Adding a Second Story Deck to your home can enhance your home's beauty while increasing its value. Before you roll up your sleeves and tackle this project yourself, there are a few things to consider first:
Acquire Zoning Approval
First, be sure to contact your local zoning enforcement officer. All homes have established boundaries, and there are set-back requirements from those boundaries which will determine if you have enough usable land space for the second story deck. Also, in some areas, any impact on adjoining properties, or neighboring resident approvals might be required.
Design the Deck
When designing your deck, you might consider an egress from the second story. If there is an existing window on the second floor that could be replaced with an exterior door, all the better. An existing window, if wide enough to accommodate a doorway will provide you with the structural header already in place, and make the modification to a doorway easier, and less expensive. Keep in mind, regardless of making a window conversion to a doorway, or cutting the exterior wall to create a doorway, there is always the potential of electrical wiring and plumbing in the wall space that will require relocating.
Acquire a Building Permit
When designing and selecting the material to build your deck, check first with your local building department to be certain that the material you utilize will be approved. New environmental protections prohibit the use of some chemically treated woods in some areas. Also, keep in mind there are many new environmentally friendly products on the market that will provide you with a beautiful deck and railing system which will last many, many years with little or no maintenance.