Author: Michael Regan

Enhance Your Backyard Fun With a Fire Pit

Beautiful view from a backyard firepit

Homeowners are spending more time outdoors than ever before. Summer offers great opportunities for enjoying the outdoors since weather conditions are ideal. However, when you add a fire pit to your backyard, you can continue spending time outside through the fall and even some in the winter. The key is working with the best custom deck company so you can ensure the fire pit is built to fit your needs. Here are a few ways a backyard fire pit can enhance the fun you have.

Create A Welcoming Environment With A Fire Pit

An outdoor deck is one of the best things you can have as a homeowner. And what makes your backyard deck even more welcoming is having a fire pit to sit around. The top deck and patio builders can match your new fire pit with the landscaping scheme you have or even the siding on your home. Your deck and fire pit should seem like an extension of your home. Imagine how welcoming it is to walk out your back door and see a well-built fire pit with chairs surrounding it. You might even end up spending more time sitting by the fire than you do sitting inside your house!

Keep Warm During Chilly Nights

Many people choose to stay indoors when it starts getting cooler in the evenings. It’s understandable since you deserve to be comfortable when you’re at home. But at the same time, you have a beautiful deck and should enjoy it as much as possible. That’s where a fire pit enters the picture. Add some comfortable furniture around the fire pit and you’ll stay warm and cozy on those chilly fall and winter nights. Working with the right deck remodeling contractors can ensure your deck and fire pit are ideal for keeping you warm.

Attract Friends And Family To Visit

Families and friends don’t spend as much time together as they should. We see each other around holidays and other important events, but not enough for those “just because” reasons. Working with the best deck and patio builders can transform your deck into a place your family and friends want to be on a Friday or Saturday night. Whether you are gathered around to watch a sporting event or just hanging out and unwinding after a busy day, a backyard patio with a fire pit is an attractive place to be.

Enjoy Outdoor Cooking

A backyard fire pit can bring a camping experience to the comfort of your home. Whether it’s just your family or if you’ve invited several guests, it’s easy to cook some hot dogs or roast marshmallows for s’mores over your fire pit. Food brings people together and cooking over an open fire is the way to go. You could even invest in various accessories like a grill grate and expand the items you can cook. The options are virtually limitless with an outdoor fire pit, so let your custom deck company know your vision so they can turn it into a reality.

Add Peaceful Ambiance To Your Backyard

If you have a fireplace in your home, you know how peaceful it can be sitting by it on a cold winter night. Doing the same thing by your outdoor fire pit is even more peaceful. You can hear the cracking of the fire more, as well as see the flames and beautiful glow of the embers. It’s a perfect place to bond with your family and have memorable conversations. With no other distractions that are often found indoors, you can enjoy an ambiance that’s hard to recreate elsewhere.

Boost Your Home Value

Cost is a major factor when renovating your deck or patio to include a fire pit. The cost varies depending on how large you want it, the current structure of your deck, and more. Most homeowners agree a fire pit is worth the cost because of the joy and peace it offers. And as an added bonus, it increases your home’s value so you can recover some of the cost if you sell your home. When potential buyers step into your backyard, their desire to buy the home will rise when they see the attractive and welcoming environment. So there are very few downfalls to having a built-in fire pit as long as it is sturdily built by deck and patio builders.

Work With The Right Contractor For Your Built-In Fire Pit

The most important thing you can do is ensure you work with the best custom deck company to install your backyard fire pit. Any deck contractor can install a fire pit and make it look good right away. However, you want to ensure it remains looking great and functional for years to come. Always ask questions to different deck companies to get a good feel for how they work and what their priorities are. It’s also important to work with a contractor who has completed a project similar to yours so you can have confidence they know what your vision is.

Regan Total Construction is a top custom deck company with many years of experience. We have a large portfolio of decks we have built over the years and always enjoy a new challenge. We enjoy hearing about the creative ideas homeowners have and love the result of adding a backyard fire pit to enhance the environment. When you’re ready to improve the ambiance of your backyard with a fire pit, contact us to schedule a free estimate.

