So, you’re thinking about building a deck. It’s a wonderful addition to any home, providing a comfortable outdoor space for entertainment, relaxation, and even adding to your property’s resale value. However, one question remains: how long will it take to build?
The answer isn’t quite straightforward as several factors influence the construction timeline. The project’s scale, design complexity, material type, weather conditions, and your expertise or the experience of your hired professionals can all affect the duration of the build.
However, we can provide some general estimates for different deck sizes to help you plan.
Small Decks (Up to 200 Square Feet)
Small decks are an excellent addition to compact homes or those looking for a cozy outdoor retreat. These projects are often simpler, involving fewer materials and less complex designs.
For a basic rectangular or square deck without any intricate details or features, a professional contractor might take 1-3 days to complete it, depending on the materials used. Softwood decks usually take less time than composite or hardwood decks, given the latter’s more involved installation process.
DIY enthusiasts with some previous experience might need a weekend or two to finish a small deck. Remember to include time for preparation and cleanup.
Medium Decks (200 to 500 Square Feet)
Medium-sized decks are common for most suburban homes, providing ample space for a dining set, grill, and some lounge chairs. The complexity of these decks varies. Some homeowners might prefer a simple design, while others might want multiple levels, built-in seating, or even a fire pit.
Professionals could complete a medium-sized, moderately complex deck in 3-7 days. Again, the exact time frame depends on the specifics of the design and the materials used.
For the DIY route, expect the project to stretch over several weekends. With careful planning and a bit of hard work, though, it can be a rewarding project.
Large Decks (Over 500 Square Feet)
Large decks are a significant undertaking. These decks often include multiple levels, intricate design features, and can accommodate extensive outdoor furniture setups. Some even extend around a pool or include a covered area for all-weather use.
For a professional contractor, such a project could take anywhere from 1-3 weeks, depending on the complexity and the specifics of the design. Composite decks will generally require a longer installation time due to their complexity.
DIYers should be aware that a project of this size is quite an undertaking. It will require a significant time commitment and a high level of skill. We’re talking about several weeks to a few months of work. If you’re not sure about tackling such a project on your own, it might be best to hire a professional.
Remember, these are rough estimates. Every deck project is unique, with its own set of challenges and considerations. The key is planning. Invest some time in sketching out your vision, considering your material choices, and, if necessary, talking with professionals.
This way, you’ll be well-prepared for the journey ahead and can soon enjoy the fruits of your labor: a beautiful, inviting outdoor space that adds charm and functionality to your home.
Always remember to check with your local building department about any necessary permits or inspections required before you start your project. Happy building!
Pro Tips to Speed Up Deck Building
Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, the process of building a deck can be time-consuming. However, certain strategies and practices can help expedite the process without compromising the quality of the build.
Here are some tips to make building a deck go faster:
- Pre-Planning: Having a solid plan before you start building will save time and help avoid costly mistakes. This includes mapping out your design, knowing the size and location, choosing the right materials, and understanding the building code regulations in your area.
- Gather All Materials and Tools in Advance: Nothing slows down a project like realizing you’re missing a crucial tool or material halfway through the build. Make a comprehensive list of everything you need and make sure it’s all on-site before you start.
- Use Pre-Fabricated Materials: Using pre-fabricated or pre-cut materials can significantly speed up the process. Pregrooved deck boards, stair stringers, and railings can be a bit more expensive, but the time savings might be worth the cost.
- Efficient Layout and Measuring Techniques: Use a builder’s square to ensure your corners are right angles, and use string lines to make sure everything is straight and parallel. Also, investing in a laser level can make setting the height of posts and beams much quicker and more accurate.
- Work in Teams: Deck building is quicker and easier with more hands. If you’re doing it yourself, consider getting a friend or family member to help out. If you’re hiring a contractor, a well-coordinated team can work significantly faster than a single person.
- Use Quality Tools: High-quality tools not only last longer, but they can also make the job go faster. Cordless drills, circular saws, and pneumatic nail guns can speed up the building process.
- Pre-Drill Holes: Pre-drilling holes for screws can prevent wood from splitting and make it easier to drive in screws, particularly in hardwoods. While it might seem like an extra step, it can actually save time in the long run.
- Hidden Fasteners: Using hidden fasteners with pregrooved decking greatly increases installation time. Our hardwood decking is available pregrooved for hidden fasteners so no only do you get a deck surface with no visible screws in the surface but it installs twice as fast since you only drive one screw rather than two through the face of the deck board.
- Stay Organized: Keep your workspace clean and organized. Knowing where your tools and materials are at all times can save you a surprising amount of time.
Remember, while it’s understandable to want to finish your deck quickly, it’s essential not to rush the process so much that you compromise safety or quality. The goal is to end up with a sturdy, beautiful deck that you can enjoy for many years to come.