Tim has a screened in porch. His next-door neighbor Bob does not. But Tim is envious of Bob nonetheless. You see, Bob has the largest outdoor deck of any homeowner in Dallas, Rockwall and Collin counties. And he is always reminding him of that. Tim is by no means embarrassed about his screened in porch, but the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, and that’s exactly where Tim is looking right now.
But wait a minute. What was that? Bob is swinging his hands, swatting at something, and his guests are as well. Looks like a swarm of bloodthirsty bird-sized mosquitoes has descended upon Bob’s party. Half of his guests are moving indoors, and the other half are headed for their cars, shouting hurried goodbyes over their shoulders as they hurry to get out of Dodge.
Just like that, Bob has the largest uninhabited deck for miles around.
And that is when Tim remembers exactly why he opted for a screened in porch rather than an traditional deck. With no more blood buffet next-door, Tim can see the mosquitoes headed for his screened in porch gathering. But it doesn’t matter.
Because he and his guests are safely protected from mosquitoes, wasps, ants and other pests, rain, sleet and anything else that mother nature can throw at them. There is a cool breeze blowing, and Tim’s screened in porch allows him to enjoy that cool evening air with his friends and family, without these wonderful memories being ruined by bugs or bad weather.
Tim hears his front doorbell ringing, bringing him out of his thoughts. “Honey, look who’s here,” Tim’s wife calls out to him from inside his house.
Well, well, it’s Mister “biggest deck in the world” from next-door. “Mind if I join the party?” Bob sheepishly asks.
“Sure thing Bob, pull up a chair,” Tim offers, as he notices several swollen mosquito bites that Bob’s scratching. Bob has been over before, but it looks like he is seeing Tim’s screened in porch for the first time, as he takes it all in.
“I sure could have used one of these tonight,” Bob says, almost as if he is talking to himself.
Tim offers Bob a drink, the two neighbors sit down, and the conversation quickly turns into a detailed discussion about the company that built Tim’s screened in porch.
Tim tells Bob that he can meet the owner of the company tomorrow, since he’s coming over to give him a no obligation estimate on an above ground pool deck to complement Tim’s screened in porch.
Bob thanks his friend, and the two men then join the rest of Tim’s friends and family in what turns out to be a fun-filled and memorable late-night gathering … minus the mosquitoes.
Choosing between a handful of deck builders can be tricky. Heck, even if you have narrowed it down to just 2 possible candidates, you can still flip a coin and make the wrong decision. So just how do you interview prospective deck builders for your backyard project? What questions should you ask?
The following 5 questions are mandatory when choosing from several deck builders for your outdoor living experience project. Ask these questions and follow-up where you can, and you can’t help but choose the right deck builder for your pergola, gazebo, above ground pool deck, screened in porch or backyard deck project.
I don’t know about you, but given similar job estimates, proper licensing and no other way to choose between deck builders, longevity wins. If I am looking for a way to choose between 2 nearly identical deck contractors, I am going to take the company with 35 years of experience over the individual in business for just 10 years.
We mentioned licensing above. And honestly, the first question you should ask your prospective deck contractors is if all their paperwork is in order. Are they licensed to do work in your area? Are they insured properly? Do the employees that will be driving to your job site have valid driver’s licenses? Do not be afraid to ask these questions. And as far as licensing and insurance are concerned, ask to see at least a copy of the paperwork yourself.
The best way to handle this is to work outward from your home’s location. First ask if the deck builders you are interviewing have built any similar projects in your neighborhood. If the answer is no, find out if there are any decks they have built within a few miles of your house. Finally, ask how many outdoor living experiences they have created in your city. Then ask them for the contact information of those customers.
All smart, proud and highly skilled deck builders will take pictures of their final products. Decking contractors are craftsmen, and you could even call them artists. Watch the reaction you get from deck builders when you ask them if they have any pictures to show off their work. You can see genuine pride of ownership in the eyes of a talented and skilled deck builder when he is showing off pictures of his previous creations.
