If you have a deck on your home, it’s probably one of your favorite places to spend time. Most families find that they use their decks frequently, whether for entertaining or for relaxation. Fortunately for homeowners in the Carolinas, the weather in most areas is nice enough to use outdoor living spaces most of the year. Even those who live in the mountains of North Carolina make up for wintertime with stunning views for three-quarters of the year.
Because decks get so much use, though, it is critical to make sure they are safe. It’s a good idea to inspect your deck for any problems annually & thoroughly. The month of May is Deck Safety Month and is the perfect time to look over your deck before summer celebrations, and get-togethers begin. This guide will give you a few important tips regarding deck safety.
Have a professional help you.
Even though you might think you’re capable of doing a deck inspection on your own, it’s always best to have a professional assist you. He or she will know exactly what issues to look for and might catch things you would have missed, simply because you don’t understand deck building the way an expert does. It’s worth working with a trustworthy contractor to avoid putting your and your loved ones’ safety in jeopardy.
Your contractor will also be able to make sure nothing has changed on your deck from year to year. Support posts, screws, ledger boards, and ledger flashing might not look any different to you from one deck season to the next, but a professional could spot potential problems that could lead to the structure’s eventual collapse.
Work with an engineer or architect on any remodels.
If it becomes apparent that your deck requires any significant renovations, make a point of hiring an architect or engineer to assist you and your contractor with blueprints. This way, you can rest assured that every eventuality has been considered and your deck is sure to stand the test of time. Some architects in the Carolinas and Virginia actually specialize in outdoor living projects; it might behoove you to hire one of these specialists.
Research contractors’ certifications.
Before you sign any binding paperwork with a specific contractor, check into his or her certifications and licenses. Reputable contractors are generally happy to provide clients with copies of documentation that proves their accreditations are valid; some key organizations include NADRA (the North American Deck and Railing Association), NAHB (the National Association of Home Builders), and NARI (the National Association of the Remodeling Industry).
It’s worth mentioning that a contractor should also have any business licenses that are required in your municipality and, at a minimum, carry liability and personal injury insurance. If proof of these policies cannot be produced, you should hire someone else.
If you’re ready to find the right contractor to help you keep your deck in tip-top shape, give the Hatch Homes office a call. Our expert team loves outdoor living and has been helping families in the Carolinas and Virginia maintain their decks for years. We’re looking forward to hearing from you and hope to meet you soon!