Spring has sprung! And maybe with some inspiration – so has that pep in your step. Perhaps you saw something in-store, read something online (hint hint), or heard your best friend talking about how she turned her yard into an outdoor oasis. No matter what lit the spark, you’ve made the decision to build your dream deck. Here’s the catch: you hope to have it done in time to kick off the summer. Is that feasible? What is the realistic timeline for building a deck? Here are a few things to consider:

1. Remodel or New Deck:

If you already have an existing deck with a sturdy frame, you may want to consider just replacing the deck boards. This could significantly cut some time off the project and give you a bit of a stress-free starting point. However, if you do want to build a new deck from scratch, this will add some time and effort to your overall timeline.

2. Materials and Design:

Depending on the materials you choose and the aesthetic you’re after, your choices in-store may be limited. If the products you need are in stock, then you’re good to go. If you have to put in a special order for materials, then you will have to wait for those to come in. As a starting point, you can use our Dealer Locator to get a better idea of retailers near you that stock RDI products and move forward with your planning from there.

3. Scheduling a Contractor:

If you’re looking to take this project on yourself, it could mean a shortened timeline. Without the added prospect of working with a contractor’s schedule, you could save the time of waiting for him/her to fit your project into their schedule. Now that spring has arrived, there is also the added layer of it being a busy season for contractors, who can be booked out weeks in advance. Scheduling could easily tack on more time, so consider that when planning your project. If you’re having trouble finding a contractor that installs RDI products, we can help: use our Contractor Locator to find a contractor in your area.

4. Permits:

Depending on local laws and regulations, new permits may be required for this project. This is yet another step in the process and could force the timeline out longer than you initially anticipated. You want to make sure that your permits are taken care of as soon as possible. If you are unsure of the permit rules of your town, call your local municipality to check before starting the project.

5. Installation:

After all the preparation is done, the real heavy lifting can begin. The time it takes to build will depend on the size of your deck, the materials being used and the reliability and availability of your contractor. So, in reality, installing the deck itself could take less time than it does to initially plan your deck project.

To cover all bases, we recommend planning your decking project in the previous season. For instance, if you want your dream deck to be ready to enjoy by Memorial Day, start the process in January or February. Search for a contractor, research materials and figure out a solid plan for what you want. Projects can take anywhere from one to three months total, depending on the busyness of the season, readiness of materials and availability of contractors. Planning ahead and being ready for anything is a necessary part of the process and should be considered in your timeline.

While you’re in the throes of planning, be sure to check out our inspiration gallery to spark some creative ideas that could help you make your dream deck a reality.