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Questions to Ask Before Building a Cedar Deck in Washington

Cedar Deck Overlooking RiverWith the addition of a new cedar deck, Vancouver residents can create an outdoor living space that will open up the backyard and provide a new area for entertaining guests. However, the Northwest poses some unique challenges for homeowners, particularly when it comes to building and maintaining a wood deck.

Before installing their cedar decking, Washington residents should make sure they ask the right questions to ensure the project goes smoothly. Taking the time to gain additional information before the hammer hits the nail can help save you money and extend the life of your cedar deck in Washington.

What Building Codes Apply to Me?

Your home’s neighborhood, the size of your lot and the zone in which you live all come into play when you make any addition to your home. When it comes to installing cedar decking, Washington cities often have restrictions on size, railing style, beams, support posts and the placement of stairs leading up to your cedar deck. Vancouver and other cities develop these building codes to help your home fit in with the community’s aesthetic goals and to ensure the structure is safe. If you hire a contractor to help you build an outdoor living area, do not count on him to know your city’s building codes regarding cedar decks in Vancouver or any other Washington city.

How Tall Do I Want My Deck?

If you have a multi-story home in Washington, you may have the option to build a deck that extends from the top floor of your home and gradually steps down to the level of your yard. Tall walkout cedar decks can provide you with the opportunity to create a unique outdoor area, but they can also take up a lot of the space in your yard and present construction challenges. Alternatively, you can design a ground-level cedar deck if you live in a single-story home or do not want the hassle of multiple stairs.

Should I Use Posts or Piers?

When it comes to cedar decking, Washington deck contractors even debate the question. Using posts for cedar decks requires the builder to sink the cedar wood posts into the ground, while deck piers do not. If your city’s building codes do not specify whether you must use posts or piers, carefully weigh the benefits of each option before making a decision.

How Large of a Cedar Deck do I Want?

In addition to mapping out your backyard’s landscape design on paper, physically mark out the space your Washington cedar deck would take up in your yard. Use rope, a garden hose or marking paint to do so. By marking out the dimensions of the planned cedar decking, Washington homeowners can get a good feel for how the structure will affect yard space, as well as any deck design challenges such as trees. Mark off a few different sizes to see which you prefer the best.

Do I Want to Veer from the Traditional Rectangular Shape?

By using a different shape for their cedar decking, Washington residents can create an interesting deck that has depth and allows for a better flow of foot traffic. If you decide an octagon-shaped cedar deck is not right for you, you can also consider creating patterns within the deck boards, such as diamonds.

Can I Complete this Project on My Own?

Building your own cedar deck in Vancouver is a lot of work and can take several days to complete, especially if the weather does not cooperate. This type of project is best left to an individual who has advanced carpentry skills, such as a professional Washington cedar deck contractor, especially if you’re planning a structure that’s more elaborate than a simple ground-level deck. Using a professional contractor can help ensure your deck is safe for your family and guests to enjoy.

Should I Consider my Deck an Investment?

Yes, absolutely! With the addition of a cedar deck, Vancouver homeowners can transform a backyard into an outdoor dream-room. When you invest in your cedar deck, you will increase the value of your home as well as your comfort and your home’s aesthetic appeal. However, you can only achieve this return on your investment with expert artisanship, quality cedar decking materials and a well-planned design.

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