deck safety in Halifax

Did you Know? May is Deck Safety Month

Did You Know? May Is Deck Safety Month

HRM has had its share of deck collapses in recent years. These events highlight the importance of building to current code standards, as well as annual inspections and maintenance. Once you know what to look for, it’s easy to spot the issues and take steps to correct them.

Code Compliance when Building Decks in the HRM

Building code standards are frequently updated and revised to reflect updated information and technology. What was acceptable in the past likely would not be compliant or safe by today’s standards. The most common areas that fail inspections are stairs, railings, and guardrails, as well as flashing, the connection to the house/structure, and footings.

  • Depending on the height of your deck from the ground, the railing should be 36-42” high
  • Stairs have a range of acceptable dimensions for the rise and tread which vary depending on the application
  • Spacing in guardrails should be less than 4”
  • Footings extending past the frost line are required for all decks attached to a house
  • The ledger board should be bolted to the house
  • Flashing should be installed above and behind the ledger board to prevent water penetration

Check out this permit application guideline for decks from HRM.

 

Annual Inspections & Deck Maintenance

Annual inspections and maintenance can help prolong your deck’s life, maintain structural integrity, and prevent injuries. If you think there’s a problem or you’re unsure you should always bring in a professional to have a look.

  • Visually inspect the wood for splitting or decaying
  • Make sure the flashing is intact and no water or debris are accumulating
  • Verify that the ledger board is fastened and secured to the house and that the fasteners are in good condition (no rust or corrosion)
  • Deck, stairs, and railings should not move, they should be secure with no wobbling or swaying
  • Regularly clean up leaves and debris as they can be slipping hazards and also promote mildew and deterioration
  • Keep snow to a minimum and shovel as needed to prevent overloading the structure

Check out this 10-Point Deck Safety Checklist for homeowners from The North American Deck and Railing Association.

Examples of a Failing Deck that are not Code Compliant in HRM

Raised Deck Surface with No Safety Railing

Raised Deck Surface with No Railings

Incorrect Railing Installation Unable to Handle Strong Winds

Railing Unable to Handle Strong Winds

Deck with no Safety Railing

Deck with No Safety Railing

No Railing on Both Sides of Stairs

No Railing on Both Sides of Stairs

Improper Deck Footings

Improper Deck Footings

No Joists or Hangers, No Lag Bolts

Improper Connection to House or Wall

Concrete Footings Cracking/Breaking

Improper Deck Footings

Improper Deck Footings

 

We take pride in the design and installation of the decks we build. That’s why we take care of everything, including the permit application, for you. Each project is built to be safe and structurally sound, adhering to both the current National Building Code and HRM standards. If you have concerns or need your deck replaced, give us a call for a complimentary assessment and/or quote.

Composite decking material in HRM

Composite Decking, Pros & Cons | Halifax All-Craft

“Composite or Natural Wood?” This is the most popular question we’re asked when designing a deck for a client.

Composite deck material has quickly become the first choice for people investing in their outdoor living space. Like any materials used in a renovation, decking materials come in low, medium, and high quality – with pricing to match. When compared to natural wood, composite decking does have a higher cost as it’s more durable and aesthetically pleasing. Naturally, the higher price point might cause homeowners to shy away from the upfront investment of building with it.

An important piece of information we share with our clients is that over time, a deck built with composite material can actually cost less than a deck built with natural wood due to its minimal upkeep and superior durability. Composite materials also improve the longevity of a deck, as they help a deck maintain its original beauty and rich color.

Compositehalifax screen porch design and additionsComposite deck material can combine recycled plastic, wood chips, and sawdust – making it environmentally friendly and durable. Some of the most popular manufactures of composite decking material are AZEK, TimberTech and Trex. Each company has a vast array of colours and styles to choose from.

Let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons of using composite materials before you make a final decision on which decking material to use.

Pros

  • Low Maintenance
  • Longevity
  • Variety of Colors
  • Durable
  • Won’t Rot or Splinter
  • Easy To Clean

Cons

  • Certain Composite Products Can Look Fake and Cheap
  • Can Be Hot
  • Can Be Slippery

When designing your deck, your professional deck builder should be able to help you decide which materials best fit your budget and the style you’re trying to achieve. Natural wood looks great when it’s new and has less of an upfront cost. Composite is a luxury decking material that looks elegant for years, but the price-tag of the deck is initially much higher.

A deck is an outdoor living room, providing you with a place to enjoy the great outdoors with your family and friends. When you contact your deck contractor, let them know your vision, and your budget. Everyone deserves to walk out on their deck and love the space, whether it is on natural wood or composite material!

