It’s 2017, and if we look at the majority of industries and businesses out there, few of them look exactly like they did ten, twenty or thirty years ago. Technology has changed with incredible speed. Not just electronics, but the technology that goes into everyday products, nutrition, and even building materials.
This last area is something that affects the outdoor deck industry. New materials have been developed that change the way we think about outdoor decks, how they’re built, what purpose they serve, and how long they’ll last. But that’s not the only way this industry has changed. Here are five ways in which the outdoor deck business has transformed over the last ten to twenty years.
1. Composite materials
This is far-and-away the biggest new to hit the outdoor deck industry in a long time. Composite decking is essentially a blend of natural wood fibers, plastics, and other synthetic materials (depending on the manufacturer). They virtually eliminate much of the maintenance involving outdoor decks, and increase their lifespan up to twenty or even thirty years.
2. Pressure treated lumber
Pressure treated lumber has been a game-changer in the industry because it allows virtually any type of lumber to be used for outdoor deck building. In the past, only certain types of wood (such as Redwood and Ceder) could be used for outdoor decks, due to their natural resistance to insects, wind, rain and other elements. Pressure treatment can make virtually any type of lumber highly resistant in these important ways.
3. Outdoor kitchens
When it comes to modern outdoor deck projects, that sad little grill collecting dust in the corner of the deck is virtually a thing of the past. People are building more robust cooking solutions right into their outdoor decks, from simple cooking facilities to sprawling outdoor kitchens that take al fresco dining (and cooking) to a new level. Many people appreciate the benefits of preparing meals outside when possible — including the absence of lingering odors in the house, or excess heat during warmer months.
4. Fireplaces and other lifestyle features
People demand more from their outdoor deck projects today than they have in the past. The outdoor deck is no longer just a wooden platform with few plastic chairs. Today’s outdoor deck designs are dynamic, multi-functional, and more attractive than ever. Homeowners are realizing that they can get more practical living space with by building lounges, fireplaces, built-in seating, exercise areas, and other features into their outdoor decks.
A changing industry
The nature of the industry has changed quite a bit, as we can see. But as homeowners, we have to realize that quality craftsmanship and reputable business practices are qualities that never change. Some contractors seem to have them, and others simply do not. In order to make a savvy investment, and come away with an outdoor deck that you’re really happy with, it’s important to choose your outdoor deck contractor carefully. Find someone who is knowledgeable about all the latest trends, while maintaining a hint of “good old fashioned” service and quality craftsmanship.