Index Links to Topics on this Page
- Planning the Design of Your Deck
- Height of Your Deck
- Deck Railings and Balusters
- Deck Framing
- All Important Ledger Board
- Steps in Our Deck Building Process
- Building Permits and Deck Building Code
- Deck Adding Value to Your Home
- Insurance Issues Covering Building a Deck
- Wood and Hardware Materials
Planning the Design of Your Deck
You may have been thinking about building a deck for years. Along with some ideas you have I have listed a few as well.that you may want to incorporate into your Deck Plans.
- Do you have a great view you want to enjoy on your deck.
- Does the evening sun go down in an area that you want to enjoy.
- Possibly sunlight at certain parts of the day is something you may or may not want to see.
- How much of your yard do you want to cover – more means less lawn!
- Affordability becomes a factor when you start to understand costs.
- What you can and cannot do as per code.
- Yes, think of your small children’s needs, but they grow fast.
- Consider where you will be placing the barbecue as you may need gas hookups.
- Consider installing more power outlets for lighting, music and possible heating.
- Have you given thought to installing a privacy lattice fence on any side of the deck.
- The deck may have to accommodate new furniture.
All these are considerations when you are planning your deck. Materials, size, shape, height and municipal bylaws all play an important factor in your design ideas as well. We can sit with you and go over what you want to put emphasis on and design something with your vision in mind. Relaxation and family enjoyment is probably your goal. We will help make it happen.
Height of Your Deck
If you currently share a seven foot fence and you want to continue enjoying your privacy, building a high deck that will tower your heads above the fence may not give you that privacy any longer. A deck 12 inches or so off the ground may be able to still give you your privacy.
When you are considering the height of your deck here are a few considerations.
- When you are sitting out on your chairs and you are now high 2 or 4 feet up higher, do you still have privacy from your property line fence. or can your neighbours views all. Maybe you want that?
- You may be in a situation if you have a small lot that you would be towering over all your neighbors fences and you now have virtually no privacy! A 12 or 18 inch deck height may not seem grand but it may be comfortable and offer privacy and intimate times with family and friends. The high tiers may not work you for unfortunately.
- If your Back door or patio doors are 2 or 3 feet off the ground you could make a large enough landing and then the remainder of the deck at 12″ – 18′ deck so you are under the fence line.
- I think that some feel that if they are building a deck it has to be high. I have seen a few high decks in small lot residential areas that people were towering over many of their neighbor’s yard.
- You may not want the deck too low either as it may allow easy hiding for any neighbourhood critters to hangout. Anything over 12 inches and you can monitor all goings on.
Railings and Balusters
The Type of railing and balusters you choose is possibly one of the main features that will define the look of your deck. So take your time, investigate and consider the options.
The bylaw in Mississauga for decks requires a 30 inch high railing once a deck is 24 inches high off the ground. A deck 6 feet high must have a railing 36 inches high.
Maintenance is always something that one must consider when building a deck. With wooden balusters being one of the more difficult aspects of the maintenance job.
Something to consider if you use a wooden balusters is that when it comes time to re-stain your deck in 2 or 3 years the most difficult and time consuming part of the job are the railings. If it requires sanding or power washing it will be for the four corners of railings that will add to the cost of labour your own or if you hire someone.
We recommend considering aluminum railings. Except of course the cost is higher.
The pressure treated wood frames with the metal posts look nice but rain water will be trapped in the bottom of the post slip and contribute to the rotting of the wood bracket. There is nowhere for the water to leave. However one option would be to accept that fact and then in the future just replace the new 2×4 with the baluster placement holes again.
A well built frame is the beginning of a good long lasting deck.
Use a distance of 16 inches on center for all our joists.
We ensure that all the ends of all newly cut boards are end coated with special `Endcut` wood preservative. This will help reduce rot the wood over time.
All Important Ledger Board
This is a very important aspect of building a deck. It is the cause of much grief if not done properly. A news stories about a deck falling down from the weight of many guests is something you may have heard about. I have some images here of fallen decks from improperly installed ledger boards.
You want to make sure these ledger boards are attached properly and will not rock or twist and have the deck collapse.
The key is to ensure that the bolts you are putting thru the ledger boards are actually going to be attached to something strong on the house side. Winging it will not work.
Ledger board is not attached to the siding. The siding will need to be removed if it is covering the existing home rim joists and sill plate to which the ledger board should be attached.
