April 27

5 Things You’ll Need to Know if You Want a Deck

Home Service

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With summer fast approaching, this may be the right time to consider adding a deck addition to your home. Keep reading to find out how this can add value to the aesthetic, experience and value of your home.

1. Price Vs Time

Buying or building your own deck addition is a big decision. Are the benefit(s) of cutting cost ﹥ the cost of your time? 

Below is a breakdown of that general price vs time comparison.

DYI

  • Cost of wood: $2-$9 +/- per linear ft
  • Cost of premium materials: $5-$60+/- per linear ft
  • Time: Three weeks or more

PRofessionally

  • Cost of wood: $15+/- per sq ft
  • Cost of premium materials: $35 - $100+/- per sq ft
  • Time: A week or less
Note: This consists of material and labor cost
Note: Material-wise, wood is priced by linear ft. When paying a professional, they price each project per sq ft. The prices above reflect that.
Note: If you’re in the market to get a deck addition, plan to spend between $4,000 and $10,000 on a new deck, depending on the dimensions and materials used for the project.
Pro tip: The busy season for getting a deck is between Spring and Summer. We recommend getting a deck in the Winter or Fall because that is typically the slowest season for contractors.

2. Finding the Right Materials for the Right Price

Benefits for Hiring a Professional

  • Have connections to better suppliers.
  • Some stores give up to 15-20% off material costs for contractors.
  • Ensure the materials bought and used are high quality.
  • Know how much they’ll need for a project.

  • Will dispose of the leftovers.
  • Save the client time and energy.

Benefits of DIY

  • Can use outside sources to find the best deal(s) on materials.
  • You directly control the quality of materials used.
  • Have flexibility on the amount of materials used on the project.
  • Have extra material left over for other projects.


Get a free quote on a deck: 

Lindstrom Custom Construction

(208) 705-4240

For more DYI info, continue reading below. To continue down the list, keep scrolling or click the links below to skip ahead.

Popular Choices for Decks

Redwood 

$5 - $10+/- per linear ft

Cedar

$5 - $6 +/- per linear ft

Pressure Treated Wood

$3 - 7+/- per linear ft

Pine

$2 +/- per linear ft

Composite

$1 - 15+/- per linear ft

  • Long Lasting
  • Insect, Rot and Fire Resistant
  • Naturally Durable
  • Less Prone to Warping and Cupping
  • Less Maintenance than Other Types of Wood 
  • Insect, Rot, and Fire Resistant
  • Won't warp from Moisture
  • Doesn't Need to be Stained
  • Durable
  • Insect, Rot, Fire, Fungal and Moisture Resistant
  • Ease of Use
  • Low Cost
  • Durable
  • Long-Lasting
  • Aesthetic Natural Design
  • Ease of Use
  • Very Low Cost
  • Far Less Maintenance than Wood
  • Variety of types and colors
  • Less Prone to Fading, Scratching and Mold
  • No Splinters
Note: Current prices for these materials will fluctuate based on season and economic factors. For current prices, click here or contact or visit your preferred lumber provider.
Note: Most decks come with a 15 year warranty. Higher quality composite decks can come with a warranty of up to 50 years! Be sure to check the fine print when comparing deck warranties between contractors.

Typical Proportions for Decks

  • For the surface of the deck, use 2x4s, 2x6s or 5/4x6s. 
  • A 12 x 12 deck is typically the perfect starter size for a deck
  • The average deck is between 300 and 400 sq ft. 
  • A good rule of thumb is to keep your deck dimensions smaller than the largest room in your house. This prevents your deck from dwarfing your house and looking out of place.
Pro tip: Consider making a multi-level deck. This better designates certain activities to different sections of your deck.
Pro tip: Most people wish they went bigger, not smaller, when it comes to building a deck.

Wood Traits and Types for Dummies


Wood Traits

Lumber comes in various colors, forms, sizes, types and cuts. Wood traits play an important role in selecting the right wood for the right project.

Density: Denser wood is stronger, heavier, thicker and stiffer. Denser wood is typically best for building furniture.

Texture/Luster: This property defines the condition of the surface and stability of the wood. These features define the look and feel of the wood.

Woodgrain: Woodgrain has a huge impact on the stability and performance of wood. Wood is directly affected by the direction it is installed in relation to the grain. 

Note: Wood knots weaken the integrity of wood and lessen its overall value. Knots make wood crack, warp, harder to work with and less weather resistant.
Note: Hardwood decks generally outperform softwood decks in terms of weather-resistance, overall durability and longevity.

Pros of Softwood

Cons of Softwood

Pros of Hardwood

Cons of Hardwood

  • Low Price
  • Easy to Install
  • More Versatile
  • Some are Harder than Hardwoods
  • Will Fade in High-Traffic Areas
  • Less Durable
  • Easier to Scuff or Scratch
  • Short Life Expectancy
  • Requires Regular Maintenance
  • High Quality
  • Durable
  • Variety of Types and Colors
  • Rot, Warp and Splitting Resistant
  • More Fire Resistant
  • More Expensive
  • Difficult to Work WIth
  • Harder to Produce
  • Requires Regular Maintenance
Examples of Softwood
  • Cedar
  • Pine
  • Pressurized Wood
  • Spruce
  • Yew
  • Bamboo
Examples of Hardwood
  • Redwood
  • Oak
  • Cypress
  • Black Locust
  • Hemlock
  • Cumaru
Pro tip: Depending on the type of wood you use for your deck, plan to stain your wood deck every year or two, unless you want them to weather naturally.

Buying the Right Amount of Lumber

To gauge how much material you'll need, multiple the desired length of the deck along the house by the width to get the square footage. Take that number and multiply it by 10% to account for waste. Divide that number by 16 and you'll get the approximate number of boards you'll need for your deck project.

Pro tip: The length along the house is where you'll run your trusses. Parallel to that is where you run your deck boards.

3. More Room for Less Money

Average Cost of Home Renovation vs. a Deck Addition

A typical addition to a home costs on average about $50-$75 per sq ft, not including plumbing, electrical lines or HVAC. Whereas, the average deck costs about $35 per sq ft, meaning, you can get the same addition for 35-50% less by adding a deck instead. This price goes down even further if you choose to do it yourself!

Return on Investment

Building a deck doesn’t guarantee increased property value or a return on investment because of fluctuating prices for lumber and premium materials, but according to a 2016 NAR/NALP study, a new wood deck can improve the resale value of a home by 6%. Other studies have shown that homeowners can recoup upwards of 72.1% for a wood deck and 68.9% for a composite deck addition

4. Less Landscaping Maintenance

Need to convince yourself or your significant other why you need a deck addition? Here’s one: less lawn maintenance = more time for family.  Need another? The average yard in the U.S. costs $25-80 to a visit to mow or maintain. Having a deck may also cut down on some of that cost!

5. More Customized Storage Space

Whether you hire a professional or build a deck yourself, having an elevated deck can save you a significant chunk of change and space by having it be multifunctional. In the United States, the average shed costs about between $300 - $2,750. This means you can save upwards of $2,750 (depending on size/materials), by building an elevated deck!

Under Deck Options

About the author 

Jason

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