CertainTeed Learning Center: Fence, Decking and Railing « return to the Learning Center


Helpful Resources

What should I know when planning a deck?

A deck is great way to expand your living space, at a fraction of the cost of indoor remodeling projects. Before you start building, remember that proper planning is key to staying organized and on budget.

Deck Components
Whether you’re building a deck yourself or hiring a contractor to do it for you, it’s important to understand the different parts of a deck and their functions: Beam, Joist, Flashing, Ledger, Post, Stair Tread, Fascia, Deck Plank, Railing. See the resource document for more information.
Visualizing Your Deck
While many homeowners choose to build a deck along the back of the house, you can add a deck just about anywhere, provided you follow local building codes.
When envisioning the design of your deck, think about the following:
  • Where will the deck be located?
  • How will you use your deck?
  • When are you most likely to use your deck?
  • What types of decorative elements will you incorporate in your design?
See the resource document for more information.
Code Compliance
Before you start building your deck, you’ll need to obtain a permit from your local building department. Building codes vary from region to region, so be sure to check with your township for the deck codes in your community. Depending on where you live, you may need to follow additional guidelines for historic preservation or rules governed by your homeowner’s association. You’ll also need to schedule appointments with the local building inspector, who will inspect your deck for code compliance during construction.
Drawing the Plans
The best-made decks start with a detailed plan. This can be done with a pencil, graph paper and a ruler, or with the aid of design software on a computer. You may also hire a building professional to create the drawings for you. However you choose to make your plans, be sure they are drawn to scale, with accurate dimensions and structural details.
Selecting a Deck Material
When choosing a material for your deck, remember that the deck will be exposed to a variety of elements, including rain, snow, sun and possibly even salt spray if you live near an ocean. If you want to avoid the time and expense of annual maintenance, consider a deck made of a durable, easy-care material, such as vinyl. Vinyl decking is easy to clean, never needs painting, and resists staining and fading.
CertainTeed Vinyl Decking comes in four popular colors that are designed to coordinate with a variety of home styles and exterior finishes. It cuts, fastens and handles easier than wood planks, and is backed by an outstanding lifetime limited warranty.
See the resource document for more information.
Search CertainTeed.com