Category: 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: Decking Material, 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: ,

10 Ways to Make Your Deck Unique

Ten ways to make your deck unigue. Picture of a Deck

10 Ways to Make Your Deck Stand Out from the Rest

You may not be looking for some crazy, out-of-this-world design for your deck, but that doesn’t mean you want it to look like every other deck on the block. After all, your deck is a part of your home, and just as you wouldn’t want your home to be a carbon copy of your neighbor’s abode, you don’t want your deck to be just like what you see every time you drive up and down the street. Fortunately, there are some things you can do when working with a custom deck builder to give it a unique touch that makes it stand out from the rest. From basic design details to more elaborate features, here are some of the things you can do to help make your deck stand out.

1. Go for the Upgrade On Your Deck Railing

Perhaps one of the most notable features of any deck is its railing. A sturdy railing is a must for any deck, and one of the easiest ways to give your deck a unique touch is by going for an upgrade with your deck’s railing. Rather than opting for simple wood railing, working with your custom deck builder to choose a stylish metal option can make your deck truly unique compared to all the other decks on your block.

2. Use an Alternative Decking Board Pattern

Something as simple as the way a deck’s boards are laid out can make a big difference. For example, your deck contractor can easily lay your decking out diagonally rather than in the traditional horizontal or vertical style. It’s a simple change that does not typically cost much more and can have more of an impact on your deck’s appearance than you may realize. Other options are available as well, such as patchwork patterns with boards in alternating horizontally and vertically placed sections.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Light Things Up!

Lighting is always a great addition to your deck, especially when you choose low-voltage, energy-efficient lighting. When your deck specialist installs lighting into and around your deck, you gain the ability to use your deck not only during the day but into the evening and even at night. Whether you want to use your deck for parties or simply kick back and relax when it’s dark outside, quality lighting can make your deck stand out.

4. Benches – a Great Bonus!

When working with your deck contractor to design your new deck, one of the things you might not immediately think about is adding in seating. However, benches can be a great touch that automatically gives you an additional seating area. Not only are built-in benches convenient, but they look great and are easy to keep up.

5. Heat Things Up… Add a Firepit

Is there anyone who doesn’t love to kick back and relax around a fire? During the design process, your deck contractor can add in a fire pit. This will not only make your deck more unique but also increase its functionality. With a firepit, you can enjoy your deck even on cooler nights, whether socializing with friends or relaxing on your deck solo. A variety of materials can be used to create a beautiful and safe fire pit for your deck.

6. Curves Make Everything Better

We like curves, and adding a curve or an arch to your deck is an easy way to really make it stand out. Your custom deck builder can curve an entire side of your deck, giving it a nice arched appearance that also adds a bit of room, or they can build a curved “bumpout” into your deck’s design. This is a small curve that adds just a bit of extra space where you can place additional seating, a small fire pit, a grill or just about anything else you can imagine. While it may seem like a simple tweak to traditional deck design, curves can be incredibly transformative in a deck’s design.

7. The Power of Pergolas

In addition to being a design element that makes a deck much more unique, pergolas are also incredibly functional. A good pergola adds a bit of shade to your deck without making it too dark and dreary, making it easier to enjoy your outdoor space even on the sunniest days. There are just as many creative design ideas available when it comes to pergolas as when it comes to decks, so your custom deck builder can work with you to come up with an option that will truly make an impact.

8. Plan Your “Rooms”

Those building smaller decks may not need to pay too much attention to the way their deck will be divided and spaced out. However, those building larger decks will want to work with their deck contractor, taking into consideration how they’ll be using their deck and the “rooms” they want to be included in its design. For example, you may want to include a lounge space, a separate area for games, and another area for serving food and drinks.

9. Make Space for Cooking

Speaking of food and drinks, if you’ll be using your deck for cooking or mixing up your favorite beverages, you may want to think about adding in a space for your grill or even a bar. Not only will this make your deck more unique but it’s an option that will offer you plenty of convenience in the long run. Your deck specialist can work with you to come up with a cooking area or beverage station that meets your specific needs.

10. Choose High-Quality Materials

Finally, while it should almost go without saying, one of the most important things you can do to make your deck truly stand out is to use the best materials possible in its construction. Your deck contractor can help you choose an option that is attractive, that works with your home’s design and that will hold up to wear and tear so it will look as great in five years as it does the day it is built.

