How Long Does It Take to Build a Deck? A Case Study and Personal Experience


Building a deck can be a fun DIY project, but it can also take time to complete if you don’t know what you’re doing. In this guide, we will explore the factors that affect how long it takes to build a deck and provide case studies and personal experiences to help you make an informed decision.

Factors Affecting Deck Building Time:

  1. Size of the deck: Larger decks take longer to build due to the need for more materials and assembly time.
  2. Complexity of design: Intricate designs or unusual shapes may delay construction.
  3. Experience level: Experienced builders can complete projects faster than beginners.
  4. Weather conditions: Bad weather can delay the construction process.
  5. Permits and regulations: Obtaining permits and complying with local building codes can add time to the project.

Case Study: Building a 16×20 Deck

I recently built a 16×20 deck for my backyard, which took approximately four weeks to complete. I had some experience with woodworking but still had to research and plan carefully before starting. Purchasing all materials in advance helped avoid any delays caused by material availability. The weather was cooperative most of the time, making it easier to work outside. Obtaining necessary permits and inspections took about two weeks, adding to the total time.

Personal Experience: Building a Small Deck

A few years ago, I built a small deck for my front porch using mostly salvaged wood. It took me about a week to complete, including time to gather materials and research. The size of the deck and complexity of the design were relatively simple, so permits or inspections weren’t necessary. Planning ahead was crucial; gathering all necessary tools and supplies before starting saved time later in the process.


Q: How much does it cost to build a deck?

On average, homeowners can expect to pay anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000 for a 16×20 deck, including materials and labor.

Q: Do I need permits to build a deck?

Most cities and towns require permits for decks over a certain size or that exceed a certain height. Check with local building codes to ensure compliance.

Q: Can I use salvaged wood to build a deck?

Yes, salvaged wood can be used, but make sure it’s safe and stable for use. Treat against insect damage and rot.


Building a deck can be a fun and rewarding project with careful planning, attention to detail, and research. Consider the factors that affect how long it takes to complete and take the necessary steps to ensure a successful outcome.