What is the Best Time of Year to Install a Stone Deck?

As soon as the nice weather rolls around people start to plan their outdoor projects, regardless of whether they are doing the work themselves or hiring a contractor. When it comes to transforming your existing wood deck or building a maintenance-free stone deck people want to know, what is the best time of year to install a stone deck.

If you have been following our previous blogs, you will already be aware of many of the innovative products available on the market to build your stone deck. Understanding that products such as; SilcaGrate, Paverdeck and Paverdeck Plank do not rely on excavation and granular compaction so – what is the best time of year to install a stone deck does not really apply.

Obviously working in very cold, snowy or rainy weather does not make for an enjoyable work environment, regardless if you are a homeowner working on your own project or a contractor being paid to do the work. However, the work still can be done without compromising the integrity of the job. It is important to consider the usability of some products, such as construction adhesives, as there may be limitations for application in extreme temperatures.

What is the best time of year to install a stone deck when transforming your existing wood deck using SilcaGrate or Paverdeck Plank? This depends on the specific weather conditions in your area and you or your contractor’s tolerance for working in those conditions. Since there is no need to deal with the base of the new stone deck, only removing the existing wood decking boards, attaching SilcaGrate or Paverdeck Plank and then laying your stone, working in unfavourable conditions may be more tolerable.

If you are building a stone deck from scratch, the old outdated techniques of excavation and building a granular base would limit you to doing the work once the frost was gone and the weather warmed. Living in Canada, this reduces the window for the best time of year to install a stone deck. Building a new stone deck using some of the innovative products mentioned, such as Paverdeck, you are able to build almost year round, since these products are not built relying on a granular base, but rather a footing base.

If you are a regular here, you will also know that we are big fans of mechanical screw piles. These can be driven all year round even with the ground frozen. The screw pile company would simply do a bit of excavation through the top layer of frozen ground and then drive the screw pile to the prescribed depth and torque. Once this is done you are ready to build the base structure using wood framing, if you are working with SilcaGrate or Paverdeck Plank, or using the Paverdeck System itself. As you can see, when using screw piles and one so these innovative systems – what is the best time of the year to install a stone deck is actually all year long.

We have actually heard from contractors who have told us that over the winter they will install several of the bases for stone decks, driving in the piles and framing the stone deck ready to lay the stone and do the finishing touches in the spring. This greatly extends the season and potential for business for a contractor in Canada who is very much dependant on the weather.

As a homeowner doing the work yourself, this process allows you to spread out not only the work but the cost as well and allows you to enjoy your new maintenance-free stone deck sooner once the nice weather starts.

Thanks to innovative products and companies thinking outside of the box, what is the best time of the year to install a stone deck is totally up to you.

Welcome to the Stone Deck Revolution.

Stone Deck Cost Calculator and Materials

As more and more people search for maintenance-free options for their backyard projects, people are turning towards stone decks. A stone deck system is a cost-effective way to build a new stone deck or even transform your existing wood or composite deck. In this blog we will discuss the stone deck cost calculator and materials to give you a better understanding of what is involved.

Thanks to the many innovative products on the market today, such as SilcaGrate, Paverdeck and Paverdeck Plank, creating that perfect stone deck has never been easier. Building a stone deck can be basically divided into 3 parts; the base, the framing and the cladding material. For any of you that have built a wood deck before you would be very familiar with these three stages.

When looking at stone deck cost calculator and materials the first thing to decide is the style of stone to be used. This is important as it will affect the cost, as well as the build of the framing and base. For example, porcelain pavers, which are 20 mm (3/4″) thick, weigh approximately 9 lbs per sq ft and cost in the range of $10-12 per sq ft. Compare this to a 60 mm (2-3/8″) stone paver that weighs 30 lbs per sq ft and costs in the range of $5-6 per sq ft.

Now that you have decided on the style of stone you can start to plan your base for the stone deck cost calculator and materials. Regardless of which innovative stone deck system you use the base will pretty well be the same. Your choice will be to either have the deck floating or sitting on concrete or mechanical screw pile footings. This blog would be way to long and boring if we tried to cover every build scenario so we will keep it general and within normal building parameters. This means on average you will need a base footing every 8-10 ft of distance on both axis; along the beam line and distance between beams. Whether you float the deck using base pads or choose to use footings will be decided by your soil conditions and the freeze thaw cycles for where you live. It is impossible to speak to contractor labour costs as there are way too many factors to consider, so we will simply look at it from material costs for the DIY project when it comes to stone deck cost calculator and materials.

For creating floating base pads, the most common would be to use a larger 2″ x 24″ patio stone ($5-10 each) with a deck block ($6-8 each) sitting on top of it. This method will require some base preparation to support and stabilize the stone and usually results in needing more floating base pads then you would need footings. The other method would be to create your own 24″ x 24″ x 4″ concrete footing pad which would require four 50lbs bags of concrete mix ($5-6 per bag) and more of your time and energy.

For concrete footings there is a considerable amount of labour involved as you have to excavate down below the frost line which typically means going down 4 ft and wide enough to allow you to install a footing form ($25 each). These are plastic, pre-engineered, concrete footing forms used with sonotubes ($8-15 each depending on size). After these are in place they need to be backfilled and filled with concrete which could take eight to twelve 50 lb bags. A cement truck will cost you typically around $150 per cubic meter plus delivery.

The other alternative, and by far the best choice in our opinion, is to use mechanical screw piles such as Techno Metal Post. The average cost is $250 to $450 each but is worth every penny considering what you get. Each screw pile is engineered and can be driven into place were needed to the exact depth and torque required based on your build specifications, and an engineering report can be obtained. They come with a warranty and once installed you can start your build right away without having to wait for concrete to cure.

The next step in the stone deck cost calculator and materials is the framing materials. When using products such as SilcaGrate or Paverdeck Plank ($8-9 per sq ft) you will need to build your framing using pressure treated wood, which will run you $3-5 per sq ft depending on design. If you are using Paverdeck, which is the framing and subfloor together, this system will run you $12-15 per sq ft depending on design.

If you are converting an existing wood deck into a stone deck your stone deck cost calculator and materials will be slightly less since the framing and base will already be in place and may only need to be beefed up depending on the thickness of stone.

The nice thing about using these innovative stone deck products is that you will find helpful engineering tools and will be able to design and load tables to help you with the stone deck cost calculator and materials. These will allow you to create a beautiful maintenance-free stone deck that will last a lifetime.