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Backyard Deck Building

Top 5 Reasons to Get a Cedar Privacy Screen for Your Backyard

The top 5 reasons to get a cedar privacy screen for your deck, lawn, or patio come down to cost, aesthetics, speed, durability, and of course privacy!

We All Need A Little Privacy

If you have a backyard that you don’t use, one of your main concerns may be a lack of privacy. Most people would prefer for their neighbours to not have a front-row seat to their lives, and rightly so.

Regardless of what material you choose to use for your screen, privacy is key. A simple structure can make all the difference and comfortably allow you to enjoy your home. 

If you want to peacefully suntan in an itsy bitsy bikini or walk around shirtless, this addition to your backyard can offer that.

They can also allow you to hide any unsightly plot of land nearby; whether it’s a neighbour’s yard or a concrete parking lot. 

If you have a fenced yard with an elevated deck or pool area, installing a privacy screen can provide the gift of personal space. 

Add a few potted plants or even build a planter directly into the screen structure and you can break a lot of sightlines. 

If you need a new deck, check out the pros and cons of building a cedar deck for your home

Durability Crafted by Nature

While wood structures will always need care and maintenance, cedar is a wood that nature itself built for durability. Many hardwoods are very difficult to work with, whereas cedar is a durable material that is easier to work with. 

Let’s get all ‘science-y’ for a moment. A great example is the Western Red Cedar whose fibres contain a natural compound called Thujaplicin. It acts as a natural preservative against insects and pests, making the wood extremely long-lasting. Properly finished, Western Red Cedar will last for decades, even in harsh environments. 

The chemical makeup of cedar in general contains several natural antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties that can prevent decay from occurring or progressing as easily in cedar as they do in other woods. 

These same chemicals also make it impervious to normal wood pests, such as bores and termites. This gives cedar a natural preservative factor that acts to keep the wood intact. 

That’s why generational keepsakes are often stored in Hope Chests lined with cedar. People also tend to line closets with cedar or pop wood chips inside sachets for protection against insects! 

Wood density is a measurement of how closely packed the grain is, and the low density of cedar allows it to maintain constant moisture content and repel water. 

The moisture in wood is a major conductor of decay, and wood with a higher moisture content will absorb water more readily and hold it longer, breaking down the fibres and promoting rot. 

Cedar does not easily absorb moisture and dries out faster than most other woods. So comparatively, even exposed to the harsh weather and the elements, a structure made of cedar will outlast other untreated softwoods by years. 

These features also allow cedar to maintain its ‘dimensional stability’. This means wood’s natural tendency towards swelling, splitting and warping due to exposure to weather. 

Cedar will not split or crack as quickly as other woods and the reactions are minimized. Fasteners tend to stay tight longer, making cedar an ideal wood for outdoor construction in any climate.

If properly sealed and maintained, a cedar element can last for an extremely long time, maintaining its beauty as well. 

The Beauty of Cedar

Remember, we mentioned that funny-sounding naturally occurring chemical compound? Well, this compound also gives the wood its distinct aroma. Those closets and Hope Chests always have a delicious smell and can trigger warm memories of home. 

The look of the grain of the wood and its naturally occurring, warm colour only needs a clear varnish to provide a gleaming beautiful accent piece to enhance any space. However, cedar also takes stains beautifully and the polished wood gleams richly. 

Aside from the natural beauty of the wood itself, creating a privacy screen from scratch can allow a lot of personalization of the space or the piece itself. For example, you may want to go with a simple slatted wall and stain it a beautiful colour. 

On the other hand, you may have the idea that you would like the privacy screen to go beyond its simple, natural beauty and double as the back of a bar and have shelving, incorporate built-in seating for storage, or include planters to enhance the spot with beautiful greenery or flowers

Working with wood can allow for a lot of beautiful, signature, and customized areas. The gorgeous finish of cedar only helps make that space look even more luxurious. 

Style with Speed

Custom cedar privacy screen with built-in benches by Mississauga Deck and Trim.

Like any home improvement project, the specifics of the job will dictate how long the actual project lasts. For example, if you purchase the wood pre-cut, are purchasing raw materials which need to be measured and cut before installation, or even need to clear out vegetation before proceeding, your project to build a privacy screen can vary greatly. Add to that if you wish to add special features like built-in seating, or planters.

However, cedar is not a hardwood and therefore easier to work with. If you get your elements done by Mississauga Decks and Trim, you’ll be amazed at just how quickly and professionally it can be done!

Although a simple privacy screen made of cedar can be erected in a few days, additional accents could take longer. Even with accents, odds are this is a feature that you will be able to enjoy fairly quickly after you’ve made the decision to build it.

