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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fall is wonderful time to decorate. With Halloween and Thanksgiving, our autumn season is filled with colour and our decks and patios are a great canvas to display our joy for the season. We’ve cleared off the plants and we’ve swept and scrubbed down the deck as we consider the upcoming hibernation of our outdoor space. While three feet of snow may make our deck unusable for the most part, until that time, we can still get lots of use out of our decks, gazebos, and patios.
Use your imagination and with the natural backdrop of awesome colour that fall provides, your outdoor space will take on a beautiful atmosphere that will rival any summer afternoon.
Outdoor lights will adorn railings and add to any already existing deck lighting that you may have. There is still loads of warm evenings in the early fall and without the threat of mosquitoes, sitting outside under the stars will have you enjoying your deck longer. Patio heaters can be used as well to lengthen your deck season.
Think, fall flowers. While many of the plants from summer have died off, there are many that will survive and even thrive during the fall months. Mums and decorative grasses will make a statement and anchor your outdoor space. You can even re-purpose your summer planters.
Consider changing up the decor of your outdoor space. Invest in a fall line up. If the cushions on your patio swing are bright and beautiful for summer, consider switching up your colour scheme for the fall. Invest in new cushions, change the wreath on the door or lay out a new fall inspired rug. Extending the use of your deck will be worth the investment when company arrives and you’re able to take the party outside where the leaves are turning and the sun is shining.
Our decks are an investment and we want to maximize the time we get to enjoy them. Whether you’re spring cleaning or preparing for winter, always consider your outdoor space.
It’s never too late to start that deck project. There’s nothing worse for a homeowner than deck regret after a great summer. You didn’t have that new deck built and although you enjoyed the summer, you could have done without the splinters. Well, it’s not too late to get that deck of your dreams.
Fall is often a great time to book your favourite deck designer. Though not officially an off-season, many decking companies will offer discounts for fall builds, which allow them to fill their calendar and spread out their projects. Having a deck built in the fall will have you enjoying your new deck before the snow flies.
There is a perception out there that the best time to build a deck is in the spring and summer. Indeed, the best time to build your deck is when time and budget best suits you. Having a deck built in the fall will ensure that your new outdoor space is fully ready when spring hits. You won’t lose good weather days to construction.
Lead times in the fall may also be greatly reduced. Your project time frame can be greatly reduced for this reason and instead of waiting 8 -12 for contractors to arrive, a new deck build in the fall can see completion in a few short weeks.
The weather conditions of fall are generally more predictable than that of spring. This will help with your timeline as many deck builders will work when the snow flies but not in the rain.
Don’t spend another summer wishing you had built that deck of your dreams. Think ahead and build this fall. When April showers bring may flowers, you won’t regret it.
Sad but true. Fall is upon us and winterizing the house is likely something you do every year in anticipation of the cold months ahead. Your deck should be getting the same attention.
Before doing anything to your deck, you will want to take a walk around it. Assess any damage or areas that could use some TLC, remove any furniture and give it a good cleaning. A little sweet talk won’t hurt either. Your deck isn’t looking forward to winter anymore than you are.
Take a walk about
Now is great time to make those repairs. Who’s got the time or initiative during the summer to be outside fixing the deck, when you could be enjoying it. With the cooler months, repairs can be made more comfortably and come spring, you’ll be glad you took the time.
Clearing the deck
Take any plants or clippings of plants you want to save inside. If your planters are ceramic, indoors is the place for them during the harsh winter. Cleaning and covering or better yet storing your deck furniture inside will keep it in great shape. Remember not to close up shop too early on your deck. The deck is a great place to carve those Halloween pumpkins.
Give it a little elbow grease
After many a barbecue and lots of pools parties, your deck is likely in need a good cleaning. There are lots of great products out there that will do the trick. If you use a power washer, be careful, as too much force can damage a wood deck. Now is also the ideal time to stain or varnish your deck if you have been planning to.
Putting in the work now to winterize your deck will have you spending more time outdoors when the warm weather is finally upon us again.
While having a backyard deck that looks like the hardwood inside your home is ideal, it’s not realistic and staining your deck can be more hassle than it’s worth.
Many decks are made from pressure treated wood, cedar or other hard woods and many different exotic woods. Deciding to stain these decks may not be your best choice. There are many misconceptions about the benefits of staining. Here are just a couple:
Staining will prolong the life of my deck.
This is not necessarily true. For most decks, the staining is not done on all six sides of each board. This will not provide a seal and therefore will not give your deck the protection you’re looking for. A deck that is elevated may be an exception. It’s recommended that your wood be kiln dried and pre-stained on all sides and edges before construction. This can be very time consuming and costly.
Staining a deck will lead to less work in the future.
