A deck or a porch is a great outdoor feature to have at home. You can use the area to relax, have meals or even to entertain guests. Apart from increasing the amount of developed space on your property, a deck or a porch improves the aesthetics of your home and can increase its value as well. In this article, learn what is involved when building a deck or a porch, from the materials needed to the installation process itself.

Materials needed
Whether you’re building the deck by yourself or plan to hire a professional, it’s important to know which materials will be needed for the build. These include
1. Mortar – sand, cement, and aggregate
2. Vertical posts
3. Horizontal beams
4. Decking boards
5. Joist boards
6. Railings
7. Tools: nails, screws, wood glue, cutting saw, etc

Who to hire for the build
The best approach to building a deck or porch is to hire a builder. Deck/porch builders, home builders or outdoor contractors are ideal for the job. Apart from doing the actual construction, they can also source the needed materials on your behalf. Of course, their services will attract a fee which is often a percentage of the material costs. However, you get to enjoy a professionally-built deck/porch in return. You also get to enjoy their professional advice, the use of their machines/tools, and a wide range of design options for your build.

Alternatively, if you have the skills to undertake a decking build, you can make this a DIY project. However, you should only choose this approach if you are 100% certain that you can undertake the task. Preferably, you should have some experience on how to do so. More so, you should also have the tools and the time to see the project through, from start to finish.

Building a deck/porch can be broken down into several steps. These are:

Step 1: Designing your deck
Here, you get to determine how big your deck will be, its particular dimensions, the decking style, the type of railing to install, and even the type and shade of timber to use.

Step 2: Choosing your decking location
Next, identify which part of your home to build the deck on. Often, a deck is built as an extension of the house, either on the front or at the back.

Step 3: Creating the footings
Once you have identified the location, the builder will mark the outlay of the deck and identify where to install the posts. They will then dig the footing holes using an auger or a mini excavator. Once done, a concrete solution will be poured into the dug holes. The posts will then be introduced into the holes and attached in a way that they can cure inside the concrete footings.

Step 4: Attaching the beams
After a few days, when the posts and the concrete footings have cured, the horizontal support beams will be attached. This is often done using large screws or via metal brackets.

Step 5: Laying the joist boards
After that, the joist boards are nailed onto the beams. These will provide the surface onto which the decking boards will be installed.

Step 6: Installing the decking
Finally, the decking boards are installed. These can be purchased in a pre-treated and pre-sealed condition ready for immediate installation. Some boards are nailed onto the joists while others can be attached via groove joints.

Step 8: Installing the railing
Lastly, the railings are installed along the edges of the completed deck/porch. The frame of the railing is usually nailed onto the ribbon joists for maximum support.

Once done, your deck is complete and ready for use!



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