KeyPatio.pro is a deck building company based in Schuylkill Township. As one of the finest deck contractors, we strive to deliver beautiful outdoor decks. We are fully licensed and insured to work in Schuylkill Township. Our company prides itself on providing quality craftsmanship, excellent customer service, and building a personal relationship with our clients that continues even after your project is completed. Our company will work closely with you through every step of the design and construction process in order to create a customized outdoor living space that suits your needs. With our attention to detail, you can be assured that your project will be completed above and beyond your expectations.
We are the professional Schuylkill Township custom deck builder that you can reach out to for all of your deck building needs. You may have plans to renovate an existing deck or to build a new deck from the ground up in your yard. Whether you have the desire to construct a small, uncovered deck or an elaborate, multi-level deck with custom features, we can help you to bring your vision to life with remarkable results. We want to give you an outdoor space that adds value and function to your home.
Custom Deck Builder in Schuylkill Township
Although aluminum railings have become more and more popular in recent years, many people still prefer the look of a wooden railing for their outdoor deck. If you are planning to build a wood railing for your deck or have a contractor build a wood railing for you, here are some tips and suggestions to help you build a better, longer lasting railing.
Many deck builders will use 2x2 lumber pickets for constructing their wood railings. They look great when first installed, but unfortunately 2x2 pickets tend to warp and twist out of control over the years. Depending on the environmental conditions of the area you live in, 2x2 pickets can look terrible in as little as one season! One of the tricks to building a long lasting, good looking wood railing is to use 2x4 lumber for pickets.
Another great advantage to choosing 2x4 for pickets is the cost difference. Most of the home building centers offer pre-cut ballusters for deck railings at a higher price than the equivalent length of 2x4 lumber. You'll need to cut your own lengths from longer pieces, but it's well worth the cost savings and durability gains.
Furthermore, if you choose 2x4 lumber for pickets, you actually don't need to use any 4x4 posts to achieve the railing strength required by code in most places. Double check with your local building codes before proceeding this way.
Simply start with a 2x4 picket bolted to the deck frame in each spot where you would normally locate a 4x4 post (usually spaced at 6 feet maximum). These will replace the main 4x4 posts of the railing, so you should use through-bolts to secure these to the rim joist of the deck, and reinforce the rim joists against twisting. Make sure these starting pickets are perfectly plumb before proceeding.
Next, attach a horizontal rail along the top of the main pickets, and attach a top cap (the surface of the railing). All that remains is to fill in the spans between the main pickets with more 2x4's spaced evenly. The rest of the pickets can be screwed rather than bolted. The result is a much stronger railing that will last longer without warping and twisting.
Remember not to exceed the maximum allowed space between pickets, as per the local building codes (usually 4 inches maximum). Also remember to observe the minimum railing height required in the local building code. The railing height required will change depending how high off the ground your deck is.
How to Build a Deck Around a Pool
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.