Deptford, New jersey Deck

Deck Design: 3 Things to Keep in Mind

Design a Deck That Tells The Right Story

If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard to work with, you’re capable of planning a new deck to go with it. A beautifully designed, sturdily constructed new deck can greatly enhance the value of your home and your enjoyment of the warmer months. Before you build a deck, however, it is vital that the deck’s design frame your property and the surroundings in the best possible light. The features, styles, and materials of the new deck construction will be in part defined by your imagination, and in part defined by the lay of the land and what’s around you. It should be an organic extension of your home that meshes seamlessly with the environment.

At Ayars Complete Home Improvements, we collaborate with you to build a deck that is both beautiful and functional — a bona fide outdoor living space that not just an accent to your home, but a highlight.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your new deck design.

Deptford, New Jersey Deck
New Deck – Deptford, New jersey

1. Deck Elevation

The elevation changes (or lack thereof) in your yard are the first major consideration when planning your new deck design. For level lots, especially those harboring a single-story home, we recommend a platform deck. Since platform decks are built so close to the ground, waterproofing is mandatory to preserve their look and integrity for years to come. The plastic decking products offered by Ayars are ideal for moisture resistance.

If “flat” doesn’t describe where you’re at, you’ll likely consider a raised or multilevel deck. A first-story raised deck is supported by foundation posts and is usually the solution for yards with steeper grades. Its second-story counterpart will usually require additional bracing and support.

Stairs and railings are not only important deck design elements but safety elements as well.

The multilevel deck is ideal for more gradual slopes, as the various tiers can follow the landscape. Each tier can be specialized according to purpose, making multilevel decks also multifunctional.

Pilesgrove, New Jersey Deck
New Deck – Pilesgrove, New Jersey

2. Purpose

Beyond what the topography of your yard dictates, you’ll also need to consider what you’ll be using your new deck for. If you plan on hosting large cookouts or get-togethers, you’ll want access to the kitchen and ample space to stretch your grillmaster muscle. If you’re planning on using it for meditation or relaxation, a shaded pergola or gazebo integrated with some landscaping may induce just the right mood.

If your new deck is designed with multiple levels, you’ll want to place visual indicators to assert each one’s unique personality and identity.

Mullica Hill, New Jersey Deck
New Deck – Mullica Hill, New Jersey

3. Climate and Lighting

A beautiful design and sturdy construction mean nothing if your new deck is not a safe and comfortable outdoor living space for you to be in. Be aware of your deck’s positioning in relation to the sun — a covering may be needed to provide proper shading (as well as extend use for rainy days).

If you intend to host many late gatherings and soirees, well-lit stairs, railings, and pathways can keep the party going deep into the night.

Free Deck Estimate from Ayars

If you’re interested in expanding your outdoor living space, contact the Ayars team to get started with a free deck construction estimate. We can help fix up or rebuild existing decks or completely design and build a brand new deck for your home.

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Deck Remodel

Deck Remodel:

We at Ayars take remodeling decks seriously. And when I say deck remodeling, I mean tearing down old decks and building new, not even keeping the original frame or footings. While it’s obvious that a deck remodel would probably include replacing the railing and decking, many people expect that the structural bits can stay. The fact is that it’s rare for much of an old deck to be salvageable.

 

As you can see from the picture that we provided of the old deck,

It was connected to the house. Aires-deck-Remodel Many older decks aren’t adequately bolted to the house, and many more are poorly flashed to keep out water.  While it’s easy enough to add more bolts to the deck ledger, it’s nearly impossible to be sure that the original flashing was done correctly and that there’s no rot due to bad flashing.

 

(As you can see from this picture provided, there was a lot of rot)
Aires-deck-Remodel-threeThe only sensible thing to do here was to remove the old frame completely.  I mean, at that point it makes the most sense to replace the framing because even treated lumber has a finite lifespan.  Why would you install new decking and railing on an old frame that might not outlast them?

 

I know what you’re thinking, “The old footings are still good.  If they were good originally, they probably still are.  Not much happens to concrete below the ground.”  Well, the old deck had no footings.  I’m sure your next question is; “How did it pass inspection?”  Well, your guess is as good as ours.  However, they may have been lucky and the inspector either overlooked it, or passed it based on the codes for that era and time that that deck was built.

ayars-deck-remodel-1

However, codes have changed. Lumber isn’t what it once was, and the spans allowed for joists and beams are shorter than they were even ten years ago. So, the old footings may not be spaced for the joist and beam spans allowed today. We installed the new footings, concrete, and joists.  Everything is up to code and passed inspection with flying colors.

 

The last picture provided is of our beautifully remodeled deck that was properly installed.  Our customer is extremely satisfied and so were the inspectors.

ayars-deck-remodel-2

**Side note:  Experience has taught many jurisdictions to require deck footings to be sized to carry not only the load of the deck as planned, but to be larger to accommodate the load from a roof that might be added later on.

