Decks have become a very popular way of adding living space on your home over the years. Most of us grew up with the traditional wood deck that we cleaned every 2-3 years and immediately sealed. 30 years ago the options for decking were slim, which made it an easy decision. Mature trees are more dense and resisted rot and insect attacks much better then our tree farms which engineer trees to grow quickly and miss out on important growth stages.
First products on the market
Trex introduced the first composite decking in the early 90s which combined wood fiber and plastics. Rarely does the first generation live up to the hype- Trex was no different. Mold and mildew would grow easily on this organic mix because there was little protection and discoloration was on par with the old vinyl siding. While this composite type board still exists on the market, these issues (while still prevalent) are much more manageable.
PVC, a new type of decking
In the early 2000s, we saw a bump in interest from the public because a full PVC deck board was introduced to the market. The wood pulp/organic matter was completely removed from the application. This type of product is more scratch resistant, mold resistant and fade resistant then it’s predecessor but it comes with a steep price tag.
Capped Composite: a combination of the two
In 2009, companies came out with a capped composite deck board. An eco-friendly composite core with a PVC wrapped shell that offers the protection from the elements similar to a full PVC board. This is the type of board we like to sell to customers because of the lower price tag then PVC and the great reputation is has in the industry.
There is a common misconception when it comes to sealing or staining your deck or fence. Pressure treated lumber is treated in such a way that will prevent major damage due to weather and insects for a short amount of time. You can stain your lumber as soon as it can properly absorb the product. Therefore when it comes to a point that dirt is being absorbed and water no longer beads off the lumber it is safe to start cleaning the wood. After the wood has had time to dry- it’s time to stain.
The building process for a fence usually starts with us arranging to have the ground marked and flagged for any important lines (such as gas, hydro, bell etc). Once the area is confirmed clear of any lines and we are sure of the property line (site plan provided by home owner), we send the plans in for approval by the municipality if a permit is needed.
The building process for a deck usually starts with us arranging to have the ground marked and flagged for any important lines (such as gas, hydro, bell etc). Once the area is confirmed clear of any lines, we send the plans in for approval by the municipality if a permit is needed. We then contract our professional auger service to come in and dig 42″-48″ deep and the proper diameter depending on post size. After the posts are set in with around 120 lbs of concrete holding them down, we begin to frame the deck.
First of all- let me start off by highlighting that I enjoy the look of smooth composite decking as much as the next person. I get excited about innovations in the decking industry and products that take the work out of maintaining a nice deck. Although- if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. There’s no arguing that a demand exists for low-maintenance materials in outdoor structures. I DO think that the market shift to alternative materials is inevitable- although we clearly haven’t hit the point of perfection with these products.