Are you considering adding a deck to your home or backyard? A deck can be a serious project, so ensure your new deck build goes smoothly by reading our guide on the things you need to know.

What to consider when building a new deck.

New deck built off the back of a house

The Budget

Before you start sketching ideas or gathering supplies, the budget is the first thing you need to know before building a new deck. That last thing you want is for your deck project to turn into a financial quagmire or a money pit—and a clear and strict budget will help you avoid that.

Having a clear budget will also help you decide later about your new deck’s size, design, and materials. You’ll want to give yourself a little wiggle room in your budget should some things go wrong, but you’ll also want to stay below the budget as much as possible.

Why You Want a Deck

What’s the purpose of your new deck, and why do you want it? Will it be a simple deck for outdoor dining or a space for entertaining guests and throwing parties?

Perhaps it’s all of the above! Whatever the reason, make sure you and everyone involved in the project agree about the function of the new deck. Once you’ve got the answers to these straightforward questions, the other decisions regarding the deck will be much clearer.

Is This a DIY Project?

Are you handy enough to take on a project the size of building a deck yourself? If you think so, you better be sure because you don’t want to get halfway through and realize you’re not sure what you’re doing!

A deck may seem simple, but it’s no walk in the park! Making it a DIY project will save you money, but it won’t mean much if you’re incapable of finishing the job.

Pro Tip: You can always pick and choose parts of the job to DIY, leaving the more challenging aspects to professionals so you can still save money and get a quality deck.

Your Material Options

You may have always imagined your new deck would be default hardwood, but you don’t want to limit yourself from the many available material options. There are many options for a deck besides organic wood—each with its advantages and disadvantages.

Due to its many benefits, more homeowners are opting for PVC or poly lumber over traditional wood for their new decks. Plastic lumber may be more expensive initially, but it can last twice as long as a wood deck with minimal maintenance.

The Needed Paperwork

The last thing you should figure out before beginning construction is the paperwork. You can’t simply start building a deck for home—there are likely ordinances and regulations from your city and county you’ll have to follow first.

You don’t want your new deck to result in a fine! Make sure you take a trip down to city hall to secure the needed permits and paperwork before construction begins.