Stamped Concrete or Pavers, What’s Better for Your Patio?

Stamped Concrete or Pavers Carefree Decks & Patio Covers DenverChoosing stamped concrete or pavers for your back patio, even walkways or a driveway, is a great way to add a bit of pizzazz to your home. However, each material comes with its own pluses and minuses.

So what’s better for your patio when both are viable options for beautifying your outdoor space?

Today, the experts at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers breaks down everything you need to know when making your decision. Generally speaking, there are 4 main areas to consider:

  • Creating a patio that fits your style and coordinates with your home’s architecture
  • Ensuring your safety and preventing slips or falls, especially if you have a pool
  • Looking at the maintenance and upkeep needed to enjoy your patio for decades
  • Deciding on a cost that won’t stress you out – after all, you want to enjoy your patio

Deciding Between Stamped Concrete or Pavers

Pavers and stamped concrete both have their good points and their not-so-good points. Both make for attractive and reasonably affordable options, but one or the other may offer a better solution for your situation. Let’s look at both and see how each one performs in the following four areas.

Style and Aesthetics

Even though aesthetics is the least important aspect practically, it is the first thing everyone thinks of when planning, and the first thing your guests will notice upon arrival. Style is very important and the reason why many people even consider installing outdoor flooring.

So, which one looks better – stamped concrete or pavers? Ultimately, that’s personal opinion. Some people love the texture and versatility afforded by stamped concrete. You can shape and color it in infinite ways, even to mimic natural materials like brick, slate or flagstone.

On the other hand, stone pavers offer a beautiful, natural finish while masonry pavers come in quite a few varieties to create the look you want. Pavers offer flexibility in design, and many people love the ability to personalize the pattern.

There is no clear winner in the aesthetics category. It truly comes down to personal taste and what type of look you prefer. Let’s move along and consider the other categories to help determine a winner.

Safety and Preventing Slips

Safety concerns are generally not the first thing that people think of when choosing stamped concrete or pavers. However, they are obviously a critical consideration.

The main safety concerns with any type of flooring are slipping and tripping.

Stamped concrete is poured in a continuous slab which makes tripping a rare problem. It also means that it does tend to get slippery when wet. However, the right installation experts can add texture, even a special sealer to greatly improve its slip-resistance. There would be a very low hazard at that point.

Pavers, while they might not get as slippery thanks to good water drainage, tend to present a tripping hazard. When pavers are first installed, the surface is usually very even, and tripping is not too serious of a problem. However, the ground settles over time and the pavers shift, making the surface deceptively uneven and posing a significant hazard. It’s an issue that may require upkeep or repair along the way.

For this area, stamped concrete sneaks ahead, though pavers still have their own merits.

Maintenance & Upkeep

Maintenance is a very significant aspect of choosing between stamped concrete or pavers. Nobody wants to spend all their free time or money on upkeep. They want to spend time enjoying their patio.

Stamped concrete is a bit of a hassle when it’s first installed. It requires 3-5 days of curing before you can even walk on it. Because of its continuous nature, it is also more prone to cracks than pavers.

Many factors (like traffic, hot and cold temperature changes, settling, and shrinkage) affect how quickly cracks may appear. Unfortunately, you can be assured that they probably will appear at some point. For this reason, people often choose a textured pattern to camouflage cracks as they appear.

Pavers are generally not as delicate. You don’t have to wait 3-5 days to start using them, and they are not nearly as prone to cracking. Because they are individual pieces, they have the flexibility to move with settling and hot and cold pressure changes. It is also easier to replace just one section if it gets damaged and makes the patch look uniform with the old pavers.

However, you do have to be aware that from time to time you will need to buy sand to refill the spaces between the pavers.

Material & Install Costs

When you can’t decide on a material, it often comes down to cost. Fortunately, both are relatively affordable options. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help much with the decision-making process!

The upfront cost of stamped concrete is generally less than that of pavers, especially if you want high-end natural stone pavers installed across a massive patio area. That can really add up.

However, long-term costs are harder to gauge. The same material in one yard, where it was installed the right way and taken care of, will last longer and be less expensive than in another yard where the installer was careless and the homeowner skipped all upkeep work.

