Posted by & filed under Deck Design.

If you’ve ever found the neighbour’s cat doing the back stroke in your pool, you know how important it is to have a good rail system on that awesome deck of yours. I know what you’re thinking. A great deck railing won’t keep a cat out of a pool. You may be right, but a well appointed railing will make Snowball look mighty handsome while enjoying his little dip.

 

Deck railing on side of the deck

 

With the addition of many railing materials into the market, a great deck railing system is now the cherry on top of a well built deck. In the past, railings were simply erected to provide safety and privacy. Today’s deck railings not only add safety, but style and so much more.

If you think the options for deck materials have opened up over the years, the vast array of options available for railings will open your eyes wide. In the past, deck railings were considered an accessory and many were made of pressure treated wood. Now you will find railing systems made from aluminum, glass, vinyl and composite. Whether you are looking for privacy or a very open visual, railings are a must. Finding the right railing system for you is key. Your railings may match your deck in your choice of materials and colour or you may choose to contrast your railings to your deck.  Your railings might be made of more than one type of material. Wood can be stained or painted but requires maintenance. Vinyl only comes in white but wipes clean with simple household cleaners. Aluminum often has a longer warranty and comes in black or white, while composite is low maintenance and comes in a variety of colours.  Choosing the materials for your railings will help you to create a unique look right for you.

 

Deck rail system providing unobstructed view

 

Just like your deck, your railings must be built to code. After all, your railings are there to prevent falls. Having your railings not properly secured, rungs set too far apart or a railing that is too short, will defeat it’s purpose. Gates can be incorporated into your rail system as well as lighting. These also add to the safety of your deck. Including your railings in the overall vision of your outdoor space, will ensure you make a lasting impression while creating that ambiance you’ve been envisioning. Sans Snowball of course.

 

Deck railing providing safety on stairs

 

Posted by & filed under Low Maintenance Decking.

While in the past, pressure treated wood was the go- to for many diy deck projects.  Alternately, cedar has been a favourite among many decking professionals.  Now, low-maintenance decking has taken over the market with it’s beauty and resilience.

More and more, the consumer is turning to low maintenance decking and this market is ever expanding. What exactly qualifies as low maintenance? When it first made its debut, low maintenance referred to composite materials.   Usually a mixture of wood and plastic compounds.  Today, low-maintenance includes PVC, vinyl, and cellular PVC.

When considering initial cost of decking materials, the list from lowest to highest is…pressure-treated wood, cedar, composite, and finally, Ipe (Brazilian hardwood).  That said, your overall  costs down the road ,25 years later will quite literally be the opposite. A wooden deck made from pressure-treated wood may cost you considerably less than that of a low-maintenance deck, but 25 years later, you will likely need to rebuild the wooden deck and your cost savings is eliminated.  Also remember, the cost of a well done outdoor project will still get you more return than that of kitchens and bathrooms when it comes time to sell your home.

In addition to more value for your buck, low-maintenance decks require no sealing, sanding or restraining.  There will be no cracking, rotting, twisting or splinters.  Low-maintenance decking materials are also fire and water resistant.   If you’ve lived with a wood deck for any length of time, you’ll know first hand of the time and energy it takes to keep your deck looking good year after year.  Pressure washing, sanding, staining and replacing boards are always in your future when you build a wood deck.

Low-maintenance decks are just that.  Most can be cleaned with simple household cleaners and many low-maintenance deck materials are resistant to fading and staining. They come in an array of colours and textures.  The variety in design options that low-maintenance decking gives the consumer, along with the quality and value it provides,  is what puts these materials ahead of the pack in the decking industry. Hickory Dickory Decks has installed more than 4000 low-maintenance decks. Their decking professionals love the versatility and quality they are able to provide their customers and low-maintenance decking is a dream for their design experts.  Let low-maintenance decking be your dream too.

 

Posted by & filed under Composite Decking.

Clubhouse decking will get you in the club… The awesome deck club, that is. Talk about innovation. Clubhouse decking is a leader in PVC deck products and according to Hickory Dickory Decks, who have installed more that 4000 composite decks across North America, it doesn’t get any better.

