Category: 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

Factors to Consider Before a Deck Addition

Beautiful big deck with new deck addition

Building a new deck is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Not only will you enjoy using it for years to come, but your home will also be more attractive to buyers if you ever decide to sell it. You can probably already envision how you will use your deck during the warm months. Maybe you want to have small gatherings with family and friends or simply enjoy a peaceful evening sitting on your new deck alone.

While it’s great to have a vision for how you’ll use your deck, you also need to think about how much maintenance you want to do to it, what design you want, and more. When you think about these factors before contacting a custom deck company, you’ll be able to explain exactly what you want and they will be able to deliver. Here are some of the main factors to consider before starting your deck addition project.

What Decking Material Is The Best For Your Deck?

When most homeowners contact deck patio builders about designing a new deck, they don’t realize they have more options than simply wood. Composite decking is one of the most popular options today since it looks like wood, but uses artificial materials to make it much easier to maintain. You’ll never have to worry about composite decking splintering or warping, and you won’t have to re-stain or re-paint it every few years as you do with natural wood. Composite decking is a little pricier than natural wood upfront, but many homeowners believe the cost is worth it when you factor in the low maintenance aspects.

Vinyl decking is also a popular choice deck contractors suggest for new decks. You can customize the look of your deck more with vinyl and it is even more low-maintenance than composite decking. Vinyl decking boards won’t scratch or damage as easily as other materials and they won’t fade as quickly even when it’s in direct sunlight. It’s the most costly material, but it also offers the most options and much less maintenance.

Of course, the beauty of traditional natural wood decks is still a common choice among homeowners. Wood decks are more affordable than any other material and you can paint or stain them to create the aesthetics you desire. The problem is wood decks require much more maintenance than other materials. The boards are susceptible to mold, rot, splintering, insect damage, and more if you don’t maintain them regularly. This is a balance every homeowner has to weigh before deciding on their new deck material.

Design Your Deck To Blend In With Your Home

When you work with a reputable custom deck company, you can design your new deck to blend in with your home flawlessly. The best decks will look like they were built at the same time as your home when it comes to the design features, colors, and just how well it fits with the rest of your home. Think about accessibility to your backyard and through your back door to ensure everything fits naturally. You can also customize railings and other features with your custom deck company to make your deck a unique place to be.

Understand Maintenance Requirements For Your New Deck

Before you finally commit to a particular material and design, ask your deck patio builders what maintenance requirements are involved. As previously mentioned, wood decks require much more maintenance than other materials to extend their lifespan as much as possible. You need to wash it once or twice per year and stain or paint it every 2-4 years as needed. Plus, you’ll need to keep it clean throughout the year and don’t let leaves, sticks, or anything else stay on the deck for too long so mold growth doesn’t occur.

Composite and vinyl decking doesn’t require as much maintenance, but there are still a few things you may need to do throughout the year to keep your deck looking new. The maintenance requirements can vary by type and manufacturer, so check with the custom deck company about the requirements so you know exactly what you are investing in.

Confirm All Building Codes Before Beginning Your Project

Working with the best custom deck company is invaluable when you consider your deck could last 20 years or more. The deck contractors you work with should understand all building codes and pull the necessary permits for you. The last thing you want to happen is to be excited about your new deck and then find out it doesn’t pass the final inspection or becomes structurally unsound after a couple of years.

Hire The Best Custom Deck Company For Peace Of Mind

Your new deck should be something you can enjoy for years to come. When you work with the best deck patio builders in your area, you can explain your vision for your deck to them and they will sketch it out and turn that vision into a reality. They should also make suggestions or recommendations you might not have thought of otherwise that could enhance your deck experience even more. Peace of mind is hard to find nowadays, but when you work with the best custom deck company, you can have it with your new deck.

Regan Total Construction wants to make sure you know exactly what you are investing in when it comes to a new deck for your home. Our expert deck patio builders will take the time to explain every aspect of your new deck for you so you can make an informed decision and truly enjoy your deck for years to come. When you’re ready to have a conversation with one of our experts, don’t hesitate to contact us to start the process.

