Decks: A Fun DIY or a Project for the Experts?

Jul 20, 2016

Decks can be the perfect place to spend a nice summer night but they can also be tricky to maintain.

This hour on Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with home improvement expert Bill McAnally about decks and answers listener questions about their decks. What is the best material to use for a deck? How do you maintain them, and when it is time to call in an expert?

Dealing with decks can be tricky, whether it be building one from scratch or just re-finishing the deck it is important to make sure it is done right. McAnally recommends referencing the American Wood Council’s Prescriptive Deck Construction Guide before taking on any deck project.

Different kinds of decks have different advantages, some are going to last longer, others require less maintenance.  

“You want to think about, do I want maintenance, do I want to be able to go out there maybe every year and wash it and clean it? Do I want to pay all that money up front for a really nice, like a vinyl or a plastic, decking material or do I want to go with treated or cedar or these new composites. There’s such a large range and for the do-it-yourselfer you may want to just start off with going with wood like a pressure treated wood,” says McAnally.

Choosing the right material for a deck is important but it is just as important to make sure that it is installed correctly.

Some deck projects can be done by a non-professional, it can even be a fun DIY project, but when the deck is connected to the house McAnally recommends calling an expert.

“When you tie it to the house that’s sometimes when you may want to hire a professional because that connection to the House is so crucial,” says McAnally.