When setting out to add a deck to your property there are a number of things that need to be considered. Materials and climate are important factors as well as railings and stairs that may be needed to make the deck safe. There are a number of deck blueprints available for the beginner woodworker but it is important to find plans that can be modified to suit your particular project with minimal frustration.
A simple deck can be constructed with a pressure-treated floor frame. This frame is supported by a ledger board and concrete piers before being topped with decking. Since a simple deck is usually only one step high, railings and stairs are not necessary considerations.
Any deck project that is higher than one step has a basic list of tool requirements:
- Circular saw
- Miter saw
- Reciprocating saw
- Impact wrench
- Level and measuring tape
- Post hole digger and shovel
- Pressure-treated lumber
- Composite decking
- Varied hangers, nails, bolts, washers and screws
- Pin nailer
- Post anchors and caps
These materials are commonly used to construct decks that are a couple steps high. For these projects the posts must be load bearing and secure. Railing and stairs will also be necessary to make the deck functional.
Considerations before a blueprint is selected
Before you run out and buy stacks of materials it is important to choose the right deck for the space you have available. If you hate stairs, don’t add a deck that requires a bunch of stairs to get to the yard. Keep your goals for the space in mind so that it will meet your goals once it is finished. It is important that the deck blueprints maintain the proper scale. The deck should be in proportion to both your home and the yard. If the deck is too large for the yard, the later will feel overwhelmed once the project is completed. The same will be true for the deck if it is too small when compared to the house or the yard. The small deck design also needs to connect the deck to the house. The materials that are selected as well as the style and shape should fit with the rest of the house to complete a cohesive and complete unit. There should also be a consistent flow from the house, across the deck, and through the yard. If the deck impedes this flow, it will feel awkward and out of place once it is completed.
Improvements offered by a small deck
A small deck can help a homeowner get more use out of a slightly graded yard. A small deck can be stepped to take advantage of the natural grade of the yard. This can be used to create an interesting deck that uses the space most efficiently. This can also cover a slope that is constantly eroding or refuses to grow grass.
Details on a small deck are significant as there is little space to be used. Great small deck blueprints will take the overheads and sides into consideration in addition to the deck floor. An arbor can be added to create a lovely structure while carefully designed rails can add detail and interest to the space while doubling as plant holders and supports.
Small decks can be a spectacular addition to any structure. They can add interest to an otherwise boring space while allowing the homeowner to get more use out of their outdoor spaces. They can also beautify difficult terrain that may resist other plants and grass. The selection of deck blueprints should be done carefully and with an eye on the available space, and planned uses for the finished deck.