As master deck builders in Maryland, we will design and build a custom deck that fits your vision, home & budget.

patio deck installation

With over 10 years of experience building decks for Maryland residents, we take pride in our deck designs. is committed to a creating a deck that you will enjoy for many years to come. Several of our outdoor spaces, including custom decks and porches, have achieved awards such as the Awards of Excellence with Home Builders Association of Maryland. We have experience using several types of high quality deck products including pressure treated wood and exotic woods as well as low maintenance composite decking. Plus our quality craftsmanship and attention to detail guarantees you will love the completed project. Adding a patios, landscaping, deck and pathway lighting packages, and an under-deck drainage system can provide the beautiful finishing touches to your custom deck.

Maryland Deck Building & Design

Part of the fun of a new deck is the planning! When you plan your deck, you can let your imagination run wild and add all kinds of fun features. As your planning process moves forward, you can whittle down your design to a more practical (and buildable) plan. Planning a new deck can be as simple as a few sketches, or as complete as a blueprint. You can have an architect or designer create plans for you, or you can do it yourself. Also, there are many new software programs available to make planning easier.

Before you start planning your deck, you may want to browse through some
magazines for ideas. You can also search the Internet for photos of existing decks
to give you some better ideas. There are also entire books written specifically for
decks and deck building. They usually have hundreds of full-color photos to help
you decide what features you want to add to your deck.

So the first place to start, is to measure the area you have available for your new
deck. This is sometimes easier if you have a long tape measure; a 50 foot long tape
measure is usually best for a project like this. Using wooden stakes, hammer them
into the ground at the corners of your deck. This will help you visualize where your
new deck will be. It's a lot easier to move wooden stakes around, then to change the
layout while building your deck.

As you stake out your new deck, take into consideration any changes in elevation.
You may want to consider a multi-level deck, areas for steps, or special task areas
on your deck. Task areas may include things like a wet bar, a place for a grill, or
even a private sitting area. These special task areas are what will make your new
deck unique.

Once you have your deck staked out in its final position, you will want to draw some
final plans. You can take these plans to your local home center or building supply
store, and they can create a materials list for you. You will also need a set of plans if
you need a building permit for your deck. Most townships or municipalities require
building permits for a new deck. They will want to have one or two sets of plans
submitted with the building fee. The more professional your plans look, the easier it
will be for you to get approval to build your new deck.

Once you have your final building permit and your plans all finished, it's time to
start building your deck. The next series of articles will cover building your deck
from start to finish.

Clean Your Deck by Washing Away the Gray

covered deck construction

Waterproof decks over living space have proven to be a popular architectural detail. While the functionality of the deck over living space is nice, things turn ugly without proper waterproofing. A very large percentage of flat top roof decks end up leaking within the first several years due to improper design and/or use of the wrong materials. Using a waterproof deck contractor is a good starting point. This is a specialized field that even most general contractors don't like to deal with.

Some major considerations in proper deck design include proper slope, a good drainage scheme, and roof grade flashing details around all edges and walls. Without these crucial elements in place, it really does not matter what waterproofing system you employ. Using a trained waterproof deck expert will dramatically reduce your risk when installing a deck over living space.

Design of the deck over living space should always be done in consultation with the waterproof deck contractor, before construction begins. Framing details, drainage, and floor substrate materials are all needed to compliment the waterproofing system being used. Deck design, waterproofing systems, and tie in trades such as stucco repair are all important.

There are a wide selection of waterproofing systems available on the market today. Two main types are liquid coating systems, and membrane based systems. Generally speaking, the membrane based systems are more durable, have a longer life, and can withstand the movement inherent in wood frame construction. Most failures with liquid coating systems stem from cracks that develop over time due to expansion and contraction. These types of problems are almost non-existent with membrane type systems. One of the most well proven membrane systems is made by Duradek. Many questions arise with respect to tile decks. While this is an entirely different discussion, keep in mind that tile and mortar are not waterproofing systems. Waterproofing must be considered first prior to considering tile, and the system must be designed with tile in mind. Experienced General Contractors can handle all of this for you.

Balconies and second floor decks typically have doors to access the deck. A critical waterproofing detail is to properly flash the door as part of the waterproof deck installation. This detail is known as a door pan flashing. As crucial as this is, it's often overlooked by less experienced contractors.

In conclusion, second story decks over living space are great features, but must be designed properly. Consulting with a professional waterproof deck contractor expert in advance will prevent many problems that are common to decks that are not planned properly.