An ipe deck with trees embedded.

Best Decking Materials for the Dallas Metro Area

So you are thinking about building a deck in Dallas, Texas but you’re not sure what decking materials you should use? The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is the 4th largest metro area in the US. More than 7 million people call the 13 counties of this metro region home because the weather is beautiful all year-round. Enjoying that weather without leaving home is possible with a pool deck, patio deck or balcony deck. You can entertain, create a place to escape or use your deck to show off your backyard barbecue skills.

Ipe deck poolside, stained.

Ipe can add that extra sense of luxury you’re looking for.

No matter what type of deck you build, you need to choose the right materials. This means understanding what decking materials work best for your environment. A veteran deck builder with decades of experience crafting quality decks in the Dallas area knows the pros and cons for the popular woods and composites used to build decks that last, and that help you create memorable experiences.

This report helps you compare decking products. You will learn which are more expensive to build and those types of decking materials which require minimal maintenance. We will cover popular wood and composite decking manufacturers, and all other aspects you need to know to make an informed decision as to which decking material you should be using. If you know you want to have a deck built but don’t know what materials you should use for your particular situation, this guide will help you answer all your questions.

Listed below in no particular order are the most commonly used types of wood and composite decking materials in the Dallas metropolitan area. They provide varying degrees of functionality and durability, cover a wide range of price points, and can be used for many types of decks.

Common Natural Woods for Decking

Far and away the most common type of wood used to build a deck is Southern Yellow Pine or SYP. This wood is pressure treated (then called Pressure Treated Pine or PTP for short) to extend its natural resistance against rotting, decaying and insect infestation. Pressure treated pine, cedar and redwood are the most common natural woods used to build a deck in Dallas. Let’s take a look at each in turn, comparing and contrasting them according to features, durability and price points.

Pressure-Treated Pine, Mobile Home Deck

Pressure-treated pine decks makes are an excellent add-on for mobile homes.

Pressure treated pine is the most economical and found to be used in most decks in the United States for one simple reason–it is the least expensive decking material. Bear in mind that this only means initial construction and labor cost. It is easy to work with, has a plentiful supply, and can give you a good looking deck for 15 or 25 years (or longer) if properly maintained.

Pressure treated pine delivers the beauty of natural wood, but pressure treated pine decks will need the application of a good weather sealant and it will have to be periodically reapplied. Talk to a well seasoned deck builder as to what products will give you the best protection as well as when to apply them to your newly installed deck.

People build decks for different reasons. If you are on a budget and looking for a pool deck or want to build a surround for your hot tub, pressure treated lumber is recommended. When you keep a routine maintenance schedule it can give you years of enjoyment.

Remember that the upfront cost for pressure treated decking materials is very attractive, but ongoing maintenance, time and financial considerations are going to be a little greater than with other types of woods and composites like Trex decking and ipe (pronounced ee-pay) wood.

Cedar is considered a soft wood, but it nonetheless makes for beautiful, long-lasting decks. Cedar decking materials offer a distinctive color and hue, and there is no mistaking the luxurious smell of a cedar deck. You may fall in the love with cedar decking products because of the rich red coloring. If you’re looking for a beautiful deck, cedar can definitely deliver.

Balcony Deck Made of Cedar

Cedar looks fantastic as a decking material, and it can last for years.

Cedar should be re-sealed every few years, and when proper maintenance practices are observed, you can still have a really attractive deck after 20 to 30 years. As opposed to other decking materials, cedar carries a middle-of-the-road price tag.

While Redwood has a natural resistance to rot, decay and boring insects it will still need maintenance. It will also give you a natural and beautiful deck. It works well in the Dallas metropolitan area and can be the centerpiece for great backyard entertaining experiences. Like cedar, redwood costs less than hardwoods and composites, man-made decking materials, and it can be less prone to warping over time than pressure treated wood. Like most natural woods it is best used when installed so that it has ample space between the deck and the ground. This allows for air to flow keeping the deck dry underneath and adds to the longevity.