View our gallery to see some of the composite deck designs that we have created at All-Craft.

Design

Deck Design Questions | All-Craft Planning Your Deck

When it comes to design, there are numerous questions that need answering when building your deck.

A deck is a lifestyle, not just a structure.  Your outdoor space provides you relaxation and a place to make lasting memories. Whether you’re building a small deck or an outdoor living room, this home improvement will provide enjoyment for the whole family.

 

1. What is Your Style? When deciding on a style for your deck, you should always consider the architectural look of your home. For example, a modern deck probably would not look ecstatically pleasing if you have a Colonial home. When building a deck for a Colonial home, you could use elements like white moulded railings with decorative posts caps and incorporate planter boxes and benches.

 

2. What About Railings? Once you have decided what style deck you are going to build, picking your railing choice becomes a bit easier. Budget and purpose are two questions you have to think about. Most people think of railings as the finishing parts of the decks structure, but a railing system is your finishing accessory to tie your deck style together.  You have to take in consideration your view, weather and privacy when picking out your railing system.

If you have a view that you love to admire, you might want to think about a tempered glass railing system or another new option is the Crystal Railing by Regal.

 

Design

 

What About Privacy? What you do on your deck is your business, you can enjoy the deck-life anyway you want. With privacy railing you are able to have privacy and protection from unwanted weather elements.

Design

 

What Decking Materials?  That “B” word keeps popping up when designing your dream outdoor space, BUDGET. First set a budget, pressure treated wood is your most cost efficient material. But if you are looking for a maintenance free deck and your budget allows for it, a Composite or PVC decking material is the way to go.

Design

 

A deck is more than footings and a structure, there are many components that bring the style of your deck together.  When working with a contractor to bring your deck dreams alive, you should ask the following key questions:

Are you insured?

What is your warranty?

Do you provide a contract?

Do you have references?

Behind every stylish deck design should be a good plan and great workmanship. If you are looking at building a deck contact one of All-Crafts Outdoor living Specialists.

 

 

 

Outdoor Lighting

Backyard Lighting Trends | All-Craft Halifax

Backyard lighting is trending in Halifax, NS. The right backyard lighting can transform your patio into an outdoor oasis that sparkles in the night.

Backyard lights can range from wall lights to string lights. Depending on which outdoor space your lighting up will help you make your selection in lighting style and design.

Some tips to keep in mind when designing your lighting layout are:

  1. Take your home’s architectural style into account when choosing your fixtures
  2. Don’t undersize your lighting
  3. Think about the bigger picture
  4. Outdoor elements like weather can impact the condition of your lights

Wall Lighting: Outdoor wall lighting emphasizes your front and back door, warmly welcoming friends and family. Wall lighting provides a warm ambiance, highlighting your homes details. When choosing your wall fixture, look around your outdoor living room, pay attention to your style of your doors, decide what style you are looking for.  Are you looking for traditional, antique or contemporary and always keep your lighting style in sync with the overall architectural style of your space.

Backyard Backyard outdoor

Post Lighting: Outdoor lighting is a dynamic way to turn your outdoor living space in to a nighttime vision. Post lighting provides elegance to walkways, gardens, stone paths and outdoor areas that have beautiful landscaping that loose their appearance once the sun sets. Path lights are a pragmatic way to create ambiance outdoors, lighting the way to the fire or to the gazebo.  Also providing functional lighting for accessibility

Backyard backyardoutdoor

String Lighting-This style of outdoor lighting gives new meaning to the word ‘multi-use’. String lighting works with every season and every occasion! String lighting is a great way to unleash your imagination, personalizing your backyard space. This is an inexpensive way to add creativity to any outdoor space and can be installed with little hassle.

outdoor outdoor outdoor

 

Homeowners have the choice between using solar or electrical backyard lights. Either choice offers you an abundance of options for beautiful lighting décor. One thought to think about when choosing between solar-lighting and low voltage lighting is how bright you want your light and how comfortable you are installing your lighting if you are installing yourself.

Watch this video to give you an idea of the difference in brightness when with a solar-powered light:

All-Craft is a multi-award winning deck design and build firm servicing Halifax and surrounding areas, focusing on taking your vision and making it a reality.

Contact our Project Development Team for your free design consultation

 

 

 

universal

Universal Design for the Outdoor Life | All-Craft Halifax

With universal design, top-of-mind awareness is focused on interior design when it comes to renovations, a safe and accessible lifestyle is important inside and out.

Research has shown that spending more time outdoors can boost your immune system, promote positive energy and create a relaxing lifestyle.

Outdoor living has become one of Canada’s top investments for renovations. People want to spend more time enjoying family and entertaining in their backyards. A universal design can ensure that you can welcome company of different ages and abilities.

