Deck Builder Halifax

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Home improvement can start with something as minor as installing track lighting or ceiling fans.
With the help of a bath designer, revamp your bland bathroom with a walk-in shower stall, multiple bath sinks and new bathroom cabinets.

Monday, August 24, 2015

What fire options are available for grilling, cooking, or warming upyour Halifax deck, or patio?

Fire pits, fire tables, patio hearths, and heaters allow you to enjoy your Halifax deck, and patio into the fall.

September, and October can be great months to enjoy evenings on your Halifax deck, or patio. A great way to relax, with family, entertain friends, or neighbours is to incorporate a fire element for your outdoor space.

Photograph provided by Archadeck of NS

Check the city regulations for your HRM neighbourhood

In order to keep areas with fire safe, Halifax Regional Municipality has regulations that indicate how far from a building your fire pit is allowed to be. Some customers prefer a wood burning fire pit, or stone oven, but many of the projects we design and build, especially within the city are using propane. While many prefer the crackle, and smell of a wood burning fire pit for their patio, others enjoy the convenience of lighting a propane fueled fire quickly, and easily.

Photograph provided by Archadeck of Nova Scotia

Consider the function of your fire element

Do you need a spot gather, with family and friends? Will you need to provide heat so you can enjoy your time outside in the evenings or cooler? Do you plan on cooking anything, or preparing food with your new fire feature?

A spot for gathering: A fire pit, wood-burning, or propane will work nicely for this function. A fire table will also work as a gathering place, and will provide heat for cooler evenings.

Fire Tables use propane, or natural gas. They are safe to use on wooden decks, and composite decks.
The fire pit below it safe to use on your Halifax wooden deck, or composite deck. This model is manufactured by Napoleon


A fire element for cooking: If you're planning on doing some serious cooking, then we would recommend an outdoor kitchen, or a stone fireplace, or hearth. Below are some examples of projects using both woodburning, and propane fire to provide a place for the family chef to go to work!

The wood-burning fireplace with hearth below, uses stone veneer, and incorporates chimney, and built-in seating for this patio.

 Photograph courtesy of Archadeck of Nova Scotia

This Halifax project incorporates a roof for protection from the weather, a built-in custom outdoor kitchen, with stone veneer, and a composite deck, with iron railing. This project works even if there is snow, or rain.


Photograph provided by Archadeck of Nova Scotia

Archadeck of Nova Scotia designs and builds custom decks, patios, screened porches, and sunrooms. We can be reached at 902-444-3325  for help, or find us online at http://novascotia.archadeck.com




Thursday, June 25, 2015

What are my material options for my new Halifax deck?

'There are many options to consider when you're going to have a new deck designed and built for your Halifax home. I'm not going to cover them all, just the most popular choices, and the most readily available materials here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. We have been Halifax deck builders for close to 15 years, so we have a good idea what the trends locally are.

Download your free copy of loving outdoor living magazine: 
http://novascotia.archadeck.com/loving-outdoor-living-magazine-download/

Download your free copy of our design guide: 
https://www.archadeck.com/why-archadeck/custom-design/#design-guide

Pressure treated wood decking

This is a very popular choice, it is used frequently on the decks that we design and build for our Halifax clients. Pressure-treated wood decking is probably the most cost-effective choice for your Halifax deck. It's availability, affordability, and durability make it a safe choice. Pressure treated decking, requires no maintenance, it is rot resistant and will not decay. The sun will fade it to a silver, grey color. If you would like to change the color, apply a good penetrating stain. Pressure-treated wood can be used to build lots of different features for your Halifax deck: planters, benches, pergolas, deck stairs etc. An example of a Halifax pressure-treated deck is shown in the photograph below.

Western red cedar decking

Western red cedar, is a natural wood. The high tannin content in western red cedar makes it naturally rot resistant, and resistant to insect damage. It is light, and easy to work with. It has a distinctive smell, that most people like. We traditionally used western red cedar to build decks, benches, gazebos, and ceiling finishes for the Halifax porches that we build. The red coloring, will eventually fade to a silver grey colour. Cedar typically accounts for about 15% of the outdoor living, and decking projects that we design and build each year. You can expect to pay approximately 1.5 times more for your outdoor living project cost, as compared to building a deck with pressure-treated wood. An example of a cedar deck, and gazebo that we constructed in the Halifax area shown in the photograph below.