Filed under: Backyard Fun

Factors to Consider Before Hiring a Deck Builder

Deck contractor building a new composite trex deck

Do you want to know the secret to creating the perfect deck of your dreams? Hiring the right deck builder. You can explain your vision to several deck and patio builders, but only the most experienced and specialized contractors will be able to carry through with it. Nowadays, deck building has become a specialized trade and shouldn’t be left in the hands of a general contractor.

With so many different options you have for your deck, it’s critical to work with deck companies that are knowledgeable and experienced. You’re making a major investment in your home by building a deck, so it needs to be done properly. Take your time when talking to various Trex deck contractors and consider these factors before hiring one.

Only Consider Specialized Deck And Patio Builders

General contractors are capable of building decks. However, with the ever-changing building code requirements and manufacturer restrictions, general contractors typically don’t keep up with them. That’s why opting for specialized deck and patio builders is the best option. They will ensure all codes and regulations are followed and the necessary permits are pulled. Specialized deck builders also know about manufacturer installation instructions and understand the product inside and out. This can give you peace of mind knowing all decking, railing, and trim will be installed per the manufacturer’s instructions. The deck will perform correctly, last longer, and the manufacturer’s warranty will be valid.

Look Out For Red Flags In Communication

Once you’ve identified a few Trex deck contractors to interview, you need to look for characteristics to separate them. Communication is a vital component of any home renovation project, especially deck building. If a contractor is too busy to return your initial phone call timely, then it’s a red flag that they might be too busy to communicate with you effectively throughout the project. The contractor should be clear and transparent with their communication from the very beginning. You will appreciate prioritizing this characteristic once the project gets going.

Ensure All Agreements Are In Writing

Ask all deck companies you interview if they will provide contracts and agreements in writing before the project begins. Some contractors will make multiple promises during the interview process and then neglect to relay those to their team. That’s why getting a written agreement is so critical. Whether it’s holding them accountable to their timeline, certain features promised with your deck, pricing, or anything else, you need something in writing to fall back on.

Ask For References

The best deck and patio builders should have plenty of references and won’t be afraid to give some to you. If they hesitate to provide them to you, it should be perceived as a warning sign that they might not make their customers very happy. And if they do, be sure to utilize the references to help you through the interview process. Reach out to those references and ask important questions like:

  • What was the process like when working with this contractor?
  • Were you kept informed throughout the project?
  • Were all agreements met to your expectations?
  • Would you consider working with this contractor again for future projects?

If possible, send these types of questions to three different references. Everyone has unique situations, so getting input from different people can give you a good idea about how the contractor works. If a reference provides any concerning information to you, then feel free to bring it up to the contractor and allow them to explain.

Does The Contractor Offer Workmanship Guarantees?

Skilled and experienced Trex deck contractors should be confident in their workmanship. When you opt for high-quality decks like Trex decks, you can take advantage of manufacturer warranties. You shouldn’t have to worry about any workmanship issues when you work with specialized deck and patio builders, but it’s best to have some guarantees in your back pocket just in case.

Ask contractors if they will come back at no charge if you identify any defects or issues within the first year or two after the deck is built. Even after a thorough inspection following the completion of the project, you might not realize a defect. Once you start using the deck how it’s intended, you may notice a board is not secured thoroughly or other similar issues. Knowing your contractor has a workmanship guarantee can give you peace of mind in these situations.

Understand Lead Times And Completion Dates Thoroughly

Be careful with contractors who make promises that seem a little too good to be true. While it may be possible to build a deck in two or three days, it’s usually unrealistic if the contractor is juggling other projects. No one likes to live in a construction zone for longer than they have to, so nail down all lead times and completion dates with your contractor. Unforeseen circumstances can happen that lead to delays, but as long as the contractor communicates with you, then it shouldn’t seem like as big of a deal.

Regan Total Construction is skilled and specialized in building various types of decks. We specialize in building Trex decks, which is widely regarded as being the best type of decking you can invest in today. Whether you want a small patio to enjoy reading a book on in the evenings or a large deck for hosting parties and gatherings, we have you covered. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free consultation and let us start the process of turning your dreams into realities!

