You probably drive by dozens of decks and porches during your daily commute. If you were to pay close attention to the railings on each of them, it’s likely that you will see most of them have some type of vinyl deck railing. It is by far the most popular of all exterior railing choices. One of the big reasons for this railing’s popularity is that you never need to paint or stain it. The durable vinyl has a lifetime warranty for color and structure. Price is another reason. Compared to other synthetic railings like fiberglass or aluminum, vinyl railings are very affordable.
We have built a lot of Pergolas over the years, and while they provide some shade from the sun when it is overhead. They do little to keep the intense afternoon sun from beating in the sides, even if you have added a canopy to it. We have recently found an affordable source for beautiful, quality, shade curtains. These curtains can be installed on one, or all sides of your pergola. They are custom made to fit your pergola, and are available in several different colors. They are raised and lowered with a cord, just like indoor curtains.
We all want our new decks to be different from our neighbors, and there are lots of way to accomplish this. You can add planters, wrought iron railings, a pergola, or low-voltage lighting, but one of our favorite ways is to curve the front of the deck. Curved decks are a lot easier to pull off now than they were in the past. The reason is that modern composite and PVC decking is much easier to bend than Pressure Treated wood. A curved front can help your deck to flow better, especially if you have a round table. For a deck that is low to the ground, it can add some character to the landscape of your backyard. Plus, they just look really cool…..
A lot of deck builders, including us, sell people on upgrading their current decks from the old wood floor & railing to new Vinyl decking & railing. We call this process “Re-decking”. This can save you some money by re-using the existing deck framing, posts and footers. It can however present some challenges since your deck probably was built before their were very many building codes for decks. Some deck builders may try to make some quick money by selling you a deck upgrade when you really should have a new deck. Deck upgrades are nice easy jobs for most deck builders, especially in winter time. We don’t have to dig holes for new footers which makes a much cleaner jobsite. Deck upgrades usually don’t require permits from the township, so no waiting around on inspectors, or pesky paperwork to slow us down. So it is important for you the homeowner to make sure that your deck builder is taking the time to bring your deck framing up to code as well, not just slapping a new skin onto a frame that is rotting or falling apart.
Spring is right around the corner here in the Northeast. This is the time of year when lots of well meaning husbands, will attempt to build the deck that their wives have been asking for. As a fellow DIYer who routinely finds himself in over his head with various projects, my hope is to save you from making a big mistake that will haunt you later. Even if you are doing the work yourself, a deck is still an expensive project. Especially if you are using composite or vinyl materials instead of the traditional wood. So by taking a little extra time up front, hopefully we can extend the life of the deck.
If you live in the Northeast like we do, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting cooler. But we want to see you get as much use out of your deck as possible, so we have a few cost- effective ways you can extend the deck season.
Add some lighting. Buy a few shepherd's hooks that are designed to clamp onto deck railing. They are available in different sizes, some of them extend 3’-4’ above the railing. Then buy a few light strings and run them from your house out to the shepherd’s hooks on the front railing. The light strings with about 1” round bulbs are the best way to go, but Christmas light strings will work great as well. You will probably want to order these things online this time of year, most stores will only stock them in the spring
If your current deck needs a facelift, if you’re tired of pulling splinters from your kid’s feet, or worrying about them falling off the deck due to unsafe railings, we can help. If you are happy with the size and shape of your deck, and it is less than 15 years old, we should be able to “Redeck” it. What we call “Redecking”, is basically removing all the old floorboards, railings and steps, replacing them with new, low-maintenance products. This is a great, cost effective and low impact way to upgrade your outdoor space.
Lots of times the area under a second story deck can be at best an awkward, unused area and at worst an eyesore. The grass doesn’t grow properly and it is always kind of wet and muddy. This can easily be turned into a great outdoor living space. There are several kinds of “roofing”, that can be installed under the deck framing to use the deck as a roof, and keep the area dry. From there you can add a patio, retaining walls, privacy screens, lights, ceiling fans, etc. to transform the space into an extension of your basement. You can even frame it in and add screens for a 3- season type room.
There are so many decisions to make when you are designing your new deck. What type of railings, where to put the steps, wood or synthetic materials, etc. If you end up choosing wood decking that needs stained or synthetic decking, I would argue that the color of the deck floor is one of the most important decisions in the whole process. It can impact how much time you spend enjoying the deck, how much time you spend cleaning it, and have a big impact on how much return you get on your investment.While dark colored deck boards certainly make a better looking deck, there are a few things to consider before spending your hard earned money on a deck that should last for decades.
We have had a lot of really creative customers over the years who have had some fantastic deck design ideas. We have come up with a few on our own as well. As a result, we have lots of ideas to help make your new deck stand out from the ordinary. The list below is just a few of my favorites, check out our ideas gallery for more inspiration.