Spotlight on Composite Decking- Part 2

Spotlight on Composite Decking- Part 2Welcome to the Restumping Melbourne blog! If this is your first visit, we’re so happy to have you here. If you’re an expert in the space or a regular reader, we welcome you back just as passionately. This is our little home on the Web, where we get to share with you the topics, products and stories that we’re most excited about. Frequently, these fall specifically into the restumping space. We share the newest trends, where Restumping jobs have turned up in the news (in good ways and in bad ways), as well as what’s going on with our team and our company. But sometimes, we take a step outside of the box, so to speak, and expand our offerings out to home renovations, landscaping and the like. Today, the two are rather married as we dive deeper into composite decking.

In our last post, we talked about its general benefits and what exactly it is. A refresher? It’s a great alternative to wood if you’re building an outdoor deck. It’s durable; it’s often less-expensive and avoids many of the pitfalls that can come with a wooden deck. These include mould, warping and those pesky insects that tend to take bites out of wood. Today, we continue the journey, first with considerations that you should keep top of mind.

Installation instructions are a big one. If you’re not a big do-it-yourselfer, you should always, always call in the experts. It’s never worth it if you make a costly mistake and negate all of the hard work that you’ve put into your home renovation project. There are some styles of low-maintenance composite decking boards that have few steps to follow for installation. All you need to do is track down reverse thread screws and screw down the wooden planks. The reason that you want to source the reverse thread screws is that you will mitigate any “mushrooming” issues on the surface, where the boards may push up in the middle, giving them a mushroom-like look. An alternative is the different products with grooved edges. The grooved edges mean that you can use hidden fastener clips that no one will ever see.

You’re probably wondering exactly what these boards are made of, and that can be an important. The key materials here are polyethylene plastic or polyvinyl chloride. These are more commonly known as HDPE/LDPE and PVC. These materials are then mixed with rice hulls, or wood fibres, or other fillers to create the look. You can cut and treat them just look wood decking, but keep in mind that most decking is installed horizontally over 16” and diagonally over 12”. You’ll be even better set up for success if you look to the manufacturing companies for accessories and any other needs the system might have associated.

Bottom line, every home is different. Composite decking may be the solution for you. Questions? Comments? Give us a shout. The Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

Spotlight on Composite Decking- Part 1

Spotlight on Composite DeckingWe get to do a lot of fun things here at Restumping Melbourne, jobs that we’re experienced in and passionate about. Obviously, the core of our business is the restumping jobs that we do, but those jobs have taught us a tonne about the makeup of any home. We’ve learned about verandas and porches, and balconies and decks. We’ve learned that makes them good and strong and what can tear them apart easily. We feel very strongly that part of our success as a company is ensuring that our customers feel properly educated about these topics. The best case scenario in our minds is that our customers feel totally comfortable with our work because they know exactly what we’re doing. That’s why we take the time to info-share on this blog so much. It ensures that we all win. Today, we’re focusing on composite decking.

Unfamiliar? Composite decking is (lifted from How Stuff Works) a man-made building product that includes an approximate equal mix of recycled wood fibres and recycled plastic. Because composite decking products are so durable and impervious to rot, they have a much longer lifespan than wood decks.

There are dozens and dozens of manufacturers and each brand and style has different benefits that might make the most sense for you. There continue to be more and more each year. In fact, composite decking has come a long way since the 80s and 90s when products tended to be a bit less durable and lower-quality. Back then, you got what you paid for. Now, there are far more low-cost products available that will still get the job done. Products distributed these days are also far less likely to breed mould and mildew, to fade and to stain.

It doesn’t matter what colour or stain that you’re looking for; there is a brand and product out there for you. You can choose from natural looking colours or go for a bolder look. There are even variegated tones that truly reflect exotic hardwood grain patterns. If you can imagine, this is creating a very niche market called “deck fashion”. How the times have changed right?

