It can be harder than you think to decide when to build a new deck or patio. Because timing can have a big effect on many things, from the cost of the project to the quality of the results. So, it will take some thought to figure out the best time of year to put in a patio and the best time of year to build a deck. But what should you think about to make a good choice?
5 Reasons: Why You Should Build Your Deck in Fall or Winter
It's easy to think of a few benefits of building a deck in the summer, which is why so many people choose to start building at that time. But because so many people do it during peak season, the best time to build a deck may actually be in the fall or winter. That, however, depends on the following:
Beat the Rush
Planning and getting ready can be helpful. Most of the time, the best deck and patio projects are planned and scheduled at least a few weeks, if not months, in advance. Just getting the permits can take weeks, but you won't usually have to wait too long during the off-season.
Even if you don't need a permit, building a deck in the winter could make it easier to find the materials you need. Even though common deck framing lumber is a standard item in a lumber yard, there can be problems with the supply chain. Also, there is a lot of demand for contractors, so it will probably take some planning and preparation to find a good one. Start by learning what kinds of questions you should ask a deck contractor.
Building a deck off-season can save you money. Supply and demand play a role. Contractors may give deals before winter because it's slow. Good contractors can be contracted 6–9 or 12 months out. They don't need to decrease prices because of high demand. Seasons affect the cost of common and unique building materials, with costs rising during peak times.
Winter is the perfect season to create a cheap deck. The amount you can save on costs varies on the project's size, but you can use our deck cost calculator to get an idea.
Reduce Impact on Landscaping
If you take time in the spring to make your lawn look nice, the end of the season is probably the best time to build a deck. Even if your design doesn't include landscaping, any new construction project can create its own messes and risks. It makes a lot of sense to wait until the beauty of your yard isn't as important.
You might also want to design your deck or patio with landscaping in mind. For example, flower beds, flower pots, and other similar things can make your deck look and feel better. So, if you start your project in the fall or winter, you'll be ready for the next season. It might be too late to plant if you start in the summer.
Take Advantage of Good Conditions for Building a Deck
Colder months are often the finest times to build a deck. Spring rains are common in the U.S. The top layer of soil can get wetter, and if there's clay below, the water may soften it.
Many U.S. regions have mild winters. Most days, deck builders can work in the South, Southeast, Southwest, and West Coast. Other sections of the country can be freezing for months. In these regions, deck foundations must be in place before the earth freezes and snow falls.
Some materials benefit more from seasonality. How about building a wood deck? Wood is usually always easy to work with. Staining or finishing a winter-built deck may be difficult. Read labels before applying liquids to wood. Ensure the temperature doesn't drop. Most deck stain labels and instructions recommend applying them between 50°F and 90°F.
You Won’t Have To Wait To Enjoy Your New Deck
No one knows how long deck construction takes. The size and complexity matter. It depends on the deck builder's skill and the ship's size. Professional deck builders can build a 12x16-foot deck with steps in one week. Larger, multi-level decks with steps, curves, and built-in elements like planter boxes or benches can take a month to finish.
If you build in the middle to late summer, you may not be able to use your deck until next year. In the fall or winter, you'll enjoy an entire outdoor living season.
You can still use a deck in winter. Winter decks can be enjoyed in various ways. Lighting, chairs, enclosures, and heaters all extend the use of your outdoor space. Most of them take preparation, so consider how you can use your deck in the winter.
What to Consider When Building a Deck in Winter or Fall
There are a few things to think about when building a deck in the fall or winter, but it mostly comes down to two things:
Weather could cause delays. If you start early in the season, you can usually avoid snow and ice. But if bad weather can't be avoided, it can slow down construction.
How cold temperatures and weather affect materials – Composites, wood, and other materials all have different ways of dealing with high or low temperatures. Depending on the material, you may need to make some changes.
For example, can composite decking be put in place when it's cold outside? Short answer: yes. But you'll need to let the boards adjust to the temperature before putting them down, and you may also need to move them depending on how hot or cold it is outside.