Category: 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

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

The Importance of Quality Decking Material

Beautiful composite deck with inground pool

When you’re ready to start spending more time in your backyard sipping lemonade and taking in the views, a quality deck is a must-have. Over time, decks continue to evolve and become more accommodating with their design and build. The planning process determines the lifespan of the feature and how much use you get out of it in the coming years. There are a few reasons you should consider investing in quality decking material instead of cutting corners when you hire deck contractors.

Protect Your Safety

You can’t put a price on the safety of your family, especially when they spend time at home. Investing in quality decking material will offer peace of mind and reduce the risk of accidents or injuries as your loved ones spend time on the deck. Lower-quality materials that come with a cheaper price tag are prone to collapsing as they age and deteriorate. Frequent exposure to the elements can weaken the parts and make them more susceptible to damage, making it necessary to talk to deck companies about the best options available.

Although you may want to save more on cheap decking materials, it can come at a higher price in the future. You can end up spending a lot more on medical bills and the trauma that comes with a deck collapsing. Deck companies can recommend the best materials to ensure they last longer and hold up well in different types of climates.

You can spend your hard-earned money on a deck that is on par with current building and safety codes and is safe for both children and adults to use year-round. You also won’t have to trip over popped out nails or avoid cutting yourself on the materials because they won’t come loose over time.

You’ll also end up spending more money to perform repairs or build a new deck with the help of local deck companies in the area. Spending more upfront while hiring top rated deck builders can offer peace of mind and avoid potential headaches in the future.

Upscale Appearance

Quality decking materials like PVC and wood will enhance the look of your deck and allow it to appear more attractive. This can transform the look of your backyard and even increase your home value. In addition, the deck will look beautiful year-round when you select quality materials rather than resorting to pressure-treated pine or chemical-treated wood.

The deck will continue to look new for many years to come because the materials won’t wear down as quickly when exposed to the elements. If you need assistance selecting the right material, search for “top rated deck builders near me” to get professional help from reputable deck companies in the local area.

If you choose composite materials, they have a natural appearance that will make your guests assume you have a real wood deck. This can allow you to attain a specific look without compromising on the quality. The materials are visually appealing and don’t have any visible nails to create a more professional look.

A Longer Lifespan

Most homeowners don’t want to spend a significant amount of time and energy building a new deck only to redo the process in a few years. Those who choose cheaper decking materials don’t think about this and only think about the money they’re spending. With quality materials used the first time, the deck can last a lot longer. The most durable decks can hold up for 40 years with proper care and maintenance. When working with top rated deck builders near me, you can also obtain warranties to protect your investment.

It’s a lot more cost-effective to invest in better materials upfront rather than spending even more in the coming years to rebuild the deck multiple times. You’ll only need to hire deck contractors once every few decades instead of paying for their labor every ten years.

Fewer Repairs

It’s no secret durable materials hold up better and are less prone to wearing down and breaking as quickly. You can spend less on repairs and hiring deck companies to fix issues if you invest in better materials when the deck is built. This means you don’t have to deal with hiring a professional to replace a post or deck board. The railing will be a lot more sturdy and won’t crack or snap in the middle of a storm compared to cheaper materials. You can spend more time enjoying the outdoor feature rather than performing frequent maintenance.

Save Time and Energy

Deck contractors will tell you that one of the most frequent types of maintenance on low-cost decking materials is staining the wood. The wood is prone to fading with regular sun exposure and can quickly look old and dingy the longer it’s outside. Staining your deck or repainting it is a weekend project that no one looks forward to due to the work involved.

There are many options to consider regarding the quality and cost with the materials you select for your new deck. Each material available varies with the benefits and drawbacks, making it necessary to do some research to determine the best choice for your property. By choosing any type of wood material, it will require maintenance to prevent the wood from aging or looking old. However, some wood materials like pressure-treated wood will require on-going maintenance and care their entire lifetime to ensure they can hold up well in different climates and seasons. Specialty hardwoods, like different types of mahogany or oak, will stand up to the elements better, but if they are not regularly maintained, the color shade will quickly start to fade and look gray. Composite, vinyl, and aluminum decking materials are durable enough to hold up well in any type of weather or climate. Contractors recommend cleaning them regularly to enhance their appearance, but this isn’t essential to maintain their durability or color shade.

When you want a deck you can show off and get more use out of, the Regan Total Construction team is here to build the deck of your dreams. Contact us today to get started on building a maintenance-free deck.

