Outdoor 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:
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 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.
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.
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!
Virginia is one of the nation's states with natural beauty built directly into the scenery, and no matter where you look, there are virtually limitless ways to be awed by the world around you. Of course, one of the best ways to enjoy the great outdoors is from the comfort of your own home.
Homeowners have been faced with the decision of decks versus patios for decades. To help you understand which is the better investment for your personal situation, we've created this guide to help you through the shopping and designing processes.
How Much Weight Can It Hold?
If you'll be using your outdoor space for everyday actions like grilling out and socializing with family and friends, either space will work just fine as far as weight is concerned. If you're planning on adding a hot tub or other super heavy objects, however, you'll want to start taking weight into consideration. Decks can absolutely be built sturdy enough to accommodate hot tubs, but sometimes the added reinforcements can detract from the aesthetic appeal the homeowner was going for. In cases like this, a patio might be the better option.
How Would You Describe Your Property?
Many parts of Virginia lend themselves to mountainous terrain. Depending on the physical geography of your property, a deck could be much more advantageous than a patio if you don't have the space necessary to create a flat foundation on the ground. If your home is located on rough, rugged, or sloping terrain, a patio could require substantial excavation costs.
Do You Have a Preferred Type of Material?
Although you certainly have many material options in either situation, when you're considering the advantages of decks versus patios, you should put some thought into the most commonly used materials for each. Decks are often made of wood, vinyl, or composite material. This can add an aesthetic appeal very fitting to many Virginia homes, and there is a wide variety of each of these materials used in the building of decks. Patios typically begin with concrete bases and are finished with pavers, brick, or stone. Each option comes with its own considerations regarding maintenance and upkeep.
Are you weighing the benefits of decks versus patios for your own home? Our experts at Woodscape Construction will be happy to help you understand the advantages of each. Contact us, and let us provide you with some guidance!
As a homeowner, you want the exteriors of your home to look as good and beautiful as the interiors. Hence, maintaining your deck is vital. A clean deck not only looks good, it extends the life of the structure as well. However, when it comes to cleaning your deck, you may not want to use elbow grease as it is time consuming and tiring. So, what will you do? Power washing is the most common way to deep clean a deck, but do the pros outweigh the cons?
To Power Wash or Not
There is no doubt a pressure washer can clean your deck quickly and effortlessly. Hence, it is often the tool of choice when cleaning a wooden deck. But, did you know pressure washers are strong enough to destroy the surface of wood used on the deck? The pressurized water that comes out of the nozzle of the washer can swiftly erode the wood fibers. If the wood fibers don’t get eroded, you could end up with a wooden surface that is rough after the deck dries. So, before powerwashing your wooden deck, it is important to do the proper research as not to damage the deck.
This said, there are some professional deck construction services who claim erosion occurs only when inexperienced homeowners are the reason for damage to a deck. These experts feel this is because homeowners are not used to using the pressure washer. They go wrong because of one of the following:
• Using an incorrect tip
• Keeping the water pressure too high
• Holding the tip of the pressure washer too close to the deck’s surface
The Bottom Line
If you decide to powerwash your deck, make sure you first test the pressure of the water on an inconspicuous corner of your deck. If it hasn’t damaged the deck, go ahead and powerwash your deck. However, if you are unsure, simply call us atWoodscape to learn how we can extend the life of your deck and keep it in it's best shape!
If your home has an existing wood deck or you're planning new deck construction, it's important to protect it with a good sealer. Proper deck maintenance will improve the strength and durability of the wood and protect your deck from daily wear-and-tear.
Once wood is harvested as bare lumber, it looses it's protection from the natural oils in tree bark. It becomes dry, brittle and subject to harmful effects of the elements. Rain, snow and standing water cause wood to swell, while sunlight exposure causes wood to shrink, dry out and become brittle. This constant process of swelling and shrinking causes wood to become unstable, resulting in cracking, twisting and warping. If your wooden deck is not protected with a good sealer, your deck construction will eventually rot and fall apart.
The best time to seal your deck depends on several factors – the age of your deck, your climate, and local weather conditions. If you apply a sealer at the wrong time, your deck won't be fully protected.
Your Deck's Age – If you have new deck construction, you should wait at least one year before applying a sealer. New wood needs to dry and cure properly for a sealer to penetrate the wood. With a new deck, protect your deck with a new wood treatment for the first year, then followup with a sealer. If you have an older wooden deck, you need to reseal your deck every 12 to 18 months for best protection.
Your Climate – Since most wood sealant products work best in mild temperatures, the best time to apply a sealer to your wooden deck is spring or fall. If it's too hot or too cold, the sealer won't penetrate the wood's surface properly. Check specific directions on your product label.
Weather Conditions – Before you apply a sealer, you need to clean your wooden deck to remove dirt and debris. Power wash your deck construction and allow it to dry for two to three days. When dry, apply your sealer and allow one or two days for drying. Check your local weather conditions and choose five to six days with mild temperatures and no rain forecast.
Poor deck maintenance causes homeowners to repair or replace thousands of decks each year, so protect your wooden deck with a good sealer.
Your deck is an important part of your home. A beautiful, well-maintained deck adds value, function and expands your living space.
Just like the rest of your home, decks need to be maintained if they are to last. Being outdoors means they are exposed to the harsh elements that every season brings. Wind and sun, rain and snow. These elements each take their toll.
