To build a deck, you have multiple material options. Therefore, if you are keen on expanding your outdoor space, look into the following material choices:
It’s a pine that’s been conditioned chemically to withstand fungus and the elements. The lumber is still a decking material that’s commonly used for homes. Pressure-treated lumber is quite easy to install, and with prices falling in the $10-$15 range for every square foot, it’s quite affordable as well.
However, the material isn’t the most durable, and it can splinter, warp and crack and needs the maximum maintenance among all decking materials. Therefore, homeowners must make extra maintenance efforts through wood preservation and regular cleanings.
The deck must be treated once every two years. However, if the sun is constantly shining on the deck, the cleaning and sealing part may have to get a bit more frequent.
Some house owners like woods, such as cedar and redwood, which do not require any chemical treatment.
These wood varieties, however, which have natural resistance decay and insects, are quite costly, usually priced in the $15-$30 range to professionally install a square foot of the wood. Sadly, the steep price doesn’t exempt them from maintenance measures and they still need regular cleaning, requiring restraining once every two or three years.
Decking has got even more costly with the usage of woods such as Brazilian cherry, Ipe, cumaru, and tigerwood.
These wood varieties, which fall in the $20-$40 price range for every square foot, apparently score high on the aesthetics front and also are more durable, being more resistant to rotting.
As far as cedar and redwood go, you must clean, stain and preserve them once every two or three years.
Typically, the composite decking options, which are a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastics, are expanding steadily. For example, a bamboo decking item is churned out of recycled plastics and recycled bamboo fibers. The end product merges the wood’s attractiveness and the plastics’ stain and weather resistance.
Though composites typically need little maintenance, the majority of manufacturers need deck cleaning done once every two years at least. If you’re getting a professional on-board to build the deck, be ready to spend at least $25 and a maximum of $45 for every square foot.
Recycled Plastic Lumber
People who are conscious about the environment would be happy to hear that previously used decking material is increasingly getting incorporated into fresh decking projects. This recycled product that’s completely made out of plastic has a high resistance to decay, the elements, and would not present issues pertaining to warping, splintering, or cracking. This makes it an extremely low-maintenance affair. And the costs for every square foot falls in the $30-$45 price range.
If not properly maintained, wood decks could start to discolor, attract insects, accumulate water, and crack and warp. Generally, decks that spend most of their time in a shaded space need less maintenance compared to a deck that toils out hard in the sun mostly. Regular water hose cleaning may help; however, in case there’s a mildew spot, bleach-water solutions would be needed.
Curved decking has grown in popularity throughout the years. This is because of the rise of composite building materials. Composite boards can be molded to make customized shapes and builders can make curved decks without running into any problems.
Open Air Porches
These types of porches are not that common but they have been around for generations. These porches have been typically installed at the home’s front or rear entrance, but sometimes second-story porches were added to the top.
Open air porches are not that essential but they still are great. This is because they can provide you with shelter when entering the home or exiting the home. Not only that, but it can be the ideal place to relax on a nice spring day or a breezy fall day.
Open air porches tend to be made with the same materials that the house is made out of. However, if the home is brick, the porch will usually be wooden. If you plan on adding a porch to your home, then make sure you hire an architect. They will be able to make sure your new addition will blend in properly with the rest of the house. They’ll also draw designs that won’t will help create a great looking roof covering for your open air porch.
These are uniquely designed. The roofing on them is open and they are mainly framework structures. Many people have plants attached to their posts because climbing plants can enhance the rest of the pergola.
Screen porches are excellent for homes that are in an area infested with insects. Screen-in purchases allows homeowners to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about mosquitoes and other insects biting them.
These decks are ideal if you need extra space to your existing deck. They are also ideal for entertaining guests or holding large parties because guests will be able to use both levels. Guests will also still be able to communicate with one another.
A gazebo allows you to create an outdoor oasis right outside your home. Many people have one built because they want a peaceful place to relax. Gazebos have roofs but no sides. This allows homeowners to view the surrounding area while not getting burnt by the sun.
If you want to add spice to your pool, then get a pool deck. It will enhance your space and you’ll love having a place to relax by the pool.
