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exterior view of home deck cable railing

3 Ways to Outsmart Deck Design Challenges

Constructing a safe, attractive and optimally functional deck doesn’t have to be complicated. Following are three tips for building a referral-worthy deck and getting the edge on your competitors.

Residential Wood Deck with DesignRail and CableRail provided by KTM Architect

Photo courtesy KTM Architect

Take code a step farther. While it’s critical to meet minimum code requirements when building a deck, that may not be good enough, especially since many home inspectors are becoming more vigilant when it comes to deck safety.

And, when inspectors do identify a deck defect, it isn’t necessarily a simple failure to comply with code but frequently the ignoring of best practice, or DCA 6-15, which is the standard for deck building.

Learn more about deck building best practices in the Prescriptive Residential Wood Deck Construction Guide.

Key takeaway: Build the deck the right way by following established best practices. Don’t risk safety issues, callbacks or unhappy customers.

Deck project with DesignRail and CableRail provided by Wade Works Creative

Photo courtesy: Wade Works Creative

Envision it. When you’re competing with other contractors, giving homeowners the opportunity to visualize a deck and railing project before signing off on it can be a significant competitive advantage.

Feeney recently debuted its VisualBuilder, a free online 3D design tool that enables contractors and homeowners to easily build a digital deck with Feeney railings. Available for desktop and mobile applications – including notepads and smartphones – the visualizer lets users create their own deck from scratch or use one of seven pre-built templates as a starting point.

Feeney railings can be customized according to design preference, including options to specify railing and infill type, post mounting, top and bottom rail type, railing height, color and lighting (for DesignRail® aluminum railings). A choice of scenic views and ability to add a variety of outdoor accessories results in a realistic replication of the deck. It’s even possible to view the finished deck according to time of day, including in a night setting, and email or print finished designs with just a click.

Key takeaway: If the consumer can visualize it, they will (often) agree to let you build it.

CableRail™ Visual Builder deck project example

Size (doesn’t) matter. Just because a homeowner’s yard is on the smaller side, that doesn’t mean that a homeowner isn’t a viable sales prospect.

While it’s true that a deck can overpower a smaller yard space, there are ways to address that concern. A great way to optimize the space – and view – is to use a more streamlined railing infill, which will keep sight lines as unobstructed as possible. Feeney’s CableRail infill gives that clean-lined look with durability and ease of maintenance.

Using a 3D visualization tool like VisualBuilder can help overcome hesitation from homeowners with less-than-large yards.

Key takeaway: Don’t count out prospects with smaller yards, as they can yield valuable rewards.

Deck project with CableRail provided by Decks by Kiefer

Photo courtesy: Decks by Kiefer

Deck building is constantly improving, as manufacturers introduce new materials, practices and ways of doing things. Learn more about Feeney’s VisualBuilder and railing solutions to see how you can take your deck design to the next level.

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