Archive Monthly Archives: March 2014

Deck Pool Pressure-Treated Pine Above Ground Gate

The Things They Don’t Tell You About Building Above Ground Pool Decks

Shares

Above ground pool decks do not only allow easier access in and out of the water; they also provide aesthetic improvement to your pool and enough space for outdoor activities to be enjoyed near it. There are several factors that must be considered by any homeowner planning to have a pool deck installed, and this article discusses them in detail.

In the past, above ground pools were just an alternative to the more common in-ground pools. But because of the economic downturn and the rising (often prohibitive) costs involved in constructing in-ground pools—apart from the intensive process—above ground pools have become a more popular choice.

New design concepts are being applied to allow plenty of room to lounge by the poolside, in the form of above ground pool decks, which are decks elevated to match the height of the pool. They can be stand-alone or be connected to the back part of the house.

Above Ground Pool Decking—Three Main Categories

An above ground pool deck can be built in any shape and size, depending on your preferences, budget and how you want to use the deck. There are three main categories to break them down and each of these designs has its own pros and cons. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Full-Surround Decks

This design surrounds the perimeter of the pool, and is the most popular above ground pool decking choice. These decks are typically circular in shape, and they are strategically constructed so that the inner edge lies close to the pool. This design allows you to enter the pool from any point while hiding its walls.

A full-surround deck also makes cleaning and maintenance easier because you can go around and walk on all sides of the above ground pool. One disadvantage to this type of pool decking, however, is it does not offer ample space for lounging and other activities. This design would also need more supports than the other deck types.

Side Decks

A side deck is built close to the side of the pool but does not surround its perimeter. There are designs that are in rectangular or square shape, however, crescent and round shaped designs are also popular. The size varies, too, from just being big enough for the pool ladder to be anchored, to being large enough to allow lounge chairs, a picnic area and a grill.

Combination

An above ground pool deck can also be designed using both a perimeter deck and a side deck, an option that gives the pool owners the best of both designs. The combination design completely hides the walls of the pool while allowing you to walk around the pool’s edge. There is also an area on one of its side that offers enough space for outdoor activities, lounging, grilling and even a jacuzzi.

This is the best option if you plan to connect your above ground pool deck to your porch or another deck. Take note, though, that the cost of building a deck this way will be much more since you are actually having two decks built. It is always best to consult with your local deck contractors and explain your plans in detail.

Above Ground Pool Deck Materials

One of the most important decisions a homeowner has to make when it comes to building a deck is the material that will be used, primarily because it affects the lifetime of your deck and of course, your budget.

For discerning homeowners looking to add elegance, opulence and natural beauty to their homes, the best choice is wood decking. The richness of the wood provides a rich contrast to the man-made materials used to construct the pool. If you choose the right wood to be used and understand the maintenance and care required for wooden decks, the beauty of your deck will last a long time.

Here are some of the most popular wood deck choices:

Pine—is a classic choice for outdoor decks. It is highly popular among Dallas, Texas builders and homeowners because pressure-treated pine is attractive, easy to use, and relatively low maintenance. It is readily available, so it is less expensive than other wood types.

Balau—an exotic wood known for its durability. It requires little-to-no maintenance. This wood has natural oils that act as water-retardant and keeps the wood from cracking and becoming brittle.

Redwood—this type of wood is great for pool decks because it is very durable and it does not shrink or break even when constantly exposed to dry and wet conditions. It also has natural resins and oils that repels insects, and prevents decay and rot from occurring.

Ipe—this beautiful, dark Brazilian hardwood is harder than nails, so an above ground pool deck built with ipe will surely last decades. It is also fire resistant and has natural oils that make insects hate it. Ipe is considered to be the Ferrari of hardwoods for decking.

Important Things to Remember When Choosing Wooden Decks

Wooden above ground pool decks require a lot of love and care, so you must be prepared maintain them.

They should also be built by a professional deck builder who fully understands deck building, someone who can also guide you through the selection and planning process.

If your home is in Dallas, Texas, for example, you should work with a local professional deck builder like the experts at DallasDeckCraft.com who has more than 30 years of experience in above ground decks. These professionals can get the job done right because they know the weather, the temperature and soil conditions around the area, as these are important factors to consider when choosing the best materials for your pool deck.

Deck Repairs

Top 3 Reasons Why You Might Need a Deck Repair—When Can You DIY and When Do You Need an Expert

Shares

Deck repair and maintenance are essential in making sure that your deck or porch is kept beautiful and safe. Some of these repair jobs can be DIY, while most require the expert input of a professional deck builder who can properly determine what needs to be done and which tools work best with the materials that will be used.

