3-D Drawing

3-D Renderings, An Important Design Tool

3-D renderings, An Important Tool

A vision can be very hard to put to paper. But even harder, is seeing a construction design and trying to visualize the colors and creation that will be implemented into the design of your outdoor living space.  All-Craft understands how frustrating this can be, and we believe that by using a 3-D renderings we can help ease that frustration and anxiety with visualizing your deck, providing high quality pictures. 3-D renderings can be of the most valuable architectural tool we use to make sure your vision is what we design. In a blink of an eye you can see your dream come alive.

Using a 3-D program, we can set a beautiful scene using color pallettes, landscaping, flooring, and much more.  Almost like a cartoon, you can add people, animals, clouds, the creativity is endless. This powerful construction tool can digitize objects and add texture to create atmosphere on paper. You can see your outdoor vision in all seasons, helping you to breath during your design stage.

A 3D rendering of your home’s outdoor living space will give you the information you need to decide what will best suit you and your family. As a team, we can use the 3D model to add different types of decks, shapes, colors, and levels, all with a click of a button.

 

3-D Renderings

3-D Rendering

3-D Rendering

Project Completed

Together we can take your vision and make it a reality with a custom deck!

Composite

Composite Color Hits Gold! | Decks

New Composite Color Shines Like GOLD!

There are many reasons to use a high performance composite deck material to build your outdoor living space.  Composite  is made from 95% recycled materials, this saves 400 million pounds of plastic and wood scrap from landfills every year and has a 25 -year limited residential warranty, but now, you can add beautiful colors to why you should build with composite. It is easy being green when you are lounging on your composite deck. Another great reason to invest in a composite deck is that it provide you with low maintenance all year long. Now isn’t that a breath of fresh air!

Trex has now launched its new beautiful Havana gold color to there popular Trex Transcend Tropical collection.  Havana Gold gives a rich, golden look to the sleek composite material making your deck feel warm and elegant, and with a little help of your imagination, you can feel like your sitting in the tropics embracing the outdoors.  Havana Gold, like the other 9 tropical colors, features a subtle shading and natural hardwood looking grain to give off a look of hardwood from the tropical rainforests without destroying the environment. Check out all the great Transcend colors that Trex has to offer.

Lets take the work out of the weekend and spend more time admiring the beauty of your investment!

Composite Deck

Havana Gold

 

 

Footings

Deck Footings | Big Foot Is In N.S.

Decks are more than just floors and stairs, building a deck means working from the ground up, starting with your footings.

To make sure you have a safe deck, a sound foundation is crucial, this includes supports like your ‘footings’. Footings support the load of the deck so there is no sinking. Concrete pillars with footings resist frost upheave and in Nova Scotia, lets face it, they need to resist wind uplift as well. With proper footings, you can consider your deck to be anchored down, for all seasons!

Footings use to be back-breaking work and could take days to complete, until the day arrived, when it was finally spotted, Bigfoot!

Best Foot Forward

The BigFoot, which proudly was developed in Nova Scotia, was designed in a tapered cone shape with sizing at the top to fit any size footing tube, commonly known as the SonoTube. With this new design there is no need for forms to be built, this minimizes workload and time when building a deck.

In Nova Scotia it is required that the footing extends past the frost line, ensuring a firm foundation for your deck. The footing tube is placed into the hole allowing the concrete to be poured smoothly and forming a concrete column and footing at the same time.

The Big Foot comes in four sizes and fits from 6 inch to 18 inch tubes. The Bigfoot system can be used to support:

Now, most DIY decks use ready-made blocks or also know as, deck blocks as footings. These type of blocks rely on soil conditions and if the soil condition’s are bad, can cause sinking or with frost cause the deck to rise. They also have no hold down capacity against wind uplift, which is a weather element known for weakening decks in Nova Scotia. These type of footings can only be used on a deck that is less than 600mm off of the ground and is not attached to a dwelling or building. You should always contact your local building official for clarification of your deck design if it is not designed and built by a professional.

Lets keep your deck safe, All-Craft believes in Big Foot!

build

Why Build in the Fall? | Deck Building

If you have come to the conclusion that it is too late to build your dream outdoor living space, we have the reasons why you should change your mind! People seem to think you can only build decks and outdoor living areas in the Spring and Summer, but Fall brings many reasons to build your deck!

