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If you are looking to add a deck to your home, it can increase the value and enjoyment of every season in Nanaimo. Over the years we have seen some beautiful decks built, and we have also been asked to investigate decks that were built poorly by other deck contractors. We think it’s important to share our knowledge about the key elements of building a deck that should be asked when looking for a deck contractor. Not only will this save you money in the long run, it’ll also ensure the safety of your family and guests.

In this article, we will be discussing the following items in greater detail. Not only does a permit require this information already, but it can also help you determine if your contractor is cutting corners or not. We’ll take a look at:

• Nails or Screws
• Hardware
• Building Code
• Permits & Drawings

Deck Contractors on Nails vs. Screws

When it comes to the discussion of Nails vs. Screws there are a couple of main elements to factor into your decision. It really depends on where the hardware is being used. You can use screws made specifically for use with joist hangers, however, any other screws are not made for the structural support needed for the deck load. Nails are often preferred for structural joining, including framing walls, because they are more flexible under pressure, whereas screws can snap.

Proper Deck Construction Hardware

You want to ensure that you deck is built with the proper hardware to make sure the longevity of your deck meets your expectations. Since you can use a combination of nails and screws, or one or the other, you want to make sure your deck contractor has the proper framing experience to protect your investment. The framing and support are the most common areas where we see failure and can lead to certain disaster.

Remember to ask about the joists, post hardware, and how they recommend attaching to the house (the ledger). The construction approach and hardware will matter here. Since ledgers are what hold the deck to the home they should always use a heavy-duty fastener like lag screws and masonry anchors. Depending on the type of home and deck you want, this can alter the contractors choices for hardware.

Building Code

Understand the building code and requirements set out by your city is critical to ensuring that there are no hold-ups when you apply for permits.

Below are some quick tips regarding building code:

• Make sure your property is zoned for your addition, most neighborhoods are zoned for residential/single family dwelling
• Decks and associated structure like stairs, must meet the minimum setback distance from all property lines

Permits & Engineering

deck contractors nanaimoBefore you begin construction, most decks will require you to have a permit issued from the city. According to the City of Nanaimo, a permit is required to complete the following:

• Build a new deck
• Repair existing structural members
• Rebuild existing deck/stairs

You do not need a permit if you are looking into the make these changes:

• If your deck is not a part of the principle entrance to your house
• Not more than 2 feet above grade
• Is not attached to the house
• Replacing a deck railing that was previously approved

You also need to submit a set of simple plans (not engineered drawings), with your application for approval. This is something that most deck contractors include in their price if they know a permit is required. However, you may want to double check so there is no missed communication when it’s time to get the permit. In this link you can see samples of Deck Drawings for Nanaimo.

Classic Renovations can help you with all of the elements discussed in this article and much more. Deck contractors may be easy to find, but reputable ones may not be available right away. Please contact us by calling us at 250-585-8787 or send and email to [email protected] and we can assist you with your deck or any other home projects like bathrooms renovations or kitchen renovations that you have on your mind.