Our Current Blog Articles
January 17, 2018
Deck Pattern Options
Today, our experts at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker, Colorado offer some excellent deck pattern options. This can be a great way to dress up your deck and add some interest, especially if you have a smaller space but want to make a huge impact.
With over 20 years of decking experience, the Carefree team has the expertise to build all deck pattern options. We can even set up a beautiful inlay that will be sure to be the talk of the neighborhood. Check out these ideas to get started.
Placing your boards horizontally is one of the simplest and most common deck building patterns. There is virtually no extra work involved, and waste is minimal. That makes it a popular option.
The downside is that the pattern itself is not very interesting. If you are looking for a way to spruce up your space, this might not provide enough flair. However, if you want a simple design that accentuates your deck length, this is the right fit for you.
One of the easiest ways of changing up your deck pattern is to put the boards on a diagonal. You’ll have to install the deck boards at a 45-degree angle across the joists. This has the bonus of being a stronger build structurally.
This technique will require a bit more work since you’ll have to cut the ends of all the boards at an angle. That also means that there is a bit more waste. You can minimize how much with the right planning and preparation, something we excel at to ensure a greener build.
The herringbone style of decking is an interesting step up from diagonal decking. Half of your deck will be diagonal one way, and the other half will be diagonal the other way. This will create a “zipper” effect that looks pretty snazzy. And if you already have a herringbone design in your kitchen or bath tiles, taking the same look outdoors to your deck will create a wonderful sense of cohesion.
This type of pattern requires significant planning, as well as added blocking to the frame because the deck will need the extra support. Make sure you choose a reputable deck contractor for the job.
Inlays in Decking
Adding an inlay to your decking is a bit more complicated. Well, honestly, it’s a lot more complicated. But the payoff is worth it if you want to use different angles to create interesting shapes. You can pick fun patterns like stars, compass roses, octagons, or even curved designs if your installer is talented. You can also change up the colors to make your inlay pop.
Depending on your design, added vertical blocking is needed to ensure that your deck is structurally safe. It will take a lot more time to complete, and result in a lot of waste, but the result will be stunning.
Carefree Decks and Patio Covers is a family-owned company dedicated to making our customers happy. We like to give everyone a unique experience and build the backyard retreat they’ve always wanted. Give us a call and talk to one of our experts. We can discuss and help you pick the deck pattern options that will work perfectly for your home and yard space.
January 2, 2018
Deck Railing Choices
Today, Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker, Colorado discuss your deck railing choices. The purpose of deck railings is twofold. First, they are there to keep you and your guests safe, so be sure to select a sturdy one. Second, they are there to look good, so it’s important to choose a stylish option.
Let’s take a look at the more common materials that comprise your deck railing choices.
Wood is a classic choice for deck railings. It looks great, isn’t too expensive, and is easy to customize for the perfect look. With wood decks and railings, you can paint them, or stain them in virtually any color of the rainbow to add a great accent piece to your home.
The only downside is the upkeep. Wood will eventually rot, splinter, warp, or fall victim to insects. You can stave off these unwelcomed effects for a while, but it takes a bit of work.
Aluminum is a great choice for the homeowner who doesn’t want to have to worry about maintenance. It’s still a relatively inexpensive option, and there are lots of styles to choose from. You can also paint it any color you want just like wood.
Aluminum also usually comes with a lifetime warranty. That’s a handy feature. Plus, you know that you can expect a long life out of your deck railing. Aluminum decking, however, is less customizable than wood. You are more restricted to ready-made options, but there are plenty to pick from.
Vinyl railing looks nice and is an excellent option for many deck railing applications. A properly-built vinyl railing is sturdy, will last a long time, and requires little to no maintenance. It can even stand up well against the elements.
Your customizing options are quite a bit more limited with vinyl deck rails. Even the colors are limited, and you should expect to pay extra for anything other than basic white.
If you’re looking for a durable railing, particularly for a second floor, be careful. Sometimes companies use recycled products that are not as strong and may not hold up as well as you expect.
Steel or wrought iron railings are a very elegant option. The material is very strong and can come in thinner profiles. This is great when you don’t want the railing itself to be a focal point or block the background. It is highly customizable and easy to add elegant scrolling and other designs.
Depending on where you live, metal deck railings may require a bit more upkeep. While they won’t rot or fall prey to insects like wood, the enemy is rust. Living in a snowy area like Denver means exposure to the salt used to control ice. So, you’ll have to keep it clean and sealed to prevent it from rusting.