While cedar can last a fairly long time without being sealed, and some even enjoy the weathered look, staining and sealing can maintain the rich look of the wood and increase the lifespan of the project by years.

Once erected a privacy screen or fence should be allowed approximately two months to dry and cure properly before applying the stain and sealant to ensure that the wood properly absorbs the treatment.

Cost of a Cedar Privacy Screen

Again, how elaborate your project is will determine costs, as well as what your aesthetic is and immediate out-of-pocket installation costs. Vinyl or composite materials can be more expensive as a purchase upfront compared to wood, but less costly over time. 

Then again, vinyl and composite have a specific look and if it’s wood you want, cedar is a great middle-ground for those looking to save money now and in the long run. 

Exotic hardwoods are extremely durable and can stand the test of time. The material however is more expensive and more labour-intensive, therefore upfront costs will be higher than cedar. 

Pressure-treated wood may come at a lower initial cost but the maintenance costs can be prohibitive and time-consuming. 

Cedar tends to hit the sweet spot of being beautiful, durable, affordable and providing a fairly low-maintenance option. It is especially great for those who want to use wood for their outdoor structures. 

Choosing to install a privacy screen versus an entire fence can also be a great way to save money. After all, when looking at a small structure like a cedar privacy screen, the comparative cost becomes fairly low overall between the materials and labour. 

Have a look at Mississauga Decks and Trim’s various privacy screen styles. It’s a long list, and we can tailor any design to your specifications. 

If you don’t see a screen in MDT’s list that you like, send us a picture of your vision and we’ll replicate it for you!

If you’re not sure where to start, simply reach out to us. We’ll work with you to design the perfect privacy screen or any other structure best suited to your needs.

Categories
Backyard Decks Gazebos Outdoor Structures

5 Reasons You Should Get Deck Covers Installed if You Live in Canada

What Are Deck Covers?

Deck covers can take an exposed outside area and provide shade, shelter, protection and style. They can be constructed of various materials, such as wood, vinyl, aluminum, fiberglass, and plastic, with some being custom-built while others are pre-fabricated. 

You can choose one to fit over a pre-existing deck or to enhance a custom deck you may be constructing along with the help of your designer and deck contractor. 

You may have opted for a wooden deck, or have a composite deck surface, or you may simply have a concrete flat patio area where you are considering adding this feature. The main purpose of installing a deck cover is to prevent water from entering the space between deck boards, which can cause damage to the underlying structure and even cause structural failure. However, deck covers can serve as basic a purpose as providing shade or being an accent piece which is aesthetically pleasing and suits the look and feel you want. 

A deck cover can be an essential piece of equipment for an outdoor space for the simple reason of longevity, preventing damage and reducing maintenance costs over time. In particular, if you have a wooden deck, damage from natural elements is a concern and quite an important consideration, whether you live near the beach or on a country property in Canada. Both scenarios come with their own elemental maintenance concerns. 

Deck covers can offer protection against wind, rain, snow, heat, bugs, and other weather conditions. They also provide privacy, prevent dirt from accumulating, and can provide other opportunities to really make your outdoor space reflect your own personality and tastes. 

However, not every type of deck cover does all of these so consider your reasons for wanting a deck cover installed and consider which type will meet your needs.

Here are the top 5 reasons you should get a deck cover installed if you live in Canada.

1. Protect Your Deck (And You!)

Living in Canada has its pros and cons. While we enjoy those long summer days and can even appreciate those calm rainy days, or a beautiful wintery snowfall, it’s important to protect your deck from not only harsh weather conditions but the cumulative effect of even those milder sunny days over time. 

Whether your deck is exposed to sun, rain, wind, or an abundance of snow, these natural elements can severely damage your deck and other types of outdoor furniture.

This is where deck covers come into play.

A deck cover protects your deck, furniture and guests from harmful UV rays, it can provide shelter from the rain, block out the wind, and keep snow from settling on your deck. They can also provide protection from insects and other pests.

Speaking of protection, MDT also shared 8 essential deck maintenance tips for fall and winter in this blog if you’re interested. 

3. Keep Your Deck Cool (And Your Home!)

Once summertime comes around, odds are you and your family will be spending more and more time outside in fairly hot weather. Canada’s summers can be as warm as the tropics on certain days. On average, the warmest province in Canada is Ontario. 

They get hotter summers than BC, so although the winter days might be colder, their summer days are hotter and, as temperatures rise, so does the need for air conditioning. 

The good news is adding a deck cover can not only protect your deck (and skin) from extreme sunlight and heat, it also results in a cooler deck. Even better, it can provide a structure for you to pop in a ceiling fan or corner fan to further cool down the area. 

