When people build a deck on the back of their home, they intend to make the most use of their yard. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. The one thing that sometimes bites homeowners in the backend is that there’s a difference between your total yard space and your total usable yard space when it comes to building another structure. Many cities will not let you build next to the property line, so knowing how much building space you actual have is incredibly important.
If you need to know where your property line is, you should check your property survey. If you don’t have your property survey, you should be able to contact your local permitting office for more information.
Good News: If your deck is small enough, and it’s far enough away from the property line, you may be able to build without needing a permit. Check with your permitting office to find out!
As soon as you’ve figured out how you’re going to handle the permitting, you’ll naturally want to decide on the layout. It’s easy to imagine everyone’s yard as a perfect rectangle, but of course, that’s not always the case. Yards come in all shapes and sizes, and if yours is tiny and odd shaped, your deck may need to be odd shaped as well. This may sound like you’ve been dealt a bad hand, but with a little creativity you can make any size or shape of deck work well for your property. It’s not so much about the size of the deck as it is about the use of space.
One very important aspect of good space use is the intersection of your deck and home. If the deck is a continuation of the home’s pre-existing walkways, you’ll likely feel as though there’s a natural flow between the two spaces. As though the deck itself is merely a continuation of your home and living space.
Of course, everything is relative to the home, homeowner, and intended use. If you’re still in the planning phase, think about how you intend to use your deck. If you don’t see yourself sitting on it when you don’t have company over, then perhaps the flow doesn’t matter as much. And if you DO intend to use it daily, you might consider adding an addition (such as a roof or pergola for shade) to make it more comfortable year round.
Lastly, details matter. Make sure you think about where things will sit on the surface of your deck once it’s built. If you’re planning on utilizing a barbecue, patio furniture and giant potted plants on your deck, take some time to map out exactly where they’ll go. Doing so ahead of time can help to eliminate bad layout design before you actually begin construction. It’s good to bring in an objective third party for assisting with these sorts of decisions. So if you’re ready to plan that dream deck extension on your home, give us a call at (574) 210-5951!