When you live in New England, it seems like you can never get enough time outside. It’s no wonder so many homeowners start dreaming about building a deck at the first sign of spring! If you’re thinking about adding one to your home, here are six tips from Cormack’s deck building professionals.

1. Consider how you’ll use your deck.

How you plan to use your deck will help determine its size, shape, and features. For example, if your deck will be a place to enjoy meals with your family, make sure your table will fit comfortably. Allow at least four feet all the way around the table so people can comfortably circulate around those who are seated. If you plan to host barbecues and cocktail parties, you’ll want to ensure you have enough room for your grill, prep station, and serving area. Will your deck be an area to kick back and relax? Create a “chill zone” with enough space for some reclining lounge chairs and a low table. 

2. Select the best location.

The best location for your new deck depends on your home’s layout, lot size, and landscaping. If you’re torn between more than one build spot, consider the following:

  • Use:  If you plan to dine on your deck, it would be beneficial to place it near your kitchen.

  • Privacy:  Will your deck be in view of your neighbors or the street?

  • View: What will you be looking at while enjoying your deck?

  • Exposure to sun and shade:  Will it be a hot spot under bright sun, or shaded by a tree canopy?

Talk about a view! We love this beautiful deck. It fits right in with the home’s surroundings and provides ample space to relax and enjoy the scenery. Source: Cormack Construction

6 tips for building a new deck

This deck is located right off the kitchen, convenient for outdoor dining.  Source:  trex.com

3.  Think about your desired deck style and shape.

This is the fun part! Get some inspiration by going online. You’ll find your options are virtually limitless.  Share your ideas with your builder.  As a custom home builder and remodeler, Cormack can design and build your deck in whatever style and shape you want—with your favorite features.


Not every deck has to be attached to your home. This detached deck surrounds a lush garden pond, providing a stunning aesthetic and a slightly unconventional outdoor experience.  Source:  thespruce.com

4. Test drive your deck’s footprint.

To make sure your deck provides enough space for your planned activities, outline its proposed footprint with some stakes and string. Place your furniture, table, grill, etc. inside the marked area and walk around to ensure you have the clearance you need. Make sure you like the shape of your deck design and the view it provides. To see how the sun will hit your deck, be sure to walk around the marked area during different times of the day.

5. Consider your decking material options. 

You’ll need to decide between wood and composite boards (a mix of wood fibers and plastic). Here are some important considerations:  

Appearance:  Although composite decking has come a long way, some would argue it just can’t compete with the look of natural wood.

Durability/Maintenance:  Composite decking is extremely durable. You don’t have to worry about drying, cracking, or splintering. Unlike wood decks—which need ongoing maintenance to keep them looking their best—composite decks are essentially one-and-done projects.

Cost:  While composite decking has always cost more (up to 50% higher) than wood, this gap is decreasing with rising lumber prices.


Ipe Decks offer Beauty and Durability

Want the best of both worlds? Consider Ipe, a Brazilian hardwood known for its beauty, strength, and natural resistance to rot and decay. This exotic wood is guaranteed for 20 years without preservatives and often costs about the same as composite decking. Cormack uses Ipe wood on many of its decking projects. 


6. Don’t forget the finishing touches.

Design details like decorative railings and balusters, and built-in lighting, seating, and plant boxes will add both style and functionality to your new deck.

Quality Decks in NH’s White Mountains, Lakes Region & Western Maine

Are you ready to extend your time outside with a new deck? Contact the experienced home remodeling experts at Cormack Construction. We will discuss the best deck design options for your needs and budget. 


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