The best news is that this cooling effect can actually transfer to your home! By breaking the effect of direct sun on your home’s walls and windows, the temperature inside the house can be moderated somewhat, which means you can save on energy bills. Another saving can come from the fact that if the family is comfortable outside, that means fewer people indoors running fans or the AC. 

3. Improve the Aesthetics of Your Outdoor Living Space (And Get Creative!) 

Not only do covered decks provide protection from natural elements and a cooling effect but they also allow you to transform your backyard into a beautiful outdoor living space. Given the variety of shapes, styles, sizes, and materials you can choose from, you can get really creative and enhance the aesthetic appeal of your backyard. 

motorised louvered pergola

Maximise the look of your outdoor space with a motorised louvered pergola. With a touch of a remote, your world will be transformed. The louvered roof allows or blocks the sun, can open completely, allowing full sun and breeze, and keeps out rain or snow when in the closed position. They can be adjusted to meet your exact preferences. Enjoy more views of the outdoors with a stylish, functional design. 

Or a transparent roof covering to protect against the rain while still being able to view the stars at night? Or a modern sleek design with recessed lighting to enhance the architectural style of your home? Maybe you’re a little more bohemian and would like a pop of colour with an accent wall all strung with fairy lights. 

Creating a covered area to enjoy a meal, have a glass of wine by an outdoor fireplace, or show off your expertise if you’re a Grill Master are all great for social butterflies, while simply designating an area to house your plants and a hammock for the perfect nap may be more your speed. These are only a few ideas of the enhancements that a deck cover can offer, your imagination is all it takes. 

Looking for some backyard inspiration? Here are some other backyard oasis ideas that will transform your outdoor space

4. Add Value to Your Home (And Life!) 

Installing a deck cover can definitely allow you to enjoy your outdoor spaces more, however, it not only improves your enjoyment and the aesthetics of your outdoor living space, it can also increase the value of your home. 

By customising your deck and the cover for your deck, you can increase your home’s resale potential, giving you good reason beyond your own immediate comfort to install a deck cover as an addition to your house. 

For the same reasons mentioned above, for those looking to buy a home, aesthetic appeal, maintenance costs, and lowered energy bills are all great selling features, as is an outdoor living space in general. 

The main thing to remember is that covers should complement your home’s exterior style which means you should choose a design that complements the architectural character of your home. The best part is that you will get to enjoy it in the meantime while knowing your home has just increased in value with this one addition. 

If you’re not sure what your vision is yet, consulting with expert deck builders can help you to transform your backyard into a functional yet beautiful outdoor living space. 

5. Enjoy Your Deck All Year (Day or Night!)

Enjoying the outdoors can be difficult when you live in a country like Canada. With more than half of the year consisting of unpredictable weather, it’s tempting to stay indoors. So, if you want to enjoy your patio or deck space all year round, consider adding a deck cover to your backyard space.

That way you can truly enjoy spending time in your outdoor oasis relaxing with a book during the evenings, spending quality time with your loved ones, or hosting dinner parties under the stars (and built-in lighting) with the protection of a covered deck, no matter the time of year. 

Just make sure to choose the cover that suits your activities, whether it’s keeping out the bugs in June, keeping warm in winter, or minimizing all those pesky falling leaves in fall that can affect your deck and are a pain to sweep. 

Better yet, discuss features and elements to include in your cover like retractable blinds, cooling fans, heaters, screens and lighting to ensure you can enjoy your deck day or night, no matter the weather or time of year. Whether you’re looking for a simple or custom design, our team can help you choose the perfect cover for your deck. Contact Mississauga Decks & Trim to discuss your project today.

Categories
Backyard Outdoor Structures

Backyard Oasis Ideas That Will Transform Your Outdoor Space

There’s nothing worse than looking at your backyard and feeling disappointed. If you’re planning to transform your outdoor living space, these amazing backyard oasis ideas will help you to build your dream home.

You might not know exactly what you’re looking for yet, but we at Mississauga Decks & Trim (MDT) are here to help. From pergolas to built-in planters, and everything in between, there are numerous modern backyard ideas that can elevate your outdoor space.

Before We Dive In…

Before we explore different ways to build your dream backyard, it’s important to consider what kinds of features would complement your existing backyard.

For instance, if you already have a deck, you may want to add an area with some shade or a privacy screen. If you don’t already have a deck, you may want to read more on how to find a quality deck builder in Mississauga first. 

At the end of the day, your backyard should be a perfect blend of functionality and aesthetics. So, let’s check out some oasis backyard ideas!

Customized Outdoor Structures

Regardless of how big or small your backyard is, it’s always nice to have some kind of outdoor structure so you can enjoy the outdoors throughout the year.

