4 Things To Consider When Building A Second-Story Deck
Whether you want to create a relaxing oasis outside your master bedroom or you just have a main living area on the second floor of your home, building a second-story deck can be a great project for your home. From added outdoor living space and appeal to an increase in your home's total value, a deck will be a worthwhile investment. However, proper planning and design are key to ensure your desk is a safe, appealing, and functional addition. If you are starting the process of designing your second-story deck, here are a few factors to consider.
The material used to build your deck is one of the most important factors to consider. Wood may be the most popular option, but that does not necessarily mean it is your only option.
Wood is affordable, but it requires a great deal of maintenance. Because it is susceptible to moisture damage, insect infestations, rot, and decay, regular cleaning and staining is imperative to protect the quality and look of your wood deck.
Constructed out of wood fibers, plastic, and preservatives, composite decking offers a more durable alternative to wood. Composite decking is resistant to moisture and insects, so there is no risk of decay and rotting. In addition, composite decking has a look similar to wood, helping you create a natural look without the worry of damage so common with wood.
Finally, composite decking has a much longer lifespan. On average, most manufacturers warranty composite decking for at least 25 years, while some offer lifetime warranties.
Once you decide on the material, you will need to configure the actual design of your deck. The design includes the shape and the size.
If your second-story deck will be off your master bedroom, you will not need a very large size. However, if your deck will be off a main living area, you will want a deck sized large enough to accommodate your family members and guests.
In regards to shape, a simple deck in the shape of a square or rectangle is common. For a bit more style and appeal, consider creating multiple layers to your second-story deck that connects to a deck on the first floor. Or, add even more style with curves and geometric designs.
Your second-story deck will require more support than a deck built on the first floor. The higher design will require a stronger frame and more supports to ensure it is functional and safe.
For the best support, larger posts and larger, deeper support footings to support these posts will be needed. An increased number of fasteners, screws, and support brackets will also be required no matter if you are installing a high wood or composite deck.
Many contractors will recommend running the deck boards diagonally and securing them to the joists at an angle. This gives your deck a unique look, and it also improves the structural integrity of your second-story deck.
While important for any type of deck, proper handrails are imperative for your second-story deck. Your contractor will discuss the different options available to you, but the rails must be a minimum of 36 inches above the deck level.
The guardrail will run around your entire deck and down the sides of the deck stairs. If you are connecting your second-story deck to a ground-level deck, make sure to continue the guardrails to the bottom level.
For materials, you can choose from aluminum, wrought iron, composite, cables, vinyl, wood, or a combination of materials.
While the guardrails do complete the look of your deck, they are most essential for keeping you and your family safe, especially when installed on a second-story deck.
A second-story deck is an excellent option for relaxing outdoors your master bedroom or main living space. This guide will help you design an effective and safe second-story deck.