How to Plan Your Home’s New Deck

Start with getting the proper permits for adding a deck to your home.
Apr 29, 2022

Building a deck can be a great way to add on to your home, both for your own enjoyment and to improve the value of your house. But planning your home’s new deck can be a difficult task. It involves both creativity, as you have to design what you want your deck to look like, and also calculations. Follow these steps to plan your home’s new deck.

Research Building Codes

There are strict building safety codes that your deck will need to follow. If it’s going to be above a certain height, you may have to install railings on it, for example. Before you start to design your deck, you’ll need to know all of the requirements you’ll need to include for safety. Having your design already up to code will help you to get approved for any necessary permits as well.

Research Deck Permits

Building a deck base

Depending on where you live, you may need to get a permit to build a deck. Different locations require permits for different things, so be sure to check in with the local zoning office. They may have a website, but you may also have to call or stop by in person. This step should be done first because the city may have limits on how big your deck can be or where you’re allowed to build it. You don’t want to waste time on a design that would just get rejected.

Some permits may cost money, so it can be helpful for budgeting purposes to know how much that might cost. If you’re hiring a professional to build your deck, they may apply for all of the necessary permits for you.

Set a Budget

Before you get too far into the fun part, which is designing what you want your deck to look like, you need to determine your budget. How much you can afford to spend on your deck may determine how large of a deck you can build or what materials you can use to build the deck.

Choose Your Deck’s Design

Deck with wicker furniture

Once you know what requirements you’ll have to meet in order to get your deck approved by the city, you can start designing your deck. Keep in mind how you’ll want to use it, because that should, after city requirements, be the most important factor in your design process. For example, if you plan to host parties, then space for seating and a grill will be important. You’ll also have to consider your home’s dimensions and the height of the back door when designing the deck.

In designing your deck, you’ll need to choose the following:

  • Size
  • Color
  • Height
  • Decking material
  • Levels
  • Storage
  • Built-in furniture
  • Railings
  • Coverings

Size Your Deck

The size of your deck may be limited by city code restrictions, but you’ll still need to determine exactly how big your deck needs to be. If you already have all of the furniture and items that you want to put on the deck, then you can size your deck by arranging them on the ground where the deck would go and then measuring how large a space you would need to comfortably fit everything.

Hire a Professional

Unless you’re a contractor yourself, it’s a good idea to hire someone to build your deck for you. A professional can build your deck more quickly and with a much lower risk of costly errors that could hold up the process or inflate the budget.