Our Current Blog Articles
September 14, 2017
Why Fall is a Great Time to Build a Deck
We here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Denver, Colorado would like to explain to our potential customers why fall is a great time to build a deck. When people are planning their outdoor spaces, they often don’t think of fall as being the best time to get started, but there are a few compelling reasons why it is a perfect time. Let’s take a look.
- You get your pick of deck contractors
For the very reason that most people don’t think of fall as a great time to build their deck, it is the beginning of the off-season for deck builders. As a result, you don’t have to compete with as many customers, and you can easily get your top pick of calendar dates to get your deck started and even completed in the time frame that you want.
- You may save some money
Deck contractors, especially the good ones, are very busy during the spring and summer seasons when everyone is thinking about their outdoor spaces. During their off-season, the fall and winter, you might see specials and discounted prices to secure your business. If you take advantage of potential savings, it's yet another reason why fall is a great time to build a deck.
- You can capitalize on the weather
While the off-season runs from fall through winter, fall is a better time weather-wise. It can even be better than spring with its impromptu showers, thunderstorms and dreaded hail. When the weather cooperates, deck contractors can get their projects done quicker and more efficiently which means you get to enjoy your finished deck sooner rather than later. Why not start your deck in the fall so that it can be ready for you to host the first big summer bash next year?
- There is less negative impact on your landscaping
If you break ground on your deck in the spring or summer, any shrubs or plants that you have to move or plant to complete your landscaping won’t look their best until the season is almost over. If you do your deck building in the fall, however, your landscaping will have plenty of time to recover and bloom by the time spring rolls around. You’ll thank yourself when your backyard look is complete and ready for warmer weather.
Now that you see why fall is such a great time to build a deck, you can start daydreaming about how you want your backyard oasis to look. And what other projects you might want to tackle like a patio cover or a stamped concrete pathway from your deck to other areas of your yard.
Of course, if you need help deciding or have any questions, talk to the knowledgeable staff here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers. With our 23 years of experience building decks and other backyard features in the Denver area, we know why fall is a great time to build a deck. Just check out our website for some samples of local projects, and you’ll see how we can transform your backyard into a year-round entertainment space.
August 9, 2017
Your Choices for Deck Building Materials
Here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Denver, Colorado, we want you to share your choices for deck building materials. Having at least a general working knowledge of the decking material options out there will help you make an informed decision and settle on the perfect material for your decking needs.
We understand that cost is a big factor. Choosing the best quality, most beautiful materials out there usually requires a heftier investment. However, something to keep in mind when choosing a material is that while some options are more expensive initially, cheaper materials end up costing a lot more in maintenance costs within just a few years – and will generally have to be replaced more often.
For example, cedar and redwood (both softwoods) have been popular for years as decking materials and are not too expensive. However, they require cleaning and resealing each year, the cost of which can add up over time. Composite decking can initially cost a bit more, but with the savings in maintenance costs over time it can end up being significantly cheaper.
Now let’s take a look at some common decking materials and discuss some of their pluses and minuses. The information supplied here will help with your choice, but you can always speak to one of our experts for more detailed information.
Pressure-treated wood consists of fir treated with chemicals intended to reduce rotting and insecticides to discourage insect infestations. This helps eliminate some of the traditional problems with wood decking. This is a relatively low-cost option, and though it comes in one basic color, wood stains can be used to customize the look a little. It is a hardy deck building material that will last for years as long as it is properly maintained with a new coat of stain or clear sealant approximately every other year.
Cedar is a wood popular for its natural beauty. It is also on the inexpensive side but must be refinished yearly in order to reach its life expectancy of around 20 years. There are two types that you should be on the lookout for, heartwood and sapwood. Sapwood is less hardy and can rot within a few years, so the darker colored heartwood is a better choice.