While this is a simplified version of your deck railing choices, you’re welcome to contact one of our friendly representatives here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers to find out even more. We can help you choose and install the perfect option for your home.
December 19, 2017
What's a Good Size Deck for Entertaining?
Here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Denver, we’ve heard our customers wondering what’s a good size deck for entertaining. Today, we’re going to give a few tips and point out a few things that will help you decide what the perfect size deck is for you.
Where Should You Put It?
Before you can decide what size deck is perfect for you, you will have to determine where you should put it. Take some time to look at your backyard and think about what will work in your space.
If you want to build a good size deck for entertaining on the ground, it may be better to go with cement or a stone patio instead. Decks are designed to be raised, even if it’s just a foot or two. They can be built on the ground, but it’s more complicated and more expensive than using patio materials.
Take a look at where you have a door from your home, or where you could put one to provide the best access to your deck. Most of the time, there is already a door from the kitchen or living room that leads to the backyard. This is typically a good access point for your deck.
You can get creative with your access point as well. With the growing number of people working from home, some are putting an access point in their home office. That makes it easy to step outside on nice days and enjoy the sunshine while still getting some work done.
Some even put an access point in the bathroom and add an outdoor shower. It’s like having a little mini-resort spot in your own backyard.
Decks don’t always have to be built right next to the house. You can position your deck around or next to a focal point, somewhere in your yard, such as a pool, pond, water feature, or spa. If there’s a spot on your property that offers a beautiful view, consider strategically building your deck to take advantage of it. Simply, run a path from your house to your deck and you’re set.
Now you have the perfect backyard oasis for relaxing and entertaining.
How Big Should It Be?
Now that you know where you want to put your deck, you can start thinking size. First of all, your deck will have to fit in the spot you picked. So, the deck size will be partially dependent on how much space you have available.
But if you could build a deck whatever size you wanted, what’s a good size deck for entertaining? That question isn’t as easy to answer as it sounds. The truth is, it depends on what your definition of entertaining is. How many people do you usually like to have over at one time? What are the activities that you enjoy doing? Are you planning to have an outdoor entertainment center set up for watching the game? Do you need space for an outdoor fireplace or kitchen area? What about a refrigerator or cupboard space?
To give a rough idea, space for a table and chairs for 4-6 people requires about 144 square feet of deck space. To have enough space for 10-12 people you’ll want to up to 288 square feet.
However, that will be just enough space. If you want ample room to be able to move about comfortably, you’ll want at least 392 square feet. This is a good size deck for entertaining for most people. Of course, it still depends on what kind of entertaining you want to do.
What Shape Should Your Deck Be?
A good size deck for entertaining comes in a variety of shapes. Sometimes, a deck has to be shaped creatively in order to fit into the space available. With plenty of space, you have free reign to decide how you want your deck.
There are various options when it comes to the lines of your deck. You can have them follow the lines of your home. Alternatively, you can contrast the lines of your home with some curves. Or you can get really creative and use both straight lines and curves to create an interesting design.
Keep in mind that straight lines give a crisp feel to your deck, while curves add softness and interest. Not sure how to choose the right shape for your home? That’s okay. You can talk to one of our experts here at Carefree Decks. We are happy to help you create the perfect deck design.
How Comfortable is the Spot You Chose?
Another factor to consider when positioning your deck is the comfort of your guests. Is the deck positioned directly in the intense sun? Are there a lot of insects in the area? Does the wind blow often or strong? Is the deck in a spot that provides privacy?
Be careful when choosing the spot for your deck. These comfort factors can make or break the success of your new entertainment area.
There are fixes for these problems, so be creative. For example, if your deck is directly in the hot sun, consider installing a patio cover. Our louvered patio covers are ideal for offering shelter from the sun (and rain) while still allowing the option of opening up the roof and enjoying the sunshine on warm spring or fall days. Alternatively, if the wind is the trouble, consider planting trees or installing a beautiful trellis as a windbreak.
Ready to Take the Plunge?
Now that you have a clearer idea of what’s a good size deck for entertaining and how to position it, you’re probably getting excited about your new deck. And even though winter is just hitting its stride, right now is the perfect time to get the planning stages out of the way. Feel free to give us a call here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, serving all of metro Denver, to help you plan your new outdoor space. We have over 20 years of experience helping people design and build the deck of their dreams.
