Decks expand your living space and your time outside, so it’s no wonder so many homeowners start thinking about building one when the signs of spring are upon us. But before you start your deck building project, here are four important considerations:

1. Decide how you’ll use your new deck.

Do you plan to dine on your new deck? If so, you’ll need enough space to accommodate your outdoor table and chairs and at least a four-foot clearance all around. If your deck will serve as a space for outdoor grilling and relaxing in a couple of chairs, you’ll obviously need less space.

2.  Think about your desired deck style and shape.

This is where the real fun comes in. Go online and look for some inspiration. A custom builder like Cormack Construction can design decks in virtually any size, style, or shape. “We’ve built a lot of decks for homeowners in New Hampshire and Maine—from classic ones, to more intricate designs with multi-levels, complex shapes, and built-in planter boxes, fire pits, and seating,” says Robin Russell, project manager.

NH and ME decks

 3. Determine the best location for your deck.

The layout of your home, lot size, and landscaping will determine the best location for your new deck.  If you’re lucky enough to have more than one suitable build location, consider the following:

  • Privacy (How close will your deck be to your neighbors or the street?)
  • View 
  • Use (If you plan to dine on your deck, place it as close to your kitchen as possible.)
  • Sun and shade exposure  

PRO TIP:  Before you build, make an outline of your proposed deck footprint with stakes and string. Walk around the marked area during different times of the day so you can see how the sun will hit your space. Ensure the area provides enough room for your needs, and be sure to check your view from different angles.


4. Evaluate your deck material options. 

When building a deck, you’ll have to decide between wood and composite boards (a mix of wood fibers and plastic). While most would agree that nothing can compare with the beauty of natural wood, composite decking material is growing in popularity. “With composite boards, you don’t have to worry about drying, cracking and splintering, Russell notes. However, composite decking costs more than most wood species. 

Cormack uses Ipe, a Brazilian hardwood, for many of its deck projects. Known for its beauty and natural resistance to rot and decay, Ipe costs about the same as composite decking.


NOTE:  Think you might be selling your home in the near future? According to the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report for New Hampshire, decks built with composite boards have an average return on investment of 98.3%—versus 43.2% for wood. Keep this in mind when selecting your decking material.


Quality Deck Builders in New Hampshire's White Mountains, Lakes Region, and Western Maine

If you’re thinking about building a deck, contact the experienced craftsmen at Cormack Construction. We will discuss the best deck design option for your needs and budget. 

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