Pitfalls to avoid when building a deck onto your home. Brought to you by WOLF Home Products.


Sidestep serious deck building pitfalls with tips from WOLF Home Products  

Every year thousands of homeowners will embrace spring by planning to build a new deck onto their home. In 2013, homeowners across the U.S. built more than 2.5 million new and replacement decks, according to the National Decking and Railing Association, and that figure is likely to rise in 2014.

Most homeowners taking on a major deck-building project are rightly concerned about the (potentially costly) pitfalls they might encounter. Here are five of the most common mistakes homeowners make, and how to avoid them, courtesy of WOLF Home Products — suppliers of decking products:

1.     Hiring the wrong contractor.  Interview several deck builders before you sign a contract, and check their references. Some decking manufacturers will certify deck builders after they’ve completed a program in the proper use and installation of their products. Manufacturer certification can be a strong indicator that the contractor takes his work seriously. (including WOLF)

2.     Picking the wrong material.  Just a few years ago, the question was simple:  wood or composite? Now, you can choose from a wide range of colors and decking materials that range in durability, lifespan and price. Two relative newcomers, capped composite and capped PVC decking, have experienced phenomenal growth over the past few years. Both are covered with a rugged layer of capstock that makes your deck incredibly stain- and scratch-resistant.

3.     Limiting yourself to the big box stores.    If you want more than just a handful of options, find an independent building-materials dealer. They typically offer a broader range of colors, brands and materials than a giant home center. Also, the staff at an independent dealer can provide in-depth knowledge about various decking materials — a bonus in your decision-making process.

4.     Ignoring the fine print.   What happens if your deck splits, cracks or fades? Find out, because warranties in the industry vary greatly. Some offer minimal coverage, and others stand firmly behind their product.  WOLF, for example, will pay for replacement material and labor if a customer uses a WOLF Pro (a certified contractor).

5.     Thinking only about the short term.  For most homeowners, there’s real joy in the first time they set foot on a brand new deck. But before you build, you should also consider the long-term future of your deck. What maintenance does it require? How long will it last? Does your PVC or composite deck come with a 25-year stain-and-fade warranty? Does your deck manufacturer have a reputation for service after the sale? Answering these questions up front will help you make a wise investment.

There’s nothing like relaxing – or entertaining – on a high-quality deck. By avoiding common mistakes in the planning process, your family will have years of enjoyment on your new deck.


For dozens of photos and design ideas, visit the WOLF decking showcase at www.wolfhomeproducts.com.