Building a deck in the Fall leads to less of a negative impact on your landscape.
During the Spring or Summer season the weather can range from hot, sweltering days to stormy, rainy days with very little warning.  During the Fall and Winter season the weather is a lot more bearable and the cooler weather dries out the landscaping making it easy to build a deck on the yard without causing any significant damage to your landscaping so that when Spring rolls around your yard will bounce back greener and vibrant.
Get ahead of the crowd with your deck construction.
Beat the Spring rush by beginning your deck construction early so that by the time Spring arrives you will be enjoying your new deck with out having to worry about how to host Summer gatherings with no space outside. What a way to kick off the Spring, creating your dream atmosphere with accessories and colors.
Take advantage of the predictable weather.
Weather during the Fall season is a lot more predictable than weather during the Spring and Summer season. There are a lot less weather issues like thunderstorms that could cause a delay in construction which makes it easier for the construction crew to get the job done within a short amount of time. In the Spring and Summer months contractors are busy, and not able to be flexible with scheduling, but in the Fall, things slow down which allows contractors to be able to accommodate your scheduling needs.
These are just a few reasons why building in he Fall has benefits.  With frost coming, Fall is a great time to start your deck project if you need to dig.  Deck building doesn’t stop cause the snowflakes are falling.  With Spring, the flowers bloom and the decks blossom after a cold winter!
build
Safety

Deck Safety, Check Your Deck | Halifax, NS

May always provides an exciting month – spring flowers, the Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon, Beloved
Mother’s day and Victoria day … it’s a busy month and for us in construction this month raises a time to
stress an important message, deck safety. With the warmer weather and sunshine beaming we are
setting our sights on spending more time outdoors and a deck or outdoor living space can be the perfect
place to spend time enjoying the weather with family and friends and we want to help you avoid
potential mishaps this season as a well-built and well- maintained deck offers a safe haven for outdoor
quality of life.

The North American Deck & Railing Association declares May as Deck Safety month and promotes this
program in an effort to improve safety, prevent injuries and save lives. All-Craft is committed to this
program as we take deck safety very seriously and make it a priority to ensure that you deck is built to
code and is safe.

The NADRA emphasizes the importance of maintenance of existing decks and proper installation of new
decks as an unsafe deck could collapse, causing serious injuries to you and your guests

Did you know the NADRA estimates there are over 40 million decks in the USA that are over 20 years old
and the NADRA states that the number of deck failures and resulting injuries are increasing at an
alarming rate. Yes. American statistics but our Canadian decks are not far behind them … decks don’t
last forever and craftsmanship on this area of your home needs to be of highest quality.

Reasons for a deck collapsing can range from age of the deck, poor maintenance and exceeding load
capacity to improper building methods. Deck collapses happen far too frequently and when they do
happen, they happen fast – click here to out a devastating deck collapses on You Tube

The good news any deck mishap can be avoided. The NADRA emphasizes that it is a matter of
awareness around the necessity of choosing a professional deck builder, maintenance and inspection,
and knowing the limits of the deck structure. NADRA.org 

So let’s discover the potential disaster before it happens – we are here to help! Click here for a 10 point
Deck inspection checklist which provides some guidelines for what areas need to be repaired or what
needs attention. With key areas outlined from split or decaying wood, to railings and banisters,
cleaning and maintenance, lighting and electrical, outdoor furniture and everything in between. Wow,
a lot right but there’s a lot to consider when thinking about the safety of your deck for your loved
ones.

Our experts at All-Craft have an eye for safety and can go one step further for you by inspecting
everything from substructure to ledger connections, posts and footings, post-to-beam connections,
joists and joist connections, stairs, deck boards, handrail assemblies and guards and miscellaneous.
An inspection can determine structural supports and connections, such as post sizes, fastener types
and specific design aspects as well as any visible indications of corrosion or weakness. All you have to
do is call us for a no charge consultation.

Read more: Jim Miller active NADRA member, whose company participates in education and advocacy
efforts centered on deck safety each year discussing importance of deck safety.

All of this might sound complicated but certainly an important necessity that is why the All-Craft team is
here to help. Contact us today for your no charge consultation where our expert consultants who has an
eye of what to look for and what is or isn’t allowed. We can walk through the safety of your current deck
and help you solve potential issues.

Like us on Facebook to access Deck Safety check lists that will be posted throughout this month.
Creating your dream outdoor living space safely is a complicated task to undertake – Read the following
article where we highlight some of the complexities and why hiring a professional is in your best
interest.

