Investing in a deck is a big decision and with so many options on the horizon, the process can seem overwhelming before you get started. North American Deck and Patio offers full-service outdoor living contracting, so we’ve seen it all. Here are some of the most common questions that we answer for new customers and we hope that they will help ease your mind about the process. If you have additional or specific questions, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more.
I want to build a deck, where do I start?
Start by deciding what your deck is going to be used for. Remember that in the case of a deck, the function defines the form. Once you have a concept of the intended use, start looking for different deck ideas. Exploring different deck designs will help you narrow down your style and personal preferences.
Do I need a permit to build a deck?
Generally, if your Maryland deck is more than 12 inches above grade, you need a permit. But don’t sweat about it! As your deck contractors, we will take care of the deck plans and all the permit-related paperwork. However, if your home is a part of a Homeowners Association (HOA), you may need to consult with your HOA bylaws first to see if you need to receive any additional approval from the bird first. Most HOAs are pretty strict about what and where you can build on your property.
What is your deck building process?
After you reach out to us for a consultation, we will meet to discuss your project. Once we have an idea of what you want to build, we will give you a quote. If you are happy with it, we’ll sign the contract and get started on the design and plans. After you approve the plans, we’ll submit them to the county to get a permit. Then, when the permit is issued, we can start pouring footings and building the framing of your deck. From there, we install the decking itself, then railings, steps, lights, and any other extra features. After everything is finished and you are happy with the end result, we will clean up your yard, patch up the landscaping, and leave you with a deck you can start using right away.
I have a small yard, can I still build a deck?
When you have limited space in your yard, you may be limited by the zoning regulations when it comes to the size of your deck. Zoning, among other things, determines minimal yard requirements—the square footage of lawn you have to have in your yard. This is done both for aesthetics and to make sure your deck is not too close to your neighbors. We can help you plan a deck that both meets the zoning regulations and offers enough space for outdoor living.
Should I go with composite decking or treated wood?
This is really a question of budget, time and personal preference. Composite decking costs more upfront, but needs less maintenance and saves you money in the long run. Pressure-treated wood is cheaper and has a unique look and feel. But these looks don’t last without regular upkeep. If you are really torn between these or other choices, give us a call and let’s together weigh all the pros and cons of each option.
What do I do with all this space under my deck?
Depending on how tall your new deck is going to be, you may end up with some awkward space underneath. Should you close it off or keep it open? Make use of it or just let it be? Personally, we like making use of every last inch of space, so we’ll be happy to offer you some ideas for your under-deck space. Check out our blog post on this topic to see the possibilities.
If you have any other questions we didn’t answer here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly!