Whether you’re thinking about building a deck for the first time or planning a deck replacement, the site where you build it is one of the most important factors you should consider. The first crucial considerations are the sun and the prevailing winds, but they’re not the only ones.
Here are some of the factors to take into account before you start building a new deck.
Inspecting Your Site
Planning a deck is similar to looking at the factors that will affect your choice of residential siding or roofing. The surroundings play a huge role, which is why a site inspection is the first big step.
Take note of these factors:
- The characteristics of the land, including the slope away from your house
- The location of natural drainage
- The location of downspouts
- How effective natural drainage is at moving water away from your home’s foundation and, eventually, your deck’s footings
- The presence of trees, electrical boxes, rocks, and perhaps a shed and other physical features
- The distance between your home and the next house
- Exterior location of electrical and gas outlets
Influence of Elevation
Elevation also plays an important role in your decision of where to build a deck. If it’s a flat piece of land, then you’ll have an easier time planning the construction. If the topography is uneven, however, your contractor will have to draw up a plan for dealing with this concern. The good thing about uneven elevations is that you can break up the deck or even the stairway to account for the differences in height, which can lead to a more interesting deck design.
Distance to Neighbor
A deck is an outdoor space, but most homeowners want at least a little privacy. If you live close to your next-door neighbors, you might want to consider higher railings or a privacy panel. Potted plants, shrubs or a hedge can provide some privacy from prying eyes while you’re outside enjoying your deck.
However, if you don’t have neighbors or if they’re quite far away, you can probably build a higher deck or one that’s on higher ground. This deck can be seen from afar, and also affords a great view of the surroundings.
Orientation Relative to the Sun & Wind
The further north your location, the higher the likelihood that you’ll love exposing your deck to the sun at its hottest. If you’re in the south, however, the opposite is quite true. If you want your deck to have some portions exposed to the sun and others located away from it at the same time, think about a wrap-around deck. This is also an ideal compromise if winds are strong in your area. You want to enjoy your deck even when its windy, and having your home as a shield against the sun and wind is a great idea.