Summertime, "when the living is easy", is the ideal time to add a new deck to your Iowa home. Having a deck is a great place for outdoor cooking, family time, entertaining friends, or relaxing in the fresh air. Another good reason to build a deck is that you increase your living space during the spring, summer, and fall months in Iowa at about one-quarter of the cost of a fully-enclosed addition. In addition to adding to your own enjoyment, a new deck increases the value of your home when you are ready to sell.
When considering adding a new deck to your Iowa home, there are several factors you should consider first, including the size, location, safety, extra features, and your final budget.
Because you and your family will be spending a great deal of time on the deck, you need to consider where it should be located, especially how it should be accessed from the house. Because meals are frequently served on the deck, most families put it off the kitchen door. This isn't always the ideal place because it creates traffic flow through the busy kitchen area. Sometimes a better solution is to place it off a living room, dining room, or family room that is connected to the kitchen. This allows you to put in a wider patio or French door for easier access.
It is important that your deck is proportional to the size of your home and lot. A good rule of thumb is to check out the size of decks on similar properties in your neighborhood. You will need to check your local city or county building codes for standards regarding what portion of your lot can be occupied by a deck and how close it is to the lot line. You also need to take into consideration where to place stairs to the yard, the location of the sun at various times of the day, and whether or not there are fences, trees, or bushes to protect you from the sun and wind and provide privacy.
It is extremely important that your deck is built to code and has the required safety features. Otherwise, you may end up fixing problems before you sell your property. First, many building codes require a 4-inch space between rails to prevent small children from falling through. The deck must also be adequately attached to the house to keep it from tipping over with the weight of too many people. You will also need to take into consideration the height of the stairs and placement of railings and gates if you have small children or pets.
It is important that your deck is consistent with the style of your home. The easiest way to add style is to make the color and style of the railings and the light fixtures consistent with your home. You should also take into consideration how your deck fits with the backyard. It should provide a smooth transition from the outdoors to the indoors of your home.
Eating dinner, entertaining guests, or simply relaxing with your family are primary uses for a new deck. Your family will find they enjoy time together instead of spending time in front of the television, video games, or computer.
Having a gas or charcoal grill on the deck allows you to enjoy outdoor cooking, from grilled meats and vegetables to roasting a chicken or turkey. Cooking outdoors also keeps the heat and smoke out of a closed, air-conditioned home.
Having a deck off of your living room or family room virtually doubles the entertainment area of your home. Summertime is an especially popular time for graduation parties, reunions, and other outdoor events when you need the extra space.
Eating outdoors with the entire family, without the distraction of the television or video games, is an opportunity to create memories together. You can also make mealtime more fun by grilling sweet corn, making s'mores, or churning home-made ice cream. If you have young children or pets, putting up safety gates will provide a fun place to play.
Having a deck gives you an opportunity to be creative with your furnishings, lighting, and container gardens. Midwest Builder's showroom and home and garden magazines are filled with ideas you can try without much expense.
Often the deck is the ideal place to relax in the outdoors. Whether you enjoy a late cup of coffee after breakfast, read a summer novel in the afternoon, or sit and listen to quiet music in the evening, it is the perfect place to relax.
Midwest Home Builders has designed and built many decks for Iowa homeowners. See our page on deck building and remodeling. You, your family, and friends will enjoy many hours throughout the years on your new deck. Contact us today to design your dream deck and get a free estimate.
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