Listen, you understand that things happen. Your life is crazy-busy and hectic. Things sometimes arise out of the blue that you neither anticipated, or planned for. The same thing happens to deck builders with the best of intentions. But that doesn’t mean they should not be able to give you a reasonable estimate of when they will finish your job, give or take a few days.
If you have talked to a deck builder, he may have extolled the virtues of ipe wood decking. Also known as ironwood because of its nearly indestructible nature, this is a truly amazing and beautiful decking choice. But if your contractor did not mention the following 9 reasons why you should choose ipe wood decking for your next outdoor living experience project, maybe you are talking to the wrong decking guy.
Did you know that ipe (pronounced EE-pay) wood carries the same fire rating as concrete and steel?! That is right, this Central and South American wood has been given an ‘A’ fire rating. It also boasts a Janka hardness score of 3,600, meaning it is fireproof and incredibly dense.
Believe it or not, ipe can easily last 50 years, and even more than a century. As far as longevity is concerned, ipe wood decking is the ling of the outdoor living experience.
Not too many deck owners consider the safety of their materials when having a deck built. Ipe wood decking is one of the safest decking options available. Its friction co-efficiency makes it extremely slip-resistant, even when wet. It is so resistant to slipping that it over-qualifies the Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements for safety.
This is just one way in which this incredibly versatile hardwood is friendly to mother nature. The natural, rich oils which resist fungus, mold, rot and boring insects that are found in ipe wood mean that no chemicals need to be added to make your deck beautiful and long-lasting.
This natural wood is simply beautiful. Your ipe deck immediately says “class and luxury”. Let’s face it, you are building your deck for fun and functionality, but you want it to be beautiful as well. The natural olive brown to reddish finish ages to a rich patina of silver grey when left untreated. Your gorgeous IPE deck will be unrivaled in warm, natural beauty, and will draw compliments and looks of envy from your friends and party goers for decades.
Even in brutal Texas weather, ipe wood decking will never crack or warp. That means virtually no maintenance, and no replacement costs.
We mentioned above that ipe wood decking is used in the Atlantic City Boardwalk, and also at Disney World. I am pretty sure your outdoor living project will not get near the wear, tear and traffic that those 2 tourist destinations enjoy every year.
Many California marinas also use ipe exclusively, including San Diego’s Shelter Island Marina and San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf. The Coney Island Boardwalk even chose IPE as its decking material of choice. Those are some pretty good testimonials right there. (Did we mention that ipe wood was used in the building of the Panama Canal as well?)
Aside from not needing any chemical treatment, ipe wood decking is environmentally friendly in another regard. Since it lasts for decades, you may never have to replace it. That means a smaller impact on forests over time.
And Dallas Deck Craft is proud to report that the ipe wood we use is certified by the FSC (US Forest Stewardship Council) as a responsibly harvested ‘Green Product’. This means that sustainable and renewable harvesting practices are used so that forests retain their natural value.
Is ipe wood decking more expensive than some other choices? You bet it is … but only up front! This nearly indestructible wood can last 50 years easy, and even more than 100 years in some cases. That delivers what might be the lowest cost-for-life investment of any decking material.
I was fooling around online, and I came across this desk estimator application for a smartphone. You just download the app, punch in all of the measurements and material requirements, including how much materials cost wherever you live, and it spits out your total cost.
And there are some deck estimator applications and calculators that automatically tell you how much material you will need after answering just a few simple questions. Isn’t that cool? As a deck builder of 35 years spent creating outdoor living experiences for my Dallas, Collin and Rockwall county neighbors, I was really impressed.
But then I got to thinking. And I recounted countless situations in my mind where I noticed things that my wonderful clients did not take into account. In many situations, when I revealed what my deck building experience has taught me over the years, the homeowner was delightfully surprised by the estimate I gave him, and by the final cost of the job.
