Your key to success – a pre-start checklist

Last Updated on March 19, 2017 by teamobn

Deck surrounding pond
Decks – don’t be afraid to think outside the box!

In the previous post we shared our thoughts on one of the best things you can give your home, your family and your friends – a deck.

We discussed the basic definition of a deck, its basic features and purpose. We talked about the benefits a deck gives – not only to the value of your home, but also to your quality of life.

Did you find the post helpful? Did it inspire you to build a deck?

Building a deck can be a satisfying and fulfilling experience that can reward you many times over. Like most things in life, planning is the best way to avoid surprises! To this end we’ve developed a Decking Checklist.

A checklist is one of the best tools to use when starting any project. It provides you with an overview of the things you need to consider before building and can save you from overspending and unnecessary headaches.

So let’s get started:

1. Do you have adequate financial resources to build your deck?

Yes            No

(For most DIYers money is one of the biggest issues. But like many challenges can be overcome or at least alleviated with planning. As we move through this series of blogs, we’ll be discussing some money saving tips and cost effective methods of building a deck so you can get some real bang for your buck!  And, of course, you may intend to stage your building as cash becomes available.)

2. Will you be building it yourself?

Yes            No

-Hiring builders

Building a deck should be within the skill level of most owner-builders but if it’s your first building project you might want to consider working side by side with an experienced tradesman. You will still reap the majority of the savings derived from owner-building but you’ll also gain a lot of knowledge on the way.


Building a deck is probably the easiest serious project you can undertake as a DIYer or owner-builder. The build will give you new skills that will allow you to then undertake more demanding projects. There are also the savings to consider. Finally, you should always keep in mind that we are a community. You’ll find help readily available if you get stuck.

3. What type of deck are you planning to build?

You can create our own design, or you can base it on readily available, pre-drawn deck designs. What is important is that the design corresponds with its function. It’s important for DIYers to understand the purpose of the structure before creating the design.

These are few of the most basic designs of decks.

    • Deck to extend living area
    • Separated deck
    • Spa or pool deck
    • Multiple level decks

4. Is the construction site well cleared and prepared?

Yes            No

Making the necessary preparation saves us a lot of time. Before you even start building, the site should be free from any obstructions, treated for termites and other insects, well leveled and compacted. This ensures that you’re building a deck on solid ground.

5. Have you established proper site drainage?

Yes            No

Proper drainage ensures the safety of your footings, and helps avoid insect problems and soil erosion. It also prevents that terrible damp odour that results from bad drainage.

6. Is your deck properly protected against termites and other types of insects?

Yes            No

Termites and carpenter ants can cause considerable damage to your deck. The soil itself is home to termites and other insects. It’s recommended that soil around the deck be treated before construction takes place. You should also choose termite resistant or treated timbers).

The list of things to consider before building a deck does not end here – this is just a short list to get you started. These things might sound basic but they are crucial to the success of your project.

In our next post we’ll discuss how to design a deck so that it suits your lifestyle.

That’s all for now fellow DIYers, See you in the next post!

What difference did this checklist made? Was it able to help you realize important things you might have overlooked along the way? Did it help you in making the right decision?

If you’re ready to move on, click through to Your Deck – Design and Function



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