Our Current Blog Articles
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.
October 19, 2017
Dreaming of Building a Deck Next Summer?
Dreaming of building a deck next summer? Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Denver has a few tips for you to keep in mind while you are in the planning stages. A little bit of research now will go a long way, giving you a head start on construction next year.
If you’ve been dreaming of building a deck next summer, you may have a lot of exciting plans in mind. This should give you an idea of the size you want to build your deck. So, what do you plan to use the deck for? If you want to throw big parties, we can go big. And if you tend to plan more intimate gatherings with family or just a few friends, our deck experts can create a cozy space.
Of course, don’t forget to factor in the size of your yard and other landscape features. Leaving some green space around your deck can make it feel like an escape into nature. A good way to guesstimate the size is to haul your patio furniture, barbecue, and other relevant items out into your backyard and arrange them how you envision they will be on the deck.
Another thing to consider is that the larger a deck is, the more maintenance it will require. Be aware of how much time you’re willing to put into deck upkeep.
You can’t just design a deck based purely on aesthetics and start building it. First, you will need to check the building codes and zoning rules for your area. The town hall is a good place to get that information. If you work with a reputable contractor like Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, our representatives will already know what the requirements are in your area. Compliance with these codes is essential not only because it’s the law, but more importantly, for safety.
Take a look at what you’ll see from your deck. Remember that the wood deck will be at least a little raised, so take that into account. Do you have a view in your backyard that you love? We can frame it. Don’t want so high of a deck that you can see your neighbor’s overgrown grass? We’ll find the right height, design around a better focal point, even lay the decking pointing in the direction that has the prettiest view. The eye will naturally follow the lines.
If you have a privacy fence in your backyard, the deck may lift you up high enough that you lose a bit of that privacy. An easy way to remedy this is to build a patio cover or plant a few trees to create a nice privacy barrier. It also adds some pleasing green to your backyard scene.
So, if you’re dreaming of building a deck next summer, taking a bit of time to plan what you want now will help a lot. Once you know what you want, or to get some help with planning, talk to one of the professionals here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers. We’ll ensure that your plans fit into building requirements and you’ll be all set when summer weather returns to Denver.
October 5, 2017
How to Winterize Your Deck
Knowing how to winterize your deck can help prevent unwelcome surprises and damage when spring rolls around. Carefree Decks and Patio Covers has compiled this list of things you can do to protect your wood deck during the winter months here in Denver, Colorado.
Clean it up
First things first, get rid of any debris such as leaves, pine needles or other landscape materials that can absorb and trap moisture on the deck’s surface. Moisture is not good for your wood deck as it can cause mold and mildew to grow. Eventually, the wood itself will begin to rot. Also watch out for other items that will trap moisture, such as potted plants. Either elevate them with something that is more resistant to rot, like cedar, or move them around every once in awhile.
Wash it off
Wash your deck thoroughly with an oxygen-based cleaner to remove any beginnings of mold or mildew or any unwanted stains. It’s a pretty easy task that requires spray a solution (either store-bought or homemade) applied to your deck – get your concrete patio while you’re at it, too. Let it sit for a good 20-30 minutes then just rinse it off with the garden hose, and you’re good to go!
Stain and seal it
When it comes to how to winterize your deck, this is more labor intensive. But, a water-repellent stain or sealant will do wonders for keeping your deck safe all winter. If the current stain/seal is past its prime, you’ll want to strip that off first and then apply a new coat.
Remove the snow
Carefully remove snow to prevent damaging your deck. If the snow is light, use a broom. If the snow is heavy or wet, opt for a plastic shovel over a metal one and scoop in a direction parallel to the grain. This will help keep from gouging or scratching the boards as you remove the snow.
Remove the ice
Ice is a bit tougher. Ice chippers are another popular ice removal option, but it is not a good idea to use one on your deck. It’s almost certain that you will dent or gouge the wood or even cause it to crack. Using salt or other chemicals to remove it can end up causing damage to the sealant or stain that is protecting your deck, so be sure to get a product that’s safe for wood decks.
Build a new deck
To avoid the hassles of protecting and maintaining a wooden deck altogether, simply build a new deck using new materials that are resistant to all the hazards that can damage wood decks. Trex decking is a great option. It’s easy to clean and won’t splinter or rot. Plus it doesn’t require re-staining and re-sealing to keep it in tip-top shape.
We hope these tips on how to winterize your deck have been helpful. As always, our experts here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Denver are happy to help answer any questions about decking that you may have and get your deck upgraded to Trex. Contact us for details.