 

Increase Your Home Value with 8 Home Remodeling Ideas

Increase Your Home Value with 8 Home Remodeling Ideas

Did any of your home upgrades pay off when it came time to sell?  There are many things you can change and remodel in your home, but these 7 key home improvements are guaranteed to increase the value of your home.

  1. Remodeling the Kitchen

The kitchen is usually the first room in the house that needs updating.  After all, the kitchen is the heart of the home.  I’m not sure about you guys, but the hang out spot at my house is usually the kitchen.  Remodeling continues to have the highest budget allocation.

 

For many families (mine included), this room is where everyone gathers around or entertains their guests.  Holidays, birthdays, a little family get together; this room is definitely utilized the most in a home.  For this reason, you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of investments from remodeling a kitchen, as long as you stay within your budget.

 

  1. Adding a Bathroom

You can never go wrong with having more than one restroom in your home. This is why you can recoup 80%-130% of investments from adding another bathroom. Most homebuyers will use any room with underutilized space or take an extra room to upgrade it into a master bathroom.

 

  1. Reinventing a Room

This home improvement can be the most expensive upgrade to a house. Adding more square footage to your home can easily accumulate costs but it can bring you a 50%-83% return on investment.

 

  1. Adding Energy-Efficient Windows

Energy-efficient home improvements not only recoups 60%-90% of investments cost, but it can also reduce energy taxes as well!  When you replace your windows or doors with energy efficient models, you can receive a tax credit and 10% of costs, up to $200.00 per window.

 

  1. Adding a Deck

Outdoor living spaces, otherwise known as staycations, can significantly increase the value of your home.  As more homeowners are adding decks and patios to their backyards, it instantly becomes more appealing to prospective buyers when the house is for sale.

 

  1. Energy-Efficient Insulation

It’s about that time everyone has basic insulation installed, otherwise the cost to live in and maintain an unmodified home can be a burden.  Most potential buyers make sure to include this home improvement into their reports.

 

*One way to ensure your house is well insulated is with the right masonry.

 

  1. Basic Updates

Making basic updates to your home is a no-brainer.  Making small improvements such as fixing a leaking roof, replacing rotting wood and keeping paint fresh will always add the most value to your home.  A solid and safe home is always appealing to homebuyers.

 

So if you plan to remodel or make improvements to your home, remember that even the smallest of projects can make a big difference to the value of your home.  Also, focus on making your home safe and energy-efficient because it guarantees lower energy costs in the future.

 

  1. Flooring

Take a look at your home’s soft flooring. Are your carpets and area rugs stained or worn? Ideally, you may want to replace them all, but if a limited budget puts a snag in that plan, start by replacing the carpet in the room that shows the most wear and tear and replace the others as your finances allow.  Hardwood flooring is also an upsell.  Visually it’s beautiful, and gives such a natural feel to your home.

Deck Remodel

Deck Remodel:

We at Ayars take remodeling decks seriously. And when I say deck remodeling, I mean tearing down old decks and building new, not even keeping the original frame or footings. While it’s obvious that a deck remodel would probably include replacing the railing and decking, many people expect that the structural bits can stay. The fact is that it’s rare for much of an old deck to be salvageable.
As you can see from the picture that we provided of the old deck,ayars-deck-remodel

It was connected to the house.  Many older decks aren’t adequately bolted to the house, and many more are poorly flashed to keep out water.  While it’s easy enough to add more bolts to the deck ledger, it’s nearly impossible to be sure that the original flashing was done correctly and that there’s no rot due to bad flashing.

 

(As you can see from this picture provided, there was a lot of rot)ayars-deck-remodel-3

The only sensible thing to do here was to remove the old frame completely.  I mean, at that point it makes the most sense to replace the framing because even treated lumber has a finite lifespan.  Why would you install new decking and railing on an old frame that might not outlast them?

I know what you’re thinking, “The old footings are still good.  If they were good originally, they probably still are.  Not much happens to concrete below the ground.”  Well, the old deck had no footings.  I’m sure ayars-deck-remodel-1your next question is; “How did it pass inspection?”  Well, your guess is as good as ours.  However, they may have been lucky and the inspector either overlooked it, or passed it based on the codes for that era and time that that deck was built.

However, codes have changed. Lumber isn’t what it once was, and the spans allowed for joists and beams are shorter than they were even ten years ago. So, the old footings may not be spaced for the joist and beam spans allowed today. We installed the new footings, concrete, and joists.  Everything is up to code and passed inspection with flying colors.

ayars-deck-remodel-2

The last picture provided is of our beautifully remodeled deck that was properly installed.  Our customer is extremely satisfied and so were the inspectors.

**Side note:  Experience has taught many jurisdictions to require deck footings to be sized to carry not only the load of the deck as planned, but to be larger to accommodate the load from a roof that might be added later on.