If you are planning on building a deck this summer, your first instinct may be to pick up the phone, call a few contractors, and go with the one who quotes you the best price. Going for the cheapest contractor is not always the best way to go about new additions to your home, and a deck is one of those types of additions that, while attractive and useful, also requires maintenance and other considerations before building can commence.
So before calling those contractors, consider these five important items before choosing how to build your deck this summer.
Treated vs Composite Boards
If you are looking to save money upfront, pressure-treated boards are the cheapest option to go with. However, decks can break down pretty quickly, as they are prone to weathering and degradation by insects. Decks built with pressure-treated boards require yearly staining and cleaning to stave this off, while composite boards do not require this level of maintenance, but cost more upfront.
Buyers interested in saving money in the short-term would want to go with the treated wood, while those interested in saving money over the long-term in cleaner and stain would want to get composite boards.
Keep it Simple
Depending on where you live, building codes may dictate how high your deck can be from the ground before it is in violation. Checking with your local office before building is a good idea, and so is keeping your build simple. A deck with varying heights and multiple features is more likely to run afoul of your local building codes, so be sure you know what you would like to build ahead of time.
Stairs Can Also Serve as Shade
If a double-decker deck is indeed in the cards for construction, stairs themselves can also provide dappled shade when properly placed. While planning, be sure to check the trajectory of the sun in relation to your plans to see where the shadows will land during various points of the day, then plan accordingly.
Pallet Wood Can Be Used in a Pinch
If you happen to have access to a cache of pallet wood and some stain, some intrepid DIYers have been able to construct fully functional and attractive decks out of repurposed wood and materials that they already had on hand. An excellent idea for someone who has both the tools, materials, and time, this can also work for someone who knows someone who has these items as well.
Rent Specialty Tools
If you do not plan on doing woodwork in the future, renting your tools for the day may be a good economic decision rather than having them languish unused in a garage or tool shed. The daily rate to rent out a jigsaw or rotary saw is significantly cheaper than buying any of them outright, and fortunately, building a deck is a job that many DIYers can complete over the weekend.