There are many benefits to building a cedar deck for your home. You can use it as an outdoor patio, or you could use it as the main floor of your home. It’s also a great way to show off your assets and make a statement.
However, there are some important things you need to consider before beginning this project.
Key Factors to Consider
Tips for Building Custom Decks
When building a custom deck, there are a few key things to consider. Your new deck should be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
So you’re noticing some potential issues with your deck and wondering, when should you replace your deck?
Maybe it’s getting old and rickety or discoloured. There may be cracks in the wood or perhaps your railings are starting to come a little loose.
Heck, maybe it’s all of the above.
Unfortunately, no deck lasts forever. The weather is bound to take its toll over time.
We know that deck replacement can be quite a process, even if the only aesthetic change is to the type of material you’ve chosen to roll with this time around.
You may even be wondering if you should repair or replace your deck.
In this blog, we’re going to go through 6 warning signs that it’s time for a brand new custom deck and some key tips on the best ways to get it installed.
1. Wood rot and degradation
Wood rot on your deck isn’t too hard to spot but it can be one of the most detrimental factors when it comes to the condition of your deck. Wood rot originates from microbes eating up the fibers in wood that provide its rigidity.
These microbes spread quickly, and the wood rot will come along with it. If you don’t spot it quickly, it can rapidly eat away at your deck. Once it spreads, chances are you’re going to need an entirely new deck installation.
To spot wood rot, check for darker patches, soft and spongy wood, or cracked wood that crumbles when dry. There are plenty of other signs, so make sure to cover all your bases.
Of course, if you’ve got a PVC or composite deck, you don’t need to worry about that. So you may want to consider replacing your wood deck with a low-maintenance material.
Though having loose railings might not always mean that you need to entirely replace your deck, it can coincide with other problems that you should be on the lookout for. For one, safety is always key, so making sure all those loose parts are tightened up is important.
But loose railings can also be a sign of poor handy work or over-exposure to harsh weather conditions, wearing away at the base of your railing.
Either way, depending on the scale of the problem, a full-on deck replacement might be required. Loose railings can be the difference between a $20 and a $2000 fix so you want to make sure to inspect them properly.
3. Bad post conditions
If your posts are made of wood, check them for wood rot the same way you would with your deck boards.
Your posts are what hold up the majority of the weight of your deck, and provide structural integrity.
If the posts look like they’re rotting away, we highly recommended that you replace your deck as soon as possible and refrain from using it until a professional deck builder can help you replace it.
If the issue is less serious, like water pooling around the base of the post, speak to a deck builder about how you can divert water away from the base.
4. Rust on your deck
Another effect the weather can have on your deck is the way that it can rust whatever metal parts you may have used. From nails and screws to larger fixtures beneath your deck, replacing or repairing any rusted fittings will increase the longevity of your deck.
It’s especially important to check up on any rust if your deck is older, around 15-20 years old.
5. Deck is detaching from your home
One of the more obvious indicators of necessary repair to a deck is on its ledger board. The ledger board is the part that connects your deck to your home.
The deck may start to detach from your house, in which case a big repair may be in order. Many environmental factors can play a role in the separation of the ledger board from your home, so if you live in a region with heavy snowfall, keep an eye on it.
6. Your deck is getting old
The older your deck, the more likely it is that all of the issues we discussed earlier will occur. Wear and degradation happen over time.
A general rule of thumb is to get your deck professionally inspected after about 5-6 years. If you live in a place like Canada with extremely cold temperatures, checking it more frequently is recommended.
We at Mississauga Decks & Trim offer a 10-year workmanship warranty on all of our decks so you can feel secure knowing that your structure is safe and sound.
Things to consider when replacing your deck
Although it can be more costly, PVC or composite decks tend to last longer than natural wood decks.
Mississauga Decks and Trim offers low-maintenance materials that come with manufacturer warranties ranging from 25 years to a lifetime. The main benefit is that you don’t have to worry about water, bugs, and other external issues potentially damaging your deck.
If you still want a wood deck, consider heat-treated Ash, or exotic hardwoods like Ipe, Garapa, and Cumara. Ipe especially is known for its durability and can last for over 75 years without rotting.
