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Wednesday, 14 September 2016 18:08

How to Create a Usable Outdoor Space

outdoorlivingspaceSummer is here and, even better, autumn is just around the corner. These are the months in which homeowners everywhere are looking for ways to make their outdoor spaces more usable, enjoyable, and attractive. Here are some of our suggestions for enhancing an outdoor space to make your property more functional and beautiful for yourself and for entertaining guests:

Build a deck

Decks are a key component of making an outdoor space more useable as they provide for a flat, easily cleanable space. They are also an ideal spot for furniture and outdoor equipment like a grill, where people can mingle, and where you can relax to enjoy your property. There are a variety of deck options you can choose, from small backdoor patios to expansive decks that run the whole length of your house. There are also several great building materials to choose from including traditional cedar decking and new, easily maintainable composite material.

Add garden lighting 

Garden lighting makes your outdoor space more usable during dusk and nighttime while also enhancing the nighttime curb appeal. Plus, decorating with garden lighting is a fun way to put your own unique touch on your backyard as you'll have a ton of options to play with. There are lanterns that can be hung from trees, roofs, and posted along your deck, or you might opt for low-voltage path lights that meander around your lawn. 

Lay out pathways

If you like the idea of path lights, you might also add special pathways in your backyard to both keep people from trampling on your grass and gardens and offer an aesthetic touch. You might consider working with a contractor to determine the most logical locations and best path materials for your backyard.

Build garden beds

Raised garden beds and terraced gardens are ideal places to plant flowers, vegetables, and other greenery. Such raised methods allow you to easily add soil that is more suitable to the plants you want to grow and provide for much better drainage for healthier plants with a longer lifespan.

To learn more about the different things you can do to enhance your backyard space, or for help deciding which is the best deck design and materials for your property, contact us today at  at Woodscape Construction. We are the leader in Northern Virginia decking and are well equipped to help you meet your design, budget, at site requirements for your new (and very usable) backyard deck.  

replaceyourdeckYour deck is outside in the elements all year, which means that it will probably need repairs at some point. If the weather damage to it is severe, you may have to replace it entirely. It is therefore important to find out which types of damage are relatively minor and which call for you to invest in a new deck. You will have to inspect your deck carefully to determine its condition. Pay attention to the following factors during your inspection:

Weathered Material

The material used to construct your deck will determine how it stands up to wear. For instance, real wood reacts to the elements differently when compared to composite boards or vinyl. Vinyl and composite decks may fade while wood decks can sometimes warp. Depending on the material, you may only need to replace a few damaged boards or you may need to do a wholesale replacement.

Weakened or Loose Fasteners

Your deck's fasteners can come loose because of the expansion and contraction caused by warm and cold weather. Oxidization can also be a problem because of exposure to the air. Oxidation can weaken fasteners.If the hardware is loose or has been weakened, your deck may be unsafe and you may need to replace it. 

A Sagging Frame

Rot makes a wood deck more vulnerable to termite infestation. As the termites eat, they make the wood more porous and this allows water to seep even deeper into it and speed up the rotting process. Rot and the termite damage cause the deck’s frame to sag, which is one of the signs that it needs to be replaced.

Cracked Wood

The expansion and contraction process that loosens fasteners can damage wood and composite board. In many cases, this can be repaired. If the damage is extensive, you may want to opt for a new deck made from a more stable material.

Weak Post Connections

The right fasteners are essential for a longer lasting deck. For example, the deck posts should be connected to the beam with galvanized carriage bolts. If the only fasteners used for this purpose are standard nails, your deck may be in danger of collapse and in need of replacement.

If you are unsure whether your deck needs small repairs or a complete replacement, contact us at Woodscape Construction today! Our experienced carpenters can help you to figure out what has to be done. 

Monday, 06 June 2016 16:10

The Newest Trends in Decking

multileveldeckOutdoor living spaces can add substantial square footage to any size home, not to mention a peaceful place to unwind and relax life's stresses away. Like anything else, outdoor living spaces have certain trends that tend to come and go over time.