A deck, in any form, shape or size, needs a lot of tender loving care. Any homeowner who chooses to have a deck in his property has to have a deep understanding of the responsibilities that come with owning a beautiful deck.

And while there are some deck repair projects that you can definitely do on your own, most of these repair jobs—especially those that involve exotic wood—need to be done by a deck contractor or a decking company who knows deck building inside out. But when do you need a professional and when can you do the repairs on your own?

Common Deck Repairs Scenarios

In areas where weather conditions can be extreme, such as in Rockwall, Texas, your deck can be easily and constantly exposed to the elements, resulting to accelerated deterioration of the materials used its constructions. Fortunately, most of these damages can be repaired. Here are some of the most common deck problems and wood deck repair scenarios that you or a deck builder can address.

Reason 1: Deck Refinishing

A beautifully refinished deck not only looks great, it also greatly improves the resale value of any home and extends the lifespan of the wood. Due to normal wear and tear, it is necessary to refinish the deck for better wood protection and to revive the stain color. Deck refinishing is also a great opportunity to address minor deck repairs like missing nails and loose boards.

There are several basic steps involved in deck refinishing:

Step 1: Deck inspection—start by inspecting the entirety of your deck. Check for popped nails, loose boards and wobbly railings. Also be on the lookout for structural component issues such as split or cracked wood, as well as rotten boards. The signs that you would want to look for to know if the wood is rotten are molded, discoloration and softness when the part is pressed with a screwdriver or any hard object. A thorough inspection will allow you to assess the extent of deck repairs that need to be done.

Step 2: Deck Cleaning—your deck needs to be properly prepared before refinishing and this is done by thoroughly cleaning the wood beforehand. There are a few methods to do this, and this step can be labor intensive, which is why deck refinishing is often delegated to a deck contractor. You would need the following tools and materials:

  1. Goggles or other eye protection
  2. Gloves
  3. Stiff bristled brush
  4. Paint scraper
  5. Push broom
  6. Drop cloths
  7. Commercial cleaner

You can start cleaning the deck by scrubbing the surface with a stiff bristled brush or broom. Although it may not really get into the tight corners and clean the deep cracks like a pressure washer can, scrubbing can be enough if you also use a commercial cleaner or TSP (trisodium phosphate). Many deck repair professionals prefer this deck cleaning method to power washing because it is less harsh.

Step 3: Pressure Washing—this is actually a standard deep deck cleaning method as it effectively removes old stain, dirt and debris from wooden decks. It is important to remember to not let the spray linger on one spot longer than a couple of seconds, as it can gouge the wood.

Step 4: Pre-application Preparations—to prepare the wood surface for finishing or stain, remove loose finishes or paint with a paint scraper. If the surface is painted or varnished and you want to replace it with a stain, you have to strip the varnish with a chemical stripper or the paint off with a paint stripper and a deck cleaner after. If the surface is painted, you have to sand it. Always read the product label and follow the directions for guidance.

Step 5: Applying the Finish—once the deck is dry and totally clean, you can now apply the finish, which usually comes in transparent, semi-transparent, tinted and solid colors. If you hired a deck contractor for the project, make sure that you specify your preferences. There are practical considerations to remember, though: Tinted or clear products usually last for 1 to 2 years, while solid and semi-transparent stains can last up to 4 to 6 years. Rollers, brushes, sprayers, or pads can be used to apply finishing.

Reason 2: Damaged Deck Boards

Just because a few boards are damaged, rotten or cracked does not mean that you have to replace the entire deck. Replacing the damaged boards is a less intrusive, and of course, less expensive form of deck repairs. You can do this wooden deck repair project by yourself if you have any experience, but if special fasteners were used to attach the wood, you would need the help of a professional deck builder.

Board replacement involves unscrewing or un-nailing the fasteners that hold the boards together, then cutting a replacement board that will match the size of the previous one. It will then be re-attached with the same type of fasteners. Once firmly in place, the board has to be sealed and stained again to match the rest of the deck.

Reason 3: Wobbly Decks

Another scenario where a deck needs to be repaired is when it becomes wobbly for various reasons. A wobbly deck poses a real danger to you, your family and your guests as the deck may collapse. Some of the reasons why decks become wobbly are:

  • Foundation issues
  • Loose connections or fasteners between boards
  • The diagonal bracing may be insufficient
  • Incorrectly installed posts or the wrong type may have also led to accelerated rotting, which greatly decreased its structural integrity.

