Lumber and Trex Market Update: 1/29/2022
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Can You Make Changes During Your Project? Here’s What You Need to Know

Large Trex Deck with Parting Board

As humans, it’s only natural that we change our minds once in a while or get a little indecisive. Especially when it comes to big decisions, like the design or layout of a deck. After all, it’s likely going to last you for decades before it needs replacing. 

But what happens if you want to make changes after signing the contract, getting the permit, or the crew has already started building? You may be second-guessing a decision on color or just discovered a type of lighting you’d love to add.

We’re here to clear up the confusion!

Here’s what you need to know about making changes to your deck design, even if the project is already underway. 

Making Changes to Your Deck

The good news is, you can absolutely make changes. But depending on how far along the project is, certain modifications may be more difficult than others. 

Let’s explore this in a little more detail.

Decking Color and Railing Changes

We can easily swap railing styles or the color of railings and decking as long as we haven’t installed them yet. Previously cut or installed materials aren’t returnable to the lumberyard, so to replace them with a new color or style would be an added expense.


If you’ve realized after we’ve started what a fantastic decision lighting is, we can almost always make it work. However, the level of difficulty will come down to these factors:

  • The brand and style of lighting (check out our post on deck lighting)
  • The phase of the deck build

Trex Lighting
Railing Post Lighting

Trex railing post lighting is always best to add before we install the railings. This type of lighting is hardwired, so installing it afterward would require us to disassemble most, if not all, of the railing.

If this is the case on your project, another option we recommend is using solar-powered post cap lights. Aesthetically, they’re equally as beautiful and create a similar light. 

Stair Risers
Trex riser lights are more straightforward, and we can usually install them just as easily after the deck is complete. 

If your deck is more than 3 feet off the ground, we shouldn’t run into any problems. Considering riser lights are often one of the last things we do on a deck build anyway. If your deck is lower, it may require a little more work.

PRO TIP: Budget-Friendly

If you’re targeting a specific budget, sometimes you’ll need to pick and choose between upgrades. Consider installing riser lights at a later date to free up more of the budget for the initial build.

Deck Design

Changing the layout or structure of your deck can be a little more challenging, depending on permits and how significant the change is. 

Are the Building Plans and Permits Approved?
If we (or your deck builder) haven’t completed or submitted the construction drawings and permit for the project, changing the design is easy. And no additional “change fees” are necessary, in our opinion. 

However, if the plans are complete and we’ve applied for the permit, we’ll need extra time to re-engineer the drawings. And many building departments charge a fee for making changes once they’ve received the permit application or have already issued it. 

Minor Changes
If the change is minor (which is project-specific), like adding 1 foot to the depth of the deck, some building departments won’t charge a fee. We can simply make the changes after having a verbal conservation with the inspector. 

Other departments will require a new drawing, a change fee, a permit resubmission, and time to review the changes. In many cases, it can take weeks to approve through the proper channels, which are usually the zoning and building departments.

Also, keep in mind that changes to the design may adjust the materials needed for your project—such as the number of structural posts, the sizing of beams or joists, etc.

Easy Upgrades
The good news, there are some upgrades we can easily add anytime after the build. These include:

  • Cocktail rails (depending on the railing style you chose)
  • Deck skirting or lattice
  • Gates
  • Solar-powered lighting

Work With Your Builder

It’s always a good idea to work with your deck builder during the design process to reduce or eliminate the chance of making changes once the project starts. They should walk you through all the available options for: 

  • Decking
  • Railings
  • Fascia
  • Lighting
  • Stone 
  • Skirting
  • Any other design options offered

This way, you know all of your available options ahead of time and have time to consider them. But, if you still end up wanting to make changes, that’s completely fine, as long as we’re on the same page about the process.

The Bottom Line

Generally, there’s always a way to make changes after the project has started. It’s a question of how difficult it will be and how long it will take rather than how possible it is. 

But we hope this post has answered your questions and given you a good idea of what should ideally be decided before the build and what you could change or add either during the build process or after your deck is complete.

What Next?

Are you ready to take the next step and get started on your deck?

At Custom Deck Creations, we build composite decks for clients across Southeast Michigan. We’ll work with you on a design that meets your vision and stays within your budget. We also create multiple 3D designs, so you get a visual of your deck before moving forward, just in case!

If you’re looking for some inspiration, feel free to check out our most recent builds. When you’re ready, give us a call for a free, over-the-phone estimate. 

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About Custom Deck Creations

From design to installation, Custom Deck Creations combines beautiful decks with fair pricing and unparalleled customer service. Our designs stand out, while our install processes exceeds expectations. We are a certified TrexPro Platinum builder. Custom Deck Creations is located in and serves Southeast Michigan. 

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Lumber and Trex Market Costs Update

Last Updated: 1/29/2022
Custom Deck Creations

A brief look into the current and expected inflation

Quick Summary

Lumber rose +28% locally from November 2021 to January 2022, and is expected for another significant double-digit increase impacting us in June 2022. We’re also anticipating a cost increase  from Trex around that  same time frame. Depending on size and material selection, decks are anticipated to increase in cost an average of $2,000 to $4,000 come June 2022. Custom Deck Creations is currently scheduling projects for April/May, before we feel these cost increases. Schedule a quote with us today to lock in today’s costs.

For a more detailed look into the market, please continue reading:


The lumber market continues to see pressure on the supply side. Canadian truck drivers are protesting COVID vaccine mandates, threatening to disrupt deliveries in Canada and possibly into the US. Fuel prices are also increasing. Overall demand for Southern Yellow Pine (pressure treated lumber used here in MI) remains steady. Mills are not sitting on a lot of inventory. Lead times from mills to dealers are getting extended.

Pressure treated lumber costs increased locally +28% from November 2021 to January 2022.

Lumber is expected to increase another ~+40% in June 2022. 

Custom Deck Creations is currently scheduling projects for April & May 2022, before we’re impacted by these increased costs.


Data from Trex distributors nationwide are seeing a steady growth in purchases even through winter.

Trex continues to see huge demand increases nationwide. 

Our Interpretation

Lumber will continue to rise in price throughout 2022. We don’t believe we’ll see pre-2022 lumber pricing any time soon.

In 2021 Trex put out 4 separate approximately +10% price increases. We believe more are to be expected in 2022. We do not expect Trex to ever lower their pricing.

No Inflationary Clause

Custom Deck Creations does not have an inflationary clause. Lock in today’s lumber and Trex costs with a signed agreement which puts you on our schedule. We will not charge you more even if our costs go up.

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