This abuse year after year can damage even the sturdiest deck construction.
Prepping Your Deck For Winter
Winter brings cold temperatures and moisture. These can cause a number of problems. Ideally, the best deck construction maintenance is prevention. Before winter hits, it is a good idea to thoroughly clean your deck. Remove dirt and debris. Applying a sealer will help keep moisture from seeping in and weakening the wood, or laying the groundwork for mold later on.
Sweep the deck thoroughly, and use a power washer. Allow the wood to dry and apply the sealer. This should be done every fall, before the rain and snow starts.
Tips For Winter Maintenance
It is a good idea to keep the deck free of furnishings and other items for the winter. Store patio furniture in the garage or shed. Potted plants should also be moved, or at least elevated on some type of stand. Furniture left sitting on the deck may cause rust marks. Water collecting underneath furniture, planters or other items may encourage rot and mold. Finally, be sure to shovel off any snow that piles up. Follow these tips to keep your deck in good shape all year long.
Adding a deck to your home is a great way to increase your living space, but it can be difficult to choose what type of materials to use. The most common deck construction materials are natural wood and composite.
This is the most commonly used in deck construction. Many people choose natural wood because they prefer the look, feel, and smell of a wooden deck.
Upkeep- Depending on the quality of wood, you will need to sand and re-stained your deck roughly every 2-5 years to prevent rot and maintain your deck’s visual appeal. Wood decks are popular in milder climates, as harsh elements like the sun, snow, and hail may wear faster, requiring frequent maintenance.
Lifespan- With proper maintenance, your wood deck should last from 30-50 years. To get the longest life out of your deck, consider a premium wood, and use high-quality stain at regular intervals.
Cost- Costs vary depending on the quality of wood you use. Premium wood like redwood usually requires less upkeep and has a longer lifespan than the lower cost options like pressure-treated pine.
This newer option is designed to look like real wood planks and is sometimes indistinguishable from natural wood. Composite wood manufactured from wood fiber and plastic and is quickly becoming a popular choice due to its durability and low maintenance.
Upkeep- Composite wood is designed to require very little upkeep. You never need to re-stain and it is resistant to pests and fading.
Lifespan- Since composite wood is designed with durability in mind, it usually will last longer than a natural wood dock. It will not rot or splinter, and holds up betteragainst the elements and normal wear and tear.
Cost- A Composite wood deck is usually more expensive to build, however many homeowners find that its low maintenance and high durability make it well worth the additional up-front cost.
When deciding which material to use in your deck construction, you must decide which factors are most important to you. Do you prefer the traditional look, feel, and smell of wood? If you do not mind the maintenance, a natural wood deck can be a great low-cost option. However if you are looking for a low-maintenance deck or live in a harsh climate, a composite wood deck may be a better choice for your needs.
Are you thinking about screening in your porch? A screened in deck offers numerous benefits and offers a very practical living space.
Adding Décor Elements
Having a screened in porch offers great opportunity for adding décor. Stylish curtains are a great way to tie the space together while adding visual appeal. Whether you entertain often or not, mounting a tv is also a popular addition. If décor is big on your list, integrating design elements, such as a vaulted ceiling, into the actual construction of the porch is a great idea as well.
Adding Functional Elements
Since the element of bugs, rain, and other weather issues can be eliminated, you have the opportunity to enjoy stylish, but functional elements. A ceiling fan is a great way to increase ventilation and enjoy a nice breeze. Being able to enjoy dining on your deck without the annoyance of bugs is also an added bonus. Combine that with a stylish outdoor furniture set and grill and you have the perfect outdoor living space!
Screening in your porch is a smart investment. It will not only increase curb appeal, but also increase your resale value. Using the deck more often is another great perk, whether it’s to relax after work or host a get together on the weekend.
Our client's satisfaction is our top priority and of course, we love to hear feedback! Check out this great review from a great client:
"Earlier this year Woodscape Construction completed a deck, porch and pergola at our home in Oakton VA. The workmanship was outstanding and we can't believe we waited so long to have this done. The pergola which looks fantastic will add a much needed shade area next to our pool. We couldn't be happier.
We were so confident in their work we had them come out again last month to enlarge the stone pool deck and repair several areas that were loose. I would not hesitate to hire them again."
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Improving and renovating your home can be quite costly, so being tempted to go with the lowest bidder for your construction is normal. However, that bid may not be made by an accredited, licensed, professional contractor and there are many things to be aware of before making your decision. Risking possible financial and safety issues certainly outweigh the benefits a low bid may seem to offer.
Most areas require a license in order to perform construction on residential homes. To obtain this license, there are fees, testing, and insurance requirements. This license is basically meant to assure any structures built are safe and comply with building codes. In fact, if a deck is built without this permit and the homeowner decides to later sell their home, big problems can occur, including that the homes value can decrease.
Making sure that your contractor is licensed not only protects them, but you as well. Liability insurance will cover any damage or accidents by the contractor and covers products and workmanship after the project is completed. Hiring a company without this, means that you are responsible for any of this damage. You would also be responsible for any costs related to injuries on the work site.
Hiring a licensed, professional deck builder is beneficial in the present and long run. Woodscape Construction specializes in and are experts with deck building. We are a class A licensed deck builder that has been serving the DC metro-area for over a decade. We are up to date on the latest code requirements and hold a full range of general liability and workmen’s comp insurance.