The COVID-19 pandemic has obviously brought many challenges to all of
us and some of us have been impacted more than others.
With all the travel restrictions and people spending the majority of their time
at home, the Outdoor Living construction business was booming
throughout 2020 leaving most reputable contractors’ schedule full as we
move into the 2021 build season.
Today I wanted to talk to you about something on the “little lighter” side of
how the pandemic and global issues are impacting the Outdoor Living
construction business and why, for the first time in many years that we are
suggesting stone work opposed to decking to enhance your outdoor living
Whether your preference is Cedar or Trex, all the framing material is
constructed out of pressure treated pine, and just like in June 2020 there is
a forecasted shortage of pressure treated lumber.
This shortage poses several risks but the biggest two include:
a) if the material is not available, the deck can’t be built
b) if the material is available, the cost of the material is going to drastically
increase, which will ultimately impact the final price which will ultimately
impact your budget.
2) if you are looking for a cedar deck there is almost no cedar deck boards
on the market. Due to the lockdown orders, new safety protocols, a spike in
home remodelling and a massive wildfire season, many parts of the USA
and Canada are facing cedar shortages.
Cedar is so scarce that we are prioritizing the cedar decks we have in our
pipeline, and building them first.
DESIGN, SALES & PERMIT PROCESS
In order to build you a deck, even if we are replacing an existing deck, 99%
of the time a permit is required. In order to get a permit we need provide
you with a design drawing, and provide the city or town with a technical
drawing on how the deck will be constructed.
Providing you with a design and an estimate is the easy part which
happens promptly as we have control of this part.
Where the risk comes is when it comes to the city or town reviewing the
permit application. With many public sector employees working from home,
combined with the shear volume of applications, you can expect significant
In 2020 we saw permit applications taking up to six full months.
As mentioned earlier, any reputable contractor already has projects
scheduled into June or July of 2021. Here we are in early March and if you
haven’t started planning your deck build, you might just be too late due to
the above points.
As a contractor who loves building high end Cedar and Trex decks, I totally
understand if you are adamant about having a deck built. Perhaps you are
looking for a second story deck and have no choice but to have a deck
I am also a contractor who believes in planning, so if a deck is what you are
set on, lets start planning now, to plan sometime in 2021, knowing that it
may not be built until the spring of 2022.
AN ALTERNATIVE TO DECKING
One of the many good things about being in both the stone and decking
business is that we are very versatile with how we can assist with
enhancing your outdoor living space.
As a good alternative to a deck is an interlocked patio and here are a few
pro’s and con’s of doing so:
a) material shortages are not as significant
c) there is no permit process required
d) in comparison to decking we will be able to build your project much
e) interlocking is more than half the cost of Trex decking
a) nothing really beats a beautiful Trex deck
f) there some maintenance required (although not much) with interlocking
g) five year warranty on a deck, one year warranty on interlocking
In closing, Green Side Up Contracting is your one stop shop when it comes
to enhancing your outdoor living space, I simply wanted to provide you with
some insight in the situation the decking industry is facing.
On your side,