If you’ve never built a deck on your own before, you may believe that because you have enough experience with similar projects you’ll feel comfortable taking on the challenges yourself. After all, it’s not as if you’re splitting atoms. Each step in the deck building process is simple enough. But if you’re not 100% confident in your ability to follow through, it makes sense to hire a professional.
There may or may not be a streamlined process for submitting plans with the goal of obtaining a building permit. You should check with your municipality to get more information on exactly how this process works.
CAUTION – YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE: DIY-ing your deck holds you legally responsible for submitting plans, obtaining permits, and dealing with inspectors. Let that weigh in on your decision as to whether or not to hire a professional.
Obtaining Materials: As you do your research in the beginning, you’ll want to figure out where you’re going to get your materials from. Depending upon what you want to build with, it may not be as simple as ordering lumber from your local hardware store. First, decide what you want. Then look for nearby retailers, and find out whether they have the materials on hand, will need to order them, or aren’t able to obtain them at all. This is a very simple, but grossly underappreciated step by people who are trying to build decks on their own. Many projects have been stopped dead in their tracks because homeowners didn’t realize how difficult it was to obtain their ideal materials for the build.
Account for the amount of time this takes: If you’ve never built a deck before, you should budget your time as though it were going to be a multi-week, full-time project. Don’t think you’ll be able to knock this out over a weekend, because that is highly unlikely if you don’t have an experienced crew. The uncomfortable truth for most homeowners that try to build on their own is that it will take months to complete. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but you should set your expectations appropriately if you’re determined to go it alone. Professional builders, by contrast, can come in and out quickly. Sometimes within a week’s time. Experience allows us to be precise, create quality work, and get the job done fast.
In the end, although there are many hurdles to be scaled when building a deck, these are the three chief considerations you should be asking yourself:
You’ll need to weigh these questions against your own building experience to determine whether you really do want to do everything yourself, or would rather professional builders come in and knock out the job for you. We usually find that when people rank all of the economic advantages of getting a build done fast, paired with the hassle of permitting and building in general, hiring a company like River Valley Construction Group usually makes the most sense. But we’re here for advice regardless! We just want you to have all of the information and wisdom possible if you decide you’d like to do everything in-house.