Whether you need some shade from the sun or shelter from the rain, that portable umbrella isn’t going to cut it forever. You may want to consider enlisting the help of expert deck builders to start planning a custom build of something like a gazebo or a pergola.

Gazebos

A custom gazebo is a great option to transform your outdoor space, especially as it comes in different shapes, sizes, styles, and price points, depending on your preference. 

With an enclosed roof protecting you from the weather, neither rain, snow nor sunlight will stop you from enjoying your outdoor living space all year round. Gazebos are also very versatile as they can be used for relaxation and entertainment, all while being the perfect focal point for your lavish backyard.

For more information on how to upgrade your backyard with a custom gazebo, click here.

Custom deck and gazebo with privacy screens built by Mississauga Decks and Trim

Pergolas

If you spend the majority of your time outdoors during the summertime, most people choose a pergola with an open top. This allows some sunlight to get through without it being overbearing. 

Pergolas usually have a flat top, as opposed to the pitched roof on a gazebo. They look perfect installed next to windows, or the back/screen entrance to your home.

Not only do these outdoor structures provide shade outside but they restrict sunlight from coming into your home, making it cooler indoors. Pergolas are also one of the best backyard oasis ideas for hanging greenery or lights from the beams on the roof.

Privacy Screens

Perfect for your seating area or by your pool deck, privacy screens ensure that your backyard oasis is an exclusive space for only you to enjoy. 

Whether you want to enhance the mediocre view from your backyard or prevent those nosy neighbours from peering over your fence, privacy might do you some good.
Here are some privacy screen styles you may want to consider to transform your outdoor space. 

Built-in Planters

One thing that’s not up for debate is that a little greenery can go a long way when dreaming up your oasis backyard. If you have a green thumb, incorporating built-in planters to highlight natural beauty is an easy and unique way to enhance your outdoor space. 

You can even install planters on your deck railings! Whether you’re decorating your railings with gorgeous vines or flowers to add a pop of colour, deck-mounted planters can easily improve your mediocre-looking railings.

Deck with built-in planters made by Mississauga Decks and Trim

Subtle Storage

When people think of storage, it rarely feels like an aesthetic addition to your dream backyard. But what if there was a way to install built-in storage that was so subtle you didn’t even know it was there?

Built-in Benches

Using the deck that you may already have, you can easily add on some waterproofed built-in benches or under-deck storage access, perfect for storing things like baseballs, pillows, blankets, and anything else you might need!

Built-in Cabinets

If you have a pool deck, you may want to consider installing a built-in cabinet instead for easy access to floaties and pool noodles!

Building a backyard retreat doesn’t mean that you have to forgo the convenient and necessary storage space you may want for more aesthetic outdoor features.

With a professional deck building contractor in Mississauga, you can easily design a built-in bench or cabinet for storage to maximize the functionality of your outdoor living space.

The Perfect Lighting

Once the sun starts to set, it becomes harder to enjoy the outdoors without the right lighting. The key to creating a vibey backyard in the evenings comes down to the lighting you install. 

Some of the most popular backyard oasis ideas for lighting right now are string lights, stair risers, deck pot lights, post lights, wall-mounted lights, and low-energy LED lighting.

Just imagine how beautiful hanging curtain railing lights would be, creating a rustic, romantic, and cottage-esque ambiance in your lavish backyard!

Entertain Your Guests

Last but certainly not least, here are some ways to transform your outdoor living space so you can entertain your future guests and yourself!

Outdoor Bars

If you really want to raise the bar, you may want to consider building a customized bar to serve drinks to all your lovely guests (and for yourself of course).

The edges of your deck are often unused space that’s perfect for building an outdoor bar. A simple build needs only a ledge, just enough room to set your drinks on, and some extra barstool-type seating.

If you want a more complex build, consider installing an awning or some sort of roof to provide shelter from the weather. It’s also the perfect excuse to install lavish built-in cabinets to store your cups, mixers, and special beverages.

Infrared Heaters

Infrared heaters are also a wonderful addition to consider if you want to entertain guests in your backyard during the colder months. This convenient feature is subtle and a lot easier to use compared to outdoor fire pits. 

Infrared heaters are bound to transform your outdoor space into a place where everyone will look forward to gathering all year round.

Final Thoughts…

Now that you’ve explored various customizable and lavish backyard oasis ideas to transform your outdoor living space, it’s time to start building your own vision. 

Although your deck is probably impressive and functional as is, you should feel excited to spend time in your backyard and invite others over to your home. Overall, upgrading your backyard is an important investment so that you can create more memories with the people you love.
Ready to get started but not sure how? Contact Mississauga Decks & Trim today to start building the backyard oasis of your dreams.

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