What to consider when building a deck or patio


You want a new deck or patio on your home. You have the knowledge and skills to build one, but you’re not sure if it wouldn’t be better to hire a local contractor to build it. Basically, would you wind up spending less doing it yourself?

That really depends on how you look at it in terms of cost. The lumber may only cost you three to five hundred dollars, but you have to figure in other costs. Another very important factor is local laws and regulation.

The first thing to do is research local regulations. Most states and counties require that a permit be purchased, and that plans be submitted before any additions can be made to a home. The plans must be complete, and they must comply with local zoning laws. The finished deck or patio must also be exactly like the plans submitted. If it doesn’t, you could be fined until the structure does.

The next thing to consider is how much the other materials will cost you. You sill need to buy saws, nails, screws, ladders (if you’re building an enclosed patio), joints, sanders, and paint just to name a few. If you don’t already own a power saw with all the proper blades for example, you will spend a couple of hundred dollars just buying those.

Also, if you’re building an enclosed patio, you’ll need windows or screens. You’ll either have to have them specially made to fit your plans, cut and make them yourself, or have to build the structure with prefabricated screens and windows in mind.

Will the patio or deck have electricity and lighting? If so, you’ll have to figure in the costs of running a new circuit into your breaker box.

After those costs, consider how much money your time is worth. If it takes you a hundred hours to finally finish the project, not including the time you spend hauling the materials, think of how much you would have made at your regular job. Would you have made a thousand dollars in that time, more? Time is a precious commodity.

Finally, what is the cost of gas used while hauling the materials? You need to figure this into your decision as well as the wear and tear on your vehicle. Your local home improvement store certainly figures these costs into their delivery charges.

In the end, is it worth it to do everything yourself after figuring all these costs? If the cost of the permit is over a hundred, fifteen-hundred for materials, a thousand for labor, and four hundred for gas and vehicle expenses, would you have saved money by buying a prefabricated structure and having a local contractor install it?

The only real benefit to doing it yourself is that you don’t have to fork over the entire cost all at once. But, if an installed prefabricated patio or deck will only cost you fifteen-hundred to two thousand dollars, perhaps you should consider saving up to purchase it.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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