Deck Construction from Island Lake, Illinois

Our Back Yard Structures are one of Nelson Custom Builders original services. We have built a reputation on providing our customers with a high quality product, unique design ideas, and top rated customer service. All deck materials are hand selected for quality and appearance.
We've built hundreds of decks, gazebos, screen porches and sunrooms throughout Chicagoland and the Northwest suburbs. Our installers are highly skilled and experienced in installing a wide range of deck products and materials.
We can Provide:
 
  • Elegant low voltage lighting
  • A complete line of gazebos & pool houses (wood and vinyl)
 
  • A custom deck design
  • Pergolas & arbors
 
  • Screen rooms
  • Working drawings
 
The Difference:
"Details" by definition are the "little items". Nelson Custom Builders does not over look the details we include everything from flashing to caulking the ledger so that water cannot enter your home, to how our benches, rails, decks, etc. are to be detailed and trimmed.
Our Company Is:
  • Fully licensed and insured.
  • We specialize in outdoor living spaces.
  • 1 year written warranty on structure and workmanship.
  • 27 year History.
Preparing For Building a Deck
If you happen to be on the market for a new deck, it will surely help to know how to prepare yourself. Having a new deck built is an exciting time because it will be an enhancement to your house and an extra place for the family to enjoy them selves. However, there are a few things that you need to prepare for before your deck can be built.

One of the first things that you will need to consider is the decking materials. There will need to be a route for the materials to be delivered through. There may be only one way to get to your yard or you may have options. Be sure to figure out the best route and discuss it with your decking contractors before they start to unload the materials.

You will also need to decide on where you would like the materials to be placed. The framing materials, the actual decking materials and the railing materials will need to be placed somewhere in your yard so that the decking contractors can get to them easily. Your yard is important though so be sure to pick a place that is not only close to where the deck will be built, but also in an area that you won't mind having damaged. Perhaps the best place would be an area that doesn't receive much shade or an area where grass is hard to grow.

Be sure to remove any items that may get in the way of the building process. You want to avoid having any personal property damaged while your deck is being constructed. This may mean moving bikes, tables, chairs, flower pots, and grills out of the way. Moving your belongings out of the way will not only protect your property, but it will also make the building process easier and faster for the contractors.

Before the building process begins, you may want to ask your contractor if there is anything that you can do anything to help out. Expect the contractors to need access to your hose and to an electrical outlet, but there may be other ways you can help as well. It never hurts to ask because it may be beneficial to your relationship with your contractor.

Lastly, keep in mind that if you are having a natural wood deck installed, you will have to wait before you can stain or treat it. Generally, 4-6 weeks is needed to let the sun even out the color of the wood. After that process has completed, you can stain it. It's often a good practice to let your lawn grow long before you treat your deck. This way the long grass will protect itself from the damages of the overspray from the stain. Once you have finished treating the deck you can cut the lawn.
The positive aspect of building a deck
Having a deck installed offers one perk that most home improvements don't offer. Due to the fact that the addition is outside, you won't have to interrupt your daily life to accommodate to the installation. You won't have contractors and materials all over your house and you will not be losing electricity or water at any given point.
Designing A Deck
A deck is a popular home improvement that not only adds to the value of your home, but also provides an extra space for enjoying the outdoors. You'll want to carefully consider the design elements that go into your deck. You must think of a deck as a new addition to your house (like a room), one in which you are planning specific use of. Every inch of its design should be catered to the way in which you plan to use it. Below are some detailed considerations to help in the designing of your deck.
Location Of Your New Deck
The most common location of a deck is directly in front of the entrance to the kitchen. Of course this will differ depending on the design of your house. Either way, it is recommended that the perimeter of your deck be away from your windows to avoid looking out of the window at a rail. Depending on where you live, you may also want to build a deck in which you step down a step or two to in case a heavy snow storm attacks your deck. Having the deck flush with the entrance will cause the snow to lie against the door.

