When is the Best Time to Build a Deck or Patio?

Deciding precisely when to build a new deck or patio can be more complicated than you’d think. Because timing can have a substantial impact on a variety of factors — from the cost of the project to the quality of your results. As such, determining the best time of year to install a patio and […]

How to Install a Picture Frame Deck Edge

Save The exposed end grains of wood deck boards can begin to look pretty rough over time. Many will crack and split, and some will cup. An effective method of finishing a deck surface is to install a trim board around the perimeter of the deck. This technique is also called deck picture framing or […]

Deck Patterns, Layouts & Design Ideas

Adding decking patterns to your deck design can add a splash of style. Consider these options when planning your deck. In most cases, this will require a little extra material.

Best Hidden Fasteners for Decking

Decking can be installed with hidden fasteners to create a clean looking surface that is smooth to bare feet. Hidden fasteners can be used with composite, vinyl, cedar, ipe or other exotic hardwood material. Many manufactured decking materials offer deck boards that are sold with a grooved edge for use with hidden fasteners. You can also router the edges of solid deck boards to create a slot to accept deck clips. It is important to note that pregrooved boards do not have a standard groove size. You should verify that hidden fasteners are compatible with your choice of decking boards before ordering.

Deck Board Spacing Guide: How to Properly Space & Stagger Deck Boards

Save Deck board spacing is an extremely important step to build a deck. You’re nearing the end of the project and it’s normal to want to get the job done as quickly as possible. But the spacing between deck boards is critical for many reasons. One of the main reasons is to make sure you […]

How to Install Composite Decking

It is very important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing composite decking material. Thermal expansion is always something to be aware of when dealing with plastics. In most climates, temperatures fluctuate enough to cause an issue with how the decking is spaced from summer to winter. Composite decking tends to grow and shrink across the length of the boards as it heats and cools. Proper spacing will allow some movement without buckling. Some composite decking materials are designed to be installed with hidden fasteners. These clip systems generally are screwed into to the deck frame across each joist and fit tightly into a cavity running down the side of the boards.  We recommend using reverse thread screws when face-screwing composite decking to eliminate mushrooming. Mushrooming occurs when a standard bugle head screw pulls some composite material above the surface during installation. The resulting raised bump isn’t very attractive. You can also use a hammer to level the surface. Hollow decking products will leave open ends that aren’t attractive and can collect dirt, leaves, etc. Most hollow decking products sell end caps that can close the ends. Another method involves installing a racetrack or picture frame pattern perimeter to cover the open ends. 

Can I Install Tiles on Composite or Wood Decks?

Installing tile over a standard deck frame in an exterior environment is a recipe for trouble. The combination of tile, grout, wood and water in an environment with temperature and moisture fluctuations makes it nearly impossible to get the long-term performance that most occupants expect. For a deck that is partially enclosed under a roof and protected from heavy precipitation, a conventional tile floor could probably be achieved, but otherwise, proprietary systems designed for deck applications should be considered. There are a few products on the market that allow for a finished tile look on an elevated wood-framed deck. Some systems involv special tiles designed to install without grout in a grid system. These systems allow for movement and drainage. There are also systems designed for dry-laid pavers to be installed on decks, providing a similar look to a tile floor. New products are consistently being developed and brought to market, so it’s worth exploring if a tile deck is the look you are interested in. In evaluating such a product, keep in mind the environment it will be installed in. It will likely need to accommodate differential movement between materials and provide water drainage.

Replacing Wood Deck Boards With Composite

While the structure of your deck can remain solid for decades, surface boards tend to wear down much faster. That’s led many people to wonder, can you replace wood deck boards with composite, and then continue using your deck’s original structure?

Dos & Don’ts for Homeowners to Consider When Building a Deck

Save Your dream deck can take whatever shape you like. The trick is making it fit your budget and site conditions. While the deck doesn’t have to be built as a rectangle, there could be good reasons for doing just that. Or not. Every project is different. Here are seven tips for “dos” and “don’ts” […]

10 Common Deck Building Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Save Deck building blunders are as common as sand on a beach. A simple internet search for deck fails will uncover myriad articles and videos highlighting deck collapses – both funny and not –that can be directly connected to construction errors. Despite what many home improvement television shows may lead viewers to believe, building a […]