Filed under: Decks

Top Reasons To Build Your New Deck In The Winter

Beautiful composite deck with some snow on it in the winter time

If you’ve been thinking about adding a deck to your home and are considering waiting until the spring, you might want to reconsider. It makes sense as to why people think building decks in the spring and summer are ideal since those are the times of the year when they’ll use them most. However, having your deck built in the winter can give you some hidden advantages.

Can I Build My Deck In The Winter?

The short answer is yes. And it’s not only possible to build your deck in the winter, it’s much more ideal than waiting until spring. Any call you make to deck companies will likely give you the same answer. You might think it’s too cold to take on such a project like building a deck, but deck contractors disagree. Here are several reasons why you should have your new deck built in the winter.

Your Deck Will Be Ready To Use In The Spring

If you wait until the spring to build your deck, then you could be missing out on a few weeks of using your deck. On the other hand, if you build your deck in the winter, then you might not be able to use it immediately since it’s cold outside, but it will be ready for use when the temperature warms up. This gives you time to purchase furniture and other decor to personalize your deck so you’ll be prepared to host outdoor gatherings as soon as spring arrives.

Staining A Wooden Deck In The Winter Leads To Better Results

Many deck contractors also suggest building a deck in the winter if you plan to stain the wood. The dry air is ideal for staining compared to the humid air in the spring and summer. Wood will absorb moisture from the air and potentially lead to cracking or peeling in the stain. Plus, if it’s too hot outside, the stain could dry too quickly and lead to streaks or watermarks.

Twisting And Splitting Of Wood Is Less Likely

The pressure-treated wood used by the best deck and patio builders is designed to last a long time. However, pressure-treated wood needs a couple of months to dry, and winter conditions are ideal. If the wood has to dry during the heat of the summer, the humidity could cause it to take even longer to finish the drying process. And direct sunlight on the wood during the summer can cause the wood to twist and split while it’s drying. These are issues you don’t have to worry about during the winter.

You Could Save Money On Material Costs

Sometimes the companies where deck contractors get materials will lower the prices during the winter since the demand is not as high. The best deck companies will then pass those savings on to their customers to make it more attractive for them to complete their project now rather than waiting.

Labor Costs Could Be Cheaper

Some deck and patio builders often lower their labor costs during the winter since it’s typically not as busy for them. So when you combine the potential lower material costs with the lower labor costs, you might be able to have your deck installed for much cheaper than you thought without sacrificing quality. And since most contractors aren’t as busy in the winter, you can be more selective when choosing deck contractors to ensure you hire the right company for the job.

Your Yard And Landscaping Won’t Be As Damaged

If you’re worried about your yard and landscaping getting damaged because of heavy foot traffic while building your deck, then completing the project in the winter can prevent it from happening. Your grass should be dormant and the ground is firmer so you can expect minimal yard damage. And the best deck contractors will be mindful of any landscaping you have and do their best to work around it so you won’t have to start over in the spring.

Get Your New Deck Built Quicker In The Winter

When deck companies aren’t as busy in the winter, they can focus more on your project rather than bouncing back and forth between projects. So what normally could be a three or four-week project could be done in about two weeks as a result. This isn’t a guarantee, but it’s worth talking to your deck and patio builders about so you can have proper expectations.

Building a deck in the winter can potentially save you money on material and labor costs, get it built quicker, make it look better, and it will be ready to use when the temperatures warm up. These are great reasons to get started on your deck building project and Regan Total Construction is ready to help. We build decks year-round and have specialized in residential deck projects for more than 20 years. Our experienced deck builders can customize any deck to fit your specifications and we always strive to exceed your expectations. Now is the perfect time to get started on your project, so contact us today to learn more about our company, our quality of work, financing options, and to get a free quote.