Redwood is also a wood prized for its looks and makes a gorgeous outdoor deck. Unlike cedar, however, it is more on the expensive end of things. It has also become rarer and is generally only available on the West Coast. There are also heartwood and sapwood varieties, with heartwood being the more durable choice. A well-cared for redwood deck can be expected to last a maximum of 20 years.
Vinyl, or PVC, decking is a newer option that has been gaining popularity. It does tend to be on the more expensive side, but a great benefit is that it requires little to no maintenance and usually comes with a 25-year warranty. If you plan to be in your house for several years, the lack of maintenance costs (and the work required) can make that initial investment in this deck material very worth it.
Composite decking is a material made by mixing wood fibers with recycled polyethylene. This type of decking offers the natural beauty of wood decking while minimizing the drawbacks. You can choose from several different colors and textures designed to simulate various types of wood. Planks can even be bent with specialized equipment to create attractive inlaid designs and add a unique touch to your deck. It can come with up to a 25-year warranty and while maintenance is minimal, a thorough cleaning every 3 or 4 years will limit mold and rotting problems.
Ipe is a hardwood that comes from South America. It is highly prized as a beautiful wood that is much more resistant to decay than the other varieties we’ve mentioned. Its durability comes at a price, however, as the hardness of the wood makes installation much more challenging. The wood itself is pretty expensive as it has to be imported and the price can vary significantly. To maintain its beauty, it needs to be sealed once a year and a well-cared for deck can last up to 25 years.
As we’ve mentioned, when looking at your choices for deck building materials, don’t let just the initial cost drive your budgeting decisions. Maintenance costs can vary widely, and because Colorado has some pretty wild and severe weather, you can expect that maintenance to cost a bit more than average. You might think that you can save money by skimping or stretching the time between re-sealing or re-staining but that can end up costing more as the work required becomes more extensive.
A few new forms of decking are beginning to enter the market, but have yet to show off their long-term results. These include aluminum (which is coated with a substance to eliminate the “ping” sound), wood infused with glass to help lower its maintenance, and thermally cured wood which is also designed to be more resilient and better resist insects, fungus and mold.
All in all, there are quite a few options for decking materials available on the market today. We’ve focused mainly on durability and cost when discussing these materials, but keep in mind the style as well. Your choices for deck building materials will create a different overall look, and you want to choose something that matches the style of your home and adds the right kind of atmosphere. That helps to increase the value of your home for when you sell. Aesthetics are paramount, and a little bit higher initial investment could be worth it in the long run.
To learn more about your choices for deck building materials, don’t be afraid to ask the friendly professionals here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers. We’ve had over 20 years of experience building custom decks in the Denver area, so we are well acquainted with the climatic rigors of this area and which materials are the best options. Take a moment to look through the gallery on our website, and you will see the excellent work we provide.
July 26, 2017
How to Personalize Your Deck Design
Today at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, we want to share a bit about how to personalize your deck design for your Denver metro home. There are plenty of ways to personalize your outdoor space. Materials, styles, and colors for the deck itself are just the beginning. There are also lots of great add-on ideas and or accessories that you can use to create a space perfect for you and your family!
Whether you are building a deck from scratch or reinventing an existing outdoor space, first think about your favorite activities and what you want to be able to use your outdoor space for. Do you want relaxation to be essential? Do you want space for activities? Will you be barbecuing and having lots of people over frequently? What about having a television? Do you want to have game-day parties on your back porch? Or maybe you enjoy a mix the includes all of the above?
Now that you have a good idea of what you want to use your space for, all that’s left is to create and build your deck for the perfect backyard oasis! So let's talk more about how to personalize your deck design.
Most people will find that space for relaxation makes it onto their list of desired uses for their outdoor space. There are a variety of things you can add to create a relaxing space the way you like it. For those that like the idea of reading a book or taking a nap while gently swaying in the breeze a nice spot for a hammock in the shade is a great idea. Or to utilize storage space, you can install a built-in bench and adorn it with comfy pillows. For relaxing with friends, you can create a cozy nook with comfy chairs or even add a hot tub to really enjoy a relaxing evening.