You should also weather seal a redwood deck every few years to get the best possible performance. Since redwood is a softwood like cedar, it will be easier to scratch or stain than a hardwood or composite. Additionally, if older/inner tree growth is used to make your redwood decking materials, life expectancy is around 20 to 30 years (or longer) with regular maintenance.

To recap, pressure treated pine is always going to be your least expensive deck building choice at least upfront. Cedar and redwood will cost more to build than a PTP deck, while offering a more distinctive appearance and lasting a little longer. With any of these wood decking materials you are going to have to contribute regular time, money and elbow grease to keep them looking good and lasting as long as possible.

Composite Decking Material

Composite decking materials came about for a number of reasons. Sustainability is a real concern any time you build something using wood. A tree has to be grown and harvested to create wood decking materials. Composite decking products combine wood fibers, sawdust waste and recycling plastics. Because of this reason, they are environmentally friendly and the best composite decking materials last a long time with minimal maintenance.

Rooftop Composite Deck

Composite decks make for great rooftop decks.

However, the process for making composites is costly. This means that while your composite deck can often return several years of beauty and high quality performance with little maintenance, it is going to require a bit higher financial commitment in the construction phase. This is offset by lower annual maintenance costs and less time investment on your part year after year.

Build a composite deck and you get a uniform appearance from board to board. If you want a consistent look and a long-lasting deck, consider composites.

The manufacturer warranties you receive will in almost all cases be much more attractive than with pressure treated wood and other natural softwood products, and you won’t have to worry about splintering, cracking, splitting, deterioration or insects and other bugs eating your deck.

Composite decks can offer a high-end look, and this segment of the decking industry is one of the fastest growing currently. Trex is the market leader in composite decking, and Fiberon and Azek are other quality manufacturers.

The composite marketplace is evolving constantly, and Trex has become the industry leader because the company offers extreme durability with an environmentally friendly product that requires little maintenance while holding its appearance and functionality for decades. Trex offers an impressive 25 year warranty against fading and staining on residential decking products. This warranty also includes replacement due to defects in workmanship, and a guarantee that your boards will not splinter, rot or split. Additionally, you get a guarantee that Trex products are insect resistant and no structural damage will occur due to decay from fungal infection.

Trex composite deck set at poolside

Trex decking is long-lasting, looks great, and requires less maintenance than other materials.

Build a Trex deck and you’re working with material that is made from 95% recycled materials. The Trex lineup receives the blessing of the US Forest Stewardship Council, and FSC approval means no decking material came from an endangered rain forest. The Trex lineup includes Select, Enhance and Transcends lineups, with the Transcends product being the top-of-the-line offering.

Azek Building Products makes decking materials which are backed by 30 year limited and limited lifetime warranties, depending on the product. The TimberTech line is also a part of the Azek family. Fiberon decking products also work well in the Dallas Fort Worth metro area, and are backed with a limited residential warranty that promises protection against splitting and decaying, rotting or splintering, and termite infestation. Fiberon also backs their products with a limited stain and fade warranty.

Bamboo: The Hot New Thing for Decks

When most people think of bamboo, they picture the slender bamboo stalks which grow to a height of 6 to 8 feet. Some bamboo can actually grow to a height of 80 feet and a width of 1 foot. Unlike decking materials made from wood, where the entire tree must be cut down, bamboo can be harvested without cutting the tree. Moso Bamboo is a decking material now available in the Dallas Metroplex, offering a 25 year limited warranty against rot, decay and insect infestation.

If you want a deck with a slightly different coloration than you get from natural softwoods and hardwoods, you may want to consider Moso Bamboo products. This is a green alternative to exotic hardwood decking material, but expect to pay more than other decking materials other than most tropical hardwoods.

Tropical Hardwoods: Beautiful, Exotic, and Luxurious

Exotic, tropical hardwoods include ipe, tigerwood, cumaru, Abaco, massaranduba and garapa. These extremely durable hardwoods are longer-lasting but also require a little maintenance. They can keep their color for decades with proper maintenance, and you can expect up to 50 years of beautiful high performance from an ipe deck when it is cared for properly.