Thoughtful exterior design considerations like lighting, pathways and raised gardens can help you enjoy your backyard.  But, on a more larger scale, when designing your backyard for the future, implementing the following design features will help accommodate any life changing events.

Pathways with edging– Your pathways should have adequate lighting and have a solid surface to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. A non-slip pathway  helps with stability as well (Pathways should be at least 42″ wide). Edging will help with depth perception.

Ramps, Rails and Lifts– The “deck life” is a summer trend in Canada. Decks are no longer your basic 12 x 12 box. People are investing in a an outdoor living space that can include kitchens, showers, hot tubs and trendy dinning areas.

When designing an exterior space to enjoy, consider mobility and accessibility.  Implementing a ramp, outdoor stair lift or an incline platform will ensure stress-free accessibility.

universal

 

Some small modifications that you can do to adjust to different abilities are:

Installing electrical receptacles higher than usual

Adding lighting to walkway paths

Provide wheelchair pull-up access to seating areas and tables

Low thresholds from inside to out

Nobody can predict the future, but you can plan for it. With interior renovations we find that all age groups are putting in grab bars and building with a universal design. Now it is time to plan for the future outside, so that no matter what, you can enjoy the fresh air.

When thinking of renovating your backyard to customize  it to your lifestyle needs, make sure you hire a professional in exterior renovations who has an Aging-In-Place professional with CAPS(Certified Aging in Place Specialist) training working for them.

 

universal

universal

Renovations

The CHBA-NS 2017 Renovator of the Year | NH&R

The night was like no other for the All-Craft Family at the CHBA-NS Peak Awards.

The team was out of their work-boots and into their suits and heels ready to celebrate whether they won an award or not at the 2016 CHBA-NS Peak Awards.

At the Peak Awards you can find the most outstanding professional renovators and builders in Nova Scotia coming together to celebrate the hard work and dedication performed all year long. CHBA Builders and Renovators are recognized for their outstanding renovations and custom homes with CHBA-NS Peak Awards, presented by Peter Kohler.

Winning multiple awards that evening, the night was filled with surprises for the All-Craft Family. The celebrations began but something even more exciting was about to happen for the team.

All-Craft is known for their dedication to the community and the industry as well their dedication to their clients, on the night of the gala this was recognized in a substantial way. To the surprise of the team, All-Craft was awarded one of the most prestigious awards a professional renovator can receive, The CHBA-NS Renovator of the Year Award.

You could find the All-Craft family hugging and even shedding tears, jumping with excitement. That night was special, the team was together for one of the most memorable moments that can happen for a professional renovating company and their team.

CHBA

Who is All-Craft?

NH&R captured The All-Craft Family in their 2017 Fall Edition. The story captures the heart of All-Craft and the family behind the success, it tells the story of why All-Craft is Renovator of the Year. Click to read the full story.

CHBA

CHBA-NS

Cleaning

5 Mistakes Made While Cleaning Your Deck | Halifax

There are 5 common mistakes you can make when it comes time to clean your deck.

1. Using The Wrong Cleaner: When cleaning your deck make sure to use the proper cleaner.  You want to consider the type of decking material when choosing your cleaner. Take the time to call your local deck builder to help decide which cleaner best suits your decking material.

 

2.Use of a Power Washer: Some people go all guns blazing with their pressure washer on their decking. THIS IS A HUGE NO NO! If your deck material is pressure treated wood, using a power washer can remove the natural oils that protect your wood. These oils can not be replaced with any type of stain. Power washers can leave splinters because of the intense power behind the nozzle and they can cause your wood to expand, loosening nails and allowing space for debris to get between.

Cleaning

 

3.Weather doesn’t matter: WRONG! Weather always matters when it comes to your deck, work and play. Always double check the weather as temperature and humidity can have major impact on how your protective seal dries. The ideal temperature is between 15-25 Celsius and it is important that you pick a day where there is no rain in the forecast.

 

4.Gaps don’t matter. WRONG! The dentist always tells you to “floss”, and we highly suggest that you clean your gaps. Dirt and leaves in between your deck boards can cause premature rotting of wood, like cavities if you don’t floss. Make sure to clean your gaps thoroughly.

Clean

 

5.“I don’t need to clean the deck in the fall” WRONG, prepping your deck for the winter is very important to help maintain the life of your deck. Making sure all of the debris and leaves are clear off the deck prevents mold from taking control of your decks surface.

 

If you are concerned about how to clean your deck contact the Pros at 

BackyardCleanClean

Front Porch

Halifax Front Porch Design | All-Craft Decks and Sunrooms

A front porch is the face of your home, providing curb appeal and adds a place where family can gather and enjoy the outdoors.