Additional considerations include the amount of wind you want to receive, the amount of sun you want to receive and the amount of noise you wish to receive. The location of your deck can control certain aspects of these factors. Also, you will want to pay attention to any water spigots, dryer vents, windows below the deck, and down spouts. You will be doing yourself a huge favor if you build your deck above these problem areas.
Permits
It is important to obtain documentation on your site/plot plan. In most cases, your realtor should have included a copy in your contract. If you don't seem to have this information at hand, then your local zoning department will have a copy on file for you to obtain. This plan details the parameters in which you are allowed to build, as well as the overall size of your deck, height of any privacy screens, and the minimum distance from your deck to your lot lines. You will need to contact the local building department to find out whether you'll be required to have a building permit, and what kind of plans you'll have to submit. Keep in mind, not every township or county requires a permit.
Size Of Your Deck
When deciding on the size of your deck, be sure to use two foot increments because lumber is cut to 8', 10', 12', and 16' lengths. You will save yourself money by making the lengths exact, not to mention the scrap materials that you won't be bothered with. It's a good idea to drive 4-foot stakes at the approximate corners, and then tie string between them at about the height of the railings to give you a visual idea.

It is also important for you to consider how you will be using your deck and how much room you will need. Decks are commonly used for dining and entertaining. In fact, spas areas, screen rooms, gazebos and outdoor kitchen areas are becoming increasingly popular in modern designs. If you plan to use your deck for dining and entertaining then keep that in mind when you decide on the size of your deck.
Privacy Factor
Depending on how close your neighbors are to your house and also on the activities that you plan on holding on your deck, you may feel more comfortable with a privacy wall built on certain sides. Most deck builders can construct a privacy wall that not only keeps outside eyes out, but also doesn't look like an unattractive enclosing fence.
Deck Entrances
It is very common for homeowners to want the deck entrance to be near the entrance into your back yard. This creates a practical way to enter the yard and get on the deck. Before building a staircase for your deck entrance, you should check with your township or county's local building codes. The local building department regulates staircase construction quite heavily. There are important specifications on how the staircase is allowed to be attached to the deck frame, the size of the staircase and whether or not it will need a railing.
Shaded Areas
Many homeowners like to design a deck that receives its fair amount of sun and shade. However, in some areas your deck will be exposed to sun as long as the sun is out. One solution to this is to install a custom awning over your deck. Unfortunately, this option can be very expensive. Pergola or arbors are very popular choices because they can be built in a number of different styles, shapes and materials to enhance the design of your deck. These options will provide some shade to the area they cover, but if you want total shade then you may want to consider a roof covered deck or screen room.
Shape and Decking Patterns
A deck can be any shape you want, but keep in mind that the more complicated the design is, the more materials will be needed making the design more expensive and harder to build. Another way to add visual interest to your deck is by wrapping the deck around a corner, building a pergola or arbor, adding built-in benches, integrating a fence or screen on one side, or even adding an overhead screen.
Deck Railing & Seating
Depending on where you live, certain standards must be met regarding your deck rail. For example, in most areas, a guard railing around the perimeter of the deck is mandatory if your deck is higher that 18" off the ground. Generally the railing height is 36 inches unless your deck stands higher than 10 feet off the ground. In such cases, it is advised that your railing be 42"-48" tall. Railings come in all sorts of designs to enhance your deck.
In addition to the railing, you should consider what kind of seating will you need. Would you or your guests be more comfortable on built-in benches or patio furniture? Many homeowners enjoy integrating a place to sit into the rail of the deck. Built-in seating comes in handy if you plan to entertain groups of people on your deck. It is suggested that you use a composite plastic lumber for this seating because it will eliminate the splintering and warping that occurs over time with wood seating.
Looking For More Information About Decks?
Building a deck is a great investment. You'll want to make sure you are choosing the right deck builder for your project and your budget. We offer Free Decks & Railing Price Quotes from local, prescreened deck contractors.
Getting Quality Deck Plans
You're finally committed to building a deck in your backyard. You want room to entertain outdoors or relax after a long day. Choosing the right deck plans to suit your design and budget can take some time, but it can be well worth your trouble. The variety of decks - single, double, l-shaped, hot - tub, attached, or stand - alone - can be overwhelming.

