Do you want a new backyard but don’t know where to begin? It could be that you’ve already thought out your backyard and have a good idea of what you want. We get it, it’s hard to visualize the final picture! At Ace of Decks, we get people on both sides of the spectrum. However there is a lot to be said about the benefits of a well thought out design. Regardless of what side of the spectrum you are on, creating a design is the most crucial part of any backyard project.

Starting a design in any season is feasible, however we are here to tell you how designing a project in the winter will tee you up for a successful outdoor living space makeover.

Let’s take a deep dive and look at the top 10 reasons to start your design in the winter!

1. Company Availability (Design Consulting)

ideas for deck design

Taking the time to thoroughly discuss what you are hoping to achieve with your outdoor living space is the starting point to creating your ideal space. Consulting often requires multiple phone calls or in person meetings to discuss layouts, materials, logistics, permits, potential obstacles, and even color schemes.

In addition, if your home project involves electrical work, plumbing, or drainage, it is a good time to identify those needs and identify a plan for how that will be achieved. If you are located in the Midwest or in an area that is affected by seasonalities, winter is the ideal time to start planning. During the winter contractors have more time to focus on your project and give you more attention without having to deal with the pressures of production. In turn, this will allow your project to be more well thought out and have a smoother production process.

2. The Perfect Design! (3D Rendering / Construction Print)

deck with roof designs

Having a 3D Rendering is the ultimate way to ensure you love your project long before it is built! Although not all contractors offer renderings, finding one that does can save you confusion and headaches. A 3D Rendering gives you a visualization on all the details of your project and even depicts the layout of your home in order for you to really understand what will be done. It is a beneficial concept because every detail can be addressed and ensures that you and your contractor are truly on the same page.

3. Cut in Line for Spring and Summer RUSH

deck and patio design

Spring and Summer are the busiest times of the year for contractors. As the weather changes, everyone begins to think about those outdoor living spaces. Contractors typically experience a flood of work beginning in March and within a few weeks schedules are booked up for the spring and summer and sometimes even for the whole year. Starting a project at this time is very difficult because everyone is busy. Getting ahead of this rush ensures your project is scheduled and ready for construction in the spring.

4. Avoid Material Delays

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Planning out a project ahead of time includes scheduling material orders and deliveries ahead of time. Oftentimes, many suppliers for construction companies prefer that contractors have project and material lists turned in early to avoid shortages and delays and to be able to have a forecast for the spring and summer.

5. Avoid Permit Delays

design ideas for decks

A significant factor that has given contractors a hard time are permits. In most cases a permit can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on where you live. We have many aspects to consider such as, municipality permits and HOA’s that could delay the start of your project. Starting your design in the winter can help to handle permits when things are slow. Just like contractors, building departments get flooded in the spring and summer and it is guaranteed that processing a permit will take longer if it is submitted in the spring. Get ahead and start planning during the winter season!

6. Explore Options

outdoor deck covering

Outdoor living spaces are not what they used to be. The possibilities are endless for your outdoor living space and it is important that you know what your options are. Of course, within this process you are getting ready to spend a lot of money and it is important to feel certain that you are happy with everything you have chosen. Taking the time to explore those options can make the ALL difference between liking and loving your new outdoor living space!

7. Find The Right Company

split level multi level deck designs

The winter months are fairly slow for most companies which allows it to be the perfect time to find one that meets your needs. Keep in mind that not all companies or contractors are the same. Every company has different services and processes of doing things. Finding the right contractor can be crucial in order to ensure your backyard transformation is a pleasant experience. Aside from the technical aspect of the project, at Ace of Decks we believe that a personal connection is highly important. Establishing a relationship with the company or contractor can make the experience much more enjoyable and much easier to navigate when issues (if any) arise.

8. Pricing & Budgeting

composite deck cable railing with swimming pool

Although pricing is not always the main determining factor, it is certainly a crucial factor in a deck or backyard design and build. Starting your design early allows you to explore options to meet your budget. Every product in the market has different price points and finding the right combination of materials will allow you to take the time to meet your budget. For example, every decking manufacturer has “good” “better” and “best” options. Like decking, this is the case for railings, pavers, overhangs and anything else. Take the time to find the combination that works for you!

9. Smooth Construction Process

deck design checklist

A little behind the scenes insight, many companies and contractors love to know how the season will unfold. Getting projects in hand and in line allows us to deliver a better experience to the homeowner. The spring season is hectic and being able to take care of the planning and paperwork during the off months is the best case scenario. Preparing a material list and having permits taken care of allows contractors to establish better relationships with vendors, city officials, and crews. Ultimately, it becomes a win-win for you, as the homeowner as well as the company. Lastly, having all of the planning and paperwork out of the way allows companies to focus on the production process without the headaches of paperwork simultaneously.

10. Minimize Risk

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In the construction industry, risk is always lurking. Anywhere from logistics issues, to weather delays, to changes mid projects, inspector requests, etc. there is always a certain level of risk. Establishing a thorough plan of attack minimizes or even avoids many risks. Simple concepts and questions such as: “Where will the material be placed?”, “How will we access the backyard?” or “How will this affect your pets routine?” Allowing the time to think these details through will allow for a better experience and will help minimize risk as much as possible.