4 Challenges That May Delay the Deck-Building Process


While it would be nice to think that the building of your dream deck will be a breeze, that’s not always the case. Unfortunately, many homeowners run into unexpected bumps in the road that may delay the entire project. Instead of just tackling the issues as they arise, be prepared by knowing what challenges could come your way so you can handle them with ease and stay on track during the deck-building process.


1. Your Dream Deck Doesn’t Fit the Reality of Your Budget

Picture this: In the middle of your favorite HGTV show, you spot beautiful woodgrain patterns and variegated colors that really stand out and you know you just have to have that deck in your home. Unfortunately, seeing your dream deck on TV doesn’t mean it’ll actually fit into the reality of your budget.

The whole process of finding the right materials isn’t as easy you might think. That 1,500-square-foot mahogany wood deck might quickly become a 500-square-foot pressure-treated wood deck—and that’s OK. Just be realistic with what you want and what fits your budget. Do your research and consider cost-efficient deck profiles, such as the DuraLife MVP Profile.

Another item many homeowners may not consider is the cost of the rest of the materials. For example, you or your contractor might forget to add something as simple as fasteners to the budget. For this reason, consider adding an extra 10% to 15% into your budget to cover any unexpected, last-minute details.


2. You Didn’t Discuss Your Plans in Advance With a Professional

Whether you’re working with a contractor or planning to build the deck yourself, it’s important to discuss your vision with a professional before you begin.

Many homeowners aim to save money by building the deck themselves, but if they don’t know where to get the most professional, experienced help, go to a local lumber yard. Bring your plans and measurements and one of the professionals will surely help you find the right materials for the job. They may even give you a good deal if you buy directly from them.

At the same time, be prepared in case the professional suggests swapping out one of the decking materials. Contactors might do this because they may have products that they favor over others, or the dealer they work with only stocks a limited number of materials at a time. Don’t budge on what you want if you know it works for your home and budget. If you say you want DuraLife decking, you can surely find it through another retailer—it just may take a little more time.

Lastly, be sure to contact the contractor you want to work with well in advance of when you hope construction will start. Consider holidays, weather delays, and more when thinking about  your ideal deadline. If you’re hoping for a 4th of July party on your new deck, don’t plan on it being done July 3—delays and issues tend to occur.


3. It’s Not Code Compliant

Professionals know there are a million ways to build a deck, but only a few ways to build the deck so that it’s code compliant. To avoid potential delays, you should always check with your city, homeowners association, and anyone else who may need to approve your plans well before building your deck to ensure everything is up to code. Be sure to check with your municipality to understand if you need a permit and how long it takes to file for and receive one. The last thing you want is to have to wait weeks for a permit or start from scratch after learning the perfect deck you drew plans for isn’t up to code.


4. The Warranty Was Voided Before the Deck Was Built

A deck may seem easy to construct, but there are a lot of issues that need to be considered—some of which you may never even realize were important. Talk to a professional before you begin your project, especially if the materials you’re using are under warranty. For example, your deck’s warranty may not cover damage caused by application not in accordance with the brand’s installation instructions or building codes. Read the warranty for your materials and learn what else you may need to watch out for to ensure installation goes as smoothly as possible and to guarantee you’re protected.

There are an infinite number of reasons why the building of your deck could be delayed. Even after considering your budget, your plans, any permits or codes to follow, warranties, and more, there’s still sure to be a challenge or two to overcome. Doing your research and being prepared for how to handle these bumps in the road can help you stay on track and manage the time frame for your project.