Ipe tropical hardwood decking

Tropical hardwoods provide a rich, dark mahogany coloured deck. Ipe is a very dense, durable material for constructing your deck. It is naturally resistant to rot and insect damage. The rich beautiful color, is the biggest selling feature. These materials account for probably 3 to 5% of the decks we build in Halifax each year. Like any wood, the sun will fade the dark brown color to a silver. Because these woods are so dense, they are difficult to cut, and fasten. They often require pre-drilling, before screwing, and this can increase your labour cost. The fact that they are so dense, makes them more difficult to stain, and they require seasonal maintenance.



Composite and vinyl decking, and railing

The most popular brands that we have used on our composite Halifax decks, and composite Halifax railings, are, TimberTech, Trex, and Azek. There are however many different manufactures of composite decking, that are locally available in Halifax. The benefits of manufactured decking, and railing products are: they don't require seasonal staining, or painting, there are many different profiles, colours, and styles available. They typically come with hidden fasteners, for a finished floor look, they can be cut, and installed to build benches, planters like traditional decking. Composite decking, and railing projects account for approximately 40% of the Halifax decks, that we construct. Each composite decking manufacturer has different levels of profiles, and colour selection available. Composite decks typically cost approximately 1.6 to 1.8 times higher than pressure-treated deck projects. Photograph of the Halifax composite deck shown below.




Aluminum and vinyl decking, and railing

Each year in Halifax, our deck, and railing projects featured products made from aluminum. It is low maintenance, and with a quality powder coating can be very durable in our climate. Aluminum decking can be installed to provide a dry area under the deck surface, providing a usable dry space below. Aluminum decking is installed in approximately 2 to 3% of the Halifax outdoor living, and deck projects that we install. Aluminum railing is more popular in Halifax however, and accounts for approximately 30% of the railing installations each year. It is low maintenance, comes in many different colors, and profiles. It can be installed with balusters, or with glass panels to take advantage of an ocean, or lake view. 


Friday, January 10, 2014

Gas or Wood Fired, What’s Best for Your Outdoor Fireplace or Fire Pit

One of the growing trends in outdoor living is fire features. More homeowners in Halifax are including either an outdoor fireplace or firepit to their decks, porches and patios to allow them to use the space more often. At Archadeck of Nova Scotia, we design both fireplaces and fire pits that work seamlessly with your outdoor structure.




When considering an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, one of the questions that commonly comes up is: should it be gas or wood fired? While some people have strong feelings for or against an option (I can’t blame someone who loves the smell of a wood fire), here are some questions to consider as you make your decision:
Where do you live? Wood burning fireplaces or fire pits aren't made for all parts of the country. If you live in a dry area of the country, you may not have easy access to firewood, making gas a better option. Conversely, gas is usually a better choice for heavily wooded properties as well. If there isn't a clear opening above the fire, you’d want the control of a gas fire feature as opposed to wood. Wood fires give off more smoke and embers that shouldn't go up into branches from trees.
What will be the cost of running it? Wood fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are more cost-effective to have if you have easy access to firewood. If your property abuts a wooded area for instance, you could probably grab wood for the fire for free. Conversely, with gas fires you do have to pay for fuel costs.




Do you need easy control and convenience? This question is especially important if you have any small children that may be around the fire. Gas flames are much easier to control and use. They are easy to turn on, off, up or down. So, if you need to turn it off in a hurry, you can. Additionally, there is no smoke and you don’t have to clean up any ashes. Wood burning fires cannot be easily turned on or off and there is always smoke. You have to watch it more carefully to make sure it isn't getting too big or hot and from time to time, you will want to clean out any built up ashes.
Are you adding it on to an existing space? At Archadeck, we try to plan for all parts of your outdoor living space (even future additions) when we design a deck, porch, patio, etc. When you plan ahead, the choice of gas or wood can be easier due to gas lines. If you know you want a gas fire pit on your patio in the future, for example, you should have the line put in as you build the patio. If you are adding a fire feature to an existing space and hadn't planned for it, it may cost more if anything needs to be torn up for a gas line. In that case, a wood burning fire feature may be your best option.

