The purpose of this blog is basically for us to share new product information and to talk about some of the systems / solutions we use as regards home renovations and what their benefits are. We will try not to wander too far off topic 😉
For starters; some thoughts on decks …
Now is a great time to start thinking about the deck that you really want. With consideration for time to explore ideas that inspire you, create a design for the deck that fits your needs / wants / budget, apply for permits, and source materials it is best to get started before the weather improves so you get to enjoy your new deck before summer is done.
If your new deck is raised or within certain distances of the property line or over a certain size, then it will require a building permit. There may also be strata rules which apply. Be prepared and seek advice of a professional contractor to avoid surprises. If you have reason to expect there may be any rot and/or carpenter ant damage or other structural issues then this is not a job for the inexperienced.
And if your deck is looking anything like this then you are probably 10 years overdue for an upgrade (and a new pair of spectacles). We can call on the appropriate structural engineers when snow load or hot tubs or other factors come in to play and advise on suitable materials to ensure your new deck withstands the elements. As with anything though, a bit of occasional love and attention goes a long way to maintaining the lifespan of a deck. We don’t suggest you hug your deck too often as the neighbours may wonder if you’re taking your meds, but keeping it clean and free of tree debris will go a long way 😉
If you are needing inspiration then look for photos in your favourite home / design magazine or the likes of Houzz.com (there is bound to be something here to tickle your style buds!). We can recreate virtually anything you see provided the materials are available, local building codes allow, and the budget is realistic.
Remember … We can provide full 3D renderings of your deck project so you can make changes before you reach the point where it gets expensive to have 2nd thoughts about any aspect of the design. We can incorporate your existing style & colour of siding, roofing and other significant elements which may influence the final outcome.
Pressure treated wood – used as the main structural elements for most decks due to the cost saving over alternative materials. Typically has a green tone when fresh / unweathered. Contains chemicals to deter rot. The budget solution for wooden deck boards and railings. Should not be stained or painted until the timber has weathered enough to lose the green tone.
Cedar (rough) – a step up from pressure treated timber, it contains natural chemicals to deter rot and carpenter ants. Deck boards and railing components may need to be sanded smooth so as not to risk splinters. It can be stained or painted straight away.
Cedar (clear) – has a less ‘rustic’ look with a smoother finish and usually fewer splits, etc. Generally better quality timber with a price that reflects that. Doesn’t need to be sanded to same extent. A cleaner look and basically just better all round.
Composite decking – Trex is widely regarded as the market leader in manufactured decking boards, but they also have complete railing solutions. For the higher price you get a product with the lowest ongoing maintenance. They also have a steel deck structure solution for the discerning home owner. Cedar and composite decks should easily last 20 years or more if properly cared for.
Vinyl decking – various companies have sheet vinyl products which can be installed as a waterproof decking membrane. Ducan is a local manufacturer based in BC. These products come in various thicknesses and colour options. Typical lifespan is 10-15 years depending on how it is cared for. Other waterproofing solutions exist where a system with deck boards is preferred.
Hybrid deck solutions – it is not uncommon to mix, for example, composite decking and cedar handrails with aluminum pickets or include glass where privacy is not a factor. There is no reason to stick with one material as long as the colours compliment each other and you stick with a traditional or contemporary theme … Just as with any home renovation.
Hardwoods, Bamboo, Vinyl – although not common in these parts, there are other material options available if you wish to stand out from the crowd and have the budget to match. Cali Bamboo supplies bamboo decking boards out of California. Most hardwoods come from South America. There are also some companies in the US supplying vinyl decking boards.
Hopefully this is some food for thought… Happy deck dreams.