Worry Less About Your Deck Weathering

Let’s start with the basics. To paraphrase Merriam-Webster Dictionary weathering is the process whereby weather conditions, especially UV rays, alter the color, texture, composition, or form of exposed objects, specifically the disintegration of materials. So, in terms of decking, the weather patterns and natural environment around your home is important to how your deck looks — and its overall health.

When it comes to the nitty-gritty details of weathering, TimberTech is all about product transparency. TimberTech ensures that you are covered in all aspects of your outdoor living investments, from providing the industry’s best warranties to meticulously engineering all the caps and cores of our boards to prevent mold, moisture damage, and weathering.

wood deck vs composite deck

A TimberTech AZEK board (far left) and two TimberTech PRO boards (middle and right photos) after 6 months of natural weathering.

TimberTech boards

 

(From left to right.) Cedar, treated Pine, and Mahogany after 6 months of natural weathering.

Wood Weathering

 

When it comes to a major investment for your home and property value, don’t take the risk of your deck weathering. Contact Steadfast Construction to discuss the best material recommended to build your deck that matches your style and budget. Also, take a look at our deck gallery.

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5 Benefits Of Adding a Deck To Your House

For those looking to upgrade their home, there are a number of ways to make it more functional year-round. Adding a beautiful outdoor deck is one of the most popular additions, working to provide a great place for hosting events with friends and spending family time outside. There are a number of great benefits associated with adding a new deck.

1. A Place to Host

What fun is having a great backyard if you don’t enjoy it with others? Adding a deck to your house gives you a perfect outdoor space for entertaining friends and family. If you are planning on hosting a family dinner, block party, or BBQ, it is important to give your guests a comfortable place to hang out. A deck in your backyard makes the difference between an uncomfortable lawn chair get together and a classy backyard party. Adding a deck can make your house a fun location to entertain guests and make new memories.

2. Increases Home Value

Perhaps one of the best benefits of a deck is how it naturally increases the home’s value. According to experts, you can easily recoup up to 72 percent of the cost of building the deck by the amount it will raise the overall property value of your house. This exceeds what can be recouped from other home additions, including adding a living room, sun room, or even an extra bathroom. Decks are a sought-after feature for potential home buyers who want to see a family-oriented outdoor space, because this can help them picture themselves living in and using that space.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

3. Aesthetic Appeal

Adding a deck adds a high amount of design to any home, making it more visually appealing and enhancing the home’s overall quality. It can easily add dimension to any yard for an attractive property that stands out. You can stain the wood of the deck to fit into the color scheme of your shutters and the design of your house to make it look natural and appealing. With the vast number of design options available, you can create a look that seamlessly aligns with your style and personality.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

4. Extra Space

Another benefit of adding a deck to your house is extra outdoor space. Decks give you room to put furniture, plants, grills, and other things that make your backyard more enjoyable and functional. Decks also provide extra storage space underneath for items that aren’t pleasing to the eye but still need a place to stay. With more space in your backyard, you will have room for extra additions or activities.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

5. Affordable

Who said home renovations need to cost an arm and a leg? Compared to other renovations, adding a deck to your house is relatively inexpensive. Decks made with high-quality materials can last a very long time, further increasing the value of the renovation. There is no better way to beautify your backyard without breaking the bank than by building a deck.

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Looking To Convert Your Deck Into A Screened-In Porch?

Ever step out onto your deck during the hot summer days or very cold winters and wish it had a roof? You have options! Converting a deck to a porch is often possible; it depends on a number of factors.

Custom Porches | Steadfast Construction
Custom Porches | Steadfast Construction

First, look up. Imagine a new porch on your house. Will its roof attach to a house wall or to a house roof? Are there any obstructions – like windows, vents in the wall or through the roof, power lines, or skylights? You may need to move these.

How high is your deck off the ground?  Your new porch will likely require new footings and additional framing underneath. Is there space under your deck to install these?  Six feet or more would be good; four feet or less could pose real problems for conventional sonotube footings.  Can a man or machine get under your deck and dig the four foot deep holes your building code requires?

Next, look at your deck.  Is it well-located for a porch?  Is there an access door from the house?  Will traffic flow smoothly from that room into the porch?  A kitchen to porch path is appropriate for dining on the porch.   A bedroom to porch transition rarely works well.

Is your deck the right size and shape for a porch?   If your deck is too large, you could convert part into a porch and keep the remainder as a deck.

Then, look around.  What shape does your house roof have now?  Gables are very common; hip and shed roofs are less popular.  How steep are the roof slopes?  Matching the shape and pitch of existing roofs will help your new porch to blend in architecturally and not look “tacked-on.”

Your porch side walls will meet your house walls.  Is there anything blocking those intersections?   Existing windows, doors, vents, outlets, lights, etc. may affect where the porch walls can attach and will impact the porch.

If all this seems complicated, that’s because it is.  Properly structuring a porch roof is complicated. It is important to speak with a professional porch builder like Steadfast Construction who will do all of this for you and propose what will be the best plan of action.

View our porch gallery for ideas.