We wanted to share some of the spikes in interest we are seeing where deck-building is concerned. Here are some of the latest trends in decking:

Composite Materials 
Employing the use of composite materials is one of the hottest trends in decking in the last five or so years. Composite materials tend to be much lower maintenance than their woody counterparts as they do not require staining each year. They're also much less susceptible to splintering, warping, cracking, swelling, and shifting than natural wood products. Generally speaking, composite materials are comprised of a combination of recycled plastics and wood fibers, making them green and eco-friendly, too.

Multi-Level Decks 
Multi-level decks differ from multi-story decks in that they are essentially utilizing the same general space, vertically speaking, rather than creating an entirely different level. Whereas multi-story decks intentionally create space and distance between the two areas, multi-level decks actually facilitate interaction between the upper and lower portions. Multi-level decks are excellent for homeowners who like to entertain, as the various levels add depth and personality to the outdoor space without impeding the flow of conversation and interaction of the guests. This option allows homeowners to utilize the same square footage as they would with a single-level deck while adding architectural aesthetics that make the space more interesting.

The Color Gray 
Likely attributable to the fact that composite materials comprise one of the most notable trends in decking is a visible interest in a changing color palette. In recent years, people have increasingly been selecting shades of gray for their deck aesthetic as opposed to traditional woody brown shades.

Multi-Colored Creations 
Single-shaded decks are also becoming less common on newly-built or freshly-painted decks. Just as many homes' interiors include accent walls that contrast and compliment the worlds of bold and neutral colors, outdoor living spaces are beginning to showcase combinations of light and dark.

Curvature 
Composite materials offer flexibility in the shapes, too. Curved decks are becoming an increasingly popular option.

Would you like to update your current deck or build a new one using these latest decking trends? Contact us at Woodscape today!

Outdoor Living SpaceThat point in the year when the leaves change color and the weather starts to grow colder is usually when most people decide to put their outdoor furniture in storage and prepare spend winter indoors. However, the people who do this are missing out on all the outdoor enjoyment that the coldest season has to offer. Furthermore, there are benefits when constructing an outdoor living area. When it comes to building a wood deck, most of these people would say that this should be done in the spring or summer; however, the experts agree that the best time to build a deck is actually in the fall or in the winter. Here are a few reasons why:

You Are Able to Avoid Bad Weather
The weather during the spring and summer is much less predictable than it is during the colder months. This means that the likelihood of bad weather delaying the completion of your deck is significantly reduced with fall or winter construction. You will be able to get your outdoor living area done in much less time. On the other hand, if you start during the warm months, you could miss out on some of the best weather while your deck is under construction.

There is a Shorter Wait Time
Building your deck in the winter or fall also allows you to avoid the backlogs that contractors face during the warmer months. In some cases, having your project done in the colder part of the year can cut your wait time by as much as 50 percent.

There is Less Damage to Your Landscape
Because your landscape will be dormant during the colder months, there will be less damage to your turf during construction of your outdoor living area. The result is that when the spring rolls around, your lawn and shrubbery should bounce back as green as ever.

If you're ready to start creating your dream outdoor living area, contact our experts at Woodscape today!

Wednesday, 27 April 2016 15:46

How to Create a Usable Outdoor Space

Usable Outdoor SpaceIn Virginia, the seasons can be long, and the Great Outdoors are usually beautiful. Doesn't it only make sense to create usable outdoor space that allows you to take advantage of both of these regional characteristics to their full potential?

Usable outdoor space isn't as hard to create as you might think -- sometimes you just need a little creativity (or someone who's already done the online investigating!) Here are a few ways you can create usable outdoor space on your property:

Find the Right Furniture
Different types of outdoor furniture weren't only created to appeal to varying tastes of consumers; they're often meant to compliment unique spaces. Choose furniture that optimizes your deck, patio, or garden. You'll want to allow enough room to walk around it without making people feel like they're too distant to converse if they're sitting on it.

