Summer’s Coming – It’s time to get all decked out!

chair-1218344_1280Wouldn’t it be nice to walk out onto a brand new or updated deck to sit in the sun and enjoy quality time with family and friends? Here’s some info to help you get started.

Decking material

There used to be really only one choice for decks, namely wood. You could choose from a few wood varieties but other than that, it was pretty much cut and dried (so to speak). Today there are many more choices, some of which increase lifetime and reduce maintenance. Even if you are a traditionalist who prefers wood, it’s good to know all your choices.

Pressure treated wood – The most widely used decking material (about 75%), pressure treated wood can be a maintenance chore as it is usually made from low grad pine or fir and is susceptible to splitting, warping and cracking. It is, however, the low cost solution of the lot.

Cedar/Redwood – Natural tannin in these woods help protect against rot and insects. It should be protected with a sealer to help ward off splits and cracks. If unsealed both woods will turn a light grey color with age.

Composite wood – These are a range of products made from some combination of wood and recycled plastics. They are virtually maintenance free and won’t crack, split or rot.

PVC and polyethylene – These plastic alternatives are lightweight and maintenance free but they tend to sag more them other choices and require more support. Make sure you choose ones with non-slip surfaces as many can be slippery.


Deck Railing

Railings come in all the materials listed above and others. Metal railings, for instance, can look great on a wood deck.  You can also choose clear glass like inserts to further protect access to and from the edges of your deck. There are so many variations for railings that the best thing to do is search the web for images as inspiration. Many configurations are possible.


Additional thoughts

Multilevel decks add interest and style. Rounded corners or flowing edges can also make your deck unique and more enjoyable. Flower boxes and planters integrated with your deck can help create an outdoor oasis you can be proud of.

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