Are you ready to speak to a custom deck builder about crafting an option for your home that will truly stand out? If so, or if you have questions about the deck building process, contact our team today to learn more!

Filed under: Decks, Wood Decks

Are Decks a Good Investment

Are decks a good investment

Can Building a Deck Increase Your Home’s Value?


When it comes to home improvements, the construction of a new deck can be one of the most rewarding. However, building a new deck can take both time and money. That’s why there are several things to consider before taking on the task of building a new deck or opting for a deck replacement. Among these things is whether decks increase the value of your home and if you’re going to get a good return on your investment if you do choose to build a deck. 


What Makes a Deck a Good Investment


While it may be impossible to know for certain if you’ll get a return on any investment, decks are, for the most part, solid investments that tend to pay off in the long run. This is true for many reasons. 


One factor that makes a deck a good investment, whether you’re planning to sell your home or live in it for years to come, is the fact that it provides a great deal of additional living space. When you work with a quality deck contractor to design and build a deck for your home, you’re essentially crafting an entirely new room for your home that can be used for everything from hosting parties and entertaining to kicking back and enjoying some time to yourself.


Additionally, when and if you do decide to sell your home you can plan to recoup up to 81% of your initial investment, getting back more than half of the money you initially spent building your deck. The only home improvements that have a higher return on investment are options such as front door replacements and new home siding, and while both can be attractive, neither are quite as enjoyable as a new deck for your home. 


Factors That Affect a Deck’s ROI


Of course, there are always variables that should be considered when it comes to building a new deck or constructing a deck replacement. These variables can play a big role in just how much of a return you can expect on the investment you’ve made in your deck. 


One thing that’s important to note is that as with any structure, you can expect your deck to show a little wear and tear over time. However, factors such as the material used in its construction will play a big role in just how much wear and tear it shows and how well it stands up to the elements. A deck that’s capable of holding up well over time will typically be a much better investment, especially if you’re not planning on moving out of your home anytime soon, as you can be sure it will continue to look great and provide a good outdoor living space for years to come. 


Some of the materials you may consider for a new deck or deck replacement include both quality wood as well as composite wood. These materials will hold up better over time, ensuring a long-lasting deck capable of withstanding the weather elements and plenty of use. However, before you set out to build a deck or replace an existing deck, there are some things that you may want to think about.


Things to Consider Before Building


Once you’ve decided building a deck will be a good investment, there are still some things to consider. Among the first things to think about is whether or not you plan to sell your house in the near future or if your new deck or deck replacement will be a longer-term investment you will be enjoying as a part of your homeownership. Those who do plan to put their home on the market may want to consider putting a bit less money into their investment. While it’s still important to work with a quality deck contractor and build a good, solid deck you probably want to take into account the fact that you will be spending less time in the home and, as a result, will have less time to enjoy the deck before selling the home. 


Another thing to remember is that while decks increase the value of your home, you still want to take the size and value of your home into consideration when building a deck. While a larger and more elaborate deck may be a great option for a larger home, it may not be the best fit for a smaller home. Meanwhile, large and grand homes typically do call for decks of a similar size and quality. 


It’s always a good idea to build a deck that suits the scale of your home. One good method you can use to determine whether your deck is the right size is to have a deck that is no larger than the largest room inside your home. Thinking about it this way and using this as a basis for size can help ensure your deck is proportionate to the rest of your home. 


A Final Note on Deck Construction


Regardless of whether you plan to sell your home in months or have no plans to sell in the immediate future, you want to be sure when building a deck or planning a deck replacement to get the best quality possible. This includes everything from planning out the size of your deck to choosing the best possible materials and ensuring it fits with the style of your home. 


Working with a quality deck contractor who has the expertise and experience to craft a deck that suits your home and your lifestyle will go a long way toward making sure you get the best return on your investment possible. Decks increase the value of your home, but you still have to make smart choices to be sure you’re making the most of what’s available to you and optimizing your return. 


If you have any questions or you would like to learn more about building an attractive, functional deck or getting a deck replacement for your home, contact our team at Regan Total Construction today.

Filed under: Decks, Wood Decks