cheap way to build a deck

Cheapest Way to Build a Deck or Patio

If you are looking for tips on the cheapest way to build deck or patio, you have come to the right place. A backyard deck provides you ample space to entertain guests or just have fun during the summer months. Like other home improvement projects, a backyard deck also has two major costs: labor and materials.

Breakdown of the Cheapest Way to Build Deck or Patio

Hiring a contractor to build your deck or patio will set you back by a few thousand dollars and to build the deck at the lowest possible price, you will have to take matters into your own hands, literally. The cheapest way to build deck involves saving money on labor as well as materials.

Saving Money on Materials

The best way to save money on deck building materials is to get as much materials for free as you can. If you search Craigslist or similar websites popular in your location, you may find offers for people giving away building materials for free. If you live near a rural area, you are more likely to get surplus materials by checking groups or websites focused on rural areas. On these sites, you may also find used building materials at a low price if you cannot find completely free materials.

Another option for is to build a pallet deck. In many cases, pallets are free or inexpensive, and they can also add character to your home. You can create different shapes with pallets and finish them in any color you like. Choose pallets only as the last resort as a deck built of pallet wood isn’t likely to last long.

Another tip to save money on building a deck or patio is to use standard materials. Any kind of customization or personalizing is going to add to the cost.

Treated wood is going to cost extra money but you can also use untreated wood and save some money. Instead, you can use sealants and other cheap materials to prevent any rot or decay. You also have the option of making your own sealants at home using pigments, mineral spirits or linseed oil among other things.

Saving Money on Labor

The only one way to save money on labor is to do everything yourself. Hiring a contractor to build a deck costs a lot of money. Don’t worry if you have never built anything in your life as building a deck is relatively easy if you follow a plan.

Here is the Step-By-Step Plan:

1. Have a Plan

The first step in building a deck at the cheapest price possible is to create a plan. So, mark the location where you would want to build your deck. Spray paint the ground in order to create an outline. It is also recommended to place a few chairs and table at the place where you plan to build your deck to make sure it’s the right place where you want your deck. Wait for a few days and make sure you have chosen the right location. Design your deck on paper and keep the measurements ready before you move onto the next step.

2. No Need to Pour Concrete

Most plans for building as deck require you to pour concrete for deck fittings. Pouring concrete is time-consuming and also costs a lot of money. You will have to buy a mixer, sand, cement and various other tools to pour concrete. Instead, you should use deck blocks.

These blocks are cheap and easy to place. Keep in mind that you do not need too many of these as one block is typically enough for every 4 square feet of deck. Also, these blocks are molded to provide good support to the deck blocks and have space to drain the water away.

You should start by placing the deck blocks at the four corners of the deck. These deck blocks are essential to ensure that the wood does not touch the ground.

Usually, you will have to dig down around 5 inches in order to place the blocks. It will put your deck frame around 6 inches above the ground. In this manner, you won’t have to build any stairs and your deck will be as low as possible. It’s a time-consuming process as you will need to make sure all the deck blocks are level. The trick to make sure that all the blocks are level is to first level the corner blocks and then level the blocks close to each other along each row. Deck blocks can get them in your local hardware store or get you can easily purchase them online.

3. Practice

If you have never held a cordless drill or driven a nail in a wood board, it’s better to build a practice deck board before you begin the real task. So, take some extra lumber and build a small stair step or something like a deck to practice your skills and get an idea of how to use various power tools. Using power tools is not that difficult but it is easy to make mistakes. So, practice with power tools on rough boards before you begin with the deck.

4. Prepare the Deck Area

It is recommended to spray weed or grass killer on the entire area of the deck to prevent the growth of weeds. You may also lay down a weed barrier cloth to prevent growth of weed.

5. Build the Frame

You can use 2 x 6 boards to build the frame. To build the frame, you should first place the boards on the front, back and sides. Make sure everything is even and level. Once the outer boards have been fixed, you can place the beams in the deck block slots and screw everything together to build the frame. Ideally, it should not take you more than a few hours to completely build the frame.

6. Lay down Your Decking Boards

Once the frame is finished, you just need to attach the decking boards to the frame. It is recommended to use two screws per joist in the frame. Make sure to leave a space of around 1/4 inch between the boards for water to flow down. It is recommended to get your hands on a high quality impact driver to screw down the nails. Keep in mind that you will be drilling a few hundred nails and it’s better to keep a few battery packs handy in order to nail down the whole deck at one go.

TIP #1

One way to finish it quickly is to create a template on a plastic sheet or other transparent material to quickly know where you need to place the screws. This will allow you to drill the screws in a perfect line without spending too much time.

7. Staining and Sealing

The final step is to stain and seal the wood in order to make your deck weatherproof. Ideally, three thin coats should do it. Choose your favorite color and make sure there is plenty of time between coats for the paint to dry.

TIP #2

I recommended using galvanized screws and nails instead of the regular nails and screws to prevent rusting and staining. Using galvanized screws and nails also enhances the life of your wooden deck.

Overall, this is the cheapest way to build deck or patio. You shouldn’t worry if you’re not a professional contractor or a carpenter because this project does not require you to have professional skills.

Building a deck on your own will not only save you lots of money but you will also learn some new skills, and experience the reward of enjoying a deck that you have built with your own hands. As far as savings are concerned, you should be able to save thousands of dollars on material as well as labor cost by building it on your own.

In case you do not have any power tools, you can always rent the necessary tools such as a miter saw, a wood planer, an impact driver or a jigsaw at your local home improvement store.

So, start building your deck today.

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