Barbecues and Parties
Another extremely popular desire for outdoor deck building is the ability to fire up the grill and have your friends over for a rousing evening. Touches like built-in coolers or even an outdoor television are ideal for keeping the party going whether or not the Denver Broncos win. Enough extra space for games is often useful if your yard is big enough to accommodate.
Make Outside like Inside
There are a lot of great accents you can add to your outdoor deck space to make it feel more like an extension of your home, but being able to enjoy fresh air at the same time. You can use weather resistant rugs, pillows and throws to make your space comfortable and more vibrant. Don’t forget a patio cover for shade dressed up with all-weather draperies to add privacy or splashes of color.
We here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers hope this information on how to personalize your deck design has been helpful to you. If you’re still looking for more ideas, or of course professionals to implement the ideas you already have, give us a call. We can help with everything from design ideas to installation to ensure that everything meets municipal codes. So, don’t hesitate! Let’s get started right away on building the outdoor space of your dreams so you can enjoy it for the rest of the summer.
July 13, 2017
Why Choose Equinox Louvered Roof Covers
Today Carefree Decks and Patio Covers offers some great reasons as to why choose Equinox louvered roof covers for your outdoor space. As you will see, traditional deck coverings (or lack thereof) each offer their own set of pros and cons. Equinox louvered roof covers have been designed to improve the cons of each, while still taking advantage of all the pros!
Typically, a completely uncovered patio or deck sees much less use than it’s covered counterparts because the hot summer sun often proves to be too intense. There is also the problem of rain or light showers on the days that it’s not too hot. So a roof is a good idea.
Lattice, Solid Roofs, Awnings
Lattice patio deck covers are awesome for providing shade but still allowing some sun rays through. However, they offer minimal to no protection from the rain. Solid roofs fix the rain problem but also don’t allow any sunlight to filter through during the cooler times of the year when you want it. An awning is great for addressing the rain/sun problem, but it’s either all or nothing and you have to be on top of things and retract it when high winds come up.
Equinox Louvered Roof Covers
Now you will see how Equinox louvered, patio deck covers address each of these issues. The roof can be opened to allow in sunlight, or closed off to make a waterproof cover on rainy days--all at the touch of a button. The roof is also strong enough to withstand the elements, so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged during winter storms.
How It Works
The Equinox system is made up of interlocking panels that rotate to virtually any position. Fully closed, the panels form a waterproof seal, fully open they allow full sun onto your porch. You can also choose settings in between to allow for a bit of sun or still fully shaded but open a little to allow for hot air to be vented.
The system works on solar energy, so the easy automation doesn’t even cost anything. You can even set the system up on timers to have the roof opened and closed automatically, just how you want it! Plus, the extra shade provided by these patio deck covers reduces the amount of sunlight shining into and heating up your home, thereby reducing energy costs for air conditioning indoors.
The Equinox system comes in a huge variety of colors and styles so you can choose the perfect roof to go with your home. Whatever your home’s architectural style--gables, pitched roof, bay windows, angled roof or walls--an Equinox roof can be designed to accommodate and look suitable for your home.
Now that you’ve heard about all these great advantages it’s easy to see the reasons as to why choose Equinox louvered roof covers. Give us a call here at Carefree Patio and Deck Covers today, and we can explain all the pertinent details as well as get started on your installation! We’re confident that this is a decision you will most definitely not regret.
June 22, 2017
Why a Deck Railing Shouldn't Be an Afterthought
In this article from Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, we’re going to explain why a deck railing shouldn’t be an afterthought. Sometimes customers get so caught up in picking out the perfect decking that they forget about the railing! However, in most areas, railings are required by municipal building codes. Also, just think about what guests will notice first. The railing almost always draws the eye long before the decking does.
