The Unexpected Reason Winter Is An Ideal Time To Build A Deck

It is a common misconception that the best time to build a deck is in the spring or summer. However, the truth is that winter is a great time for deck-building. While this may sound a little counterintuitive, there are a few reasons why many contracting companies want more people to start building decks in winter. The first is that the wood of your deck will have more time to cure and dry completely (which will help prevent splitting). Plus, wood stain that is applied in drier and cooler winter weather often looks better because it will have fewer streaks. Furthermore, building a deck in the winter is better for the homeowner because, by the time the nice weather rolls around, the deck will be complete and ready for enjoyment.

The one downside of building a deck in the winter is that you can't dig into completely frozen ground to place the deck's foundation. However, as long as you are able to get the foundations in the ground in early winter before it freezes, the construction of your deck can go ahead — although in winter you are more likely to experience delays because of inclement weather.

Other benefits of winter deck building

Besides just the fact that many of the materials required to build a deck do better in drier weather, there are a few other reasons why building a deck in the winter is a good choice. The first reason is price. Because winter is the off-season for most contractors, many will quote winter jobs at a lower price because they need the work and can get better deals on materials. Some companies may even offer end-of-season deals that you can take advantage of.

Furthermore, contractors typically aren't as busy during the winter months; you will have a shorter wait time for your project to get started and won't experience delays with procuring building permits. Lastly, because the ground is hard in winter, building a deck at this time will do less damage to your landscaping. Oftentimes, during spring and summer builds, when contractors have to bring heavy equipment into a yard or simply walk through it multiple times with materials, it can cause damage to the lawn. In the winter, this isn't a problem.

Why you should avoid spring and summer

The contractor consensus for the worst times to build a deck is in spring and summer. This is because, although spring and summer are the high seasons for builders and contractors, the added rainfall and humidity of these months can cause wood to warp and swell. Furthermore, wetter weather will make your deck take longer to cure and dry — meaning you won't be able to get out there and use it as quickly.

Besides the humid weather causing issues in the building process, this time of the year also comes with higher prices. Spring and summer building prices are higher because supplies are in demand and so are the contractors who may be working longer hours. This means that you will end up footing a higher bill for the same work.

Lastly, as the weather warms and everyone comes out of their winter hibernation to enjoy the outdoors again, you will probably want to dust off the grill and start using your yard. However, if you are building a deck that may not be convenient or possible. So, it is better for the homeowner's lifestyle, enjoyment, and wallet (in most situations) to avoid building in the spring and summer.