Beautiful and elegant poolside ipe deck

Ipe is an excellent wood for poolside decks.

Ipe (also known by other names such as ironwood), cumaru and the other tropical hardwoods are incredibly dense. They are among the hardest woods used for building decking products, naturally resistant to rot and decay, insect infestation and boring as well as wearing well against the elements. All tropical hardwoods offer a very attractive longevity feature but will need maintenance. Tropical hardwood decks are like a fine exotic automobile and if they are within your budget this means they do require a financial investment where annual maintenance is concerned.

These woods are gorgeous, long-lasting, naturally resistant to mother nature and weather, and definitely at the high-end of the initial cost range when compared with other decking materials. However, when you want to build a deck that says elegance and quality, look no further than a hardwood like the gorgeous ipe.

Ipe carries the highest possible fire rating and is one of the hardest woods on the planet. Expecting decades from your beautiful ipe deck is not at all out of line, and the decking materials made from this wood have received the blessing of the Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements for safety because they are extremely slip-resistant, even when wet.

Ipe wood naturally resists fungus and mold, rot, decay and boring insects, without the need for the addition of any chemicals. The natural olive brown to reddish finish gives a look of luxury and class, and this wood is so durable it has been used at the Atlantic City Boardwalk, Disney World, the Coney Island Boardwalk and San Diego’s Shelter Island Marina.

Ipe rooftop deck

Ipe provides excellent slip resistance on top of being beautiful.

If you select ipe or another tropical hardwood, you get one of the lowest cost-for-life decking products you can possibly choose. Your initial investment will usually be higher than if you select many other decking materials, but your ongoing upkeep and maintenance costs over time are much lower than those alternative decking products.

You should know that ipe wood offered by a responsible decking contractor is considered a “green” product. It carries the FSC seal of approval mentioned earlier as a wood that is harvested with sustainable and renewable practices. If you don’t mind paying more in the construction phase for your deck and a little every year for the next several decades for maintenance, a luxurious tropical hardwood like ipe adds instant status and high-quality class to any home.

Thermally Modified Wood

Natural wood can be modified through the application of a number of processes. One way to do this is to heat wood without the presence of oxygen, thereby making it more durable by changing its cellular structure. This thermal modification makes softer wood more durable and long-lasting, bakes the sugars and starches out of the wood making it insect resistant of which can be seen as an environmentally friendly by-product of this process. Since this wood lasts longer than it naturally does, fewer trees need to be harvested to make decking products.

These processes also make wood more resistant to mold. Thermally modified wood products are 50% to 75% less likely than their natural counterparts to swell or shrink in the presence of dramatically high or low temperatures. Some homeowners like the fact that attractive softwoods receive a darker color thanks to the thermal modification process. As with composite decking materials, there are a wide variety of colors and shades available.

Three of the top thermally modified would manufacturers are Kebony, Thermory and Cambia.

Choosing the Right Deck Material for the Dallas Metro Area

You just can’t beat pressure-treated pine if your biggest deck building consideration is your pocketbook. First-time homeowners and those with tight budgets are recommended to consider a pressure-treated deck for a lot of reasons. First off, the initial investment is lower than with any other type of deck build. If you have never had a deck before, this is a sensible and low-cost way to enjoy the experience.

If over time you realize that you are not spending that much time on your deck or you need to move out of your home, you have a minimal upfront investment. The slight downside to pressure-treated decks is maintenance. You should always sweep and otherwise clean any deck. In the case of a PT deck which is going to be subjected to the heat and humidity of the Dallas, Texas area, it is recommended that you stain your deck every few years.

The same is true if you choose to build a cedar or redwood deck. Redwood and cedar are going to set you back a little bit more initially than if you choose pressure-treated wood, and many people find them more attractive than a less expensive PT pine deck.

