Ever thought about building a deck by yourself? If you’re handy with tools, the idea of DIY deck construction might seem like a great way to save money—and maybe even personalize your outdoor space exactly to your liking. But don’t rush into it just yet.
When it comes to deck building and deck builders, there’s more to consider than just the initial cost and design.
Let’s break down whether you should tackle this as a
6 Best Reasons to DIY a project or if hiring a pro to build a deck is a wiser choice.
1. Understanding permits, codes, and inspections
Getting the right permits is the most important first step before you start any construction. before you start any construction.
While it might be tempting to skip this step, doing so can lead to big headaches later. If you don’t get a permit, you could end up with fines or—worse, must take down your deck.
Aside from a building permit, you may also need to obtain other approvals.
- If your deck has any electrical wiring, such as for lighting or outlets, you may need to obtain an electrical permit.
- If your deck has any plumbing (such as for a hot tub), you may need to obtain a plumbing permit.
- And if your property is part of a homeowner’s association, you may need to obtain approval from the association before you can build your deck.
You don’t need a contractor’s license to secure a deck permit, but you will need to submit detailed plans and have a good grasp of building codes.
Understanding regulations (such as joist sizing, decking patterns, and stairway details) is essential for compliance and safety. Got your permit? It’s not over yet.
You also need to prepare for a series of inspections throughout your building. Coordinating these with your schedule can be a bit of a dance, especially if you’re working full-time.
As you can see, handling permits and inspections can be overwhelming if you’re not familiar with the construction world or if you’re juggling a busy life.
The good news is that professional deck builders can take the burden off your shoulders. They do this day in and day out, so they can navigate the process smoothly and efficiently.
2. Choosing materials like a pro
There are more choices than ever for decking materials these days. But knowing which type to use—and when—is crucial in building a deck that stands the test of time.
Get this wrong and you might need to rebuild sooner than you think. Experienced contractors go beyond just knowing how to build a deck. They also understand local environmental factors and materials best suited for your area’s climate.
They’ve built decks of various shapes and sizes, so they can ensure that your structure isn’t just up to code but is also built to last for years to come.
3. The Real Cost of Deck Materials
Did you know that buying deck materials yourself is generally more expensive than buying them from a contractor?
That’s because contractors usually have bulk buying and trade discounts from deck material manufacturers.
Their long-standing relationships with suppliers give them access to lower costs. So, on average, you could end up paying more for materials as a DIYer.
Deck builders often get better deals—even with their markup. Aside from buying materials, you also need to think about delivery and storage.
These factors add to the costs of building a deck yourself. Where will you keep everything?
Be careful: Improper storage can lead to warping and damage that can affect your deck’s integrity and appearance.
Dealing with material sourcing, delivery, and storage is no small feat. Professional deck builders have the crew and know-how to manage this smoothly.
4. Dealing with waste and debris
You will need to rent a dumpster, especially if you’re taking down an old deck or dealing with a lot of scraps.
The longer it takes to finish your project, the higher the rental cost.
Because professional builders work fast, that dumpster won’t be sitting too long on your property. Efficient work equals cost savings for you.
5. Accessing tools for the job
Building a deck requires a variety of tools.
These include a miter saw, circular saw, jigsaw, power drill, impact driver, nail gun, compressor, framing hammer, tape measure, chalk line, shovels, various clamps, carpenter levels, and flat prybars—and that’s just naming a few.
If you’re new to this, the cost of buying or renting them can add up quickly. Deck builders have all the tools needed for the job, so you don’t have to worry about that extra expense.
6. Finishing your project
Realistically, how much time can you dedicate to this project? Many DIY deck builders are surprised that the process takes longer and is a lot more stressful than anticipated.
Professionals build decks for a living, so they’re faster and more adept at solving problems before they even arise. If time is a concern, then hiring a pro is your best bet.
Related Blog: Best Deck Ideas for Your Home this Spring Season
So, should you hire a deck builder?
Building your own deck is doable, but it’s not without its challenges. Understanding the cost to build a deck yourself versus hiring a pro is crucial.
And if you go the DIY route, make sure you have the tools needed to build a deck ready. In contrast, hiring a professional streamline the entire process, from planning to execution.
Don’t worry—you’ll still play a big role in the design and material choices. The result is a deck that reflects your personal style and functional needs.
How to hire a contractor to build a deck
Need a deck contractor? Check out the complete guide to help you find the best deck-building company near you.
Outdoor Cedar Structures LLC specializes in deck design and installation. We work closely with clients in and around Spokane. If you’re considering hiring a contractor for your deck project, schedule a free design consultation with our experts!