There are many benefits when it comes to low maintenance. Real wood materials need to receive a different level of maintenance and support that composite decking doesn’t have to undergo. You do need to stain composite decking, you don’t need to seal it and you don’t need to paint it – it’s ready to go. If you’re willing to pay a slightly higher price point, your composite decking may even come with a warranty that then protects you from insect damage, from rot and from cracking and splitting. But there are a few things to keep in mind before you pull the trigger on your decision. Make sure that whatever installation you move forward with has been evaluated by a materials testing laboratory, and make sure that the laboratory is accredited. The reason for this is that you want to be certain that the decking that you’ve chosen meets baseline architectural standards.

More to come in our next post about other things to keep in mind and what style would work best for you.

Four Tips for Deck Upgrades in 2017

With the weather becoming significantly warmer in the (semi) near future, the Restumping Melbourne team is pretty excited. Don’t get us wrong, we love a good snowstorm, or a cozy afternoon while the rain pounds down outside. But when the sun comes out to play, we get to fully leverage the premium deck experiences that Restumping Melbourne customers have come to know and love.

Many are under the misconception that once a deck has been built, the game is over and the job is done. Not so! Any product that you purchase from Restumping Melbourne has a lifelong guarantee. This doesn’t just mean that we’ll come and repair whatever malfunction may occur, or replace pieces which have seen better days. It also means that we’ll provide expert input on holistic uses of the product, as well as ways to amplify the best possible experiences when using any product. In real time. So, though we’ve provided upgrade recommendations in the past, today- we offer the latest and greatest in product upgrades. Product, in today’s post, refers to the decks that we help to build. Here are our most recent recommendations for deck upgrades:

Explore new stains and colors

Sometimes, all it takes is a good coat of paint, to take any part of your home to the next level. You look at the same deck all year long, maybe it’s time to give it a little love and upgrade its paint color or stain. The elements tend to work against us. When the weather is warm and the sun is out, its rays break down the lining which holds wood fibers together. Then, to add insult to injury, water joins the party and rots both the boards and the shingles. This can easily render a deck unsafe, as you’re compromising the structure beneath. So, take a look at quality stains. This article talks about them in more detail.

Add a pergola

What is a pergola? This is a pergola. It’s the latest and greatest way to cool off on the hot days, without heading inside. This can become your quiet haven for reading, listening to music, even catching up on a favorite television program. Best of all, when it comes to deck upgrades, they won’t break the bank.

Build a bench border

Four Tips for Deck Upgrades in 2017

A bench border is a great way to identify the perimeter of the deck, as well as add additional seating. Benches are easy to build, and even easier to customize. You may think about adding pillows or textiles for those outdoor parties. You can also place potted plants on and around the bench border, providing additional real estate for your landscaping scheme.

Plan for hosting with a built-in banquet

Similar to bench borders, the built-in banquets add a different activity dimension to your deck. They’re simple to build, follow a tutorial here, and ensure that all future get-togethers will be much easier to both organize and navigate.

Questions? Comments? Deck upgrades that have been successful for you? Let us know, the Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

How to Build the Best Backyard Deck Around

How to Build the Best Backyard Deck AroundThere are so many questions and details to think about when you’re designing your dream home. Even if you’re purchasing a home, fully-built, there are probably shifts and adjustments that you plan on making. Sometimes these are just about the last thing that you want to think about. You’ve come home, after a long day at your regular job, and now you have to make a dozen additional decisions about carpeting, floor tile or backyard deck? Not ideal.

Lucky for you, Restumping Melbourne loves taking questions and decision-making off your to-do list. In fact, we sort of nerd out over the finite details of the structure of your home. Because if we don’t, then your homes safety may not be at the level that we’d like it to be.

This is also true about your backyard and any decks that you’re planning on adding. They can add so much extrinsic and intrinsic value- a huge win if you plan on hosting frequently during the warmer seasons. But, you moan, “why can’t decks just build themselves, so that I don’t have to worry about this!” Like we said, don’t worry.

Four Tips that Can Elevate Your Backyard Deck

The team here at Restumping Melbourne is well-versed in the design and construction of decks. Let’s take a gander at some of the elements that we think will truly elevate your backyard deck!

