with the material leaves HDG fasteners susceptible to a shorter lifespan than the others. This means you will find HDG fasteners more commonly used on shorter life-span builds, such as motorized tools. HDG is also not always the lightest material as the coating can add a weight to each fastener. In general, HDG are best served for aesthetic-necessary projects that are trying to also be cost-efficient.

Stainless Steel

Along with being a more cost-efficient material of the bunch, stainless steel fasteners have many other benefits. For starters, they are typically made completely out of stainless steel, not just coated in it. If the stainless steel is treated than it can be corrosion resistant for an incredibly long time. This is the case whether it is submerged in water or not. However, if it is not coated properly, stainless steel can have less of a lifespan. Because they are typically made of stainless steel, the aesthetics are limited to the material itself. The weight of stainless steel is typically middling between coated and aluminum. The best scenarios for using stainless steel are builds that need to be cost-efficient without sacrificing lifespan above look or anything else.


Aluminum is the most expensive option on the list, but the benefits can be worth the price. Like stainless steel, aluminum fasteners are built out of a solid piece of material, giving them a much longer life span. It is also the lightest material of the group, which makes it incredibly easy to work with. Though light, it is incredibly durable and will withstand a saltwater environment for many years. You can find aluminum used in projects that will need to last a long time, such as docks or other large builds that are submerged in water. When you want to ensure the lifespan and durability of your near-saltwater project, you should look to aluminum above all else.

 Potential Watchout – Mixing Materials

Regardless of what material you use, be sure to use the same material for all parts. In projects that mix materials, it can create a process called galvanic corrosion, which can greatly lessen the lifespan of your fasteners.

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Which Siding is Best: A Comparison Between Masonry, Wood and Vinyl Siding

One of the most important decisions that you can make as a homeowner is the type of siding that you put on your house. After all, your siding is responsible for keeping weather out of your home and for protecting the surfaces underneath. That’s why it’s so important to choose the right material type. Many homeowners struggle with the decision and have trouble deciding between masonry siding, wooden siding, and vinyl. Each option can be found on homes around the country, and each has its purpose. Below is a quick look at each of those popular options to help explain the value of each and when they should be utilized.

When Vinyl Siding is the Answer

Vinyl siding is made from a plastic composite material and offered in a wide range of colors. It’s one of the most popular types of siding because it’s affordable and quick to put on, but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best option. Vinyl siding is a more affordable solution, but it’s susceptible to impact and scrape damage. It’s also the least environmentally friendly option out of the three options for buyers worried about sustainability.

It’s the best option for buyers looking to save money while keeping their maintenance requirements to a minimum. It doesn’t age very well, though, and can begin looking cracked or worn sooner than wood or masonry, even when high-quality vinyl is selected.


  • Affordable
  • Available in many colors
  • Low maintenance
  • Simple installation


  • Weak against impact damage or scrapes
  • Cannot be refinished
  • Not environmentally friendly

When to Use Masonry Siding

Masonry siding or brick siding is a thin layer of masonry that’s added to the exterior of a house. It’s by far the most expensive of the three siding options, but it’s highly durable and does the best against impacts and is the most fire-resistant siding option. Masonry siding is more maintenance than vinyl siding is to keep in good shape, but it’s generally easier to care for than wooden siding is. It’s also heavier and more difficult to install, which accounts for some of the added expense over wood siding. It’s one of the best long-term siding options and it ages well.


  • Low maintenance
  • Better for the environment
  • Fire resistant


  • The costliest option

When Wood Siding Makes Sense

Wood siding was by far the most popular form of siding a few centuries ago, and today it’s still a leading option. Generally it’s more costly than vinyl but more affordable than masonry siding is. Wooden siding is an excellent insulator and can help weatherproof a home in a cool climate effectively. This form of siding is simple to install and can be put on efficiently. It’s the most difficult to maintain, though, and requires regular upkeep to protect it from weathering, rot, and insect damage. Wooden siding is the most fragile option when not cared for, and it’s only good when maintained carefully.


  • Can be refinished
  • Better for the environment
  • Excellent insulator


  • High maintenance
  • Susceptible to fire damage
  • Prone to rot and insect damage

Conclusion: Which will it Be?

Each of the three siding types hasits own benefits, but one option will likely jump out for you over the others as you read through the information. Vinyl siding is the lowest cost option and also the easiest to maintain. Wooden siding is the most environmentally friendly and the best insulator, but the most work to maintain. Masonry is the most durable but also the most expensive of the three options. No matter which you pick, all three options will protect your home well; just invest in quality siding that you like, and you can’t lose.

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