If you polled 100 people, my guess is 78 of them would say "spring" is the best time to build a deck. And while spring deck building has many advantages, I truly believe, from the homeowners perspective, that fall is actually the best time to build a deck. Here's 5 REALLY solid reasons why...
1. IT'S READY FOR NEXT SPRING
Let's be honest, spring time is crazy time for the backyard. People get spring fever and start wanting to tackle all their outdoor projects to get ready for summer. Landscaping, planting, fencing, decking... the list goes on. So it creates a big frenzy all in the name of getting your outdoor space ready to enjoy for the summer.
So what if you just built that deck in the fall, and skipped all the craziness in the spring. Snow melts, deck is ready to enjoy. No last minute planning, running around, working in the mud, standing in a huge line at the store, scrambling to get ready. Sun comes out, deck welcomes you with open arms. It makes for a much more pleasant spring when your big to do list is already done and you can focus on the more enjoyable aspects of the warm weather.
2. AVAILABILITY OF CONTRACTORS
If you're building it yourself, maybe this doesn't apply. But if you're planning to hire someone to build it for you, your experience will be MUCH more pleasant in the fall than the spring. Generally when people decide it's time to get quotes for their deck, it's because they are dreaming of having a deck to enjoy in about a month. If you're making that phone call in April, GOOD LUCK. By the time spring rolls around, the good contractors are usually booking MONTHS out, and the really good ones might be booked all year by then.
And that's not an answer that anyone wants to hear.
April Customer: "Yes, we would like a deck built please. When can you do it?"
Contractor: "Let me check. Looks like late September to early October, should I pencil you in?"
April Customer: "WHAAAAAT? But summer is over by then!!!"
Avoid this scenario. Usually in the fall, many contractors have started to "catch up" because the phone doesn't ring as much in July and August when people are on vacation. So if you call in August or September, you may only have to wait a few weeks for them to start. Now this certainly isn't guaranteed - many good contractors keep themselves booked up quite a ways in advance at all times. But it is absolutely easier to find someone in a reasonable time in the summer/fall than it is in the spring.
3. LESS IMPACT ON YOUR YARD
Some people take great care of their lawn and foliage. And those people don't want it to get beat up and trampled by a construction project. But some trampling is inevitable. Your lawn sees a bunch of extra foot traffic, there are build materials strewn about, there is sawdust, and cut offs, and bits of things that scatter around. The plans and grass can sometimes take a beating. Plus you may not be able to water sufficiently with extra people and tools around all the time.
In the fall, your foliage is getting ready for dormancy. After that first frost, the plants start to go to sleep. This means they are much less affected by this extra traffic than if they were lush and using all their energy to grow. If we push this even a little further in winter, and the ground is frozen, it's almost impossible to damage the greenery in your yard. They will rebound in the spring like nothing happened.
4. SAVE MONEY, BIG TIME SALES
The fall is when retailers start to crack down on their inventory and try to reduce their overhead going into winter. This means they get pretty motived to put on some great sales. You won't find sales like Fall Sales at any other time of the year. While you're likely to pay full retail or close to it in the spring and summer, the fall can save you thousands of dollars on the average deck. Clearance sales of 10%, 20%, 30% or even 40% can often be found in the fall.
In addition to this, deck building materials is a somewhat seasonal business, and the majority of the planning and purchasing happens in the winter for the following season. So this is when manufactures evaluation, and re-price for the following year. And this USUALLY means annual price increases for many products. By purchasing in the fall, not only can you take advantage of some sweet sales, but you also get in before the price increase in the spring.
DOUBLE MONEY SAVINGS, WHAM BAM, THANK YOU MA'AM!
5. WORKABLE WEATHER
This one really matters if you're planning a Do-It-Yourself build. Let me tell you from experience in my years of deck building, that Fall is the only perfect season for deck building:
-Winter sucks. It's cold, and your fingers don't work - neither do your tools.
-Spring sucks. It's muddy, sometimes raining, and sometimes even still snowy. But the mud, ugh, the mud.
-Summer sucks. It's hot as heck and it really takes a toll on your body. An 8 hour day feels like a 16 hour day. And wouldn't you much rather be on the beach?
But FALL, well fall is perfect! The temperatures are much more moderate. I'll take 15-20 degrees Celsius while performing heavy labour over 35+ any day! You can work comfortably in a t-shirt or a hoodie on cooler days. You don't need 6 gallons of water, it hardly rains ever, no mud to contend with, and you're done your summer holidays, so you don't feel like you're missing out on camping.
Listen, we LOVE outdoor living and we love helping people accomplish their backyard goals. Let's be honest, there's never a bad time to invest in your backyard. But Fall really is, the perfect time for so many reasons. If you're still not convinced after reading the above, then drop a comment and let us know why!