Many people choose to construct do-it-yourself decks instead of hiring a contractor for the job. The most important phase of building do-it-yourself decks is the planning phase. Before cutting a single board, it is important to plan out exactly where the deck will go, how big it will be, what features will be included in the decks and what zoning laws must be followed during construction. Choosing the best materials is also a vital decision when building do-it-yourself decks, as this will dictate not only the look of the deck, but also the other materials necessary to complete the building project. Some do-it-yourself decks can be built using kits. When choosing a kit, one should keep in mind the budget for the project as well as the size and shape of the desired deck. Carefully plan the size and shape of the deck before purchasing any kits, as many kits will come in a specific shape or size. For custom shapes, building the deck from scratch is a much better option. Choose materials that will look good and last a long time. Composite decking materials for do-it-yourself decks can repel water and resist moisture, though some wood materials can also do this.
Cedar is a great choice for the decks, as it is naturally beautiful, resistant to mold and mildew, and easily maintained. Cedar is, however, one of the more expensive wood choices for do-it-yourself decks, and after several years of exposure to the sun, the boards may fade and need painting or staining. Always use high-quality hardware to secure boards and posts, regardless of the type of wood chosen. High-quality screws and fasteners will resist rusting and wearing when exposed to the elements.