Decking Mistakes Everyone Makes In Their Outdoor Space
By DANIEL FEININGER & YVONNE GLASGOW
Misjudging The Space
A deck that's too small won't provide the space for furniture and relaxation, but it typically shouldn’t be larger than 20% of the total area. Decking naturally takes away from the available green space, so it's essential to take time to plan the best blend of functional space and luscious greenery.
Dried hardwoods will often require spacing of ⅛-inch which is essential to wick away water, provide breathability, and ensure natural expansion and contraction. However, if you're installing boards known as green wood, they do not need this gap.
It’s important to wait about a month before sealing or staining a newly laid deck as the wood will still contain natural oils and glue-like elements. These are needed to maintain the wood’s structure and protect it from UV rays or liquid penetration, and over time, the wood will lose this protective layer.
Railings provide a key safety element for decks that are raised off the ground, so check your local building codes to understand your deck’s needs. Installing them might not seem important if the deck is raised only a minimal height off the ground, but the added comfort and protection is crucial to the completion of any deck construction.
A ledger board acts like a shelf on your home, creating a stable and sturdy point of contact that will prevent swaying or pulling away from wind or shifting soil. Instead of fastening the board to a part of the home that can move, remove elements from the side of the home and attach it directly to the base layer.