An outdoor living space expands your home, giving your family more room for entertaining and daily living. The deck or porch you choose is limited only by your imagination, space, needs, and of course, your budget. At Phil Beaulieu and Sons Home Improvement, Inc., we have helped hundreds of homeowners realize their dreams. If you are considering the addition of a porch or deck, you need a design. After that, the real work begins.
When Deck Building, Think Ahead
Whether building a deck or a porch, it will require a foundation. Porches can often be created from an existing deck, concrete door stoop or patio. Keep this in mind when deck building because if you think ahead, you can design a deck that you can later turn into an enclosed porch.
The decking can be from traditionally used pressure treated lumber, cedar, or one of today’s many composite deck-building materials. The cost of different materials can be substantial and need to be considered in your budget. However, there are many factors other than cost because higher quality deck boards will last longer and maintain their appearance than a deck constructed with pressure treated lumber.
Deck Building Materials
Pressure-treated lumber requires a coat of stain or paint every year to maintain its appearance. Even then, time will take its toll, giving this type of decking a lifespan of about 15 years. Cedar is more costly than pressure treated lumber. It is naturally fungus and pest resistant but requires annual applications of sealant to keep it maintained. Cedar deck boards will last 25-40 years when cared for. Ipe (e-pay), a Brazilian hardwood, is the most costly deck building material (except for a few higher-end composites). It costs twice that of cedar decking, is fire, mildew, and insect resistant and has a lifespan of 75 years.
Cover the Deck – Create a Porch
An existing deck or patio can be transformed into a porch with the addition of a roof which will give you space that is usable on days of sunshine or rain. Adding a roof over a door stoop will give you a place to shelter from the rain while entering your home. A new porch can be constructed as an addition, too, which will add to your usable living space.
Whatever your desire, at Phil Beaulieu and Sons Home Improvement, Inc., we can help you with your design and your choice of decking materials. Porches can be built with decorative columns and remain open or they can be enclosed, which will give you space that can be used year round.
Add Railings for Safety
If your deck or porch is over 30 inches from the ground or floor, it will require railing that is 34 inches high, per Massachusetts State Building Regulations. Steps and stairs will also require railing. Also, note that many of today’s deck designs are multi-leveled and they will require railing. Railing for decks and porches are constructed from lumber, aluminum, wrought iron, or composite material.
Let’s Get Started!
Contact Phil Beaulieu and Sons Home Improvement, Inc. to help you with your deck design. With over 50 years of building experience, we are ready to take on your next project.