Massachusetts Decks & Porches

Here are some important points to consider when planning your deck.

When planning your deck, take a notepad and write down all the things you would like to have in a deck. For instance, what kind of shape, size, and most importantly, what kind of decking you would like to have. Most homes in our part of the region are expected to have a deck and property values can be affected by the size and quality of your deck. When planning your deck, obviously a large home can house a large deck and the proportions will look pleasing, whereas a large deck on a small house may seem over whelming. It’s best to build a deck large enough to fit your needs without going overboard. However, there is no set size a deck should be built in regards to your home.

Think about what will the purpose of the deck be for you?

Will this deck be primarily for family functions? Or will this be just an entry way to your home? Will you be having BBQ’s on your deck? Knowing these points will help in the design process in determining what kind of deck to build. Not everyone will have 100 people over for a party on your deck. However, even if you don’t plan on spending much time at all on your deck it may be important for your home value to have a deck in the size and proportion as to be expected in your area.

Determine what size patio furniture you have or plan on buying?

It’s very important to plan in advance saving room on your deck for your table, chairs and being able to walk around without bumping into any furniture. Generally, less than 11′ feet deep is to tight for even a modest size table, typically 12′ – 16′ are good starting points and will allow room around the table to breathe.

Next, consider where you would like to have your stairs?

Stair placement goes along with traffic patterns and is key when designing a useful deck. Keep in mind, paths from the door to the stairs, it’s always best to keep areas for seating clear of pathways.

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Deck maintenance and prevention tips

You’ve all heard the phrase ” there’s no free lunch.” Well deck maintenance follows the same principal. There is no maintenance-free wood decks, with the exception to composite decks which offer low-maintenance.

Here in the Massachusetts & Rhode Island area, we have drastic seasonal changes yearly. We go from one extreme to the next, whether it be Summer or Winter, your deck gets a “beating.” If you read most or all of this page, you’ll come to learn some helpful advice on deck maintenance.

Causes of deck deterioration and what to look out for

The most common deterioration of your deck, is water! Moisture causes the decking to expand and when it dries out it contracts. This causes your deck to crack, rot, splinter. Nobody likes splinters, do you? I don’t!

To prevent this, simply sweep your deck clean regularly, keeping leaves, puddles, snow, of your deck. If you neglect this step, you’ll start to notice mold, bacteria, fungi growing on your deck. Also, with further neglect, your deck boards will begin to feel soft and begin to lose structural integrity.

Steps you can take to keep your custom deck in great shape

Cabot stain or Sickens stain treatments are top choices when I stain decks and should be yours. You want to stain your deck yearly to preserve the look of your custom deck. In doing so, will preserve the look of when you had your custom deck built.

Inspect all hardware and fasteners to ensure safety and structure. Look around your framing members to ensure no termites or insect nesting around the deck or framing members.

Keep leaves and snow and puddles off your deck.
If you follow most of these steps I displayed here for you, your well on your way to having a long lasting custom wood deck. If you feel you don’t have the time to maintain your deck, than Composite decks might be your answer to a low-maintenance deck.

Go green with composite decks

Whether you are building new or just improving on what you have, consider going green this spring with green building products.

Now that spring is growing closer, a lot of homeowners will start to spend most of their time outdoors working on their homes. For the last couple of years, the trend homeowners are leading more so towards green building materials, such as “Composite decking & handrails.” If your looking to add value to your home and also, create a low-maintenance deck, than this choice in green materials is your answer!

Also know as “plastic-wood” composite decking is made from recycled wood and plastic as an environmentally friendly option that is growing in popularity. Benefits like durability, color and low-maintenance have increased the replacement of natural wood for your deck. Other benefits, composite decking doesn’t require painting and staining. The only maintenance that needs to be done is to wash it a couple of times a year. Composite decking will cost you about 25-35 % more depending on the chosen material over the cost of traditional pressure-treated wood decking. In the long run, the amount of money you save out weights the up front cost of composite decking.

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