All posts by Josh Harmon

How to Build a Deck: 5 Tips From the Pros

5 Tips On How to Build a Deck

Looking at adding a deck to your home? Here are 5 tips on how to build a deck.

Did you know that adding decking to your house could be 80% cheaper than you think?

Houses that have good quality decking installed often rise in value up to 80% of the cost of the decking.

Of course, that is only installing the basic wood structure. After you install other items such as outdoor furniture its appeal rises further.

You may want to make your house look even better, but have never installed decking before. If you want to ensure that you are investing well, what should you look out for?

Check out our list of 5 tips on how to build a deck.

1. Choose Your Design Carefully

Experts say that you should not build decking that is 20% of your house’s square footage.

If you decide to go with this, you will need to plan carefully how you use each square foot. Will you use your decking area mostly for ornaments, or will you host garden parties?

Some add to the beauty of their decking by building more than one level. Perhaps they have the main seating area and a smaller area that is lower and tapers down to a yard.

When designing your deck, plan for your decking to be a few inches below door level. In winter leaves may pile up against the base of the door and, if the same level, the out-swinging storm door will push them into the decking.

This is not only ugly but can cause damage in the long term. Leaving this gap will also keep leaves out of the house.

2. Think in 3-D

If you are building substantial decking, you likely have favorable weather and want to sit outside and enjoy it. To shield you from unwanted sunlight you have a range of options.

If you want to read in peace, you can go with a pergola and sun rays that creep through the wooden slats. To stay out of the sun completely, install an awning.

Once you have shade in place, and a superstructure to hang things from, only your budget limits what you can do.

Elaborate lighting systems, heating systems to allow you to enjoy the decking all year round, TVs, audio systems, Barbeques – the list is endless.

3. Choose Quality Materials

Depending on the weather where you live, your decking may take a pounding. Direct sustained sunlight in summer, followed by lashing rain in winter means you need to pick enduring materials if you do not want to replace timbers each year.

You have a choice between natural wood and composite boards.

Natural Woods

Natural woods such as Redwoods and Red Cedar are historically the most popular choice for checking materials. They are naturally resistant to decay, insects, and rot.

There are many other natural wood solutions available at a lower price to artificial solutions. However, it is true that they will show their age with just a few years.

Artificial Solutions

Before you discount the non-natural materials, think of what they can offer you.

Composite boards are a blend of recycled plastic and wood. This gives them incredible durability. They often come with a warranty of up to 25 years.

Since they have a plastic coating their finish is also guaranteed and will not significantly fade during this time. In fact, the time saved by not needing to maintain composite often persuades people to spend the extra money needed to purchase it.

The appearance of the composite boards is engineered to look exactly like genuine wood and people often find it difficult to distinguish between them.

4. Choose Your Fixtures Carefully

Even if you go for a long-lasting wood decking solution, this could still be undermined if you choose the wrong fittings. Choosing screws and other fixtures will damage the wood surrounds.

Choosing fixtures that will rust quickly will mean you have to take up the boards to replace the fixtures even though the wood may be fine.

If you plan to use stainless steel nails or screws, we recommend 305-grade stainless steel or higher. A lower grade may discolor the wood surrounding it.

A safe solution is the CAMO® Hidden Clip System. Rather than driving the screw into your decking panels, this system uses an unseen clip that sits in-between the panels. This houses the screw and protects the wood from discoloration.

5. Choose the Right Finish

When your decking is in place you are ready to apply the finish. You basically have three options:

  • Paint
  • Stain
  • No finish

Painting

Painting a new wooden deck may seem unorthodox, but it does have its advantages. Depending on the color that you choose, you may not have to clean it as often as other finishes.

A good quality paints job is easier to clean by simple washing. It is hardwearing and will not fade easily.

However, this is also a negative. Paint is very hardwearing. This means that one you have painted your decking, there is little chance of successfully going back to a natural wood look.

Staining

Staining allows you to retain the natural beauty of the wood. If your wood has a naturally beautiful grain pattern, you may even be able to accentuate it with the right stain.

The downside is that stain is less hardwearing than paint. Depending on the quality of the stain that is applied and the number of coats, it may not last many years. Particularly in areas of high traffic will it age more quickly.

No Finish

This is a surprisingly good option. Not only are you able to make immediate use of your decking, with correct maintenance and cleaning, the wood can also last for decades.

If you took the option to use Redwoods and Red Cedar, you may be able to leave the surface of the wood completely untouched thanks to its natural resistance to bugs and decay.

Of course, over time this type of wood will discolor, however, unless it is under very severe weather conditions it will not change in any way other than appearance.

How to Build a Deck and Many Other Projects

These are the top tips on the subject of how to build a deck.

If you are planning to add a deck or any outdoor timber to your house, why not check out our blog to see what practical advice we have to offer?