 

 

Filed under: Decks, Patios, Trex Composite Decks

3 Areas of Your Deck You Should Inspect Regularly

Old wooden deck that needs to be repaired or replaced

Homeowners often agree one of the most valuable home additions is a nice outdoor deck. You have a lot of options to choose from, with wood being the most popular decking material. Not only can you enjoy spending time outdoors on your deck, but it also increases your property value. So what’s not to love about them?

One thing you have to be aware of about wood decks is the maintenance involved with them. While there is routine maintenance you have to do a couple of times a year, there are also things to look out for long-term as the wood becomes weathered and used more. The top wood deck repair contractors in your area can explain some of the specific issues to look out for, but it’s important to evaluate the entire space for potential problems.

Why Is It Important To Inspect Your Deck?

A neglected wood deck can turn into a dangerous one quickly. Any soft spots in the wood could be a sign of rot. And if any of the fasteners start popping up, they need to be replaced as soon as possible. Too many accidents occur across the country as a result of a poorly maintained deck. An unsafe deck can ruin a backyard party quickly if the deck collapses and someone gets hurt. It’s well worth a search for “deck repair companies near me” to fix any issues you see immediately. Here are the top three areas of your deck that you need to inspect regularly.

1. Check The Wood Thoroughly And Regularly

The first thing wood deck repair contractors look at is the condition of the wood. Natural wood will weather over time, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be replaced. Always look at the deck boards in addition to the railings, supports, framing, joists, and any other wood features you have. Look for any boards that are split, warped, bowed, or show signs of rot. Proper care and maintenance over the years can prevent these issues from occurring, but it still needs to be evaluated regularly.

Splintered wood can happen for many reasons. If it’s exposed to direct sunlight, it could splinter more easily. Sometimes you can simply replace individual boards in these situations. Other times it might make more sense to replace the entire deck surface if most of the boards are experiencing splintering issues. Wood deck repair contractors can help you determine the extent in which you need to repair or replace wood boards.

2. Structural Support System

Many people make the mistake of neglecting to inspect their deck’s structural support system. Since a lot of the support system is not easily visible, it often gets overlooked. The structural supports include the boards under the deck that supports the deck floor. This area is prime for wood rot due to moisture, and can also be vulnerable to insect infestations that can damage the wood.

You want to look for twisting or warping of the wood that doesn’t allow it to attach to other boards properly. The rim joist is the board on the outside of the deck and needs to be in great shape at all times. If you see any sagging in your deck, it’s a sure sign that your support system below the deck is faulty or damaged and needs to be addressed. If you’re dealing with an issue of rot, then the deck could become dangerous to walk on quickly.

3. Deck Attachments And Stairs

Always check any deck attachments, stairs, benches, railings, and anything else that includes fasteners. Your deck is likely attached to your home with bolts if it was installed properly. Lag screws and nails may cause problems and need to be replaced by wood deck repair contractors.

As a homeowner, you can keep your deck safe by ensuring all fasteners and brackets are secured properly. If the deck was not built with the correct screws or fasteners, they could pull out over time. And if your deck is aged, then screws could pop up throughout the deck and potentially injure someone. You don’t necessarily have to fix all of these problems on your own, but it is the first sign that you should have wood deck repair contractors out to take a look.

Consider A Professional Evaluation Of Your Deck

It’s worth searching for “deck contractors in my area” if you see any of the issues mentioned above with your deck. Wood decks are not meant to last forever and it’s important to realize when it might be time for significant repairs or a full replacement. Having a professional inspect your deck periodically is valuable to ensure it is always safe. However, you can also help by inspecting your deck regularly and not ignoring any possible issues or discounting them as not a big deal.

Regal Total Construction is here to ensure homeowners have a safe deck to enjoy throughout the year. We are happy to provide an evaluation of your deck and make recommendations for repairs or a complete replacement. Chances are if you have had your wood deck for 10+ years, it is time to consider replacing it in the near future. You have a lot of options available to choose from with decks today, and our experienced team can cover them all for you. Never neglect maintenance on your deck so you can prevent accidents from occurring. If you need a professional opinion and evaluation, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Filed under: Deck Maintenance, Decks, Wood Decks

A Guide to Decking Material Options

Gorgeous composite deck overlooking a beautiful landscape

Once you’ve decided to build a new deck, you need to decide which materials you want to use. A lot of factors might go into your decision, including the cost, how you plan on using it, where you’re located, aesthetics, and more. Of course, if you’re replacing your existing deck, then you might already know the pros and cons of the material you had previously. Speaking with the top deck and patio builders can help you decide what decking material options are best for your home. We’ve provided you with some information to help as well.