Check the entire perimeter of your deck, especially the areas that are close to water sources and within 5 inches of the ground. Search for signs of rot by probing the wood with a screwdriver. You can start by checking the stairs. Pay close attention to the saw-toothed notched pieces supporting the steps called “stringers.”

If you can access the underside of the deck, closely inspect the beams, posts and joists. Double-check the “ledger”—this is a very important frame that attaches the deck to your house. Most collapsed decks are caused by failure of the ledger. It is important to note, though, that not all decks have ledgers. Check all the hardware, especially the joist hangers if they were used. You would need to replace any that are severely rusted.

Topside, make sure to give the railings a good shake and check if any of the posts are damaged or loose. If you find damage, it is best to replace as they will get worse in time. Look for cracks around fasteners and screws, and replace damaged or rusted ones right away.

At the first sign that your deck is unstable, you have to consult a decking company or a deck contractor in your area for an in-depth analysis, deck repair cost estimate and advice on how to go about deck repairs. It is always best to keep your deck in top shape so that you and your family can get the most out of it for a really long time.

Material Wood Cedar

The Definitive Guide to Cedar Decking

Shares

Cedar decking is a fantastic choice for any homeowner looking for an elegant and durable outdoor addition to their homes. As a decking lumber, cedar is a magnificent wood that lends a strong hint of the Pacific Northwest to residential and commercial exteriors, what with its cinnamon tones that weather gracefully into a rustic silver and its distinct fragrance that can last for decades.

Cedar wood for decks is not only beautiful; it has unique properties that make it highly resistant against rot, decay, insects and harsh elements. It is dimensionally stable, which means that it stays straight and flat after installation. With its consistent grain and density, it is less likely to cup, warp or twist.

Cedar decks are popular because of their unique and warm aesthetic quality, with a wide variety of hues and grain patterns to choose from. Freshly cut cedar boards are very fragrant and often come in different shades of peach, honey and light brown. When allowed to age, cedar wood will slowly turn into a deep silver gray patina.

A Closer Look at Cedar Decking

Cedar trees are an integral part of the forestry and decking industry and have been so for over a century. The trees are principally grown in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. They can grow up to 200 feet tall and diameter of up to 13 feet. They are known to live for a really long time, with one verified to be 1,460 years old.

While Western Red Cedar is the most popular choice, there are other types of cedar wood available. It is best to consult with a professional deck builder to discuss which type of cedar would work best for your deck building needs and budget. Western Red Cedar is known to be more resistant to rot than its Eastern counterparts. It is lightweight and easy to work with, and its heartwood exhibits minimal shrinkage.

Eastern White Cedar, on the other hand, is not as common as red cedar. It is moderately soft and lightweight and like most cedars, it is naturally resistant to insect infestation and rot. The heartwood has a reddish, light brown tinge that turns darker when exposed. It has an ability to hold nails better and finishes rather well.

Another type of ideal for cedar decking is Atlantic Cedar, which has a distinct aromatic odor and a light brown heartwood. It also has a straight grain and fine texture, easily workable with tools, resistant to decay, holds paint well, shrinks minimally and finishes very smoothly.

Advantages of Cedar Wood for Decks

Cedar has properties that are similar to redwood, mainly because they are closely related, however, cedar is tougher and more flexible than redwood. This means that cedar is less brittle and can flex more without shattering unlike redwood. It also has less density and contains less natural oils so it absorbs and accepts stain much easier. There are many benefits to using cedar in deck building. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

  • Costs—cedar decking prices are considerably lower than redwood and other exotic hardwoods. It is even less expensive than composite decking, although the prices may vary from one region to another.
  • Highly available and abundant—cedar is available in almost all lumber stores in the country. This tree is abundant in forests and its commercial logging is responsibly managed by the government, so that it is very environment friendly.
  • Resilient and reliable—the cedar wood in itself is naturally permeated with particles that make it resistant to moisture, ultraviolet rays, and insect damage. This is why cedar as a species has survived even in moisture-heavy environments.
  • Low and easy maintenance—cedar decks are very easy to maintain. Because the wood has low levels of pitch and resin, it can easily absorb stain or finish.
  • Natural heat insulation—the surface remains cool even in hot days, so the deck is more foot-friendly

Distinguished, elegant and rich—the color of a red cedar decking is unique, deep and luxurious. When freshly cut, the wood takes on an amber or pinkish hue, but by the time it is ready to be used for the deck, it has turned into a reddish brown cinnamon color. You can choose to retain its natural, elegant color with finishes or stains, or you can let it age to a silver grey color for a more rustic feel.