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5 Tweaks for Updating Your Wood Deck

A deck is one of the most useful outdoor spaces because it can support so many different functions: lounging, cooking, throwing parties, container gardening or just sitting outside to enjoy the view. As a multifunctional surface, a deck needs to always look its best. Read on if you have an existing wood deck and are looking to make some simple tweaks to update its look and improve how it feels and functions.

1. Practice Basic Deck Care

A deck can be improved in just a few hours through routine surface care. It’s recommended that you refinish a wood deck about every two years, either naturally with a linseed oil rub or with stains and sealers, to keep moisture away. 

Whatever refinishing method you choose, know that moisture invites organisms into the wood that cause it to rot over time, so remove and clean up anything that is allowing water to collect in parts of the deck. Also, repair anything that may be habitually splashing water onto the deck, such as a leaky hose spigot.

To winterize, clean your deck of debris and remove and store your outdoor furniture in a dry place. Leaving your furniture out during the wet winter months can cause it to wear down more quickly. 

2. Upgrade Your Railing

If your railing is looking shabby, consider changing it for an overall deck upgrade. A cable railing can contribute to a more contemporary deck style, or consider a different balustrade style or material. 

Steadfast Construction can help you design and install new railings, because they consist of detailed parts and connections. Have an idea of the railing type you want installed, and contact us for product and design recommendations. We can also check that your preferred railing type meets local codes before having it installed.


3. Add an Edible Container Garden

If your deck receives full sun, and you have the space, consider building or purchasing a few containers for an edible garden. Edibles growing close to the house are easily accessed from the kitchen, and with a deck, you are always working on a level surface.

Keep water from pooling under your containers by placing a saucer beneath them to collect excess water or raising the containers off the deck.

Be aware that large containers can add a significant amount of weight to the deck, so it’s best to locate large, heavy containers over structural beams. Always consult a professional if you are unsure of your deck’s weight capacity. 

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

4. Create More Lushness at the Edges

Sometimes a deck feels too open and exposed. Create a lusher setting by planting large shrubs or a small tree around the deck’s edges. Be sure to keep them away from the foundation of your home. If you can’t plant directly in the ground around the deck, create lushness with planted containers around the deck’s perimeter.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

5. Use the Space Underneath the Deck

If your deck is raised to meet a second-story door, consider how you can use the space underneath the deck to create a shaded outdoor area. The ground below should be sloped to drain water away from the house and have basic paving that allows you to use the space. Once those pieces are in place, you can add seating, potted shade plants, a hammock, lighting and whatever else you desire.

3 Reasons You Should Care About Deck Maintenance

#1: There Is No Such Thing as a Maintenance-Free Deck

Because they are under constant attack from the elements, all decks, regardless of the native climate or type of material they’re made of, require some degree of maintenance in order to retain their look and structural integrity over the years. While rain and moisture present a clear threat to a deck’s longevity, it’s the relentless UV rays of the sun that exact a particularly harsh toll. And while a deck in an arid, sunbaked backyard won’t last as long as one beneath the canopy of lush foliage. With proper attention, even the shortest-lived deck should last for at least 15 years (and possibly up to the lifetime of the home).

Homeowners are faced with a number of choices when it comes to choosing the type of building material for their deck. As the longtime industry standard, pressure-treated wood remains the most popular choice by far, and there’s good reason for this: it’s a reliable, cost-effective, and attractive option.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

#2: Cleaning Before Sealing Is Absolutely Necessary

An incredibly useful tip for any homeowner reaching out to a deck contractor is to ask them what they’re going to do first, what steps they’re going to take and if they say anything about sealing it before cleaning it, they’re not who you want.

There was a homeowner whose beautiful deck lasted all of a year before mold took a hold and left it in a state beyond repair. Because the homeowner was given the impression by a negligent contractor that a new deck didn’t require cleaning prior to sealing, the microscopic mold spores that naturally inhabit the wood were trapped beneath the seal, left to multiply exponentially and wreak irrevocable havoc on the lumber. Needless to say, the homeowner was devastated to learn how easily this could have been prevented.

The real focus of the cleaning isn’t so much the removal of visible dirt and grime as it is the elimination of invisible microbes and mold spores. Homeowners should have the cleaning performed at a time when very little sunlight is hitting the wood so that the wood can remain as damp as possible. A simple blend of one part bleach to three parts water constitutes a cheap and effective cleaning solution.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

#3: Sealing/Staining Is the Key to Your Deck’s Longevity

After the deck has been thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry (which could take anywhere from 48 hours to a week, depending on the climate), it’s time to choose a sealant or stain. Ranging from transparent finishes to opaque stains, there are hundreds of different options from which to choose, and it can be downright overwhelming. While nearly all will afford protection from rain and moisture when properly applied, you should use oil-based solutions, as they actually seep into the pores of the wood and create a greater defense from the sun’s UV rays.

