Our team answers homeowner questions every weekend on WCCO 830 AM from 9:00 am-10:00 am. Have your most pressing home improvement questions answered by calling 651-989-9226 or texting 81807. Here’s must-know information from our in-house deck specialist, Luke Panek, shared on 4.7.18.
When it comes to deck construction, there are two primary reasons homeowners shy away from composite deck building and opt for wood. First, Twin Cities deck builders generally charge a lower price for wood than they do for composite deck designs. Secondly, the beauty of a wood deck is difficult to beat. Joe in Golden Valley phoned the show because he had a new cedar deck built last year which had not yet been treated. He wanted feedback on when the best time to treat the deck was and what product made the most sense to use. Our advice was that more important than the product used, was the frequency of use. When selecting stain, homeowners should consider the amount of color and transparency they want the deck to have. One of our favorite products to recommend is Penofin because it does not flake like inferior stains can.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the construction of a deck is that if it’s lower to the ground it does not need to be placed on footings. In reality, the need for footings is determined by whether or not the deck is being attached to the house. If it’s attached to the home with lag screws and a ledger board, the house is frost protected and shouldn’t move much. However, the deck also needs to be frost protected in order to prevent movement and the proper installation of footings ensures this. In situations where a homeowner wants a deck a few inches off the ground, it’s often cheaper and lower maintenance to pour concrete. We’re among the MN deck builders that gravitate towards the Diamond Pier deck footing system over a traditional concrete pier footing. Diamond Pier is designed to handle the freeze and thaw that happen annually in Minnesota better than an average concrete pier can. Diamond Pier handles moisture ridden soils that experience extreme levels of expansion and contraction. Diamond Pier footings can be installed easier and faster than conventional footings.
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AZEK® composite deck designs are a popular choice with the homeowners we work with. The product is cellular PVC which means that it does not have the wood flours mixed in with it. The product is stable and holds its color well. The company is so confident in their material that they offer a 30-year limited fade, stain, and limited lifetime warranty. When compared with traditional wood decking, AZEK® had a more flex feel to it when you walk on it.
One of the most frequently asked questions we get about MN deck building is the difference between synthetic and composite decking. Synthetic is a category term that composite decks fall into. Composite decks are a mixture of wood flour and cellular PVC resin. A complaint about this material was the frequent growth of mold and mildew on the deck’s surface, making it a challenge to keep clean. To overcome this issue, a polyethylene cap was put over it to give it a sealed top that does not have the wood flour exposed. Cellular PVC decks do not require this cap because it is completely PVC. If you’re able to find a cellular PVC deck in a color you like, you’re likely to have a deck that you’ll enjoy for years to come because of the surface durability. Zuri® is one of the most popular cellular PVC decks we offer our clients. What sets them apart from others in the cellular PVC category is the deck’s surface which has a film, much like those on laminate floors, that give the deck an exotic wood appearance. An acrylic coating is then applied. This process gives Zuri® maximum surface scratch resistance.
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