Pressure-Treated Wood Decking

Pressure-treated wood decking has always been the most popular material deck contractors use to install new decks. The wood provides a classic look and it’s hard to argue against the natural appearance it provides. Most deck contractors will estimate the lifespan of pressure-treated wood decking at 10-20 years depending on how well it has been maintained and what elements it has been exposed to.

If your primary concern is saving money, then pressure-treated wood decking is the way to go. It’s easy for deck and patio builders to install and the material costs are much lower than other types of decking. However, one thing you have to be aware of with pressure-treated wood decking is the maintenance requirements. You will need to clean it regularly throughout the year and do deeper cleans via pressure washing or scrubbing annually. This type of decking also requires restaining or repainting every couple of years, so your long-term costs can add up.

When you’re considering pressure-treated wood decking, deck contractors suggest thinking about the big picture and how much effort you are willing to put into your new deck. If you want to extend the lifespan, maintenance costs will be involved. But if you aren’t willing to maintain it, then you’ll reduce the lifespan significantly.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is quickly becoming one of the most popular choices homeowners make when it comes to their new decks. The material is made from a mix of wood particles, polyethylene, binders, and preservatives. The lifespan of composite decks is much longer than pressure-treated wood since there’s no risk of rotting or warping.

One of the main reasons homeowners choose composite decking, and particularly Trex decking, is the low-maintenance factor. You don’t have to do any deep cleaning with composite materials, and simply sweeping it off regularly will keep it looking nice. You also never have to worry about staining or painting the materials, and they won’t split or rot. When you speak with Trex deck contractors, you will quickly see why more homeowners are opting for composite decking today.

A downside of composite decking is you have limited options when it comes to aesthetics. And if you decide to change the color of the deck, then the entire thing has to be replaced since you can’t simply repaint or restrain it. Another factor to consider is the cost. Composite decking costs about double the price of pressure-treated wood. But when you balance the low-maintenance factors and the longer lifespan, the high upfront cost is a little more justifiable.

PVC Decking

Some homeowners opt for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) decking if they want a long-lasting material and don’t mind paying a premium for it. PVC is lightweight and some types are even capped to provide an appearance similar to wood. The great thing deck contractors like about PVC is it’s easier to install than composite wood. And homeowners appreciate that it won’t rot, never needs to be refinished, and rarely needs to be maintained.

Most of the downsides of PVC decking are the same as the downsides of composite decking materials. In addition, if you’re aiming for a natural wood look, you will likely be disappointed with PVC materials. And as far as cost considerations go, PVC decking is even more costly than composite decking, so you will have to weigh the benefits to determine whether the higher cost is worth it to you.

What Decking Material Is Right For Your Home?

The best way to determine which decking material is right for you is to have deck and patio builders evaluate your space. The deck contractors will look at the location of the deck and determine how much direct sunlight the area gets and provide estimations of the lifespan of different materials. While there are some perfect locations where pressure-treated wood decking works well, many times people opt for composite decking. Since composite decking withstands harsh weather elements much easier and requires less maintenance, the cost is worth it in the opinions of many homeowners.

It’s very important to consider how much you plan on maintaining your deck. If you like to change the appearance periodically and don’t mind doing the necessary work to keep it looking nice, then pressure-treated wood might be your best option. Otherwise, if you want a solidly-built deck that will last for multiple decades without a lot of headaches, then composite decking or PVC is the way to go.

Regal Total Construction can customize your new deck to your liking. When our deck and patio builders come to your home, we want to understand your vision so we can provide you with everything you need to know about your new deck. Our goal is to ensure you understand everything involved with your new deck from the time we begin preparing the area to what it should look like 20 years from now. If you have any questions about decking materials or if you are ready to begin your project, don’t hesitate to contact us at any time.