Consider a composite decking material like Trex if you are environmentally conscious. Since Trex materials are composed of 95% recycled plastics and wood fibers, you’re looking out for the environment and the planet because your decking material is made up of what would otherwise end up in a landfill. Trex decking products are backed with a 25-year warranty at least, they are resistant to rot and decay, insect boring and infestation, and you won’t begin to see gradual fading for more than 10 or 15 years.

Another benefit of Trex decking is that it doesn’t need to be stained, painted, sealed or finished. As you know, you should not expect that your softwood or hardwood decking boards will all have the same grain patterns, coloration and hue. If you are a stickler for uniformity, Trex will provide a better experience than natural wood. Trex decking materials come in a wide variety of colors and textures, and you receive long-lasting durability and low maintenance with an installation cost that is lower than tropical hardwoods but higher than softwoods like pressure-treated pine and cedar.

Thermally modified wood and bamboo make for interesting decking material choices. These are the newest decking innovations, and while they don’t have the track history of other alternatives, they seem to offer some attractive features.

Ipe deck for commercial property

Ipe decks also make a great solution for commercial properties because of their longevity.

Finally, if you want your deck to reflect class and luxury, you should definitely consider a tropical hardwood like ipe. This durable wood is made by mother nature to last for a extremely long time when compared to other decking materials. It will require annual maintenance such as any fine automobile.

Ipe wood carries the same fire rating as steel and concrete, and is easily the lowest cost-for-life decking choice. If you want to take your decking game to the next level and create an outdoor experience that will be the envy of the neighborhood while also reflecting your demand of excellence and class, you can’t go wrong with ipe. Also ipe if not weather treated annually will gradually change to a beautiful gray which is acceptable to many.

Where Can You Purchase Ipe Wood in Dallas?

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Ipe wood is a tropical hardwood sourced primarily from Brazil and Bolivia, but its range extends from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. It does not come from a single species of tree. Instead, it consists of over 30 species that make up the Handroanthus genus.

Ipe wood planks make an excellent decking material. It is highly resistant to rot and insects. It holds up well against weathering, and it has the same fire rating as concrete. A properly-installed, well-maintained ipe deck can last for 50 years or longer.

If you would like to learn more about the material, you can read our definitive guide to ipe.

Where to buy ipe wood in Dallas?

As a deck installer, we do not maintain a stock of ipe. However, we maintain a great relationship with the best local source.

Lee Roy Jordan Lumber Company
2425 Burbank St
Dallas, TX 75235

Map

Phone: (214) 357-7317

Call

Website: http://www.lrjlumber.com/

We recommend you ask for Garrett, and tell him Dallas Deck Craft sent you.

You can also purchase ipe through Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement, but they do not maintain local stock and will have to special order it.

Need an ipe installer? Request a quote!

It is important to hire the right deck installer when installing ipe. An inexperienced installer can cost your more time and money. We, at Dallas Deck Craft, have been building ipe decks for years, and we know the ins and outs of working with ipe.

If you need an installer, request a quote from us today!


Deck Pool Treated Above Ground Wrap Around

Hidden Benefits of Above Ground Pool Decks Built By a Pro

Turn Your Unsafe Backyard Eyesore into a Premium Outdoor Living Experience

If you have an above ground pool, you probably have at some point in time thought about above ground pool decks. You wondered what one would cost, maybe even playing around with the idea of building one yourself. But have you ever thought about the many benefits that you enjoy when you have a professional deck builder handle the job for you?

Let’s take a look.

You Save Money

Sure, you can probably build your own above ground pool deck if you have some above average carpentry skills. But what happens if you make a mistake, and someone gets injured because of it. That lawsuit could wipe you out if you don’t have homeowner’s insurance. And even if you are covered, you will never forget that you got a friend or family member hurt, maybe in a bad way.

You also save money by looking at the real cost of an outdoor decking project.

Consider what your free time is worth.

Do you really want to spend it banging nails, driving screws, sawing wood and breaking your back? And what about choosing materials? There is another area where you might waste money, since you do not have any experience with a job like this.