 

Clubhouse Decking with Clubhouse Iron Wood and Clubhouse Brookstone for the trim

 

Low-maintenance decking will last up to 25 years. That’s a lot longer than wood, and Clubhouse decking maintains the look of wood while offering the durability of PVC. It contains no wood or wood fillers and gives you, the consumer, an outstanding wood grain that will never require staining or painting. PVC decking is strictly made from plastic. This allows Clubhouse to add colour and texture. This gives the product that wood look more  than any other composite decking product out there.  Clubhouse decking features a limited lifetime warranty with a 25 year fade and stain protection which is  backed by Deceuninck. They are a global leader in world-class engineering with 75 years of industry experience.

Clubhouse Koralite technology creates a unique, dense cell structure providing superior strength and firm feel under foot. There are two lines of designer colours to choose from and if you’re having a hard time choosing, don’t. Combining two colours will add interest to your deck project and the eight colours offered by Clubhouse mix and match well.  It may be the newest trend in decks. Clubhouse decking is resistant to most common decking traits. It is slip resistant and uv resistant.  It keeps moisture out and therefore mold and mildew.  It’s also resistant to cracking and peeling and general wear and tear.

Clubhouse decking is as concerned with your environment as you are and they have made it a priority, through the offering of their many products, to do their part in protecting that environment. Clubhouse decking materials easily clean up with soap and water so there is  no need for harsh chemicals. Clubhouse decking is also 100% recyclable.

When choosing which materials to use on your next deck, consider the best. Once you see and feel the Clubhouse products, the  decision may be made for you. Visit your local Hickory Dickory Decks, to experience the quality of Clubhouse.

 

 

 

Posted by & filed under Deck Design, Deck Ideas.

Your deck has broadened your living space and so too can your deck lighting. Your dream deck could have safety issues without it, so whether you’re building a new deck or considering deck lighting for an existing deck, it really is bright idea.

Deck lighting for deck and steps

 

Entertaining on your deck during the day is a no brainer.  With the pool and the bbq, a good time is not hard to pull off, but come evening,  your outdoor space changes and so does the ambiance. Just as furniture railings, planter boxes and benches can create a welcoming atmosphere for your outdoor space, so too can deck lighting. The lighting of your deck will enhance the atmosphere for those warm Canadian evenings.  With proper lighting, you will expand the time you can spend on your deck and make that time safer and more enjoyable.

Deck lighting is an easy addition to an existing deck. It is also relatively inexpensive.  Deck lighting can turn your outdoor space into the retreat you’ve always dreamed about.  Deck lighting comes in all kinds of shapes and sizes. There is low voltage, solar and post cap lighting.  You may choose one or all of these for your deck.

When considering a new deck, lighting is one factor you’ll want to consider in your design.  Deck lighting can determine pathways, seating areas and the overall ambience of your outdoor space.

Some of the deck lighting you may consider is recessed step lights, wall sconces, rail lighting or brick lights.  Perhaps your deck is already sporting some fine deck lighting and you would just like to add a few highlights.  Deck lighting can change up the look of your existing space without the cost of changing up your deck.

The options in design and style are endless.  There’s a deck light to fit in with any style.

 

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Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas.

From fire pits, to charcoal, barbecues are just the beginning when considering an outdoor kitchen. With outdoor kitchens, you don’t have to choose. If you love to cook, entertain or simply show off, you can have it all.

Chelsire outdoor kitchen

 

Your new outdoor kitchen might be a do-it-yourself project or you might choose to have the professionals at Hickory Dickory Decks build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Coordinating your kitchen into your existing outdoor space can be tricky in the design department.  In the end, there is no reason why you can’t be outside year round enjoying your custom outdoor kitchen. You can get as basic or elaborate as you want to be. There are many factors you will want to consider when designing your outdoor kitchen. Whether you are just planning to built a barbecue with some counter space or have your sights set on a pizza oven,  keep in mind that the materials you use are very important.  Combustible products can cause a fire hazard. Also,  if you are going to be using your outdoors kitchen on a regular basis, ( and this is the goal) you will want some storage space for frequently used items like pots and pans, utensils etc.  Counter space is a must. You wouldn’t want your sink area right beside your barbecue.  If a brick oven is on your wish list, these can be custom built or pre-fabricated. Once the the basics of safety and practicality are fulfilled, the sky is the limit in design options.

Many choose to have their outdoor kitchens designed and built by the professionals at Hickory Dickory Decks because of safety factors. Many handy homeowners draw the line at doing their own wiring and plumbing. If you do choose to take on this project yourself be sure to budget for the professionals that you will need to complete the job.  Gas fitting probably isn’t your  expertise.

