If you’ve ever dreamt of building your own deck, most big box home improvement stores offer digital renderings that can allow you to create and customize your very own outdoor living space. What the stores fail to disclose is the amount of time, money, and skills needed to tackle this type of DIY endeavor. If you’re toying with the idea of building your own deck, it’s important to understand the below details.
Warranty Considerations: While many manufacturers of composite decking offer impressive warranties, these warranties are voided if the installers stray from the specific instructions that accompany the decking materials. This means if the decking fails prematurely the manufacturer is under no legal obligation to pay out a warranty claim.
Tools: Building a deck requires an arsenal of tools including a jigsaw, miter saw, and safety equipment. If you don’t already own these items, purchasing them for a one-time use can quickly add to the project’s overall cost.
Time Investment: For those with full-time jobs, DIYing their deck means carving out time on nights and weekends to chip away at this project. This means it could take weeks or even months to complete the deck, depending on the complexity of the project. Bear in mind that you will need assistance with setting beams and framing the deck.
Building Codes: Local municipalities have specific codes surrounding deck building. Even something seemingly as trivial as railings can have written code that dictates the required spacing between balusters and height specifications.
Drainage Concerns: Without a working knowledge of drainage, there is the potential to create a scenario where water is filtered into your basement instead of away from it.
Safety Concerns: An expertly crafted deck will have no issue reaching the intended lifespan of the material that was used. However, a rookie DIYer can easily make mistakes that can lead to the eventual collapse of the deck, severely injuring those that are using it. It’s also easy for those who don’t regularly use power tools to accidentally harm themselves during the deck building process.
Go Behind the Scenes on a Composite Deck Built by Our Craftsmen:
Costs: In theory, you can save on labor costs by building your own deck. However, if you botch the job and need to call in a quality pro for help, it’s highly probable that you’ll experience a long lead time before they can assist due to high demand. In addition, the decking contractor may identify areas of the deck not built to code that need to be redone, which will also add to their final price. Lastly, decking contractors can buy their materials in bulk and homeowners are stuck paying retail prices.