Above Ground Pool Decks Built by a Pro Look Really Great

A deck around your above ground pool is more than just a pool surround. It can be a spot for cookouts. A great place to work on your tan. A relaxing refuge from your busy daily life every evening. An outdoor deck you can use for something other than swimming, making it a year-round part of your life. The versatility that a professional deck builder lends to your backyard living experience means your pool goes from being an unattractive swimming hole to your family’s favorite free time destination.

Yes, We Called Your Above Ground Pool Ugly

You have to admit, above ground pools are not the most beautiful man-made creations. And after yours is a few years old, it may be showing signs of wear like rust, peeling and other downright ugly symptoms of aging. Expertly built above ground pool decks can turn your unattractive and sometimes unsafe swimming pool into a gorgeous family gathering spot you can be proud of.

Safety First

Since we mentioned it, let’s talk about safety. Even when an above ground pool is brand-new, the fact that you have to climb up a ladder to get in means there is a possibility for injuries. Especially for younger children. These are compounded by the usually unstable and cheaply built ladders that accompany your pool purchase. But a professional deck builder knows exactly how to construct a pool surround that stresses safety, as well as enjoyability.

Cost to Build a Deck

What Is the “Real” Cost to Build a Deck Yourself, Versus Hiring a Seasoned Pro?

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Bob lives in Dallas County, Texas, and he has been thinking about an outdoor deck for years. Maybe a gazebo or pergola, possibly even an above ground pool deck. But he did some research on the cost to build a deck, and he did not like what he found.

So he is aggravated. He saw somewhere online, he cannot remember where, that for a seasoned professional to build any type of outdoor pressure-treated wood deck he was going to be looking at about $10 per square foot or more not to even include any options.

If he wanted a professional deck builder to use something like Redwood or composite decking, his cost to build a deck shot up to at least $20 per square foot and this didn’t include handrails, benches or steps. Bob’s no mathematician, but he could see things getting expensive really quickly.

The heck with this, Bob thinks, I’ll build one myself!

And so he does.

DIY Deck Building 101 – A Lot to Consider

He goes online to get some decking plans, and has to buy from 3 different companies until he gets his hands on some that are complete, and cover everything. Then he hops in his SUV and heads to the home improvement store.

Bob spends 8 hours on his off day from work, driving back and forth from his home to 2 different stores that are miles apart, just to get everything he needs. Fighting traffic, choking down a fast food lunch, and arguing with store employees who don’t seem to know what they are talking about. Have you checked the cost of tools lately needed to construct a deck?

It’s a beautiful Texas day outside, but Bob has to run around all day when he would usually be relaxing at home or enjoying some time with his grand-kids.

“This sure is beginning to feel like work,” Bob says to himself.

He organizes everything that Saturday evening, as darkness starts to fall, for an early start Sunday morning. He is excited to get to work tomorrow so he can actually see some progress.

The “Real” Cost to Build a Deck

Sunday morning comes, and Bob gets started. 12 hours later, in the failing light, he assesses his situation. He has had to pull out splinters from his hands, and the drill he purchased to drive the screws he is using was recommended by the deck plans he purchased, but it just isn’t strong enough.

His back is aching from toting lumber all day, and he calculates that, at this rate, he should be finished in about 10 more weeks. That seems like an eternity, and by then, summer will be over. He also doesn’t look forward to spending every off day working on a project instead of relaxing.

His job is hard and the hours are long, and he sure enjoys taking it easy on the weekends. That is not going to happen anymore if this deck is ever going to be finished.

He starts to calculate his “real” cost to build a deck. Wasted off time, situations arising where he doesn’t know what he is doing, a bad back, no warranty or guarantee for the work after it is completed, and what if he does something wrong and one of his grand-kids gets hurt because of his incompetence?

After cleaning up, Bob tells his pride to go take a hike, and he calls that Dallas deck builder he has heard good things about. The one that built his neighbor’s deck. The deck his neighbor and friends enjoyed a relaxing evening on just next door … while they good-naturedly ribbed Bob and offered comical advice while he was slaving away in the summer heat.