Cedar decks provide both practical and aesthetic benefits to any property and increases its value as a whole. When building a cedar decking, it is important to work with a professional deck contractor who has extensive experience in working with cedar, this way, you would get only the best.

Deck Pool Abaco

The Definitive Guide to Abaco Decking

Shares

The Benefits of Abaco Decking

Abaco decking is rich, beautiful and tough, a tropical hardwood material very popular among professional decking contractors and homeowners. It has been compared to other hardwood superstars like ipe because of its characteristics. It is both dense and very strong, with a natural resistance to rot, abrasion and dent. It has a warm red-brown tone, and a very smooth feel to it. It is ideal for outdoor decking because it can withstand extreme weather conditions.

With all the hype associated with Abaco decking, does it live up to its claims? Should you use it for you next decking project? Let’s take a closer look.

Abaco Decking: A Closer Look

Abaco is a hardwood decking material trademarked by Universal Forest Products which is typically marketed with a 25-year warranty. It is very dense at 60 lbs per cubic feet. Its Janka Hardness Rating is 3,190 lbs which is comparable to ipe’s 3,680 lbs rating. It is available in a European-style finish wherein one side has a smooth surface while the other has milling or ribbing which provides elegance, extra slip resistance and texture.

Abaco decking is also available in traditional and grooved boards. The grooved option has slotted slides that make installation easier using hidden fasteners. These fasteners allow proper spacing, natural contraction and expansion. Abaco is also competitively priced when compared to ipe decking and garapa decking.

Benefits of Using Abaco Decking

As a tropical hardwood, Abaco has the desired hardness and density  that makes it ideal for outdoor decks in areas where extreme weather conditions are experienced, such as in Rockwall, Texas. Some of the advantages of using this kind of decking material are the following:

  • It is kiln-dried so Abaco offers more stability than its air-dried counterparts
  • Supply is reliable from pre-approved mills
  • It has a reversible surface. One side has a smooth finish, while the other has an elegant, European-style moulding
  • The ribbing or moulding makes the deck cooler in hot weather
  • Very durable, hard and strong
  • Rot and termite resistant
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Tight-grained and fine-textured
  • The ribbing on the other side relieves stress from the board and helps reduce cupping and twisting
  • Without a stain or finishing, the material will weather out to a beautiful silver patina
  • Grooved for installation of hidden fasteners
  • Can come with matching railing kits
  • Has a Class A fire-rating, same as metal, which means it is highly fire-resistant
  • FSC certified
  • Has a 25-year manufacturer warranty

How to Work with Abaco Decking

Although it can be difficult and challenging to work with a decking material like Abaco because of its hardness and density, a professional deck builder who has years of experience should be able to help you with your deck installation.

It is extremely dense, so special drill bits are required for pre-drilling. High-quality carbide saw blades are also necessary for cutting. Compared to cedar deck installations, Abaco decking installations can take up to three times longer.

It is impossible to hand nail or even use pneumatic nail guns into Abaco, which is why stainless steel fasteners are used. Your choice of fasteners is also important, because you would need your fasteners to last as long as the decking material. The correct type of hidden clips should be used, and it is not recommended to use under-mount bracket systems. Hidden clips also allow for faster installation, and the surface will look cleaner compared to when the product is screwed down.

To get the best out of your Abaco decking, choose to have the fasteners plugged. This process involves countersinking the fasteners deeply from the wood surface and then gluing a plug of the same size into the hole to conceal the fastener. This can be labor-intensive and time consuming, and can only be done by a highly experienced deck builder, but it will be worth it because the finish will turn out to be very beautiful and fluid.

Your home deserves the best, and choosing Abaco decking will not only enhance its beauty, but its value as well. It is strong, beautiful and long-lasting, which is no wonder why builders and discerning homeowners alike put Abaco on top of their list.

Deck Pool Abaco

Abaco Decking

Shares

Getting to Know Abaco Decking: The Elegant Tropical Hardwood

Abaco Decking – Durable, Beautiful, Long-Lasting and Low Maintenance

Abaco decking is an elegant step up in appearance and durability from pressure treated wood and other decking materials. This contemporary European design includes a natural composition which dissipates heat quickly. This means that your deck is cooler on your feet.

