It’s almost summer, and that means it’s almost deck season! Maybe you have plans to lay out on the deck, catch some rays and listen to your favorite music; or maybe you’re the type that likes to do a sunrise yoga or Pilates routine on the deck each morning, before the sun gets too high. And don’t forget those cool summer evenings under the stars, with your favorite snacks and beverages, and maybe even built-in fire pit to keep you warm and liven up the conversation after your al fresco evening meal.
There are truly an array of great uses for a backyard decks in the summer; but also in the spring and fall. It’s really only in the dead of winter that people don’t use their decks much; and for many of us, not even that is true! With regular maintenance, the outdoor deck can still be a great place to step outside, watch your breath, and look at the stars on a cold crisp night.
If you don’t have an outdoor deck but have been thinking about building one, there’s never been a more exciting time in terms of deck building. Why? For starters, there are so many different materials now. It used to be where only a few types of tropical hardwood were suitable for outdoor decks. Then came the arrival of pressure treated or PT lumber, which meant that basically any type of natural wood could be effectively fortified against the elements.
Now, of course, we have the additional world of composite decking, which has completely revolutionized deck designs across the industry. It meant that homeowners could achieve basically any look they wanted, with a material that would last far longer (with far lower maintenance requirements) than anything before it. Composite certainly hasn’t done away with natural hardwood, and there are certain pros and cons for each – but composite decking is definitely the biggest thing to happen in the decking industry in quite some time.
No matter what materials, styles or amenities you choose, you’ll want them to be built be someone who really knows their stuff. Is it possible to build your own deck? Yes, it is – assuming you obtain the necessary licensing and permits from your local authorities. This process alone can be time consuming, let along studying the intricacies of deck building when you’ve never done it before.
Most people choose to hire a professional, not only because it’s faster (and ultimately cheaper, in a great many cases) but because the final result is more dependable and a better investment over time. But when the contractor finishes up and leaves the site, how do you really know your deck was built right?
The most and most obvious answer is that you did your research before hiring them, and found out that they had a lot of happy customers, and appeared to run their operation in a highly structured and professional way. A written guarantee is also a must. This lets you know that the contractor does not expect there to be any problems, due to the professionalism and care they put into your deck.