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.