What To Understand Before Starting A DIY Deck


Debating between having a new deck installed professionally for your Reno or Sparks home, or going the DIY route? DIY decks can seem like a great way to save money, but many homeowners find themselves in over their heads before the project is finished. What’s more, many builders may not be willing to get involved in a DIY deck project gone wrong. While it’s certainly doable if you have the tools and the experience, here’s what to understand before starting a DIY deck.

A DIY Deck Isn’t Likely To Save You Money

For most people, saving money is the biggest draw for a DIY deck. But if you don’t already have all of the tools you need, you’ll probably be spending more than you think. Building a tool properly requires tools: circular and hand saws, chalk line, power drill, level and a good tape measure. If you already have access to this equipment, you’ll need to rent or buy them outright, which adds a lot to the bottom line of this project.

Be Clear On Codes, Permits and Compliance

Permitting for a new deck could be required, depending on whether or not it’s attached to your home and if it’s tall enough to require a rail. If that’s the case, it’ll need to be engineered, which means drawings and permits (and a higher price tag). If you DIY a deck without having drawings made and approved by the city, it may not be compliant with local building codes. That can pose a serious issue when it comes time to sell your home.

Then there’s the risk you take by starting a deck yourself and trying to hire a professional halfway through the job. Because they didn’t pull the permits or supply the materials themselves, many deck installers won’t work on these projects unless they can redo the work completely. Experienced installers often have full schedules, especially during the summer, which means your partially completed deck will sit for weeks or months on end until the pros can get to it.

Material Quality

Getting your materials from the local hardware store isn’t necessarily an issue. But experienced companies like Golden Eagle Builders have established relationships with major manufacturers, which means access to premium materials for different parts of the deck structure. The different in material quality means a higher quality deck project. 

Experience and Expertise

Deck builds may seem straightforward, but it can be a lengthy process with intricate steps, especially during the framing stage. If you don’t know what you’re doing, details like the yard height and slope, stairs and railings, and unfamiliar materials can create all sorts of issues. But an experienced contractor can offer guidance and recommendations, answer questions about permits and engineering, and create a detailed estimate to help you decide which option is best for your deck build.

In Reno and Sparks, Golden Eagle Builders has designed and installed a number of beautiful decks for very happy customers. We’d love to help with yours as well. Contact our team today and let’s discuss your deck project.