Deck Building Common Mistakes

There are many things to consider when you are building a home deck. All decks need to be built with safety in mind and avoid using materials that will break down too quickly (or cause problems for insects).
1) Using the Wrong Type of Wood

When building your deck, make sure that you use high-quality wood instead of low-quality wood. You might think it is cheaper to use lower quality wood like pine, but the reality is that this type of wood does not last very long before either rotting or warping. A good choice for material is cedar because it tends to hold up well against rot, insects, and weathering. Cedar has a unique smell as well which might be appealing if you enjoy going outside.


2) Not Using a Solid Foundation

Part of making sure that your deck is sturdy and lasts a while is to have it sit on a solid foundation. If you do not use a good base for your deck, then the frame will likely warp or rust over time. This can cause problems with being able to walk up and down from the deck without getting injured from falling apart. A simple solution is to put in 4″x4″ posts every few feet so that they go into the ground about 3-4′. Once you have all of these in place, connect them together using 2×6 boards going across so that there are no gaps for insects or water to get through easily.

3) Building Close to Pipes

Build your deck far away from any pipes that are underneath the ground. Even if you are building on a concrete slab, it is best to build at least 8″ away so that there is no damage done to the existing infrastructure.


4) No Stairs for Entering/Exiting Deck

Make sure to have plenty of stairs on your deck so that it can be safe and easy to enter or exit. If you have no way of getting up on the front of your deck without falling through boards, then this could be very dangerous for anyone using the area. People might avoid going out on your deck because they do not feel safe using it with anything but some boards acting as steps into space. A good fix would be to place stairs leading to the front of the deck so users can get on safely.


5) Not Using Railings

Deck Building Mistakes

Last but not least, make sure that you have railings along the sides of your deck so people do not accidentally fall over. A good rule of thumb is to have 4-6 feet worth. This way, children playing near these areas are kept safe because there is no chance for them to be pushed into open spaces where they might fall through boards. Adults could also use railing if they wanted something to grab onto while walking up or down off the back of the deck.