You’ve been dreaming about it for a while now, and you know that your deck needs redoing. The wood is worn out in some places, the railings need replacing, and there are just too many splinters to count. But how do you get started? Where do you start looking for a good contractor? What should they charge? And what will they actually be doing to your deck when they show up with their tools in hand? Don’t worry–we have all the answers! We’ve compiled this guide from our experience as a company who specializes in decks so that YOU don’t have to learn everything the hard way. We’ll walk you through the deck design and construction process step by step so that you can be comfortable with your decision to hire a contractor and know what to expect.
The Process of Building a Deck
Your first question is probably “Where do I start?”, and we’re happy to say that there’s no need for guesswork. Your deck will follow a process that is similar for most companies, with one or two variations depending on the design of your deck. This process might be broken down into three parts:
Step 1 – Planning & Design
This is an early stage where You Deck Pros will meet with you to determine what materials you want to use and help plan the structure of your deck. We will discuss the dimensions of your deck, pick a design that fits your needs, and create plans for your deck.
Step 2 – Building Your Deck
Once you have approved the design, we’ll get to work on building your new deck. If necessary, this step will require us to remove any old or damaged wood, put supports in place, and set the foundation for your new deck.
Step 3 – Finish Work & Cleanup
Now that you have a sturdy, beautiful new deck it’s time to cover up any exposed nails or screws with caps, remove any old boards or nails that are sticking out of your deck, and apply finish work such as paint or stain. Once your deck is finished it’s time to relax and show off your new space!
Would you like to start a project with us?
Helpful Tips For The Deck Design & Construction Process
There are a few things you can do to make this process go as smoothly as possible.
First, try not to pick out materials until step 1 (Design). Most companies will provide you with an estimate for materials before they begin working, so it’s best to wait until you have a company picked out that you know will do the job well, then choose your design.
Second, be sure that you are clear about what YOUR expectations are. If there is something specific you want done (like railing on one side of the deck but not the other) make sure you mention it. If they don’t want to work with your needs, try another contractor.
Third, be ready to compromise on certain aspects of your project! You are paying for this service after all, so if the contractor knows that the sky is the limit then they may price themselves out of a job. For example, perhaps you want a deck that is a little bigger than what would be considered normal for your space, but the contractor knows that they can only add two square inches to the design without charging more. You may have to drop one of your ‘wish list’ items to make this project work within your budget.
Fourth, try to get at least three different quotes from companies so that you can get a good idea of what the average cost is for the work. This will help you budget out your project and stay within your budget without coming up short!
Fifth, keep in mind if you’re doing an extensive deck re-build (more than half) then it may be best to hire a general contractor or custom home builder, as they will have more experience and can oversee all aspects of building your deck.
Finally, don’t forget to have fun! This is a big investment and will be a huge improvement for your home so take your time and enjoy the process.
The Deck Design Process
Once you have chosen a contractor that has built decks in the past there are some factors that need to be considered before going into planning. First, consider how your backyard is connected. For instance, if you have a small yard it might be best to connect your deck directly to the house rather than by stairs or other means. If this isn’t possible, make sure that the deck doesn’t disrupt the flow of your living space (e.g., no decks blocking doorways.)
Next consider where the deck will be the most useful. If you have a pool, is your deck going to be directly next to it? If so then you’ll need a way to access the pool easily from your deck! Will your children use the deck as a safe place to play? Then make sure that there are no nails sticking out or any other hazards for their safety. Are you hoping to entertain guests out on the deck? Make sure that there is enough space for everyone, and be sure to consider which views would best show off your property.
Once you have answered all of these questions, you should have a solid idea of what kind of deck will meet your needs best. Again, if it seems like your deck will cost too much money to build then be sure to let the contractor know you can’t afford it before they spend a lot of time on it.