  • Add a roof- Wait… right off the bat, you want to add a design feature that will immediately detract from actually having a deck? Hear us out. There are an abundance of roof alternatives on the market, which still make you feel like you’re hanging outside, but also increase privacy and minimize sun-exposure.
  • Think about plant life- There are so many benefits to incorporating flora into the design of your deck. It will immediately feel like a more tranquil area, and can actually create sustainability opportunities for you as a homeowner. Plant life like trellis’ and hanging baskets can also serve as an alternative to fencing, so that you can check that off of your budget.
  • Incorporate fabric- Fabric can play several different roles in the design of your deck. It can serve as a canopy, or as an area separator. It can also serve as solely an aesthetic improvement, especially if you find a cool pattern or design. Just make sure that the fabrics that you choose, don’t retain water for long periods of time. The last thing you want to do is add another chore to your daily list.
  • Be smart about furniture- You will definitely want to include furniture in the layout of your deck, but don’t go overboard. There’s nothing worse than trying to fit too much into an area designed for relaxation… it will just stress you out as you try to move everything around. Instead, be strategic. Think carefully about the fewest number of chairs or tables that you could get away with.

Hopefully these ideas kick start your creativity. Be sure to reach out to our team with any questions that you may have!

How to Take your Deck to the Next Level

How to Take your Deck to the Next LevelYou may be noticing a bit of a theme with posts on the Restumping Melbourne blog, this month. All of the posts have a common denominator, our desire to continually educate our valued customers. This month’s posts also tend to focus on our love of the great outdoors and our goal to ensure that you enjoy the summer as much as possible. While restumping services are our bread and butter, we’re also well educated in all things decks, verandahs and other outdoor entertaining spaces. We’ll make a point throughout the year, to dive into fun trends and happenings around all different sorts of home renovation projects. Today, we focus on decks and the small adjustments that you can make to take yours to the next level.

Think about adding greenery to your deck. Planters are a great and easy way to add dynamic and color to your deck. You can find them in most any shape or size, so the style of your deck won’t be a roadblock. Keep an eye out for built-in versions. These are also a great way to separate the areas of your deck reserved for socializing, eating, and just relaxing. They’re low-maintenance, only requiring regular drainage. In fact, this is a double-edged opportunity. You can easily capture the rainwater collected and use to water your other plants around the house.

Explore siding options like cable railings. If you’ve invested in a deck, chances are that you want to spend as much time on it as possible. If its more than a few feet in the air, chances are that you want to experience and enjoy the vista, surrounding you. This means that you probably don’t want thick wooden or steel planks, separating you from the panoramic views. One of our favorite solutions is cable railings. These cost about $70 for each foot if you’re looking to have a professional install for you. You can save and only fork out about $25 a foot, if you’re feeling handy.

Take a look at the fasteners that you’re using. If you have a home or deck that hasn’t been updated in a while, you may still be working with nails. Nails pop out over time and can injure those who frequently use the deck, so many more modern assemblies and designs have decided not to use them. The mainstay for the past few decades has been the deck screw. They’re far more versatile, hold up well under pressure and don’t allow rust to build up. The problem with deck screws is that they will splinter the surrounding wood, when installed. This means that our recommendation today, is to explore hidden fasteners. Hidden fasteners are sleek and modern, securing the framing and wooden plank with barbs and a screw. Though they add about $4 a square foot in labor costs, we believe that these costs are easily recouped in the long run.

Excited to explore one of these options? Thinking about others to add to the list? Let us know, the Restumping Melbourne team would love to hear from you.

Designing the Perfect Deck This Summer

Designing the Perfect Deck This SummerThe warm weather is in full swing and the Restumping Melbourne team wants to ensure that you’re enjoying it in style. There shouldn’t be a necessity to travel to a far-off, tropical destination, when you can experience all that the sun has to offer, from the comfort of your home or business. In our last post, we talked about stepping up your design game and exploring verandahs with glass. Today, we’re heading back to basics. Today we’re talking through principles to keep in mind when designing a deck, no matter what the look or feel.