The long-term cost is just one of the reasons why it is so important to choose a reputable company to install your outdoor flooring whether you choose stamped concrete or pavers.

Carefree Decks and Patio Covers has been providing excellent deck and patio services to our neighbors here in the metro Denver area for over 20 years. We would be happy to help you make the best choice for your specific circumstances, as well as provide expert installation!

Because we are acquainted with these materials, you can trust us to point you in the right direction for your home and budget. Contact us today to request a free quote on stamped concrete or pavers and any other project you’d like to take on to beautify your outdoor space.

4 Deck Railing Considerations You Shouldn’t Ignore

deck railingAt Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, we realize that you’re likely more focused on the deck than the railing. After all, it’s just there for safety, right?

Well, let’s rethink that. 

If you want to create the perfect look for your outdoor space, the humble and functional deck rail deserves a bit of your attention.

After all, you don’t want to put a lot of thought, money and effort into building an amazing new deck only to have the final product ruined by ignoring these 4 deck railing considerations.

Consider that Gorgeous View

Keep in mind that the overall look of your deck doesn’t just encompass the deck itself, but also includes everything in the vicinity.

To achieve the best overall effect, be sure to consider the surrounding area where you want to build the deck, including proximity to the house, your line of sight and the level of privacy that you desire.

For example, let’s say your backyard affords a majestic mountain view or a great spot to watch the sunset. You won’t want your new deck or the deck railing to get in the way of all that natural beauty, so it is best to choose a thin railing in dark colors to minimize the appearance and maximize the view.

However, if your backyard is small and the neighbors are close, choosing a thicker railing is an excellent way to create more private space for you and your guests to enjoy. Our experts can even help you mix railing types to give you the best of both worlds. 

Consider Your Deck Railing Materials

When it comes to railing considerations, remember that not all materials are created equal. Some are more of an investment than others, and some require more work and upkeep than others.

For example, wood is classically beautiful but unfortunately can rot and decay faster than other materials. To slow that process, you must keep up on restaining and sealing frequently which can get to be a bit of a headache.

Glass inserts might be great to see that view, but remember that you’ll need to clean the fingerprints and dust off of it if you want to be able to see the view through it.

On the flip side, composites, PVC and aluminum are all great options for versatility and easy maintenance of your deck railing. You only have to decide what is most important to you and what works best for your budget.

Consider Covenants & Building Codes

This should go without saying, but not everyone thinks about it. Before getting started on the build, one of the key deck railing considerations is to ensure compliance.

Check out your local building codes in your specific areas. Different cities and counties often have different codes for building a deck, so what might work in one area won’t necessarily be allowed in another. 

If you live in a community with an HOA, you may also want to review your covenants. Many will require you to submit design plans to a committee for review. If you proceed without permission, you may face fines and possibly have to rip out your new deck and rebuild according to their rules. 

Of course, working with a reputable company like Carefree Decks will help with this tremendously. We make it our business to know the rules and ensure that we are playing by them and always advise our customers about possible violations. It’s just one of the ways that we can provide excellent service to our clients!

Consider Color and Style

This is the fun part.  Here, you can express your personal brand of creativity.

One of the great things is that the possibilities are virtually endless when creating the perfect color/style combination to perfectly accent your deck and your home.

You can quite literally do almost anything you want. The frustrating thing is that with so many options it can feel overwhelming to many homeowners.

Here, we offer a few basic design ideas to help narrow things down a little and get you started on the right track.

  • Coordinate – This is the safe route for those who prefer a low-key and a risk-free design. Choose a deck and railing that are all the same color, and you can create a sophisticated, somewhat muted, classic look. This look is easy to pull off and easy to coordinate with the color of your house.
  • Contrast – This is pretty much the opposite of coordinating. This idea consists of choosing a deck railing color that will stand out in stark contrast to your deck. For example, you might pair a white railing with a dark deck or a black railing with a lighter colored deck. Keep in mind, if you have a view you want to showcase, dark railings are exceptional for blending into the background and not drawing the eye away from the view.
  • Mix and Match – This option is for the creatives out there who enjoy working with different colors and moods. This is where you can go crazy and really let your personality shine even in something as mundane as your deck. With all the color, style, and even texture options (depending on the material you choose) there is virtually no end to the combinations that you could create.

