June is the Beginning of Deck-Building Season
The first of June marks the beginning of the seasonal rise in sales of building materials used to construct decks, arbors, gazebos, pergolas, trellises and other outdoor structures. Soon the sound of circular saws will fill residential areas across the country and do-it-yourselfers and professionals alike will find inspiration in the smell of coffee and sawdust in the morning. If you are thinking of adding this service to your landscaping business, follow these tips offered by Brandner Communications.
- Know What You Want. Will the deck primarily be a place to escape for quiet solitude or does your client also expect to host an occasional gathering of family or friends? Questions like these can help you design a deck to suit all your needs for years to come.
- Make It Big Enough. Create a scale drawing of the deck with all of the furniture and other items your client plans to place on it. Play with different layouts and make sure you have a path at least three feet wide to move around.
- Make Sure Itís Up to Code. Check with the local building code enforcement agency. Nearly every municipality has building codes that apply to decks and their purpose is to help ensure the safety of the project.
- Choose Materials That Fit Your Clientís Lifestyle. There are a number of natural and man-made materials to choose from and each has different advantages. For warmth and beauty, choose a naturally durable material like Western Red Cedar. For the least amount of maintenance, your client may prefer composite decking made from a mix of wood fibers and synthetic materials.
- Add a Little Style. Consider a unique pattern for decking boards that traditionally lay in linear patterns parallel to the home's exterior. Some complex patterns require more materials, but they also add visual interest and character to the deck.
- Create Shade and Privacy. How about adding a screen or overhead structure to provide a little shade or block the peering eyes of neighbors? Direct sunlight in the morning can be warming, but a southern exposure may make the deck too hot to enjoy the afternoon. Privacy is another consideration, especially if the deck incorporates or is next to a pool or hot tub.
- Match the Deck to the House. One trick to make the deck look like a natural extension of the home is to repeat simple patterns and colors in strategic locations. Posts and railings can be painted to match the main color and/or trim of the home and basic shapes can be repeated in other ways.
- Screw and Don't Nail. Over time, all decking material expands and contracts with changes in temperature. As it does so, nails can pop-up out of wood and become both unsightly and potentially dangerous. Use decking screws that are appropriate for the material you select.
- Landscape Around Your Deck. Nothing makes the transition from home to garden more beautiful than a few flower boxes or shrubs strategically placed about a deck. Trees also can provide welcome shade and enhance the natural beauty of the outdoor area.
- Take Care of Your Deck. Every decking material requires a little maintenance. Be sure that either you or your client removes the debris that accumulates over winter and cleans or treats the deck accordingly. Taken care of properly, a deck should last for many years.
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