Just Decks, Inc.


Getting Started

  1. Plot plan (this is a birds eye view drawing of your property, normally showing house location, lot size, setbacks and total lot size. 1.395 acres ect). If you don’t have one of these, your township or county courthouse should be able to provide one for you and you can have them email or fax it directly to me.

  2. Plot Plan of lot only. If you have or are able to get only the plot plan of your lot with property dimension, you need to get some additional information about the following so we can draw it in.

    A). Front, rear and side setback restrictions (usually in a foot dimension…10’, 25’ ect.)

    B). Impervious coverage restriction. This is the total amount of area you are allowed to build on in relation to your total lot size. This will cover total house foot print area, sheds, driveway areas, concrete walkways, pools and existing patio and deck areas. Normally 30%-50%.

  3. Zoning/Building permit information: Find out if your township views an open deck area as impervious coverage or not, whether you will need a building permit or just a zoning permit if your deck is less than 30” off the ground and what costs will be related to that. Building/zoning permits will range in cost from $30-$500 depending on your local township administration. If there is any electrical work involved (hot tub, 120 volt lighting ect.) There will be a 3rd party electrical inspection required and that is normally around $80.

  4. Job start/finish time. Normal summer back log can be 8 to 12 weeks, depending on the size of your project. Our big yearly kick off for new work is in End of February/beginning of March each year. Normally, theses are the pre planners that come in at this point to assure that their projects are completed by the late spring early summer season.

  5. Budget: Try to have a firm grasp on what you think you want to spend on your outdoor project before we begin. This will save us both a lot of time and aggravation in the planning process. Most of our work is based on a square foot cost and with very little time invested, I can give you a good idea as to where the total project cost is headed based on what size you think your deck area will be and what design aspects you want to incorporate into it, outdoor furniture, hot tub, fire pit, trellis area, stairs ect.

  6. Gathering ideas: It is import to have some idea as to what you are looking for in your outdoor project to give us a place to start. This can be through web site pictures, magazine and deck books ect. Once we get past that, I can guide you through size and space layout.

  7. Deck layout. Some things to consider in laying out your decking project are as follows:

    A). Access from house to yard, through or across deck should be kept as close as possible to each other. This will reduce the amount of deck area wasted on traffic area walking from door to stair area.

    B). Access to yard through opening in rail or down stairs. This is conventionally done towards garage/driveway side of house, figuring that if someone is coming over for party ect., they will park in drive and walk to closest access point on deck. What will contradict this is if a lower patio or deck area comes in to the picture.

    C). Furniture and deck accessory area requirements: One of the biggest mistakes you can make on a new deck is to have too much or to big of furniture on it for the size area. As a minimum distance out from the house to start with, we prefer 13’-6” . This works standard table and chair area. Set back restriction (normally associated with town homes/condos) will override this rule. You may only be aloud to go out 10’ of 12’ at most. When this comes in to play, furniture size selection becomes very critical. Smaller, elongated tables over standard round table become preferred.

    1. Round table with 4 chairs 13’x13’ area needed.

    2. 6 person oversized table 13’x17’ area needed.

    3. Round concrete/granite fire pit with 4 chairs 13’x13’ needed.

    4. Hot tub/Spa At least a 12’x12 area is needed unless you are planning on having seating area with it as well. Then it will need to be enlarged accordingly.

    5. Grill area. The grill area is the most commonly forgotten or overlooked area on the deck project. Most grills are somewhere around 2’x5’ or larger and can be
      put almost anywhere on the deck “WHEN THEY ARE NOT HOT”. You don’t want a grill close to stair areas, vinyl products, railing/siding or deck elevation changes. These areas are more prone to someone needed something to grab a hold of in transition and you don’t want it to be the edge of a HOT GRILL that they are grabbing. Normally, we try to give the grill a 10’x10’ area while in use. If you are big year round grillers, we also want to keep it as close to the house access door as possible for convenience sake.

    6. Traffic /walkway areas. These are imaginary lanes running across your deck area from doors to stair, grill, table, hot tub ect. You don’t want to set a table directly in between the door out of your house and your stairs leading off the deck. This creates an obstacle course and a visual nightmare to look at.


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