Turn Your Dark, Dank Under-Deck Into a Bright, Usable Space

If you have a second-story or elevated deck with enough headroom when you stand directly beneath it, you can maximize the space and turn it into a usable area where you can rest, relax, have fun, or do something productive.

An under-deck living space might seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is that many homeowners skip on the opportunity. Wood decks do not have solid flooring and cannot provide reliable cover underneath when it rains, turning the ground beneath it muddy during the rainy season. Installing outdoor concrete flooring helps, but the area will remain unusable as long as the ceiling continues to leak with runoffs from the deck above.

The solution? An under-deck ceiling and drainage system.

Ceiling and Gutter System in One

An under-deck drainage system is a straightforward construction. Its purpose is to collect runoffs from the above-deck and lead the water into a gutter system. This could be the home improvement project that will transform your backyard from being an underutilized space to your new favorite hangout.

Here are some pointers on how to install under-deck roofing in your home.

Materials

Corrugated aluminum, PVC, fiberglass panels, and plastic sheets that can be draped over slats to form troughs are some of the most commonly used materials for under-deck roofing.

Installation

The entire length of the ceiling must be seamless to avoid leaks, so material- and design-compatible fasteners are absolutely necessary. Ideally, under-deck ceilings formed with multiple panels must have an interlocking system that ensures water doesn’t leak between the panels. In cases where the panels must be nailed to the structural beams, the nails must be coated completely with epoxy polyurethane to ensure that the ceiling is entirely waterproof.

The basic method of installing under-deck roofs is to attach structural beams (also called purlins) a little lower beneath the deck joists. The ceiling panels are then nailed or fastened perpendicularly to the beams, the latter holding the former in place.

On one end of the panels are downspouts that open directly into a gutter system. It crucial, therefore, that the panels are pitched a couple of inches lower towards the gutters so that rainwater will flow naturally towards the gutter. The structural beams must be positioned with this in mind, too.

Gutter System

Under-deck roofs are ideally pitched away from the house. This is to keep the water away from the foundation. Pitching the roofing away from the house is especially a must if the exterior walls are made of wood. The exception is if your house is made of brick and you have high-quality gutters attached to catch the runoff from the under-deck ceiling.

Finishing

To round off the project, coat the ceiling with a fresh coat of paint. Choose a color that matches the exteriors of your home, otherwise the new addition will look out of place.

White is a popular choice because it can help brighten up the deeply-shadowed area beneath the deck. The white paint on the aluminum or PVC membrane also creates a refractive surface for both artificial and natural light, illuminating the space at daytime and nighttime.

Maximize Your Outdoor Space

No matter how tiny the area is below your deck, you can turn it into a comfortable lounging area where you can sit with a cup of coffee in the mornings or evenings, or a workshop space where you can do hobbies like woodworking, painting, drawing, gardening, or playing a musical instrument. It’s just a matter of preparing the space for your use. Since an under-deck roof is affordable and doesn’t take long to install, it’s a good project to start with.

5 Deck Renovations That Really Pay Off

Having a deck in your yard is a great way to make the most of time spent outdoors. During a party or even a casual get together, decks offer a natural gathering point.

A deck is a great spot for eating, admiring the view and more. With deck renovations in New Richmond, you can get even more enjoyment out of your deck.

Renovations help adapt a deck to the specific uses you have for it, making it an even more valuable asset to your home. These are some of the best and most useful renovations to give your deck a new life.

Add a New Railing


Railings for your deck add that final touch that makes the deck look properly finished. They’re also vital for safety reasons, to prevent people from stepping off and falling down.

Adding a new railing gives you control over the look and feel of this important component of your deck. A custom railing can enhance the beauty and style of your existing deck. Whether you opt for an entirely wood railing or a welded railing, a custom addition is sure to satisfy your expectations.

Below Deck Space


If you want to make the most of the space in your home, try using the space below your deck. If your home has two stories, this can be an entire patio or another outdoor area.

