What Style of Decking Fits You Best?
When it comes to decking, you have a larger array than ever before and your options are far more varied than using just plain wood. Here are some options of decking materials to consider.
- Pressure Treated Lumber – This is the most economical approach; it is the number one decking material sold today and you can pretty much find it anywhere across the US. The drawback to using this material is that it has a tendency to crack, split or warp over time. It also has the highest maintenance of any decking product because you will need to stain or use a wood preservative every two to three years.
- Redwood & Cedar – Contain tannins and oils that make them naturally resistant to rotting and decay. You will notice this material is very rich in color and has natural beauty compared to pressure treated lumber. This product is going to cost you about three times more than pressure treated lumber and you will have to treat it every three to four years.
- Tropical Hardwoods – Are comparable in price to Redwood and Cedar lumber. Tropical hardwoods like Mahogany and Ironwood are extremely hard, resistant to insects and very durable. A downfall of this product is that it can be difficult to drill and cut and they do not accept stain very well. It does however work well with clear wood preservative that you will have to re-apply every three to four years.
- Composite –Using composite decking, such as the TimberTech brand, will provide you the look and feel of real wood without the maintenance. This is an innovative hidden fastener decking system which is so durable it is fire resistant. This composite decking will provide you many years without the work of painting, staining or sealing while it maintains its color and beauty. TimberTech’s warranty offers 25-years of coverage and can be transferred to a second homeowner, which is a great selling feature. TimberTech incorporates as many sustainable materials into their products without sacrificing quality and is a proud member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Composite decking additions are estimated to produce roughly 70% ROI when you choose to install this material at your home. You will also have the option of choosing from dozens of deck and rail color combinations or even mix and match to get the perfect look.
Location, Location, Location! Choosing the Right Site for Your Project
Where you decide to build your deck is one of the most important things to consider. There are a lot of factors that you need to contemplate instead of just choosing somewhere at the rear of your home. There are no rules that say a deck has to be attached to your home. All of these elements below can affect the design of your deck and help you make a decision where to build it.
- Evaluate the terrain of your yard – If you are dealing with a fairly level surface your building project will most likely not be that complicated. Uneven terrain, where you might be dealing with more slopes, you will have to consider grading the area or possibly constructing a retaining wall. If you prefer the look of an uneven surface and that it provides more of an aesthetic value you could put large posts down the slopes and build a multilevel deck to accomplish this look.
- Weather pattern at your site – Assessing how the weather will play a role in entertaining on your beautiful new deck is very important. During your planning process make sure to take note regarding how much sun hits the site. You might decide that an area closer to natural shade, such as trees or shrubs, would be a better fit.
- Is the area functional for what you intend to use it for?– If you are planning on entertaining a lot on your new deck is it close enough to your home, pool or grilling area. The last thing that you want to do when hosting a party is have to trek a long distance for supplies.
- What do you see when standing in the area of the site – An eyesore such as a busy road, staring into your neighbor’s home or being blocked from the view you had intended could hinder the use of your deck.
- What type of soil do you have? – There are limitless types of soil that affect where and how you build your new deck. If your soil has a sandy base it is great for your landscaping endeavors, but building codes may require that you pour concrete footings. Clay based soil can produce more runoff and you will need to put in a drainage system to divert the water away from your deck.
Protection from the elements
Just like we put sunscreen on ourselves you need to shield your deck as well. The sun’s rays can break down the material on your deck which can cause incredible damage. If you chose to work with lumber decking instead of composite, you will need to stain and seal your new deck to avoid rot, which is caused by excessive moisture leading to mold and collapse. Make sure to hose off your deck in the spring and fall. If you live in an area that experiences winter months remove leaves and twigs on your deck as soon as you can to avoid deterioration in any way.
Don’t Forget Your Building Permit
If you are attempting to build a deck as a do-it-yourself project make sure that you read up on the local codes. The last thing that you want to do is have to rip up your beautiful deck you spent all summer building because you did not acquire a permit. Contact your local county or city website to apply for a permit and most of these websites offer the forms online to make this process easier than ever before.
Would you feel better having a professional make your dream deck a reality this spring so you can entertain all summer? We can make that happen! Call us now at 1-800-873-1451 or check us out on the web at www.lindusconstruction.com to schedule a free in-home estimate today. Tune into AM 830 WCCO on Saturdays from 9:00-10:00am hosted by Denny Long and Andy Lindus to ask questions regarding your home improvement projects.