If you're thinking about building a wooden deck, here are some things to consider.
Whether they're covered in cedar or pressure treated wood, sundecks are beautiful looking creations that can serve as a real oasis on a hot summer day.
We at Toolbox Renovations are busy with decks in the summer months and that's ok with us because we truly enjoy building them. Why? Because we can be creative, it's a highly visible structure and we're outside where we can enjoy the good weather. Everyone likes lounging on their new deck and as the carpenter I get to take all the credit.
The building process is a lot like playing with Lego blocks because each piece has it's purpose and they're all connected into one big form. From concrete footings to applying the stain, the decks come together bit by bit.
I should mention here that there is an alternative to cedar and pressure treated lumber and that's composite lumber, one of which is called Timbertech. It's rot proof and nearly stain and scratch resistant but very expensive though, somewhere around twice the cost of cedar. So we don't have many people asking for it and probably won't until it's more affordable. If you can afford the upfront cost of composite AND you expect to live in your home for at least another five years, then we highly recommend it.
Another choice besides wood is vinyl. It's nearly maintenance free, requiring only a simple hose and soft brush twice a year and that makes it a desirable choice for busy people. Though it doesn't have the eye appeal of wood it's very practical and takes much less time to install than individual boards. Today's vinyl is much thicker and stronger so it's more wear resistant as well as being UV protected.
We always use pressure treated lumber for the structural components because ordinary lumber, cedar included, just won't last more than a couple of years before rot sets in due to moisture penetration.
Connecting the various parts is accomplished with a combination of galvanized nails and bolts as well as ceramic coated screws. Never ever use plain nails or screws when building a wooden deck because they'll just rust with all the rain we get here in Victoria.
Designing sun decks can be an enjoyable experience whether using a pencil and paper or one of the design software packages out there. Many of our clients already know what they want and may have some questions or concerns about structure which, as certified carpenters, we're able to advise them on. Of course we can also handle the complete design from footings to stain if they wish.
Finally, the application of your wood finish is critical to it's appearance and longevity and there are several good stains out there that combine water resistance with UV protection resulting in a beautiful look. Just check with Brian in the paint department at Lumberworld on Quadra St for his latest recomendations.
So if you're thinking about building a wooden sun deck in Victoria BC this year and you want it done right, consider hiring journeyman carpenter Steve Burgess and his crew.