Are you starting to notice flower buds on trees and bushes as you run your errands or drive to work? Spring is definitely on its way (finally!). In Texas, springtime means flowering trees, bluebonnets, warm air, cool evenings and some much-needed calm between a cold winter and a hot summer.
With the arrival of warmer weather comes outdoor BBQs, evening chimenea gatherings and leisurely chats with friends. Your backyard is great and all, but these events play out better on an outdoor deck. Don’t have one? Have you ever built one? Believe it or not, it’s really not too difficult. All you need is desire, a plan, a budget, materials and a bit of brawn.
Plan, build and maintain
Getting started is the hardest part. Once you commit to the project, jump right in by first determining your plan and preparing for the build. If you are satisfied with the condition of your existing deck, you could always consider expanding what you have or adding special items such as an arbor, arbor swing (great for a leisurely weekend read) or perhaps a vegetable trellis, if you have the space.
Know before you go
Research types of decks, styles, materials and providers then set a budget that accommodates your needs.
Top 10 things to know before building a deck:
- Wood type will dictate how you use your deck. Choose carefully.
- Check into building permit requirements in your neighborhood and get one if needed.
- Location, location, location. Decide where you want your deck before you dig in.
- Contact Texas811.
- Keep the ledger board level and balanced.
- Regardless of your wood type, safeguard it from the elements with paint, stain or sealant.
- Know your angles. Use a 3-4-5 triangle to make a proper square.
- Your joists and placement are no laughing matter later. Attend to those with caution.
- Do your research to determine the right fastener for the look and stability you hope to achieve.
- Mind the gap!
See and read more about the top 10 items here.
With Texas’ moderate weather, it’s likely you can take advantage of your handiwork year-round. Depending upon how soon you begin and how quickly you work, you may even be able to enjoy some Texas bluebonnets from the comfort of your new deck.
If you don’t finish in time for wildflower season, you can always aim for deck views of honeysuckle, crape myrtle or black-eyed susans, plants that bloom throughout summer and into fall. But no matter where you decide to place your deck, remember to call Texas811 before you dig!