Rochester MN Home Inspector Discusses Building A New Deck

The backyard deck tops the charts when it comes to home improvements. There are an estimated four million new decks and 40 million remodeled decks gracing today's homes built annually in the U.S.  This rising trend has led manufacturers to offer a wider variety of deck materials, styles, and options with overwhelming choices. While wood has traditionally won the popularity contest in the Rochester area for decks due to its natural appearance, vinyl is becoming a choice material for outdoor home entertaining due to its combination of carefree maintenance, aesthetics, and value. Vinyl isn't just for windows and siding anymore. Why are more people using vinyl when building a new deck? Experts in Southeastern Minnesota say that one big reason is time. Vinyl decks are virtually maintenance-free. A yearly power-wash to will help maintain a vinyl deck, whereas wood fades and deteriorates. Wood also requires costly regular stain and sealant applications. Unlike wood or composite, vinyl is color-fast and non-porous, so dirt and stains don't collect to compromise appearance. Vinyl decks retain their original fresh appearance for many decades.

When shopping for the right deck supplier, keep several things in mind. Vinyl deck systems vary with suppliers. Find a supplier with a complete vinyl package that includes not only basic deck materials, but compatible vinyl rails, posts, and trim to create a completed look that adds curb appeal to your home.  Many companies offer nice looking and functional vinyl deck solutions which help homeowners create stunning outdoor entertaining spaces. Do your research and find a reputable outdoor vinyl decking expert that will meet your needs.

Homeowners today want low-maintenance, natural-looking alternatives to wood. Vinyl deck systems can have the look of wood without the hassles of maintenance. Vinyl withstands heavy use and elements for a lifetime of value and leisure.

When inspecting a deck during a home inspection I look to see that the desk is securely attached to the structure, and properly flashed.  I also inspect the support structure, (posts, beans and joists), to ensure that they are properly constructed.  If the deck has stairs, it is important that they are sturdy and that the railings are sturdy.  Deck, and stair railings should have gaps no larger than 4" to prevent small children from slipping through or getting stuck.  Railings should also be firmly secured to the deck framing structure.