Abaco decking is also slip resistant, and can be connected one board to the next in such a way that your fasteners are hidden. This provides a nice high quality look, while also allowing a design which provides natural contraction and expansion without wear and tear.

Abaco Decking Delivers Multiple Benefits with a Competitive Price Tag

Comparatively, the tropical abaco product is competitively priced. Other hardwoods like ipe require a larger investment than abaco. And that same rich, deep mahogany color that ipe delivers is almost perfectly replicated with abaco.

Price and appearance aside, no matter what you spend you expect a long-lasting, low-to-no-maintenance deck. You also do not want to be replacing and repairing your deck every few years because it has rotted, decayed or been eaten alive from the inside out by bugs and insects.

That is exactly what you get with abaco decking. This hardwood has an amazing natural ability to resist rot. It is impervious to termites and other insects. Decay, twisting, splintering and cracking simply do not occur.

As far as strength and durability goes, abaco is incredibly resilient. Simply put, abaco decking makes for a wonderful, sturdy, safe and beautiful outdoor living experience that lasts for years.

Abaco Decking is Friendly to the Environment

The last few decades, homeowners around the world have become more environmentally conscious. If taking care of the planet is important to you, abaco decking meshes perfectly with your belief system. Since this is an all-natural wood, it never needs to be chemically treated.

That means while you are enjoying your family and friends, creating wonderful lifetime memories on your beautiful abaco deck, you are acting in an environmentally responsible manner as well.

Abaco Decking Delivers an Excellent Fire Rating

And abaco tropical hardwoods are dried in a kiln for exterior use. This special process, combined with the natural qualities of this beautiful, long-lasting hardwood, leaves abaco decking with a better fire rating than cedar and redwood. Virtually maintenance free when compared to pressure treated decking, abaco offers many benefits to you, the homeowner dreaming of creating the perfect outdoor living experience.

DallasDeckCraft.com has been helping satisfied home owners create timeless memories for 35 years. If you live in the Dallas, Texas Metropolitan area, or Collin or Rockwall counties, give us a call today. We can answer any questions you may have about abaco decking, and provide you with an attractive, quote at your convenience. We would love to add you to the long list of happy clients we have created unique, one-of-a-kind outdoor living experiences for, so give us a call today at 214-384-4267 and we can get started on your abaco decking project as soon as possible.

Screened Porch

Screened Porches

Shares

The Advantages of Screened Porches over Traditional Decks

Thinking about building a deck, but also considering a screened porch as a complement to your current patio? Decks and other outdoor living areas provide, dollar for dollar, an outstanding return on investment. The cost of your home usually appreciates by the cost of your outdoor edition, and the good times and memories you create are priceless.

But remember that old saying? You know, how everything is bigger in Texas? Well that includes those bird-sized Dallas mosquitoes. And you may have the most beautiful and spacious outdoor deck, porch or patio in the world.

But if you have to retreat inside when darkness falls, or you and your friends are constantly swinging and swatting at mosquitoes and other flying pests while you are trying to have a good time, considering screened porches makes a lot of sense.

If you sat down and made a list of exactly what the perfect outdoor entertainment center would have, it might look something like this:

  • A mosquito and bug-free area
  • Lighting to keep the good times going after nightfall
  • Ceiling fans to cut through the stifling Dallas humidity
  • A big-screen TV and music system
  • Plenty of room for dining and seating

All of these things can be accomplished with the addition of a screened porch. And when you integrate a beautiful and rugged wood like rough cedar into its construction, you create an attractive and durable screened porch, patio or deck that will keep the bugs out and the wonderful memories going for years.

Also, while outdoor decks in the open air are certainly enjoyable, they cannot provide many of the benefits that screened porches offer. Looking through the short list of desirable outdoor entertainment features we mentioned above proves this.

If you want a television or stereo to accompany you on your deck, you have to take it outside and bring it back in every time you use it. And when night comes, that is often times the end of your outdoor entertainment. The screened porches offer the ability to add ceiling fans to improve your environment, lighting to keep you going long after it gets dark, and a bug-free area for so many activities.

Also, a lot of people don’t know that seasoned deck builders and other craftsmen with years of experience providing you with unforgettable outdoor memories also know a lot about screened porches. Did you know that there are literally dozens of types of screen to choose from? What is the best type for your particular situation?

These are questions best answered by a professional deck builder and screened porch veteran. With several decades of outdoor entertainment center building experience, we would like to help you craft the perfect screened porch for your home.

