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Planning a deck - Planning a Deck OVERVIEW Introduction...

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P lanning a Deck OVERVIEW Introduction Once you have decided you can no longer live without a deck in your backyard, your first step is to start the planning process. The planning process is simple, fun, and can be done in a relatively short period of time. Whether you plan on hiring a contractor or building the deck yourself, the planning process will help you determine exactly what you want and what deck features you can use most effectively. All you need are some simple drawing tools and a good idea of how you want to use your new deck. As any architect will tell you, the best way to plan the construction of any building, object or space is to follow these basic steps: CREATE A PROJECT PROGRAM which will include all desired elements and uses; understand and sketch your EXISTING CONDITIONS; develop a SCHEMATIC DESIGN diagram based on your requirements showing program elements; DEVELOP THE DESIGN into an actual sketch or plan using correct dimensions and scale; create a CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENT to build from including structure and materials. If you plan on hiring a contractor, they will develop the construction document based on your design. If you plan to build the deck, you will need to determine specific structural information to complete the construction document. • Beginner - 3 to 4 hours • Intermediate - 2 to 3 hours • Advanced - 1 to 2 hours Check for deck building codes in your area before you start the planning process. This will save you from having to redesign your deck if your first choice fails to meet code. Many design professionals will take small pieces of paper or "post-it" notes and cut out furniture and elements to the correct scale, then move them around on the paper. This helps in planning size and space.
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