Deck Builder Halifax

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Friday, November 13, 2015

An Outdoor Living Space Worthy of the Name

At Archadeck of Nova Scotia we love building any size of project, big or small. But, that being said, we have a soft spot for the projects that let us show off our talents! This Halifax house was no exception. The owners wanted a space to suit their outdoorliving lifestyle with materials to last far into the future. The choices were quite simple: stone veneer, Timbertech composite decking and glass railing.

Below you’ll find some beautiful photos, and a more in-depth look at the key design features of this project.

With anything, you need to have a solid foundation before you can even think about the finished product. What better way to create that stability than with concrete columns and decorative stone veneer? The posts were all wrapped with stone and match the retaining wall which was installed to help with soil retention and give the backyard more definition (it’s not too hard on the eyes either).

A set of well-lit steps will guide you up the multi-level deck. The built-in planters soften the hardness of the Timbertech composite deck and provide a little visual relief. The two-tone aesthetic of the deck and railing are a stunning feature which plays up contrasting tones. From there it’s a game of musical chairs; we recommend the big round one on a September evening with a glass of wine and cozy blanket.

We haven’t gotten there quite yet, but this property has an amazing view (you will see soon enough!). As to not spoil the view, we installed TImbertech composite railing with glass panels. This allows you to take in the surrounding sights while relaxing and not have those pesky balusters in the way.

In any Canadian backyard, there is always the dilemma of dealing with mosquitoes and black flies! Our solution to this itchy problem is to incorporate a screen room as part of your design. This screen room in particular has space for dining and lounging around a fireplace, perfect for the colder evenings!

Ahhh…there’s the view! From the top level of the deck you can really get an appreciation for Nova Scotia. Life looks pretty good from the top of a multi-level deck. Once again, we installed a composite and glass railing on the new composite deck to capture the scenery.

What puts the cherry on top of this project is the balcony! One of the greatest benefits of composite decking and railing is that it can be curved to create beautiful soft edges. Imagine sipping your morning coffee and watching the sunrise over the water.

If you are looking for a Halifax deck builder and want to know more about composite decking, railing or anything else regarding an outdoor living project; give us a call! 902.444.DECK

We’d love to hear from you. | 902.444.DECK |

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

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.

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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.