For those of you that really want a unique look, but don’t know how to create it on your own, you can always talk to us here at Carefree Decks. One of our expert designers will help you create your vision, even if you don’t know exactly what you’re envisioning yet.

So, when it comes to designing and building the perfect deck, with the ideal deck railing for your view and personal style, please don’t hesitate to call us here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers.

We will get you on the right track quickly and you will have your dream deck designed, built, and installed as quickly as possible. And don’t worry, there’s plenty of summer (and even fall) left to enjoy a fabulous new deck. 

Give us a call today to learn more and request your deck railing quote. 

 

Get the Best Results for your Deck Using Trex Composite Decking Boards

composite decking boardsWith any home project, your options are limitless. Choosing your tools, help, and materials can be a bit overwhelming. How can you be sure you’re making the best choice?

Fear not! Carefree Decks and Patio Covers is about to make it much easier to choose the best boards for your new deck.

Trex composite decking boards are your best choice for your deck project for several reasons, which we’ve listed below. Check them out:

Why Composite Decking Boards Are Better

When building a deck, always use composite boards. Composite boards are better than wood boards, hands down. Here’s why.

No Bleach, No Power Washing, NO MOLD!

If you’ve ever owned a wood deck for more than a year, you’ve probably had to deal with one of two problems: a moldy deck or a detailed, yearly cleaning. Normal wood decks require bleaching and/or power washing at least once a year to prevent mold.

Composite decks require much less maintenance. For the most part, you clean it by spraying it with a hose once in a while and cleaning up food right away with soapy water. You still can pressure wash it if you wish, with a pressure of 3100 psi or less.

No Staining or Finishing

When building a wood deck, you’ll have to stain the wood unless you pay extra for wood that is already stained. After installing a wood deck, you must apply a weather sealant to protect from the elements and then reapply as needed.

Or you can get composite boards and never have to do any of that. Buy them in whatever color you want them to be and you’re done. No staining, no finishing, no painting, no reapplying ever.

No Stains

With composite boards, you also don’t have to worry about the other kind of stains. That is, grease stains, spaghetti stains, wine stains and other common stains are not a concern with composite boards. As long as you clean them up right away with soap and water, your composite deck will always look just as amazing as it did the day it was installed.

They are Just as Beautiful as Wood

Speaking of looking amazing, a lot of people are concerned that composite decks won’t look as good as wood decks. on the contrary, Composite decks look just as good if not better than wood decks.

This is especially true as the decks get older. Wood decks have a tendency to crack, rot or mold, but composite decks never will. But don’t just take our word for it. See for yourself with this gallery from Trex.

Other Advantages Over Wood Decks

You’ll never get splinters from your beautiful, composite deck. And you’ll never have to worry about termites, either.

Better Performance Than Other Decking Materials

Wood isn’t the only decking material that composite boards have an advantage over. Composite boards are also better than PVC boards when it comes to performance.

Composite boards are less likely than PVC boards to expand and contract with temperature changes. PVC boards are also more easily stained by various substances. And PVC boards often require special cleaners and other maintenance that composite boards don’t.

Why Trex Composite Decking Boards Are Even Better

Aside from the above reasons why composite decking boards are better than wood, there are many things that make Trex the king of composite boards. See what makes Trex the best below.

A Good, Trusted Brand

Trex has been producing quality, high-end composite boards since 1996. That means they have been doing this since the very beginning of composite boards.

Being in the industry so long has given them a distinct advantage. They have already been testing and improving their product for up to decades longer than other, younger composite board companies.

For example, all Trex boards are enveloped by a unique, weather-resistant shell that protects against stains and fading. It’s one of the reasons why Trex boards require so much less maintenance than other boards.

And Trex boards look better than the competition. Some Trex boards are indistinguishable from wood to the naked eye. The rest look even better.

With Trex, you’ll find much higher quality, more types of products and a wider variety of colors and styles than you’ll find at other composite board companies. They will even give you a free sample if you ask.