Outdoor Living Rooms Minus 4 Walls | Halifax, NS

Your home is so much more than 4 walls and a roof…it is one of your largest investments and one that
encompasses everything that home and family means to you.

But is that home that means so much to you just not functioning or fitting your current lifestyle?
Well, this is when we talk about renovating versus relocating and we have to bring an awareness around
the housing market today where the fastest growing segment of Canada’s housing market is renovation
spending. Fuelled by rising home prices, tight resale market conditions, attractive financing costs and
government tax credits and well…who are we kidding I don’t think anyone likes the task of moving,
especially away from the place that holds so many memories close to your heart. So doesn’t renovating
look more and more like an attractive option every day.

Reasons to remodel are as varied as the homeowners themselves. Some homeowners have growing
families, while others are “empty nesters” changing their home to reflect their new lifestyle. Whatever
your remodeling needs—more space for entertaining, an expanding at-home business, updating or
modernizing—there are advantages to remodeling right now to make your home which holds all of its
precious memories fit your needs, wants and desires.

Upgrading your home is one of the most profitable decisions you can make. Not only do home upgrades
provide a sense of accomplishment, it will also influence the aesthetic appeal of your home which will
pay off when it comes to your return on investment.

All-Craft’s speciality is the exterior of the home and we love the summer when the backyard is all about
celebrating the season with family and friends. So why not maximize your personal oasis with an
outdoor remodeling project and give new life to a ‘tired’ exterior all the while reducing maintenance,
improving energy efficiency, security and the general comfort of your outdoor living space.
The benefits to exterior renovations are limitless and all it takes to get started is a vision.

A few benefits:

  • Return on Investment – ROI – this is a biggie and HGTV’s Carson Arthur notes that ‘simple outdoor living spaces like a deck or patio increase a home’s value by 12%’. Read more on ROI
  • Increases usable living space
  • Addition of an outdoor living space has rapidly become a popular way to enhance both the functionality, quality and aesthetic appearance of a home and surrounding yard
  • Impacts your comfort and convenience by creating a retreat for you to enjoy each time you ste foot onto your outdoor living space
  • Increased outdoor enjoyment
  • Switching to low maintenance exterior products, such as composite material, can save hours of maintenance time.
  • It will dramatically improve the curb appeal of your home
  • Creates that outdoor oasis in your very own backyard … no need for passports or going south of
  • the border
  • Opening up a floor plan and extending the living space to the outdoors can eliminate interior traffic jams and create a noticeable difference in how your home feels—and how you feel about your home
  • Creates an space that brings an emotional draw which will win over the electronics or social medial and allow you to connect with friends and family in space of enjoyment
  • Provides that impactful space which can be the disconnect from the everyday madness right outside your door for quality time that creates the best kind of memories
  • Positive outlook and energy – exterior renovation changes the atmosphere of the home and provides a positive outlook of the living space
  • Gives you the home of your dreams
  • Show the true potential for your property

Outdoor projects are a timeless renovation and the journey to renovating your home should be a
positive and beneficial one, rather than a complicated mess. And of course you want to get the greatest
benefits from your efforts so, hiring a professional renovator who specializes in the exterior home is the
best way to accomplish that. With a professional you receive sound technical advice, design assistance
as well as make the most of your budget to successfully beautify your exterior parts.

Happy Outdoor living !

Decking Out Your Deck with Accessories

The finer details – it may seem like working backwards; picking out your accessories for your outdoor living space before you even start planning your deck however, accessories are a key fundamental to add character and create a custom design and you will want to plan the larger details to fit the smaller ones.

The outdoor living space is now becoming an extension of the home and as such they require accessories to make them as livable as any indoor room. Your deck is your living room for summer and with hundreds of possible combinations from the arch of your pergola to the color of your throw pillows, each aspect of your exterior design should reflect or complement the architecture of your home and the interior design.

Accessories for the exterior of your home can range from lighting to furniture to outdoor kitchens, custom outdoor spas and everything in between. Spending some of your budget on the finer details may seem like you are splurging just a little bit but put that feeling aside and reap the benefits of what the attention to details will reap you in the future. What is really becoming attractive today is ‘outdoor rooms’ or outdoor living spaces where families and friends gather outside to enjoy the peace and serenity of nature. More homeowners are adding decks, patios and outdoor kitchens to their home’s appeal.