Yes the home floor joists should be the target, or if further down the fastening bolts can be drilled thru the concrete and secured with a bolt on the inside of the house.
Flashing is installed under the siding and on top on the ledger board to direct water away from the house to avoid rot.
Best Practices of our Deck Building
Make certain once you have decided on the size design and material you will use that you have all the proper permissions, which include the Ontario One call to identify in ground wiring and pipes as well as obtaining municipal permits for building your structure if they are necessary.
You may be able to get away with using 4 x4 posts but we like to use 6×6 for the extra support.
Care was taken to have the stairs safe for people to walk down.
At the joining of the floorboards we drill holes so that the screws would not split the wood.
Most quality builders use a 16 inch space between joists.
Wood decking boards should allow spacing between boards to allow water to drip between.
Our written proposal will spell out details of materials we will be using, dimensions, pricing drawings of the deck and how will set up payment terms.
We ensure that the concrete footing pads are connected with metal brackets to support the deck beams.
The deck floor joists will be attached to the ledger board using metal joist hanger brackets.
The ledger board should be properly attached and bolted to the home’s sill plate
We offer diagonal deck bracing underneath the deck when over the 2 foot level to ensure it`s sturdiness.
We are seasoned carpenters and a knowledgeable builders.
Building Permits and Deck Building Code
In Mississauga any deck over 2 feet high requires a building permit as well as any decks over 108 sq feet in area. (This 108 foot area pertains to your shed as well).
Footing are to be 4 ft deep on undisturbed soil.
Some jurisdictions will require a building permit if a deck is connected to the house regardless of size.
Footing are to be 4 ft deep on undisturbed soil.
The municipality states that as the home owner you are still responsible for all building code compliance. When it comes time to sell in the future you will want to ensure you will have no problems on closing.
Many time it is the non compliance of decks or structures being too close to the lot line.
In Mississauga this is 36 inches away from the lot line.
All our workers are covered with wsib and are covered with 2 million dollars in liability coverage.
We get our lumber from Tamarack lumber in Burlington, by far the best quality lumber anywhere around the GTA.
Insurance Issues Covering Decks
I have read that homeowners do not understand the scope of the insurance policies that cover their homes.
Have many of us read through our whole policy before accepting it?
Your “dwelling” coverage applies to your home and “attached structures” such as a garage, carport, or attached deck.
Most insurance include permanently installed outdoor property such as sheds and fences as well as a deck that is not attached to the property.
However there are stipulations many times regarding swimming pools and hot tubs.
Some policies include a blanket amount which is an insurance policy coverage for all detached private structures and attached structures.
This ‘blanket’ coverage gives policyholders the ability to allocate policy coverage for whatever is best for their replacement needs.
Workers insured on your property. Most reputable contracting companies will have company insurance to cover liability issues that may arise, they also have coverage for our workers thru the WSIB. We have been fortunate to have not had any serious incidents involving injury with our
Wood and Fastener Materials
Cedar and pressure treated wood are the two most popular wood being used in Ontario at this time. Pressure treated is very resistant to rot and insects and it also withstands moisture very well.
Cedar hold up very well however, many will tell you that most cedar wood is not up to the quality it once was. It had a great reputation for use outdoors but it may have lost some of it’s shine.
Pressure treated lumber is chosen by over 70% of all decks built in Canada as it is an affordable material to use, looks great when completed, is easy for builders to use and easy for most to find places to purchase pressure treated wood.
We purchase our lumber from a very large lumber yard in the west end that has proven to us over the years that we never have to worry about quality when we order lumber for a new project.
Disappointing when your delivery comes and 30% of the boards are not usable!
The box stores are good in a pinch but over all it takes too much time to pick out good lumber.
The same goes for screws nails and fasteners. we have found a wholesaler that has a great product in boxes that give us confidence when we use their hardware.
Your deck will endure many years if minimum effort is put into maintained it properly. It is able to be tough on most environmental issues.
We use the correct fasteners for the size of the deck.
We ensure proper load bearing wood is used throughout the entire deck frame.
Use of proper hardware and fasteners that will not deteriorate thru rust. Will build the deck using all proper building fasteners. We use structural connector screws. We prefer structural screws for almost every piece of deck hardware, including joist hangers, post-to-footing and post-to-beam
Mississauga Deck Building