Category: 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: Decking Material, Decks, Trex Composite Decks, Wood Decks

How to Design an All-Season Deck

Luxury All Season Deck

Homeowners who don’t have an outdoor deck at their home might not fully appreciate the benefits until they have one. On the other hand, people who currently have a deck might not use it year-round because various weather elements keep them inside. The good news is both situations can be solved when you work with local deck contractors to design an all-season deck for your home. An all-season deck is designed with all weather elements in mind so you can enjoy it year-round, rather than just in the spring and summer months. We’ve discussed some of the basic deck renovations to consider if you have an existing deck or new design ideas for your new custom deck.

Use Durable Materials

Most people believe wood is the best option when it comes to building a deck. While it’s a strong material that will last many years, it also requires a lot more maintenance and can wear down depending on how harsh the weather elements are in your region. A better alternative is using composite decking materials, which are the strongest and most durable available today. Composite materials won’t wear down as quickly when dirt, leaves, and debris collect on them throughout the year, and you won’t have to worry about the materials splintering over time. The maintenance for composite materials is low as well, so you’ll be able to preserve the like-new look for years to come.

Incorporate Shade Whenever Possible

When completing deck renovations, think about where the shade will come from. One reason why shade is important is it will protect your deck from intense direct sunlight. Another reason is so you can enjoy being on your deck when it’s hot outside and still feel comfortable. If you don’t have any trees nearby to provide adequate shade, then local deck contractors may suggest installing a retractable awning or maybe even a pergola. The benefit of a pergola or awning is it provides shade as well as protection if you want to sit on your deck while it’s raining.

Create A Partial Enclosure

Local deck contractors understand what weather elements you’ll typically see throughout the year. Sometimes this means creating a partial enclosure when designing an all-season deck. Partial enclosures are often in the form of a screened-in porch, but there are several options your local deck contractors will discuss with you. The goal of a partial enclosure is to keep you comfortable no matter what the elements are outside. A screened-in porch can protect you from bugs in the summer, snow in the winter, rain in the spring, and any other elements that could create an uncomfortable environment.

Don’t Forget About The Winter Season

Many homeowners completing deck renovations don’t think about how they’ll use the deck in the winter because they’ve never used their deck in cold weather before. When you work with experienced local deck contractors, they’ll provide you with plenty of ideas to make your deck useful even when it’s frigid outside. This could include building in a fire pit or other heating device. Or it could even be installing an HVAC unit in your partial enclosure to ensure you stay warm in the winter. You have a lot of custom options available, so think about how you would like to enjoy your deck in the winter and your local deck contractors can help you out.

Invest In Weather-Proof Furniture

The furniture you choose for your all-season deck is an important decision as well. You don’t want to choose furniture that you’ll have to replace every year because it can’t withstand the elements. Weather-proof furniture is the best way to go for all-season decks since it can withstand harsh UV rays, heavy rainfall, snow, dirt, and any other elements you encounter. In addition to comfort, you want your deck furniture to look great as well, and weather-proof furniture is the best way to accomplish this.

Work With The Best Local Deck Contractors

When you’re ready to start designing your custom all-season deck, you’ll notice you have plenty of options when it comes to deck builders. A simple search for “home deck builders near me” could yield dozens of results, which could be overwhelming to think about. One thing to note is that you should find a local contractor that specializes in deck building. Building codes have increased annually for several years and many general contractors do not keep up with all of the changes. Everything from fasteners to framing layouts must be done a specific way or the deck could have issues and warranty will not cover those issues. Protect your investment by working only with local deck contractors that specialize in deck building.

Regan Total Construction has specialized in custom residential projects for more than 20 years. We know exactly how to design all-season decks that will last a long time and fit your budget at the same time. An all-season deck is not something you want to have to replace every few years. Selecting quality materials and working with experienced contractors is essential in this regard. We take great pride in our work and turning our customers’ visions into a reality. If you’re thinking about designing an all-season deck, contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help.

Filed under: Decks

How to Pass Your Deck Inspection

trex deck just passing a deck inspection

An outdoor deck can significantly increase your home’s value while giving you a nice place to enjoy your backyard. If you’ve been envisioning the perfect deck for a while and are ready to pull the trigger on having it built, working with the best deck contractors is important. You not only want to ensure the custom deck company can build it to your specifications but that it will be constructed safely and will pass inspection. Regulatory codes change from time-to-time, so working with a company that understands them can make the process much smoother. Here are some important factors you need to know about your new custom deck when it comes to passing inspection.

