Is It Better to Have a Deck Built Before Winter (Expansion and Contraction of Wood?)
Most homeowners who are looking to have a new deck installed might do so in the spring for the simple reason of being able to enjoy the new space for summer barbecues and relaxation. Maybe you recently bought a house or just found the budget for some home improvements – just because it’s autumn does that mean your window for having a deck has closed? Would some people say that it’s actually better to have a deck installed before cold and wet weather?
Wood Is Going to Expand and Contract
One thing you’ll notice is that even a (wood) deck built early in the spring that has had a couple months to acclimate to warm weather will shift a bit when the temperatures get colder. If you walk out on your deck on a cold day, you may notice gaps that seem a bit larger – but rest assured they will return to normal once the wood expands back in the heat.
What About Sealing the Deck Before Winter
You’ll be able to enjoy the deck itself the day construction finishes. As far as finishing (sealing) and protecting it, that becomes a more slippery slope the further construction goes into the cold months. This is still not a bad thing though. Protective coatings such as RainCoat can be applied immediately after the wood is installed. There’s a rule of thumb of waiting at least 30 days to seal a deck so that the pressure-treated wood can dry. Unfortunately the wood might not dry enough in the winter so the actual staining could be a great spring project.
Different Deck Materials Besides Pressure Treated Wood
Another thing to remember is that your new deck definitely does not have to be constructed of the traditional pine pressure treated wood. You could opt for a redwood or cedar deck that has a natural resistance to weather damage as well as insects. Composite decks are a combination of wood and plastic that are said to last for up to 30 years or more. Aluminum is another option for your decking material that provides a durable, weather resistant, and fire proof alternative to pressure treated lumber.
Be Ready to Enjoy Your Deck on the First Day of Spring
One of the major benefits of having your deck built at the end of the warm season is that you’ll be able to fully enjoy it the very first day that the weather gets nice. If you’d like to get more information on the options available to you feel free to give us a call today for a free estimate.