Extend Your Space with Pavers
Decks and patios can come with their own challenges and expenses. You may be faced with regulation or property barriers that prevent the implementation of porches. When you're trying to create usable outdoor space, don't rule out the idea of pavers or wood planks to elongate your outside living area.

Dream Big, Even if the Space is Small
Outdoor spaces have come a long way in the last few years, and even the smallest of spaces can be designed to be enjoyed the way nature intended. Multi-tiered decks are a great way to add dimension and separation to outdoor spaces. If you don't have room for a full-fledged patio, consider adding a gazebo to your backyard with a beautiful walkway to guide you and your guests from the house. The walkway alone can present visitors with your personal style based on variations of pavement, rocks, or wood.

Bring the Inside Out
Take into account the things you love to do when you're inside your home, and bring them outside. Do you love to cook? Entertain? Read? Everything you do inside can enhance your experience outside, especially if you plan accordingly for the things that truly bring you joy. Furniture, appliances, and the perfect setup can all do their part to help you bring the inside out so you enjoy your Great Outdoors.

Woodscape Construction is a premier deck builder in Virginia. If you'd like to learn how you can enhance or create usable outdoor space, give us a call or drop us a line!

When to Replace Your DockA deck will add value and enjoyment to your home for years, but eventually, the time will come when you need to replace it. Age as well as exposure to the elements eventually take their toll, causing issues that could even become dangerous in some instances.

Some problems can be repaired, but if you see any of these issues, you may need to replace your deck with a new one:

Rotting boards
If you have a wood deck and boards that have become soft and spongy, it’s a sign that the material is rotting and needs to be replaced. Also check for orange dust, white strands, or crumbling on the wood, which can be evidence of dry rot.

Structural issues
Your deck is attached to your house by a ledger board. If it starts to lean away from the house, it could be in danger of collapsing. Also check the ledger board for signs of decay or hardware issues.

Insect infestation
Look for small holes on your deck boards, which could be evidence of termites or other insects. If it’s very limited, it may be possible to have only a board or two replaced, but if the damage is widespread, your entire deck may need to be replaced.

Damaged joists
Joists support your deck, so if the wood has become soft or you see evidence of rotting, they may need to be replaced. The damage will often extend to other parts of your deck as well. Damaged joists will usually make a deck replacement necessary anyway, because part of your deck will probably need to be torn up in order to replace the joists.

Cracked boards
Boards can crack over time and exposure to sun, wind, and rain. This can allow moisture to seep inside and cause your deck to rot.

Sometimes damage can be difficult to detect, so particularly if your deck is several years old, contact Woodscape Construction for a free consultation. Our professional carpenters repair and replace decks in Virginia and the District of Columbia. If you need to replace your deck – or you’re simply ready to upgrade – we also have an experienced team of Woodscape designers to help you plan the perfect deck to enjoy for years to come.

Best Deck Builder Virginia
Woodscape is the premier choice for people who are seeking a Virginia deck company because we are great at what we do! We believe in delivering only the most exceptional, high-quality designs, materials, and aesthetics to each and every one of our clients, and the love we put into our work shows in our final products.

Here are just a few of the reasons we're the best Virginia deck company:

We Love Your Vision
When you work with our team, we understand that we're an extension of your imagination. We get excited when you have ideas or images that you want to see play out in real life, and we are always happy to help if you're staring at a blank canvass. The Woodscape team is diverse, and many of us have been here since the company first started, which means we bring experience and open-mindedness to the table. We would love to show you our portfolio of decks if you need a few ideas, or we can sit down and start planning ways to bring things already in your imagination to real life.

We are Reputable 
Woodscape Construction is not the kind of Virginia deck company that relies on advertising to get the word out about our work; we're proud to say that our customers do a lot of that marketing for us. We're very proud of our reputation, and we'd love to provide you with references and portfolio pictures any time you'd like to see them.

