A Deck: The Perfect Foundation For Outdoor Living

Alternative Materials for Decks Are On The Rise

DeckIf you are looking for the luxury of low maintenance decks, you should consider alternative materials for decks. Synthetic materials for decks are a rapidly growing alternative to wood in the deck industry today. New products are entering the market place every year. The synthetic decking market in 2000 was only 8% of all decks being built. Today, these materials comprise 15% of decks built and the number increases by 25% each year. More and more people are realizing that it is hard to find time to do the annual maintenance, so they are turning to these alternative decking materials.

Choosing a Foundation to Suit Your Style

For an ideal outdoor living environment, homeowners must first consider the foundation, whether it's a porch, patio or deck. "Just as with the accessories, the foundation they choose must reflect their personal style and require little maintenance,And because every space is unique, homeowners must make the best possible use of available outdoor space and gracefully blend the foundation with the home and its surroundings." Many people choose a deck because of the value it brings to a home. According to Remodeling Magazine's "2005 Cost vs. Value Report," which was included in the November issue, the national average for a deck addition recoups more than 90 percent of the project cost upon resale.

Selecting Materials to Fit Your Vision

The variety of decking material and amenity options available today can be overwhelming, so many contractors work with homeowners to find the right material and features to meet the vision and budget of their outdoor living space. Because many homeowners are looking for low maintenance materials that withstand weather extremes, many contractors recommend composite decking. 

Benefits of Composite Decking

According to Mick Whelan, corporate director of marketing for TAMKO, manufacturer of composite decking offers a variety of benefits, in addition to durability and slip-resistance, for homeowners looking to enhance their outdoor living space. "Because it is made through a unique compression molding process, it offers the natural wood look, as well as the colors and accessories, consumers want to complement their homes," Whelan said. "Containing both plastic and wood fiber, composite decking is low maintenance and offers a  limited warranty. These aspects are extremely important because people want higher quality composite materials, that not only provide style and beauty, but also will stand the test of time."


Introduction to Gazebos

GazeboAlthough the etymology of the word gazebo is shrouded in mystery, one thing is clear, gazebos have been fixtures in gardens for centuries. Their popularity and presence have become more widespread with every generation, and they have emerged as the most prevalent outdoor garden structures in the world. Originally called summerhouses, screen houses, kiosks, pavilions, pergolas, arbors, grottos, or pagodas, the existence of gazebos has been traced to the earliest gardens (except the Garden of Eden, of course). Gazebos actually started out as towers or lanterns on the roofs of houses, and were built specifically to afford advantageous views of the surrounding areas. It wasn't until years later that the structures were built on the ground as summerhouses.

Gazebos Today

today, they're springing up in homes and gardens all across the country. Adaptable to the whims of the designer, they can be round, square, octagonal, or rectangular, small or large, ornate or plain, elegant or rustic, and anything else that one can dream up. If you would like to have your custom gazebo built, please contact us for a free quote.


The Concrete Patio

PatioBack yards are being transformed into luxurious extensions of the house. They're the new favorite room to relax, entertain, and cook. And the heart and soul of the backyard resort area is the concrete patio. The Hearth, Patio, and Barbecue Association, which recently held its annual tradeshow and exposition, says the growth of the outdoor living phenomena is the result of North America's interest in 'cocooning,' the trend toward a more casual lifestyle, an aging population and the popularity of porches, decks, and concrete patios in homes. Concrete patios, sometimes referred to as cement patios, provide the perfect sanctuary for outdoor living spaces because they are often connected to the house and blend the interior with the exterior living areas. For example, homeowners can match the stone facade of their house by installing decorative concrete to create a stone patio without the expense of installing traditional individual stones. The swimming pool industry sees that trend, too. In fact, pools are getting smaller and are playing a less dominant role in the back yard. The Pool and Spa Institute says the pool is just one amenity - an increasing number of homeowners are going all out with outdoor kitchens, furnished seating areas, fireplaces, decorative concrete patios, pizza ovens, elaborate water features, and more. Homeowners want to enjoy their homes, but they also see upgrading their back yards as an investment. Creating the look of an authentic stone patio, or slate patio, or cobblestone patio is more economical to install using decorative concrete, and adds value to the home.