Decking Decisions: Crafting Your Perfect Outdoor Space

Hard Decks team doing a new deck installation project

Ever found yourself daydreaming about those summer BBQs on a brand-new deck? Or perhaps you’ve been torn between grabbing a hammer and nails or dialing up a pro?

This post will guide you through the ins and outs of DIY vs. professional new deck installation, especially if you’re in the Belvidere, IL, area.

Stick around, and we promise you’ll walk away with a clearer vision of how to best approach building your new outdoor space.

DIY vs. Pro New Deck Installation

Hard Decks installing a deck


Decking out your outdoor living space in Belvidere, IL, is an exciting venture, but it’s essential to consider the financial implications. Whether you’re going DIY or hiring a pro, understanding deck installation costs in Belvidere, Illinois, can help you budget effectively.

Initial Investment

Going the DIY route might seem like a cost-effective option at first glance. After all, you’re cutting out labor costs.

But there’s more to a new deck installation than meets the eye. You’ll need to invest in tools, materials, and perhaps even some tutorials.

On the flip side, hiring a pro means you’re getting an all-inclusive package, but it might come with a heftier deck cost.

Hidden Costs

Ah, the unexpected expenses!

DIY deck projects can sometimes lead to unforeseen costs. Maybe you underestimated the deck material costs or had to redo a section because of a mistake.

Professionals, with their experience, often have a better handle on estimating costs (especially when it comes to per square foot), ensuring fewer surprises.

If your existing deck needs to be fully replaced (thus being a new deck installation), don’t forget to factor in the costs of deck removal.

Long-Term Value

Think about the future. A well-executed deck can boost your home’s value. But if your DIY project goes awry, it might not add the value you hoped for.

Professionals usually guarantee their work, ensuring that your new deck stands the test of time and adds to your property’s worth.

Maintenance Costs

Every deck, whether DIY or professionally installed, requires upkeep, which technically raises the average deck cost. However, mistakes made during a DIY new deck installation might lead to higher maintenance costs down the line.

Professionals, with their expertise in decking materials like composite decking or pressure-treated wood, can guide you on maintenance, ensuring your deck remains in tip-top shape.

Time And Energy

Time is money, as they say. And when it comes to deck building, this adage rings true.

Project Duration

DIY projects, especially for first-timers, can stretch over several weekends or even months. The learning curve can slow things down.

Professionals, with their deck-building experience, can often complete a new decking installation project in a fraction of the time, letting you enjoy your outdoor space sooner.

Effort Estimation

New deck installation doesn’t just involve nailing boards together. There’s planning, measuring, and a whole lot of heavy lifting.

If you’re going DIY, be prepared for some sweat and maybe a few sore muscles.

Professionals, on the other hand, have a team and the equipment to make the process smoother.

Unplanned Delays

Weather, wrong materials, or unexpected challenges can cause delays in your deck project.

While DIYers might find these hiccups frustrating, professionals often have contingency plans in place to handle such issues, ensuring your project stays on track.

Post-Installation Adjustments

Once your deck is up, there might be some tweaks needed. Maybe a board is loose, or a section doesn’t look right. DIYers might need to spend additional time to make these adjustments.

Professionals, with their keen eye for detail, often ensure that such post-new deck installation fixes are minimal.

Knowledge And Experience

Dark stained wood railing on low deck

When it comes to deck building, there’s a lot more than just hammering nails. The expertise required can be the difference between a deck that lasts decades and one that needs constant repairs.

Skill Assessment

Let’s be real. Not all of us are born carpenters.

If you’re considering a DIY approach, it’s essential to assess your skills honestly. While there are plenty of tutorials out there, nothing beats hands-on experience.

Professionals, with years under their belt, bring a wealth of knowledge to every new deck installation project.

Mistake Mitigation

Mistakes happen, especially if it’s your first time tackling a project like this. But in deck building, errors can be costly and, at times, dangerous.

Professionals have likely seen it all and know how to avoid common pitfalls, ensuring your new deck is both beautiful and safe.

Learning Curve

Every DIY project comes with its set of challenges.

If you’re new to deck building, be prepared for a steep learning curve. From understanding decking materials like composite decking or wood decking to mastering the art of perfect angles, there’s a lot to grasp.

Professionals, having faced and overcome these challenges, can ensure a smoother process.

Expertise Utilization

There’s a reason people specialize in new deck installation.

The nuances of ensuring a level foundation, selecting the right deck material, and understanding the local building codes in Belvidere, IL, are just a few areas where expertise comes into play. While DIY can be rewarding, leveraging professional expertise can save a lot of headaches.


Ensuring that your deck is a safe haven rather than a hazard is paramount. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or considering hiring a pro, understanding the safety aspects of deck building is crucial, especially in the Belvidere, IL, area.

Tool Safety

Every tool, from hammers to power saws, comes with its set of safety guidelines. For DIYers, it’s essential to familiarize oneself with these rules to avoid accidents.

Professionals, with their routine use of these tools during new deck installation projects, have safety practices ingrained in their workflow.

Structural Integrity

A deck that looks good but isn’t structurally sound is a disaster waiting to happen. Ensuring that the foundation is solid, the deck boards are securely fastened, and the railings are sturdy is crucial.

While DIYers might rely on online guides, professionals bring their expertise to ensure every inch of the deck is safe.

Material Handling

Decking materials, whether it’s pressure-treated wood or composite decking, can be heavy and cumbersome. Proper handling techniques are essential to avoid injuries.

Professionals, with their experience, know the tricks of the trade to handle these materials safely.