So when should you replace your deck? When there’s wood rot and degradation, loose railings, bad post conditions, rust on your deck, your deck is detaching from your home, or when your deck is getting old.
Now that you know the 6 warning signs that it’s time for a new deck, you may want to schedule a consultation with an expert deck builder in Mississauga. Contact Mississauga Decks & Trim (MDT) today to find out how we can help you either repair or replace your deck!
Planning your new deck project during the winter may seem like the last thing on your mind. For many of us, winter is a dark and cold season that makes us want to stay indoors and hibernate until spring arrives, trust me, we get it.
But what if you could save money and time planning the custom deck of your dreams right now?
Although there is less demand for building projects in the fall and winter, most building companies remain active all year. This is a great opportunity for you to take advantage of the off-season, which is typically the cheapest time of year to build a new deck.
Given the cost of building materials tends to spike during spring and summer, your new project may not be as expensive during the winter months.
Some deck building contractors in Mississauga even offer off-season pricing, typically discounted from their regular rates as winter is a slower season.
Moreover, if you inquire with a building company early enough, you can get a better sense of the cost and start budgeting for your project so you are more financially prepared.
With the money you save, you can then invest in a high-quality decking material like PVC or composite, which will upgrade your outdoor living space.
During peak times, it can take weeks to set up an initial meeting with a deck-building company so you can share your vision with them. Given they are spread quite thin during these times, your deck-building project may be prolonged if you don’t start planning early enough.
It may also take them longer to acquire the necessary building permits and resources to build your new deck due to high demand and potential issues with their supply chain which can cause substantial delays.
If you get a head start during the off-season, however, acquiring building permits and resources should be a lot easier and faster. Deck-building companies may also have more uninterrupted time to spend exclusively on upgrading your backyard.
Consequently, the builders can construct your customized deck quicker, which saves you time and money as the project will not be constantly delayed.
3. Optimal Time for Deck Staining
It is a common misconception that spring is the ideal season to stain a hardwood deck; however, this is not the case. The weather is often muggier in the spring and summer than at other times. Wood has the propensity to take in the moisture that is present in the atmosphere.
When you stain wood in settings where there is a lot of humidity, you run the risk of it peeling and cracking. Because of this, it will be more difficult for the wood to take on the staining procedure. Additionally, watermarks on the wood might be produced by direct sunlight.
Staining wood in hotter temperatures is not a good choice for a number of reasons, including the possibility that the stain will evaporate before it has a chance to penetrate the wood. When staining wood, temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit are recommended as being optimal; all the more reason to start planning your project earlier.
4. Minimize Potential Damage
Typically, decks are constructed using pressure-treated wood. Due to its inherent moisture content, this wood will go through a drying process throughout the first few months.
Drying time for wood may be prolonged in humid environments. Wood drying in direct sunlight during warm weather is prone to warping.
Building a deck in the winter allows the wood to dry out more gradually. This is helpful since it eliminates the potential problems of cracking or twisting and minimizes any potential damage.
5. Spend More Time in Your Backyard
If you start planning your new deck project earlier, you can spend more time making memories with your family and entertaining guests in your backyard all year round.
The time it takes to build a deck depends on your preferences regarding the size, materials used, and customized features that you want but if you choose expert deck builders with a team of skilled professionals, they should be able to complete the project in no time!
Wondering why you would want to be outdoors during the coldest months of the year? There are various features you can add to upgrade your deck and backyard so you can truly enjoy your outdoor living space during the winter.
What’s the difference between PVC vs composite decking? Aren’t they both just plastic? Does it really matter which material you use for your deck? We at Mississauga Decks & Trim are here to clear up the confusion and help you decide which material is best for your custom deck.
Should you upgrade your deck?
First things first. Do you currently have a deck in your backyard?
If not, check out this article on how to find a quality deck builder in Mississauga. If the answer is yes, do you know what the material is? Decks that are made out of wod may seem pretty good at first until you realize they are high maintenance, they have short lifespans, and they are easily damaged by natural elements.
Instead of spending tons of money trying to repair things like wood rot and mildew every other year, people are finding it easier and cheaper to replace their decks with materials that are more durable, weather-resistant, and of premium quality.
