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Building a deck yourself, or contracting with a deck builder to get the job done, can be one of the most rewarding projects many homeowners will ever undertake. A source of immense pride, a well planned and built deck can also increase the value of a home and expand usable space in a backyard for years to come.
As the Greater Toronto Area’s premier deck design company, Toronto custom decks has built hundreds of decks and patios over the years, and strives to exceed all expectations with outstanding designs, professional installation, and outstanding customer service.
Part of the reason we’ve been so successful for more than 20 years is because of the relationship we have with our customers, and the effort we take to educate them about what qualities to look for in a landscaping company.
Here are the top five questions we recommend consumers ask when they’re thinking of hiring a deck builder:
- How long have you been in the business? The hallmark of a reputable, successful business is a long history in its chosen profession, whether it’s cleaning windows, plowing snow, or deck building. At ME Contracting, our designers and installers have been working as a team since 1992.
- Do you require a deposit to begin work? This is especially important. An established deck builder will always have the financial resources to purchase the necessary building materials, pull construction or other permits, and pay designers and installers until a project is finished. A homeowner should never have to pay up front for work to begin in earnest.
- Do you have insurance and licenses? Hiring a “handyman” to build a deck may cost less in the long run, but the homeowner is assuming a fair amount of risk in return. If someone is injured on the job, the customer’s homeowner policy will pay the cost of treatment, lost wages, and so forth. If the deck is built without a building, electrical, or other license from the local municipality, the homeowner will be responsible for not only inspection fees if someone “official” finds out about the project, but the permit fee and the cost of possibly tearing the deck down and starting from scratch. A professional deck builder like ME Contracting will always carry proper insurance and the appropriate local business licenses.
- Are there extra charges? At ME Contracting, we always provide customers a written estimate for the project that includes the plans, a materials list, estimated date of completion, and information about warranty and ongoing maintenance. That way, there is never a “gotcha” moment with unexpected charges for other building materials, fees, or anything else left off the original estimate.
Finally, many customers ask: Do you provide a warranty? The answer is yes. A reputable deck builder should offer a warranty on the workmanship of the finished project. A warranty on materials, if applicable, should also be transferable to the homeowner and will vary in length and terms. Ideally, a warranty should also cover labour for a minimum of two years to allow for exposure to all four seasons a few times – potentially exposing any workmanship issues that would need correction.
Call Toronto custom deck today and find out why we’re considered the top deck builders in Toronto
Nothing makes summer more fun than spending quality time outdoors doing the things you enjoy best. Visiting with family and friends. Going on a picnic or enjoying a barbecue dinner. Exploring scenic parks and nature preserves. Or spending time in the water swimming, water skiing, or just goofing around. If you have a pool on your property, water fun is only a few feet away from your back door.
At Toronto custom Decks, we’re the number one deck design & build company in the Greater Toronto Area for installing a pool deck on your property regardless of its dimensions or complexity.
For more than a decade, we’ve designed and built hundreds of pool decks for customers from Aurora to Richmond Hill to Toronto and all points in between. Like all of the other deck and fencing products we build, a pool deck is specific to an individual homeowner. No two decks are the same. Some are multi-level, some are integrated into an existing deck or patio, and many are spacious enough to accommodate hot tubs or family gatherings.
The most popular building material for a pool deck is wood, but Toronto Decks and Fence Company has built a great many in cellular PVC and wood composites, depending on the customer’s needs, style, and budget. Just because a deck has been built with a pool in mind doesn’t mean it can’t be accessorized. In fact, many of the decks we’ve constructed include built-in seating, planters, gazebos, and storage for pool accessories and maintenance equipment such as pumps and filters.
One feature that many customers require is carpeting to make the deck safe, comfortable, and more appealing. Multi-purpose carpeting, for indoor and outdoor use, is ideal for this kind of application because it not only adds elegance and beauty to your pool deck, but because it’s very durable and made to weather the elements – and occasional chlorine spills.
If you’re thinking of covering your pool deck with carpeting, here are some things to consider:
- The denser the carpet, the better.
- Any carpeting you choose for your pool deck should be stain- and UV-resistant, which keeps it from fading in the sun and becoming brittle due to heavy use.
- You want carpeting this is moisture resistant or repels water, meaning it has marine backing to do both.