Sound familiar? Well, I hope it doesn’t. Before this happens to you, can I give you a piece of good advice?

Get the Cost to Build a Deck From a Pro – No Obligation, with Your Satisfaction Guaranteed

The cost to build a deck is not just some “per square foot” number you find online or get from a material calculator. There is a lot more involved. So don’t waste your time, money and energy, not to mention free time. Give us a call today. We will reward your intelligent choice with a no-obligation quote for a deck, patio cover or screened-in project.

And we’ll even throw in 35 years of deck building experience in Collin, Dallas and Rockwell counties absolutely free.

The problem is, we can’t be everywhere at once, and to be totally honest with you, we are in pretty high demand. That’s because we create the deck experience you want, just like it was going up in our own backyard.

We’ll figure the cost to build your deck, pergola, screened-in porch or gazebo and we know you’ll be pleasantly surprised. The earlier you call, the earlier we can come out and meet you, and get started creating the backyard experience of your dreams. You relax, you’ve earned that right. We’ll do all the work, with a guarantee.

Screened Porch

Do You Have a Screened in Porch? Here’s Why You Should

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The Story of Bob and Tim, And How a Moderately Sized Screened in Porch Beat the Biggest Deck in Texas

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.

Any Sized Screened In Porch Beats a Huge Open Deck Every Time Where Bugs Are Concerned

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.

A Screened in Porch With a Complementary Deck, The Perfect Outdoor Living Experience Combo

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.

Deck Porch Pressure-Treated Pine Crystal Beach

How to Interview Deck Contractors

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The 5 Revealing Questions Shady Deck Builders Don’t Want You to Ask

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.

1 – Find out how long they have been in business

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.

2 – Deck contractors should be insured and licensed. Is yours?

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.

3 – Get some local references.

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.

4 – A picture is worth 1,000 words, so ask to see some.

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.

5 – Pin down a time-frame for the job.

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.

Deck Install Ipe

Top 9 Reasons Why Ipe Decking Is Used at Disney World and the Atlantic City Boardwalk

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What Is Ipe Decking and Why Should You Care?

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.

1 – Excellent Fire Rating

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.

2 – Lasts Up To 100 Years

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.

3 – Compatible with Americans with Disabilities Act Requirements

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.

4 – Ipe Wood Decking Is Chemical-Free

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.

5 – Luxurious and Beautiful Looking

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.

6 – Does Not Warp or Crack

Even in brutal Texas weather, ipe wood decking will never crack or warp. That means virtually no maintenance, and no replacement costs.

7 – The Preferred Choice of Heavily Traveled Popular Vacation Destinations

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?)

8 – Environmentally Beneficial

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.

9 – Low Cost-For-Life Investment

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.

Deck Estimator

Deck Estimator App vs. Expert Deck Contractor for On-Site Estimate

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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.

Is a Deck Estimator Calculator Really a Smart Choice?

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.

What a Seasoned Deck Builder Provides, No Deck Estimator Software Can Match – Hands-On Experience

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).

What a Deck Estimator App or Software Is Really Good For

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.

Deck Pool Pressure-Treated Pine

5 Secrets of Deck Prices Most Deck Builders Don’t Want You to Know

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Important Factors to Remember When Checking Out Deck Prices

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).

1 – There are a few smart ways to cut costs.

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.

2 – Building a deck doesn’t really take that long.

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.

3 – Deck prices should reflect your planning ahead.

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.

4 – Big corporate deck building companies do not care about you.

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.

5 – Deck prices are not as high as you might think.

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.

Deck Mobile Home Pressure-Treated Pine Red

Mobile Home Decks And Porches: What You Need to Know

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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.

Mobile home decks and porches deliver a very high home improvement value for the money you spend

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!

Mobile home decks and porches add to your living space at low-cost

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.

You create a safer living environment

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.

Mobile home decks and porches fill a wide variety of needs

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.

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