Adding a wooden deck or outdoor structure onto your home or commercial building is no small feat – and it’s a tough decision to make as well. Whether you’re considering a deck, terrace, balcony or pergola, you need to know you can trust your contractor and their process from start to finish. In this guide we run you through the ins and outs of getting a wooden deck/installation.
Steps to Install a Wood Deck
Step 1: Decide what structure is right for you
You’re looking into building a structure outside your home or business, so you probably have specific needs for that space, right? Carefully consider what your vision for that space is, and think about what your needs might be in accordance with those ideas.
If you want to elevate your home’s property value and expand your living space, a deck might be your best bet. If you’re considering adding on an upper level of your home, a balcony is a great choice. If you’re looking to build a beautiful outdoor area to entertain clients or guests, a terrace may be right for you. A terrace is an open, leveled outdoor platform – similar to a patio or veranda – and can be customized in hundreds of ways to perfectly fit not only your property’s needs, but also municipality standards and codes.
Pergolas and gazebos are smaller installations and a lot more common. They require little-to-no modification to the existing property and offer a great little (or not so little) space to lounge and entertain.
Step 2: Choosing what material you should use
When you envision lounging outside on a warm summer’s night or sitting with friends enjoying a drink, what do you see around you? There are so many decking materials out there that the choice can feel overwhelming.
Material choice will impact ‘look and feel’, ambience, cost, maintenance effort and longevity – an important decision indeed! Here are some of the more popular materials you can choose from.
Ipe (ee-pay) is a Brazilian hardwood and the strongest and hardest decking material on the market. Known for its beautiful texture and durability – up to 70 years! – ipe is an excellent contender for a long-lasting and beautiful deck. You may want to order it far in advance if you choose to build with this wood; its popularity has skyrocketed in recent months and it could be hard to come by!
Composite decking is made of both plastic and wood fibers, and is the perfect material for people who want a low-maintenance option that still looks great. Composite products generally require very little upkeep.
PVC decking is a truly low-maintenance option that is made entirely of PVC plastic and contains no wood fibers. While it’s not the most environmentally-friendly option, it’s great for busy households, homes in harsh climates, and anywhere where you can’t spend a lot of time maintaining your outdoor space. After all, you want to spend time enjoying your deck, not looking after it!
Step 3: What should the deck/structure look like? (Design)
Now that you’ve chosen your materials, it’s time to think about the fun part: design!
Do you want stairs? Railings? Levels? Now is the time to decide! Think about what would best serve your space and what you realistically want to accomplish with your deck, and go from there. Now is the time to get in touch with a reliable contractor and talk to them about your space and your vision, or sit down with a pad and pencil and write down what you want out of your newest DIY project.
We take the design process to the next level with our 3D renderings that show you exactly what your space will look like. Check out these detailed renderings to get an idea of what you will be seeing before signing off on your design.
Try out different designs, colors and materials with our 3D design service!
Step 4: Time to start thinking about installation
The time has come to put your deck together! Exciting stuff, right? But before you start digging, hammering and drilling, you need to bear a couple things in mind:
Plans: Every good project starts with a plan. We prepare comprehensive drawings for all installations. Other than just good building practice, it makes it much easier to add the project to your home insurance and adds to the value of the project in the long run. If planning permission is needed from the municipality, plans come in very handy!
Permits: Not getting a building permit from your municipality can result in fines, repairs or, in some cases, being ordered to take down the new installation. GTA Decks makes getting permits easy: we offer BCIN, professional design drafting, architecture design, permit drawings, and more.
Step 5: Find your contractor
Now that you have your plans and permits, the fun begins! A contractor has to excavate (as required), insert post brackets, put together deck footings and joists, lay beams, install railings and panels, and add skirt boards for the finishing touches.
So it’s a good idea to find a contractor that’s local, experienced, responsive, and promises quality workmanship.
Outdoor living projects are all about the experience you envision for your property. That’s why customers (homeowners and business owners) turn to us – a leading design-and-build team in Toronto and the GTA. We put our complete commitment into a job done well. We work with you, bringing your dream to life, and recommending alternatives if we foresee issues.
Let’s start for the price of…FREE. Discuss your project and get a quote…
When you’re ready, our team of engineers and architects is standing by to help you design the perfect outdoor space.