And I am also pretty sure that no deck estimation software or application will provide a guarantee like a professional deck builder will. Also, what happens if the software just decides to “tweak” your numbers because of some computer glitch? I don’t know about you, but I have seen computers and smartphones do some pretty strange things in my life. Basically, how do you know the numbers are right? Only a professional deck builder would know if the results of a nonhuman estimate are anywhere near close to correct.
Technology is great, do not get me wrong. And I have even downloaded some automated software for estimating deck costs myself. But I have also been building traditional decks, intricate pergolas, gorgeous gazebos, screened-in porches and above ground pool decks for most of my adult life. Simple jobs and incredibly extravagant works of art. I have literally “seen it all” in the deck building business.
And I can tell you, you can take 2 identical houses with identical backyards and similar owners, and even if they want matching decks, there are going to be several differences that need to be taken into account. The benefits of having a 35 year deck building veteran that lives and works in your area coming out to your house for a hands-on estimate are plentiful, and not to be underestimated (no pun intended).
Webster’s dictionary tells us that the word estimate, as a noun, is “an approximate calculation or judgment of the value, number, quantity, or extent of something.” Approximate, not precise. And as a verb, estimate means “to roughly calculate or judge the value, number, quantity, or extent of something.” Roughly, not exactly.
That is exactly what any type of non human deck estimator is good for – arriving at a rough or approximate number for cost or amount of materials needed. And not all deck estimator applications are free, so take that into account as well.
So, you’re comparing deck prices, are you? Good for you, and congratulations. When I finally built my first deck oh so many years ago, I couldn’t have imagined all of the incredible memories and experiences it would provide my family, friends and myself. So good on ya’ neighbor, you are going to love it.
And if you don’t mind, I would like to give you a few tips to keep in mind when you get some deck prices and estimates and are deciding which company to go with. I have been building decks for 35 years in Dallas, Collin and Rockwall counties. And I would be happy to give you the benefit of my many years of outdoor living building experience (these are important tips most deck builders simply won’t share).
When you call me and arrange for me to drop by your place and give you a no obligation quote, I am going to ask a lot of questions. When you tell me exactly what you want your deck for, I will sit down with you and reveal a few intelligent ways you can keep your costs down, without the quality and craftsmanship of your deck project suffering. Money isn’t everything. So if I can save you a few bucks and have a happy customer that refers me to his friends, we both win.
Some contractors will string out a job forever. This is how they justify higher deck prices, continually bumping up the price for “unforeseen expenses”. In most cases, I can complete a deck job in a one to two days. There are lots of factors to take into consideration, of course, but I am a family man myself. So I know you don’t want us invading your privacy any longer than is absolutely necessary. I respect that.
Don’t think of your bare minimum deck project. If you tell me you want a simple 20′ x 20′ square deck, I am going to ask you to think years down the road. It is relatively easy to add on to an existing deck, so you can always call us back in the future and will be happy to help you. But your deck prices are going to be lower when we do all the work one time, as opposed to building your dream deck and outdoor living experience in 2 or 3 installments.
You probably know this already, but you are not much more than a statistic to most large companies. Not so with small businesses like myself. I pride myself on the fact that I personally get to know every one of my customers. I live and work in the same area that you do. We have the same family concerns, we shop at the same stores, and might even go to the same church. When I get to know your name, you will never be just a statistic to me. Most of the work I do comes from referrals, because I truly do care about you as a person and a fellow Texan.
I get the same reaction all the time. A resident of Rockwall, Dallas or Collin counties will call me and arrange for a visit to their property. I will meet the homeowner whenever is convenient for them, and provide an in-depth, no obligation quote. And you see the eyebrows go straight up, accompanied by a look of surprise at the affordable figure I deliver. I don’t have a fancy warehouse, professional salespeople and a million dollar advertising budget to pay for. So I can consistently provide really reasonable deck prices that keep wonderful clients like you happy.