Filed under: Decks, Trex Composite Decks, Wood Decks

5 Signs Your Deck Needs to Be Replaced

Old wooden deck that is rotting and needs to be replaced

Wood decks generally last up to 15 years for homeowners. Sometimes they can exceed 20 years if properly maintained and aren’t exposed to harsh weather elements. Many homeowners like to get as much out of their wood deck as they can, but you also have to balance the safety aspects. A single rotten board is easy to replace. However, there could be other underlying issues you don’t know about that can lead to the need for a deck replacement contractor. Here are five sure signs you need to replace your wood deck.

Multiple Splintered Or Cracked Deck Boards

As wood decks are exposed to rain, humidity, debris, sun, and other elements, they will slowly deteriorate. Even if you do the proper annual maintenance and stain it regularly, your wood deck won’t last forever. The usual result of a weathered deck is splintered or cracked boards. If you have one or two boards that are worse than others, then a deck replacement contractor can easily take care of it. However, if the weathering is more widespread, then the next step could be to replace the whole thing. When that time comes, consider speaking to composite decking contractors about the benefits of composite wood versus natural wood.

Wood Rot On Posts Or Beams

Any type of rot on your wood deck should be a cause for concern. Sometimes the rot is isolated, but most of the time if you see rot in one location, it’s present elsewhere also. Exposure to the damp soil can make your posts or beams rot and slowly spread across the deck as more moisture hits them. It’s important to evaluate your deck periodically by stepping on each board slowly to ensure it’s stable. If it feels soft on top or underneath at the beam level, you could be dealing with a rot issue and a deck replacement contractor should be contacted. Rotten posts and beams can create a dangerous situation, so don’t delay in getting the problem evaluated.

Loose Deck Railings

A loose deck railing could be as simple as tightening up a couple of screws or replacing them. Or it could mean the structure has become rotten. Never take a loose deck railing as a minor issue since it can create a serious safety hazard. People tend to put a lot of their weight on railings and if it collapses, they could hurt themselves badly. But if you replace some screws or bolts and the railings become stable again, then you might not have to worry anymore. Just be sure to evaluate the railing periodically to ensure it remains stable.

Rusty Or Loose Connectors And Fasteners

Connectors and fasteners are what hold your entire deck together and they need to be structurally stable to be safe. However, over time as the deck is exposed to weather elements, these connectors and fasteners can become rusty or loose as the wood expands and contracts. If a particular screw is popping up from a deck board, replace it right away. But it also is a good idea to contact a deck replacement contractor to ensure there’s not a larger issue underneath the deck that you can’t see. Chances are if you find one rusty or loose fastener, there will be others as well, so don’t take the issue lightly.

Poor Maintenance Signs

For as beautiful as natural wood decks are when they are installed, they require a lot of maintenance to remain in good condition. Dirt, leaves, and other debris can get in between the boards and if they aren’t removed in a reasonable time, mildew, moss, and mold can start growing. The most common signs of a poorly maintained wood deck include:

  • No sealer or stain present to protect the wood
  • Peeled or chipped paint
  • Algae, mildew, or mold growth
  • Rusty or loose connectors
  • Rotten planks, beams, or railings

These issues shouldn’t be present on a wood deck that has been maintained properly with washing, restaining, and replacing any faulty connectors regularly. Not doing so can significantly reduce the life of your deck and potentially create hazards along the way.

Do You Need To Repair Or Replace Your Deck?

A big question homeowners have is if they have to replace the entire deck or if they can just repair it? It’s no question a full deck replacement is a costly project. But depending on the cost of the repairs and how much life your deck has in it, you could be better off in the long run by replacing it now. When you have a trustworthy deck replacement contractor evaluate your deck, they can give you an idea of how much life your deck has in it. If it’s determined you might only get another 3-5 years out of it, then it’s usually a better option to save your repair money and just replace it.

If the time has come to replace your natural wood deck, you owe it to yourself to speak with Trex contractors about composite decking. You don’t have to worry about maintaining it nearly as much and the lifespan won’t deteriorate as quickly as a natural wood deck. At Regan Total Construction, we build Trex decks for homeowners for many reasons. They are simple to install, there are plenty of options to meet your aesthetic needs, and they can easily last 25+ years depending on weather elements and maintenance practices. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and our composite decking contractors can evaluate your current deck and provide professional recommendations.

Filed under: Decks