Maximize Your Patio with These 3 Outdoor Additions

Enhancing your patio area can greatly elevate its utility and appeal. Introducing a retaining wall, artificial turf, and a fire pit can transform your patio into a vibrant outdoor living space ideal for hosting gatherings or simply unwinding with loved ones.

1. Enhanced by Retaining Walls

Incorporating retaining walls into your patio design offers both practical advantages and visual allure. Functionally, they can rectify uneven terrain, serving as both stabilizers and additional seating options. Aesthetically, they become striking focal points, with the potential to double as raised planters, further enhancing the landscape's charm.

Retaining walls can be crafted from a diverse array of materials, including natural stone, porcelain, and concrete, providing flexibility in design and durability.

By seamlessly integrating them into your patio design, you're not just addressing uneven terrain; you're elevating the overall aesthetic appeal. These walls can act as versatile elements, offering stability while also creating cozy nooks for seating during gatherings or quiet moments of reflection.

Moreover, retaining walls lend themselves to creative landscaping opportunities. You can adorn them with cascading plants or vibrant flowers, transforming them into living walls that breathe life into your outdoor sanctuary. Their flexibility in design allows for customization to match your style preferences, whether you opt for the rustic charm of natural stone or the sleek elegance of porcelain or concrete. As an added bonus, these materials are renowned for their durability, ensuring that your retaining walls stand the test of time amidst changing seasons and weather conditions.

2. Artificial Turf Integration

Integrating artificial turf amidst the patio pavers presents a distinctive and visually appealing design concept. By delineating the pavers, artificial turf accentuates their texture, lending the patio a dynamic aesthetic. Additionally, it injects a touch of greenery, fostering cohesion between the patio, lawn, and its surroundings. This low-maintenance alternative ensures year-round vibrancy without the need for constant upkeep, from common wear and tear issues offering durability and pet-friendly attributes. We have highlighted some benefits for installing turf below:

Low Maintenance: Turf requires minimal upkeep compared to natural grass. It doesn't need mowing, watering, fertilizing, or pest control. This can save you time, effort, and money on lawn care.

Year-Round Greenery: Synthetic turf stays green and lush throughout the year, regardless of weather conditions. This ensures your yard maintains its attractive appearance even during dry spells or winter months when natural grass may turn brown or die off.

Durability: High-quality synthetic turf is designed to withstand heavy foot traffic, pets, and various weather conditions without becoming worn or damaged. This durability makes it ideal for areas where natural grass struggles to grow or maintain its condition.

3. Inviting Fire Pit

A fire pit adds an inviting ambiance to your patio, encouraging outdoor gatherings and cozy moments with loved ones, particularly during chilly Georgia evenings. Offering warmth and charm, fire pits come in various options:

Wood-Burning Fire Pit: Emitting a rustic aroma, wood-burning fire pits contribute to a quintessential outdoor experience and can help deter mosquitoes.

Gas-Burning Fire Pit: Convenient and low-maintenance, natural gas fire pits provide hassle-free operation.

Propane-Burning Fire Pit: Clean-burning and long-lasting, propane fire pits offer extended enjoyment with minimal upkeep

If you are looking to make your dream outdoor living space a reality, Decksouth is here to help.

At Decksouth, we specialize in designing and building features such as retaining walls, artificial turf, and fire pits to enhance your patio experience. Our customizable retaining walls blend functionality with style, while our artificial turf installations add a touch of green sophistication. Additionally, our fire pit options cater to diverse preferences, ensuring a cozy atmosphere for your outdoor space.

Serving residential and commercial properties in the Metro Atlanta, GA area, and surrounding areas including Sandy Springs and East Cobb, our team is dedicated to maximizing the potential of your outdoor living space, contact us today!

5 Deck Maintenance Tips to Protect Against Winter

Winter is coming! Before snow falls and icicles form, consider how you can best prepare your outdoor living space. Whether you have traditional wood or composite decking, taking steps to prepare for the winter could save you money and time on repairs. Here are some deck maintenance tips for preparing your deck for the harsh weather ahead.

1. Clean Up your Deck’s Surface

Just like on your roof, debris left unattended during the winter months can cause damage to your deck’s surface. Dirt, leaves, branches, and other debris can cause snow and subsequent moisture to build up. This can cause long-term damage to your deck’s surface, so be sure to clear away any debris before the bad weather sets in. 

This goes above and beyond the typical daily cleaning carried out in the warmer months. Make sure you practice deep cleaning, especially if the deck is made of wood, to guarantee that it is in the best possible condition.

