Unless you are skilled in design, it's best to hire a professional to create a design for your new deck. There are several ways to find an architect or designer who will do a good job. You can use referrals from neighbors and friends, talk to a real estate professional, or go online to search websites that specialize in remodeling, deck construction, landscape design or home building.
Once you make contact, be sure to ask questions and get everything in writing before work begins. You should always verify a professional's credentials and ask for references. If he or she cannot or will not provide access to satisfied customers, consider that a red flag and keep looking. There is a list of questions you should ask your professional before you get started.
Generally, the professional you hire to build your new deck will be well versed in the required building permits in your area. You can check with your local building department in the early stages of your planning. Even a small deck that is not attached to your house could possibly need a permit before construction.
"Typically, a lower deck under 30 inches to grade-level won't require a permit," says Gordon Whittaker, owner of Alter Eagle. "This can differ from the city to the same county the city is in." Check with your local building department. There may be brochures listing the requirements for permits in your area.
Get tips for figuring out how much you can spend on your decking project.
Get tips on how to find the right wood materials for your deck.
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