Friday, August 30, 2013

Budget For A Deck

So you've decided to build a deck and create a beautiful outdoor space for your home. Before you head off to the nearest home improvement warehouse, though, consider the cost of this substantial project. Create a budget for your deck and your money will be well spent with no surprises in store. Read on to learn more. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Set an upper limit for your budget--the maximum you're willing to spend on the deck project. Then set an ideal budget for the deck. You will plan your project with this second figure in mind, but set aside enough money to cover your maximum allowable costs. If you are financing your project, include any interest to be owed in your final budget. It is best to set aside a small account for your project finances. This will make it clear just how much you have spent and how much you have remaining to spend on your deck.

2. Decide how your deck will be constructed and by whom. Will you be doing all of the work yourself or will you be hiring a contractor and/or subcontractors? These decisions will impact your budget significantly. Doing the labor yourself, you will have more money free for materials. Hiring someone else to perform the labor will mean that you have less money for materials, but the project may be finished faster. Or you could allocate your entire project to a company that will provide all of the materials and build the deck themselves.

3. Design a rough site plan for the deck and determine the size in square feet for your ideal deck. The size of your deck will in turn determine the amount of materials needed for the project. Visit a home center or lumber warehouse, and get cost estimates for the individual materials. Look at a wide range of materials, tools and stains. Talk to sales associates and they should be able to give you a rough cost per square foot estimate based on the different supplies you are interested in.

4. Take your estimates home and calculate the costs each material would have on your project. Different types of lumber, stain and other factors will determine different costs per square foot. To see if a cost per square foot will work in your budget, divide the cost per square foot into your total budget amount. If you have a particular combination of supplies you like with an estimated cost per square foot of $6, divide that into your $3,000 budget and you can have a 500 square foot deck. Check this against your plans and decide if you'd rather swap out some materials to stay on budget with the desired size of your rough site plan. Or, if you'd rather have a smaller deck with the slightly higher cost per square foot. Again, don't forget the costs for contractors, interest and building permits when crunching these numbers.

5. Draft your final site plan. Make this plan detailed and drawn to scale. Include landscaping that will stay in place, the exact dimensions of your house and any features that may impact the placement of your deck, such as fireplaces, air conditioning unit, a pool and property lines. Also determine how high off the ground your deck will be, measuring from the ground to 4 inches below the door threshold. Determine the placement for your stairs and measure the height from the ground to calculate the number of stairs and costs for those particular materials.

6. Purchase your materials and equipment in bulk to save on costs as much as possible. Buy your lumber immediately before it is ready to be laid down for the deck and used in construction.

7. Allow an emergency budget in your project account. Should necessary tools break, materials need to be replaced. Or if you decide to expand your project in any way, that reserve will do wonders to keep your deck project alive.

Tags: square foot, your deck, your project, cost square, cost square foot, deck will