Staining And Maintenance
Make sure you have your deck inspected on a regular basis. You’ll want to clean and re-seal your deck too. This will keep your deck looking good and keep it safe.
Decks are typically located in the back of the home and they are attached to the home. Wood materials is what decks are usually constructed from, but there are other types of materials that are now used. This includes composite materials.
Decks can be built in any design and size. This means they can be built to blend in with the rest of the areas surrounding the home.
Decks are considered to be permanent structures of the home or property they are attached to. This is why obtaining a permit is important. Not only that, but your contractor needs to follow zoning regulations. Once the deck has been installed, it will add a lot of value to your home.
If you want to keep your deck for a longtime to come, then you need to properly maintain it. You want to clean it regularly and seal it, as both of those can decrease negative effects of traffic, time and weather.
The flooring and the deck’s handrails tend to be prone to damage. This is because they come in contact the most with water, sunlight, snow and wet leaves. These areas tend to wear down a lot sooner than the other parts of the deck.
A licensed contractor can inspect your deck and they will tell you what the condition of it is. They can also inspect it as part of your yearly maintenance. Some of the things they should look for are loose parts and they should repair anything if need be.
Staining A Deck
When your wooden deck has been built, you’ll need to decide whether or not to stain it. If you want to stain, then hire a professional. They typically charge between $750 to $2,600. The amount you’ll pay depends on the area you live in but you can do it yourself and you’ll only have to pay for the materials.
Your deck must be cleaned before you do any staining work. All you have to do is sweep your deck, if it’s new. If it’s older, then take a pressure washer to it.
You want to make sure you don’t stain your walls. This is why you want to place painter’s tape where the walls and the deck meet. A drop cloth should also be placed in the area you plan on staining last. The paint tray and stay should stay on the cloth and make sure you properly mix the stain and pour it into the tray.
Once the stain has been mixed, you’ll want to dip the paint pad into the tray and then coat the deck. If you can’t stain the entire deck, then use a paintbrush to fill in the spaces. The sides of the deck should be stained next. Afterwards, you’ll want to let the stain dry for a day before you go on the deck to use it.
Inspecting A Damaged Deck
Has your deck been damaged or is it safe? There is only one way to find out and that is to perform an inspection on it. As your deck gets older, the more likely it will suffer from rot. Not only that, but your deck may have screws that are coming loose or other problems that need to be taken care of.
There are a few things you should look for. In fact, the North American Deck and Railing Association has a list of what you should check. This list includes:
1. Decaying Wood- Check your deck for decaying wood. You want to inspect support posts, joists, railings and stairs. Areas that are often damped should be carefully checked and checked regularly.
2. Flashing- Flashing is plastic or metal that is designed to redirect water from the surface of your deck. It can often be found where the house and the deck meet. Take a look at the flashing and make sure it looks firmly in place.
3. Fasteners- Check to see if fasteners are rusted or corroded because if they are, you want to replace them. Also, check for loose screws and nails.
4. Banisters And Railings- Make sure your railings and banisters don’t move. You can do this by pushing against them. They should also be the proper height and rails should only be up to 4 inches apart, as this should prevent kids and pets from getting through them.
5. Stairs- The opening should be no more than 4 inches tall if you don’t have backs to your steps. Also, your sitars shouldn’t have decorations or plants on them because these are safety hazards.
6. Debris/Mildew- If there are leaves on your deck or other types of debris, then remove them. You can slip on them and mildew may grow. If there is already mildew on your deck, then clean it off and put on a new coating.
7. Fire Features And Electrical- Fire pits are nice but make sure the heat does not go near the flammable materials. Also, clean the light covers and cut plants that block light. Inspect the electrical outlets and make sure they are installed properly and up to code. If they are not in good condition, then replace them but make sure they are childproof, if kids use the deck.
8. Furniture- Your deck furniture should be sturdy. Also, don’t put furniture near the deck’s edges because this is unsafe.
9. Trees- Are there trees that hang over your deck. If so, then make sure there’s no dead limbs. You don’t want them to fall onto the deck and create a safety hazard.
Also, there are a few safety tips you should bear in mind. These tips include looking for sags or bounces in the deck. If there are any present, then hire a professional to take care of them. By hiring a contractor, you can rest assure the job will be taken care of the right way the first time around.