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The 5 Most Common Errors When Building A Deck

If you want to protect the soundness of your deck, it is essential that you are aware of and avoid the numerous missteps that can occur during its building process.

Any mistakes made in constructing a deck must be immediately resolved for safety reasons, from inaccurate measurements to design flaws or structural concerns.

In this article, you’ll discover the 5 most common errors when building a deck and what to do to fix them safely.

Cedar decking board installation by a professional contractor

1. Not Paying Enough Attention To The Deck Frame

One of the most common deck building mistakes is failing to lay the frame correctly, consequently resulting in numerous issues such as unleveled flooring or warped boards over time.

A secure, steadfast deck begins with the proper construction of its frame. To ensure longevity and security, one must be meticulous when taking measurements and choose strong yet stable materials to bear weight. Inadequate deck post footers, wrong measurements for the joists, or poor hardware may damage your deck frame and even cause a deck collapse with time.

Even though treated lumber deck posts are the go-to choice for many when it comes to constructing new decks, there is an abundance of more advanced alternatives available.

Steel deck frames are among the safest out there, and Fortress Building Products provides some of the strongest.

2. Not Waterproofing The Deck

It may have severe consequences if one does not waterproof the deck correctly and at an appropriate time. Unchecked water damage can cause warping and rotting of the deck boards over time, leading to more serious issues down the road.

Especially in the wet climate of Washington state, you’re much better off taking proper precautionary measures when building your deck!

A waterproof sealant or coating is imperative to keep your deck safe from moisture damage and ensure that water doesn’t seep into the wood. This protective layer guard against any liquid filtering through the cracks and pores of your decking material, ensuring it remains strong for years to come.

Another deck building mistake is using the wrong screws or nails to faster your decking boards. Galvanized fasteners or steel will provide much better support than traditional screws.

Wet wood deck with table and chairs

3. Not Following Local Building Codes

Even though construction regulations differ between locations, they shouldn’t be a hindrance when constructing your deck. It’s essential to understand that these are not just recommendations but absolute rules you must follow to guarantee the safety of yourself and your family.

Adhering to building codes is paramount in achieving 100% safety with your new deck.

Working with a reliable specialist ensures that you will abide by local building codes, giving you confidence and peace of mind. Plus, if you desire to have your project meet all inspection requirements smoothly, then enlisting the help of an experienced deck builder is essential.

For instance, building codes provide explicit instructions for correctly installing a deck’s footing, joists, and other components. Furthermore, the regulations concerning attaching the ledger board to your house are particularly stringent – so be mindful of that!

4. Not Matching The Decking

A common design mistake is not coordinating the composite decking boards with the house. For instance, black deck floorboards may clash with white siding on a home.

By and large, your deck boards should unify with the existing elements of your home. This contains the siding, window frames, the deck roofing, railing, and any fences that produce a serene ambiance in your backyard.

Many individuals make an expensive mistake while constructing a deck using composite deck boards, as they cannot be repainted, and the materials are quite pricey. If you don’t want to regret your decision later on down the line, avoid utilizing this material for your project!

Trex decking and wood decking

5. Building The Deck In The Wrong Place

A reliable deck builder can help you prevent any potential errors, but they won’t necessarily be familiar with how your home is used. For example, if you are constructing a deck on one side of the house and yet your kitchen is situated elsewhere – grilling food for friends or family could become quite laborious due to the transportation situation.

So then, what should you do?

Consulting a contractor is essential to ensure you are installing your deck in the right spot. Explain to them what purpose the deck will serve, why you desire it, and how its construction would benefit your lifestyle. 

By doing this, they can better inform and guide you through the entire process of building an ideal outdoor living space for all to enjoy.

When constructing a pool deck, think of the direction to provide you with the utmost enjoyment. If it’s an abundance of sunshine you seek, position your design on the side of your house that gets ample sunlight. Is there a breathtaking view in sight? Consider building towards it to take advantage and relish in its beauty!

The Best Advice You Can Get

Deck building mistakes can happen. People may be so preoccupied with meeting deadlines that a small detail escapes their attention.

The best way to avoid this is by regularly inspecting your deck and addressing all issues as soon as you notice them.

At Burgess Construction, we are constantly striving to raise the bar and provide unparalleled deck-building services. That’s why it is our practice to keep in touch with you after completing your project!

We’ll do regular follow-ups that ensure everything remains safe and sound for yourself and those around you. We take extra measures to guarantee your new outdoor space reaches absolute perfection.

Composite decking with stairs and a metal frame


Deck building mistakes are common and can put your or your family’s life at risk.

These are just a few common errors when building a deck, but the fact of the matter is that a lot more mistakes happen, and many of them can put your life at risk.

Back in the day, deck building regulations were not so rigorous. Decks were failing, and accidents were happening daily because most structures were built with little to no attention.

Today, things changed, and homeowners and the city building department value safety more than before. Stricter regulations, building codes, inspections, and fees make out of your deck building project a real journey that requires someone accustomed to the entire process.

Burgess Construction is your local deck builder in Snohomish, WA, and surrounding areas. We offer professional deck building and repair to all homeowners looking to get a safe and fully functional deck.

Call us today at (425) 791-5281 to get started, or request a quote if you want a proper deck installation!