Once spring arrives and the weather begins to warm up, many home owners begin to think about outdoor renovation projects – one of the most important being a backyard deck. A new or updated deck will transform your outdoor space, creating beautiful new spaces where you can entertain friends and family.
With new advances in technology, there are now more options for decking materials and design than ever before. Determining what material and design you want can seem overwhelming. To narrow down your options, think about these three factors:
- Your aesthetic preferences – what overall look and feel do you want for your deck? Materials definitely set the stage here (e.g. neat vs rustic)
- The level of maintenance you can commit to (low or high)
- Your deck budget (your budget will impact your choice of materials – as artisans, we definitely prefer wood decks)
Natural vs. man-made decking material
Wood is a popular choice as a natural decking material for its beauty and unique characteristics. Wood can be:
- Left natural to weather
- Oiled (stained) in a plethora of shades or clear for uv protection,
- Refinished to give it a facelift
Wood Choices for your Deck
Our choice of decking material at M-Squared is clear cedar in 2” X 6” boards, but there are more cost effective materials like pressure treated lumber.
Cedar decking has a rich warm aesthetic quality offering a range of natural hues, tight grain patterns and soft textures (and cedar emits a beautiful aroma).
Hardwood comes in an array of natural colours and patterns, is very low maintenance and its natural lifetime exceeds cedar, pine and synthetic decking.
Pressure Treated Decking
Pressure treated material has preservatives forced deeply into the fibers making it virtually immune to rot and insect damage.
Composite decking is a relatively new material used for outdoor living. It consists of recycled materials and fibers (hard plastics and wood). Composite decking is more expensive than pressure treated lumber, but its long-term benefits will save you time and money:
- It does not require treating, staining, sanding or other maintenance
- There is no risk of cracking, splitting or rotting
- It comes in a variety of uniform colours and textures that give your deck a clean consistent look
- Because composite decking is made from a combination of recycled plastics and reconstituted wood fiber, rice hulls, bamboo fiber or other organic materials it is an eco-friendly option
- And composite decking generally comes with a warranty, giving you piece-of-mind knowing it can be replaced if defects or breakdown occur
The cost of your deck will depend on the design, size and complexity of the structure. Before you begin your deck build, think about your goals for your backyard space and the aesthetic you want to create and identify your budget. You are on your way to a beautiful backyard.
Are you thinking of a new deck this summer and have some questions? Contact M-Squared Contracting; we’d be happy to discuss your dream backyard project.