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There’s nothing like a new deck to get us excited for the season. Quality in workmanship and product is a must, but the design should not be overlooked when deciding on the deck that’s right for you. Multi-level decks give versatility and design quality that cannot be beaten and will have the whole neighbourhood worked up.

001 multi level trex steps

Choosing to build a multi-level deck, even if it’s out of necessity, will open up many design options that wouldn’t otherwise be available to you if you chose a flat deck. One of the misconceptions out there about multi-level decks is that they are always more expensive. This is untrue. Sometimes deciding on a multi-level design for your new deck, can save you money.

If you are considering other design effects such as lighting or curved stairs, a multi-level design will highlight these elements, getting you, your money’s worth. A multi-level deck will allow you to incorporate that hot tub, pool or outdoor kitchen. A multi-level deck will set up separate designated areas on your deck, creating a home for each. Your eating area can replicate the feel of an indoor dining room.  Having the pool on a different level than your seating area keeps water and all the mess that can come with a pool, removed from the rest of your deck. Multi-level decks will also open up the design choices for colour and shape.

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Visually, a multi-level deck can’t be beaten. Different levels can be created specifically for the customer and often the outcome is a one of a kind deck design. Trying to hide from the neighbours? Privacy screens are great but if you design your multi-level deck with sight lines in mind, the neighbours won’t be privy of your seasonal skinny dipping polo club.

A multi-level deck can reduce or eliminate stairs. If your property is sloped like so many are, you many need to build many steps to have you off your deck and onto the grass. With more than one level, the height of your deck can be reduced before the stairs come into play. This scenario can visually be more appealing and fewer stairs can increase safety especially around water.  Lighting will also greatly increase safety and accessibility when building a multi-level deck.

You likely will only go through the design process for a new deck once or twice in your lifetime. Take the time needed to consider all the options. A little imagination will take your standard square deck into a whole new world. A multi-level deck will become the conversation piece of your outdoor space.

Posted by & filed under Deck Cleaning, Uncategorized, Wooden Decks.

Spring cleaning is bound to spill into your outdoor space. While cleaning away the cobwebs, don’t forget about your deck. Once you’ve decided your deck needs a good cleaning, avoid making these common mistakes. Mistakes can have your deck looking worse than when you started.

interestingly shaped deck

Too much elbow grease

Throughout the process of cleaning a deck, a power washer will no doubt be utilized. Regardless of whether you have a pressure treated wood deck or low maintenance deck, a power washer can be your best friend or your worst enemy if you don’t handle it with care. Too much pressure can create an uneven result. For a low maintenance deck, this can create variations in colour. For wood decks, too much pressure can actually ruin the surface of your deck. Too much force will splinter wood, leaving your clean deck with bigger problems.

SAMSUNG

Using the wrong products

Don’t be fooled by natural cleaners and their ability be harsh on your deck. While vinegar and baking soda are great choices for a light deck cleaning, many household items you find in your cupboard can actually be damaging to your deck’s surface. If you aren’t entirely sure if that box of borax is indeed harmless, it’s important to consult with the manufacturer of your deck boards. Consider the environment when choosing your deck cleaner. While bleach, for instance, is affordable and is very effective in killing mould, it also happens to one of the worst options for the environment. Commercial cleaners are generally stronger and provide a deeper clean. Be careful while handling these as they are often toxic. Without the proper precautions, these cleaners can even cause you or your loved ones harm. Everything from eye irritation to chemical burns has been reported.

Not cleaning often enough

Your deck should really be giving a good cleaning twice a year. Fall and spring are great times to get this done. If you’ve cleaned your deck properly, and often, it doesn’t have to be as arduous job. Regular cleaning will prevent mould from taking hold on your deck surface and dirt from setting in. If you own a wood deck and are considering a stain for the first time, it is important that you first clean your deck thoroughly. Both the deep clean and the stain will prolong the life of your deck.

Deck Cleaning - DeVries - Shed - BeforeAfter

Not knowing when to call in the professionals

Deck cleaning takes time, patience and considerable effort. If you aren’t in the market to make the investment it takes to get the job done right, leave it to the professionals. A botched deck cleaning is worse than a dirty deck. Bringing in the professionals not only ensures the job gets done right and in a timely manner, but that it gets done with a warranty.  Ensure your deck cleaning specialist offers a warranty and a guarantee of satisfaction. Often a professional deck cleaner will cost you more, but a professional deck cleaning will also be better quality and last longer.