November 21, 2017
How to Pick Your Deck Contractor
Knowing how to pick your deck contractor is an essential step in planning for a new deck. At Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker, Colorado we have put together this guide to help you with this critical decision. Once you read through these tips, we’re sure you’ll see that we’re a great deck contractor to choose and check all the boxes.
Read on to learn how to pick your deck contractor.
This should go without saying, but here’s your reminder. Good deck contractors will be licensed, bonded, insured and certified. The ones that don’t have this important foundation might be shoddy contractors that may not build your deck up to code. That’s another thing, ask your potential contractor if they will be getting all the necessary permits to build and ask for copies.
Check References and Portfolio
Asking to see their portfolio is not just a great idea to make sure their work looks good. It is also helpful in planning how you want your deck to look. Draw ideas from the contractor’s deck work and point out aspects that you like and want to incorporate into your deck design.
If possible talk to references. Be sure to ask about anything specific that is important to you. For example, the time they took to finish, how closely they stuck to their vision and budget, etc.
Your deck builder should be able to provide you with a reasonable timeline, so you can plan when to expect your deck to be finished. Be understanding of unforeseen issues like weather and permits causing construction delays and discuss padding the schedule to account for them. At the same time, talk through how delays will affect your original estimate and overall budget.
It’s not uncommon for some deck builders to lowball a quote to secure your business only to hand over a final bill that is significantly more than anticipated. If there are any issues during the build, you should be notified immediately to discuss next steps. There should be no surprises.
Discuss Your Project
Your contractor should be willing to discuss exactly how you want your deck or patio to be. You don’t want a cookie-cutter deck. You want something with character that goes with the style of your home and fits with your lifestyle. They should be there to guide you, not take over.
A great addition that not everyone thinks about is a patio cover. Enjoy your deck more often with a patio cover since it protects from rain and sun! Carefree Decks has some wonderful louvered options that can be adjusted to offer full coverage from the rain or sun and filtered or full sun.
We hope that this information on how to pick your deck contractor has been helpful to you. You can always reach out to us at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers for more information. We’re happy to listen to your wants and needs and build the perfect deck for you. With 23 years of experience, we have a proven track record of quality builds and customer satisfaction.
November 11, 2017
Choosing a Deck Material
Choosing a deck material is an important task. That’s why the friendly team here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker, Colorado provide this quick look at decking materials. The right option will vary depending on your situation, including your home’s style, your budget, as well as how much time (and more money) you want to put into maintenance.
So, let’s take a look at your options when choosing a deck material.
Composite decking is typically made by mixing waste wood and plastic fibers. Most often, it is designed to provide you with the rich look of wood but offers far greater resistance to insect damage and rot. Composite decking can also stand up to our Denver weather, including hot summers and cold, snowy winters. It also requires less maintenance than wood, just a quick cleaning once in a while. While composite decking is more of an investment than a cheaper wood product, the savings in maintenance over the years will offset the upfront costs.
PVC decking is an excellent option for those that prefer a low maintenance deck, slip-resistant deck. This lightweight material will not rot, stain or fade, and as a bonus, it is entirely recyclable. Advancements in engineering have made it look more like wood and may even fool you from a distance. While closer inspection might reveal that it’s a substitute, our customers don’t mind. PVC decking can be a great option if you want a long-lasting, virtually maintenance free deck.
Unlike composite or PVC decking, wood is susceptible to damage caused by both the elements and insects. There are steps you can take to prolong the life of your wooden deck, but that means more time and money are required to keep your deck properly maintained. For example, in addition to annual cleanings, you will need to deep clean and stain or reseal your deck every couple of years if you don’t want it to rot, splinter, fade or warp. Here are two types of wood that are most commonly used for decks:
- Pressure-Treated Wood – This wood is treated with chemicals to help it last longer, but be careful because these chemicals are toxic. You might get about 15-20 from this deck.
- Redwood and Cedar – Popular for their natural beauty, they’re somewhat resistant to rotting and insect damage. However, they are softwoods and susceptible to damage and warping. It will take a careful attention to ongoing maintenance to get about 20 years of life.
We hope that this information on choosing a deck material has been helpful to you. Of course, if you have any more questions, or are ready to start planning your new deck, feel free to give us a call here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers. Our goal is to take the stress out of picking out the perfect deck for your home. We’ve been making customers happy for 23 years, and we can’t wait to help out on your deck or patio project. Contact us today for a free quote.