What Can Go Wrong When Building A New Deck?

Passing a deck inspection gives you peace of mind knowing it’s safe to use and enjoy. Without using the best deck contractors, you never know if the contractor cuts corners to save costs, which can potentially make the deck unsafe. And in some cases, you might not even experience the issues from poor construction until months or years later. Two of the main things a deck inspector will look at are the deck framing and the deck footing.

Inspectors look closely at the connections across the deck frame. This includes all hardware connections and the beam and joist spacing. When building a new deck, these items must pass a final inspection before the permit can be closed. The deck footing is also problematic when homeowners don’t use the best deck contractors for their project. The depth of the holes and base sizes must meet the specifications of the plan drawn up before the construction began. Sometimes this requires using an inspector measure, but many contractors do not do this. If the deck footing does not pass inspection, then it could take significant work to fix the issue.

How To Avoid These Issues

The best way to avoid deck inspection issues is to use a reliable, qualified, and reputable custom deck company for your project. An important certification to look for in a custom deck company is the North American Decking and Railing Association (NADRA) certification. When the deck contractor has this accreditation, you can have peace of mind knowing the quality of work will be higher, and you will virtually eliminate any issues or concerns you have with a passing inspection. The main reason is because the deck inspection process is at the forefront of the contractor’s mind when building the deck, so they won’t have to go back and fix any issues once the deck is complete. Always look for a custom deck company with the NADRA certification, and you’ll be more satisfied with the process and the end result.

Have Your Deck Inspected Annually

Once your outdoor deck is built and passes the initial inspection, it’s important to have it inspected annually to ensure it remains in good shape. Outdoor decks can last for several years but need some maintenance since they are exposed to harsh weather elements throughout the year. You can also perform basic inspections of your deck and contact a professional if you need advice on how problematic certain things are. For example, if you have a wood deck, you could spray for bugs and termites periodically and check the wood closely to see if you notice any vulnerabilities that could attract bugs.

Other things you should look for include rotting or cracks, rusted connectors or fasteners, and the presence of mildew or mold. These issues will occur as the deck gets older, even when you perform regular maintenance. However, when you notice the problems arising, it’s important to address them so the deck doesn’t become weak or damaged. Having a professional inspect your deck annually is also a great way to ensure you lengthen the lifespan of your deck. It can be difficult for you to notice issues when you see the deck every day, but an inspector can point out things that may not be major issues now but could become problematic later on.

Enjoy Your Deck With Peace Of Mind

Whether you live by yourself, have kids, or like to hold gatherings at your home, having a safe deck to enjoy can give you peace of mind. You want to be able to enjoy your deck for years to come, and the best way to ensure that is by working with a certified custom deck company throughout the process. Saving a few dollars now by hiring a budget contractor could lead to spending more money on issues in the long run. Plus, there’s no guarantee that the deck will pass the final inspection, which leads to delays and a potentially unsafe space.

The last thing you want to happen is to have doubts about the budget contractors you work with. If they cut corners that led to a failed inspection, what other things did they not prioritize that could put you, your family, and others in danger while using the deck? Avoid all of these issues and concerns by hiring a custom deck company certified by NADRA, and you’ll have total peace of mind at the same time.

When you search for “deck repair companies near me,” chances are you’ll be presented with numerous results. While there’s plenty of competition with deck building and repair, Regan Total Construction stands out among them. We are proud to be certified by NADRA so our customers can have complete peace of mind knowing their project will be completed to the highest standards. There’s no substitute for working with the best deck contractors, and you deserve to have peace of mind knowing your construction project is being completed correctly.

Whether you have an existing deck that needs to be evaluated for safety or if you’re ready to build a new custom deck, now is the time to pursue your options. Our deck experts will explain the process to you and answer all your questions to ensure you know exactly what will happen. Start the process of enjoying your backyard more and contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Filed under: Deck Inspections, Decks

Great Lighting Ideas That Can Transform Any Deck

Deck Lighting by Regan Total Construction

If you’ve recently wondered to yourself, “Why have I seen more deck renovations near me lately?” you’re definitely not alone.

Many homeowners are catching onto a new trend sweeping the residential world by storm. Deck contractors are having trouble keeping up with all of the business that’s been flooding in as more and more homeowners are looking to update their backyard.

