The Best Time of Year to Build a Deck

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Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a few years. Maybe it’s the first project on your new property’s to-do list. Either way, it might feel tempting to wait for the perfect time to build a new deck in Calgary. But if you’re imagining a quick weekend job under the hot summer sun…you may have to think again.

Summer might actually be one of the worst times of year to build a deck, and fall and winter often come out on top. Let’s dig deeper into why that is.

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Factors in Deck Construction

As a homeowner, you’re likely already aware about all the ways that common building materials can degrade. Wood can warp, break, rot, or get splotches of discolouration. Metal can rust, distort, and weaken. Some synthetic materials can break down with UV rays unless they are protected. This isn’t as big of an issue with composite like Trex, since it is designed to be extra-hardy in all weather conditions.

This is all to say that the time of year can impact the quality of your deck before it is even finished. If there’s direct sunlight and lots of moisture in the air (like in Calgary’s up-and-down spring and summer weather), materials like pressure treated wood may not set properly. Water can get into cracks and holes before being sealed.

Beyond that, soft ground with lots of melting snow can interfere with the strength of the foundations, too. We haven’t even mentioned the impact on the rest of your yard, either – new grass and soft dirt are easy to damage, even with plenty of precautions.

So, what’s the best way to reduce the effect of water, heat, and debris like mud and grit? Building a deck in the fall or winter!

Can You Build a Deck in Winter?

You sure can, with a bit of planning. Obviously, snow, ice, and low temperatures will need to be worked around – but if you start a deck in the fall and have it prepped and finished before the snow starts to fall, you will be in great shape for spring.

winter deck building company

Here we are building decks out in the snow!

Here are five benefits of building a deck in autumn or winter:

  1. There’s less humidity in the air and water in the ground. This helps keep wood from warping, and ensures the foundations are stronger. Just as you don’t want it too hot when building, you also don’t want it too cold – and fall weather can be perfect for this. Note that most types of wood need to be stained or sealed within 60 days of building, and the temperature should be at least 10° C or so for that. Keep that in mind when planning.
  2. You get more attention from the builders. Fall and especially winter are the slowest seasons for most builders and renovators. Rather than calling in spring and waiting three months for your deck to be done, you get a faster project with plenty of personalized attention.
  3. You can probably save money on materials. Because it’s the slow season for construction work, prices generally drop in the colder months. With costs so hard to predict lately, choosing to do your deck in winter can lead to substantial savings over the same deck built in the middle of summer.
  4. Less impact on your yard. Spring makes the ground spongy and soft – and that mud easily lifts and spreads around the work area. Grass can be trampled or covered. By building a deck in the winter or autumn, the ground will be firmer and more resistant to damage, while also offering more strength for screw piles and supports.
  5. It will be ready for the first warm day of spring. On the first warm days of March and April, literally hundreds of homeowners are calling for quotes on their deck builds. But you? You thought ahead, and yours was finished back in October or during a November chinook and took care of it properly through the winter. It’s all done, it looks great, and you and your friends are outside enjoying the first rays of sunshine while your neighbours are on hold on the phone.

Building A Deck in the winter in Calgary, Alberta

If you need more advice on building a deck in Douglasdale, a patio in Panorama Hills, or a balcony in Beddington – Maritime West Construction is here to help! Even with all the reasons listed above, you might have your own timelines that make it necessary to build in spring or summer. We can work around that and deliver an amazing result no matter what time of year it is.

Don’t wait for everyone else in southern Alberta to get ahead of you in line. Give us a call or send us a message and we’ll get you started with all you need to know about building a deck in Calgary – with the best time, the best price, and the best service!


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