Building or Upgrading a New Deck for the Summer

Table of Contents

Summer is the perfect time to think about building, repairing, or upgrading your deck for your family to enjoy. Having an outdoor living space is always a plus at any time of year in South Carolina. But in 2020, it is a must. 

A deck is elevated from the ground which minimizes your risk of contact with fire ants and gives you access to more breezes. Usually, people have decks in the backyard so there is a lot more privacy than you would have on a big front porch.

Decks can often accommodate a grill and table and chairs. If you have a big enough deck, you can even have a sitting area, as well, with a couch, chairs, and maybe even a hammock. 

If you have an above-ground pool, a deck with enough space for some chairs can make getting in and out much easier. And it provides a better vantage point for adults to watch the children swim.

If you have an inground pool, you may want to have concrete immediately around the pool but then you can build a large deck nearby to hold a table, grill, and plenty of chairs for family and friends to congregate and have a pool party.

Sitting outside on your deck is a chance to connect with nature and soak in a bit of sunlight and vitamin D. You can boost your mood and your immune system at the same time! It’s an extra office space for working on a laptop or a great spot for a family brunch on the weekends.

closeup of a lot of $100 bills
Vladimir Solomyani at Unsplash

Backyard deck ideas on a budget

If you don’t have a deck at all, maybe this is the year to build one yourself or have one built for you. Even a small square 10 ft. by 10 ft. deck can add a lot of value to your home and provide a much-needed retreat and escape from the noise in the house.

A floating deck

If you have a flat area in your backyard, you may be able to build your own floating deck from recycled pallets. You may be able to do it for about $300. Simply waterproof and lay down the pallets as your foundation. Then nail your pressure-treated wood decking on top and as trim on the side. Be sure to treat your wood deck regularly to make it waterproof so it will last longer.

The cheapest decking material 

The least expensive decking material is pressure-treated lumber. The great news here is that a new wood deck will often recover 106% of its value when the house is sold in one study.

Composite decks cost much more than wood decks. They don’t tend to recoup their value as well when a house is sold. But they last a much longer time and can be a good investment if your family enjoys being outside and plans to live in your home for many years.

How much does it cost to build a 10×10 deck?

The average cost in 2020 for building a 10×10 deck is $2,200 with a range of $1500-$3500. You can expect to spend anywhere from $15-30 per square foot depending on whether you do the work yourself and which materials you use.

Labor costs run from $8-$22 per square foot. So you can save quite a lot of money if you have the ability and time to build a deck yourself.

three shade sails (blue, yellow, and red) with the sun and blue sky in the background

Covered deck ideas

If you want to upgrade your deck to something even more enjoyable, consider adding some type of covering or shade canopy. Then you can utilize your deck even without worrying about the heat of the sun. And, depending on what type of covering you choose, you can even use a covered deck in the rain.

Some deck coverings also support mesh curtains or screens to keep out mosquitos, flys, bees, and other flying insects. This can make your outdoor experience much better!

A cover can also protect the deck from the elements and keep it from weathering as quickly. And it can improve the aesthetics and value of the deck.

There are many options to choose from to cover your deck if you would like something a bit more substantial than just an umbrella. The prices range from $1000 to $10,000 for an average-sized deck.


You can have a fixed awning that is always in place or you can invest in a more expensive retractable awning that you can unfold or fold. A retractable awning allows you to protect the awning from the sun and from wind and storms so that it will last longer.

Shade sail

Shade sails are large pieces of outdoor fabric that filter out UV and sunlight and are stretched over the deck. You can use one or layer multiple sails to provide the amount of shade you need. Sails come in many different colors and provide a beautiful aesthetic and functional effect over decks, pools, and playgrounds.


A pergola has columns or beams that support a beamed roof. There is no protection from the rain with a pergola, but you can cover the roof with fabric for a welcoming shady spot. And pergolas can support privacy curtains or mesh curtains to keep out insects.


This can be a portable tent-like structure that provides shade. Or you can purchase a permanent pavilion that protects your deck and your family from both sun and rain. The permanent pavilions can also support privacy or mesh curtains.

Roof extension

This is one of the most expensive ways to cover a deck but the covering is permanent and can improve the aesthetic of your deck covering and increase the value the most.

If a roof extension is not possible because of the formation of your roof, you can still build a permanent roof over the deck that attaches to the wall of the home or something free-standing.

weathered deck beside a modern house wiht large glass doors
Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Restore a deck

If you have a wooden deck, it will require maintenance and proper care. If it is in pretty good shape, you may just need to pressure wash it now and then. 

Stain the wood every 2-3 years

  • Scrape any loose paint or stain with a paint scraper.
  • Sand the surface of the deck, if needed.
  • Brush the surface to remove any flakes of paint, stain, or dirt.
  • Apply a deck cleaner.
  • Pressure wash the deck.
  • Replace any broken/rotten boards.
  • Apply the new finish or a deck restore paint.

Deck repair/pool deck repair

If boards have come loose, attach them securely with deck screws. If the deck has rotten boards, remove those and replace them with fresh ones (be sure to wear proper safety equipment). 

Mother and daughter reading on a deck overlooking the mountains
Photo by Elisabeth Wales on Unsplash

Deck stain colors

When you choose a deck stain and sealer, you have many options that can completely change the mood and appearance of your deck. The most common colors for staining decks in 2020 are browns, blues, grays, reds, and naturals.

Browns work with nature and provide a beautiful contrast to a house that is tan, white, or other neutral tones. There are many variations of shades that can allow you to create a casual or even elegant atmosphere.

Blues and grays are very similar and work with coastal themes or as a contrast to white and black. They can even bring harmony to reds and yellows.

Natural wood stains are perfect for those who desire a rustic effect or who prefer a clean design without any fuss.

Reds can provide a base for Spanish, Italian, or Indian themed homes and provide a warm welcome for guests. 

Ready to repair or upgrade your deck in the Columbia, SC area?

At Punch List Pros, we are happy to help you with deck repair, gazebo repair, and minor upgrades to your deck.

Please contact us today and we’ll help you get your deck in great shape!

For a full list of our services, click here.


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