For decades, decks have served as the central piece of architecture for the backyard area. Whether you’re into grilling or just enjoy sitting outside and enjoying the fresh air, a deck is the perfect hosting area. Perhaps one of the most transformational yet simplest changes deck contractors can make to your backyard is with deck lights. Deck lighting can make your backyard space more inviting, warm, and safe. It extends the amount of time you can spend outside while acting as a guiding light as well.

If you’ve been thinking about some ways to incorporate deck lighting into your backyard space, it’s time to take it up a notch. With a custom deck company, you have more freedom to be creative. These professionals have the expertise and tools needed to bring your dreams to reality. To help kickstart the creative process, let’s take a look at some of the best deck lighting ideas.

deck lighting, stairs, recessed

Deck Stair Lighting

Whether your deck is just a few feet off the ground or it descends from the top level of your home, it can be difficult to use stairs when lighting isn’t sufficient. Since nobody wants to be barred from using their deck when the sun goes down, deck stair lighting is a great option. Deck contractors have been installing these lights for decades as one of the most popular deck lighting options. They’re great for providing light to help guests step more carefully while also adding a nice aesthetic touch.
String Lighting

Every December, homeowners eagerly break out their Christmas lights and let loose. A quick drive down the street will reveal lights draped over trees, hanging from rooftops, and even wrapped around some decks. Instead of waiting each year, why not make it a norm to have LED lights around your deck? Hanging string lights is a great way to create a relaxing atmosphere. If you want to make it a little more festive, a custom deck company can easily throw in a pop of color to the lights. This popular outdoor decor item isn’t going away any time soon, so you might as well jump aboard and enjoy a deck with hanging lights.

Under-Table Lights

All deck contractors will tell you just how empty a deck can feel without furniture. Tables, chairs, benches, storage units, and even the occasional hammock if you’re lucky, make the space more inviting and help facilitate meaningful interactions. However, as the sunlight goes down in the evening, you’ll want some light to help everybody see what’s going on. While standard deck lighting overhead works great, something more immediate is also handy. That’s why an under-table light is a great addition to your new deck design.

Recessed Lighting

If you’ve invested in a deck with some sort of overhead protection, you can take advantage of this design with recessed lighting. Instead of being exposed to the elements, this lighting is protected both from damage and debris. This means less cleaning for you and a longer-lasting lighting system. While the recessed lighting helps to illuminate the space, it also adds an ambient effect that’s sure to serve as a great conversation piece. Deck contractors can make sure these subtle lights settle flush with your deck for an even more aesthetic effect.

Post Lights

Deck post lighting by RTC

Most decks are designed with posts that work perfectly for holding lights. These deck cap lights can be applied easily and quickly, limiting the amount of time you have to spend on the renovation. You can have these lights set to a timer to turn on automatically, so you never even have to give it a second thought. In addition to lighting the way to help limit the chances of people slipping on stairs or stepping stones, these deck cap lights also work to give your deck a fancy yet welcoming feeling.

Landscape Lights

landscape lights

Deck contractors often advise homeowners to place some sort of accent around their deck in order to avoid having a harsh contrast between it and the backyard. This can come in the form of a walkway, garden, or even a concrete extension of the deck. Either way, it’s helpful to consider the impact of lighting in this area. It can make the entire area feel much more spacious and inviting while also increasing the amount of usable space as daylight diminishes. Whether you want to use pathway lights, spotlights, or wall lights, there is a variety from which you can choose.

Pergola Lights

Pergola Lights

If your custom deck company installed a pavilion, pergola, or other shade-like structure on your deck, this could be a great place for installing lights. Whether you have these lights weave in and out of your pergola or have them hang down, they’re perfect for accentuating the overall design while providing sufficient lighting.

Deck lighting is an absolute must for homeowners who can’t get enough of their decks. While there are a wide variety of options from which to choose, deck lighting can work to create a more welcoming, aesthetic, functional, and safe backyard space. When searching for the best deck lighting, it’s important to work with only the best deck contractors.

With years of experience perfecting outdoor spaces, Regan Total Construction has the expertise and experience needed to ensure your deck renovations are on par with your expectations. We are a member of NADRA(The North American Deck and Railing Association) and a certified Deck inspector. Our deck contractors know how to transform your unused backyard space into your favorite place in the home. Feel free to contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help.

Filed under: Decks, Trex Outdoor Lighting, Wood Decks