Adding a deck to a home can be a great way to provide outdoor functional space and add value to the house. However, the process of building a deck from scratch can be quite daunting. There are some essential steps and a lot of hard work involved that many homeowners are simply not equipped for or do not have the time to handle themselves. Fortunately, reliable deck contractors and businesses like deck construction services, deck building services, and deck design services exist to take on these tasks. As a consumer, partnering with expert deck construction, building, or designing service, or a licensed deck contractor will significantly help in navigating the numerous choices and decisions that need to make. Further, most reputable deck contractors, deck construction, deck building, and deck design services offer free consultations and are eager to help consumers design and build their ideal deck.
There are several key steps in the deck designing and building process, and some variability based on things like the selection of materials and space, layout. There are also many factors to consider when deciding on what type of service company or companies to use. In general, though, the specialties of deck contractors, deck construction, deck building, and deck designing services companies tend to fall into the broad categories detailed below.
Deck design services are primarily focused on reviewing a space, offering potential designs or renderings for the best decks to fit that space, and providing those designs to a deck contractor or deck construction services or deck building services company. Sometimes, they are a division of a larger company and affiliated with them, whereas sometimes they have many expert deck contractors, deck construction services, or deck building services that have worked with that kind of project in the past.
Deck design services are akin to architects, in that they work with a consumer to determine what the consumer wants from their deck, what kind of footprint or dimensions it might have, and can also suggest different materials selections and considerations. Generally, a company that is exclusively a deck design service does not build the decks themselves.
Deck construction services and deck building services are the complements to deck design services. While some are associated with or offer in-house design services, they typically are primarily concerned with the work of building a deck for a client. They obtain the materials and schedule deliveries, provide the equipment and workers to build, seal/finish the deck physically. They also review the work with a consumer when the process is complete, and frequently offer warranties or guarantees on their work for a certain number of years. Finally, deck construction services and deck building services companies also often offer maintenance, repair, resealing, or refurbishment services for consumers who already have a deck and want to bring it back to like-new condition.
Deck contractors can generally consider a combination of both deck design services and their deck construction/deck building services counterparts. Typically, a deck contractor is not affiliated with a large firm and may or may not be able to provide a formal design brief or renderings of proposed decks. They do, however, typically have extensive experience in building decks for consumers. They often take a bit longer than a full-fledged deck construction services or deck building services company and usually don’t have the large personnel numbers, but the trade-off is they generally offer a much more personalized, consumer-focused service and can cost considerably less.
Regardless of which type of deck contractors, deck construction services, deck building services, or deck design services one chooses for a job, consumers must ultimately make some of the key decisions in the process. Considerations for deck building include location, dimensions, materials selection, seal/finish, and additional features.
The desired location for a deck is an important consideration that often discussed in the early stages of planning a deck. Deck design services can help homeowners decide the overall best place to put a deck. Naturally, most people want a deck flush with their home, usually adjacent to or including an existing doorway. Others prefer decks that are free-standing away from home and are more focused on enclosing or allowing access to a swimming pool or other features. And there are some other considerations that deck design services or even deck contractors might want to review with a homeowner at the design stage. Such as blocking of other home features (windows, doors), utility access (blocking utility meters, water taps, and similar), or other aspects of design.
Another often-overlooked consideration is the final dimensions of the deck. While deck construction services and deck building services are experts at the building process, the ultimate decision on the height of the deck, how many levels or tiers it may have, railings, and other features belong to the consumer. Height indeed dictated by the height of what it is butting up against, such as a house door or a pool. But the overall dimensions, how many levels, stairs, and all the other features of the deck decide the consumer.
Deck design services may offer various examples of their previous work to provide consumers with some sense of these dimensions, and renderings of a mock-up deck against a picture of their actual house or pool. When in doubt, consumers can always take some measurements of their own with a tape measure, as it is often difficult to visualize dimensions until it’s marked out or measured. Some deck contractors, but especially deck construction, building services, may have showrooms available with different types of miniature/abbreviated decks, to showcase the height, width, levels, and other dimensional features available.
Perhaps most critical to building a deck is the selection of the building materials. Deck design services will often have recommendations, as will deck contractors and deck construction services/deck building services. Consumers should review their choices based on their long-term goals for the deck, expected lifetime of the home and deck, and various local factors like rainfall, sun/shade, harsh winters, etc.
In general, there are two main types of materials used for most of all consumer-grade decks – wood and composite. Wood can take many forms and types but is generally referencing natural wood boards and slats. Composite material, on the other hand, often mimics the look and feel of wood, but is primarily made of composite plastic. One typical example of composite decking material is Trex.
Both primary groups of building materials have their pros and cons, and skilled and knowledgeable deck contractors or other professionals can help to walk consumers through this choice.
The specific sealing of a deck is more relevant to wood-based decks; as most composite materials do not require sealing. With wood, a choice of seal, stain, or is what gives the deck its finish, and protects it from the rigors of weather and use. Deck contractors, deck construction services, and deck building services typically have a palette of different options to choose from, ranging from natural wood stains to solid opaque colors.
In the case of composite materials, there are sometimes different options for the texture or finish used on the functional (top) side of the material. Likewise, deck contractors, deck construction services, and deck building services, along with deck design services, will typically have a booklet or samples of different textures and finishes for consumers to choose from at the design stage of the deck building process.
Sometimes, there are additional features that also need to consider when it comes to decking. Deck design services will generally know what they (and any associated deck contractors, deck construction services, or deck building services) are capable of and more importantly, these experts will know what is and are not allowed under the building code in a particular jurisdiction. They can work with consumers to execute the consumer’s vision for things like built-in tables and benches, storage compartments, lighting, additional stairs/ramps and access, and more.
A deck is an excellent addition to a home, something that increases a home’s value and provides functional and aesthetic benefits for the homeowner and their family. Deck design services are experts in helping consumers design the perfect deck. Deck construction services and deck building services generally do the building. Deck contractors are typically a jack-of-all-trades and can help with the entire process. Consumers have several decisions they must make during the design and construction process, but the expertise and experience of the experts at deck design services, deck construction services, deck building services, and deck contractors can provide peace-of-mind and satisfaction.