How often does the deck need to be resealed? There’s no simple answer to this, as factors such as climate, location (especially with regard to how much sunlight is received), and construction materials come into play. It’s a good idea to consult with a professional deck contractor, such as Steadfast Construction, since we are familiar with the area and therefore, be able to provide advice.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction


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Inspiration For Deck Designs in Northern VA

Custom Decks | Steadfast ConstructionIf you need a brand-new deck design in Northern, VA it’s very important that you understand some of the types of designs that could fit into your backyard. Homeowners often feel like they don’t have space for a deck or like a deck could restrict some of the flow of their backyard. Decks can easily increase the usable space that you can enjoy for entertainment, relaxation and for enjoying time outside. Rather than thinking of a traditional layout for your deck here are some of the top options that you can use for deck designs:

A Corner Style Deck

If your home has an empty corner of space on your land one of the best decks that you could consider for this area might be adding in a corner style deck that will complement the existing architecture. With sliding doors out onto the deck, it will feel more like an extension of your living room space or indoor space than any other deck design.

Party Ready Deck Designs

Adding in elements for an outdoor party can be an excellent way that you can get a deck that’s designed for entertaining. By adding in features like a hammock, a spot for an outdoor fire pit, and outdoor pizza oven and more, you can enjoy a wonderful space for entertaining that was purpose built for a party.

Using different types of materials: if you are worried about a deck design in Northern, VA breaking up your backyard with one plain design you could consider using multi-materials for your deck . Adding in concrete planters, a different style of wood for bench seats or a different style of wood for the stairs, you can break up your deck design and get many different looks.

Incorporating nature: if you have a tree in your backyard that you are worried about cutting down for your deck, you could consider leaving it as part of the deck design. Custom fit the deck around a tree or garden to minimize the impact of your deck on nature.

Dining Deck

If you have limited space available you could consider building just a small platform that’s perfect for a patio set. This could give you the optimum outdoor dining experience as well as a usable space in your backyard for entertaining.

Curved Deck

If the idea of straight angles is a big turnoff for your deck you could consider a modern deck design with the help of a curved deck. Introducing various curves and landings do deck could be a wonderful way to set your outdoor decking apart from neighbors.

Space Off The Master Bedroom

In one floor home, most people build decks directly off their kitchen, living room or dining area. A new and contemporary way to introduce the deck into your home is by building a very small deck off of your master bedroom. This is an excellent way that you could introduce lounge chairs or a nice outdoor space for relaxing with a coffee in the morning.

Mini Deck For Your Shed

If you already have one small outdoor patio you could consider adding a secondary deck for your shed or garage area. A small outdoor shed area could be perfect as a workshop, kids playroom or just a spot to enjoy with a few lawn chairs away from the home.

A Garden Path

If your backyard is mostly gardens you could consider adding a pathway as an extension of your deck design. A deck pathway encourages people to explore through your gardens and get a closer look at the hard work you have done.

Tips For Deck Building Projects

With Spring around the corner, many of you are considering deck building projects. Maybe you’re considering having a new deck built or maybe it’s time to refinish or add some new decorative touches to your tired deck. Spring is the perfect time to plan these projects and Steadfast Construction can help you!

Everyone loves spending time in the Summer on a beautiful deck relaxing, grilling, and hanging out with friends and family. Whether you’re planning a new deck or maintaining the deck you have, the following are some great tips to help out.

  • Planning A New Deck – If you plan on having a new deck built, the planning stage is crucial for a successful project. Understanding how decks are built, how you’ll use the deck, and where it will be located are just a few of the key considerations. It’s really important that you make the planning step a priority so your new deck is successful. View our deck gallery to get some ideas!
  • Maintaining Your Deck – Once you’ve invested money in a deck, it’s important to maintain it so that it lasts a long time and looks great. Whether you do the maintenance yourself or hire Steadfast Construction, there are several things to consider such as cleaning, repairing, and staining.
  • Deck Upgrades – If you’re looking for ideas on upgrading your deck this year, check out some of our past deck projects.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

Steadfast Construction specializes in deck building, porch building, patio designs, and sunrooms in the Northern VA area. Schedule a conversation to discuss your next home remodeling project, click here.

Backyard Oasis with a Custom Deck Builder Virginia!

Why is now the best time to get a great backyard deck? For many, it’s freedom from stress.
With so many technological diversions in life, its hard to relax. And going on a needed vacation can be more of a drainer than refreshing, and even having the time and money for frequently needed excursions can be a challenge between work and other regular time commitments. But the need to find rest remains.  That’s why many find it in their own backyard custom deck Virginia.

Custom Deck Builder in Landsdowne Virginia

The secret to forming your own outdoor oasis in your backyard deck is get a professional designer involved. Don’t be satisfied with a standard rectangular box for your backyard deck that doesn’t offer the appeal.

We’ve been setting up and refinishing northern Virginia homes with backyard decks since 1995, and we can even include an outdoor kitch, spa, separate lounge area, firepit, and dining zone. We can include multiple levels, curve the deck or stairs, anything to get out of the standard “box.” We walk you through ideas, such as getting LED lighting to give the same ambiance that draws you in, or set up furnishings such as  pergolas, gazebos, and water features.

We use products that offer maintenance free options, so that you don’t even have to stress about the need to go back and fix up your deck while you should just be enjoying your backyard deck party with neighbors. It doesn’t require sanding, stripping, just wash it off like you’d wash your car. Contact us today about worker ing us as a maintenance free, custom deck builder Virginia.