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The Best Time to Build a Deck

Steve Thompson
December 18, 2020

If you’re wondering when is the best time to build a deck, experts say in the fall or winter. Not only will the deck be ready for the spring, but you’ll also get the best conditions for staining it during the winter months. Here's a closer look at why winter is an excellent time to begin planning for putting in a new deck.

Avoid the Spring Rush

Since most homeowners who hire contractors to build new decks wait until spring, you can get better deals during the "off-season." There's less competition for projects in the winter among contractors due to lower demand. If you wait until spring, scheduling will be tighter, and you'll have a more challenging time finding an exceptional deal. So consider the supply and demand factors and take advantage when demand is low.

Plan to Secure Permits

Winter is the best time to build a deck because you need to plan the project anyway by applying for your local government’s proper permits. Sometimes it takes a while for permits to get approved. You must also hire the right experienced contractor to make sure the installation work is done correctly and is backed by a guarantee. In case the project has delays in the winter, you may still be able to plan spring events.

Get a Nice Stain Job

Since humid conditions are more prevalent in spring, the staining of wood can cause peeling and cracking. Another problem with staining in the spring is that it's a period when direct sunlight causes watermarks on wood. Staining wood is much more effective in winter when it's easier for wood to absorb the staining solution. The stain is more likely to evaporate when applied on a warm sunny day, while 50 to 90 degrees F is the ideal temperature range for staining.

Wood Treatment

Once again, the best time for enjoying a deck is not the best time to construct, stain, or coat one, which is not spring, summer, nor when humidity levels are high. The lumber used in building outdoor decks takes a few months to dry. During hot weather, the lumber can warp from exposure to sunlight. During winter, by contrast, the wood dries more evenly.

While winter has its advantages, fall is an ideal time to let the wood dry. It can also be a time to get deals while avoiding severe rainy weather.

Better for Landscaping

During the spring, the ground is moister, making it easy to leave marks on the lawn. You're less likely to see these marks in the winter when contractors arrive to work on the deck. Preserving the landscaping will maintain curb appeal and avoid extra landscaping costs.

Find Best Overall Deals

You may want to add lighting, heaters, and misting systems aside from the deck and landscaping. Heaters make the deck enjoyable throughout the year since even summer nights can be cold. These additions aren't that expensive and can enhance your spring and summer gatherings. Just like with building, you'll likely find the best deals for these extra items in the fall through the winter period.


Understanding why winter is the best time to plan and build a deck can help you get the most for your money. Contact us at WC Deck Waterproofing if you're thinking about waterproof deck coating. Our waterproofing experts can answer all of your deck waterproofing questions.