About Decks

By Michael Straessle

Adding a deck to the back or front of the house will add value to your home. Whatever your desire is in deck design, getting all the facts will be crucial to the life of your deck. Do the research by going to the local lumber store and enquiring about deck materials and maintenance. Then, draw a plan of your deck and decide what materials you want to use.

The Facts

Some “musts,” or facts, to know about decks is they need to have a solid foundation and be built with material that can take on the four seasons without deteriorating. You should choose a material that best suits your climate. Using a water sealer once a year will ensure its life for as long as you own your house. Regular cleaning is also a detail that many overlook. This entails more than just sweeping the leaves off. Clean it with a recommended deck cleaner. Know the wood and know the facts about the wood.


One of the benefits of modern times is choices. As technology progresses, the building industries offer more and more choices and decks are right in the middle of the mix. With the various designs and materials available, there is no end to the possible designs of your deck. The types of decks range from multilevel, to circular to multilevel and circular. A single-level deck is the easiest to imagine, but with a little imagination, even a single-level deck can be one of a kind.


Time was that if you wanted a deck, it was understood that you would use treated lumber and seal it with a water sealer. The evolution of the deck offers an option to wood. Composite material created by man boasts of no rotting or splitting as even treated lumber will eventually do. The composite material is made with a PVC polymer that is already “stained” gray, brown or tan and guarantees to hold up to the four seasons of the year.

Expert Insight

There are many ways to build a deck. Most start with posts cemented into the ground. If the deck isn’t very high off the ground, you can dry-pack the concrete mix into the hole. Keep the hole just a bit larger than the post, and pour the mix into the hole and pack it down as hard as you can. This will mix with the moisture in the ground and give the concrete the exact mix it needs. It’s faster and just as safe. Another recommendation is to use deck screws instead of nails as they don’t back out in the heat.


Throwing a neighborhood party or entertaining family and friends? A deck is one of the most versatile places to do it. Seating around the perimeter of the deck will allow for plenty of guests and if there are multiple levels to your deck, you can actually have two functions going on at the same time. In addition, the next time you want to be alone with the elements, stretch out on a lounge inside a separate screened-in area of the deck, and enjoy.