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Don’t Wait: Start Planning Your New Deck, Porch or Patio for Spring

Hoping to have a new deck, porch or patio for spring? It’s time to get started!

Why now? You’re not alone! You can be certain your deck, patio or porch builder is already scheduling jobs — and you want to get your project into the queue earlier rather than later. You also need to finalize your design and budget, and doing that right takes time. Plus, your builder has a lot of behind-the-scenes work to do before Day 1 on site, and the more time for that the better.

Planning a project with your deck, patio or porch builder is a detailed process with collaboration, decision-making and adjusting that can take several weeks or more.

Take a walk through the steps so you know what to expect — and why it’s best to start now so you have time on your side.

The Process to Build a New Deck, Porch or Patio

1. Wish List

Think about location and how you’ll use your new space, then create your list of must-haves and wishes. Is privacy a concern? What about shade? Do you want a fireplace? Gather inspiration from magazines or websites like Pinterest, Instagram or Houzz. It’s always better to show your deck, patio or porch builder what you want if you can. There’s a reason they say a picture’s worth 1,000 words.

2. Budget

What’s your number? Is there any wiggle room? Once you get to the planning stage with your deck, patio or porch builder, he or she will help you determine whether your budget is realistic and where you may be able to make compromises. But to get started, you really have to know what you have to work with. If you start the process early, you may even have time to secure additional funds once actual costs become clear — like applying for financing.

3. Final Plan

Together with your builder you’ll finalize all the details for your new deck, porch or patio, making selections — within budget — to bring everything into focus. When the planning is complete, a final cost will be determined and communicated, a detailed plan will be drawn, timelines will be created and scheduled, contracts will be drawn up, and everything will need to be signed off on. Only then can you officially set a date to begin.

4. Materials

With your final plan in hand, your deck, patio or porch builder will be able to order materials — including special orders that may take extra time. His or her goal is always for a smooth ordering experience. But we all know weather, manufacturers and sellers sometimes have other plans. Shortages related to the pandemic certainly have revealed the unpredictable nature of doing business and what can happen when demand outpaces supply or supply chains are interrupted. If you start early, you have time to work through materials issues and still have your project done by spring.

5. Permits & Approvals

Your deck, patio or porch builder will need to apply for — and receive approval on — permits to start your job. There can be a lot of hoops to jump through. An experienced builder will know the ropes, but there can still be delays and surprises. If required for your neighborhood, HOA approval can add another layer to the process and the timeline. Some HOA committees only meet monthly, so the earlier you get in front of them with what they need the better.

6. Building

How long will your project take, assuming all goes as planned? Depending on its size and complexity, it can take weeks — or more — for a project to progress from site preparation to the finish line. Factor in weather delays, required inspections that happen throughout the building process (like electrical), and other potential issues like a material delivery hiccup, and you can see there’s potential for your project to take longer than expected. If you’ve started early, you have time to absorb delays and still stay on pace for spring.

7. Final Inspection

Not only will you do a final inspection on your own project, an official inspector will need to sign off on the final job to ensure it meets all codes and regulations. They’re busy folks, and getting on their calendars can take time. Your deck, patio or porch builder should have it covered in the timeline, but it’s one more box to check before everything is done.

Now it’s clear why you need to get a jump on planning your new deck, porch or patio for spring. Get a head start to position you and your builder for success, and allow for the extra days delays and surprises can sometimes add to your timeline. When time is on your side, you’ll be ready for anything — and ready to enjoy your new outdoor living space as soon as you say goodbye to winter weather.

At Archadeck, count on our design experts to help you customize your deck, porch or patio to your lifestyle and budget and create an outdoor living area that’s uniquely you. Our local owners use only premium products and trained, licensed contractors, and are backed by Archadeck’s exacting standards, professional code of conduct and three decades of proven experience as North America’s largest deck, porch and patio builder. Contact your local Archadeck today to get started.