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The Top 10 Deck Money Saving Tips

Oct 10, 2007
Everyone likes to keep as many dollars as possible in the bank. Listed below are 10 great strategies for accomplishing this during the deck building process.

1. Develop an itemized list of deck materials with precise quantities and services included. Visit suppliers and large retail stores and give them an opportunity to bid on the entire list. Specialty suppliers may be able to offer competitive prices because they are dealing with one larger order as opposed to several small orders. In cases where the bids are beyond the budget, inquire about alternative materials that are less expensive. If neighbors or friends are also contemplating construction of decks, work together to consolidate orders and reap the savings together. Look for seasonal specials or end of season discounts and take advantage of them.

2. Purchase nails, screws and other hardware in larger quantities as opposed to buying them individually or in packages. Significant money can be saved by looking for suppliers who sell building hardware by the pound or case. Take the time to make accurate estimate of quantities needed so there will be little if any left over.

3. Redesign the deck. Increase the number of joists so that a thinner decking board may be used. Design the deck so that standard dimensional lumber (8, 10, 12, 16 foot lengths) is used in the deck structure rather than odd sizes. Reduce the dimensions of the deck to the nearest 2 foot increment to avoid waste and extra material expense. Construct a 12 foot wide deck instead of a 13 foot deck. Avoid complex angles or protuding shapes in the deck design. Avoid wasteful decking patterns such as diagonal decking. Consider carefully furniture arrangements and traffic patterns to find better ways to configure the deck and make it smaller.

4. Consider hiring a professional to design the deck within budgetary limits. Make it clear that the idea is to find ways to save money without sacrificing too many items on the must have list. Discuss fees and make an agreement in advance on what is to be spent and what it will buy. Participate in the process by verifying measurements and pricing materials. Be flexible where possible. The idea is to end up with a deck that still has style and suits the tastes of the owners.

5. Examine the list of all of the materials and discover as many less expensive alternatives as possible. Instead of ordering a delivery of ready-mix concrete for deck footings, order a load of aggregate, bags of cement and mix and pour the concrete on site. Use a cheaper grade of deck lumber where possible.

6. Incorporate modest railings into the deck design. Instead of turned colonial balusters, glass panels or balusters made of aluminum, use standard 2x2 wood balusters. Build the deck slightly lower so that a railing system is not needed. Construct a transition step from the patio door down to this lower deck to accomodate the change.

7. Consider constructing a detached deck especially if the project involves changes to the house such as installing new patio doors. Connect it to the rear door by means of a small bridge structure. Placing the deck at a lower elevation can eliminate the need for a railing system and the costs associated with it.

8. Make an effort to look for ways to shrink the project. Size can definitely be an illusion. Small decks do not feel small when they are in scale with their surroundings. A deck does not have to be large in order to be a successful outdoor living space as long as it is soundly built and has a sense of style associated with it. Examine the deck's functions. Look for activities that could be accomodated somewhere else in the yard to reduce the size of the deck. The creation of a smaller deck that adjoins a large open patio area can provide ample room for the entertainment needs of larger groups.

9. Consider designing the deck project so that parts of it can be built at a later time when funding is more readily available. If a combination deck, hot tub and patio are the overall project components, construct the deck first and add the others later over a period of years. If an overhead shade structure is part of the deck projects, use patio style umbrellas or a portable gazebo until the financial resources are availble to complete the project. Make a point to build the footings for the overhead structure at the same time that the deck is being constructed.

10.Consider renting a tool or piece of equipment for use during the deck building process. Do it especially if the tool or equipment piece is not likely to be used much in the future. Home improvement centers and tool rental outlets have a wide variety of tools and equipment that consumers may rent at competitive prices as opposed to purchasing them.

Taking the time and making the required effort during the deck building process is an excellent way for any homeowner to save significant amounts of money.
About the Author
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of "How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish". To Discover More About
Money Saving Tips and Claim your 2
FREE Deck Plans, Insider Report, MP3 Audio and discover everything to know about
building a deck visit:
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