Eco-Friendly Decking

Trex boards are always made of 95% recycled materials using environmentally friendly production methods. That’s something most companies in the world can’t say about their main product. It’s a lot more green than making your deck out of cut-down trees or virgin plastic PVC boards.

Trex Hideaway Fasteners

Trex composite decking boards can be installed using most standard installation methods. Or you can make it much easier on yourself using the provided Hideaway Fasteners by Trex.

The Hideaway Fasteners are little clips you install underneath the Trex boards on your deck. The grooved sides of the Trex boards are made to fit into the clips.

Simply install the clips, slide the board in place and repeat until your deck is done. When finished, all boards are securely in place and there are no exposed screws to worry about.

Here’s a video of Hideaway Fastener installation so you can see how it works.

25 Year Warranty

All Trex composite boards come with a 25-year warranty. All you need to do is follow the simple care instructions to enjoy your gorgeous deck worry free for 25 years.

Trex Composite Decking Boards: The Right Choice

No other boards will perform as well in all types of weather. No other boards will require so little maintenance and have so long a warranty. No other boards are as environmentally friendly.

And no other company will have the exact, high-quality decking boards you are looking for like Trex. The choice is obvious! Trex composite decking boards are the best possible choice for your decking needs.

For more ways to awesomize your deck with the help of Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, check out 5 Awesome Ideas for Your Deck and How to Fight Mosquitos and Enjoy Your Deck. Or take advantage of our quality, professional help! Contact us today for your free quote.

How to Fight Mosquitos and Enjoy Your Deck

wood deck Carefree Decks & Patio Covers DenverToday, Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker offers tips on how to fight mosquitos and enjoy your deck this summer. There can be nothing more frustrating than getting ready to enjoy some outdoor time out on your deck but the moment you step outside getting mauled by mosquitos. Let us help.

How to fight mosquitos include:

  • No standing water
  • Ensure proper deck drainage
  • Use mosquito dunks
  • Plant natural repellants
  • Trim grass and bushes
  • Attract birds to eat them
  • Clean your gutters
  • Add deck fans
  • Use mosquito repellant

Let’s take a closer look at each of these options to keep mosquitos at bay.

No Standing Water

First things first, empty any standing water on your property. Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water, so eliminating their options for reproducing is going to help the situation immensely.

Deck Drainage

Underneath your deck may be a source of standing water and drainage issues. Inspect for proper drainage and install a French drain or apply sand to any areas that accumulate water. This will reduce the chances of mosquitos breeding in standing water around your home.

Mosquito Dunks

For any standing water that cannot be drained or eliminated, such as a birdbath, pond, or water feature, insert Mosquito Dunks which are non-toxic and very effective for hampering mosquito larvae from hatching.

Repellant Plants

Use herbs and proven repellant plants such as lemongrass, mint, rosemary, and citronella around your patio to ward off mosquitos. Be sure that they drain correctly and do not create any additional standing water problems.

Trim Grasses and Bushes

Mosquitos also look for long grass and thicker bushes, where moisture accumulates, to lay their eggs in. Keep grasses and shrubs trimmed to help avoid created the perfect environment for breeding mosquitos.

Bird Houses

Encouraging birds (and even bats) to take up residence in your yard is going to help keep mosquitos at bay near your patio. Birds feast heavily on mosquitos, plus you will enjoy the wildlife scenery they offer.

Clean Gutters

If your gutters fill up with debris and do not drain properly, these can provide a haven for pesky mosquitos. Be sure to get your gutters cleaned regularly to enable proper drainage flow away from the house.

Fans

Fortunately, mosquitos cannot fly in more than 2pmh winds. Most oscillating fans will produce sufficient air movement to prevent mosquitos from flying near the patio. Plus, the extra airflow will work great to cool down the patio especially if airflow is an issue, to begin with.

Citronella

Citronella is a proven mosquito repellent. Use it in plant form or burn it in candle and oil form. Create a perimeter around the patio 2-4 feet apart for extra buggy areas, about 8-10 feet away from the patio, so that you will not get smoked out also.