Now let’s dive into PVC vs composite decking. Though they’re both made of synthetic materials, each option has its pros and cons. In this article, we’ll outline the similarities and differences so you can decide which material best suits your preferences.
What is composite decking?
Composite decks are a mixture of wood and plastic that form a material that is stronger, heavier, and longer lasting than wood.
Generally made from recycled materials, the combination of plastic and wood pulp core makes it sustainable and resistant to things like weather rot and insects. Most composites these days are “capped composite”, which is the plastic shell that protects the surface of the deck board.
The capped surface is very durable and scratch-resistant. It comes with fade and stain warranties ranging from 25 years to a lifetime. Compared to natural wood, it’s very customizable, and can be used to replicate the colour and aesthetic of natural wood if you prefer that sort of design.
What is PVC decking?
PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. Similar to composite decks, PVC decks are also made from synthetic materials; however, they are 100% plastic rather than a combination of plastic and wood fibers.
PVC decks are just as durable and long-lasting as composite decks and require just as little maintenance. They are also extremely customizable when considering which colour you want, and the overall appearance of your deck.
Similarities of PVC and composite decking
Weather and moisture-resistant
Benefits of composite decking
Appearance is typically the main deciding factor for people who are considering a composite deck. The fact that it’s a wood blend gives it a much more natural look if that’s what best suits the aesthetic of your home.
It’s pretty common to find composite decks finished to look like real wood so that you can still have that rustic appeal without breaking the bank. Some of the higher-end composites can almost fool you into thinking it’s real wood.
The added wood grain in composite decks also contributes to their slip-resistance, a feature not exactly commonly thought of when considering something made with plastic.
If for whatever reason you need to step out onto your deck after it rains, the added texture and friction from the wood grain makes your trip that much safer. It’s also something to consider if you want to build your deck around a pool or any other water feature.
The last benefit of composite decking does not expand or contract as much as PVC. PVC decks expand and contract with changes in temperature, something pretty common in a country like Canada.
Composite is not by any means exempt from movement due to temperature changes, but it is much more stable than PVC.
Need an image of a composite deck from MDT if possible
Benefits of PVC decking
While composite decks are heavier than wood decks due to their blend of wood grain and plastic, PVC decks are the exact opposite.
Because of its 100% plastic build, PVC is a significantly lighter material, easier to handle and makes the building process much easier. Deck installation is also simple and the material is extremely versatile.
PVC decks are also 100% mould and mildew resistant due to their make up of completely synthetic materials. Composite decks, because of the presence of wood grain, can still (albeit the chances are unlikely) allow for mildew growth.
If your deck is in a shaded area (under a tree), or in close proximity to the ground, or near a body of water (pools, spas ponds), PVC decking is a better option.
PVC also tends to be cooler to walk on in comparison to composites, but whichever material you decide to go with, picking lighter colors will help with reducing heat retention.
Though PVC decks for the most part use less recycled materials, they are 100% recyclable once it’s time to replace your deck. Decks never last forever, regardless of how good you are with upkeep. So if you want a deck that, once it reaches its natural end, can be recycled, look no further than PVC. Composite decks, despite being made of recycled materials, cannot often be recycled.
Need an image of a PVC deck from MDT if possible
Which material is best for you?
Though both materials are great options, the choice between the two really comes down to which material best suits your preferences.
If you prefer something that resembles natural wood, is more affordable, and is more stable in varying temperatures, composite decking might be for you.
If you want something that is 100% mould and mildew-resistant, your deck is situated around a shaded area/pool, or you’re seeking a more environmentally-friendly option, PVC decking might be better for you.
How much is PVC vs composite decking?
Another factor to keep in mind should be the cost of PVC decks and the cost of composite decks. Depending on the deck building contractor you choose, PVC tends to be a little pricier than composite as it is considered a premium material.
Generally speaking, the cost of composite decking can range from $8-$14 per sq. ft whereas the cost of PVC decking can range from $12-$18 per sq. ft.
Though both options are typically more expensive than most natural woods, the payoff in terms of durability, weather resistance, and cost-effectiveness is pretty massive if you don’t want to spend up to $1,000 in maintenance every year on a wood deck.
