Preparing your decks for winter

custom decksWinterizing your deck

Winter is just around the corner, and winterizing your outdoor decks and porches is as important as ever. This time of year, everyone is getting busy with their laundry list of projects that will prepare their home for the harsh weather of winter. The list includes cleaning leaves off the roof, insulating pipes and spigots, weatherizing windows, and blowing water out of the sprinkler lines. The one area that homeowners commonly overlook is the outdoor decks and porches. The wet and freezing weather of the winter months will take their toll on even the toughest decks. Fortunately, it is simple and easy to make sure your deck does not end up looking old and worn out. The following are some common ways to prepare your deck to endure the long winter.

Clear off debris

Dirt and debris can decompose over the winter and cause a great deal of damage to your decking material. Wash the deck with a hose and broom. This will help get rid of decayed matter in the wood fibers and prevent damage that can occur over the winter months. This will also provide adequate ventilation between boards.

Clean and move planters

Keeping planters in the same spot during the warm, dry months is perfectly fine. However, during winter, they need to be moved around periodically, if not stored away altogether. Moisture from rain and snow can cause staining, which will leave unsightly rings or squares on your deck surface. Ideally, planters and growing bins should be moved to a storage shed or to the garage. Another possibility is to try storing them beneath the deck if the design allows.

Waterproof or seal the deck

If your deck is comprised of natural wood, winter weather and months of moisture from rain can destroy the finish, as well as the natural look of the wood. If your deck is stained, it is advisable to apply a new coat. If your deck has a clear or tinted sealer, you should apply a fresh coat of sealer. This may or may not require some light sanding, but it is important to provide a waterproof barrier to all organic surfaces. This is less work, and less costly than replacing unprotected boards and railings in the spring. This will also add years of service life to your wooden decks.

Deck repair and construction in Greensboro, NC

If you find that you need to repair, replace, or redesign your exterior porches, decks, or sunroom, consider Triad Installations of Greensboro, NC. Triad Installations builds decks, fencing, porches, and sunrooms that are as solid as their reputation. Triad Installation has been building decks and many other exterior home improvement projects for over twenty years, with satisfied customers as far away as High Point, Winston-Salem, and the surrounding areas. Call their office today to schedule a free estimate for repairs or to replace your old back porch with a new custom deck.

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Getting your outdoor decks through the winter

DecksAssess the damage after a storm

Winter season will soon be here, and it is important to prepare outdoor decks for the inclement weather. Composite decking material and wooden decking handle winter weather differently. However, the following are some handy maintenance guidelines to help you prepare your decking to weather the season. The first priority when cleaning up after a storm is to be safe. It is tempting to get things back to normal right away, but first, you should always survey your yard and your deck to determine whether it is safe to work. Look for hanging branches and fallen or leaning trees, especially in close proximity to your decking. If you notice downed or sagging power lines nearby, do not attempt to touch the lines or work in the area. Call your power company as soon as possible.

Safety is your first responsibility

Once you are sure that the backyard is safe, inspect your decking to make sure the structure is in good condition. Check for loose floorboards and nails. Loose railings, spindles, and decking material should be re-fastened. Nails that are sticking up should be hammered down or replaced with deck screws. Be sure to clear debris and standing water left on your deck floor.

Piles of wet leaves, branches, and pooled water are not only damaging to the deck, but they can also be extremely unsafe when working with power tools. If debris is left on the deck over the winter months, it can contribute to mold, mildew, and even rot, depending on the condition of the deck wood. Some leaves and plants can also stain your deck if allowed to remain for an extended period of time.

Pay attention to the crevices between the floor boards to keep debris from gathering in the narrow grooves and contributing to standing water on your deck surface. Although composite decking material is more resistant to mold and mildew than wooden decking material, it is not completely resistant to moisture, and you should still be just as diligent to make sure that your decking stays in top condition.

Remove snow and ice

It is advisable that you promptly remove accumulated snow from your decks. A broom should be used to sweep off snow because this causes the least damage to your deck floor. If the snowfall is heavy, try using a plastic snow shovel. Be sure to shovel along in the direction of the boards, and not across them. This will prevent marks and gouges in your deck. For composite decking, it is permissible to use rock salt to melt the ice or snow. Just be sure to rinse off the deck as soon as weather permits. Do not use salt or de-icing chemicals on cedar decking.

New decks and deck repair in Greensboro, NC

Follow these tips, and you can help prevent major damage to your decking over the winter. If you find your deck in disrepair from years of exposure to the elements or if you intend to refurbish or even rebuild your deck, Triad installations of Greensboro, NC, is your local choice. They specialize in custom decks, carpentry, sun rooms, screen rooms, porches, and many other remodeling services. Call the experts at Triad Installations, and they will be happy to drop by and give you a free estimate on your outdoor decks or home improvement projects.

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Building the best new decks for your home

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Planning your custom deck

Building decks for existing homes takes a perfect blend of planning and imagination. Homeowners should understand that adding a deck to your home requires building permits that must be obtained before you start. Contact your local building codes department to determine what permits are necessary. If you hire a contractor, the contractor will usually apply for the permit; make sure that is spelled out in your contract. If you belong to a homeowner’s association, you may need to submit plans for acceptance by the board.

When planning the size and location for your deck, take into consideration the times of day that you are most likely to be using the deck. Decks serve many purposes, and your main usage has much to do with its location. You must decide if it will be a kitchen extension, a privacy retreat, a play area for the kids, or used for star gazing. Choose a location and design that will make sure you get the most out of your deck.

