Adding a deck to your home

There is nothing quite like a deck for bringing your family and friends together to experience some delicious bar-b-q on a warm summer evening. Yet a deck is more than a social spot within a house, though, it is also an addition to the value of your house.

 

According to the 2011-2012 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine, adding a deck to your home will give you a 70.1% return on investment. If you did a high end wood deck job that costs $10,350 that will result in an added value of $7,259.

 

The following are some great questions to ask as you move forward in adding a deck to your home:

How big , and where, will your deck be?

Your deck is going to be a place where you, your family, and your friends all gather and experience some great moments together. While you know what you want those experiences to look like, there are some practical things to consider.

 

Many decks can only be accessed by going through the kitchen area, which results in a lot of traffic in an area that already has enough. Better alternatives include adding a french door to a living room area space or adding a slider door to dining room space. You may also want a door that provides an expansive view of your deck and backyard area.

 

Determining where to place the stairs is important. The stairs should flow out onto the back yard and not off to a side that leads away from your desert oasis.

Keeping in mind shade coverage is important especially during the summer seasons. An early morning sunrise would be breath-taking, but a late afternoon bright spotlight could be unbearable. A shade tree that is to the west of the deck will provide some necessary protection from heat and sun-light during those extreme summer days.

 

How much will you invest?

How much you decide to invest in your deck is dependent upon a number of factors. It is hard to put a price tag on priceless moments and those are very abundant with a deck living space. Still, practical concerns are important to keep in mind as you plan the cost of your deck project. Deck additions are worthwhile because they increase the living area at a minimal cost per square foot. According to the National Home Builders Association, the average construction cost per sq. ft. on a 2,000 sq. ft. home is $85 per sq. ft. The average construction cost per sq. ft. for a deck is less than $35.

 

Care and Maintenance of your Deck

Decks are exposed to some of the harshest elements year round. And over time leaves, dirt, mold, and mildew will create a film over the surface of the deck that diminishes the look and feel of your outdoor utopia. There are few things you can do to keep your deck looking beautiful and vibrant.

 

The following is a great timeline to incorporate in caring for and maintaining your deck:

 

Late Spring- Wash Deck 10 Easy Steps to Washing Your Deck

 

Begin cleaning your deck by doing the following:

  1. Remove all furniture, grills, and items from the deck.
  2. Clear away any debris on the surface and from between the deck boards using a slender tool.
  3. Thoroughly sweep the deck to remove any initial dirt, algae, etc.
  4. Provide an initial rinse using a garden hose and NOT a pressure washer (the high pressure can degrade the strength of the deck material). *For wood decks use a standard deck cleaner--the same goes for the type of deck whether composite or vinyl decks (A wood deck solution can be made using ½ bleach and ½ water).
  5. Apply the deck cleaner to the bottom portion of the deck and work your way upwards (this way deck cleaner won't splash onto dry deck and cause a permanent stain).
  6. Apply the deck cleaner to the railings and stairs using the same approach as in step 6.
  7. Scrub the wood surface with a stuff-bristle brush to remove dirt film.
  8. Prepare an algae-killing solution to keep algae from coming back and causing the wood to rot (mix 1 part borate and five parts water and stir well).
  9. Apply the borate solution to the deck and let dry for 48 hours.

 

Late Spring- Apply a Finish to the Deck

The finish on your deck may be noticeably in need of a new seal or stain, but how do you know? A good way to ensure that the deck is need of a new finish is to conduct the water test: splash water onto the surface of the deck and if the water beads up then no resealing needs to be done. If, however, water sinks into the deck then resealing needs to be done. Assuming you've done the water test and the results are positive , follow these steps to apply that finish to the deck:

 

  1. Wash the deck as described above in 10 easy steps to washing your deck
  2. Determined the type of finish you will be using.
    • Using a clear sealer allows the wood's natural grain and and color to show through
    • Using a toner will add some color plus the same effects as a sealer
    • Using a semi-transparent stain tints the wood and reveals grain texture
    • Using a solid stain and opaque color seals weather damage and covers grain
  3. Apply the finish to the deck. Be sure to use a roller that covers 3-4 boards at a time. Also, use gloves, a paint mask, and goggles when applying the finish as chemicals will be toxic.

 

MidSummer- Inspect/Repair Deck

Being that your deck is a place that improves the way you live and experience relationships, especially outdoors, there is going to be much potential risk of damage to the deck. A good level of awareness of the what to look for in terms of early warning signs can make all the difference. Below are the different areas Topdeck:

 

Wood-rotting

The most common problem that occurs with decks is wood-rotting. This occurs when excessive water penetrates the cracks in wood and is unable to dry, resulting in a feeble wood structure. To look for signs of rot, take a flat-headed screw driver and press down on around on the surfaces of the deck. You want to look for boards that bow in about ¼ inch.
ReTouch Outdoor
ReTouch Outdoor
Licensed Contractors
6025 Metcalf Lane, Suite 310
Mission, KS 66202
Tel: 913.871.9344
Fax: 913.871.5145
Email: info@retouchco.com

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