If you have less space, though, you can still make use of the area under your deck. For those who are always searching out new storage solutions, this may be the perfect spot to use for stowing away seldom-used items, such as seasonal items or camping gear.

A remodel can help you make use of this previously wasted space and clear up a cluttered garage.

Get It Waterproofed


Waterproofing is an excellent way to extend your deck’s life and a practical renovation. Wood decks are constantly exposed to the elements, from UV rays to days of rain and snow.

Having a waterproof sealant applied will help keep the boards of your deck clean and strong, avoiding rot and staining from moisture. Wood decks are gorgeous, but they are vulnerable to damage from moisture.

The boards can warp or discolor over time if they aren’t protected. Updating the sealant will keep your deck protected, so you can enjoy it for years to come.

Update With Deck Resurfacing


If your deck is aging, it may be time to have it resurfaced. Resurfacing can include replacement and repair of any aspect of your deck, from the railing to the individual boards.

Wood boards with damage or staining can be replaced, either with new wood or with low-maintenance composite wood. You can also update stairs, keeping them safe for the seniors in your family as well as the little ones.

Loose stairs, missing steps, and other damage are all excellent reasons to schedule a deck resurfacing.

Put In a Drainage System Below Deck


This update is a great option for keeping your deck mold-free and avoiding unsightly water stains.

A series of metal panels under the deck collects rainwater that falls between boards, keeping it from soaking through the bottom panels and into the ceiling below a raised deck.

All the collected rainwater is channeled into a spout, where it can be released just like it would be from a rain gutter.

This under deck ceiling is guaranteed not to leak, giving you a comfortable and clean area to use below the deck.

Contact All Exteriors Today!

If you want to have a deck remodel in New Richmond done, All Exteriors has skilled services that will help you create the deck of your dreams.

Whatever renovation or repair you need, we have the best crew and materials to get it done. Contact us today, or call us at 715-781-1696 for more information.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/alabn

What Wood is Best for Decks?

What Wood is Best for Decks

A deck is a perfect place to hang out during those warm spring and summer days. Grilling, chatting, listening to music – it’s an ideal laid-back setting to catch up with friends and family. However, before you start building your deck and getting it ready for the upcoming season, there are some decisions you have to make―namely what sort of wood you want to use for the project.

Many different types of wood can be used to create a good, solid deck, and each comes with its own appearance and experience. Take a look at some of the best outdoor wood options and decide which material fits your needs before beginning the building process.

Redwood

Redwood is a soft wood, but it is durable. The most remarkable quality of this aptly-named wood is its initial color, which is a warm reddish tone. While redwood deck boards resist rot rather well, that same color is prone to fading to gray over the years or even turning black. To maintain its initial bright color, you will need to seal it using a clear coat and maintain the sealer over the years. Aside from the unique color, this product is comparable to cedar in most aspects.

Cedar

Cedar is another soft wood, but, like redwood, is one of the best woods for decks that are left uncovered as it resists rot. There are many different types of cedar, each with its own benefits. Some common options include:

  • Western red cedar
  • Northern white cedar
  • Aromatic cedar

Cedarwood decking holds its own against sun, rain, snow, and heat with ease. Aromatic cedar (commonly used in closets and nearly three times harder than red cedar) also helps to keep insects at bay. However, when used outdoors, cedar wood is prone to splintering. Staining is recommended to keep this wood looking great.

Ipé

This hardwood is from South America and has excellent resistance to not only rot but also bugs. The wood is known for its stunning density and hardness. Though this quality can make the material difficult to work with, it also ensures it’s able to support a great deal of weight, which makes it an excellent product to use on decks that have planned stone or slate accents involved.

Tropical Hardwoods

Mahogany, tiger wood, and cumaru wood are other options for those looking for something vibrant to add to their outdoor space. Tropical woods typically have rich grains and rate high on the hardness scale, making them resistant to bugs and rot. It is a generally durable option. However, with that being said, these woods are so dense they can be challenging to work with, are difficult to stain, and are generally expensive to import.

