If warmer weather and the call of the great outdoors makes you think that THIS could be the year to tackle building your deck, we have some pointers for you so it goes smoothly. Creating a plan and breaking down the task into steps will be your key to success (and save your sanity, relationships and your piggy bank).
When! What is your timeline? Pick a date to start or another year will pass you by and it will only grow your “deck envy” every time you see your neighbors sitting on their deck with cold drinks in their hands.
Where! Decide where you want your deck.
Measure! What are the critical dimensions? (length, width and height) Will you need stairs?
Deck Materials: This used to be so easy when the only choice was wood. Now you can choose wood, natural surfaces, composite and other artificial decking material.
Research deck design software. Many programs let you experiment with size, colors, shapes, stairs, add a fireplace, fun features, railings and more. You can even look at different decking materials. Some software lets you print the plan in color along with a materials list.
Budget! What does the Piggy Bank Say? Does the deck fit the budget? Most wood DIY decks range from $10-$25 per square foot, depending on your plan. For a wood deck size of 200-500 square feet, the average cost is $5,200 and $11,100.
Building Codes: Building codes MUST be observed. You can check at City Hall or on their website.
Permit: Where you live may require you to have a permit. Permits can run $100 or more. Additionally, some areas may require the plans be reviewed by an engineer. If you live where there is an HOA make sure to check with their architectural committee.
Tools: The right tool makes all the difference. If you don’t have some of the more advanced tools you can rent them. Some of the tools you’ll need are circular saw, framing hammer, cordless drill, chalk lines, string lines, a level, post hole digger and clamps, just to name a few.
When all the hard work is finally finished consider adding personal touches like using paint and color, potted plants, adding a fire pit or giving yourself an excuse to buy new patio furniture!
Most importantly—ENJOY your new outdoor space!