- If you expect the pool and deck to be used regularly, buy higher grade carpeting rather than one with an “economy” rating. Remember, you get what you pay for. Also take into consideration colour and weave.
- Don’t forget about the heat, humidity, and moisture level of the area where the pool has been installed, and select carpeting best suited for such an environment.
Any retailer specializing in floor coverings should have a wide variety of indoor-outdoor carpeting to choose from in different grades. Economy grade “grass carpet” is designed for areas with infrequent use, while high grade “grass carpet” with marine backing is ideal for outdoor areas with regular exposure to the elements – and high traffic.
If you have questions about building a pool deck, call the experts at Toronto custom Decks for a free consultation!
Each year, thousands of people are injured as a result of falls from decks or from broken deck boards or handrails, including more than 30 fatalities reported between 2000 and 2008 in all of North America.
The last thing any home or business owner wants to experience is someone getting seriously injured because their deck wasn’t constructed properly or subject to routine maintenance to keep it safe. At Toronto custom Decks Company, we’re the number one deck builder throughout the Greater Toronto Area and have designed and constructed decks for hundreds of customers over the last decade. Nothing is more important to us than the safety and satisfaction of each outdoor product we build.
As the area’s leading deck builder, we use only the finest building materials, follow all regulations specified by the National Building Code of Canada for workmanship, installation and safety, and partner with customers to achieve a deck plan that meets their objectives and budget.
Once a deck has been installed and meets all customer expectations, the role of the deck builder usually subsides unless questions arise about warranty work or ongoing maintenance. At Toronto custom Decks Company, we’ve grown our business by building relationships with customers and helping educate them on ways to keep their decks safe for themselves, family, and friends.
Start with the items on the checklist below.
- Inspect your deck for split or decaying wood. Canadian winters and the change of seasons can be brutal, so it’s not unusual for decks to take the brunt of what Mother Nature produces. There are many areas of the deck that could exhibit signs of decay after several years: The ledger board (connecting the deck to the house), the underside of the deck, especially support posts and joists, and deck boards, railings, and stairs.
- Look for any areas of the deck that are wet or have standing water. Even the best deck sealers will break down over time, allowing water and moisture to penetrate the surface into cracks or other imperfections in the wood. To evaluate how strong the wood is, use a screw driver to gently poke at an area that has gotten wet. If the wood is soft or spongy, or you’re able to break off splinters or penetrate the surface by a quarter inch or more, then the board or railing may have to be replaced.
- Fasteners including nails, screws, or other anchors are notorious for coming lose, popping up, or becoming corroded over time. These can be dangerous to people walking on the deck, whether wearing shoes or bare footed, and present a tripping or injury hazard. If possible, remove the fastener and replace it.
- Finally, railings and stairs should be secure at all times, and free of signs of wear or decay. Railings made of wood will degrade faster than ones built from metal, plastic, or wood composites, and may come loose from the deck. If you push on the railing and it gives, check to make sure it’s secured properly; the same goes for stairs.
Toronto custom decks is THE deck builder in Toronto and your safety is paramount! call today to see why.
In many ways, a patio or deck is an extension of not only the home, but the homeowner – distinct for its style, quirkiness, and value.
If you pick the right deck design, a ho-hum deck that was only used occasionally for special events or family gatherings can become a focal point of your home and help expand the usefulness of outdoor living space.
When it comes to finding the right deck designer in the Greater Toronto Area, hundreds of customers have selected the professionals at Toronto custom decks for our unique designs, friendly service, and commitment to creating a deck to fit any design or budget. Whether you’re interested in a specific material to build the deck with, want to build a pergola, or add any other feature, our experienced deck design staff can work with you from planning to design to actual construction.
Over the years, we’ve built hundreds of decks. Here are what we believe to be the most popular trends or features you can expect to see in residential decks in the next few years.
- Wicker furniture and accessories. Normally made from hand woven fiber or even attractive, composite materials, wicker chairs, ottomans, couches, recliners, and tables are all the rage now because of their durability, ease of maintenance, and the ability to be painted to match architectural or existing colour schemes.
- Portable hammock. How many times have you driven through the country, passed rolling farms, only to notice someone napping or lounging in a hammock stuck between trees that looks oh-so-comfortable? You can experience that, too, with any number of portable hammocks to suit your needs, such as one person, two-person, or other models made from a variety of colourful and weather resistant materials.
