Many homes come with a standard sized Northern Virginia deck. This area may be large enough for a patio dining set and your BBQ, but beyond that there is little room for outdoor living. With some planning and the help of an experienced decking contractor you can transform that small deck into an expansive backyard oasis. A deck extension will save you time and money on the path to a large, spacious patio.
Can You Reuse the Existing Decking?
Homeowners often wonder whether they can reuse anything from the existing structure. It may be possible, but two factors need to be considered first.
- What is the condition of the existing material? If the wood framing and decking is only a few years old and has weathered well you may be able to feasibly salvage some, if not all of the material. If the wood is cracked, split or warped enough to make it a liability (or an eyesore), you will be better off to replace it. The framing can be reused more often than the deck board, mainly because it will not and has not been exposed.
- How will the existing material fit into the new design? If you are replacing a wood deck with maintenance free composite or vinyl decking, reusing the material may not be an option. When the design of your new deck allows for the existing material, and actually looks good with the inclusion, you have the choice.
Support for Your Northern Virginia Deck Extension
If you will be reusing the existing structure in any way, support is your first priority. Inspect the existing piers and framing to be sure it is solid and follows building code. From that point your decking contractor will discover whether new piers can be poured nearby, allowing a second frame to be built beside the existing structure.
Alternatively, the entire deck may need to be ripped down and new piers and framing installed. This will depend on the design of your new deck, as well as whether there is adequate room for new piers and beams.
Adding Another Level
Depending on the grade of your property it may make better sense to simply add another level to your existing deck. In that case you will literally build another deck and join the two with stairs, railing and other elements of the structure.
This can also help to create a more roomy feeling on your deck, with an eating area as well as a lounging area. If you have a walkout deck (more than 5 feet off of the ground), consider placing the deck a few steps down. Alternatively, if your deck is at ground level, you can build the second level up with higher posts. Don’t forget to install skirting to cover the framing.
There are quite a few options open for homeowners that are looking to extend their Northern Virginia deck. It’s possible to reuse the deck materials, if they are in good condition and the new design incorporates them. Framing is an important consideration and adding a level may be the most prudent design choice. The advice of a decking professional will help you choose the ideal design and allow you to transform your existing deck into an expansive new outdoor living space.