Installing a deck is a project that many homeowners undertake in the spring to enjoy cozy evenings outside with family and friends. Before you sign on the dotted line with your chosen deck contractor, think about these six things:

1. Location – Your deck should be located in a shady area that is shaded by trees, preferably with a few large trees nearby. Also, the site of your deck should be tested to make sure it is not too close to underground water lines, such as septic drain fields and well water lines.

2. Size – The size of your deck will be determined by the size of your family, your budget and how much time you want to spend outside during the spring and summer months.

3. Railings – If you have children or pets that could accidentally fall off, or if you plan to use a deck for entertaining guests on a regular basis, railings are essential for safety.

4. Materials – The material that you choose for the deck will be its look and durability. The wood or composite material will determine if your deck needs painting or touching up with sealers every year.

5. Maintenance – If you’re going with vinyl or composite materials, you need to make sure that the deck can be cleaned and that it is weather-resistant and not easily damaged.

6. Design – If you have an old deck, do not attempt to make substantial changes to it. Look at your site and see what would work best in your yard, such as a railing or columns that don’t match the house’s structure.


Something that is probably unfamiliar to you is that there are plenty of options for decks in your neighborhood. Your options will vary with the materials and styles available, so don’t be afraid to be creative and allow yourself to do a little research before deciding on what you want as a final product.