Leaving mold and mildew on a deck’s surface throughout the winter can create dangerous, slippery conditions. To remove it, scrub the deck's surface using a hard-bristled brush and a wood cleaner free of bleach or any product containing sodium hypochlorite. This is because chlorine bleach is toxic to trees and other vegetation in your yard.

Store empty planters and pots in your garage to avoid moisture leaching and wood discoloration on your deck. Any patio furniture you have should also be stored away for the winter. 

2. Check for Repairs

Before the weather gets too cold for deck maintenance, make sure you perform a general check for common wear and tear issues.

Examine the wood or glass surface for any indications of rot, splinters, or water damage. Once you've located all potential problems, get to work repairing them. Wood filler can be used to patch holes in the deck board or tighten up any loose joints. Make sure to seek out professional help if needed.

The effort made to repair wood decks will be visible after winter, and it will ultimately pay off. In the end, you'll have a deck that's still in excellent condition for family and guests to enjoy when spring comes around.

3. Clear Snow

It’s important to sweep your deck after each snowfall. Snow that accumulates for weeks will melt and then refreeze with temperature fluctuations, which can cause damage to your deck. Be sure to use a plastic shovel or one with a rubber edge to avoid scratching or flaking the deck's finish.

Keeping your deck surface clean is the best way to avoid damage from winter elements. Stay on top of it, and you’ll be happy to have a deck free of damage in the spring!

4. Apply a Protective Coating

Now that you have cleaned up your deck, you might want to consider treating your deck’s surface. A water-repellent treatment can protect your deck from the damaging effects of winter. Ice, snow, sleet, and rain can all cause water damage to your deck's surface, which can lead to splitting, cracking, and warping. You can also use clear ice melt formulas or rock salt to avoid slippery conditions on your deck.

Additionally, consider spending money on a UV-resistant finish to keep the wood from turning gray or losing its color and gloss.

However, if your deck is made out of composite wood decking, you won't have to do much work in this area. Composite decking is less vulnerable to damage due to harsh weather conditions than traditional wood decking. For example, MoistureShield’s composite decking is treated with Solid Core technology, in which wood fibers are wrapped in a durable plastic material that helps prevent warping, rotting, moisture absorption, and general wear and tear. 

5. Cover With A Tarp

For extra protection, put a tarp over the floors, furniture, and wooden patio furniture you keep outside, or move them temporarily to your garage or storage space.

The tarp provides additional protection by preventing snow from falling right on the sealed deck. To avoid snow accumulation, make sure to sweep the snow completely off the tarp.

Despite not always being simple, home repair tasks are usually worthwhile in the end. By following these suggestions, you can keep your deck looking fantastic all year long and ensure it will be in excellent form come spring. Or, if you want high-quality deck maintenance for your own personal paradise, you could hire a qualified team to help you with scheduled support all year round.

Built to Endure Year Round

If you are looking to make your dream outdoor living space a reality, Decksouth is here to help. We're an award-winning outdoor living space designer and builder with a reputation for high-quality materials and outstanding customer service. Our decks are designed for the wear and tear of family use with minimal deck maintenance. If you're interested in learning more about our premium services, contact us today!

9 Important Questions to Ask Your Deck Builder

If you're considering building a new deck in your backyard or remodeling your current one, it’s important to pick the right deck builder to turn that dream into a reality. But first, you need to ask yourself and any potential deck builders some essential questions. Follow our advice to help you choose the best contractor and build the perfect deck for your home.

Consider what kind of deck you want, why, and what features you desire. Do you want a spot to set up a hot tub or an outdoor kitchen? To get an accurate estimate of pricing and have a better relationship with your builders, you need to have a firm grasp on what you hope to accomplish with your deck space.

1. Are You Insured?

The most crucial question you can ask is if your deck builder is insured. Make sure you hire a contractor who carries general liability insurance for the sake of everyone involved. Get insurance proof from your contractor and make sure it covers everyone who will be working in your backyard.

In the absence of an unequivocal "yes," this is where you should part ways. The deck builder you're considering should have no trouble providing you with copies of their company license and insurance policy. Any defiance, hesitancy, or avoidance should raise some red flags.

2. What is Your Experience Level?

When it comes to hiring a deck builder, you want to ensure that you are hiring someone with experience and industry knowledge. You want professionals who will not only be able to complete the construction project but can also provide additional resources and knowledge.  Experienced contractors should also have up-to-date industry credentials and state licensure, as well as general liability insurance that covers all employees who will be working on your property.