Is the flame important for you? Personally, I love the sound of a crackling fire and I love the smell of wood burning. A gas fireplace can’t give me that. If having the characteristics of a real fire isn't important to you, however, you’ll be happy with what a gas fire pit or fireplace can provide you.

If you are looking to enhance your outdoor living space with a fire feature, please reach out to our Halifax office. With our knowledge and expertise, we can help you to create a space that you can’t help but love. (902) 444-DECK (3325)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Winter: the Perfect Time to Plan your New Backyard

At Archadeck, we often tell people to plan their new outdoor space in the winter, not only to have something to look forward to, but also something you know you can enjoy in the spring.

Not surprisingly, the spring and summer months make up our busy season in the porch, patio and deck building  industry. As the weather warms up and people move outside they often realize that they need to improve their outdoor living space. Unfortunately, it make take weeks or months to get a new outdoor living structure built, cutting down on the time you can actually use it. At Archadeck we design and build custom outdoor living spaces. It takes time. First thing that has to be done is the design. In the design phase, we work with our clients to learn their expectations, likes and dislikes. Depending on the homeowner, we may do two or three designs to make sure it is exactly what they want.



After the design is finalized, building plans are drawn and submitted to the city for permitting. No building can be done during that part of the process. Some permitting takes a few weeks to get the go-ahead for.  After all of that, building can begin and, depending on the scale of the project, you can begin enjoying your new space in a few weeks.  So why am I telling you all this? We want you to enjoy your outdoor living spaces as much as possible and the earlier it can be done, the better. Planning is a big part of that. If you know that next year you want to build a new outdoor structure, call your deck builder now. While the ground may be frozen and building can’t begin yet, designing and planning can.  The purpose of planning and designing your projects in the winter is so you can be on the top of the building list when ground can be broken. And, the earlier the building can begin, the earlier you can start enjoying your new deck, porch, patio, sunroom or other outdoor living structure come the warmer weather.




If you are interested in starting to design your new outdoor living space, please reach out to your local Archadeck of Nova Scotia office. (902) 444-DECK(3325).  Our trained and experienced designers will work with you to create a space that fits your needs, tastes and budget.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

DECK SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT

ARCHADECK OF NOVA SCOTIA URGES HOMEOWNERS TO “CHECK THE DECK” THIS FALL TO PREVENT ACCIDENTS

Halifax Deck Builder Provides 7 Easy Tips to Tell If Your Deck Needs Help Now

Halifax, NS
Nov. 6, 2013

Aging deck structures, harsh storms and a lack of routine maintenance due to limited financial resources in a difficult economy are all factors that can put Halifax homeowners with decks at serious risk of injury for themselves, their families and guests.

There are more than 40 million decks in Canada that are more than 20 years or older, according to the Canadian Deck & Railing Association and hundreds of reported deck accidents occur annually. 

The experts at Archadeck of Nova Scotia www.novascotia.archadeck.com part of the largest outdoor living company, recommend checking the structural integrity of decks each spring and fall to ensure safety, especially for decks that are more than 10 years old. 

To help homeowners determine if their deck is safe, Archadeck of Nova Scotia is sharing seven deck safety inspection guidelines with the acronym of “BE SAFER”: 

  • Boards:  Check deck boards for rot, softness or major cracking.
  • Every Connection:  Inspect every hardware connection on the deck.  Look for screws and/or nails backing out, red rust and other signs of corrosion on metal connectors that can weaken the integrity of the deck.
  • Structure:  Look at the posts, beams and joists that provide the structural framework of the deck. Is there any noticeable sagging between supports?
  • Attachments:  Most deck failures occur at the attachment site to the home. Ensure that the deck is attached to the house with bolts and proper flashing for water protection. NEVER use nails!
  • Foundation/Footings:  The foundation and footings support the weight, or load, on a deck and the columns that bear on them. Look for sinking or noticeable sag.
  • Exits:  Check deck’s exit areas, usually stairs.  Are the stair stringers, treads and risers ok?  Do the stairs require a handrail?  Is there adequate lighting to safely use the exits at night?
  • Rails:  Look at rail posts and railing sections to make sure that they aren’t loose or wobbly.   All pickets/balusters should be fastened securely and spaced no more than four inches apart.