Great deck builders in Mississauga are few and far between. Let’s be honest, not everyone is a regular Tim Taylor or Mike Holmes. Carpentry, and being that top-tier Carpenter comes with years of experience (or just really good sitcom character building). Sometimes it’s best to spend that extra bit of money to make sure your project gets done the way you dreamt it up.
This is especially true when considering something as integral to your home as a deck. You don’t want to be relaxing in your backyard if your deck looks like it was fished up from the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, regardless of whether you built it with your hands or not. In many cases, the best course of action is to head to Google and type in “deck builder Mississauga” or “custom decks Mississauga”, browse around and find the right person for a job of this magnitude.
So what steps should you take when considering who to trust with a project as important as this one? We’ve built a comprehensive guide for what sorts of questions you should be asking, what measures you should take, and finalising a deal for the best deck builder Mississauga has to offer.
Before You Look For A Deck Builder
Make sure your project is fully or mostly planned
Looking for a contractor without having a concrete plan in mind is like going to the grocery store without a list, you’re just winging it, and chances are you’re going to spend way too much money on things you don’t need. As with any big project, careful planning and an understanding of what you want your deck to look like, and how you want your space to feel are key. If you reach out to contractors without having a full grasp on what you want your deck to look like, the deck builder won’t be able to give you a full rundown of estimates or an accurate appraisal, so be sure to check out Awesome Add-ons for your Custom Deckto help you create a clear vision of your dream deck.
You should also figure out what materials you intend to work with, and if you’ll include advanced designs
Some deck builders are also best working in specific conditions and with specific materials. Not every deck builder in Mississauga has equal amounts of experience with specific types of materials. Some may be more suited to working with PVC, others with pressure-treated wood. For more information on the difference between PVC vs composite decks, click here.
If you plan on using advanced or intricate designs in your dream deck, make sure to flesh out those ideas fully before looking for a deck builder as some may not be familiar with that sort of design, and would therefore be less suited for the job.
Figure out what the cost would be to build the deck without a professional
Going into a conversation with a contractor prepared is key. Of course, it’s going to be more expensive to use the services of a professional deck builder in Mississauga, but that doesn’t mean you should leave everything to blind trust. Have an understanding of what it would cost to do it yourself, and go into negotiations with a fair middle ground to work towards the overall cost. If you’re not sure whatThings to Consider When Building a Deck, check out our comprehensive guide.
Looking for a Deck Builder
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth is the way most Carpenters, especially deck builders, make their money. When it comes to decks, it’s hard for happy customers to not constantly brag about just how gorgeous their brand-new deck is, and just how much better it is compared to their neighbours. These satisfied customers are also quick to recommend the same deck builders to whoever asks. If you know anyone that had a project done, especially ones that may look similar to what your ideal build looks like, make sure to inquire with them about deck builders nearby.
Reading reviews and websites
Checking out reviews is essentially word of mouth from people you don’t know. You can learn a lot about a potential deck builder just by reading the reviews left for them on sites like Google or Homestars. They say a business is only as good as its worst review, so check out what others have had to say about them, and make your decision from there. Keep in mind that everything should still be taken with a grain of salt, and further research can come in handy. You should also take the time to check on the websites of the deck builders, as you’ll find a much more comprehensive outline of their services, and what sorts of jobs they’ve done in the past. Check out how long the company has been in business, as older companies tend to be more reputable.
Chat With Your Chosen Deck Builder
So you found a couple of suitable candidates for the job. Now comes the really important part – actually speaking with them, and becoming the boss that you are. You’re essentially interviewing the deck builder for a job, and like any good HR representative, you need to make sure that this is the right person/company for it. Here are a couple of questions you should consider asking during this part of the process.
Do they have proof of licensing and insurance?
Is there a regular crew that they work/handle projects with?
If something goes wrong, how will problems be handled, and how will unexpected costs be factored into the overall work?
Ask about their building/planning process.
Ask to view some of their previous builds.
Have they done projects similar to this one, and are they capable of handling intricate/advanced designs (if you have them)?
Do they mostly work with suburban or urban houses? A deck builder in Mississauga vs. one in Toronto has more than likely worked on different styles of projects.
What materials do they have the most experience working with?
Ask for suggestions/if there’s room for improvement on the build.
What sort of extras/features would work with this build, and do they have experience implementing these aspects into the deck?
