Update your deck for the summer

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When you prepare your home for the summer by cleaning the roof and washing your siding, take a minute to examine your deck. Whether it’s the front porch or the back deck, these areas can provide a comfortable outdoor space for your family to enjoy the warm summer weather together. 

If your house doesn’t have a deck, the space is too small for cookouts or it’s too old and full of splinters to use, consider installing a deck or remodeling your decking. By adding or updating a deck area, you’ll be creating a seasonal addition to your home, which can become an outdoor dining area or a safe and stylish place to lounge by the pool.

If you are considering making this investment in your house, Alure Home Improvements’ exterior design expert John Bernaudo outlined a few of the most important deck features you should know about. 

Discuss stains or finishes with your exterior designer to get the results you want.
Discuss stains or finishes with your exterior designer to get the results you want.

Materials 
The majority of the deck and the only parts your feet will touch are made surface materials. These are likely the most important considerations when selecting a deck, Bernaudo said. He explained that there are a number of materials that can be used in decking, and they fall into three basic categories. 

  1. Pressure-treated wood – Pressure-treated wood is lumber, often pine, that has had chemical preservatives forced into it through high pressure. These chemicals prevent many problems that bare wood would face on a deck, such as fungi, rot and some insects. Bernaudo explained that pressure-treated wood is the least expensive material for decks, but it also lasts the least amount of time, with the maximum life expectancy between 10 and 20 years. 
  2. Composite – Composite deck materials, like AZEK’s cellular PVC decking, gives a synthetic wood-like appearance without any of the upkeep. It can last between 40 and 50 years, and won’t splinter or rot like wood. Composite materials give homeowners a number of custom options to choose from, such as color, style and texture. Bernaudo explained that the color can be a double-edged sword, because unlike wood, it can’t be restained in 15 years. 
  3. High-end hardwood – Aside from pressure-treated woods, there are hardwood options, such as ipe, which can withstand difficult weather and look great. It does have to be treated and is more difficult to install than other materials, but Bernaudo said that it lasts a long time and is perfect against high wind. He explained that because it looks so good, it may be a smart option for a deck in the front of a home. 
Discuss stains or finishes with your exterior designer to get the results you want.
Discuss stains or finishes with your exterior designer to get the results you want.

Aesthetic features 
In addition to the materials that make up the surface of your deck, there are other aesthetic aspects to consider. As Bernaudo explained, you’ll also have the choice of materials and styles when it comes to railings, posts and molding. You can match the post’s design to your home’s exterior or you can choose a banister that’s bold and different. 

Bernaudo said that vinyl, PVC and composite are among the most popular materials for these features, but talk to your designer about what’s best for you and your home. 

Footing 
The footing is the foundation of your deck. Whether you’re installing a deck from scratch, building an addition to an existing porch or rehabbing a rotting deck, your designer will need to look at the footing. Installation experts will be able to assess whether existing footings are sufficient or where new ones should be installed for a level, reliable deck. 

“It can take between 1 and 2 weeks for a deck to be installed.”

How it works
Bernaudo said that he likes working with decks because they can really bring a backyard together and give people the perfect summer spot to relax.

When a homeowner is interested in having a deck installed, Bernaudo explained that exterior design experts will come to the property to assess the location and start the conversation. He uses an app to help homeowners picture what their new deck could look like. From there they work to finalize the details and get to work. Bernaudo said it typically takes between one and two weeks for the deck to be installed, depending on the detail and size of the project.

Talk to an exterior designer today to get started on your perfect summer deck or porch. 


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