deck builders

11 Decking Design Mistakes To Avoid

Decks are a wonderful addition to your backyard, but they need to be done right if you want it to be attractive and long lasting. This is the reason homeowners use the services of deck contractors who build a durable and beautiful deck.

Here are some very common decking design mistakes that people are making and they need to stop right now.

Not Getting A Ground Evaluation

Before even getting to the installation part, you need to do a ground evaluation to find out whether you can even get a deck installed or not. People have different grounds, sand packing levels, and foundations in their backyards. This is why you must be getting your ground checked before you even get the boards installed.

The right soil will grip the boards naturally and even though you’re going to be reinforcing it with cement pillars, the boards will not slip and slide for the most part. Some soils and grounds have a naturally high water content that doesn’t allow any friction between the boards, so they’re not ideal for decks.

The Deck Not Being Leveled

A leveled deck doesn’t only look aesthetically pleasing, but it also serves a whole different purpose, as far as functionality is concerned. The last thing you need is for your deck to be bumpy and lop-sided.

This is going to make other things look tilted as well and the deck is going to be a display of a poor and haphazard installation. So, when installing the boards and prepping the ground, everything must be smooth and leveled. It becomes critical if you’re building a deck around or near a swimming pool.

Spacing Between The Boards

Another very common design and installation mistake that can be overlooked, is the incorrect spacing of the boards. All decking materials tend to expand and contract, under different temperatures. There needs to be some room for the boards to prevent buckling and overlapping.

This spacing is different for different materials and the installation team will have a better idea about it, but the general rule of thumb is to allow a quarter of an inch spacing between the boards, so that they can not only be attractive to look at, but the slots between the boards will also allow water to drain and not puddle up on the decking floor.

Not Having Support Pillars

Having sturdy ground isn’t enough for installing a deck. You need to make things foolproof by having concrete support pillars installed in the ground. These pillars work just like any other pillars and they distribute the weight evenly and make the whole deck foundation a sturdy platform.

The key to perfect and seamless deck design and installation is to think from the ground up, so that you don’t come across unwanted problems in the future during maintenance.

Get The Right Deck Boards

This tip is for people who want to select wood as their primary decking material, but there’s a lot to wood that meets the eye. You need to ensure that you’re selecting the right deck boards. The right deck boards shouldn’t cause any folding, buckling, or decay because of water and moisture.

The best type of boards that you can select for your deck is pressure-treated wooden boards. They can be a bit more on the expensive side, but you’re looking at a deck that’s going to last you for a long, long time.

Forgetting To Seal The Boards

Decks are made out of many materials, like composite, wood, and engineered materials, but one of the most common mistakes that people can make is not sealing the material, for waterproofing.

Water is the biggest culprit of damage when it comes to decks and you need to protect yours from moisture and water exposure. This is why sealing the deck is a crucial step that you shouldn’t forget. If you seal the material timely, then it’s going to last for years to come. Moreover, you will also need to reseal your wood decking every couple of years.

Not Selecting The Right Material

There’s going to be a lot of foot traffic, scraping, and thumping on the deck, so before you even think about installing one in your backyard, it’s crucial to think about the material selection. Firstly, you want to go for a material that’s weather-friendly and something that’s not going to fall victim to the harsh weather and sunlight.

Secondly, choosing a non-slip material is key. The last thing you want to do is break a bone or two while walking and sliding off the deck. A non-slip material will be a lifesaver for you.

This is also required for choosing a material for your pergola if you want to install it. Avoid making definite decision on the material before getting the advice of pergola contractors Long Island.

Neglecting UV Damage

Your deck is an outdoor design addition to your home, so it’s naturally going to be exposed to sunlight for the majority of the time. If you’re not going for shaded and roofed decks, then it’s important that you at least think about the damage from the harmful UV rays.

Materials also need protection from the sun, because too much exposure can cause the deck to look faded and it can also get brittle after some time. This is why a UV protectant or sealant is important to apply, as soon as the deck boards and panels are installed.

Wrong Reinforcing Of Boards

This mistake isn’t as common, but it’s funny how people can choose the wrong bolts and screws for reinforcing the deck platform boards. You need to follow the building and installation instructions provided, otherwise, you’re just wasting time. As for fasteners and bolts, they need to be strong and resistant to weather changes as well, because if they’re not, then there are going to be major problems in the future and you don’t want to go through all that trouble.

This is why choosing stainless steel and galvanized fasteners and bolts is extremely important because they’re going to hold the boards perfectly in place and they’re also going to last for a long time, without rusting.

Not Maintaining The Deck

This mistake is more like an understatement. Whatever addition you make to your house, you’re going to want to commit to maintaining and taking care of it, in the long run. There’s no such thing as no maintenance. Everything, even decks, needs to be maintained from time to time to look brand new.

Building and designing a deck is hard, but maintaining and preserving the structure is the real name of the game and you need to sign yourself up for the regular care and maintenance of a deck, because only then will it be as beautiful and flawless as it was on day one.

Underestimating Time & Money

You need to understand the fact that decks will take a considerable amount of time and money to build. You can’t just expect the project to be completed within a limited time frame and the most rock-bottom budget. You need to invest time and money to get good materials that are not only going to make the deck last longer, but the results will be equally breathtaking.


These design mistakes affect the overall appearance and functionality of the deck and if you’re not thinking things through clearly, installing a deck will just be a waste of time and money. Use the help of deck builders Port Jefferson to make your money’s worth.

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