Spring is upon us and that means it’s time to fire up the grill, grab a beer and make the most of our outdoor spaces. Let’s talk about decking, and what to consider if you’re planning on building or renovating in the near future.
The first decision is what material should be used. In recent years, composite decking has become extremely popular. Our advice is that if you can afford it, buy it!
Post-pandemic lumber prices remain high and the difference between composite and treated wood has never been closer. In general, you can expect to get into an entry-level composite product for about 30% over the cost of wood. If you figure that you can expect to restain/reseal wood every 2-3 years that cost difference will not only pay for itself over the life of the product, it’s a huge timesaver too. The brand we prefer even carries a 25 -year fade guarantee.
Second, in addition to the material, are there any special design considerations you’d like to see incorporated such as a picture frame or herringbone layout? What about an accent color? While these aren’t huge drivers in terms of material cost, they may have an impact on what the labor requirements might be.
Thirdly, and something a lot of folks overlook is the railing choice. Because there are so many choices and price points, we coach clients to plan spending up to 25-30% of their budget on the railing. Stainless steel cabling, wrought iron, composite, aluminum, glass, and wire panes are all equally popular and come in just about every shape and size. These are all a matter of personal preference; just know the impact they can have price-wise on the overall project.
Lastly, do you want to accessorize? Decks are often used for entertaining and are simply an extension of the home itself. Do you want a light package, keyed gates, or steps onto a patio area? Adding electrical & audio/video to watch the big game? What about plumbing for a fire pit or outdoor kitchen/BBQ? Thinking through those details upfront will be super important when determining the deck’s layout.
Now that you’ve got those creative juices flowing, give us a call, and let us help turn your concept into an outdoor living space you’ll enjoy for years to come!