These outdoor areas are viewed as added space and value to any home where you can spend time entertaining, relaxing, living in the backyard – turf and grass are being replaced with a functional space. If you are looking to enhance your curb appeal, nothing packs a bigger punch than revamping your architectural design. Since it’s the first thing visitors see, it makes or breaks your home’s first impression — it can easily become the neighborhood star.

The exterior often reflects the overall style of the house and the family that lives there, so it sets the pace for the rest of your space. In the end, whether you have stone, wood, brick, steel or vinyl siding, make sure your materials, paint colors and overall design represent what you like and who you are.

You might be thinking, “Where do I start when deciding on what accessories to incorporate in my plan?” Well the first step is think about the interior of your home – what features of it do you want to bring outside? Might be lighting or maybe accent colors – always remember styles and color can vary depending on your personal style or preference. Second, research and research a little bit more to understand what is out there and available to you. Third, consult with a professional, like us,  as we have the expert knowledge and insight into industry trends to bring a wealth of options to the table.

We hope this provides some inspiration for gearing towards building that dream space and get you outdoors to enjoy the best of our summer.

 

Outdoor living

Outdoor Living | The New Trend

Canadian summers may be short, but they are glorious. For a couple of brief, magical months,
it’s your patriotic duty to spend as much time outdoors as is humanly possible.

Outdoor living is part of today’s lifestyle trends, and many homeowners are turning their outdoor
areas into attractive and relaxing extensions of their homes. This transformation can be as
simple as a sitting area for the family, or include a combination of decks, patios, walkways,
gazebos, gardens, pools, ponds and fountains.

Where kitchens and bathrooms are consistently described as the top spaces to renovate, home
exteriors are now surpassing these interiors when it comes to home improvement projects.
Whether it’s enjoying the view each morning over a cup of coffee or entertaining all year round,
we want to help you get out there and enjoy your outdoor haven. Your backyard can be that
oasis space, the right in your very own backyard vacation spot that gives a sanctuary to create
memories that last a lifetime.

Now, are you thinking all the above sounds great but…. “What really are the benefits to me
renovating the exterior of my home?” Read ‘Hangout to Sanctuary’ article below for a brief
overview of some benefits to exterior home renovations.

The planning stages of your exterior renovation are a critical step and accessories are a key
fundamental to add character and create a custom design. Read below ‘The Finer Details’, to
get inspired to plan from the small details to the larger ones.

For more information contact us to chat with an expert on how to bring your outdoor living
space dreams to reality or like us on Facebook for regular updates.

Happy reading and outdoor enjoying!

mould

Mould, Protect Your Deck | Decks HRM

Mould, Why it Grows, How to Clean it, and How to Prevent it

What is Mould?

Mould is the common term used to describe a growth on the surface of organic matter, caused by fungi, especially in the presence of dampness. Mould is mother nature’s way of recycling organic matter. Every cubic foot of air has thousands of mould spores floating within it. Every surface – natural or manmade, inside or out – has thousands more spores that have settled upon it. A fungus (pl. fungi) may be any of a large number of simple microorganisms that do not need energy from light for growth. The fungi bear microscopic spores that are produced in enormous quantities, are always present in the air, and spread via air currents. They are often water repellent and are resistant to desiccation (drying out).

“Mould” is often used interchangeably with the word mildew. These are the generic terms that describe a variety of microorganisms, including fungi, algae, rusts, yeasts, and bacteria. Under a microscope, mould has an octopus-like structure. Its legs attach to a surface in a web-like manner. Once a mould has successfully colonized, it turns a dark color and releases thousands of new spores.

 

What Makes it Grow?

Moulds need three things to grow: food, water, and temperate weather. When the spores are in favourable environment, they will germinate. What constitutes a favourable environment is different for each species. Since the spores settle out of the air, they will be more prevalent on horizontal surfaces and are generally not found below overhangs, under porches or patios, or on the undersides of decks, even in damp areas. The colonies do not migrate, like a rot, but rather establish colonies and release more spores. The reason we recommend regularly sweeping the deck is the colonies are typically invisible; they only change color after they have released spores and died. Sweeping the deck removes the food source (pollen, dirt) and removes any dormant spores as well. After landing on a host material, a spore must obtain sufficient moisture to find enough food. Without moisture, the spores will lie dormant until favourable conditions occur.