Make sure to contact us today for a quote on the best wood you can buy!

Home Improvement 101: Which Decking Material Should You Choose?

Which Decking Material Should You Choose?

Looking at adding a deck to your home? Here are a few suggestions on what decking material you should choose.

Adding a deck to your home is a great improvement on the aesthetic value. It gives your home a convenient finished touch that makes your outdoor warm and welcoming.

When choosing decking material, there are factors to consider ensuring that your deck can withstand wear and tear. It’s also essential to ensure that your decking material meets your financial investments goals. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of decking materials out there and how to choose.

Types of Decking Material for Your Deck

Although there is a variety of material to use for decking, not all will keep your outdoor glory. Therefore, your decking material should not only look presentable but also be durable for an exceptional outdoor look all year. Here are a few options for your decking material.

Decking Material: Redwood and Cedar

Red cedar and redwood are purists’ materials, which are known for their rich natural beauty and color. What makes the difference in the materials is that they aren’t pumped with preservations or chemicals. Both materials contain oils and tannins that make them resistant to decay, insects, and rot.

These are naturally superior materials and will guarantee that your deck will look excellent throughout the season. With these softwoods, your home will have an improved look that will guarantee an added natural taste of style and class.

Composites

Plastic lumber and composite decking material are common in the today market. These type of materials are selling fast due to simplicity and affordability. People working on a budget find them appropriate as they work within their budget.

Composite materials are also convenient and easy to upgrade. Therefore, if you are looking for a way to change your deck more often, this is a suitable choice of material. Most plastic lumber decks are made of polyvinyl chloride polyethylene and they come various colors to guarantee you an appropriate material that meets your décor needs.

Tropical Hardwoods

Exotic imports have a defined look and when you use them for decking; your home aesthetics will automatically improve. Some of the tropical materials for decking include red tauari, massaranduba, Philippine mahogany, cumaru, ipe, and tigerwood.

With such materials, your deck will be durable and will be naturally resistant to insects and rot. These exotic woods are also thick, which makes them stable and unshaken especially by natural impairments.

Another benefit of this material is that they are relatively strong. In fact, driving a nail or screw through them has to start with boring a hole. Therefore, the design will have a uniform look as all nails or screws you use will have a standard look.

When you compare these tropical materials with PT lumber, they are relatively expensive. Their beautiful look makes them convenient for most homeowners who are interested in making their home unique and luxurious.

Aluminum

Aluminum is convenient for making a deck that is exceptional and simple. Although most manufacturers don’t design decks with aluminum material, it does not mean that it does won’t produce a competent deck.

What makes aluminum an ideal material is that it won’t rust, rot, crack, warp, or splinter. Unlike other materials, aluminum will not be affected by weather and it’s resistant to mold or slip.

Using aluminum requires a coating that makes it durable and will not blister or peel regardless of the conditions.

Another benefit of aluminum is that it’s easy to redecorate and change as you change your interior décor. Your deck will have a new look on occasion when you decide to make changes. This will give it a new look, almost as if you changed the material.

Common aluminum decks include Versadeck, LockDry, and AridDeck. They are strong and will work under any weather condition to ensure your home is presentable all year round.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Materials

Although all decking material has a way of improving your space, it is essential to ensure that your choice of material is within your standards and expectations. You need to consider various aspects of your home. Some of these include:

Complement Your Home Design

Your deck should serve as an extension of your home design. Your material for decking should complement your interior décor. The finish, color, and rail design are essential elements of design.

During the colonial time, decks had an older style. These styles are common today and most synthetic manufacturers offer a variety of railings as mission style or provincial to help the deck fit the rest of your house décor. In other words, decks that are perfectly done shouldn’t bring competition to the other house style.

Weight Cost

Cost is an essential factor to consider when making any investment. Before committing to any investment, ensure that the materials you buy don’t strain you’re your budget.

Also, when buying materials ensure that the price you get is convenient for you and fits in your budget. This helps ensure that when it comes to repairing or changing the deck, you are also comfortable financially.

Price also influences the type of design you get. The more you are willing to pay, the higher your chances of getting a good design. Paying more does not mean that the material you get is of great quality over the cheap one.

Weather Conditions

Weather conditions are a major determinant of the type of material to use for decking. Materials that look great during winter may not work well during summer seasons. When investing in materials, ensure you find one that works best through the season.

Additionally, ensure that your choice of material allows you to be flexible in designing it through the different season.

Getting the Right Decking Material Gives the Entire Deck Project an Exceptional Look

The right material also guarantees that your deck has a unique style and it’s convenient. Choosing a long-lasting decking material will determine the longevity of your deck and its aesthetic appeal. You need to consider the above factors before making the decision.

Contact us for a variety of choice of decking material, delivered to your building site