What would be the expected timeline for this sort of project?
You should also make sure to ask for direct references from customers that were satisfied working with these specific deck builders. Online reviews and single cases of word of mouth in some cases aren’t enough to gauge an accurate review of the deck builder’s work.
Getting Down to Paperwork
You’ve found a deck builder in Mississauga that you trust to build your dream deck, it’s time for paperwork. Make sure you see a copy of their licensing and insurance, as this makes them all the more credible, and should make you all the more reassured. Ask about how payment will work. Is there a payment plan or a schedule depending on the cost of the project? Is there a way to set up that sort of term-based payment system? Lastly, make sure you get a firm price for the deck project.
The End Result
You did it! Days of relaxation and recovery suddenly seem closer than ever, and all it took was a fair amount of leg work and finding the right person for the job. Rest easy knowing you will soon be able to relax on your gorgeous deck!
Best part? Not once will you have to swing a hammer, because you did your research and placed your trust in the best people at your disposal. If you’re still looking for a custom deck builder in Mississauga, check out Mississauga Decks and Trim; anything you can dream of, we can build!
So you want to build a deck to enhance your outdoor space, but there are so many deck builders in Mississauga to choose from, so where do you start?
Well, with the answer to these questions, you may find the choice isn’t so overwhelming after all and the deck building contractor best suited to your needs will soon stand out from the crowd.
The first step of course is deciding whether it is time to replace your deck. If you’re not sure, it may be beneficial to check out: Is It Time to Replace Your Deck?before reading on. Once you’ve decided that you do need to replace your deck, the second step is finding certified deck builders in Mississauga who also have a lot of satisfied clients. It isn’t enough for a deck building contractor to just be certified, you want to ensure that your needs as the client will be met, which includes communication, objectives, and timelines.
Start from the comfort of your mobile phone. Go online and look for companies that have a gallery showcasing previous work. If you see items that appeal to you, check to see if they have good reviews for both their work as well as how well they communicate and interact with clients for the duration of the project. You may have already decided that you want to go with a particular material, for example, composite decking, so focus on companies that are already familiar with working with this material. Maybe you even have a design in mind already. If that’s the case you may also want to set up consultations with custom deck designers and construction companies that have experience in the kind of project you are envisioning for your property.
On the other hand, if all you know is that you want to expand the use of your home and are not quite sure how to do it, a company that offers everything from deck design to planning and even helping acquire permits may be the way to go. This means that you could end up with a plan incorporating unique features you always wanted but didn’t know how to include. After all, you may find out you have space for a fire pit or a custom gazebo with that designated hot tub space you always wanted, or even a play area for your children.
Building a new deck can be so exciting but let’s be honest, a little daunting as well, so here are the 3 questions you should ask deck builders in Mississauga once you’ve narrowed down your choices.
What Materials Do They Use to Build Your Deck?
You want the best quality materials with great durability for your deck building or outdoor project. A deck is exposed to weather and hard wear and tear, and you want it to last for years to come. A deck-building company that only uses the best quality materials is a good sign that they understand that a quality and custom deck should be built to last. Not sure which materials you want to use? Read more about the difference between PVC vs composite decks here.
Are They Licensed and Insured for Deck Building Projects?
You want to make sure you’re protected should there be any issue with the deck building project, and yes, you are within your rights to ask to see what licences and insurances are held by the contractors. A great deck-building contractor will be one who is also able to help you obtain the permissions and legal permits you may need to acquire in order to pursue your project.
What Warranty Do They Offer for Their Decks and Outdoor Structures?
The right contractor to build your deck will not only work with materials with long-term warranties but will also offer a reassuring warranty for their own work.
It may be tempting to go for the lower-priced option for your decking but think of your deck or outdoor structure as an investment. A beautiful deck, custom gazebo, or other outdoor living features not only enhances your lifestyle but also increases the value of your home. Therefore, these seemingly simple questions will quickly eliminate options that seem too good to be true.
With years of international expertise and a solid reputation in the Greater Toronto area, Mississagua Decks and Trim is a licensed and insured deck-building company that uses the highest-grade deck-building materials and offers a 10- year warranty on all of their high-end custom decks and outdoor structures.