As Dallas area professional deck builders, we know how much enjoyment and priceless bug-free rewards we have received from our own screened porches. So when you call us today, we will give you a quote that will get you started towards reaping the many benefits that screened porches have over traditional decks.

Deck Pool Treated Above Ground Wrap Around

Above Ground Pool Decks

Shares

Above Ground Pool Decks Turn an Ordinary Pool into a Beautiful and Versatile Outdoor Living and Lounging Center

Above ground pool decks make so much sense for a number of reasons. Your old above ground pool just isn’t what it used to be. At a fraction of the cost of an in-ground pool, you made a wise financial decision. And with an average daily temperature more than 10 degrees higher than the rest of the United States, that cool, refreshing pool is sometimes a real lifesaver.

But the sides are starting to show wear and tear, and if you had to be honest with yourself, it is just downright unappealing looking. If you are not ready to install an in-ground pool, due to the extreme cost or other reasons, maybe an above ground pool deck is the answer. This way, you get the best of both worlds.

You get the convenience and ease of use of an in-ground pool, and the low cost of an above ground pool. And you may be surprised at just how quickly and inexpensively a professional Dallas deck builder can construct a beautiful and versatile above ground pool deck which will make you the envy of the neighborhood.

Above Ground Pool Decks Expand Your Outdoor Living Options

By building a natural or composite deck around your pool, you extend its capabilities. Now you own more than just an unattractive and elevated swimming hole. You can create an outdoor centerpiece with a lounging area, make room for a barbecue, and install built-in seating.

And when your professional deck builder has years of experience in creating above ground pool decks for your very neighborhood and the surrounding Dallas Metro area, you get a well-made and long-lasting product.

Think about it. You can finally get rid of that rickety old ladder hanging from the side of your pool. Not only does it look bad, but it can be unsafe as well. How about some gorgeous, built-in steps that the lead your eyes and your footsteps right up to the inviting water that promises to wash away your stress and troubles?

It is a lot easier, and safer, to walk up five or six sturdy, durable and wide deck steps than it is to climb into your elevated pool the way you are doing it now.

Look, a pool is an extravagance, not a necessity. You bought it because you and your family and friends deserve and enjoy relaxing and splashing around at the end of a long day or work week. So reward yourself further, and transform your simple and boring pool into a multi-use backyard living and lounging space with an above ground pool deck.

A swimming pool provides a permanent vacation atmosphere. No matter how frustrating or rough your day is, you know your pool is right there to wash away the blues. So why not raise the level of your family’s outdoor experience with an above ground pool deck?

When you call us for an estimate, you get the benefit of our decades of experience building all types of Dallas above ground pool decks. So give us a ring right now, and we will be happy to turn your unattractive and plain backyard pool into a versatile outdoor living center that will make every day a vacation.

Deck Repairs

Deck Repairs

Shares

Deck Repair Reminder – Don’t Let This Happen to You!

“I didn’t know I needed deck repair that badly!” Well, you sure as heck know it now. Because you just dropped $100 worth of steak when your foot went crashing through your deck. You have barbecue sauce all over your new shirt, and your spouse is about to pass out from laughing at you. It is bad enough that your dogs are scarfing down the food intended for your friends, but what’s worse is, they are going to be here any minute!

At the end of a long, stressful week, you were just looking forward to some relaxing and well-deserved fun with your friends and family on your deck. So you invited a bunch of friends over, and told them you would be supplying the food.

You have so many fond memories of incredible times spent on your deck. And you were all set to create some more memorable events. And to make it worse, your spouse has been nagging you about checking to see if you needed any deck repairs.

Are there any damaged or loose deck boards that need replacing? Don’t you think it needs to be refinished? Why don’t you call a professional deck builder and get an estimate on any deck repairs that are needed? Nag, nag, nag. Well, you have to admit they were right, and you should have listened.

You wanted to be the envy of your friends and family, and instead you ended up a red-faced laughing-stock. And you want to know the worst part? All this could have been avoided.

Get a Deck Repair Specialist to Give you an Estimate

No matter the time of year, it is always the right time to implement some safe and smart deck repairs. The cost of building or repairing a deck is almost 100% replaced by the improvement in home resale value. And while many deck repairs can be taken on by the DIY weekend warrior, do you really have the time? Wouldn’t you rather be lounging on your deck than working on it?

You would probably be surprised at how quickly and inexpensively deck repairs can be implemented by a seasoned deck building pro. And in the Dallas Metro area, over 4 inches more rain falls each year than in the rest of the great state of Texas. That means you really need to stay on top of wooden deck repairs, whether you handle them yourself or get a professional deck contractor involved.

