Deck and Patio Blog

5 Tips for Building a Deck on a Budget

December 16, 2014

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Do you feel like your Maryland home isn’t complete without a deck? A deck, indeed, is an extremely versatile addition to your back yard that can make your property more useable, not to mention more marketable. At the same time, decks can get expensive—between the labor and the materials, you could expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $35,000. That’s a hefty price tag, especially if you don’t have that kind of money to spend on a deck. However, there are a few ways you can build a deck on a budget.

Scale Down Your Design

If you are planning a multi-level deck with a screened gazebo at the top, let’s face it, it won’t be cheap no matter what you do. Instead, consider a simple one-level deck or even a simpler platform deck that provides slight elevation off the ground. Give it a thought especially if you don’t have a main-level door pre-installed for the deck entrance. In an older home not built with a deck in mind, cutting out a door is an added expense.

Build in Off-season

Did you know that spring and summer are the busiest seasons for Maryland deck contractors? Everyone has been contemplating their decks over the winter and start building with the first rays of the warm spring sun. And when there is high demand, the prices also go up for both labor and materials. If you build in late fall or winter, not only will you have no problem hiring a qualified contractor, but they might cut you a better deal.

Go With Wood

Vinyl and composite decking are attractive and low-maintenance, no doubt about that, but they also cost more than wood. While wood might require a bit more upkeep, it will save you money during deck construction. If you want to pay less for wood, instead of ordering through the manufacturer, look for second-hand wood, such as leftovers from someone else’s construction project. Maryland Habitat for Humanity, for example, runs a ReStore initiative where contractors are encouraged to donate leftover materials that are then sold with a discount by the Habitat to raise money. You can come across wood and even deck furniture for much less in their store.

Less Customization

For every custom item you are adding to your deck, you’ll have to pay. Whether it’s custom railing or unconventional deck shape, all this may cost you a pretty penny at the end. Choose standard sizes, colors and materials if you want to save money on your deck. It might end up looking a bit boring and conventional, but you can always add style and uniqueness with the décor.

Do Cheap Without Sacrificing Quality

Remember, the goal here is to build your deck on a cheap—not to build a cheap deck. Don’t buy poor quality wood or do the entire deck yourself. Deck safety is important and you need to have appropriate permits and inspections completed in order to have a safe and functional deck. This is why it’s crucial to hire a reputable Maryland deck building company who will do the construction and help you with advice on reducing the cost. Professional deck builders know many ways to build a deck and can offer you some money-saving ideas that don’t violate any building codes and safety standards.

At North American Deck and Patio, we’ve built decks for all tastes and budgets. Contact us today to talk about how we can help you save money on your deck.

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