Not all decks need to be directly attached to the home. You may be enticed to build a free-standing deck or gazebo that can be placed anywhere in your yard.

Location and style

You may choose to place your deck in the middle of your garden area, specifically to enjoy your flowers. Free-standing decks can serve as a private getaway from the commotion inside the house. You can add a pergola and trellis to add privacy to either your free standing or attached deck. After you figure out what you want and where you want it, you will need to decide what kind of material you would like for your deck. There are many types of building materials from which to choose; the most popular choices are standard wooden decks or composite materials. Railings can be made from the same material or from metal.

Call the local underground marking service to check your placement and to make sure that you will not be digging posts near any underground utility lines. Plan to give them about three business days before you are ready to dig your posts. Consider planning your deck in two or four-foot increments in order to save you from wasting material. You can add uniqueness to your deck by planning to lie the decking in a diagonal pattern versus a straight pattern. However, be aware that this means that you will also use more material, both in support beams and in the decking. Consider adding imaginative decorations such as lights, which can add a beautiful touch. Low-voltage L.E.D. lighting for stairs can make a huge difference for safety. Once you know everything you want for your new deck, it is time to choose a contractor.

Custom decks in Greensboro, NC

If you are looking for a contractor to build your dream deck, call the experts at Triad Installations. They specialize in the construction of custom decks, sun rooms, screen rooms, and porches. They also are experienced and qualified to discuss your other home remodeling needs. You might be surprised at how easy it is to get the home improvement project that you have been thinking of, so call them today for a free estimate for construction of a new custom deck for your home.

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Choices to consider when building custom decks

Decks

Custom decks and added value

The reasons that compel homeowners to add a deck to their homes are as wide and varied as the homeowners. However, a significant number of people see a deck as a project that will add to the overall value of their property. Quite naturally, one of the questions most often considered will be how much value the deck will add to the home, and how much of that value can be recouped if the homeowner decides to sell the property.

Square footage as a consideration

Adding a custom deck to your home will add to its overall value if the project is done properly. However, if you go about it the wrong way, your deck project can actually cost you money and decrease the value of your home. The dollar value that a deck will add to your property is directly proportionate to the size of the deck and how the deck either enhances or diminishes the backyard. Value is in the eye of the beholder, and when it comes to selling your home, the value added by the deck is always subject to the perception of the buyer. The reality is that very few homeowners build a deck to increase the value of their home; instead, it is largely for their own aesthetic and lifestyle pleasure. The mistake that many homeowners make is in failing to properly design and build a deck that is a top quality addition to their home.

Plan both construction and maintenance

Do not fool yourself into thinking of your deck as a cursory project that can be pulled off with little planning. Adding a deck requires the acquisition of a building permit and the choosing of quality materials right down to the last board. You should be just as particular about the materials that go into the construction of your deck as you would be about the construction materials and the labor that go into the rest of the home. Decks that are poorly constructed or badly planned detract from the overall property value. When you create a plan for your deck, you should also keep in mind how much maintenance it will require to keep the deck in top condition.

Custom deck construction in Greensboro, NC

The decision to build a quality custom deck demands that you choose an experienced and trustworthy contractor. Triad Installations of Greensboro, NC, has been constructing custom decks, sun rooms, screen rooms, and porches in the Triad area for decades. Planning is everything, and you might be surprised to learn how easy Triad can make your home improvement project. Call them today to discuss your new deck project and any other home remodeling needs or dreams when they visit with you.

 

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The true cost of do-it-yourself decks

Decks

Professional Decks vs. Do-It-Yourself Decks

When homeowners want to add a custom deck to their home, most are faced with the choice to build their own new decks or to hire a professional contractor. Economics and ego will figure prominently into this decision. The economic side of it is mathematical and seems like a no brainer until halfway into the project, when homeowners discover that they do not possess the skills necessary to get through the project. The ego can make the decision just as tricky because we are all generally taught that we can accomplish anything, and we forget that it usually takes years of training to accomplish many goals. Most people who want a new deck, a new coat of paint, or new tile for the kitchen feel that they can only afford what they can do themselves. Hopefully, we will help you discover whether or not deck building is a project you want to do yourself.

Undoubtedly, a professional deck builder will do the job better and faster than 99% of homeowners. The average professional contractor has been building decks for a long time. They do it every day, and they are experienced with all the little things that can go wrong. They save time and materials by knowing what to avoid and how to make modifications on the fly. They are craftsmen who have made building new decks their trade, and they are also very knowledgeable of all the laws, permits, and building codes necessary to complete a new deck.

Do-It-Yourself Costs

The first criterion that people consider when they decide to build their own decks is how much they will save on materials. Homeowners may save a little money on materials, but you need to keep in mind that you will still need tools to do the job. If you already have the tools you may be a little ahead, and if you do not have the tools, rental expenses rise for every day that you have not finished the project. If you decide to buy tools, keep in mind that you cannot do an accurate or quality job with cheap tools. Items such as a miter saw, a cordless drill, or a nail gun will also drive up your cost. At some point you have to weigh the savings over the life of the deck and the cost of your time against the security of having a professionally built deck.

Professional decks in Greensboro, NC

You may be surprised at how easy it is to get the custom deck that you have been dreaming about. Triad Installations has been constructing home improvement projects for nearly 30 years. They have a long list satisfied customers for whom they have built custom decks, sunrooms, screen rooms, and porches. They also provide many other roofing and remodeling services. They will work hard to stay within your budget. Call them today to discuss your next deck project or any other home remodeling needs.

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