Many homeowners have dreams of building a deck on their properties. A deck can be a special and serene place to spend time with your loved ones that can help you add usable space to your home without significant renovations. Regardless of your reasons for building one, you should ensure the deck is safe for everyone using it. Here are some tips to ensure it is safe.

Take the Railings Seriously

The railings are a deck’s main safety feature, especially for homes with pets and kids. When choosing and installing a railing, ensure that it:

Is strong and stable. It should support about 200 pounds of pressure on either side. You can push it to check where it passes this test.
It is over three feet and has a railing about 2 inches wide.
It has balusters that are no more than 4 inches apart. This distance makes it much harder for children and pets to squeeze through, which makes the deck much safer.

These safety measures apply whether the deck is on the ground or a few feet above.

Use Long-lasting Materials

The material used for the projects is a critical consideration as it influences the project’s other aspects, such as cost, maintenance, and durability. There are many materials to choose from, but most people either go for metal, composite, or vinyl.

Wood and composite are the more popular options because they last for a long time and are relatively easy to maintain. They are also easy to repair once they are damaged, making the deck safe to use sooner if it is damaged.

Regardless of the material, the deck is only as safe as its construction. It is possible to build a deck if you have the right skills and tools. However, it is better to hire a deck contractor in St. Louis to build one for you as they will do so to the highest standards ensuring that it remains safe for everyone who uses it.

Distribute Weight Evenly

Weight distribution and gravity affect the safety of a deck and thus must be considered when building one. It is important to consider the furniture you will use on the deck and how many people will use it at any time, giving yourself a little weight and balance allowance to ensure it is safe. 

Then, consider the effects of forces such as rain, wind, snow, ice, and hail on the deck. These forces will affect the deck differently, so account for them in your beams, joists, and other support structures.

Perform Regular Maintenance

Regardless of how well the deck is built, it will need maintenance. Take a day or two every year to thoroughly inspect and test the deck to ensure it remains safe. If you notice anything that makes it unsafe, repair it or get a contractor to do this for you.

A deck is an excellent addition to the home because it increases the usable area, increases the property’s value, and has numerous other benefits. Homeowners should ensure it is safe for everyone who uses it after it is finished.