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How to Build a Round Deck in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, DC

Posted in: round deck, curved deck

James Moylan

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

curved-bethesda-deck_7

Nature is made up of curves and circles, from the bright sun and luminous moon to the majestic oak and the cheerful daisy. While the straight lines and sharp corners of rectangular decks may look neat and orderly, the graceful curves of round decks merge harmoniously with nature.

Once a seldom-seen novelty, the curved deck has become increasingly popular on American properties. A round deck adds a touch of sophistication and individuality to an otherwise conventional yard. When designed well, a deck could curve to match a back window, hug a pool, or curve around a garden.

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However, many homeowners balk at the suggestion of installing a round deck—surely it’s more difficult to build, and more costly. But a skilled, experienced building team should have the tools and know-how to construct an attractive deck in a timely manner with no additional charge to you. Your contractor should be able to assist you in tackling the following design and construction challenges of building a round deck:

Planning. It’s fairly straightforward to design a square or rectangular deck. Circular decks can be more difficult, as lengths will vary in size. In order to avoid potentially wasting hundreds of dollars, you need a detailed plan that determines radiuses and material usage. A building team can use computer programs and other tools to draw up a plan that fits your tastes while minimizing waste and opportunity for error, ensuring your deck will be erected in a timely way. Lack of preparation could mean financial loss—not to mention a huge headache.

Tools and materials. Having the proper tools and materials is essential to successfully building a circular deck. A building team should have all the necessary equipment, including the professional heating tools needed to heat and bend boards. Contractors that are experienced in building round decks know which varieties of decking are best for this unique type of project. Varying types and brands of decking react differently to heat, and some bend more easily than others. It takes time and experimentation to determine the ideal temperatures for bending different materials. If you try to figure this out on your own through trial and error, you can end up wasting a lot of expensive decking material.

Framing. One of the biggest challenges of building a round or curved deck is constructing the frame. The framing process is very different from that of traditional square or rectangle decks. Framing a circular deck takes expertise and a bit of resourcefulness—essentially, it involves gluing many pieces of plywood together to build a bended foundation. 

Common mistakes. Though any good building team should know to avoid these, there are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes when building a deck. Common errors include buying to little or too much decking material, installing hardware incorrectly, and setting piers in disturbed soil. Choosing the wrong type of hardware is a frequently made mistake, which could result in the deck sagging or collapsing. Additionally, it can be difficult to attach guardrails and handrails on a round deck, which is vital for safety reasons if the deck is elevated. A seasoned building team should know how to avoid these errors, working to ensure your deck’s long-term health, beauty, and safety.

Daunted? Don’t be. Curved decks can be elegant and attractive additions to your outdoor living space. A skilled contractor can work with you to plan, frame, and erect your round deck, and can add custom, secure railings and benches that complement its curves and arches. A round deck can do wonders for your home’s overall appeal and resale value—not only is a round deck unique, its synthetic material makes it easy to clean and maintain. When built correctly, a round deck will continue to provide character, grace, and comfort to your home for years to come.