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The 5 Most Common Errors When Building A Deck

Decks should be all about safety, and when your deck fails to meet the basic safety measures, that’s when you know you need to start working with a real professional.

There are many deck building mistakes that can compromise the safety of your deck. Many of them start from the designing phase, but most of them start from the building process. A wrong measurement, a design error, or an architectural issue are all reasons of serious concern that need to be addressed as soon as possible.

In this article, you’ll discover the 5 most common errors when building a deck, and what to do in order to safely fix them.

Let’s begin.

Common errors when building a deck with wood furniture on it

1. Not Paying Enough Attention To The Deck Frame

One of the most common deck building mistakes is that the frame is not built properly. This can lead to a whole host of other problems, such as the deck not being level, or the boards warping and bending over time.

The key to a safe and sturdy deck is to make sure that the frame is properly constructed. This means making sure that all the measurements are correct, and that the frame is strong and stable.

While the traditional treated lumber deck post remains a preferred option for new decks, there are better options on the market.

We recommend steel deck frames, as these are some of the safest frames on the market. Fortress Building Products have some of the best metal frames on the market, and we’re big fans and advocates of their products.

A wood deck frame

2. Not Waterproofing The Deck

A common mistake that people make when building a deck is not waterproofing it properly, and at the right time. This can lead to serious water damage, which can later cause the deck boards to warp and rot over time, causing serious issues.

The best way to waterproof a deck is by using a waterproof sealant or coating. This will help to keep water from seeping into the cracks and pores of the wood, and will help to protect the deck from moisture damage.

The thing with waterproofing and treating a deck is that you’ll also have to use treated deck fasteners. Galvanized fasteners and steel will hold better and resist much longer than normal screws.

An unfinished pressure treated wood deck

3. Not Following Local Building Codes

Building codes vary from one area to another, but it’s important to remember that these shouldn’t be an obstacle in building your deck. These are not guidelines, but rules that you’ll need to follow to make sure your deck is 100% safe for you and your loved ones.

If you’re working with a real professional, following the local building codes will feel natural and will give you a sense of security. Besides, if you want your project to pass all the required inspections, you’ll need the knowledge of a deck builder.

For example, building codes talk about the proper way of installing a deck footing, the deck joists, the decking material, and everything else that goes into a deck. There are very strict rules about connecting the ledger board to the house as well, so keep that in mind.

You can find the deck building codes for Annapolis MD here.

An elevated deck with a gap in the railing

4. Not Matching The Decking

One of the most common design errors is not matching the composite deck boards with the house. Black decking on a white house siding may not look as good as beige decking on a gray house. This really depends on the hues present in your backyard, your choice of materials, and your preferences as well.

As a rule of thumb, you’ll want the deck board to complement the rest of your house. This includes the siding, the window frames, the roof, the railing, even the fence if it contributes to the overall vibe of your backyard.

This is one of the most common errors when building a deck, and it’s a costly one especially if you’re getting composite decks. Composite decking boards can’t be refinished in a different color, and the decking materials are fairly expensive.

A beautiful deck design that matches the colors of the home

5. Building The Deck In The Wrong Place

While this error can be avoided with the help of a good deck builder, not all of them will know your home and how you’re using it. For example, if you’re building a deck on one side of the house, but your kitchen is on the other side, doing a barbeque and transporting everything you’ll need will take forever.

So then, what should you do?

The simplest way to ensure you’re building your deck in the best place possible is to talk to your contractor. Tell him how you’re planning to use the deck, why do you want one, and what do you expect to gain from building a deck.

For example, if you’re building a pool deck, you’ll want to enjoy plenty of sun, so make sure you’re building it on the side of the house that gets the most sunlight. Or if you have a mesmerizing view of the mountains or the lake, make sure you’re building it facing that way.

A contractor building a deck

The Best Advice You Can Get

Mistakes can happen even when we’re trying so hard to keep everything perfect. We might be blinded by getting the decking installed in a given timeframe that we forget about a minor detail that can make a difference.

The best way to avoid this is by regularly inspecting your deck and addressing all issues as soon as you notice them.

Here at Werner Decks, we’re actively trying to improve and reach perfection with our decks. Which is why we offer regular follow-ups after we finish your project. We’re checking the state of our work and we conduct the necessary adjustments to make sure your deck remains 100% safe for you and your loved ones.


These are just a few common errors when building a deck, but the fact of the matter is that a lot more mistakes happen, and many of them can put your life at risk.

Back in the day the deck building regulations were not so rigorous. Decks were failing and accidents were happening everyday because most decks were built with little to no attention. Besides, back then not everyone had access to professionals that build decks for a living.

Today, things changed and both homeowners and the city building department value safety completely differently. Stricter regulations, building codes, inspections, and fees make out of your deck building project a real journey that requires someone accustomed to the entire process.

Werner Decks is your local deck builder in Annapolis MD and surrounding areas. We offer professional deck building and deck repair to all homeowners looking to get a safe and fully functional deck.

Call us today at (443) 926-6996 to get started, or request a quote and we’ll get back to you to discuss your upcoming project.