Whenever we speak about building a deck in the winter to our clients they tend to have a surprising reaction. We understand that the weather is cold and comes with a lot of snow and ice. Contrary to belief, however, there can be some real advantages to the building during the winter months. As a homeowner, wouldn’t it be nice to have a new deck ready for the spring and summer? Deck contractors actually enjoy the building and designing of a deck during or even before the winter because it keeps them busy. As we all know, the fall and winter months tend to slow down.

Once area that we find to be really important is the footings of a deck. Footings should be dug and concrete poured during late fall. We usually do all of the footings for out winter deck projects at this time so they are ready for the winter build. If the cold comes earlier than normal, you can add hay to the area where the footings will be dug to slow the frost down.

Once the ground has already started to freeze, it’s time to bring out the torch! A blow torch can be used to thaw the exact footing locations, assuming the frost is not down too far. Once the ground is thawed you can either install the diamond pier footings or dig to prepare for concrete. If concrete is being used, you will want to make sure and add some of the available additives to prevent premature freezing while it starts curing. If the ground is too frozen to thaw, and the deck is up high enough to get under it, it is also possible to temporarily support the deck until spring, completing the footings when the ground is thawed

As far as building the deck, not much else will stand in your way. Snow will have to be moved, hands will be cold, and some of the material can get a little brittle – so cut slow.