Front porches use to be the place where you would gather with your family on the swing, sipping on a cool drink while the sunset.  Over time, people have lost the vision of what a front porch represents. But the trend is back and it is time to bring the living room out side, front and center.

In the past, people focused on their backyard, creating a private space away from the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the street. But Along the way, people lost their feeling of communal sense, shifting the focus back on front porches.

Front porches make a great addition to a home, adding that space where special moments are created, like that moment you meet the “boyfriend” for the first time, or that day when you need to just sit and swing. So many moments happen at the front door, those “firsts” that are never forgotten.

Like all home designs, there is an abundance of styles, from traditional to contemporary and every other style in-between. It is always a good idea to keep with the architectural feeling of your home when adding a front porch, complimenting your home’s existing style and allowing the porch to blend into your home seamlessly.

Adding a front porch can separate your home from the other homes on your street when selling, just that little bit of extra outdoor living space can increase your homes value and turn heads of the buyers. If you are looking for a front porch design or addition, please contact the deck building experts.

 

Front-Porch

Screened Porch

 

 

Outdoor living

Why a Screened Porch | Design and Build Halifax

Why build a screened porch in Nova Scotia…

That old fashioned meaning of “porch” has been reborn. Introducing the new trending outdoor living room, the ‘Screened Porch’

Screened porch Screened porch

A screened porch enhances your ability to enjoy your outdoor space. Protecting you from weather elements like rain and wind and provides you a place to escape the scorching sun.  Screen porches are designed to provide a functional yet beautiful living space, constructed with a roof, a structure and than screened in, usually adding a screen door.

There are various looks that a screen porch can provide depending on what your budget allows for and the design you envision. Homeowners sometimes like the idea of removable screen panels because of the screen blocking out the natural light.  If lighting is a concern, you can install sun tunnels skylights, providing natural light. Another option for a screened porch is vinyl sliding windows, providing you with a sleek look.

Some trendy ideas that you could incorporate into your screened porch design, making it welcoming and stylish are:

Modern screen porches are considered an extension of your living space. They provide you an that extra living room, just outside. Your goal when designing your porch is to make the transition seamless from the main structure to the porch area, keeping with the original architectural appearance.

Depending on the ambiance you desire, your porch can be your private cozy space or your entertaining space surrounded by gardens, lighting and decor of choice.

In Nova Scotia, a screened porch is a great investment to your homes value. Investing in your outdoor living space with a screened porch will leave buyers excited, adding one more room to the overall homes footprint.

All-Craft is a custom design and build firm, specializing in outdoor spaces. We have enjoyed building beautiful screened porches for families all over HRM, providing them a chance to enjoy 3 seasons. If you would like to receive a quote for a custom screened in porch. Contact your local deck building company,  our division All-Craft Decks and Sunrooms.

Screened porches

Screened Porch

Screened Porch

She-shed

She-Sheds Make Their Debut In Halifax | All-Craft

She-Sheds, now the backyard trend in Halifax for 2017.

She-Sheds provide a place where women can escape from the chaos of everyday life, taking the high heels off and enjoying backyard bliss. These super cute tiny cottages provide a place for women that want some downtime to unwind to read a book, garden or even just to take an afternoon nap.

You can find She-Sheds in many styles and designs, full of color and accessories, making it “hers” not “his”. Clever décor defines the style space she wants, from paint colors to light fixtures to sofas and throw pillows, the imagination can run endlessly.

 

sheds

So how do you get started on your backyard hideaway?

  1. Start by staking claim to that shed that has been abandon or forgotten about. If you don’t have a shed, time for you to call your local design and build team.
  2. If your shed is sitting there with cobwebs and clutter, time to clean it out!
  3. Once it is cleaned, time for you to take a step back and use your imagination. Pick out colors to paint, giving it a fresh look. The color of your she-shed will also help determine the colors used for your accessories and décor.
  4.  Now, let’s think about what you want to use your she-shed for. She-sheds can have many purposes, a gardening retreat, a place to host book club and even a cute little office for those “work-from-home” days. It will be her getaway place.
  5. Once you determine the use of your special spot, time to decorate and get comfortable.  Adding features like a daybed and lots of throw pillows or a deep comfy chair that will make it feel warm and relaxing.
  6. Last but not least, never forget the outside.  Add luscious greens and beautiful colors to the outside of your she-shed, providing a positive energy around the petite haven you have designed.

Cozy, vintage, floral or even fluffy are words that can be used when describing your she-shed

Contact the experts at All-Craft for your She-Shed design

Bathroom Remodel