3. Can I See a Portfolio?

Design is an important part of the construction process, so hiring contractors and designers with similar tastes to yours is important, as well. Ask your contractor how they envision your space and what design elements they would suggest.

The quality of a contractor's past work is a good sign of how likely they are to do a good job on your project. Inquire about their experience working on projects similar to yours and request examples of their work.

Notice how diverse their portfolio is in terms of aesthetics. Do most of their works share a common theme? Is there anything in their portfolio that resembles your ideal deck? Look for a deck builder with a diverse and high-quality portfolio. Remember that not all contractors can create designs from scratch and could require architectural drawings instead.

4. Will You Require a Deck Permit, and Do You Handle Permits?

In many cases, acquiring the appropriate permits is a frustrating but essential step. The contractor working on your project should be able to tell you whether or not your project requires a certain zoning permit and assist you in obtaining that permit. Ask your contractor if they handle deck permits or if they can guide you through the process. 

5. What Materials Do You Use and Why?

Many factors, including cost, lifespan, and maintenance, differentiate the materials available to you. If you know what materials your contractor plans to use, you can be prepared for any problems that might arise. Some builders like to stick to tried-and-true methods, but others may look for new and innovative ways to do things.

Research different materials, such as wood and composite decking, and discuss these options with your deck builder. You want a contractor who is comfortable and has experience working with various materials. In addition, they should be able to explain why they chose the material they did and how it will benefit your deck. 

6. Is There a Warranty Included?

A warranty will be helpful if something goes wrong with your deck after it has been constructed. The majority of contractors will stand behind their products with a guarantee, but not with their labor. It's a red flag if the contractor you're hiring doesn't provide any warranty.

If you want to be covered if something goes wrong, it's best to have a formal contract with a warranty. Don't be swayed by low upfront fees if you bear all of the risk. If you focus on better quality now, you can save yourself money and stress from paying high repair or maintenance fees later.

7. Do You Have Any Specialties?

Some contractors specialize in certain types of outdoor living spaces. Whether it's porches, pools, or outdoor kitchens, ask any contractor you speak to if they have a specialty project or if they have a material they prefer to build with. For example, Decksouth is a staple in the outdoor living construction industry, and we swear by the composite wood decking made by MoistureShield. MoistureShield uses cutting-edge Solid Core technology to ensure that its composite wood decking is sturdy, moisture resistant, and free of rotting or warping. 

8. What is Your Process for Delays?

Before you choose a deck builder, make sure that their proposed project timeline and process address any restrictions that you have. Be sure to ask potential contractors for an overview of their process, an estimated time of completion, and any contingency plans they have in place in case of mishaps and delays.

9. Do You Have Any Past Customer References?

Using tools like Yelp and Angi to review hundreds of customer reviews is a great starting point when searching for a contractor. Once you have narrowed down your choices and are reviewing proposals, it is entirely appropriate to ask potential contractors for references from past customers. 

You can also ask about the contractor's track record with other clients to get an idea of what it's like to work with them. If you have a friend or neighbor whose deck you like, talk with them to learn about their experience with the contractor who built it.

Overall, before you select a contractor, do your research and due diligence. Make sure that the contractor you select is the one you feel confident about, is communicative and open with you, and has a great track record of completing beautiful home projects.

Build with an Award-Winning Deck Builder

Decksouth is here to serve you in constructing your perfect outdoor living area. We're an award-winning deck designer and builder with experience working in various environments and families. Our reputation comes not only from our high-quality materials but also from our devoted customer service.  

Contact us today to learn how you can get your project started today!

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4 Reasons You Should Avoid Building a DIY Deck

Adding a deck to your home can increase its value and provide additional living space. It also creates a private oasis in your backyard, tailored specifically to you and your family's needs. If you decide on building a deck, the next decision is whether you tackle the job on your own or bring in the pros. While a DIY deck is possible, it's time-consuming, expensive, and hazardous if you don't know what you're doing.

You can avoid unnecessary hassle and save yourself a lot of time by working with a professional deck builder. Thanks to their extensive background and skills in deck construction, they can make your ideal deck a reality. Here are four reasons you should avoid a DIY deck and instead rely on a professional deck builder.

1. Professionals Build it Correctly

If you build a DIY deck, it's easy to make mistakes that make the deck unstable. Hiring a professional ensures that your deck is safe and built up to code for years of family use.

Since it's their job, deck contractors are experts at installing decks and other outdoor spaces and can advise you on the best materials to meet your needs. When hiring professionals, homeowners can rest assured that the job will be done right, and if any problems arise, the specialists can fix them swiftly. If there are any issues, professionals often have a limited warranty as well as insurance that protects them and you from injury.

