Factors to Consider When Building a Deck: The Top 5 Influences on the Deck Building Cycle
There are few things more enjoyable than watching the summer sun set with your friends and family as you linger over the last bites of a barbecue dinner out on your very own deck. Building a deck is a time-honored American tradition that can enhance the attractiveness of and up the resale value of your home. They come in many shapes and sizes, and can perform a range of functions, from serving as a peaceful alfresco living room to a bustling outdoor entertainment center.
Before embarking on a screened porch venture of your own, consider the following factors and how they may influence your build time.
- Larger screen porch projects naturally take longer to complete. Generally, a 300-square-foot deck takes about a week to build if you include the time it takes to install ceiling fans, recess lights, and other electrical components.
- By comparison, a screened-in porch of the same size can take twice as long. Elevated projects that require scaffolding or ladders may also take more than a week.
- Building a porch safely and efficiently requires a construction team of at least four workers. A smaller team may struggle to handle heavy beams and building materials in a safe and productive manner, and the timeliness of the deck’s completion will suffer accordingly. Teams should be trained and experienced in working together so each member is aware of what the others are doing at any given time.
- Certain types of hardwood—such as exotic woods like teak or ipe— are more difficult and time-consuming to install. Similarly, composite decking can require more time and effort to work with since such materials are significantly heavier than commonly used woods like pine and cedar. If the project involves metal and welding, this can also add a number of hours or even days to the project.
- Installing custom stairs, railings, and doors can be a complex task for your screen porch and can tack on several days of construction.
Any expert construction crew will keep a variety of appropriate tools handy to prepare for any situation that may arise. Employing a well-organized team that is malleable under changing circumstances will help avoid time wasted fumbling around for tools or on last minute Home Depot runs.
Each site is unique and comes with its own building hurdles in the forms of trees, rocky soil, and other obstacles. If the soil is not deep enough for instance, the crew may have to reinforce posts to ensure a stable foundation. With uneven land, builders may also take additional time when setting deck posts as a precautionary measure.
Harsh weather conditions are unpredictable, but a reliable crew will know how to employ tarps to minimize downtime and handle the rain and snow. While this type of measure takes time to enact, it will ultimately save time when the weather passes through. Keep in mind that material limitations will prevent even the most dedicated crews from working in tougher conditions.
Installing a deck is a wonderful way to improve the beauty and overall appeal of your home, but make sure you trust your contractor to do the job correctly and timely regardless of the circumstances.