There are many common food sources, such as dust, pollen, and other pollutants. Water is essential for the growth of mould. Greater than 60% humidity, steady dampness, and temperatures between 5 and 35 degrees C, are the factors most conducive to growth. It will stay dormant if the conditions are too dry or too cold, or if there are insufficient food sources.

How to clean it…

It is important that any cleaning procedure fully remove the web-like “legs” of the colonies, penetrate the water-repellent outer surface, and remove the food source. The ideal cleaner is a steam-power sprayer, although normal power washers or combinations of bleach, water, and laundry detergent are also effective. In all cases, use the correct protective equipment such as safety glasses, dust-mask and gloves. Since mould will die at temperatures above 45 degrees C, we have had great success with a steam-power sprayer removing the mould.

If staining is still present, follow with a sodium percarbonate product (OxiDeck) powder sprinkled directly on the stains, left damp for 6+ hours, and rinsed to help remove the stains. Bleach, laundry soap and water can also be scrubbed onto the mould to help with the removal of the mould.

learn more about deck cleaning.

How to prevent it…

Preventing the growth of mould is as simple preventing the three factors that it needs to live. Keep the deck as dry as possible, and remove the food source by sweeping or washing. Here is a checklist of mould-preventive steps:

-Gap the decking properly (minimum 1/8′) for drainage

-Assure that the gutters do not discharge onto the deck

-Check that gutters are not backed up and overflowing onto the deck and ensure that the dryer vent does not discharge directly onto or around deck

-Pitch the deck properly away from the house for drainage (minimum 1/8″ in 8′)

-Avoid the use of bark mulch around, on or under the deck (bark mulch is typically heavily laden with mildew spores)

-Avoid the use of lawn or plant fertilizer on the deck (such as overspray from lawn fertilizer or Miracle-Gro from potted plants)

-Sweep the deck every week, especially when pollen is heavy (typically spring and late summer)

-Correct Building Products also recommends No More Mildew from National Allergy Supply as a spray-on preventive measure.

Contact the deck experts to learn more!

Deck renovators in Halifax

The Deck Building Process

The following is a brief description of the deck building process. We have also written an article titled “Design Considerations” that we encourage you to read if you’re seriously considering building a deck.

Before considering any deck building project, you should determine what your budget is, make sure there are no zoning conflicts, and check with your Home Owners Association so you know their requirements.

The first step in the deck building process is to set a time to meet at the jobsite, preferably when both decision-makers are home. Although decks may look quite simple, no two decks are alike, materials vary considerably, every jobsite is different – thus we don’t give “general bids” over the phone without first seeing the property. A typical first meeting will take 1 ½ to 2 hours. Larger jobs may take more time.

The goal during the first meeting is to find out the scope of the project, including size, how the deck will be used, what materials you’re interested in, and do you want enhancements like lighting, grilling stations, fire pits, pergolas, etc. With simple projects, we are able to give immediate cost to construct.

For larger projects, we’ll schedule a second meeting and provide you with a “footprint” drawing of the proposed deck, along with the estimate, samples, and other materials. There is no fee for the estimate to this point. If additional designs are desired, including 3D drawings, we enter into a retainer agreement for these services.

After a contract has been signed, we then acquire a building permit. Permitting consists of two parts. First we draw a set of plans so the building department can verify the design and materials. The second part of the permitting process requires acceptance from the zoning department. Most projects require permits. It is the responsibility of the contractor, not the homeowner, to acquire the permit. This also places the liability on the builder and not the homeowner.

As the permit is being acquired, we also order materials so they can be staged and ready for delivery. During this period we often like to bring the crew leader to your home to see the project, meet homeowners, etc. It typically takes at least two weeks or more to look at a job, draft a contract, draft plans, acquire the building permit, and acquire materials.

Project durations vary depending on factors like deck size, height, access, weather, efficiency of the builder, number and type of accessories, and type of materials being used. Spring and the early summer months is the peak deck building season since most people want projects completed prior to the warm summer months so they can enjoy their newly built decks. Make sure you plan ahead if you want your deck completed early in the year so you don’t end up months out on a deck builder’s schedule.

We build decks year around. Although bad weather can impact a job, we don’t usually lose many working days to cold, snow, or rain. Wind is usually our biggest weather obstacle and is more prominent in the spring. The advantages of building a deck in the fall and winter months are that there aren’t usually material delays and lumber prices are usually less (lumber is a commodity, thus supply and demand dictate price).

To schedule an estimate, click here.