We live in the golden age of do-it-yourself projects around the home — and the reasons for this are fairly obvious. Never before have so many people had so much access to such a diversity of information. And it’s not just the ability to absorb all of that instructional content, instantly and with no limits. It’s also the ability to contribute and share information about your own projects. Anyone can develop their own DIY knowledge and share it with the world.
This is a double-edged sword. It means there is a ton of great information out there, but it also means there is quite a bit of misinformation. It’s just as easy to find good, correct ways of completing projects as it is to stumble upon faulty methods that end up costing you time and money.
How does all of this translate to the prospect of building your own outdoor deck? A lot of people find themselves asking a simple question: Is it really all that difficult to build my own deck? Since people are doing everything themselves these days, and since I can watch detailed instructional content on how to go about this project, what’s stopping me from undertaking it myself?
There are a couple of big answers to these questions. The first thing to be aware of is that building a new outdoor deck probably requires special permits from your local authorities, and obtaining this permission involves having detailed plans about what you’re going to build and how it conforms to local building codes.
If you get through that part of it, you’ve at least got the conceptual foundation for your deck. Now you’re faced with the task of choosing and procuring all of the necessary materials, which is a task in itself. Will it be composite or natural wood? Will you have special amenities like built-in seating or a fireplace, or are you talking about a more basic design?
Prepping the work site comes next. If you don’t complete this step properly, it will be a problem later on. Once everything is prepped and ready to go, it’s time to execute. If you have experience in building and renovation, and are very handy with tools, you might embrace this part of the process. But if you lack experience, the time and stress involved can quickly snowball — and you might find yourself with a much bigger hassle than you bargained for.
Maintaining your deck is also important, depending on the materials you used to build it. You’ll also lack the written guarantee that most professional offer, so that any repairs or issues with craftsmanship will rest entirely with you.
It’s not that we’re trying to dissuade people from building their own outdoor decks. If you’re really excited about doing this project yourself, DIY is definitely worth looking into. It’s always a good idea, however, to be realistic about the size and scope of the project you’re undertaking. One of the most common reasons why people “give up” on a DIY outdoor deck project is because they didn’t have a clear understanding of what it takes to bring this project to a successful completion, within the set budget and within a reasonable amount of time. It’s definitely worth looking to hiring a qualified professional to handle this project for you — but if you decide to go DIY, just make sure you have all the necessary permission, and make sure you have a realistic view on what it’s going to take. Good luck!