DEET

If all else fails, using a mosquito spray with DEET will stave off mosquitos from the patio, but be aware of the health concerns of doing so too often. This is a potent chemical that’s not good for bugs or people!

Hopefully, you are more equipped than ever with how to fight mosquitos and enjoy your deck this year. The team at Carefree Patios and Deck Covers have a vast repertoire of deck design options and installations that can curb the onslaught of mosquitos this year, so call us the moment you are ready to get the most out of your patio.

5 Awesome Ideas for Your Deck

wrought iron railing Carefree Decks & Patio Covers DenverCarefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker, Colorado has 5 awesome ideas for decks. We put together a list that is going to help you think about what matters when it comes to your backyard and patio options. Take a look and see what sounds good to you and get ready to dramatically improve your free time at home with these awesome ideas for decks in Colorado.

  1. Outdoor Cooking: One of the most enjoyable means to cook up some delicious meals is to do it outdoors in the fresh air with friends and family all around. Everyone tends to gravitate toward the kitchen, so when planning to add an outdoor kitchen to your space, first think about the fire. Do you prefer to have a stovetop or a grill to do your spring, summer and fall cooking on? The options are many. Choose a portable grill or a built-in, but be sure to place it in a location with excellent airflow. Get ready to love your outdoor kitchen and cook up a storm this year. 
  1. Vertical Gardens: Fresh from the garden to the table, consider a vertical herb and veggie garden and save yourself a trip to the store. It is incredibly satisfying to grow the very food you serve, and it is easily done with a do-it-yourself vertical garden design. Wooden pallets are a great place to start, especially if you would like to block the view from the road or neighbors. Otherwise, use wire mesh to get started with your vertical garden design at home. 
  1. Hot Tub: When it comes to awesome ideas for your deck, there may be no better therapy than having your very own hot tub spa in your yard. Whether relaxing after a day at the office or stargazing with your loved one, a hot tub can add so much enjoyment and relaxation to your current outdoor space. There is indeed a hot tub out there with your name on it. Consider the many benefits of adding a hot tub spa to your existing outdoor living area for maximum enjoyment. 
  1. Pergola: A pergola or any type of pavilion added to your outdoor space is going to enhance the shade qualities protecting from the harsh sun. Add trellising and vines or other yard art to make it your own style. These are great for putting in your favorite place to sit outdoors or in the garden. It can be attached to another structure including the home or stand freely. It all depends on your shade goals. The shapes and sizes available are endless including arched, promenade, open-top, and pitched, made of wood including cedar or plastic such as vinyl. 
  1. Fireplace and Seating: As human beings, we are innately drawn to the fire. Add an outdoor fireplace to your yard and watch as the crowd gathers to enjoy. A fireplace can be an addition to your patio or stand alone. A two-sided fireplace will divide your outdoor space and give more options for relaxing. The options available for outdoor seating are immense, so have fun with it. Choose from outdoor sofas, loungers, wicker chairs and more.

Take advantage of the expertise at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers with these 5 awesome ideas for your deck. Our practical design and build services set us apart as a leader in Colorado for lasting deck installation results. Call us as soon as you are ready to love your outdoor space much more.

Patio and Deck Cover Options

custom patio cover Carefree Decks & Patio Covers DenverIf you’re already planning for summer, let’s talk about your patio and deck cover options. At Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker, Colorado, we have some great ideas to help you out. Take a look at some of these fantastic options for sprucing up your outdoor space and getting some respite from the hot sun and sudden showers. 

Umbrella

The simplest, most budget-friendly of the many patio and deck cover options is an umbrella. The great thing is they offer needed shade and add a bright splash of color to your outdoor space.

Freestanding umbrellas are helpful as they can be moved around. This comes in handy when you have a versatile sitting area, so that you can adjust the umbrella’s position as the sun moves throughout the day. Some styles can be tilted to block the sun as it moves and others have an offset base that keeps it out of everyone’s way. You can even brighten things up a bit by adding LED lights to your umbrella which sets the mood nicely for a romantic evening in your backyard.

The downside is that umbrellas are not very big and they only add shade in the immediate surrounding area. Also, while you can put that shade exactly where you want it, you have to go to the effort to move it around. And it still shades a relatively small space. Your space will also be hotter in general because of the reflected light from the areas where the umbrella does not cast a shadow.