- A stylish, modern deck design isn’t complete without the right lights. From low-wattage models to those powered by the sun, lights can be used to accent the deck area itself, illuminate railings and stairs, or focus attention on award-winning landscaping features like a flower bed, pond, or waterfall.
- A gazebo and hot tub. Besides creating extra gathering space, a well designed gazebo can serve other purposes, too, such as a spot for a relaxing hot tub or an arts and crafts center, for instance.
- An outdoor kitchen is often the feature that customers ask about the most. If you cook outside several times a week, even in the cold weather, and end up lugging food, dishes, and cooking utensils inside and outside the house, then it may be time to talk with our deck design professionals on what features may be most useful. Generally speaking, we recommend a built in grill, counter top for food preparation, sink, storage area, and small refrigerator.
- An all-season fire pit utilizing Flagstone or some other durable stone is a great feature that will further enhance the usefulness and value of any outdoor living area. Outfitted with comfortable seating, it can be a great location for casual conversation, toasting marshmallows, or just sheer relaxation.
Whatever your desire, a deck designer from Toronto custom decks can help you arrive at a plan to fit your budget and style.
Call Toronto custom decks today for a free deck design consultation.
In these tough economic times, many homeowners are looking for ways to improve their existing property and derive as much value of out it in the long run. One of the best ways to do this is with a spacious, well designed, and professionally built deck. For hundreds of satisfied customers in the Greater Toronto Area, the premier deck contractor of choice is Toronto Custom Decks, whose expert designers and installation professionals can turn your outdoor space into a thing of beauty with a custom deck and other landscaping features.
There are many steps to hiring a reputable deck contractor, and some of the key factors influencing the decision include the obvious – price, professionalism, and customer service. One of the keys to our success over the years has been educating customers on trends in landscape design, and helping them choose a plan that fits their style and budget. There are a number of things you should look out for when selecting a deck contractor, and here are some tips and advice to consider.
Tips for hiring a great deck contractor
- Decide what you want in a deck before looking for a deck contractor. It’s important to know what features are “must have” for your new deck, and how much you can afford to spend. Look at the area where the deck is going to be built, and decide how large you want it to be, how many levels it should have, the materials and finish you prefer, and what features you’ll get the most value out of through the years.
- When looking for a deck contractor, it’s important to get referrals. If you have family or friends with decks you’ve admired, then ask who the contractor was. Other important questions: Did the contractor work within your budget? Was the deck finished on time? Did you get a written warranty?
- Equally important is to make sure you ask a prospective deck contractor the “tough” questions, such as: How many decks have you built? Do you handle pulling permits? What hours will your crew work on my deck? Do you have any problems with me or someone on my behalf observing the deck while it’s being built?
- Finally, we can’t stress enough the importance of getting a written estimate from three to five contractors before making your decision. The estimate should include the same details for every deck contractor: the work to be done, including any designs; a materials list; a time frame for completion; and a final price.
A deck can add beauty, value, and functionality to any home, but only if the work is done properly, with professionalism, and on time.
About Toronto Custom decks
Toronto Custom Decks has been the premier outdoors contractor in the Greater Toronto Area for more than 10 years, serving hundreds of satisfied customers in Richmond Hill, Thornhill, Vaughan, Maples, Markham, and surrounding communities. We offer cutting-edge design and installation services for traditional landscaping, decks, gates, surfacing, pergolas and patios, and various railing systems to match any architecture. For a free consultation or to learn more about the company and its services, please call us today at 416-238-2589 or visit us online 24/7.
Like most other wood composites, Trex Wood-Polymer® lumber is made from equal portions of reclaimed plastic, such as milk jugs and other items, and wood waste byproducts, such as saw dust. These items are then combined with adhesive to make the lumber, which can be milled for use in a wide range of outdoor projects, like planters and toy and tool storage boxes.
At Toronto Custom Decks, we’re the leading outdoor contractor in the area and have used the composite lumber for Trex decking projects for hundreds of residential and business customers.
Trex decking has many properties that make it an attractive alternative to traditional wood building materials, though it is heavier and more flexible than real wood and shouldn’t be used to frame structures such as full-size storage sheds. In the case of children’s play structures, Trex boards are used for surfaces, benches, and steps, while natural hard wood is used to build the frame.