It's good to start with your dream project and work from there. With the diversity of building materials and deck options, you won't have to sacrifice your plans to end up with a deck that offers utility and durability. Planning your deck is the most important step, aside from having it installed or built properly.
Sorting Through Deck Plans
There are plenty of deck plans available for free online and at home improvement stores. Leaf through home and garden magazines and visit showrooms for ideas. Here are some major considerations:
  • What functions do you plan for the deck? Will you need a dining table, barbecue, etc.?
  • Which materials best fit your outdoor decor, walls, and landscaping?
  • Which decorative touches do you want (posts, caps, flower boxes, benches, etc.)?
  • What dimensions (length, width and height) will fit the area you have for decking?
  • Are there buried utilities that will interfere with digging piers or footing holes?
  • Will your deck require electrical connections for lighting, outdoor heaters, or a hot tub?
  • Have you checked out building codes in your area to learn the regulations for adding a deck? Will you need a permit?
  • Will you have a free-standing deck or will you need to remove siding to attach it to your home?
You should get out the tape measure and walk the perimeter of your planned deck, charting the layout on graph paper. If you're having a professional create your deck plans, be sure to go over the range of deck materials, accessories, costs, and maintenance requirements based on your selections.
Deck Plans and Construction Considerations
Specifically, your deck plans should answer questions of how many footings and posts are required to build to the dimensions, what size beams are required to fit between the posts, what size and spacing is required for the joists, and how large should the deck boards be to complete the platform.
In plotting the overall contour of the deck it's important to include existing shade trees you hope to retain and how to shape the design.
Outdoor Decks Add Value to Your Home
Decks are one of the best home improvement projects in terms of both enjoyment and return on investment. The national average cost of adding decks is a bit over $10,000 and the average return is around 85 percent. However, many factors go into this calculation.
Outdoor Decks: Size and Location Matter
When making your deck plans, first consider size and location. As a general rule, the larger the better, but you need to balance size with cost. Locating decks where they can be accessed from a common area (family room, kitchen) is more desirable than off a private area like the master bedroom. And decks in warmer climates generally command a higher return because they can be used year-round.
Deck Materials
Our installers are highly skilled and experienced in installing a wide range of deck products and materials.
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Composite Decks
Composite decks are a wonderful alternative to natural wood decks. Unlike natural wood, composite decking will not crack, splinter, fade, or need to be treated. Composite decking is composed of several different recycled materials. Its main components include hard plastic and wood. This type of decking was created to extinguish the problems of typical wood decking. When the material came on the scene less than a decade ago, homeowners quickly started to realize that composite decking eliminated many of the problems typically associated with wood decks.
Benefits Of A Composite Deck
Composite decking offers several advantages over traditional wood, but it is also a little more expensive up front. The reason behind this initial up front cost is that you won't have to invest additional money into the deck to treat it. Also, composite decking won't crack or splinter which means you won't be spending money replacing individual boards. Yes, it true that a wood porch or deck will cost less to build, but it will also continually cost the homeowner money each season in maintenance and repairs. With composites, a little washing every now and then is all you will have to do. Plus, composites have exact, uniform coloring to make its appearance consistently beautiful, as well as grain patterns to make it resemble natural wood.

If you are on the market for a composite deck, there are several great brands to choose from. In fact, there are as many as 10 brands of composite decking materials on the market today. Depending on your specific needs, you can find a brand that is more resistant to the salt in the air, one that is extremely solid, one that offers more colors, and even one that comes with unique railing systems. Carefully consider your environment and specific needs and wants and you are bound to find a composite deck that fits.
Composite Deck Maintenance
So far, composite decking sounds near perfect. But as you may already know, nothing in this world is perfect. One issue that you will have to pay attention to is mold growth. They say that composite decking is mold resistant, but the sad truth is that mold can grow on just about anything. In order to avoid having mold develop on your composite deck, try to wash it down with a hose on a regular basis. This will prevent any mold from attaching itself.

Overall, composite decking is a product that will cost more up front, but end up saving you money by eliminating maintenance, repairs, and finishes. It will also provide the same strength as wood decking and still look beautiful like wood too. It should definitely be one of your options if you are on the market for a new deck. Contact us Today for a free quote on your new composite deck.
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