Building a Cheap Deck — 5 Ways to Save

raw, wood building material

Building a quality deck does not necessarily mean having to spend a lot of money. Here are a few tips to keeping your costs low when building a deck yourself.

Reuse Building Materials

Many people offer building materials for free on Craigslist and similar websites. The key is to check groups or websites that serve rural areas, where people will most likely have surplus materials. Free is the best, but you can find used building materials for cheaper prices on these sites too. Using recycled building materials is trending right now and, done correctly, can look avant-garde and eclectic rather than cheap.

You can also check out lumber yards and free publications where builders and residents place classified ads for free or cheap materials.

Build a Pallet Deck

Although you can build a regular deck for cheap, a pallet deck is worth considering. Not only are pallets inexpensive or sometimes free, but also pallets can add interesting character to your home. You can arrange them in different shapes and paint or finish them in any color.

Use Standard Sizes

Any customization is going to raise the prices on the materials you need to build the deck. Stick with simple lumber and other standard materials. A simple deck can still be a beautiful deck.

Skip Pretreated Wood

Treated wood is more costly than untreated wood. Plus, the jury is still out on how safe these chemicals are when it comes to your health. However, if you still want to treat your wood, you can purchase a chemical wood treatment and apply it yourself. Although this will take more time, you'll save more money and can save the leftovers for reapplication as needed.

Seal and Preserve Your Deck

When building a deck out of raw, cheap materials, it’s important that you seal your deck so that it doesn’t rot or decay. While you can purchase a sealant from the store, you can also make your own using different methods like boiling linseed oil or using mineral spirits, pigments, or milicide.