"But wait Shane, you said FALL was the best time to build a deck!?"
Yes. Yes I did. But just because Fall is almost over, that doesn't mean you need to give up on getting that deck built. I completely understand that 0.01% of Do-It-Yourself deck builders are thinking building a deck in the snow is something they want to do with their winter weekends. But if you're planning on hiring a contractor for your project anyway, then winter is still in play to get ready for 'deck beers' in the spring.
If we've said it once, we've said it a thousand times. Everyone thinks Spring is the is the best time to build a deck. Wrong. Spring is the best time to HAVE a deck. Spring is arguably the worst time to build a deck. The best time to shop at Costco is during a Roughrider game - because the crowds are low. You can enjoy the process and not be super stressed out. Costco on Saturday is spring. Costco during a Rider game is winter.
Let's get to it...
1. READY TO ROCK IN THE SPRING
When the thaw happens, go outside and enjoy it! If your deck was completed in January, then you're ready to use it and enjoy it when the sun shines - rather then entering the anxiety filled rat-race of trying to book in a project during the busiest time of the year!
2. YOU AREN'T OUT THERE ITCHING TO USE IT
It can be VERY stressful when you're watching summer tick away and your project is experiencing delays. Nobody wants to spend all summer waiting to get their deck finished - you want to enjoy it! But in the middle of winter, you're not wanting to be out on the deck anyway. So if there are material delays, or issues that arise, it's less likely to be a source of stress. A time over-run doesn't really affect you.
3. NO BIG EVENTS TO STRESS YOU OUT
One of the most stress inducing scenarios for both the homeowner and the contractor, is having an "event deadline." A wedding, a graduation party, a family reunion - these are all events where people want to spruce up their space to entertain, but they all had hard deadlines. And if things happen (material delays, construction delays, unforseen circumstances, etc) then the stress blows the roof off. There is so much at stake. And let's be honest, the odds of having delays or a few bumps in the road, are higher than not having any. Winter creates a nice buffer of time before you have any major events planned.
4. DECKING CONTRACTORS WORK YEAR ROUND
Not all of them, but some do. House framers frame all winter and nobody thinks twice. Some of our best decking contractors work 12 months of the year, which means they keep sharp on their craft. But obviously they are less busy than the other 3 seasons. So you really get their undivided attention to your project. Maybe brew them up a cup of hot chocolate once in a while :) . Now keep in mind, that most winter builders do have some parameters around what they consider workable conditions, so if it's -40 and blowing, you're going to miss a day. But that's okay, see points 2 and 3.
5. NO IMPACT ON YOUR YARD
We mentioned in our last article that a Fall build has less impact on your yard. Well winter has virtually no impact on your yard. Your greenery is all dormant and the ground is frozen. The foot traffic and construction activity will go largely unnoticed by your foliage.
6. BEAT THE PRICE INCREASE
The winter can still find you some great deals on products. Look no further than our very own Black Friday, Cyber Monday, 12 Days of Christmas, and Year End Clearance Sales. There is some MAJOR dollars to be saved all winter, and especially around those sales. But here's the second angle on that: nearly every year, there are price increases that come down from the manufacturers. And 2022 is looking much the same. Inflation is cruising along, and many of the price increase notices we have seen so far have been in the neighbourhood of 10-15% on the low end. So if you combine those increases, with the current sales, your materials cost will be a LOT less in the winter rather than waiting for spring.
7. BUILDING PERMITS ARE QUICKER
Spring time means the local building department gets very backed up and you may be waiting 4-6 weeks for a permit (or longer in some areas). But in the winter, the construction season is slower - which means you're likely to see your building permit back in about a week or two.
So what are you waiting for? You can save lots of money and be way less stressed. Seems like a win-win to me. Leave the cold weather and dressing warm to the contractors, they're used to it. You can sit inside where it's warm and cozy, and watch your 2022 "Best Summer Ever" unfold before your eyes!