The 7 Most Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Building a Deck

A deck being built

Choosing the wrong type of wood or decking material - some materials are more expensive than others and may not last as long.

You're probably thinking, "I'm not a contractor. How am I supposed to know which type of wood or decking material to choose?" 

It can be really confusing and frustrating trying to figure out what kind of materials you need for your deck project - especially if you're not a contractor. There are so many options available, and it's hard to know which ones will last the longest.

When choosing lumber for a deck, you have several factors to consider, such as the climate, the intended use of the deck, and your budget.

Composite material is the best quality and most expensive. It's perfect for people who live in wet climates because it doesn't rot or warp as easily as traditional wood. If you're looking for a more affordable option, consider premium grade lumber, which is still high-quality but not as costly as composite. Being traditional wood, it can be more prone to rotting if not properly maintained. 

If you're looking for an even cheaper alternative, choice grade lumber is a good option. It's made the same way as premium grade but the appearance can have more knots and the surface can feel more rough than premium, Just like premium, it must be maintained each year. A good washing and water sealing will make your deck last for decades to come.

Skimping on construction quality - a well-built deck is worth the investment, so don't try to cut corners here

A quality deck should be built with pressure-treated lumber or composite material, which is resistant to rot and decay. The best way to ensure that the lumber you select is of high quality is to visit your local home improvement store and ask one of the experts for help.

When selecting lumber, it's important to choose boards that are straight and without any major defects such as knots, splits, or warping. In order to avoid having to replace your deck in a few years' time, it's also important to use screws or nails that are corrosion-resistant.

Building a strong deck is all about using the right materials and assembling them in the right way. You'll need to use a combination of wooden beams, metal supports, decking material and screws to create a sturdy structure.

Forgetting to budget for landscaping and lighting around the deck - these features can add significant cost to your overall project.

If you are like most homeowners, you probably think of your deck as an extension of your living space. It's the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. And what's the best way to make it even more enjoyable? By adding some lighting! Deck lighting can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your outdoor space, while also providing safety and security.

Deck lighting options include low-voltage LED deck lights, solar deck lights, and traditional incandescent or CFL deck lights. Some people prefer to use solar-powered lights, which can be a more eco-friendly option. Others might prefer to use lights that are plugged into an outlet, or those that run on batteries.

Home owners also like to use string lights or lanterns to light up their decks. It really depends on your personal preference and what you think will look the best. You can also mix and match different types of lighting to create a unique look for your deck.

Low-voltage LED deck lights are the most popular type of deck lighting because they are energy-efficient, long lasting, and versatile. Traditional incandescent or CFL deck lights are a good option for homeowners who want to save money on their electricity bills.

Not hiring a professional to build your deck - this could lead to costly mistakes and dangerous accidents

There are a few reasons. First, a professional deck builder will have the experience and knowledge to build a deck that is safe and properly supported. They will also have the proper insurance in case something goes wrong during construction.

Second, hiring a professional deck builder will save you time and money in the long run. A professional will be able to get the job done quickly and efficiently, without any costly mistakes.

Finally, a professionally built deck will add value to your home. A well-designed and well-constructed deck can add thousands of dollars to the resale value of your home.

Not budgeting enough money for the project - decks can be expensive, so make sure you have a realistic budget in mind

There are many factors that go into calculating the cost of a deck project, such as the size of the deck, the type of materials used, and whether or not you hire a contractor. However, there are some general rules of thumb that can help give you an idea of what to expect.

It typically costs between $50 and $55 per square foot to build a deck. This price should factor in the cost of materials (decking, railing, balusters, screws, nails, and sealant), as well as the cost of labor if you are hiring a contractor.

Neglecting safety features such as railings and stairs - failing to install these properly can result in serious injuries

If a deck railing isn't installed properly, there's a greater chance of someone falling off the deck. Improperly installed railings can also lead to injuries if someone does happen to fall.

In order to ensure a safe deck, it's important that railing posts are set in concrete and that railings are securely attached to the posts. Railings should also be at least 36 inches high, with balusters no more than 4 inches apart.

Installing deck stairs can be a daunting task. But with the right tools and some instruction, it can be a breeze.

The most important step in installing deck stairs is to make sure that the framing is level and sturdy. Once you have confirmed that the framing is solid, you can begin to measure and cut the pieces of your stair stringers.

It's important to use high quality wood for your deck stairs, as this will ensure that they are durable and long-lasting. Make sure to use screws instead of nails, as screws will provide more strength and stability.

Ignoring zoning restrictions and building codes - make sure you are familiar with all local regulations before starting construction

Deck building codes are important because they help ensure that decks are built to a minimum standard, which helps to keep people safe.

Deck building codes usually require that decks be constructed using specific materials and with certain safety features in place, such as guardrails. By following the codes, builders can be sure that their decks will be safe for people to use. deck building codes vary by location, so it's important to check with your local authorities to find out what the requirements are in your area.

Building a deck can be a fun and rewarding project, but it’s important to avoid making costly mistakes. By following the tips we’ve outlined in this blog post, you can make sure your deck is safe and looks great for years to come. Have any questions about building a deck? Leave them in the comments in the box and we’ll be happy to answer them.

Bonus Tip

How will you know when you've found the right contractor for your project?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to determine whether or not a contractor is right for your project will vary depending on the type of project involved and your goals. However, there are a few key things to look for when choosing a contractor.

First, it's important to ensure that the contractor has the necessary experience and expertise to complete your project successfully. Be sure to look at their google reviews to ensure other clients are having success using them.

It's also important to get a sense of the contractor's personality and working style. Will they be easy to work with? Will they be responsive to your needs? Do you feel like they actually listened to what you wanted to achieve or did they just talk over you the whole time?

Lastly, we all know that having insurance is important and trust me it's necessary and can’t be overlooked but I would say that having a strong presence online is critical. Being able to find your contractor might be really important 2 months after the work is done. Working with a contractor that is interested in helping you solve any problems after the work is done and paid for is worth its weight in gold.

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