It can be a daunting process, designing any component of a new, or existing home. Luckily with partners like the Restumping Melbourne team, you know that you’re in great hands. We want you to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to creativity, so that you can truly feel like you owned bringing this element of your home or business, to life. With that said, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Take advantage of free, online, design tools. Free and online are the key terms here. Prospective designers and builders are frequently put off by the daunting process of visualizing what they want. But a brief online search can bring up a host of tools that can compare materials, size and shape. They’ll even provide you with drawings that you can then bring to your builder.
  • Keep the rest of your home in mind. We’re talking about size, layout and function. You don’t want to build a deck that will dwarf the size of the rest of your property. You also don’t want to build a deck so small, that it looks out of place. Think about what room inside, you want adjacent to the deck. Do you want it to be your kitchen, so that you can eat al fresco outside? Maybe you’re building a private deck, that you’d like adjacent to your bedroom?
  • Look at traffic flow. There are few things worse than retroactively realizing that you’ve designed the deck wrong, so that your parties are crowded and no one can move around when visiting. The design tools mentioned above are a great resource to help with this. Simply by looking at a bird’s eye view of your design, you can pin point the best areas where you see people visiting, relaxing or moving around.
  • Research all the materials that you plan to use. You’ll feel far more confident about the investment that you’re going to make, if you know that the materials you’re using to design your deck are easy to care for, and long lasting. There are a lot of trends in the construction industry. Sometimes the most beautiful materials or stains, can be far more expensive than you may think.

Keep each of these tips in mind, and the design process will be a breeze. Next up? Plan on sharing your vision with companies like Restumping Melbourne. We’re dedicated to bringing it to life.

Tips for Outdoor Social Spaces

Calling all social butterflies, this post is for you. Restumping Melbourne isn’t all about the hard labor and heavy lifting, we’ve got a softer side too. After all, what do you think we’re envisioning when we’re ensuring that your foundation and decking is as solid as can be? We’re envisioning generations of lasting memories, including those of fancy soirees outside on your new deck!

With the weather warming up, we figured this would be the perfect opportunity to review deck ideas for your outdoors, to ensure that your next shindig is the talk of the town for years to come.

Tips for Outdoor Social SpacesYour deck is going to be one of the biggest statement pieces of your backyard. It’s a conversation piece, and it’s the perfect canvas for outdoor get togethers. Gone are the days when this was a copy and paste job, an outdoor deck should be as unique as you and your family. There are a lot of variables at play. You get to choose the size and shape, sure- but you also get to choose the wood, the finish, the railings, any additional pieces that will be integrated into the design like a fire pit, the list goes on and on… That’s before you even get to your deck furniture and any landscaping that will line the perimeter.

Sound a bit overwhelming? Good thing you have Restumping Melbourne here to watch your back. Here are our recommendations on ensuring that your deck is the place that you want to hang out, rain or shine.

First up, make sure that you’re considering your construction materials. The options are endless but there are four that we tend to recommend. These are pressure-treated lumber (a classic hardwood look is a plus but this type of wood requires a lot of maintenance and can warp easily), redwood (durable but more expensive), composite (low maintenance but you’re limited as far as color options go) and aluminum (most durable but also most costly). There are pros and cons for each, you just have to weigh these and make the decision that makes the most sense for you.

Next- keep the functional areas of your deck in mind. If you know that you’ll be using your deck for lots of outdoor get togethers, then try and view your floorplan as you would walk through a party. You’ll want a couple of different seating areas, as well as an open area for socializing and serving food. We recommend maximizing your space by angling seating areas in the corners of your deck, that way you’re not obstructing traffic or getting in the way or an impromptu dance party.

Finally, let landscaping play a role in the design of your outdoor space. No matter if it’s a few potted plants, or an entire bank of seasonal flowers, adding a bit of color to your deck is a great way to liven it up for any get together. Most greenery is low maintenance and adds a ton of curb appeal to your property if you ever make a move to sell it.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to being the king or queen of the block.