Backyard Decks

Written by Donald Sparacin
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Depending on skill, budget, and planning backyard decks can be either a fantastic outdoor room that enhances the property value or an eyesore that can bring down the entire value of the home. If your skill level is low, have it built. If your budget is low, consider a smaller deck or lesser materials. If you don't plan on proper planning, don't undertake the project.

Are There Backyard Decks in Your Future?

Backyard decks aren't for everyone. Unless you plan on using composite material for the decking you should expect a weekend a year of some deck cleaning with a pressure washer and water treatment. While decks age nicely to a weathered gray color, untreated wood (even pressurized) can be subject to rot, warping, and splitting. Treating the deck with a wood preservative will help to prevent this process of nature.

Composite decking can eliminate the need for annual treating, but even composites will need to be cleaned periodically. There are people that perform this function for you but they aren't cheap and require scheduling. Composites are a great new product that should last for many years but unfortunately cost about twice what pressure treated lumber costs. Given all of the benefits, it should be the only thing considered by the homeowner that isn't interested in maintenance.

Backyard decks are only a good idea if you actually enjoy being outside. Just because you built an outside room, don't expect that the ants and bees will stay away. Outdoors is and always will be outdoors. Nature will visit your deck and you when you're on it. Place a bug zapper about 50' away, and treat for ants on the ground below the deck surface to keep as much unwanted nature away from you and your guests as possible.


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