Outdoor Living Space

Spring is already in the air and summer will be here sooner than you think. It’s time to start dreaming about backyard parties and outdoor enjoyment. You might be considering throwing a great barbecue. Or maybe you just want to enjoy dinners outdoors with your family. Whatever outdoor activities you imagine, adding a deck to your home can make your outdoor space much more enjoyable. If you are thinking of adding a deck to enjoy this spring and summer, now is the time to start thinking about installation.

Why Install a Deck

Installing a deck can sound like a big project. But it also has a big payoff. Adding a deck to your home creates a whole new space for leisure and entertainment. Outdoor living space is a huge trend in housing today, and it’s not hard to see why. If you are looking for extra living space you could consider adding an extension to your home to gain an extra room or two. But adding an extension to your home is costly and time consuming. Often, it also requires extra permitting from the local authorities taking more time and expertise that you may not have.

Adding a deck is a great way to gain added living space with a minimum of cost, time, and trouble. A properly built deck can be used from early spring to late fall. And in this temperate Wisconsin climate, you may even find that there are days in the off season that are just right for a little outdoor deck time.

Outdoor living space is also a huge trend among homebuyers. Adding value to your home may not be your first concern when you consider adding a deck, but it is a nice side benefit. A recent survey showed that homebuyers prefered outdoor living space over almost any other single feature of a home. They even chose it over another huge trend, the open layout. So if you think you might sell your home, even in the long term, adding a deck is a great way to increase the value and salability of your home.

Comparison (Pros and Cons) of Various Deck Materials

Pressure Treated Wood

Pressure treated wood deckPressure treated wood is the most commonly used material and has the lowest up front cost, but the following pros and cons should be taken into account:

PRO - Lowest material cost PRO - Reasonable labor costs contribute to lowest up front cost CON - Highest maintenance CON - Warping, splitting, cracking, and splintering are not only to be expected, they contribute to high maintenance, even the necessity to replace boards and rails as part of the maintenance CON - Soft and porous material so it scratches and stains easily CON - Lowest life expectancy of 10-15 years and then only if properly maintained Because of the benefits of pressure treated wood, it is the accepted standard for structural framing, supports, and posts needed for deck construction. It is specifically designed for direct contact with the ground.

Redwood and Cedar

Cedar deckRedwood, cedar, and other similar woods like cypress are the next step up from pressure treated wood and offer the following benefits and drawbacks:

PRO - Less cost than hardwoods or man-made materials PRO - Labor costs for construction are lower than hardwoods PRO - Much less prone to warping than pressure treated wood PRO - If heart wood (the older part of the tree) is used, it is more resistant to rotting and insects CON - High maintenance and sealing (initially and regularly) is required for best performance CON - Subject to possible cracking and splintering CON - Soft and porous enough to scratch and stain easily CON - Life expectancy is only about 15-20 years even when properly maintained CON - If outer (newer) tree growth is used, life expectancy is shortened

Vinyl and PVC Decking and Railing Materials

PVC decking is a great option but it still has a few cons you should be aware of when choosing this material:

PRO - Low maintenance PRO - Will neither fade nor splinter PRO - Highly resistant to cracking, splitting, mold, insects, and other deterioration effects PRO - Hard and dense materials resists scratches and stains PRO - Excellent warranties and decades long life expectancies with leading product manufacturers CON - More expensive than pressure treated wood, cedar, and some composite materials CON - More limited selection of colors CON - Railing products may be subject to more long term flex, expansion, and contraction than wood or composite materials

Capped Composite Material

Capped composite deckIf you are hoping for a best of both worlds solution between composites and PVC material, this melding of the two may be your ideal choice:

PRO - Lowest maintenance PRO - Combines the advantages of PVC and composite materials by wrapping a hard shelled vinyl around the softer composite core PRO - Will neither fade nor splinter PRO - Also highly resistant to cracking, splitting, mold, insects, and other deterioration effects PRO - Hard and dense shell resists scratches and stains PRO - Excellent product warranties with leading manufacturers which often include additional performance guarantees CON - More expensive than either pressure treated wood, cedar, or conventional composite materials CON - Color selection more limited because of PVC cap or shell CON - Unless properly installed and maintained, moist conditions could potentially make the material subject to mold inside the composite core

Whatever your choice, Please contact Leksiii construction to help you consider the best choice and layout to make your dreams come true. Leksiii offers free estimates and gets the job done right the first time.

Call us at 920 213 7970 or check out our website: www.leksiii.com

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