Pressure-Treated Lumber

This is the leading option for decks across the country and makes up a whopping 75 percent of all new deck constructions. Rather than having air between the wood particles, these boards have been filled with chemicals that stave off rot and bugs, which makes it an excellent addition to any outdoor project. Woods can be treated in a variety of different ways, including the inclusion of water or oil preservatives that are less harmful to the environment while remaining just as effective.

Composite Decking

Composite decking is a human-made product that’s created of nearly equal parts recycled wood fiber, and recycled plastic. As this material contains a high plastic content, it doesn’t fade, splinter, or crack like most natural wood, but the existing wood content still gives it that familiar, wood texture. Composite decking also comes in a wide range of colors, so you can get the look you’ve had your eye on – for a fraction of the price. This is an excellent option for those looking to build a deck that presents as little mandatory upkeep as possible.

Find the Best Wood for Your Deck

Each option has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide which aspects important to you and your outdoor experience. Contact All Exteriors today to learn more about popular deck wood options and get the answers to any questions you might have before getting started on your outdoor construction project!

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Decking Contractor

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Decking Contractor

Adding a deck to your home can be a worthwhile investment. Not only does it increase the usable entertainment space of your home, but it can also be a valuable asset during resale.

While decks are not always created equal, one of the most important parts of the installation process is choosing a decking contractor that will provide beautiful, high-quality results. Whether you are interested in a screened-in porch, composite decking, or traditional hardwood installation decking, there are a few questions you should consider asking your potential decking contractor during the vetting process.

Is the Company Both Licensed and Insured? 

When researching your contractor options, the first clear distinction to make involves licensing. Depending on the regulations in your area, licensed contractors may be your easiest and best route to permit approvals if and when they are needed for your project. Although some areas do not require hiring a licensed contractor for your project, it is in your best interest to protect your home and your assets. Similarly, insured contractors help to ensure you are not footing the bill for incomplete projects, property damage, or worker injuries that could occur while your decking project is being completed.

Will the Contractor Provide References? 

A reputable contractor should be willing to provide examples of past projects as well as customer experience references. In addition to contractor-provided resources, crowd-sourcing for recommendations is also a viable option. Note that most individuals will take the time to report a negative experience over a positive one, so online reviews might not give the full picture. Ask for pictures of examples and insight from previous clients about their experience to get a well-rounded review.

What Are the Decking Material Options? 

If you have a particular project in mind, make sure to find out if your contractor of choice has experience with the type of decking material you want to use. Some contractors may be well-versed in hardwood installation but have little experience with composite or aluminum decking. Ask your contractor for examples of completed work pertaining to the specific type of deck you are planning.

Does the Contractor Provide Written Documentation? 

Verbal agreements with contractors can lead to disputes later down the line. During the planning process, ask your contractor for written documentation of the project. A contractor or company that communicates both verbally and in writing can help you feel secure when moving forward. Although modifications might have to be made during the process, you should have an estimate and idea of several key elements of your project, including:

  • Projected timeline
  • Estimate of total cost
  • Materials list

How Does the Contractor Ensure Satisfaction? 

Ask your intended contractor what processes are set in place to ensure you will be happy with the finished product. Does the company have a guarantee? Does it have a management team in place to make sure the project is correct the first time around? Does the contractor have a reputation for high-quality craftsmanship in the completed work? The representatives should be able to provide a history of the company, including how long it has been in business and the company philosophy.

Hire a Decking Contractor

If you are seeking a high-quality and reputable decking contractor for your deck renovation or installation, contact All Exteriors LLC to ask your initial question and schedule a consultation. Their team can take your vision of the ideal exterior entertainment space and make it a reality.

Image Credit: Christine Bird/Shutterstock