Safety Protocols And Best Practices

From wearing the right protective gear for deck building to ensuring the work area is free from hazards, following safety protocols is non-negotiable. While DIYers should invest time in learning these practices, professionals come equipped with this knowledge, ensuring a safe new deck installation process.

Building Code And Permit Compliance

Navigating the maze of building codes and permits can be daunting, especially for the uninitiated. Whether you’re in the heart of Belvidere, IL, or its outskirts, understanding local regulations is crucial for any deck project.

Building Codes Adherence

Every region, including Belvidere, IL, has specific deck building codes that dictate how structures, including decks, should be constructed. These codes ensure that your new outdoor living space is safe and durable.

While DIYers might find themselves buried in manuals and guidelines, professionals are well-versed in the new deck installation codes, ensuring your deck is up to standard.

Safety Protocols

Beyond the building codes, there are safety protocols that need to be adhered to. This might include guidelines on railings, stairs, and even the spacing between deck boards.

Professionals, with their extensive experience, ensure that every safety protocol is followed to the letter.

Inspection And Approvals

Once your deck is up, it might need to be inspected by local authorities to ensure compliance. DIYers might find this process nerve-wracking, especially if they’re unsure about any aspect of their work.

Professionals, on the other hand, are familiar with the inspection process and can even liaise with inspectors on your behalf.

Liability And Insurance

If something goes wrong during the new deck installation project, who’s liable? DIYers take on all the responsibility, which can be a significant burden.

Professionals, on the other hand, usually have insurance that covers potential mishaps, giving homeowners peace of mind.

Design And Aesthetic

Beautiful reddish-brown deck with built-in seating and a pergola

Your deck isn’t just a functional space; it’s an extension of your home. Ensuring it aligns with your aesthetic vision while being functional is essential.

Customization Options

The world of decking materials, from composite deck options to traditional wood decking, offers a plethora of customization options. Whether you’re envisioning a multi-level deck or a simple platform, understanding the materials and designs available is crucial.

Professionals can offer insights and suggestions for your new deck installation based on the latest trends and your home’s design.

Integration With Home Design

Your new deck should seamlessly blend with your home’s existing design. This integration ensures that your outdoor space feels like a natural extension of your indoor space.

Professionals, with their keen eye for design, can guide homeowners in making design choices that enhance the overall aesthetic.

Trend Awareness

From the latest in composite decking colors to innovative design features, being aware of decking trends can elevate your deck’s design.

While DIYers can spend hours researching, professionals are often at the forefront of industry trends, bringing the latest and best to your new deck installation project.

Functionality And Flow

A deck that looks good but isn’t functional is a missed opportunity. Ensuring a smooth flow, adequate seating, and functional features like built-in planters or storage can make your deck the go-to spot for relaxation.

Professionals can offer insights into maximizing functionality without compromising on design.

Getting Materials

Choosing the right materials is the foundation of any successful new deck installation project. Whether you’re leaning towards a traditional wood deck or exploring the benefits of composite decking, understanding your options is key.

Sourcing And Procurement

Where you get your materials can make a world of difference. While local hardware stores in Belvidere, IL, might have the basics, specialized suppliers often offer a broader range of decking materials.

Professionals usually have established relationships with these suppliers, ensuring you get quality materials for your new deck.

Quality Assurance

Not all deck materials are created equal. From pressure-treated wood to high-end composite deck boards, ensuring you’re getting top-notch quality is crucial.

Professionals often have the expertise to spot inferior products, ensuring your deck stands the test of time.

Storage And Handling

Decking materials, especially wood decking, need to be stored correctly to prevent warping or damage. DIYers might face challenges in ensuring proper storage, especially if their new deck installation project stretches over several weeks.

Professionals, with their experience, ensure materials are stored under optimal conditions.

Bulk Discounts And Deals

One of the perks of hiring professionals is the potential savings on materials. Thanks to their bulk purchasing power, professionals can often secure discounts, ensuring your deck material costs remain within budget.

Post-Installation Support

Custom wood insert with Hard Decks on it

Once your deck is up and shining, the journey doesn’t end there. Ensuring it remains in pristine condition requires ongoing care and, occasionally, some tweaks.

Warranty And Guarantees

A significant advantage of professional new deck installation is the warranties and guarantees that come with it. These assurances ensure that if anything goes amiss with your new deck, you’re covered.

DIY projects, on the other hand, don’t come with such guarantees.

Repair And Maintenance Services

Decks, especially those in areas like Belvidere, IL, with its varied weather, require regular maintenance. Professionals often offer maintenance services, ensuring your outdoor living space remains in top condition year-round.

Upgrades And Renovations

As deck trends change or as your needs evolve, you might consider upgrading or renovating your deck. Professionals can guide you through this process, ensuring any additions or changes align with the existing structure.

Customer Feedback And Adjustments

Post-installation, there might be minor adjustments needed. Maybe a board feels loose, or a railing isn’t as sturdy. Professionals value customer feedback and will ensure any concerns are addressed promptly.

DIY New Deck Building Pros And Cons

Newly built wooden deck



Professional New Deck Building Pros And Cons

Painted deck



Hard Decks: Your New Deck Dream Team

We’ve walked you through the pros and cons, the costs, and the considerations for a new deck installation project. Now you should know whether your DIY skills have what it takes, or if hiring a pro is actually the best route.

One thing’s for sure: Hard Decks is here to help. With our expertise, dedication, and passion for decking, we can turn your outdoor living space dreams into reality.

Ready to take the next step? Fill out our contact form today, or give us a call. Your dream deck awaits!