Custom decks can be a great outdoor feature: something that every member of the family can enjoy in the summer months and a fixture that can do a great deal to improve the overall look and feel of your backyard. However, before you hire a local contractor to design and build a new deck for your home, there are a few things you need to consider, mostly relating to the local climate. The type of weather you are likely to experience in the summertime may influence both the design and material choices for your new deck so it is worth spending a few minutes looking through this short guide before you approach any local firms.
Designing and Specifying Custom Decks for the Local Climate
For the purposes of this article, we are going to assume that, like us, you reside in the city of Toronto, or the surrounding suburbs. If you live elsewhere in Canada, your choices may differ in some respects.
- Positioning – One of the first factors to consider when planning a new deck is where to put it. Bearing in mind the hot and sticky weather that often prevails in the GTA during the summer months, you will want to pick somewhere with natural shade if at all possible. If this is not possible, you can ask your contractor to include an awning or canopy in the design, so that at least part of it is in shade for most of the day. Such a feature will also enable you to enjoy sitting outside even when it is raining.
- Material – Although the summers in Toronto are normally fine as far as the weather is concerned, the spring and autumn months bring plenty of rain with them. For this reason, custom decks should be built with a material that is able to withstand moist conditions without any adverse effects. Composite decks are probably the best choice as far as wet weather performance is concerned but they are a little more expensive than their natural timber counterparts. What you should bear in mind though, is that composite materials will remain in good condition for longer than natural wood, thereby reducing maintenance costs over the years. When you factor this into your calculations, you will see that overall, composite custom decks are no more expensive than wooden decks and may actually work out to be cheaper in the long run.
If you simply prefer the look and feel of natural timber, cedar is a good choice. The natural oils that it contains make it moisture resistant as well as less susceptible to attacks from insects and decay than other woods. If you don’t mind spending around 30% more, ipe could be the perfect choice for your new deck. Harder and more durable than any other type of hardwood used to build custom decks, ipe, in common with cedar, is also naturally resistant to moisture, insects and decay.
- Size – If you expect many hot sunny days during the summer, and plenty of mild days during spring and autumn, you will probably want to specify as large a deck as possible so that you can enjoy the fine weather to the full. On the other hand, if you live in a part of the country where the sun rarely makes an appearance, a small corner deck could be your best choice.
We have built many beautiful custom decks in the GTA and would be delighted to design and build one for you. Just call and ask to speak to a member of our sales team if you would like to discuss your requirements.