Photo of a House Deck

Adding a deck to your home can improve your property’s value while providing a more enjoyable way to gather outdoors. However, you may wonder if you can build a freestanding deck as opposed to an attached deck.

A deck is most often built at the rear of a house although it can be located anywhere on your property. Since all decks must be built to deck construction standards regardless of location, it is wise to choose a contractor who can follow building codes and get a building permit if the deck is larger than 200 square feet.

Home Care Contractors is a leading provider of home care services, specializing in deck construction services. We offer a wide range of services for constructing decks, including freestanding decks. In this article, we explore the possibilities of building a deck attached to your house as well as freestanding decks, along with the advantages of each to help you choose the best option.

Why Build a Freestanding Deck?

A freestanding deck is not joined to your house. Instead of using your house wall to support it, it uses posts that secure and stabilize it in the ground. Building a freestanding deck has some great advantages that you may want to consider.

One of the biggest pros of freestanding decks is that they are not attached to your house structure, which means there is no penetration to your home and no chance for intruding water. A separate deck structure also means it’s not adding weight to your home’s structure. It is also simpler to build compared to decks that require ledger board installations.

If you have a home with an unusual shape, or the exterior is made from brick or stone, a freestanding deck may be the best solution. It is always best to let a professional handle this work since freestanding deck posts must be properly installed to maintain the deck load.

Important Considerations for an Unattached Deck

If you choose to build a deck that is not attached to your home, you must make sure the following are implemented:

Depth of Concrete Footings

While corner posts and footings are important for every deck, it is critical to install them at the right depth when your deck is not secured to your house. The posts must be placed so that they are attached to floor joists below the frost level to prevent your new deck from shifting when the ground freezes and thaws. At the right depth, it will provide lateral stability to the self-supporting structure.

Height of Freestanding Deck Structure

When it comes to decks that are not attached to the house, you should consider the best height. Building a deck lower to the ground will provide it with greater stability and prevent swaying. Diagonal bracing and cross bracing can help to keep it balanced if you choose to keep it higher up.

Why Build an Attached Deck?

An attached deck is also called a ledgered deck because of its use of ledger boards. The ledger board is what keeps it firmly adjoined to your home. With a combined reliance on your house framing and footing holes, it is securely attached to the exterior of your house. 

Decking installations joined to houses will also have benefits, including the need for fewer posts. You’ll also have more room underneath it to use in another way, such as allowing you to safely stow patio chairs, outdoor gear, and more beneath the decking boards. Less swaying is experienced when you have a deck adjoined to your home.

However, if the decking materials aren’t installed properly, it could cause water to leak into your home. This could lead to insect damage from the wet wood. Depending on your exterior material, such as brick veneer, it could be much more complex to install this type of deck.

Understanding the Importance of Ledger Deck Boards

In the world of composite decking, ledgers must be fastened with metal to the railings or boards to secure them to your home. Additionally, the foundation can incur serious damage if the flashing is not installed correctly. 

Which Type of Deck Should You Install?

Installing a deck is a great way to boost your property’s value. It allows you to enjoy your outdoor space. However, it should follow the building code and you may need a permit. Mastering the stairs and other components of your deck requires the right skills. Let an expert from Home Care Contractors help build a deck that your family will enjoy for years to come.

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