Cloth Shades

A step up from an umbrella is to hang up a cloth shade, or sail shade, over your patio space. You’ll have to put a structure in place to hang it from, but this isn’t very complicated. Just make sure that you hang the cloth at an angle that allows rainwater to run off where you want it to. Otherwise, you’ll end up with either a cloth sagging in the middle from all the water or a drainage point right in your walkway.

A light fabric will cast a lovely shadow without overly darkening your space. Cloth also typically allows for excellent airflow. But if the wind picks up a lot, be careful. It could easily tear down the fabric. You’ll also have to deal with taking the cloth down and storing it during the winter. Rainwater may run off, but snow is not as accommodating and the fabric will not stand up to it very well. So, while it can be great for the summer months, don’t plan on it protecting your patio during the winter.

To protect your patio space all year round, you’ll typically want to look into more permanent patio and deck cover options. Next, we’ll talk about two great choices that are excellent for all types of weather.

Aluminum Patio Covers

Wood patio covers look fabulous, and many people love them for their aesthetics. However, they tend to require a ton of maintenance, and even if you keep up with it, they will need to be replaced at some point or another. The wood begins to rot or warp and split within a few short years. The paint may start to crack or peel even faster depending on conditions.

To avoid this problem, but still get the great look of a wood patio cover, we recommend Alumawood patio covers by Amerimax. They are made to look just like wood but are virtually maintenance free.

Most importantly, of all the patio and deck cover options, Alumawood products last for years and are sturdy enough to handle the harsh weather conditions that we often experience here in Colorado. To give you an idea of what we mean, they can handle 30 pounds per square foot thanks to steel reinforced cross beams. That’s plenty, even for heavy snowfall. And winds will have to blow well over 110 miles per hour to cause damage to these covers.

You can choose to have a solid cover for full protection from the sun and rain, or go with a lattice design. The lattice can cut the temperature by an impressive 15°F, but you still get a bit of sunshine to brighten up your patio space.

Louvered Patio Covers

If you can’t decide between a solid or lattice aluminum cover, a louvered patio cover by Equinox may be the ideal of all patio and deck cover options. When it’s raining, just close the louvers to give your patio the optimum protection. You can also close things up on the hottest days when the sun is intense.

Other days, you may want to let a bit of sunlight into your space. Grab your remote and set the louvers to be partially open. This will offer a bit of shade and cut down on the heat without making your space unnecessarily dark. In the spring and fall, it may be cool enough that you want to let in all available heat and light. In that case, you can simply open the louvers all the way to let in plenty of light. These covers have a 160-degree range of motion, so you can position them however you want for the perfect balance of light, ventilation, and shade.

If you need any help with understanding your patio and deck cover options, feel free to reach out to us. Our staff here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers is always happy to help answer questions and address your concerns. We have been running our family owned and operated business for over 23 years and have gained quite a bit of experience in that time. Our goal is to offer our customers quality products and service, as well as deliver the backyard space you’ve been dreaming about all winter.

To get started on creating your perfect patio space, give us a call today to discuss your ideas and goals. Our friendly experts will help you select the perfect patio and deck cover options for your home and budget, then set up your installation. Get ready to take your backyard barbecues to the next level!

Do You Need a New Deck?

custom deck Carefree Decks & Patio Covers DenverBecause that beautiful deck won’t last forever, you need to know how to tell you need a new deck. Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker, Colorado offers these signs to watch out for. Inspect your deck at regular intervals, at least at the end of each season, looking for these signs of damage.

How to Tell You Need a New Deck

With certain problems, you can simply complete a little maintenance or make a quick fix to extend the life of your deck. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Here are signs that it’s time for a new deck.

  • Posts are rotten
  • Improper post connections
  • Railings are shaky
  • Loose ledger boards
  • Leak in ledger board flashing
  • Wobbly deck boards
  • Does not meet current regulations 

Now, let’s take a closer look at each possibility and what you should be looking for with your deck. 

