Frequently Asked Questions
How are you different from other deck builders?
We are a smaller, more intimate operation. Our teams are not motivated by profit and do not rush the job; they are motivated by a desire to produce quality work. We have never had an unhappy customer throughout the 60-plus projects that we have completed. That’s 100% customer satisfaction. We achieve this by being transparent and accountable while providing top-quality workmanship.
It is noteworthy that for three consecutive years (2018, 2019, 2020) we achieved Best of HomeStars Awards and for three consecutive years and Best of Houzz Awards (2019, 2020) for our decks. Visit us at Houzz or HomeStars to read our reviews. Visit us on Facebook to see footings to finish on jobs.
My back yard is a bit of an embarrassment! What can you do?
We can do anything you want. We specialize in high-end custom decks and outdoor living solutions while offering a wide variety of materials including exotic hardwoods such as Ipe, Garapa, heat treated Ash, PVC, Composites and Cedar. Flip through a magazine, look online – send us pictures of what you want your space to look like, and we can book a consult to discuss.
I’m worried about the stability of my deck and its ability to withstand harsh elements of the seasons. What can you do?
Our approach is simple. We begin with a consult and assess the structural integrity of your deck to determine if it can be repaired or requires replacing. There are two elements to stability – the foundation and the framing. From a foundation perspective, heavy frost or low temperatures in the winter can cause problems, just as unstable soil can. The traditional way of anchoring/supporting a deck is with concrete footings.
We use Helical piles, which eliminate the use of a concrete footing and provide a secure and long-lasting solution. Helical piles ensure your deck will not drop due to unstable soil or heave during winter and come with a 75-year warranty.
A helical pile (or screw pile) is a giant metal screw that is installed in the ground by a certified technician until the exact bearing capacity for your structure is reached. They are screwed into the ground using proprietary machinery specifically designed by our engineers to provide you with an accurate measurement (torque report) , which is tested and validated right on site, ensuring the foundation of your structure is solid and secure. Helical piles are designed, engineered and tested to the highest standards to ensure they withstand the toughest loads and conditions possible. Worried about frost-heaving? We have solved that problem with a heavy-duty polyethylene sleeve that has been specially designed to encase the post and prevent it from being affected by ground movement. With Helical piles your projects and /or structures are completely supported in a cost-effective, easy-to-install manner. Our helical piles are perfect for all kinds of deck applications including second floor decks, extreme grades, unstable soil conditions or wet areas.
When it comes to framing, we build our decks to exceed building code to ensure maximum stability. If code requires 2×8’s and the span is close to the limit of 2×8’s, we will use 2×10’s, which ensure a solid build and no deflection or bounce when you walk on your deck. Your deck will feel like walking on concrete. Code allows 16” on centre joists for Composite, 12” on centre for PVC decking, as per manufacturer’s recommendation in full support of their warranty program. During hot periods, composite and PVC decking will flex on 16” centers; 12” on centre ensures zero bounce and a more stable deck. All of this means you will never have to worry about structural failure. Our decks are built to last and come with a ten-year workmanship warranty.
Are you licensed and insured?
Yes, we are licensed master carpenters. We have public liability insurance up to $2,000,000 and have good standing WSIB insurance.
We don’t have much property but our house is on high ground. Is it possible to build a high deck that allows use of the space underneath it?
Yes again! Our premium-level custom-made rubber membrane waterproofing systems will ensure that area stays dry. This enables you to maximize your living space, watch TV and relax outdoors no matter what the weather throws at you.
Our kids are driving us crazy with the pandemic keeping us all home-bound! Can you help us build something fun for them in our yard?
Absolutely! This is one of the most enjoyable parts of our job! We can build a personal playground with options including rock climbing walls, swings, slides and sandboxes! If your kids are older, we can also do basketball courts, artificial putting greens and more!
Can you help me sort out options for decking material?
Yes! During our consult we outline the practical and aesthetic qualities of natural wood and synthetic materials. Natural products are inherently beautiful but have higher maintenance requirements than synthetic products. Striking the perfect balance is the key to the in-home consultation.
Ipe is by far the best and most durable decking you can get. Ipe or (Brazilian Walnut) has beautiful grain tones, is extremely dense and can last up to 70 years. It does require annual staining to keep it looking its best, but if that’s something you’d rather not do you can leave it alone and over time it will turn into a beautiful silver patina.
Heat treated Ash is another wood product that is very stable and a great option for areas that experience more extreme temperature fluctuations with the changing of the seasons. The thermal modification process makes the wood less likely to warp, check, bow, cup or twist. It also increases the durability and can last over 30 years before decay. The process alters the wood’s cell structure, making it moisture-resistant and dimensionally stable. If you put a piece of this in a bucket of water for a week along with a piece of untreated wood, the heat-treated product will absorb five times less water. Expansion and contraction are five to 10 times less than the untreated all-natural, chemical-free thermal modification process. JEM Joint (Joint End Matched) allows for faster installation similar to indoor hardwood flooring, less waste (over 98% yield).
All this said, if your priority is low maintenance, then PVCs and composites are your best option. You won’t have to worry about cracks, splinters or other common problems associated with wood. No staining is required. PVCs and composites are also more affordable and have improved in recent years with better durability and reduced fading from UV exposure. Fade and stain warranties vary from 20 to 50 years.
How big is your operation?
Our teams, each of which consist of a Lead and Assistant Carpenter who can work both independently and collectively depending on the size of the job. Each team aims for the same high standard and quality of workmanship. The Lead Carpenter is empowered to address any questions or concerns you may have throughout the project. Our team of carpenters have a combined 60 years of experience creating outstanding outdoor living spaces.
What is your warranty?
Our ten-year warranty on workmanship is the best in the business. Our decks and structures are built to exceed code. If for any reason you’re not happy with work we have completely within the 10-year warranty period, we will fix the issue without charge. This does not include cupping, checking, warping, normal wear and tear, natural disasters or random acts of God.
Do you allow for changes once the work has begun?
Yes, through mutual agreement, variations to the contract can be approved and noted in the contract.
Do you have references?
Yes of course. You can look at over 50 reviews on HomeStars and Houzz as we have built an online presence over the years. You can look at our Facebook page to see all of our projects from start to finish. And if you want references as well, we will happily furnish you with them on request.