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!
According to Remodeling magazine, adding a deck to your home can return 80.5% on average of your original investment. This high value of return makes this exterior addition a good investment because it increases the living area of your home with a minimal cost/square foot. When you consider that new construction of a home costs $85/square foot while deck construction costs $35/square foot according to the National Association of Home Builders, adding this outdoor structure is an affordable way to gain space.
Adding personal and property value
For consumers who are looking to spend more time at home enjoying their property, a decking project adds personal value as it promotes more time outside. A deck is an area you don't have to worry about heating and cooling and it gives you a feeling of having more space in your home than you truly have because it's easy to walk out onto the structure, relax in exterior living areas and take in the view. During the nice weather of spring, summer and fall, you can spend extra hours outside breathing in fresh air, hosting parties and having family picnics from the safety and security of your decking.
Choosing the size and location
The first step in any decking project is choosing the size and location for the structure. Decks are popular gathering areas so make sure it's easy to access from the home, such as through French doors from the living room, family room or dining room. Placing it right off the kitchen may seem like a logical choice, but it can create foot traffic issues when you're trying to prepare a meal. Having the doorway access in a spot that provides a stunning view even when you can't be out on the deck is a good idea too.
When it comes to deciding on the size of a decking project, check with local codes first and then make sure that your deck doesn't overwhelm your property while still being large enough to be usable and visible. Plan the deck with stairways that provide easy access to the backyard and incorporate the location of shade trees in your planning to help block the hotter, late day sun. Keep privacy in mind when choosing size and location as well.
Adding decks to homes is what Woodscape Construction excels at, so contact us first when you're considering a decking project for your home.
Are you longing to spend the summertime lounging in a relaxing escape, right in your own backyard? Enjoying the afternoon as you grill burgers and hot dogs on your stunning patio? Without a doubt, quality decks are one of the top-rated features of homes in Virginia. For good reason too, with our amazing Virginia weather, everyone can’t wait to get outside!
Impressive Return on Investment
Making the decision to build a quality deck onto your home increases your enjoyment and will also increase your home’s value. According to Houselogic.com, on average, homeowners recoup over 80% of their investment through an increased selling price. That’s a better return than kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom additions!
Wow prospective buyers!
Increased value is only one of several benefits that homes with new decking enjoy. Homes with decks made from quality materials and professionally installed, sell twice as quickly! Guests viewing your home will enjoy themselves relaxing in your home, while prospective buyers will be enticed by the ideal of entertaining on the patio, making your home stand out when considering an offer.
Easy to build and design.
Choosing and designing your custom deck is simple and affordable. Decks are relatively simple to care for and require only minimal yearly maintenance to keep their appeal.
With cold icy winters and hot humid summers, decks in the North endure a great deal of Mother Nature’s abuse. In addition to keeping up with regular maintenance, it’s important to look out for clues that indicate potential safety hazards, regardless of a deck’s height. By knowing the signs of wear and tear, you can address small issues before they become expensive repairs.
Spotting Wear and Tear on Your Deck
The wood crumbles and falls apart: When a wooden deck is exposed to too much moisture, dry rot may occur. Dry rot refers to fungal decay. When the fungus lives on wood, it digests the properties that give the lumber its stiffness and strength. At first, dry rot looks might look like orange dust. As it grows, the spores form white strands on the wood. Eventually, the wood gets soft and crumbles.
The structure leans away from the house: When a deck separates from a ledger board, it’s in danger of collapsing. This may occur when fasteners or connecters are loose or missing, the wood decays or because of poor fastener choices (i.e., using nails instead of lag bolts).
Small holes in the boards: Small holes may indicate the presence of insects living in or traveling through the deck. By identifying the offending insect, you can determine if they’re the kind that live in or eat decaying wood.
The wood seems slick: If the boards have a greenish hue to them, the wood may have a mildew or algae problem.
The deck’s color faded: Wood and other materials fade when exposed to the sun. To keep a deck’s original color, you may need to re-stain and re-seal it every couple of years, depending on the materials used.
The wood cracks and splinters: It is common for wood to splinter and crack with age, particularly if you don’t use a protective finish. Exposure to the elements can also cause deck boards to warp.
Corroding fasteners and connectors: Exposure to moisture leads to oxidation and corrosion with most types of metals. If you don’t prevent or limit the corrosion, the rust that forms can stain the wood on the structure.
Ignoring wear and tear on a deck can shorten its lifespan and pose serious safety hazards. If you are not sure about how to identify such concerns or remedy them, contact us to inspect and maintain the structure annually.
• Rattan and Wicker – Natural materials like rattan and wicker provide a casual, comfortable look for your deck, but they will require weatherproofing every few years. Synthetic rattan and wicker has a resin finish that will last a lot longer.
• Steel and Wrought Iron – Both materials are extremely sturdy, but will need cushions for comfort. They're great for the outdoors, but will need to be painted or treated periodically with a weatherproof finish to prevent rust.
• Aluminum, Plastic and PVC – These materials are rustproof, lightweight, inexpensive and easy to maintain with a little soap and water. However, because of their lightweight construction, they may need to be secured in high winds and storms.
As the winter months quickly come to a close, you may be dreaming of the many things you can do to welcome in the warmer weather. Fortunately, there are many fun things you and your family can do on your Woodscape deck that will have you loving every minute of your outdoor time. Here are a few of our favorites:
Plan a scavenger hunt: Using your deck as home base, plan an alphabet scavenger hunt in your back yard. Just make a label for each letter of the alphabet then set the kids loose to see if they can find an item for each letter. Whomever finds all 26 items first wins!