Filed under: Decks, Trex Composite Decks, Wood 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

Building Decks in Winter Time

picture of a deck in winter a snowy scene. Regan total construction can build decks in the winter

 Why Building Your New Deck In The Winter Is Ideal

A common misconception homeowners have is they should wait until the spring to install a new deck or replace their existing one. However, while spring is one of the most popular times of the year when decks are built, deck contractors welcome the idea of taking on a winter deck building project. And when you have your deck completed in the winter, it will be ready for you to enjoy when the temperatures begin warming, rather than having to wait until the heat of the summer to use it. 

An outdoor deck can significantly enhance your space, and it can be customized to fit all of your needs and interests. Winter isn’t usually the ideal time to be spending on your outdoor deck, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it built and ready to go ahead of time, so it’s ready to use when temperatures are more comfortable outside. Here are some of the many reasons why the fall and winter months are ideal for having a custom deck company build your outdoor deck.

Lower Materials And Labor Costs

Deck contractors often purchase materials from wholesale vendors rather than retail stores. Most retail stores won’t drop prices on deck building materials, but wholesale vendors do. As a result, the cost of the materials will be lower for the deck contractors to purchase, and the best contractors will pass those savings along to the homeowner, or at least split the savings with them. Savings on materials can be significant and hard to beat when you don’t have to sacrifice quality.

A custom deck company may also offer cheaper labor costs in the winter since it’s their slowest season of the year. With harsh winter weather that can occur at any time, homeowners often don’t think about having their deck built. Deck companies may entice homeowners by offering lower labor costs so they can have a project to work on and complete by the end of the year.

Quicker Response Times From Contractors

Another benefit of having a deck built during the winter is deck contractors are typically more readily available. Without multiple projects in progress at the same time, they can focus more attention on your project and answer all questions you may have. Sometimes you can get lucky and be the only project a particular deck company has at the time, so the deck could be built in a matter of several days or a couple of weeks. This doesn’t mean the quality of labor or workmanship will be lower, but when a team can dedicate their full attention to your project, it can get completed much more quickly. And sometimes, the biggest issue that creates delays is getting necessary building permits. With not as many projects potentially going on in your country, you or your contractor might be able to obtain permits quickly so the project can begin as soon as possible.

Wood Reacts To Cold Weather Better Than Hot Temperatures

wooden deck built in winter doesnt warp

Deck contractors can also be more efficient with the deck installation when they work during cooler temperatures. When decks are installed in the summer, the wood contracts and expands easily, which leads to warping and cracking. It’s not uncommon to see certain boards look much different from one day to the next when a deck is built during the summer. Of course, the best deck contractors will fix these issues to ensure the final product is exactly what you desire, but the duration of the project could be longer due to these problems. During the winter, though, these issues aren’t present. With the dry air in the environment, the wood can stabilize faster and dry evenly, so the chances of warping or cracking are much lower. 

Staining Your Deck Is More Effective In The Winter

While it may not be possible to stain your new deck if you just had a strong winter storm or if one is expected, the winter is typically the ideal time to add stain. During the humidity of the summer, the wood could absorb the moisture and crack or peel. When this happens, the stain won’t absorb into the wood as easily and won’t be as effective functionally or aesthetically. Again, these types of problems aren’t present in the winter, and you can have a more effective treatment with the stain since the temperatures are cooler and the air is dryer.

Be Ready To Enjoy Your Deck In The Spring

You likely won’t be using your outdoor deck much during the winter months anyway, so why not use that inactive time to have your deck built? It requires a little thinking ahead and planning for how you want it to look in the spring, but the benefit is it’s ready to be used when the temperatures warm up. Plus, spring is the busiest season for most deck contractors, so unless you can schedule your project early, you may not be able to enjoy it until the middle of spring or later. Take the wintertime to build the outdoor deck you’ve always wanted, purchase your furniture and other items ahead of time, and it will be ready to use as soon as it’s warm enough to spend time outside.

If you do an online search for “deck designers and builders near me,” you’ll likely end up with a lot of results. An outdoor deck is a great investment for a home as it provides a welcoming environment for your family and friends, as well as boost the value of your home. However, choosing the cheapest custom deck company to complete the project isn’t always the best option. At Regan Total Construction, we offer competitive pricing and high-quality materials and workmanship so you can enjoy your outdoor deck for years to come. We install custom decks year-round and are ready and able to start on your project as soon as possible. Now is the time to start thinking about your outdoor deck, so contact us today to see some samples of our work and receive a full, detailed quote.

Filed under: Decks, Pool Decks, Wood DecksTagged with: ,