Why do our decks need to be cleaned? Besides wanting to preserve or return the pristine look that your deck had when we built it. a good cleaning can actually increase the life of your deck. A deck sits horizontally, exposing it to the elements at all times. The only washing your deck gets throughout the four seasons, is precipitation. Rain is acidic and isn’t doing your deck any favours. Giving your deck the TLC it deserves with a good cleaning will.

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It was with a lot of regrets and quite possibly a few tears, that you put the closed sign on your deck when fall arrived last year. Last call on the decking season and the upcoming cold snowy months that follow can leave you in mourning. The good news is, with a little investment of time, money and imagination your deck season can be expanded, testing the seasonal limits that weather throughout South Western Ontario throws at us.

 

deck with canopy

 

Put a log on!

Though the temperatures aren’t sub-zero anymore, they are still less than ideal.  Many hours, both day and night can still be enjoyed on the deck in the early spring with just a little heat. Patio heaters have been a big hit in Southern Ontario. Propane heaters come in many different sizes, covering various square feet of space.  Price points also vary. Depending on the size of your deck, more than one might be needed.

Shelter

April showers bring May flowers but also make it a little difficult to enjoy dinner on the patio. When rain threatens to dampen your deck and your spirits, find shelter.  Awnings, sails, and umbrellas all provide protection from the frequent rains of spring and open up the decking season.

Stage that Deck

Longing to use a deck that still has covered  patio furniture, debris and dead plants?  This  just isn’t an inviting outdoor space. Stage your deck space early to ensure you are able to start enjoying your deck early in the season. If you have leftover annuals that have long since died in their perspective pots, get rid of them. Or better yet, plant a silk variation to add colour where there is none. Uncover and clean that patio furniture once the snow makes it exit. There is no reason to keep it in hiding.

Create Enjoyment

Think outside of the box. The pool isn’t open yet and nude sunbathing is still out of the question. Find ways to enjoy your deck that will delight you and your loved ones. Board games on the deck will undoubtedly create great memories. A rousing game  of twister will certainly get the heart pumping, helping you forget that it’s not summer yet. Grab a blanket and book. Nothing pairs better with a good read than fresh air.  If night time is your pleasure, take it to the deck for a little star gazing. All these options will extend your deck season.

Clean and Repair

Now is the time to put in a little maintenance. While working away on your deck may not necessarily constitute enjoyment, you will ultimately be increasing the time you spend on your deck. When temperatures do finally rise, you and your bbq and lounge chair and sunglasses will be able to hit the ground running. Don’t spend those perfect sunny, summer days scrubbing the deck. Get your work done now to expand your deck loving season.

To extend your decking season, you simply have to get creative. Here in Southern Ontario, we are not blessed every day with sunshine and moderate temperatures. Make the best of what you’re given and use your imagination. Turn a four month deck season into a six-month season with just a few changes and additions to your outdoor space.

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Building your own deck can be a daunting task.  Demolishing one, even more so.  Demolishing your old deck will exceed your expectations of workload, expertise and elbow grease. If after doing your research, you still decide to take on this project yourself, there are many things to consider to ensure your deck remains the only thing that ends up demolished. First, consider the cost.

  • Renting or buying tools such as a chainsaw
  • Renting a dumpster
  • The cost of delivering old materials to the landfill

If your existing deck is at ground level, haul out the chainsaw and hack away any which way. Be careful, though, not to cut into the dirt. This will damage the blade. Cut wood pieces between four to six feet for easier disposal.

 

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If your deck is elevated, a ladder will likely be needed and now you have yourself a two person job. After the deck boards are removed, cut out the beams and joists separately, one at a time and carefully. They are heavy and can cause considerable damage to you and your home. Any old ledger that is attached to your house will need to be removed and this will require a considerable amount of elbow grease. Remove old posts holders. A sledgehammer will be required to break up any cement.  Some materials are recyclable, some dump worthy.

 

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Do not exceed your level of expertise. Lumber is unforgiving. If you did not build your deck, you may not know the location of gas, electrical, phone and cable lines. Call your local utilities before you dig.

If, after all your research on the subject of deck demolition, you have decided to leave it to the professionals, choose wisely. Like any home renovation job, get several quotes, check references and ensure that any company you hire is properly insured.

The sooner demolition gets under way, the sooner you’ll find yourself enjoying your new deck.

