Planning your deck
As homeowner it is up to you to make initial decision about your decks look and feel. Only you know what you know what you want from your deck. It is likely that you want to entertain on it, barbeque on it even have a hot tub.
Make a list of features you want.
•Barbeque •Patio table •Hot tub •Planter boxes
Knowing what you plan to put on deck will help you determine size of deck you need.
Magazines are also great place to look for ideas. Cut out pictures of railings, decking material, lights or patio seats. Keep all pictures. Once you have a few variations of different components you can narrow down your choices.
Books are also a great resource. Books will usually have a series of deck projects that you can follow along. Some are plan books that contain a series of plans. Any generic plan will need to be brought to local codes.
Drive around new subdivisions and see what is being built. If anything, this will give you a bit of an idea on framing of deck.
Watch home improvement shows on TV to see what new trends are. You can also get a list of good websites that can provide information about new products.
The availability of materials will also be a factor in what you use to build your deck. Using materials that are native to your area will be less expensive then if you have to special order materials.
Once you decide on all features and styles you want to include in your deck you are ready to have a deck plan drawn. Hiring a designer or builder to design your deck is most common way but is also most expensive. Finding a set of pre drawn plans will save you some money but you will still need to have plans updated to meet local building codes.