Danver outdoor kitchenAt hickory Dickory Decks we can custom design and install your outdoor kitchen to fit in with your existing deck and the overall decor of your outdoor space. A grilling Island can take your outdoor entertaining to a whole new level and if you are a barbecue enthusiast, we might suggest a deck material that would resist grease stains, or self extinguish should it catch on fire.  (It’s happened to the best of us.)

Your mission should be to increase your useable living space but also to  increase the enjoyment you get from this space. An outdoor kitchen accomplishes both of these and at Hickory Dickory Decks we can make it happen for you.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Composite Decking.

Hickory Dickory Decks is proud to showcase our new deck video as filmed by Arrested Images Photography and Design. Drew Cunningham wrote, filmed and edited the entire deck building video and we are grateful for his hard work and talents. Special thanks goes out to our lead carpenter Jeremy Nie and carpenter ‘Scotty’ who built a deck over the course of spring 2014.

Establishing the Deck Foundation

In this video we begin with the ground being broken just before the construction begins. Our next step is to ensure that each deck project has a solid foundation. Hickory Dickory used 6″x6″ beams fixed in concrete for this project. For the foundation, you’ll note that we used Vycor Deck Protector to flash the deck. Vycor Deck Protector is placed under the decking boards to reduce rot and decay as the deck protector reduces the chances of having trapped water underneath the deck.

Once the foundation is established, framing begins. Here we lay down our composite deck boards, and cut all protruding ends flush with the deck. We then installed a faceplate over the ends. In this video you’ll catch a good view of the stringer’s faceplate which adds exceptional support.

Framing your Deck

After the framing is completed, the decking begins. We always screw in our screws from beneath the deck so you’ll never have unsightly screw heads. In this video we install a double border that extends around the entire deck. Each joint and mitre meets the exact standards of our talented and experienced deck building craftsmen.

Deck Railing and Lighting

The final step in the deck construction process is installing the railing system. In this deck we also installed plexi glass inserts instead of using spindles or balusters (a baluster is a stair stick used to support the handrail.) Low voltage lights were placed in each step’s faceplate, which improves visibility at night so you don’t trip. The deck is completed with a cedar trellis to allow the owner to allow vines or roses to climb up the wood.

With our crew’s hard work complete, all that’s left is for you to enjoy life outdoors on your deck!

Posted by & filed under Curved Decks.

Use your imagination, think outside of the box and let your dream deck take shape.  Of the curved variety of course.  You can’t believe you didn’t think of it before?   Why let convention and corners dictate the shape of your deck when throwing a little curve into it can be accomplished with ease and within budget.

Curved Deck with trees

Curved decks are appealing to the eye and building a curved deck will provide versatility to your space.  Can you say “Zen”.  A curved deck does what an angular deck can’t.  It is more than functional.  While cutting the ends of your materials to complete a curved edge is one way of producing the effect,  with the use of low maintenance decking or traditional materials,  boards can actually be curved.  In the past, curved decks weren’t very common.  Over the years,  materials and tastes have evolved, and rounded features have become more popular.

These curves will add interest to a your deck and can solve design issues.  A curved deck provides options in design that a square deck can’t.  It can be paired with curved seating and backyard elements such as fire pits, patio heaters and tables.  With the use of radiant heat, or hot water,  composite decking can be bent to the desire degree.  The heat from the sun can actually bend some boards on their edge.  Some composite and metal railing companies offer curved railing that can be custom ordered to match your decks radius.  When planning the design or  your curved deck, it is important to start with a good deck plan.

At Hickory Dickory Decks, if you can imagine it, they’ve built it.  They will design your new deck with these curves in mind and turn your vision into reality.

 

Posted by & filed under Shade Structures.

Likely the most versatile backyard element there is, just saying the word, “cabana” makes you wanna party, but what is a cabana exactly and what is it’s purpose?

Backyard cabana

The beauty of having a cabana is that it can serve so many functions that we at Hickory Dickory Decks are hard pressed to label for the consumer. No one outdoor feature will transform your back yard into a bar, restaurant, resort and spa, like a cabana will.    You will want to ask yourself, “what do i intend to use my cabana for?”  Designing the outside of the cabana is only half the job.  The interior of your cabana may have an entirely different look.

