How is your to-do list shaping up this winter? It may not be possible to do all the projects you want to do, since the temperatures are cold and the snow is flying. But for a lot of homeowners, this is a perfect chance to make plans. It’s a good time to build lists, consider DIY projects, and get ready for spring. When the snow melts, you’ll be ready to go.
Outdoor decks are a project that so many homeowners consider during the winter. Why? Because if a new deck is built right away in the spring, you have the entire warm season to use it for entertaining, relaxing, exercising, dining, or any combination thereof. Outdoor decks are a versatile addition to your home’s functional square footage, and the summer months are when people tend to use their decks the most.
If you’re considering a new, custom-built outdoor deck this spring, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Here are three of the most important:
1. Materials matter
Remember – it’s not just about natural wood anymore. Composite materials are more accessible and versatile than ever, and they give your deck a longer life span while virtually eliminating all maintenance requirements. If you do choose a hardwood deck, make sure you know what kind of maintenance is involved. Most hardwood decks should be sealed and stained every two years or so. Choosing the right material for your deck may seem like an added complication, but you’ll be happy you put the effort in. Asking an established decking company for advice is a good idea at this juncture.
2. Built-in amenities are not as far-fetched as you think
People often assume they can’t afford a “fancy” deck with things like a built-in fireplace or built-in seating. A plain and simple design often seems like the only way to stay within the established budget. But a highly skilled contractor should be able to offer some great ideas on how to get more deck without increasing the budget – or without increasing it by much. Don’t be afraid to think big and find out what it would cost – you might be surprised!
3. Having the right contractor makes all the difference
Speaking of contractors, your deck project will go a hundred times more smoothly if you pick a good one. Experienced deck builders know that their own reputation is directly tied to your long-term satisfaction, so they don’t cut corners and they communicate openly. When researching contractors in your area, look for a pattern of positive reviews, courteous and prompt communication, and other clear signs of professionalism.
Who is building your outdoor deck?
If you’re planning to attempt to build a new outdoor deck yourself, you should have plenty of experience in construction or remodeling work. You should also be aware that DIY deck building often ends up costing people more than hiring a professional contractor. This is due to the various tools and materials that are needed, plus the fact that mistakes often set the project back. A professional contractor is the best way to make sure you get the results you really want, on time and within the established budget. Not all contractors are equally skilled and reputable, so be meticulous in your search for the best deck builders in your area.