5 tips for building a great deck

5 tips for building a great deck: Building a deck is a great way to extend your living space outdoors. And of course, here in Australia where outdoor living reigns supreme, decks can bring massive value to your home.

Decks often come in many different sizes and shapes. They can be simple, uncluttered grade level platforms with no frills.

Or the complex affair of a multi-level structure with all the fixtures—think railings, pergolas, built-in benches, pools and planters.

There are a range of deck options available to you. So, before you start a project to add a deck to your home, here are five tips for building a great deck that you can consider.

Determine your wants and needs

Your lifestyle, preferences and what you want to do should guide your choice of deck design.

Make sure your deck enhances your quality of life. Ask yourself the following questions to help you clarify and drill down to your needs.


  • Are you going to entertain and dine on the deck often or plan to put a hot tub or pool in the space?
  • Will built-in seating work well with what you have in mind? Or are deck seats more appropriate?
  • What kind of scene are you trying to create?
  • Will there be any additional accent finishing like a planter box?
  • While these questions are by no means exhaustive, they provide great pointers for what you should consider before adding a deck to your home.

Do you need a permit?

Check with your local council building codes to see what types of home improvements you can legally carry out on your property.

Most councils may require prior approval before deck construction can begin. Make sure you understand what the requirements are and obtain all necessary permits.

Although it may seem like a hassle now, it will save you a lot of pain down the road. Also, non-compliance with building codes in your neighborhood can be a serious problem when it’s time to sell.

Choose the deck material carefully

Quality deck materials combined with solid construction are two of the most essential parts of building a great deck.

When choosing a deck material, you want to choose a material that guarantees longevity, is durable, requires minimal maintenance, and adds to the aesthetics of your home.

Typical deck materials are pressure-washed cedar wood, composite wood, and vinyl decking. Each has its own merits and negative sides.

For example, pressure-treated lumber is cost-effective; However, they require regular maintenance.

Composite woods, while more expensive than lumber, are known for their performance, longevity and ease of maintenance.

On the other hand, vinyl is the most durable and requires the least maintenance.

When choosing a deck material, you want to decide what is most important to you: aesthetics or cost or longevity or ease of maintenance. Then choose the content that suits your needs.