DECK SAFETY IS NO ACCIDENT

For a professional deck consultation, contact Archadeck at (902) 444- DECK (3325) or visit www.novascotia.archadeck.com

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Archadeck’s Design Guide puts you in the drivers seat


This beautiful tri-level pergola is an example of what your outdoor space could be


Archadeck is helping to make backyards in North America more beautiful and functional one home at a time. Archadeck Outdoor Living is inspiring homeowners with some great ideas thanks to our new Outdoor Living Design Guide. This design guide shares our expertise and knowledge and puts it right at your fingertips. It is now available as a free download online at http://www.archadeck.com/guide/index.html


cover of our new online design guide

This full-color design guide features outdoor living space photos, ideas, tips and hints to give you a starting point in planning your new outdoor space and to make your backyard the best it can be. It takes you on a guided tour of where to begin when planning the backyard you have always dreamed of.

The first step begins with functionality and helps you determine exactly what you want to do in your outdoor space. For example, within the patio and hardscape portion you will be asked to answer questions including whether you want to dine, entertain, garden or just relax in your outdoor space. As you answer the questions it will lead you through ways to incorporate nature into your outdoor space because after all that is what makes these spaces so special. Do you want sunshine streaming in? Or maybe an outdoor space free of insects? Perhaps you have one of the incredible ocean views Nova Scotia is famous for that you’d like to enjoy.


Enjoy the beauty nature offers.

The view from within your outdoor space is of utmost importance and Archadeck has made this a point of focus in our design guide. This guide also aids in deciding where to place your outdoor space by taking into consideration issues like the direction your backyard faces and your lot and soil conditions.

A well planned outdoor space can complement not only your home’s exterior but the interior as well. With this in mind we show you how to plan a structure that allows for easy transition from interior spaces into your outdoor space.

This wonderful tool puts you in the driver’s seat; putting you in a better position to meet with your Archadeck Design consultant by having a better idea of the outdoor space that suits your wants and needs. For a sneak peek on how the design guide works visit http://bit.ly/dreamyards today. You can also call us at 902-444-3325, email us at http://novascotia.archadeck.com/local/ContactUs.html or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/archadeckofnovascotia

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Plan Your Outdoor Living Space Now and Enjoy it More this Year

Plan your outdoor living updates so you enjoy them all season long


The weather has been unpredictable this spring in many parts of the country. If you’re like me and enjoy your outdoor living spaces but are thinking of making some changes or may need to address certain aspects of the space, start now. Depending on the types of updates you would like to make to your outdoor living space, it may take some time.


Do you want new outdoor furniture? Look to see how long it will take to get it ordered and shipped so you have it at the beginning of the season. Some companies may have a quick turnaround while custom orders may take up to 12 weeks.


A custom outdoor living space can take up to three months from the first contact with a contractor through design and permits to the completion of the build. The longer you wait to start the project, the less time you get to enjoy it on the sunny and warm days of Spring and Summer.


Even if you aren’t in the market for a new deck, porch, pergola or gazebo, you may want to have your existing structure inspected for safety. Winter conditions will wear on an outdoor living structure, so it is important to have it inspected by a professional if it is older than 5 years. You may not need a full replacement, but you may need some extra screws or a few new boards. A quick inspection now will ensure you can safely use your structure the rest of the year.

Outdoor Living is important to all of us here at Archadeck and we want to make sure you get the most out of your outdoor spaces. If you have any questions, please call Archadeck of Nova Scotia at 902-444-3325 or visit us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ArchadeckofNovaScotia.