We are often asked the best time of year to build a deck. The answer may be more surprising than you may think. Many homeowners are under the impression that outdoor structures such as decks are best to build during the spring and summer months. The truth is that anytime that best suits your circumstances and budget can serve as the right time to build.
There are many advantages to building in the cooler months. Along with shorter lead times you will also get a space that is up and running in time to enjoy for spring and the beginning of the outdoor living season. Since the humidity level is much lower during the fall and winter, any wood used in the construction of your project will season quicker. Seasoning involves the drying out of wood making it ready to accept stain or paint better. When a project is built during the warmer, humid months the usual wait time to stain or paint is a few months. Another plus to cooler weather construction is productivity. A crew that is working in the humid 95 degree weather of the summer is less productive than one that is working outside during milder weather. Less heat means more stamina and less Gatorade breaks for the crew. This translates to the likelihood that a job that is completed sooner.
Our Columbus climate allows us to build your project during the harsher part of the winter months. In some cases inclement weather can complicate timing on a project but not dramatically. The frost line in our region lies between 32″ and 36″ which is the depth from the ground required to install footers which serve as the base for concrete which supports your deck project. The frost line is determined by calculation of average temperatures and the hundred year freeze. They make the frost line deeper by a dramatic margin to ensure in case of a hundred year freeze occurrence, the foundation of your project will not be affected. The problem that can occur from freezing temperatures is the expansion that takes place with freezing. If you have an expansion into the footer on your project, then it will move. Typically, in our experience the ground only freezes within the first few inches during the period of December through February. In order of us to install footers, this is not a big deal once we get through the frozen ground to an area where the soil temperatures are relative to 50 degrees. Other than having to dig through a couple of inches of frozen ground the only other obstacles that could directly affect your construction are mud, sleet or snow. Our guys can work in snow but not rain. Rain can damage some of the tools that are required for building. In these cases it may take us a little longer to finish the project but on average only by a few days. Whereas an average project may take 7 business days, during a rough winter it may take us 9 business days.
Since our average temperatures are above freezing in Columbus most of the winter the chances of inclement or freezing weather impacting your project are minimal. The advantages of autumn and winter construction outweigh any deficiencies brought on by Mother Nature. As with any construction project there will be damage to the turf caused by foot traffic. In a fall/winter project the turf is more apt to recover quicker because it has the time to overwinter in time for spring taking in valuable nutrients present in precipitation. Some turfs are dormant during the winter and this will aid in quicker recovery as well.
If you are on the fence about deciding when to start your deck or other outdoor structure project, keep in mind that lead times during the outdoor living season can be in excess of 8-12 weeks. In the winter it may be 4-5 weeks at the most. This quick turn-around will ensure you get the full benefits of your outdoor space when you are ready, and the timing won’t interrupt your outdoor activities. Contact Archadeck of Columbus to schedule your free consultation today and get the ball rolling on your outdoor dreams. (740) 879 – 3730