A deck is one of the most enjoyable methods to increase the size of your living area. It serves as an extension of your home, allowing you to take advantage of the lovely outdoors while still being able to take advantage of the convenience of being only a few steps away from your home. It's also one of the most common ways to keep a large group of people entertained. A deck not only expands the amount of accessible space, but it also provides guests with the option of remaining inside or enjoying the outdoor environment. The opposite is true if you're trapped with an inadequately-sized deck that doesn't allow for much outside entertaining. When you're frustrated with a limitation, it might be even more upsetting to learn how much it will cost to knock down and rebuild.
The good news is that if the original deck is physically solid, you might be able to get away with merely extending it. Make no mistake about it: this is not a project for the average do-it-yourselfer. It requires sophisticated expertise as well as previous experience working on similar projects. Consider employing a contractor to complete the task on your behalf.
You have a number of possibilities depending on the amount of space you have available. You might want to think about enlarging or lengthening the deck at its existing level. Many individuals enjoy adding more levels to their decks, which are connected by stairwells. This second option is recommended if you are concerned that the new decking material will not match the old (which is likely to be the case if the old deck has been weathered at all). This makes the transition from the old deck to the new deck less abrupt and ugly by placing the new deck on a different level. It is also not necessary to have a whole flight of stairs to go to the new level; one or two steps will suffice. An elevated deck is also ideal for entertaining since it provides a variety of intimate spaces.
Things to Consider Before Extending an Existing Deck
Local building officials can advise you on whether it's a smart idea to add on to an existing deck. Many folks in your neighborhood may be unable to do so. You might wish to bring a few photographs of your existing deck to demonstrate how it appears. When obtaining a permit for a new deck, a building inspector will often review the permit and inspection records for the existing deck. Additionally, he or she may request an as-built framing examination to ensure the deck is in good condition.
The majority of decks are not constructed with the intention of adding or expanding in the future. As a result, your frost footings may be insufficiently large to support the added weight. We believe it is best to construct the new deck addition independently. Assemble the new edition by installing new beams and footings.
Certain deck builders elect to link the new joists to the existing beam rather than constructing a new beam in front of the deck. The new joists are attached to the sidewalls of the existing joists at least six inches from the beam. Hurricane ties are used to secure joists and beams together. To support the additional weight, it may be necessary to place new posts and footings beneath the deck beam. Many homeowners expand their existing decks while also changing the railings and decking on the current deck. This will give the addition a more natural appearance and prevent significant color and weathering variances between the components.
At this point, your imagination is probably working overtime, and you're daydreaming about throwing a party on your freshly expanded deck. Regrettably, we must advise you to examine your local building codes and approval procedures, regardless of how much we wish to burst your bubble. This should be accomplished early in the process to ensure that you are aware of any potential constraints. Due to the restrictions imposed by your local building department or homeowners association, the size and location of your expanded deck may be limited (maybe this is the reason why it is so little in the first place). Additionally, you'll need to contact your utility companies and request that they send someone to your home to label any underground utility lines. Prior to enlarging or lengthening your deck, it is necessary to ascertain if the original deck is structurally sound: Keep a lookout for decay symptoms, cracks, or other evidence of framing degradation. If the deck is not freestanding but is attached to the house, ensure that the ledger board is securely fastened to the building's side. Additionally, inspect the pillars that support the deck's base for signs of heaving and thawing. Even if you're merely adding a new level to your deck and the old foundation will be sufficient to support the new component, you should use this opportunity to enhance the existing deck if it is in need of updating.
Read more: Building a Round or Curved Deck
When arranging your deck, utilize mason string tied to batter boards or wood poles to aid in visualizing the layout. While contractors will use this method to guarantee the deck is level and square, you may use it to visualize the deck's location at the early planning stage as well. Consider the available space and position your lawn furniture inside the mason string enclosure. Additionally, consider the sun exposure and the amount of shade or sun received by your deck extension.
All of these steps are necessary even if you intend to hire a contractor to do the deck extension for you. This will guarantee that you are prepared for the process and are as precise as possible when negotiating with the contractor and communicating your desires.