Posted by & filed under Deck Builders, Uncategorized.

All customers of Hickory Dickory Decks are impressed with the quality and workmanship of their products.  Some are so impressed, they buy into the business. Welcome to Peter and Trish Gibson who have opened the doors of their very own Hickory Dickory Decks Franchise.

 

gibson's

 

Hickory Dickory Decks is a locally owned and operated business specializing in designing and building low maintenance decks.  If you live in the Calgary southwest area you too have quality deck building at your fingertips.

After having their deck built by HDD, the Gibson’s were so impressed with the process and the product that they bought a franchise and are now well on their way to fulfilling the decking dreams of many homeowners throughout Calgary. Peter and Trish Gibson have lived in their Calgary community for more than 15 years and have chosen to raise their own family here. The Gibson’s now live and work in Calgary. The doors to HDD Calgary Southwest opened in January 2016.

The Gibson’s describe their experience in the decking business so far as “awesome. “All our customers need to do is tell us your ideas and we will help you visualize your dream outdoor space.” Although the Gibsons are new to the decking business, HDD is not.  Founded in 1987,  HDD boasts 60 locations.

If you’re more interested in spending your time enjoying your deck and want to leave the work to the professionals, give the Gibson’s a call.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas, Patio Deck, Shade Structures, Uncategorized.

The Jetson’s probably had one. Other than that, you’ll have to see it, to believe it. Picture an outdoor roof for your patio that has more versatility than can be imagined. American louvered roofs bring exciting back to your patio with this cutting edge, revolutionary shelter.

 

louvered roof

 

American louvered roofs provide the meaning of luxurious living. Consider a roof over your patio, hot tub or barbecue area that behaves like a blind, providing just the right amount of protection when you need it most. A louvered roof can let in full sunshine when desired. It can also give partial protection when the sun is just too hot to keep your patio a comfortable place to be. Your louvered roof has the ability to completely close, giving you protection against rain. A louvered roof keeps you outside, enjoying the outdoors through rain and harsh sun. A louvered roof will also increase your property value, and have your neighbours talking.

 

 

There are different styles to match any taste and budget. Consider incorporating lighting into your American louvered roof. American louvered roofs believe in the principles that make an honest company with loads of integrity.  They have built their business one roof at a time. Speak with your contractor or decking specialist to find the right louvered roof for you. Visit the website of American louvered roofs and try out their interactive app that allows you see how a louvered roof will look in your outdoor space.

Outdoor spaces are continually evolving when it comes to design and comfort. American louvered roofs can play a big part in adding to your outdoor experience.  In Canada, we are always looking for elements that will increase the season and have us enjoying the outdoors more.  The comfort that American louvered roofs bring, does just that.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas, Shade Structures, Uncategorized.

gazebo-main-tab-vinylIf you’re in the market for a gazebo, you might consider Country Home Gazebos. They specialize in one area of expertise and will bring their best to the table, ensuring your new gazebo will meet or exceed your expectations.

Country Lane Gazebos is a family-owned business founded in 1994 by Samuel Stoltzfus. They offer quality shelter for you and your loved ones. Gazebos are only a small part of what Country Lane Gazebos has to offer. Pergolas, pavilions, cabanas, and shades are all part of their excellent lineup.

Which ever you’ve decided on, you will no doubt be taking on this project out of necessity or a desire to improve the look of you outdoor space. If you’re having a gazebo or any other shade structure built on your property, you are looking for shade. If you are also trying to incorporate design elements into your existing outdoor space, the professionals at Country Lane can help you decide on the structure that will best suit you, your needs and your budget. 

Need shade but can’t decide on which shade structure to go with. Country Lane Gazebos can help you to make the right decision. Consider your space and the ambiance you want to create. If your outdoor space is limited, a smaller structure will surely meet your needs. If your property is larger, then preference will. be more of a determining factor. Look at loads of pictures and talk with your design expert at Country Lane Gazebos to discover all your options for shade. Having a custom designed and build shade structure will certainly bring more value than a kit or indeed, a do it yourself project. 

Any addition to your outdoor living space is an investment and deserves the best. This is precisely what Country Lane Woodworking has to offer.

Posted by & filed under Deck Ideas.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everyone who enters your home this festive season can feel the spirit before they reach the threshold.  With a little imagination, your front porch can set the joyful scene for this holiday season.

