A new deck is a beautiful way to add value and function to your home. But if you’re debating between having it installed professionally or getting on YouTube for videos in an attempt to do it yourself, it’s worth thinking through the pros and cons of both options. While DIY decks can seem like a great way to save money, many homeowners find themselves in over their heads before the project is finished—and it can be hard to find a builder who’s willing to get involved on a project that’s gone off the rails. To help you decide whether you should have your deck professionally installed or DIY, we’re sharing a little food for thought.
A DIY Deck Probably Won’t Save You Money
The biggest appeal for a DIY deck is the savings. But unless you have all of the tools you need, you’ll be spending more than you think. To build a deck properly, you’ll need tools like a circular saw, hand saw, chalk line, power drill, level and a good tape measure. If those aren’t already in your toolkit and you won’t be able to borrow them, you’ll need to rent them. If that’s not an option, you’ll have to buy them outright, which drives up the cost of this project.
Codes, Permits and Compliance
Local building codes apply to almost any other project, and a deck may or may require permitting. Here in Reno, it depends on whether or not it’s attached to your home and if it’s tall enough to require a rail. In that case, it’ll need to be engineered, which means drawings and permits. If you DIY a deck, it may not be compliant with local building codes unless you’re willing to get drawings made and approved with the city. Calling in a professional after you’ve begun a deck build without checking all the boxes first can be problematic. Many deck installers won’t work on these projects unless they’re redoing the work completely, because they didn’t pull the permits or supply the materials. What’s more, experienced installers often have full schedules, which means your partially complete deck will sit for weeks or months on end until the pros can get to it.
Quality of Materials
Getting your materials from the local hardware store is fine. But experienced companies like Golden Eagle Builders have established relationships with major manufacturers and access to premium materials for different parts of the deck structure. That ensures a better quality project when all is said and done.
Experience and Skill Set
A deck build tends to be a lengthy process with intricate steps, particularly when it comes to the frame. The height and slope of the yard, features like stairs and railings, and unfamiliar materials are all areas that are prime for disaster in inexperienced hands. An experienced contractor can offer recommendations, answer questions about permits and engineering, and provide a comprehensive estimate to help you decide which option is best for your deck build.
In Reno and Sparks, Golden Eagle Builders has designed and installed dozens of beautiful decks, and we’d love to be involved with yours. This is a great time of year to reach out about a new deck, so contact our team today and let’s discuss the complexity and requirements of your project.