Mobile home decks and porches can return nearly all of their value if you ever decide to sell. That means you benefit from all the wonderful memories you create and enjoy on your deck, and then receive most of your money back when you sell your property. You simply cannot say that about very many home remodeling projects.
Remodeling magazine revealed their research for the 2013-2014 year in their annual Cost vs Value Report. They showed that a wooden deck addition returned on average 87.4% of the job cost on resale. Out of all of the dozens of possible mid-range home improvement and beautifying projects at your disposal, adding a wooden deck delivered a better dollar for dollar value than any other improvement project other than replacing your entry door. And let’s face it, mobile home decks and porches can provide a lot more fun than a brand-new front door!
Manufactured homes can often be cramped for space. That means that mobile home decks and porches immediately extend your living area in Rockwall, Dallas and Collin counties, with a minimal investment. Also, because of the usually smaller square footage of a trailer or mobile home as opposed to a traditional home, building a large wraparound deck is much more affordable.
Do not forget about the safety issues which improve when you build an outdoor deck. Many mobile homes are built with very little time and money spent on providing access. That means that sometimes there are only 2 or 3 flimsy steps leading into the unit.
In many cases, there are not any handrails provided. This can be very dangerous for both entering and leaving your manufactured home. For that reason, mobile home decks and porches provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you, your children and your friends can safely enter and exit your home.
Sometimes when you purchase a manufactured home, your decking needs a little attention. Your existing mobile home decks and porches can be repaired, fine tuned, beefed up, added on to or taken down entirely to make way for a brand-new creation.
And maybe, like many home mobile home owners, you have an above ground pool on your property. Creating an outdoor living experience around it can turn an unsightly, possibly unsafe and seldom used pool into a daily outdoor living experience. Mobile home decks and porches can easily be built to connect your above ground pool to your manufactured home, improving the value of your property while delivering a versatile and enjoyable wealth of relaxing and partying opportunities.
Mobile home steps and decks can work hand-in-hand to increase the value and safety of your manufactured home. Whether you rent or own the property you are living in, you know that mobile homes do not always have the safest entrances. In many cases, 2 or 3 wobbly steps is all which is provided to get you in and out of your home.
If you have children or elderly family members and friends, this probably concerns you. But the idea of spending a ton of money on a few steps concerns you as well. Fortunately, when you deal with the right company, a small job like building a set of mobile home steps can be completed quickly and rather inexpensively.
That is why you may consider having a professional build a set of safe and sturdy mobile home steps. And decks which move you in and out of your manufactured home are even safer than a simple series of steps. If you need handicapped access provided, an inclined ramp made of sturdy decking material might be the way to go.
Not to mention the fact that a deck, whether attached to or separate from your living area, can deliver multiple outdoor living and entertaining options. Think about it. When you get a decking contractor quote you on building a set of mobile home steps, what will it hurt to ask how much a deck would cost you? You are under no obligation, and your total investment might be more attractive than you can imagine.
When building mobile home steps, you have a lot more choice than you may realize. You can simply have a decking contractor use a couple of open or closed deck stringers and some 2″ x 6″ deck boards to create a sturdy and efficient set of steps.
You can also customize those steps by adding railings, providing a boost in safety. This entry/exit can also be covered over to provide a little weather protection. Add some screen and you have the makings of a small mobile home porch.
Financially, the difference between a nice set of steps, cover and railings, and a full-fledged deck, is actually not that far off. And when you marry mobile home steps and decks, you create not only a safe and sturdy area for entering and exiting your manufactured home, but also a larger living space and multiple entertainment options.
When you call Dallas Deck Craft today, 3 things happen.
1 – You receive a free, no obligation quote based on our 35 years of experience creating outdoor living habitats.
2 – We meet with you as quickly as possible, at a time which is convenient for you.
3 – We guarantee your satisfaction.
Mobile home porches can be designed in a virtually limitless number of ways. But when you boil it down, there are basically 5 different types of mobile home porches and deck designs. You have the traditional porch, a screened in porch, a simple rectangular deck, a deck or porch that wraps around your manufactured home and an above ground pool deck. Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 mobile home porches and deck designs.