Have a plan for your porch and pick a theme. When it comes time to adorn your porch for the season, your theme should represent both your tastes and your intent. The decor on your porch might be a continuation of the decorations you have chosen for the inside of your home. Do you plan to have a big boisterous Christmas? The way in which you decorate your porch should reflect this.

 

002 Azek front porch

 

Decide on the elements you will use. Be sure to choose lights that are certified for outside use. Considering colour and application will set the tone for your front porch holiday project.  Decide on one or two pieces of Christmas decor for your porch. This will give you a great start. Choose the colour of lights you will use and a great wreath will anchor your space. Everything else should complement these pieces.

Like any investment in your home, it’s important to consider your budget. Spending during this time of year can get out of control. Nothing will put a damper on your festive porch like a whole lot of debt. Deciding on a colour scheme will also keep your front porch holiday project on task.  You don’t have to buy everything at once either.  Year after year you can build up how festive your porch is, as well,you can buy new lights when they are on sale after the Holidays.

If you aren’t sure what it is that you want for your front porch this holiday season, do some research on what’s out there.  Someone else’s idea may become yours and provide you with a vision to move forward with your decorating.

Hickory Dickory Decks understands the improved quality of life that outdoor living can bring.  Putting up festive lights and spreading the holiday spirit is a great way to add warmth to the cold winter months! Some ideas, a little money, and loads of imagination can have your front porch matching your Christmas spirit this holiday season!

Posted by & filed under Deck Cleaning, Uncategorized.

Fall is upon us and winter will soon be here. Time to put your deck to bed.

Although you may find uses for your deck in the winter like barbecuing, your beloved deck or patio will soon be under a blanket of snow for months, taking it out of commission. Time to prepare for hibernation. While we all take the time to prepare our outdoor space for the winter, it is equally important to consider your deck as the cold weather nears.

Nice deck without railings

Removing or covering your outdoor furniture is a must. When the white stuff starts to fly, you may need to shovel and having too many obstacles will make this task harder. Take in plants or remove from your deck. Leaving pots to stay on your deck through the winter may stain your deck boards and can encourage the growth of mold. If you have deck lighting, keeping them clear of snow will allow any pet who ventures outside during the cold months of winter, more manageable.  This will also help light your way when you do need to shovel or want to barbecue.

Clear away any debris including leaves and pine needles that may have found a home on your deck during the fall. Now is a great time to give your deck a good washing. There are loads of products out there to make the job easier.  Be careful to use one that is suited for the materials of your deck.  Keep a shovel handy for digging a path through the snow for your dog.  Making it more difficult for Rover to reach the grass will leave you with yellow snow, or worse, on your deck surface. Take care when using a shovel on your deck.  Scraping your deck surface will leave unwanted scratches and could possibly gouge your deck.

Spring cleaning of your deck will be a whole lot easier if precaution is taken in the winter.  Spend a little time on your deck now, so that when the temperature begins to rise. You will be able to hit the ground running and start to enjoy your deck as soon as the first crocus arrives.

 

Posted by & filed under Composite Decking, Low Maintenance Decking.

If you’re looking for a deck that’s easy on the eyes, pocket book and time, EZ deck products are the solution for your next decking project. EZ deck lives up to its name.

 

hickory dickory decks mascot

 

EZ deck made it’s way to Canada in 1992 and has been offering a great alternative to wood ever since. EZ deck is made from fibreglass reinforced composite. This unique fibreglass blend makes it a versatile decking material. Unlike much of the competition, it is made from all new materials and is easy to install.  Each board is snapped into place after a clip system has been installed. When installed properly, it’s strength rivals even the best grade clear cedar.

While elements in your outdoor space take a beating all year round, decks are especially susceptible to  the extreme weather conditions, not to mention the abuse they receive while we enjoy them year after year.  EZ deck will have you sitting pretty for a long time with it’s durable materials. The life span of an EZ deck deck is on average, 20 to 30 years, and is competitively priced among other low maintenance decking materials out there.  Builders love working with EZ deck because it’s simple to assemble and versatile in it’s application.

EZ deck now offers a product that includes a traction coating that makes this product ideal for around pools, docks, hot tubs and wheelchair ramps. Among other features that make EZ deck unique is it’s rail system, made from the same materials.

The look and feel of EZ deck materials is unique and provides the consumer something different in the the low maintenance decking industry.  A great choice for any new deck project.