And if you’re worried about deck repair costs, you shouldn’t be. When you get a pro involved with decades of experience working on above ground pool decks, screened porch decks and decks constructed from all types of materials, your beautiful deck lasts longer, and you end up spending less money in the long run.

Besides, what if one of your friends would have had the accident you just did? Aside from feeling horribly, you could wind up with bad feelings and a tarnished friendship. And heck, while you are toiling away at your job, a deck repair professional can be returning your outdoor entertainment center to its former glory.

Whether you are in Dallas, Rockwall or Collin counties or anywhere else in the Dallas Metro area, give us a call. We are proud deck owners just like you, and we want your deck to be safe and beautiful. We would be honored to give you a deck repair cost estimate, and we know that you will be pleasantly surprised with what you hear.

Deck Commercial Ipe Rolex International

The Definitive Guide to Ipe Decking

Shares

What is Ipe Decking?

For the discerning Dallas, Rockwall and Collin county homeowner and the perceptive deck builder, ipe decking is the best choice. Why? As a finished product, it is rich, resilient, and beautiful. As a material, ipe is naturally resistant to rot, abrasion, insects, molds and extreme weather. It is also flame-resistant, and it does not float. This beautiful exotic lumber is up to 5 times harder and 2 times denser than other hardwoods, and yes, it is harder than nails.

It is a primary choice for builders and interior designers and you will find this tropical hardwood in first-class commercial projects and upscale homes all over the world. In fact, that’s ipe hardwood you see outside the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas, the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk and also the boardwalks of Disney World and Coney Island.

Ipe: A Closer Look

Ipe (pronounced as ee-pay) is commonly found in South and Central America, specifically in the Brazilian rainforests. These trees can grow up to 150 feet tall with a diameter of 6 inches. It is also called as Brazilian walnut and ironwood (in reference to its toughness).

Ipe wood has the same A-1 fire rating as steel and concrete, which means that it is highly flame-resistant compared to other woods. It has also been awarded the highest decay resistance rating of High 50+ Years, although the material can actually last longer. It is ideal for outdoor decking especially in areas with extreme weather conditions such as Dallas, Texas.

Benefits of Using Ipe Decking

Aside from the facts stated above, here are some more reasons why deck construction professionals choose ipe wood for outdoor decking.

  • Resistant to sliver, splinters and scratches
  • Resistant to termites, fungi, and decay
  • Slip-resistant
  • Very low maintenance
  • Fire-resistant
  • Can withstand extreme weather conditions such as those seen in Dallas, Texas
  • Highly resilient (can last more than half a century)
  • Ipe materials have a distinctly beautiful coloration and graining that ranges from light olive brown to dark chocolate brown

Building with Ipe

Aside from decking, there are close to limitless possibilities for which ipe can be used. Some of these are:

  • Boardwalks
  • Porches
  • Furniture
  • Flooring
  • Gazebos
  • Fences
  • Cabinetry
  • Siding

How to Work with Ipe

While ipe presents so many benefits when used for decking, many builders find it quite challenging to work with. With the right tools, however, ipe decking wood is a great material to use.

Ipe is like redwood, it has natural oils that keep insects out and it is ideal because it is highly resistant to molds, mildew and decay. However, ipe also has a high tannin content that makes it difficult to paint or finish. It is not as malleable as other woods, either, so it is not suitable for intricate woodworking.

Here are some tips to help a deck builder get the most out of ipe.

Application—air dried ipe wood is best for outdoor use. For indoor projects, kiln-dried ipe is better to avoid cracking or warping.

Drilling—it is highly recommended that you use high-quality drill bits to drill into the wood. Ipe is very hard, so you would need to pre-drill before attaching pieces together.

Cutting—to prevent splinters when cutting, it is best to use carbide saw blades.

Installation—use stainless steel screws or hidden fasteners when attaching pieces together. Installation is a vital part in making sure that decking problems are avoided. Ensure that the deck boards are properly straightened and the right fastening systems are used. And don’t rush the process!

Finishing—because this kind of wood has an abundance of natural oils, water and oil based finishing won’t produce the best results. It is therefore recommended that you test apply different products on some sample boards to achieve the desired results.

Whether you are a deck builder or a homeowner, you will surely appreciate the many benefits of using ipe decking wood. It is durable, resilient, beautiful, and meant to last for generations.