We are Diverse 
Our business is built on the idea of beautifying your outdoor space. This means that our team of carpenters, designers, and builders can accommodate requests for decks, porches, gazebos, patios, walls, and walkways. Each challenge makes us better, and we love opportunities that make us grow.

We Embrace Consultations & Estimates
The Woodscape team understands that there's a lot at stake when you are designing, building, or renovating your outdoor space. We offer design consultations and estimates at no charge for two reasons: We're confident in the work we do, and we love to educate our customers with the best options that can empower them to make the decisions that are right for their individual situations.

Are you seeking a Virginia deck company that cares about its customers as much as the work it does? You've come to the right place! Contact a member of our Woodscape Construction team today!

deck3916Virginia's mild climate is the envy of many places in the US, and your family can take advantage of it with a well-designed outdoor living space. If you want to beautify your home, get the most out of your environment, and treat your family to a special spot, here's how to approach it:

 

Define your dream

What sorts of outdoor activities draw your family together? Are you the sorts to host impressive grillouts which show off culinary skills, or the types to gather around a simpler fire pit for conversation and roasted marshmallows? Would you rather have a garden path full of little surprises and secluded nooks or a place to stretch out, doze in the sun, and enjoy the vista of a backyard butterfly garden? Envision how you would like to use your space, and proceed from there.

 

Find inspiration

When you know what you want, feed your imagination by researching similar projects. Take notes on the designs you find that make you feel happy or excited. Take note of the outdoor space you have to work with, as well as the geographical spaces of your yard: you can use those details to refine your search. A hilly yard, for example, might not be the best place for a patio – but it could lend itself well to a terraced garden, or you might choose to create a level floor by constructing a deck attached to your home.

 

Contact the experts

When you have your ideas, it's time to contact the experts. Look up testimonials and reviews, and speak to friends and neighbors who have undertaken a renovation project to create an outdoor living space. Then bring your ideas to the company you've chosen. Renovation experts can help you understand the implications of your design – not just in cost, but also in beauty and livability. They can also help you refine your design to better suit your needs in terms of aesthetics, terrain, and expense. Experts might even be able to help you see where a design you never thought was possible can be built for your home.

 

If you're exploring the idea of beautifying your home with an outdoor living space, contact us at Woodscape Construction today! We're proud to help homeowners realize their dreams, and offer expert guidance through every step of the process.

Designing a Deck in VirginiaAs a homeowner, you have the awesome opportunity to alter your home to match your mood and create enhancements that capture the beauty of the place where you've chosen to own property.  With Virginia's stunning landscape available at every angle, a deck, porch, patio, or outdoor entertaining space seems only natural. If you're considering designing a deck for your Virginia home, check out these tips:

 

Are You Going It Alone?  

DIY is a great idea in theory, but if you're construction novice, you might want to consider hiring help to help you through the process.  Event the "easiest" of deck projects can become moderate to hard obligations for experienced handymen, so if you're on the fence, you should at least bring in a professional for a consultation.

 

What's The Optimal Solution?

Decks, porches, and patios come in a seemingly endless array of shapes, sizes, and sorts.  You'll want to have an idea of what you want in mind, but you'll also need to understand which options are optimal for your particular property.  Here are some things to think about:

  • Have you done your homework to understand if your property is better suited for a deck or a patio?
  • Will you need stairs or protective railings?
  • How elaborate do you want your deck to be?  Are you imagining a raised deck with stairs, a two-story wonderland with multiple entrances, or a simple single-story space on which you can enjoy the world around you?

 

What's Your Budget?

Everything mentioned above is a baseline that begins with your ideal deck or patio, but money will make the final determination.  You can get a rough estimate by using a deck calculator so you have a reasonable grasp of your project's cost before you even begin.  If you've decided to use a professional company to help you as you're designing a deck and completing the construction, make sure you get estimates from your company of choice, and ask questions if you don't understand something.  Breaking your budget midway through can have devastating results, so you'll want to have a solid understanding of the financial implications before you even start designing a deck.