Some Cabanas are used as a  kitchen, a bar or both. Many are utilized as a pool house or change room for the pool. Although a cabana can be built for storage, we can think of many better uses.  A cabana can be a bunk house, or simply a shaded area to sit. It can house your back yard audio/video, your fridge and barbecue. It can simply be a place to sit and have a drink or a mini house.  Your cabana might include a ceiling fan or even a shower and the lighting you choose will  set the mood.  You may choose to have your cabana fashioned to reflect the architectural design of existing buildings, including your home.

When choosing the building  materials that you want use, think diversity.  When you decide on a cabana design this is your opportunity to mix it up.   Cushioned seating may be part of the equation.  Different types of wood can add interest and dimension.  Planter boxes can even be incorporated. The sky is the limit in design options and the experts at Hickory Dickory Decks are excited to custom design the cabana to suit your individual needs.

Posted by & filed under Deck Awnings.

The arsenal of tools we use to survive the extreme weather in Canada includes the  awning.  We spend much of the year complaining about the frigid temperatures and the remainder of the year complaining about the unbelievable heat.  The awning must have been created by Mother Nature.  A great awning over a great deck is an apology of sorts.

Awning

You have had Hickory Dickory Decks already build you the deck of your dreams.  It has transformed your life, increased your property value, and your living space.  It has created an outdoor atmosphere  that begs for a celebration. But alas, you are unable to set foot on your new deck, for fear of bursting into flames.

Although many low maintenance decking materials resist this extreme heat,  there is no battling the west facing sun in the early afternoon.  Unless you have an awning.  Awnings come in many different materials and styles and whether you choose a stationary or retractable awning, it will be the best hangover you’ve every had.  At Hickory Dickory Decks, we don’t just help you get your deck built, we help you complete your outdoor space and sometimes this project calls for an awning.   Your awning’s job is not only to protect your toes from the being charred, but it will also break strong winds, and protect you from a downpour.  No more rained out barbecues.  When you’re looking at 35 degree weather and 100 percent humidity, the 20 degrees that an awning can take off that sweltering day is a God send.

In 50 bc, the Roman poet Lucretius,  said “Linen-awning, stretched, over mighty theatres, gives forth at times, a cracking roar, when much ’tis beaten about, betwixt the poles and cross-beams”.  Basically saying that when all else is lost ,  you’ll still have your awning.  Though a little dramatic,  a well built and installed awning will last many many years.  Unlike sails , umbrellas and pop up canopies, awning are semi permanent. Many are warranted for 25 years or more.  Ask your Hickory Dickory Decks specialist about your future outdoor project.

Posted by & filed under Deck Design.

White Pergola on Deck

Pergolas have to be the prettiest outdoor element out there.  It’s the sweetheart of the decking industry and at Hickory Dickory Decks, pergolas are the icing on the cake.  A well built pergola can complete a backyard makeover like nothing else.

Designing your pergola allows for plenty of creativity and there are endless options.  Size and shape will the define overall look of your pergola but the materials you use are important as well.  Like all decking projects, there are a range of materials available to the consumer.  In the past, many pergolas  were built of red cedar because of it’s beauty and durability,  but a world of options have opened up in the decking industry.  These options have given the consumer many, many choices when it comes to the design and  the overall look of their pergola.  Wood, vinyl, metal, and fiberglass, pvc and composite are some of the materials available.  These options provide an abundance of colour and pattern to your project and often, more than one will be used.

Traditionally, a pergola is a garden feature,  forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area with vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice.  More modern uses for a pergola include an organic space to entertain.  A well built structure,  along with the naturally grown foliage that often trains it way on and over a well placed pergola,  will create a cozy and intimate venue for friends and family.

While the look of your pergola is important,  the quality of it’s structure is equally important. Because a pergola is often used for shelter from the elements, your structure will need to withstand all kinds of extreme weather.  Hickory Dickory Decks has more than 25 years experience in providing this kind of quality.

Creativity is key when designing a pergola.  It’s your chance to utilize non traditional colours and textures.  It is, after all, accenting an already much loved backyard.  Designing your pergola is not the time to be conservative.  Put your pergola out there, for all to see.  With the help of Hickory Dickory Decks,  your new pergola will be your new conversation piece.