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Toronto decks

Restoring An Old Deck

150 150 Nisha Muire

Your old deck might be an eyesore now, but it doesn’t have to be! With just a little bit of elbow grease and minimal investment you can have it looking as good as new in a very short time.

Restoring an old deck is not as difficult as it might seem. It only requires a good cleaning, the replacement or fixing or rotten boards and the staining or painting of the structure to keep it going for another few years

Step One
The first thing you have to do when undertaking the restoration of your old deck is to check for structural damage. The spots to focus on are places where the deck touches the ground. If you can sink the tip of your screwdriver easily into posts or joints, then your deck’s foundation is no longer solid and you will be looking at a major overhaul. However, if the structural elements of your deck are still in good shape, then you are good to go.

Step Two
Replace or repair any rotten or loose deck boards. If your deck board has small knots or is splintering you might be able to reinforce it with exterior wood putty – as long as the damage is not significant. However, the better route would be to replace the board entirely. Removing old deck boards can be done with two hammers (if the boards were secured with nails) or with a reversible drill if secured with screws. The two hammer technique is very effective – just plae the hook side of hammer one against the nail head and hammer the hammer down until the nail is firmly wedged between the hooks – then use the hammer like a crowbar to pry the nail free.

Step Three
Cleaning. Although decks are supposed to be cleaned every year, most homeowners don’t realize this. If a deck is cleaned every year, then you can get away with a simple cleanse before moving to the next step. However, if you haven’t really washed your deck in a while, then you should get a good product such as Thompson’s Deck Wash. You simply mix it in a bucket and apply it to the surface of your deck with a good stiff-bristled brush so that you can really scrub at it. You can also use a pressure washer for really tough stains – but be careful not to put it on the highest settings, which can damage your deck boards.

Step Four
Allow your deck to dry COMPLETELY before applying any kind of stain. You should wait a good 24 hours so that your deck is absolutely dry before staining. However, if it rains before you stain, you have to wait longer.

Step Five
Most contractors recommend a semi-transparent stain for old decks as the grain can still show through but the pigment will make the new boards blend in better with the old boards. However, there are also dark stains and paint options that provide startlingly beautiful results. Read the instructions on whatever stain you use for proper application techniques.

Step Six
Wait until the stain/paint dries – and enjoy your restored deck!

Decks vs Patios

150 150 Nisha Muire

Decks and patios are now key features looked for by homebuyers when on the hunt for a new home. With the creation of the “outdoor living space” these structures have almost become a necessity. As a homeowner wondering whether to install a deck or a patio, there are a few items to keep in mind. First, whatever you install should not break your bank account. Second, it should suit your yard. Third, it should suit your needs.

Before we take a look at the differences between decks and patios, however, let’s clearly define what they are. Although many people use the two words interchangeably, a deck is a supported structure usually made out of wood, vinyl or concrete while a patio is laid directly on the ground and is typically made from stone, pavers, poured concrete, gravel or, sometimes, mulch.

The cost of installing a deck can run anywhere from $6,000 to $20,000 depending on the size and intricacy of your deck as well as the material you use. Composite decking is far more expensive per square foot than regular treated wood, while cedar planking comes in at the midrange of the two. A good cost calculator for decks can be found here //bit.ly/1Cpn7uw.

Patios are far more affordable than decks. Pavers can be as little as $0.50 but can go as high as $30 although you do have to take into consideration the cost of leveling the ground and adding enough crushed stone to make a stable base. If you plan on doing the work yourself, then a patio can run you as little as $200 or can go as high as $10,000 depending on the size and scope of your design. A good calculator can for patios can be found here //bit.ly/1HOrYFL.

Choosing the material that best suits your yard and your needs are also two very important considerations. If you have a sloping yard, then you will have to level the ground before installing a patio, whereas installing a deck will make leveling the surface much easier. However, if you want to incorporate your sitting area into your landscaping, it is easier to do so with patios, which can be surrounded by gardens and vegetation.

What you need is another factor that will influence your decision. If you want a spotlight place overlooking a view, then a deck is definitely the way to go. However, if you want a cozy spot for seeking shade and tranquility or for installing a fire pit, then a patio surrounded by lush gardens is probably a better idea. Many landscape designs will, in fact, incorporate both a deck and a patio in the same design to better serve different needs.

Regardless of whether you go with a deck or a patio, the options for both are endless and the results, if done well, can serve your family and home for years to come.