Posted on: 24 January 2020
Decks often serve as gathering places. When you have friends and family members over for a barbecue, you can bet that many of them will congregate on the deck at the same time. You might even gather the whole family on your deck for nightly dinners in the summer months! As such, your deck needs to be sturdy and capable of supporting a lot of weight. Here are three tips to create a more sturdy deck during the design and construction phase.
1. Choose a hardwood or composite material.
While you will see a lot of decks made from pine because it is cheap, pine is not a great choice for decking. It is soft and more prone to cracking than other woods. It is also more prone to rot as it ages because of its softness. If you want a stronger, more durable decking, then you really should be using a hardwood like tigerwood, ipe, or black locust. If these woods prove too costly, a good alternative is wood composite. The composite is made from wood pulp mixed with plastic materials, so it looks like wood, but it's not prone to rot and deterioration.
2. Use metal connectors.
Make sure that you or your deck builder use metal connectors on the supports and brace boards. Some deck construction professionals will use wooden connectors instead because they are cheaper and easier to put in place. However, these are not that suitable for a deck that will get a lot of traffic and needs to support a lot of weight. Metal connectors are more durable and will help keep your wood boards, themselves, from bending over time.
3. Set your posts in concrete.
When setting up the deck's main support posts, you need to treat them like fence posts and pour them into a generous foot of concrete. This is not as tough as it may sound. Basically, you dig the post hole extra wide, and you add some ready-mix concrete to the hole before setting the post inside. Let the concrete set for a couple of days before you do any more work or put any strain on the posts.
A good hardwood, metal fasteners, and concrete feet will give your deck much more stability. The secret lies in the materials, as you can now see. If you are hiring a custom deck contractor to create your deck, make sure they use these three strategies.Share