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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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 

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Winter Protection for Your Deck | Halifax Deck

Protecting your deck from winter elements is key for longevity of your deck!

Mother Nature can be very cruel during the winter months, dropping record amounts of snow and leaving us to dig our way around our homes.

Protecting your deck with deck maintenance is extremely important in any season, but especially in the winter because of the fluffy white stuff and the adverse effects it can have on your decks structure.  Keeping your deck clear of snow is just one of many steps that can save your in the long run.

The fact is, when the snow starts falling we head to the snow blower or shovels to get the driveway done and the walkway cleared. But, by the time your done shoveling them the idea of shoveling your deck is about as far away from your mind as summer is. Prolonged exposure to carrying the weight of snow and ice may harm your deck’s structural integrity, causing your deck to be unsafe or causing it to collapse. Keeping your deck clean, is just as important as keeping your pathways clean and deiced.

There are many reasons to keep your deck clear of snow, one being that it can be used as an emergency route, allowing access to your home during an emergency, keeping it clear might mean the difference between life and death. Keeping snow away from your patio door and house walls can also help decrease the chances of any water damage to your home.

On average, you will find most decks are built with pressure treated wood, but please note that winter maintenance is different for composite decks, including Trex and Azek. There are different methods of maintenance for different decking materials, always check with your local outdoor living specialist for advice before using any product on your deck.

Bigger is not always better when it comes to clearing the snow off your deck/patio, so if you are thinking snow blower, you might want to leave the “big guy” to your driveway and walkway and pull out the “little guns” for your deck. From electric snow shovels to electric snow throwers, there are options beside the old fashion shovel that you can use, cutting down on heavy lifting and time.

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Electric Snow Shovel

Electric snow shovels are lightweight and a very effective tool for cleaning your deck with ease. Winter can leave a heavy load of snow that needs to be cleared off your deck before it weakens the structure. Because the electric snow shovel is lightweight and maneuverable it is a great choice. It is not a struggle to use it on your deck stairs or a ramp. They usually run you between $115 to $145, a small price to pay to save you time and body pain.

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Electric Snow Thrower

Electric Snow Throwers are a great option for clearing snow from your deck/patio. It provides a little more clearing power than an electric snow shovel. They are equipped with soft rubber or plastic paddles instead of metal augers allowing you to clear the snow without damaging the surface of your deck. Snow throwers are easy to store and do not require gas, you just plug them in and go for it. The investment in this tool usually is between $189 to $289

Don’t rule out the “old fashion” method, the winter shovel. Rule of thumb on any decking material your going to use a shovel on is to use a shovel with a rubber or plastic edge and not metal. Using a metal shovel can leave splinters and gauges in your wood as well as composite material.

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During the winter season, we sometimes forget about our outdoor living spaces and how beautiful they are come spring. Winter maintenance doesn’t just begin when the snow starts, maintenance should begin before the snow falls by sweeping off dead leaves and washing down your deck. Leaves that are left on your deck can cause mold and fungus growth which can affect the boards itself.

Make sure you have the correct maintenance regiment for your deck and if you are not sure how to maintain your deck,

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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!
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