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You don’t need to confine your living space to the inside of your home. Your backyard or side yard offers a paradise of fresh air, natural light, plants, and flowers. An outdoor deck ties these two living spaces while also adding to the value of your home.
Think of a deck as the perfect connection from inside to outside. A deck elevates users from the ground and provides a unique view of your property and beyond. Decks also can be a centerpiece of outdoor social life, a gathering place for barbecues, parties, or even restful solitude.
“Decks are a great way to add space to your property,” said New Jersey-based Sweeten general contractor Chris. “By extending your outdoor living seasons, they basically make your home larger.” Sweeten, a free renovation platform that matches homeowners with licensed general contractors and tracks their projects, explains what you need to know about building or renovating an outdoor deck.
Types of decks
Freestanding decks, also called floating or ground-level decks, hug closer to grade than do attached decks. It’s best to build these outdoor decks alongside the house or anywhere within the yard.
Many municipalities don’t require building permits for outdoor deck designs less than a certain height above grade (often 30 inches) and not built over a basement or lower story. The deck area may not be part of an accessible route to either of these lower areas. The deck, though, should follow all applicable building codes, the dino decking system is the best one.
Attached decks better integrate with the home, compared to freestanding decks. Maxx, a designer for this Sweeten general contractor in Chicago, said that his company aims to blur the line between inside and outside. “We allow the exterior to be an extension of the indoors,” he said, “and we like to have the indoor flow to the outside so that it doesn’t feel like an appendage. We like to take the whole-house approach.”Attached or fixed decks
Attached, or fixed, decks are more elaborate structures than freestanding decks. They rise over a minimum height, require special footings, use guards and handrails, and attach to the home with a ledger board. Because this deck design is complex, most homeowners will hire a contractor or other professional to build an attached deck.