One of the main reasons the professionals don’t recommend staining wood decks is because of the amount of time and energy involved. Stains don’t generally last more than a year. This means yearly cleaning, staining and, if necessary, sanding of your deck every year. To hire the professionals to do the job yearly can be expensive. To do it yourself can leave you with a hate/hate relationship with outdoor space.
Your professional deck builder will recommend that instead of staining your deck every year, you allow the wood to naturally gray over time. If you just can’t live with the grey and you do decide to stain your deck, do your research on products. Or better yet, opt for a low maintenance deck that provides better durability and an array of colour options.
Spend your summer enjoying your deck, rather than working on it.
You’re ready for a new deck but don’t know where to start. Building a deck from start to finish has a process that will make your project manageable and even enjoyable. Following this process will take your plans for a dream deck and make it a reality.
The process begins by looking at pictures of as many different decks that you can. Getting a feel for what’s out there will get the ball rolling and your head in the game.
This is the very first step needed to achieving your goal of a new deck. Consider the layout of your home. Know your property lines, as building on the neighbours property could be disastrous. If your deck is more than two feet high, a railing system will be required for safety. Are there are obstacles that need to be worked around such as a shed, pool or trees? You may want your deck placed in one spot but because of water pipes, dryer vents, basement windows and even air conditioning units, that place might not be available.
What will your new deck be primarily used for? Entertaining, barbecuing, relaxing, a spa area, and children playing are just some of the uses for decks. How long you intend to live in your home is worth considering as well. You will want to build a deck that will last at least this long.
Know your budget. You won’t want to get your sights set on one deck only to realize, your budget does not fit your vision. Another option is to wait a year or two until your budget and your vision align. Cutting corners and making shortcuts is not an option when building the deck of your dreams.
Finally, your personal preference will come into play. What do you want your new deck to look like. Some options to consider are seating, colour scheme, lighting, steps, fire pits and spa area. You may opt for a built in barbecue or deck skirting.
Whether you have hundreds to spend or thousands, the process of deck building is the same. Follow this formula and you won’t go wrong, Having a process in place will decrease stress, and even bring pleasure to your project.
You’ve decided on a budget, a design, and the contractor for your new deck. You might be questioning whether a permit is needed. The short answer is yes. Throughout most municipalities in Canada, a permit is required when erecting any structure on your property. It’s important to build a deck the right way, because if you’re building without a permit, it can put your home, your loved ones, and your contractors at risk. The permit is much more than a permission to build, and when you go through the permit process, you can feel reassured that safety and liabilities have been covered.
It’s the law
If you decide to build without a permit and manage to convince a contractor to build your new deck without one, you may be facing a $25,000 fine. You may even be forced to remove the deck and start from scratch.
When your deck design is reviewed for permit purposes, building officials will make sure lot coverage and variances are met. Having to modify or even tear down your new deck can be the consequences of building two inches too close to property lines. City officials can ensure this doesn’t happen.
Throughout the deck building process, your inspector will ensure that all building codes are being adhered to. For example, in Ontario, deck footings must be at least four feet deep to prevent frost from causing movement. Not following code can jeopardize the stability of your new deck.
When you play by the rules and start your deck project with a permit, your contractor will be required to have his deck designer license. This will also ensure that your contractor has workers compensation, insurance for all employees, along with liability insurance.
Getting a permit does cost money. Permit fees vary depending on which municipality you live in. Though permit fees will not be your favourite part of the project, consider these fees part of its foundation. Without one, anything goes.
You might be delighted to find so many options available to you for the designing of your new deck. And you’ll be downright ecstatic to realize the array of choices available for finishing touches like railings. A great railing is the icing on the cake for your deck creation.
Deck Railing Options
While structure and engineering is so important in the success of a well-built deck, let’s face it, support beams and permits are boring. Railings however, provide excitement during the deck building process. When the time comes to decide on the railing for your new deck, you can bet there will be loads of choices in material, colour and design.
Whether your deck is made of wood or low maintenance materials, the rails you choose for that deck come in all sorts of options. Deciding on the look you want to achieve should be one of your first considerations. There’s likely a rail system for the look you desire. More important than this is the consideration of safety. Establish what precautions need to be considered and fulfill these first.
After safety has been taken care of, start the process of deciding which rail system best suits your deck. You will want one that compliments both your deck and your house. Choose a colour scheme that will add to your existing outdoor space, not take away from it.
Budget will be an important factor in deciding which railings will best suit you. Price can vary greatly. Per foot, a rail system can cost between $10 for pressure treated wood rails and $150 for a glass rail system.
Materials used in railing systems include wood, glass, aluminum, vinyl, composite, and metal. Many designs will incorporate more than one of these elements. Design options in railings can add great appeal to your deck and ultimately your whole outdoor space. A great railing system can add light, provide privacy, increase safety and add a designer look to any deck.
While many aspects of building a deck are mundane, the finishing touches, including a great railing system can add glamour and excitement to your project.