Posts are Rotten

Back in the day, they built decks by placing the posts right on the footings. The problem with this is that the wood becomes more prone to sucking up water, especially if it is not pressure-treated. Wet wood means, of course, that it will rot faster. To avoid this problem, most new decks are built with an added bracket that keeps the wood up off the ground. This drastically lowers the possibility of water getting in there and causing rot.

If your posts were built in this old-fashioned way, they might already be rotting. Check them out to see. If you find that the posts are rotting, you definitely need a new deck and sooner rather than later.

Improper Post Connections

Even if the bottoms of your posts are looking good, don’t forget to check the top. Examine where the post connects to the deck. They should always be sitting under the rim joist or beam of the deck. Some builders put them on the side, but that is not a very strong construction. It’s even worse if a builder only used nails to attach everything. If your deck was built in this way, consider replacing it, or you will be at risk of having your deck collapse.

Railings are Shaky

Admittedly, shaky railings aren’t as bad as rotten posts, but this is still a hazard. Imagine if someone was leaning against your railing, and it decides to give way? This is even more dangerous if there are young children around or your deck is high off the ground.

A lot of old railings are attached with nails only. The problem with using nails is that they will eventually slip. A deck contractor can replace nails with bolts or screws to ensure the railing holds. However, if the wood around the nails is splintering or falling apart, you may need a new deck.

Loose Ledger Boards

Ledger boards are another critical piece of your deck. These are the boards that support the deck on the side where it is attached to your house. These are weight bearing, so it’s essential for them to be in good shape. If you notice that your ledger boards are not secured properly or showing signs of deterioration, it’s time to replace them. Until you do, you run the risk of the deck falling away from your house.

Leak in Ledger Board Flashing

Sometimes the ledger boards can be okay, but you’re still at risk that the deck could pull away from the house. This happens because the rim joist of the house itself is rotting and will eventually fail.

Typically builders install a metal flashing around ledger boards to prevent this from happening. The flashing helps keep water from getting down inside, thus preventing rot. Sometimes this flashing may not have been installed correctly, or a small leak developed over time.

Even a tiny leak can lead to mold and eventually rot. It’s a good idea to inspect the flashing every once in a while to ensure that it is sealed tightly to the side of the house. No water should be able to get down in there and start causing problems.

Wobbly Deck Boards

Loose or rickety deck boards are usually indicative of more severe deck issues. In many cases, boards become wobbly as they rot and the screws or nails loosen. Do the boards feel spongy as you walk across them? This is another indication that the interior of the board is rotten.

To make matters worse, termites love to feed on rotting wood. If your wood is getting soft, they’ll start tunneling their way into it and accelerating the process of degeneration. If you notice their wings lying around on the ground near your deck, that’s a good indication they’re inside.

Also watch for visible rot on the ends of your deck boards. If you see this much rot, your structure has likely seen the last of its useful days and you may need a new deck.

No Longer Meets Regulations

As regulations change and become stricter, your old deck may not meet the new regulations. Those regulations change for a reason, so your deck is due for an update! Safety is very important, so every effort to ensure that your deck is safe. You deserve a comfortable place to enjoy backyard barbecues without having to worry about your family’s safety.

So now that you’ve learned a bit about how to tell you need a new deck, what do you think? Has the time come? Shopping for a new deck can be an exciting endeavor. It can also be a little overwhelming with all the options that are available these days. There are many things to consider. What kind of material do you want to use? What color would look best? What style would fit best with your home? Will your new deck add resale value to your home?

Give us a call here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, and one of our team will be happy to walk you through the options and help you decide. Once you pick out your new deck, our staff will work quickly and efficiently to get it built. With over 20 years in the business, we can build the perfect deck for you and your family’s needs.

Deck Pattern Options

Deck Pattern Options Carefree Decks & Patio Covers DenverToday, 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.

Horizontal Decking

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.

Diagonal Decking

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.

Herringbone Decking

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.

Deck Railing Choices

Deck Railing Choices Carefree Decks & Patio Covers DenverToday, 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

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

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

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/Wrought Iron

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.

What’s a Good Size Deck for Entertaining?

Good Size Deck for Entertaining Carefree Decks & Patio Covers DenverHere 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.