The railing is a great way to add style and character to your home and compliment your decking. So, don’t treat it is an afterthought, instead make it the main event and you will have your guests going wow the moment they first lay eyes on it. Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
Most railings are built in essentially the same manner. They are typically comprised of rail posts, top and bottom rails, brackets, crush blocks, and infill. Let’s talk about what each of these components does for your railing.
The rail posts serve to anchor the railing firmly to the decking. They often have post caps and base moldings to add a more finished look to the final product. The top and bottom rails, along with rail posts serve as the framework for the rest of the railing. These can be purely cosmetic in nature (outside of their original function as part of the framework) as with sculpted top rails. Or you can use flat-topped rails to have a handy place to set down your drink or even decorate your space with a few potted plants or other fun accessories.
Brackets are used to attach the top and bottom rails to the rail posts. It is important to choose bracket materials, like stainless steel, that won’t rust or corrode over time. Some styles even offer a sharp, clean look with hidden brackets and still others take advantage of the brackets and use them to create bold color contrast with the rest of the railing.
Crush blocks serve to support the infill in between the rail posts to help prevent the railing from sagging over time. And, last but not least, the infill is the bulk of the railing. It fills in the space between the top and bottom rails and rail posts. Choose your infill wisely as this is the largest, most obvious portion of your railing and will have the biggest impact on your home’s aesthetic.
A fun way to jazz up your style and add a bit of a different look to your deck railing is to add rail lighting. Not only does it add a nice accent, but it also extends the usability of your deck or porch until the sun goes down. You can use rail lighting to highlight or draw attention to certain parts of your porch or use it evenly to light up your space and party all evening long.
You can choose post cap lights that add a subtle glow by encircling the post cap with a clear ring that has a LED light inside. Or you can opt for post sleeve lights. These are little circular lights that gently direct light downward to illuminate and reflect from the floor. These are particularly great when your purpose is to spotlight features. Another great option is to add lights to the stairs. That’s an excellent way not only to add pizzazz but also to improve safety.
Choose Your Colors!
Now it’s time for the fun part. There are literally hundreds of looks that you can create with your deck railing simply by choosing different styles and colors. Combining accent colors gives you, even more, options for jazzing up your space. Just remember to make sure that it works with the rest of your home also. You don’t want to spend time and money installing a super awesome deck that ends up detracting from the overall look of your home because it doesn’t fit.
So here are a few tips for choosing the perfect colors for your railings. A safe way to ensure that it works with your home is to match the color of the railing to the trim on your house. If you’re good at choosing complementing colors, you may want to get crazy and pick something that is complementary to your house color instead.
Also, think about your home’s style. A lot of the more modern home styles work well with darker railing colors while older farmhouse, colonial or Cape Cod style homes look fantastic with a classic white railing. Of course, it’s up to you how traditional or crazy you want to go--just be sure it works because you’ll be looking at it for a while!
Another thing to keep in mind is how prominent you want the railing to be. For example, on a back porch with a fantastic view, you may want to choose thin infill for your railing in darker, more muted colors so that the railing doesn’t detract from the view. On the flip side, if your backyard space isn’t that exciting, you may want to use a railing in highly contrasting colors to add some pizzazz and draw attention away from whatever otherwise dull view your guests would have. It’s all about personalizing your space in the right way.
In sum, now that you understand why a deck railing shouldn’t be an afterthought it’s time to decide what you want to do with it. We hope that these tips have been helpful, but reading a couple of articles will never be a great substitute for real, professional advice. So, don’t be afraid to call us here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers. A member of our friendly staff will be happy to help you choose the perfect materials, style, and colors for your new outdoor installation.
Our 23 years of experience serving customers in the metro Denver area has given us a wealth of knowledge when it comes to what works, what doesn’t and what our clients are looking for. We’re sure that once we get done helping you design and install your new deck and railing, you’ll be eager to start throwing parties and invite everyone you know to come and see your new masterpiece!