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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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Contractor

Questions to Ask Your Halifax Renovation Contractor | All-Craft

Questions to Ask Your Halifax Renovation Contractor

Hiring a contractor can be overwhelming, but with the right questions you can find the right renovator for your job.

When starting to think about your renovation project, hiring a qualified contractor should be on the top of the list for priorities.

The key question people are always asking is “how do you find a good-qualified contractor?” Here are a few tips when hiring a contractor.

ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

Do they use contracts? Read why you should Get It in Writing

Are they insured and have WCB?

Do they work with permits and follow code?

Are they members of the local building association (CHBA-NS is located in Bayers Lake)

How are potential work injuries handled? Confirm they have the proper insurance so that you are not held liable.

Do they have a website? Are they on social media?

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INTERVIEW YOUR CONTRACTOR

When hiring a renovator for your project, take the time to interview them like you would if you were hiring an employee. Questions you should ask are:

What is the history of the company?

What services do they offer?

Do they offer a warranty?

Do they use sub-contractors?

Do they have testimonials from past clients?

“Brian, Justin and Laura and their entire team are top notch. From start to finish our project was a total success. On time, on budget and changes worked in perfectly.”

Click here for a copy of Customer Reference Worksheet

 

All-Craft has a passion for renovations, interior and exterior. With specialized teams we have experience in renovations from custom en-suites to full home additions.

We are proud to say we are a multiple award winning renovator including the prestige award of Renovator of the Year 2017 by CHBA-NS and Consumer Choice Award for Home Renovations!

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Click here for information on Renomark and your personal Reno Guide.

Renovate

Renovate With A Contract | Get It In Writing

Renovate with ease with a contract, Get It In Writing!

When making that investment in your home to renovate you need to protect yourself by getting your renovator to put it in writing!

Many individuals end up being a ‘reno-victim’ because they hire a ‘cash-only’ contractor.  These type of contractors keep it cheap for the homeowner. But without a contract homeowners find themselves paying greatly for the mistake of hiring this type of renovator, commonly known as an “underground” contractor.

Hiring a renovator that is a member of your local Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA-NS) can help alleviate some of the pressure you feel when choosing a Professional Renovator.

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) launched the campaign “Get It In Writing” to help inform homeowners of how to avoid risks when hiring a renovator.

Renovate

You should never take chances when hiring a renovator, always get it in writing. Your contract should have 5 main components.

Description of the projectA detailed description of your project, including materials and products. Your contract should also have your plans that you signed off on and you received a copy of.

Payment ScheduleA payment schedule should be structured and outlined in your contract.  This helps alleviate confusion about payments and amounts.

Approximate Project Dates– In your contract you should see an approximate start date. A reputable renovator works closely with their suppliers and know approximately order timelines. After you have approved your design and material selections, your material can be ordered and a timeline set. Weather elements can affect timelines, so always keep that in mind.

Change Order Information and Process- With any renovation project you can always run into changes once the project commences, from change in materials to opening a wall and finding asbestos. Your Project Manager should always sit you down and go over cost and document a change order.  In your contract you should see a policy for change orders.

SignaturesThis is a must for both parties involved in a contract.  You should always see the signature of the renovator on your contract as well as yours.  This is what will protect you, as well as the contractor. Binding the contract and keeping everyone involved accountable. 

If you are planning a renovation project, always get a contract.  A contract protects you from being a ‘reno-victim’.

DID YOU KNOW: That if you hire a contractor to renovate your home that does not have WCB or Insurance, that you will be responsible for anyone injured on your site or any damage to your property or others.

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