Filed under: Decks

Three Key Differences Between Composite Decks and Natural Wood Decks

composite decking next to wood decking for comparison

Adding a new deck to your backyard can instantly improve your lifestyle. And if you already have a deck that’s been there for several years, it might be time for a deck replacement. Regardless of your situation, deciding between a composite deck and a natural wood deck is one of the most important things to consider. There are some major advantages and disadvantages of each material to help you make the best decision. We’ve discussed those here for you.

Consider The Durability Between Natural Wood And Composite Decking

Natural wood decks are often the top choice for homeowners because wood is durable and can last up to 30 years when maintained properly. However, composite decking contractors will tell you composite decks are even more durable and can last for around 50 years if it’s cared for.

When natural wood decks are exposed to harsh weather elements, they can eventually splinter, warp, rot, and even attract termites. So if your wood deck will be rained on, then you’ll have to deal with these issues over time. Wood decks will also fade when intense sunlight hits them, so you’ll constantly need to stain and protect them. Generally, composite decking contractors agree you don’t have to worry about those issues with composite decking. The long-lasting and durable materials are designed to be long-lasting no matter the weather elements where you live.

Understand The Maintenance Required

Whether you’re looking at a deck replacement or installing a new deck from scratch, you should understand the maintenance required for each type of material. While a natural wood deck looks amazing when it’s first installed and for many years, it takes a lot of work and maintenance to keep it that way. It’s important to clean the deck of any debris as soon as possible when it looks dirty, and many people choose to lightly pressure wash it a few times each year. And since decks tend to have a lot of foot traffic, you’ll also have to repaint or stain it every couple of years to keep it looking nice.

With a composite deck replacement, you don’t have to worry about having to repaint or stain it. And as far as cleaning goes, sweeping it off when needed and scrubbing it with soap and water a couple of times each year is all that’s usually required to ensure it remains in great shape. Most composite decking contractors see people choose composite decking over natural wood primarily because of the less maintenance required.

Cost Considerations

Cost is always a consideration whether you’re looking for composite decking contractors or comparing deck materials. When you’re building a new deck, you don’t want to opt for cheap labor or materials because you likely won’t be satisfied with the end product. And it likely won’t last as long as you’d like.

While there’s nothing wrong with a traditional natural wood deck, it’s enticing for people because the materials are less expensive upfront. However, what many people don’t consider is the investment you have to make to maintain it. The cost of paint and stain can add up over time, not to mention the hours you have to spend every year keeping it clean. On the other hand, composite decks are more expensive to install, but you shouldn’t have to spend much more on maintaining them in the future. So if you’re on a budget now, then a natural wood deck can offer great value. But if you have a little extra money to spend, then it’s worth it for most people to invest in a composite deck.

Are Composite Decks Better Than Natural Wood Decks?

There are some clear advantages to composite decks over natural wood decks. Composite decks don’t require much maintenance and have a lifespan of nearly twice as long as natural wood decks. Combine this with the durability of composite materials and many homeowners believe the extra cost is well worth it.

However, this doesn’t mean natural wood decks should be avoided completely. Some people aren’t worried about having to maintain a wood deck and enjoy painting or staining it frequently to change up the look. You can enjoy both types of materials just the same. As long as you know what it will take to enjoy each type of deck for years to come, then you can make an informed decision and feel confident with it.

The Right Contractor Can Help You Make The Best Decision

When you search for “composite decking companies near me,” you’ll likely see multiple results. Not all composite decking contractors are the same, though, so it’s critical to find the best option. Interview multiple companies and have them come to your house to provide an estimate and talk about their process. Cutting corners is not an option when building a deck, and that’s what many contractors will do if they offer you a low cost estimate.

Regan Total Construction specializes in building custom decks homeowners can enjoy for years to come. Choosing between a natural wood deck and a composite deck is a difficult decision for many homeowners and we can help present you with facts to help you make a confident decision. We use only the best materials and our professionals will never cut corners during a project. If you’re ready to start the process of your deck replacement, contact us today and we would be happy to answer any questions you might have.

Filed under: Decks, Trex Composite Decks, Wood Decks