I know it may seem a bit premature to talk about shopping for a new deck. As I write this, we have a fresh layer of snow on the ground and it is a frigid 10 degrees outside. But we are approaching the end of February, and spring is just around the corner. So I have some practical advice to help you get started making decisions for your new deck.
#1 Decide on a budget up front. Knowing how much money you have to spend on your project before you start making decisions, will make it a lot easier to stay within that budget.
#2 Get quotes from several deck builders. Each company has their unique perspective on your project. So it can be very helpful to get quotes and drawings from a few different deck builders.
#3 Choose your Deck Builder. Aside from the usual, make sure that they are insured and licensed for your area, we think the most important thing is to pick someone you trust.
#4 Choose your design. It can be very helpful to think about what you will use the deck for most often, and then make sure the design you choose will work well for those things.
#5 Choose your materials.It is important to think about warranties, long term maintenance and care, as well as price, color selection, and durability.
We have a lot more to say about these 5 steps in our Build Your Deck section.
By Ray Ebersol