I recently had the opportunity to meet with some Macon homeowners who lived in the lovely St. Croix subdivision right here in Macon. When the homeowners initially called me to inquire about adding an outdoor living space to their backyard, they were looking to add a pergola and then a screened porch addition a little later. The pergola was to be built on their existing deck. They wanted the pergola added after making some alterations to their existing deck which included having the deck flooring re-done, some steps moved and a new updated railing.
When I arrived to inspect the homeowner’s existing deck, the deck was actually two decks. The 1st deck was built on cement columns and was built really well structurally. The 2nd deck was another story; the previous homeowner had completed a deck expansion himself. He had added three feet onto the side of the 2nd deck which was out of level and leaning. The structural issues had to first be fixed for the safety and integrity of the entire space before the pergola addition and other reparations completed.
In order to proceed with their anticipated project, we had to first do a lot of repairs. Unfortunately, repairing the existing deck ate up the budget for the next phase. This instance is a good example of why choosing to embark on a backyard project of this magnitude as a do-it-yourself backyard project is not a wise idea.
Deck safety is not to be taken lightly. In a six year period in the US there were over 179 deck failures and 1,122 people were injured as a result of deck failures, of which 33 people were killed. To ensure your deck is safe we recommend using an experienced outdoor structure builder to inspect, design and install your deck. This will allow for carefree function of your outdoor living space, and confidence in knowing your family and friends are safe enjoying the space!
Some of the amendments that were necessary to ensure the deck was safe and sound for the homeowners to use included adding a beam, adding new posts underneath the deck, doubling up on joists and installing a new deck band. We also had to rebuild the stairs because they were ready to fall off the structure. There was a large seam where the two decks met that had to be repaired. The homeowners had hoped that this installation would be the first phase of a two-part outdoor living project, which unfortunately turned into a three-part project to get everything up to speed. Archadeck of Central GA was not able to complete the pergola addition because the budget was exhausted to fix the deck so it would be ready to accommodate both the pergola and screened porch.
These Macon homeowners now have a safe deck to enjoy complete with a new floor and rails. We re-decked the area with pressure treated pine with a matching rail. Archadeck of Central GA has restructured the deck so the screened porch they anticipate can be easily added in the future. We even installed screen under the floor of the future porch area to ensure no bugs will enter the future screened porch.
The lesson learned here is that in order to reinforce an outdoor living space you really cannot afford to cut corners because it will end up costing more in the long run – in time and money. When considering a deck or other outdoor living space expansion it is crucial to have it completed by a licensed outdoor structure builder to ensure the safety and welfare of you, your family and all who plan to utilize your outdoor space.
If you are thinking of taking on the task of amending or expanding your existing outdoor space on your own, we urge you to leave it to the pros at Archadeck of Central GA. Remember that a deck is only as strong as its weakest point and we build all of our structures with strength, safety and longevity in mind. Call us today for a free consultation (478) 745 – 2000