Creating Your Outdoor Oasis: Tips for a Perfect Deck and Railing

Shane Chapman / Backyard Building Expert

Shane Chapman

Backyard Building Expert

See Short Bio

The pursuit of building the ultimate deck, complete with stunning railings, is a quest that many homeowners embark upon. It's not simply about constructing an outdoor space; it's about crafting an extension of the home that flawlessly merges form and function. 

Deck construction is not a task for the faint-hearted. It demands an intricate understanding of materials, design concepts, safety standards, and even local building codes. Whether you are an experienced DIY enthusiast or a homeowner seeking a thorough understanding before hiring professionals, this guide will equip you with an in-depth knowledge of all key aspects involved.

Whether you are a DIY enthusiast keen on adding a personal touch to your home, or a homeowner looking to make an informed decision while hiring professionals, this guide will be your trusted companion in the journey towards building the perfect deck and railing.

How to Build Your Perfect Deck and Railing

1. Evaluating Your Space and Location

Before you embark on your deck and railing project, take the time to study your backyard and determine an ideal location for the deck. Keep an eye out for any inherent features like slopes, trees, or rocky terrain that may impact the overall design and stability of your future deck.

Some factors to consider when evaluating the location:

  • Accessibility from your home
  • Proximity to neighbouring properties
  • Optimal sunlight and shading
  • Privacy preferences
  • Drainage systems to avoid standing water

By thoroughly assessing your backyard, you'll have a solid foundation for the next steps in designing your dream deck and railing.

2. Permits and Building Codes

Before getting your hands dirty, it’s crucial to research and comply with local building codes and permits specific to your region. Saskatoon and Regina may have different requirements, so check with your local municipality to ensure a smooth transition between the planning stages and the construction process.

Some common building code considerations for decks:

  • Deck height
  • Railing heights and spacing
  • Footings and post sizes

Building codes exist to ensure your deck is safe and suitable for use, so prioritize understanding and implementing these guidelines into your project plan.

3. Drafting Your Deck Design

Now that you've identified the perfect location and researched building codes, it's time to map out your unique deck design. Start by establishing the layout, size, and overall aesthetic that best suits your backyard and lifestyle.

Here are some design aspects to consider:

  • Overall dimensions: Determine the size of your deck to accommodate seating, dining, and other desired amenities like a grill or hot tub. Allocate ample space for comfortable furniture arrangements and ease of mobility.
  • Layout options: Consider whether you want a single-level deck or a multi-tiered design with designated spaces for different purposes.
  • Aesthetic elements: Envision your deck's colour scheme, pattern, and overall style to ensure it complements your home's exterior.
  • Railing design: Choose the appropriate railing style for your deck, taking into account materials, colours, and safety features such as baluster spacing and handrail height.

Creating a detailed design plan will streamline the construction process and assist you in selecting suitable materials for your project.

4. Choose Your Materials Wisely

The choice of materials can make or break the success and appearance of your deck and railing project. Your selection should be based on durability, ease of maintenance, and aesthetic factors. The two main types of decking materials are composite and pressure-treated wood.

Pressure-treated lumber:

  • Economical and widely available
  • Requires regular sealing and staining
  • Susceptible to weathering and warping

Composite decking:

  • Low maintenance; cleaning with soap and water is sufficient
  • Highly resistant to warping, splintering, and fading
  • Available in a variety of colours and textures mimicking wood
  • Higher initial investment, but often more cost-effective in the long run

For railings, materials like aluminum, wood, and vinyl are popular choices, each with their own advantages and considerations regarding durability, maintenance, and aesthetics. Consider which materials best align with your design and maintenance preferences.

5. Master the Art of Deck Construction

Following your design plans and utilizing the chosen materials, it's time to bring your backyard vision to life. It's crucial to follow the proper construction techniques and safety precautions throughout the building process. If you're a DIY enthusiast, our dedicated team at The Ultimate Deck Shop can provide guidance and support when needed. For more complex projects, you may opt for the assistance of a professional deck builder.

6. Add the Finishing Touches

To elevate your deck and railing project, consider additional features like ambient lighting, comfortable and stylish furniture, and lush greenery. These finishing touches can truly transform your outdoor space into a relaxing refuge or an inviting area for entertaining guests.

7. Deck and Railing Maintenance

Regular maintenance is key to preserving the beauty and longevity of your deck and railing. Whether you invest in composite or pressure-treated wood, utilizing proper cleaning techniques and addressing any damages promptly will ensure the safety and enjoyment of your backyard oasis for years to come.

The Importance of Proper Installation for Deck and Railing

Building your dream backyard deck and railing project may seem daunting, but by following this comprehensive guide, you will be well-equipped to handle each step of the process. From planning and designing to choosing the appropriate materials and mastering the construction process, investing time and effort into your backyard project will create an exceptional outdoor living space for you and your family. 

Trust our expert team at The Ultimate Deck Shop to support and guide you every step of the way, ensuring a successful and rewarding deck-building service and experience in Saskatoon.

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About the Editor...

Shane Chapman // Backyard Building Expert

Shane Chapman, President and Co-Founder of The Ultimate Deck Shop, is a seasoned expert in the deck building industry. A former award winning deck builder (Fresh Decks), he now leads Canada’s top destination for backyard building materials.

Shane is committed to simplifying the shopping experience, providing exceptional customer service, and empowering both DIYers and professionals with his expert advice.

Get in touch with Shane to connect, collaborate or ask questions at LinkedIn.