Winter may seem like an odd time to think about building a deck, but there are several benefits to starting a decking project now. Demand for contractors is low during this time of year, which means your deck can be completed more quickly, and sometimes at a lower cost. Plus, your deck will be installed and ready to go before spring begins.
Benefits of Building a Deck in Winter
Lower labor costs. Most people aren’t concerned with outdoor building projects such as cedar deck during the winter. Thus, skilled contractors are more readily available and may even be willing to complete a project for a lower price in order to drum up extra business. In addition, reduced employee turnover and the lack of labor bonuses in winter can also result in savings on labor costs, which the contractor may be willing to pass along to you.
Cheaper materials. With a drastically reduced demand for decking materials, wholesalers may be willing to offer contractors a deal in order to encourage winter building. Additionally, transportation companies that might have reduced seasonal rates during this time of year in order to make up for the busier seasons, and the savings are passed on to the contractors.
Earlier return on investment. Because expert contractors often have fewer demands on their time in the winter, they can complete a decking project more quickly without skimping on workmanship. When you build a deck during the winter, the most skilled contractors will often offer their services for the same rate as a novice contractor would charge during the spring or summer.
Stimulate the local economy. By building a deck during the off-season, you’re putting money into the hands of contractors, laborers and suppliers during a time when funds are usually tight. This helps the community as well as the individuals, allowing the construction industry as a whole to provide better services at a better cost.
Things to Keep in Mind
Staining. If you build a cedar deck during the winter, keep in mind you’ll need to wait a while before applying deck stain, particularly if you live in a high-precipitation area. It’s important to allow your new deck to dry out over a stretch of warm, sunny weather, as any moisture remaining in the wood will prevent the stain from penetrating properly. Stain your deck in the spring, after you’ve had some warm weather but before the hot, sunny days kick in.
Permits. As with any deck building project, find out whether you need a permit for construction. Work with your contractor to ensure all of your legal bases are covered.