Deck Design/Build, Maintenance and Refurbishing Services
Decks are an important and integral part of many home designs. They can require a significant investment to get the functionality and look that you desire – and should be selected with care. At Custom Cedar Fences we have done a number of very high quality fences as an add-on for our custom cedar fence customers. Once our customers have seen first-hand the quality and workmanship of our unique fences, they have been delighted to find that we also design and build custom decks.
All decks require some level of standard maintenance (cleaning, sealers, etc.) to get the benefit of the inherent durability of the materials and/or to keep the deck looking new. We offer these kinds of services, so that when it comes time to resurface or replace your existing deck, you will think of us. Feel free to contact us for requests on these kinds of services.
Problems also develop with decks built of lower-grade surface materials or that use nail construction to hold down the deck boards. We offer repair surfaces as well, ranging from spot replacing of boards, adding screws to the existing fastening system and total replacement and cladding with upgraded materials using the existing foundation (if it is in good condition). Our thinking is the same as with maintenance services – if we provide you with a cost-effective way of extending the life of an existing investment, perhaps you’ll give us first consideration when it comes time to replace or expand your deck. Give us a call at 248-557-6338 or contact us
via e-mail to get a free on-site assessment.
Deck Categories – Including Price Guidelines
As is the case with fences, decks come in three categories: basic, custom and premium. As with fences, the vast majority of what we design and build are in the custom decks category, but we do work in all 3 categories.
Basic - Basic deck installations are typically rectangular, with no special patterns like diagonal boards, which some call a herringbone pattern. They use nails to hold down the deck boards, which are quite often pressure treated pine. Most often, pre-fabricated components are used for deck railings and stairs. We will not build decks to these minimum standards, but do provide repair services for them. We do not recommend pressure treated wood for deck boards, but will produce such a product if that is what the customer wants. The best use of pressure treated boards for decks is for the underlying frame, where their durability advantage can be used. There is a natural tendency for warping with pressure treated lumber, but this is minimized in the framing because the boards are constrained by foundation posts and the deck surface itself. There are no such constraints on the decking proper, particularly when nails are used, and pressure treated deck boards will warp and become unsightly trip hazards over time. Even basic installations should include spacing between the deck boards to prevent rotting that occurs when moisture is trapped between the deck boards.
Pricing – The local market for a basic deck runs from about $15 to $25 per square foot, including railings and stairs. We have seen basic decks with insufficient framing, which may be the reason they were the low bidder. If you can feel your deck “flexing” when you walk on it, this is most likely the reason.
Custom - Custom deck designs should incorporate layouts that accommodate and blend with the layout of your house and yard. Railing designs should be used that match the architecture and style of what you are trying to accomplish. One design does not fit all. Custom designs may still incorporate construction techniques that are not appropriate for creating durable decks, such as nails to hold down deck boards and framing insufficient to eliminate deck flexing. We would recommend you insist that all bidders include pressure treated lumber for the underlying frame. If you add diagonal patterns to your design, you should ask all bidders to include the frame spacing they will use to accommodate the additional span between supports.
The standard features you can expect with a custom deck design from Custom Cedar Fences includes:
· Deck foundation posts no more than 6 feet apart in either direction
· A deck design that sufficiently vents the underside of the deck to discourage mold growth and premature failures due to entrapped moisture
· Frame spacing of 14.5 inches apart for standard mounting (boards perpendicular to framing) and 10.5 inches apart for diagonal (herringbone) deck mounting
· All deck fasteners are coated deckmate screws for wood decking and manufacturers recommendations for composite decking
· All deck boards have consistent spacing of 1/8” for wood and manufacturers specification for composite decking products. We will space them wider apart if that better fits your unique vision and doesn’t compromise the particular deck mounting system selected.
· A custom deck layout that blends the space available with your intent and creates a natural transition from the deck to the yard and to the inside of your home
· A deck railing design that will complement whatever you have or creates the new look you are envisioning
Pricing – Custom decks range in pricing in the local area from about $20 to $40 per square foot. Our pricing for custom decking, including custom stairs and railings starts at $25 per square foot for cedar and $32 per square foot for composite decking. Resurfacing using all new cedar decking over an existing frame starts at $10 per square foot. Visit our deck GALLERY to take a look at some of the decks we have built for delighted customers.
Premium - Premium fences are basically custom fences that incorporate premium materials, like Brazilian Teakwood. Premium decks range from $40 per square foot and up. Our pricing for teak decking, for example, was $40 per square foot in 2008. A premium deck that incorporates more exotic woods and/or a myriad of built-ins and handcrafted details could run double that or more. Exotic woods are special ordered and have a greater chance to increase in cost due to market conditions. Final pricing on these types of products cannot be nailed down until the material commitments are secured.