Most dictionaries will tell you that a porch is – a covered shelter projecting in front of the entrance of a home or building. That is why, among all of the types of mobile home porches you can build, the standard porch is a solid go-to option. Just by adding a covered porch, small or large, to the entrance of your manufactured home, you immediately improve its value and “livability factor.”
Mobile home porches are often screened in, especially in the Southern US states. In Texas, high humidity and long, hot summers often bring lots of mosquitoes and other flying, crawling pests. A screened in porch lets you enjoy the outdoor weather, while protecting you from Mother Nature at the same time.
A “standard deck” is a flat square or rectangle. Common sizes include 12×16 feet and 10×12 feet, but any straightforward rectangular or square shape and size can make up a traditional, no-frills deck. These can include handrails and/or a covering.
Here is where mobile home porches start to get interesting and versatile. Take a standard porch, screened in porch or deck. Now envision it wrapping around a portion of your manufactured home, possibly surrounding it totally. These are very popular, and when dealing with a mobile home deck wrap, they will or will not include a covering, handrails and other amenities.
Manufactured homes are attractive as an alternative to a traditional home purchase because of the smaller financial investment. The same is true with an above ground pool versus in-ground. Mobile home porches can extend to a backyard above ground pool, moving from your manufactured home out to and around the pool. This delivers multiple options for outdoor living experiences, more than your pool provides without a deck.
They truly are limited only by your imagination. Different decking types can be used, and you can add screen to boost functionality. A professional deck builder can provide you with the answers to all your questions concerning mobile home porches, decks and pool wraps, and your cost just might pleasantly surprise you.
Decks consistently return, dollar for dollar, one of the best home addition values of any home improvement plan. When you call Dallas Deck Craft today, we will schedule a time at your convenience to meet with you and provide a no obligation quote based on our 35 years of experience in the Dallas, Collin and Rockwall County areas. You have nothing to lose and a lifetime of wonderful memories to gain when you call for your free mobile home porch or deck estimate. Ring us up right now so we can provide you with a free quote as soon as possible.
Are you considering Cedar decking for your backyard outdoor living project? We are here to help you at DallasDeckCraft.com. You know you could save some money and go the pressure treated route. Or you could head in the opposite direction, and buy the more expensive composite deck or tropical hardwood deck like red balau or ipe that last a lifetime. So, given all the choices, why do so many homeowners choose cedar decking over pressure treated and other types of woods and plastics? Let’s take a look.
Just looking at a cedar deck reveals what many homeowners feel is this decking material’s biggest benefit-appearance. Cedar is absolutely gorgeous. And it gets that way naturally, not requiring any painting or staining to improve on its visual appeal. It is hard to find a better looking decking material.
Whether you build your own deck or hire a seasoned professional to deliver a quality product, you want your outdoor living experience to last. Cedar decking is naturally resistant to long-term ultraviolet exposure from the sun. This wood is also highly resistant to rot, mildew and mold. Cedar also resists bug and insect infestations. This means a hands-off, headache-free enjoyment of your cedar deck.
This type of decking material requires very little maintenance. Because it is so durable and naturally beautiful, you will not spend your time staining, painting or repairing your deck. You will instead spend your time enjoying it.
Although durable and long-lasting, cedar decking is rather lightweight compared to some other deck woods and plastics. This means it is easier to work with, which translates to a lower labor cost.
You would think because cedar is so lightweight that it may be porous. The opposite is actually true. Cedar decking will not absorb much moisture, even if you decide to leave it untreated. This means less cost over time, since you do not have to apply waterproof stains although if you want to maintain its natural color and look you may want to apply an ultraviolet ray blocker.
Beautiful and long-lasting cedar costs more money up front than some alternate plastic, composite and wood decking materials. But since it is such a low-maintenance and long-lasting material, you save money over time by less maintenance, repair and replacing parts of your deck.