Plant a container garden: Nothing beats fresh veggies in the spring and summer! With just a few planters and some organic soil, you can grow your own vegetables this summer. Give vining veggies like pumpkin or cantaloupe room to grow upward by providing a sturdy trellis, and other top-heavy plants like tomatoes cages to keep them under control. You can also try companion planting to get the most out of your space.
Play lawn dice: Play a game of dice using a few blocks of wood that have been sanded down and branded with corresponding dots. Games like Farkle, Yhatzee or Craps make excellent party games because the rules are simple and multiple people can play. So break out the outdoor chalk board and challenge your friends to a friendly game of dice this summer.
Play life-sized chess: There is no time to be bored when there are board games to be played, and chess is no exception. If you've got the space, then why not make a checker board on you our deck using painters tape? After the board has been prepared, use black and while blocks of wood to play checkers, or use life-sized chess pieces for a more challenging game.
Summer is almost here. Celebrate with these fun deck activities for the whole family! To learn more about how a deck can transform your home, contact Woodscape Construction.
With spring around the corner, now is the perfect time to select a BBQ for your deck and get ready to welcome warm weather, family, and friends. However, do you know which BBQ would be perfect for your newly installed deck?
Not just any BBQ will do! You need one that not only fulfills your needs, but that fits into your budget and goes well with your new deck. So, here are some tips to help you select the perfect BBQ:
This is going to be the main concern prior to buying a BBQ. How much and what you want to cook will help you decide which model will suit your requirement. For instance, a couple may not need the same large size that a family of 6 would require.
The grill size depends on several factors. Some of these include what you intend cooking – entrees or appetizers, number of people attending your BBQ, deck size, and the frequency of grilling. If you are an infrequent user and believe in hosting close friends and family, a small or medium sized BBQ is perfect. Also, depending on the size of your deck, avoid a grill that will take up too much space.
If you will be using your BBQ frequently, it's worth the investment to go with a reputable brand model. For occasional use, opt for a more basic model.
Gas or Charcoal?
These days, many grills use propane gas and heat up quickly. Their temperature can also be controlled easily. Moreover, they are convenient to clean. However, if you are a BBQ fanatic, the taste from a charcoal BBQ can't be beat!
Having a fire pit means you can enjoy your backyard and deck year round. The ambiance of an outdoor fire pit creates the perfect spot for relaxation, fun, and good conversation. Fire pits are easy to clean and portable, but before you choose one, there are a few things to consider:
Size of Your Deck
The fire pit should fit well on your deck and not take too much space. Additionally, you do not want to choose a fire pit that is too small and difficult to fit around. Pits range in size, with smaller options being 20” to 25” and large ones about 40” to 45”. The smaller ones usually consist of a bowl and are ideal for compact decks.
The fire pit you choose should be one that fits your needs. There are different options in the market such as gas fire pits, wood burning or fire pits with chimneys. A wood burning fire pit may be the most cost effective route and is great for cooking.
Before purchasing, ensure that you know what surrounds your deck so you can make a choice that will fit well with the surroundings and the yard design.
There are two common types of fire pits:
Brick fire pits
These can be built to suite your needs and space, whether small or large.
This style is perfect for decks, patios, and grassy yards and can usually be moved easily. For spacious yards or a permanent location, a stationary square pit is a good choice.
The materials for fire pits range from copper and stainless steel, to stone and tile. As stones are heavy, they are best used with large square pits, which will be stationery. Stainless steel is pricey, but easy to clean and are rust resistant.
Decks need to be cleaned from time to time, and the process doesn't need to be as difficult as you may think. Pressure washers are commonly used for deck-cleaning, but come with the potential for damaging the surface of the deck if used incorrectly. This is because some woods are relatively soft and can splinter under the high PSI put out by many pressure washers. Chemicals are another option and can be effective, as long as the right ones are chosen. Here are some tips to make cleaning your deck less difficult and to keep you from damaging it:
Failing to get rid of all the dust and sand on the surface of your deck could result in a muddy, grimy mess once you start to power wash or apply cleaners.
Inspect for Rot
If you find that some boards are damaged beyond repair, this is the best time to replace them. You should also check to see if your deck needs to be sealed in order to prevent rot further down the road. If a drop of water dripped onto the surface soaks into the wood, you should consider resealing it after cleaning.
Use a Pressure Washer on Your Deck
To avoid damaging softer woods used for deck construction, you should opt to use a PSI no greater than 1200. Additionally, you will want to use the sprayer fan for the best effect. The spray arc should be between 25 and 40 degrees.
Choose the Right Deck Cleaner
Your options will include chlorine bleach, oxygen bleach and oxalic acid. These three chemicals are ingredients in most of the commercial deck cleaners available on the market. One effective (and environmentally friendly) way to use them is to first clean with oxygen bleach and then use the oxalic acid to brighten the deck.
Test Cleaners Before Use
Before committing to a particular deck cleaning chemical, first test it on a small area that is out of the way. Some cleaners can stain the deck's surface, so this allows you to make sure that it is safe to use.
Deck construction is an excellent way to add value to your home. However, to get the full benefits of your wooden deck, investing some time and effort into regular maintenance is best. It especially a good idea to clean your deck before and afterharsh winter weather. The tips above can help you to keep your deck in pristine shape!
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.