Deck Patio Pressure-Treated Pine Bench

The Definitive Guide to Pressure-Treated Decking

Why Pressure-Treated Decking?

Pressure-treated decking is very popular and can be found at many homes in the Dallas Metro area, but many of us know very little about this favored outdoor building material. Read on and be informed on everything that you need to know about pressure-treated wood deck and whether it should be your choice for your next decking project.

Pressure-treated decks are used in millions of homes all over the United States and has been around for more than 50 years in the building industry. It is sold in most lumber outlets in the country and is a favorite among builders and homeowners alike for its features and benefits.

Pressure-Treated Wood: A Closer Look at the Facts

According to statistics, more than 75% of all the decks in the US are built partially or entirely with pressure-treated wood. They are used for beams, posts and joists mainly for their structural strength and it’s natural ability to endure against ground-contact deterioration.

Pressure-treated decking uses a softwood lumber material—usually southern yellow pine decking—that has been chemically treated to withstand decay, termites and rot. It has a natural wood appearance, resilient and highly available. Being very economical, it is also the best choice for homeowners who are looking to build decks for less.

It is called “pressure treated” because of the process it undergoes before it is sold. The pine boards are placed into huge pressurized cylindrical tanks called “retort”. These chambers are sealed airtight and they contain chemical preservatives that are then forced into the very fiber of the wood under extreme pressure, resulting to exterior-grade wooden boards that are ideal for deck building and other woodworking projects.

Benefits of Pressure-Treated Decking

Pressure-treated wood deck is ideal for areas where the weather can be unpredictable and harsh, such as parts of Texas like Plano. Properly treated wood is a much less expensive option and offers a lot of benefits including a really long life span, to the tune of 40 years or more.

Here are some of the advantages to using pressure-treated decking.

  • Longevity—treated wood is highly resistant to damage caused by fungal decay, borers, and rot. This is why many manufacturers offer warranties of up to 40 years for pressure-treated wood products.
  • Grade Varieties—pressure-treated decking is available in a wide variety of lumber grades to suit the user’s needs, such as knot-free grades and close-grained grades. The lumber is distinguished into grades by checking the knots, grain angle, decay, damage warp and wane of the wood. The grades will let the user know if it is structurally sound for a particular application or environment.
  • Low Maintenance—unlike its exotic counterparts, pressure-treated wood decking requires a little more maintenance. As with any other deck, regular cleaning is very important. It is important to note that while the wood has chemicals that will protect it from rot and termites, moisture damage is still slightly possible. To prevent this, the deck should be maintained with an annual coating of high-quality weather sealant with water repellant and a ultraviolet block to help retain its appearance and longevity. Semi-transparent stain can be included with the above and really brings out the beautiful characteristics of treated pine.
  • Environmentally Friendly—you won’t have to worry about depleting the environment with your option, because pressure-treated decking is environmentally friendly and comes from renewable, plentiful and fast-growing types of wood that are grown on managed timberlands. The preservatives used are typically manufactured from EPA-approved chemicals.
  • Versatile and Pliant—working with pressure-treated decking is easier than exotic wood. It also has a unique cellular structure that exceptionally holds stains, paints and sealants after an initial weathering period of 4-6 weeks to allow the wood to dry so that it will absorb the sealant better and therefore last longer.

Working with Pressure-Treated Decking

First off, to make sure that your deck is built with the right kind of pressure-treated wood, you should check the label or stamp of the boards and verify the chemical retention level. The higher the number, the more resistant the wood will be against rot and termites.

There is a recommended retention level for each environment and application. For instance, the UC3B category with retention levels of 0.25–0.40 is ideal for decking that is intended for an environment where it will be exposed to prolonged wetting and different weather cycles.

In building a pressure-treated wood deck, lumber manufacturers highly recommend using only hot-dipped galvanized screws, nails, bolts, connectors and anchors. It is also important to remember that wood treatments cause corrosion to aluminum components.

The wood is treated with chemicals, so the builder or homeowner is reminded to wear gloves at work, and to thoroughly wash up before drinking or eating. Safety goggles and a dust mask should also be worn when drilling, cutting or sanding the wood.

You should never cut pressure-treated lumber in an enclosed space, only outdoors, and you should never burn it.

Before painting or staining, pressure-treated decking must be allowed to dry through. The best way to test this is to sprinkle water on the surface of the wood. If it beads up, this means that the wood is still too wet and must be dried further before a weather sealant/stain is applied. If the water is absorbed easily, it means that the wood is ready.