 

Can You Find Examples?

If you have a design in mind, try to find real-life examples even if you combine several pictures to get the perfect sample.

Looking for a little help designing a deck?  Check out our Woodscape Construction Project Planning Guide!

  • best of houzz 2015Kevin and his work crew were extremely professional and did an outstanding job constructing our screened-in porch and deck area. Kevin was great about helping us realize our design ideas and offered suggestions and recommendations that allowed us to create an optimal and aesthetically pleasing layout. In looking at similar projects, we are continually reminded of Woodscape's quality construction and attention to detail, as most contractors do not preform nearly as nice of a job. Additionally, even after the completion of the project Kevin and his team were very responsive and came back several times for periodic inspections and to perform any post-construction checks we needed. 
    We interviewed several contractors for the job, and have never had any doubts that we selected the right team for our job. We would highly recommend Woodscape to anyone.
 
 
  • Woodscape Contruction completed a porch for us during the summer of 2015. Kevin was friendly, responsive, and took considerable time to discuss design options with us. He made sure everything was to our satisfaction before completing the project. The workmanship was of high quality. We would recommend this company to our neighbors and friends.
 
 
  • We contracted a large deck with a gazebo and under the deck shed from Woodscape. We did not know exactly what we wanted in a deck and Woodscape went through many design iterations with us until we were comfortable. My wife and I have a hard time visualizing off of drawings. Woodscape came out and staked out the final design so that we could visualize the proportions. During the design process we found that Woodscape was very familiar with local code so we were not concerned with compliance to local building ordinances including proper set-back from property lines. 
    - The crew that was sent out to build the deck was very professional. Each day after they completed their work the work site was left completely clean and organized. The work progressed consistently and was completed on schedule. 
    - About a year after installation, one of the synthetic decking products that was used began developing large white spots due to a mistake in the manufacturing process. Woodscape worked with us and the manufacturer to replace all of the decking at absolutely no cost to us. After installation support has been amazing. 
    - It was great working with a contractor you can trust. I very highly recommend Woodscape. They have a strong customer focus and deliver a very high quality product. They have a vast knowledge of the business and the various product lines involved in decking solutions. They also do enough volume to have sway with manufacturers should product problems develop. This is a well seasoned professional contractor.
 
 
 
  • Woodscape added an outdoor living space to our deck which we use all the time. The finish detail work was outstanding and he was able to match the existing brick and trim perfectly. We also added an enclosed storage space beneath the deck large enough to store our lawn tractor and all tools from the garage. They finished ahead of schedule, with no surprises. Easily the best contractor we have worked with since moving back to Virginia.
 
 
  • I recently had a deck and gazebo built by Woodscape Construction and couldn't be happier with the way things turned out. My particular design presented a difficult challenge. I needed to integrate a deck with an existing stone wall in my back yard. Having built a couple of decks myself in the past I considered doing the project myself. I'm glad I didn't. Woodscape came up with a plan to incorporate the stone wall into the deck that I could not have conceived of and the finished product exceeded my expectations! The detail to which they went to fit the deck to the wall was impressive. Another point that I found impressive was how the crew kept the "construction mess" to a minimum during the whole build process.
 
 
  • We hired Woodscape Construction after positive reviews from a neighbor. It was important that we hire the porch "expert." We feel that we did just that. Kevin and his crew took our very specific vision and helped to construct exactly what we wanted - a cozy, four season, high quality screened-in porch. When we could not locate a specific item (ex. heaters), Kevin did the necessary research. He was also quick to alter/resolve major (original staircase placement) and minor (one screen was very slightly damaged, but replaced) issues. While the project took longer than expected, it was not because the crew did not show (I believe they took off one day due to inclement weather) or because materials took too long to order. Our porch has quite a bit of detail, hence more necessary, extensive work. We are absolutely thrilled with the results and we have recommended Kevin to others.

 

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