Smart deck builders love working with cedar. How is this a benefit for you? Because this rugged and beautiful wood is so easy to handle and work with, it often means less time involved finishing your outdoor living experience. And because it is lighter in weight than many other types of decking, it does not create the physical strain that other woods and composites do. All this means that your decking contractor can give you a very attractive price tag for your cedar decking project.
If you would like to learn more about why cedar decking is so beneficial, and perfect for the Dallas, Rockwall and Collin county areas, give us a call today. You receive the benefit of our 35 years of deck building experience, and we provide you with a quote. But don’t hesitate so we can get started delivering the benefits of cedar decking to you and your family sooner than later.
As part of the building industry’s constant quest to make things better, more convenient and easier, composite decking was developed. There used to be just one option for decking—wood—but now there are a few choices available to suit any homeowner’s budget and preferences.
Wood decking needs regular maintenance and care, such as annual staining or refinishing, and this can be tedious for some people. Although there are kinds of wood decking materials such as ipe and other tropical hardwoods that require less maintenance, owning a wooden deck entails responsibilities.
Recognizing that a lot of homeowners might appreciate options that require less maintenance, some entrepreneurs came up with alternatives using materials such as aluminum, vinyl, and plastic. But the most popular option in the decking industry that has seen a lot of demand in the last decade is composite wood decking.
Also known as synthetic decking, wood-polymer composites and cheap composite decking, composite is quickly becoming the top decking material choice for many homeowners and builders.
Here are the reasons why:
Wood composite decking is a man-made material made from combined materials such as wood and plastic. First introduced into the decking market in the early ’90s, these materials are processed to emulate the appearance of wood. The wood component of this combination typically consists of lumber byproducts such as wood fiber, sawdust and chips.
The plastic components are often made from both recycled and virgin thermoplastic materials that include ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), PVC (Poly Vinyl Chloride) and PP (Polypropylene). During production, these components are added with preservatives and pigmentation, and then heated in high temperatures to thoroughly melt.
There are two major production methods that also affect the strength and quality of the composite decking.
The first process is called extrusion, wherein the raw materials are mixed and melted and then forced through an opening that has the shape and size of a decking board. This process solidifies the mixture into a finished product that has a consistent shape and size.
The other process is called compression molding, wherein the molten materials are combined and placed on a wood grain mold. The materials in the mold will then be compressed under extreme pressure and heat to create a strong physical bond. They are then formed into lengths simulating wooden boards while they are being cooled.
The finished product can have a beautiful, wood-like look, and they often come in a wide variety of grain patterns, colors and composite deck prices. This type of artificial wood decking can give a homeowner the freedom to build a deck without the maintenance, as composite decks don’t have to be sanded, painted or stained.
There are actually two types of composite or synthetic decking: capped composite and uncapped composite.
This is the first generation type of composite decking and is less expensive than the capped type. It never needs to be refinished or stained, nor does it splinter or twist. It is, however, more prone to stains and fading, so it has to be periodically cleaned to maintain its beauty. It is highly recommended that the surface be swept clean, soaped, scrubbed and hosed down every six months.
This is the next generation composite decking. It has a plastic surface that serves as protection of the wood fibers from being exposed to the elements. It also prevents the boards from fading and staining. Capped composite decking is not porous, which means that liquids will bead on the surface and will not easily dry so the surface tends to be slippery when wet.
There are a few important factors that should be considered when choosing the best composite deck for your home. These include composite deck prices, color availability and type of fastener system used. You can also narrow down your search for the best product when you determine your desired deck texture, deck location and how you intend to use the deck.
There are a few big names in the composite decking market, such as Trex composite decking, Evergrain, Veranda Decking, CorrectDeck and TimberTech. The composite market is constantly evolving as manufacturers continue to develop their products to provide homeowners and builders with the best combination that will eliminate stain, mold and fading issues from wood composite decking.