When making additions or renovations to your home such as building a wood or composite deck, you’ll need to obtain a building permit. A permit ensures your project meets city safety regulations and is contained within your property.
This video explains how to get a home building permit. Call your local building and safety department to find out the process you will need to complete. The representatives in this department will provide you with the information you need to obtain the proper paperwork to begin your home improvement project.
Building a fence around your property provides privacy, protection, and improved aesthetics. Before you begin, there are many considerations to take into account. Determining the purpose and style of your fence before undertaking any project will ensure you enjoy the result for years to come.
The Purpose of Your Fence
The purpose your fence is the determining factor in many other choices you will make. Would you like your fence to provide privacy, contain your pets and children, or will it be decorative? Privacy fences are built high and designed for opacity, while a fence meant to contain animals or children can be made from chain link or wrought iron. You may prefer a decorative fence built to a lower height to prevent blocking the surrounding view. Additionally, if your fence will enclose your entire property, it’s important to consider where you will place gates or access points so they are convenient.
The Materials for Your Fence
Another important consideration before building a fence is to decide upon the materials you plan to use. Wood is a handsome and popular choice, but requires more regular maintenance than a vinyl or wrought iron fence. Chain link allows easy viewing access into your yard and will not block wind or weather. If you’re building a fence for decorative purposes, consider using similar materials to that found around the exterior of your home to complement your home’s existing style.
City and Neighborhood Regulations for a Fence
Before you build a fence, familiarize yourself with any city or neighborhood regulations regarding fencing in your area. Check that your fence will comply with any height or materials restrictions. Determine the exact placement of your property lines so that your fence won’t extend onto a neighbor’s land.
Whether you’re adding a wooden deck to your home or upgrading your current one, knowing a few common decking terms can come in handy. Posts and beams provide vertical and horizontal support and structure to your deck, respectively. Joists sit beneath the floor of the deck to spread out the weight of the structure. The decking itself is comprised of the wooden boards that sit atop the joists and create the floor. If your deck includes steps, there are a few more essential terms to know. Stringers are boards that support the stairs, which are bordered by handrails for safety. The horizontal boards at the top of the handrails that serve as gripping points are called balusters or spindles. The treads refer to the top of the stair that you walk on, which have a run (depth) and rise (height) component.
Keeping your composite or wooden deck clean and in good repair enhances its looks, its longevity, and its safety. Cleaning your deck is a small time investment that will reward you with a beautiful gathering place for years to come. If you have questions about caring for or repairing your deck, talk to your deck contractor for more tips.
Your deck is continually exposed to the elements and quickly collects dust, pollen, and other debris. If left on the surface of your deck, this debris is easily ground into the wood when you walk over it. During the spring, summer, and fall, sweep your deck once a week to remove this layer of dirt and keep the wood looking its best. Make sure to clean between adjacent boards to prevent buildup of moisture and mold.
Sand and Repair
Wooden boards that have become splintered or worn are harder to clean. They pose an aesthetic problem and even a health or structural hazard if these boards develop weak areas or mold. If your wooden deck develops splinters or rough spots, sand them away with 80-grit sandpaper. Use a deck-friendly mold or moss removal cleaner to prevent recurrences that can weaken the wood.
Pressure washing your deck is a fast and easy way to ensure your deck looks its best. Both wooden and composite decks can benefit from pressure washing. You can rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store, or purchase one of your own as a long-term investment. If it’s your first time using a pressure washer, test it in a small area that would be easy to replace, such as a stair, to make sure you’re using the appropriate settings before cleaning the entire deck.
Your deck requires regular maintenance to look its best and remain safe for your family to use. Maintaining your deck takes only a small amount of time, but will prevent fading, splitting, warping, and splintering of the wood.
This video shows what happens when a wooden deck is not properly maintained. You will see the effects of weather and time on the wood. To prevent severe damage that could require replacing your entire deck, clean and seal your deck at least once a year.