A key reason Trex decking is so popular compared to a product such as 100 percent plastic lumber is because its wood content retains the advantage of thermal expansion and contraction, meaning the shape changes little if any when exposed to heat or bitter Canadian winters. Perhaps best of all is the fact it can be cut, drilled, and nailed using standard carpentry tools.
Key points to remember when working with Trex decking:
- When cutting or drilling, we recommend using carbide-tipped blades and drill bits, as they create fewer chips in the wood than steel blades or bits.
- To secure Trex decking, always start at least one inch from board edges and sink nails at an angle into the joist. For best results, choose Trex Hideaway® Hidden Fasteners directly from the manufacturer, though any hot-dipped, galvanized, ceramic coated and stainless steel fasteners can also be used. For outdoor projects, there are several brands of fasteners made specifically for wood composite lumber, but these may be prohibitively expensive depending on the project or size of the deck.
- Like traditional wood, Trek lumber is available in many “standard” sizes: 1×6, 5/4×6, 2×2 for balusters, 2×4, 2×6 and 2×8. Trek decking can be purchased in board lengths of 12 feet, with 5/4×6, 2×4 and 2×6 available in 16 foot lengths. 5/4×6 and 2×6 are also available in 20 foot lengths, and other dimensions can be purchased by special order direct from the manufacturer.
- The colour of Trek decking will change over time, as is the case with wood and other building materials. As such, the proper care should be taken when cleaning and finishing the lumber to ensure strength, durability, and colour over the years.
- Finally, please keep in mind the lumber will expand slightly, meaning Trex decking must be installed with the proper gapping at the end joints and side-to-side. If the boards are too close, they can be damaged upon expansion or allow for moisture to build on the surface. Conversely, boards that are too far apart will allow for vegetation to grow under the deck and make its way to the surface.
Thinking of having a Trex composite deck installed in your backyard?
Call Toronto custom decks today for the perfect Trex deck design and build in Toronto
In the mid- to late-1990s, thousands of home and business owners jumped at the chance to have their old wooden decks replaced with a newer, sexier building material called composite wood that was heavily promoted as being easier to use, and would last far longer than traditional wood. While a composite deck now enjoys many advantages over wooden decks, first or second generation composites had a critical flaw – the manufacturing process didn’t include additives to prevent the growth of mildew.
Composite wood is made from a mixture of plastic and wood fiber/wood flour – saw dust, basically – which is a top food source for mildew. Thus, many composite decks built right through the early 2000s had the same flaw and suffered from black mildew that was nearly impossible to remove.
Manufacturing processes for composite wood are more advanced now than in the early days, but home and business owners still need to take care with a composite deck to make sure it lasts as long as needed.
Toronto Custom Decks has installed dozens of composite decks all across the greater Toronto area, and while we offer a comprehensive warranty on workmanship, nothing can ensure the life of a composite deck more than simple, ongoing maintenance.
Ways to preserve and maintain a composite deck
- Before you can seal a composite deck, it needs to be cleaned. Debris such as leaves, branches, and other small items can be removed using a broom and dust pan, but for dirt or stains the best method is using a power washer. If you decide to use a power washer, never exceed 1500 PSI and keep the spray nozzle 12 inches away from the surface of the deck.
- If you know the name of the company that made the composite wood deck boards, follow their recommendation as to the kind of cleaner than can be used. In most cases, manufacturers have their own brand of cleaner that works best with their product, but you also can use off-the-shelf cleaners as long as they’re formulated for composite wood. In all other cases, avoid cleaners that contain bleach.
- Seal the deck using a good quality product made especially for a composite deck or, again, contact the composite manufacturer for their recommendation.
- When sealing a composite deck, follow all of the directions for whatever sealer you buy. There’s no such thing as a good short cut when it comes to quality work.
- Whether you roll or spray the sealer to apply it, always make sure to use a brush afterwards on each board – before the sealer dries. The bristles on a brush allow the sealer to penetrate the composite better than just letting it sit. In any case, rolling or spraying the sealer then walking away could result in it drying unevenly.
- Once finished, allow the composite deck to cure for 24 hours before using it. Keep children and other visitors away, especially dogs and other pets.
- The final recommendation is to clean your composite deck each year with a product especially formulated for composite wood surfaces.
Toronto custom decks specializes in design, construction and installation of composite decks. Call us today for a free one on one consultation where we will visit your backyard, learn about your specific needs, lifestyle and show you our work.