2. Professionals Plan it Effectively

Designing and planning your deck is necessary before buying materials. Is the design you're thinking of possible? How big should the deck be? Are you planning to include stairs, lighting, and a railing on your deck? Don't beat yourself up if you're feeling overwhelmed. Deck design and planning require a lot of thought, effort, and foreknowledge about your property and the rules. It's not as simple as it may seem at first. 

By hiring a skilled deck builder, you can be sure that the finished deck will complement the structure and look of your home. Most professional deck builders have software that can show you what your deck will look like, so you’ll know exactly what you're getting.

3. Professionals Save You Money

Once you have an idea of the size and type of deck you want, getting a few quotes can help you calculate a rough estimate. While building a DIY deck may save you money in the short term, the amount of time you spend building it on your own, as well as the cost of any repairs due to inexperience, may end up costing you more in the long run.

Mistakes like incorrectly measuring posts or severing a water connection happen much more often than you might think and can be expensive and take longer to fix.

4. Professionals Get it Done Quicker

Deck builders not only provide decks of greater quality, but they also construct the decks in a shorter amount of time. They construct decks on a daily basis, which allows them to become more efficient in their work and schedule.

If you want to build a deck on your own, it may take you several weeks to finish all of the necessary labor. Still, there are a lot of companies that specialize in deck construction and can complete the deck in just a few weeks.

Trust the Industry-Experts

Contact us today to create an outdoor living area that not only realizes your dreams but also flows in harmony with the rest of your home's design.

By using our comprehensive structural designs, you will have access to a one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted design, in addition to the paperwork and engineer seals essential for obtaining state permits.

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4 Deck Maintenance Tips to Avoid Deck Repairs

Decks are constantly exposed to the weather and other elements, so it's important to develop a deck maintenance plan to keep them safe and avoid costly deck repairs. A well-cared-for deck can make a huge difference in the outdoor space of your home. Here are some deck maintenance tips to keep your deck in great shape.

1. Clean the Deck

Begin by using a garden hose or power washer to blast the debris out between the deck boards. Some treatments, such as bleaching, are good for getting rid of mildew, and others, like acid treatments, are good for getting rid of graying and stains. After eradicating mildew, bleach can leave a dull, washed-out surface. Use a decking restorer with acid for these kinds of problems. Or stick to bleach alternatives like oxalic acid to get rid of stains and discoloration.

Be sure to read the cleaning solution instructions and warnings carefully. The solutions can be brushed on or sprayed on with a low-pressure power washer. More potent chemicals require less scrubbing. After the chemicals have worked, rinse the deck. Remember, too much pressure can damage the wood.

2. Perform Deck Repairs As Needed

Check the deck for damage once you've cleaned it. Check for sagging, cracked, or rotting planks. It's important to address even minor problems as soon as they arise to avoid an even costlier deck repair later. Nails and screws can become loose due to the expansion and contraction of aged lumber. Drive them back in with a hammer or a screwdriver. Rusty nails and screws can weaken a deck's stability and change the wood's color, so it's best to replace them as quickly as possible.

As part of your regular deck maintenance, check the flashing to avoid having to make expensive deck repairs in the future. These are the metal or plastic shields where the deck joins the house. Look for any cracks or fissures that could allow water to enter. Ideally, water should be able to drain off the deck and into the ground or grass below.

3. Seal the Deck

Use a brush made of natural bristles to effectively spread a deck sealer. While a roller would get the job done more quickly, a brush can get deeper into the grain and pores. If you want the sealant to hold, apply it where the boards are butting. Work the deck sealer along the length of three or four boards at a time.

The greater the sealer's opaqueness, the better its resistance to weather and wear. The texture and natural beauty of the wood are better highlighted by lighter coatings.

4. Check for Pests

Decks made of any materials can attract a wide range of unwanted guests, such as bark beetles, carpenter ants, carpenter bees, wood borers, snakes, and rats. 

You can also try planting herbs and flowers around your deck to deter insects. For example, using aromatic plants like garlic, citronella, and rosemary reduces the number of mosquitoes and other biting insects around your deck. Many pests can also be kept at bay with the help of plants like chives and lemongrass.

Assemble Your Deck with the Best

Get in touch with Decksouth today to get started on building your dream deck! Our business is known for high-quality materials and great customer service. We know each project is important for our clients and their families, and that's why we go above and beyond to create your vision. Don't just take it from us; read our reviews!

Contact us today to get started on your dream backyard.

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