Wednesday, September 24, 2014

When Building A Deck or Porch; What Material Is Best For Your Project

When considering a deck addition to your home; design, cost, maintenance and functionality are some of the issues you will find yourself working through.  Typically all decks are similar from the ground up to the decking and railing system.  Footings are most often concrete; columns can be brick, wood or structural fiberglass and the floor joists are most often treated dimensional lumber.  The differences lie in the materials used to deck the floor system and the type of railing system homeowners choose.

There are basically 3 options to consider when choosing deck materials. 

  1. Treated Wood deck:  

    This is the most common material used.  Deck boards can be purchased in:

    1.  #1 Premium treated lumber (with little or no knots and imperfections)
    2. #2 lumber (boards can have many knots and imperfections). 
KDAT Deck by Porch-Life

Some homeowners like character in their wood but when it comes to treated
Lumber, the more imperfections and the typical heavy, wet, boards will twist and split and knots
can end up being a splintering hole in your deck. 

If you decide to use treated deck boards for your upcoming deck project, we at  Porch-Life
highly recommend that you spend the extra money and go with the Premium
Lumber that is Kiln Dried After Treatment (KDAT).  This material will give you a much
            better looking deck that is easier to maintain.

            Although you will save money in the short term with treated decking and railings, keep
            in mind that maintenance will be an ongoing expense required to keep your deck safe, 
            secure and looking good.
  1. Composite Deck:   

    Composite decking has made great strides in popularity over the years.  Although your upfront costs will be higher, in the long run your maintenance costs will be much lower which will allow you to recoup some, if not all your initial expenditures.
Composite decking had some problems years ago with aesthetic durability but the better companies have resolved those issues.

You can use hidden fasteners with these boards which results in no screws showing.
  1. Exotic Wood Deck:  

    Exotic wood decks are becoming more popular.  There are many varieties of wood to choose from.  People like the natural wood feel and the visual character of some of the exotic wood is inspiring.   It is a very dense and hard wood.  You can use hidden fasteners if the wood is ordered and modified for that application.

Exotic wood does not come cheap.  It is typically shipped from locations outside the United States.  You would think that paying the extra money for a product like this would offer less maintenance but that is not true.  It needs to be cleaned and oiled regularly to maintain its beauty.

Whatever materials you choose for your deck, it is well worth the investment to use a quality contractor that specializes in decks and porches.  A knowledgeable deck contractor with a good track record will have experience with the product you choose and will provide you with a beautiful deck when completed and one that will last for years to come.

Porch-Life has been designing and building custom Porches and Decks since 1997.  We take great pride in the work we do and the service we bring to our customers.

Feel free to contact us today with any questions you may have concerning your upcoming deck, porch or sunroom project.

Phone:       (704) 791-4381

Friday, September 12, 2014

Building experts give advice on home deck safety - CBS46 News

Passing along this short deck safety video for you to view to ensure your deck or porch is safe for your family and friends.

Porch-Life has rebuilt many decks and porches in the Greater Charlotte Area.  An unstable deck or porch can be risky and sometimes hazardous.

If you are considering a new deck or porch be sure to hire a qualified contractor and make sure they pull a permit (which will engage your local inspection department).  If you have an existing deck or porch, you should monitor its structural soundness through regular inspections and maintenance.

Building experts give advice on home deck safety - CBS46 News