Decks For Outdoor Living
From a lifestyle perspective, decks provide a place to socialize, relax, and entertain. In addition, from a homeowner perspective, it is paramount to adding extra square footage and good looks to your home. If you want to add square footage to your living areas and do not have a ground level walkout that lends itself to a ground level patio, a deck is a great addition. Even though some might say that in a cold climate like Minnesota, you can only use your outside spaces for a short period of time, most homeowners who have outdoor living areas, use them almost year around.
Any outdoor structure is only as good as the material it is made out of, and that goes double for our northern climates. As you are well aware, we have a rough and tumble combination of weather systems that regularly cross Minnesota. From arctic blasts in winter to violent prairie thunderstorms in spring and summer, the upper Midwest area gets more than its fair share of extreme weather. That is why; Minnesota is a prime location for using materials of higher-than-average strength and durability.
· Pressure Treated Lumber - This is the old standby for Minneapolis builders, and if you are on a tight budget, this might be your only option. In an ideal situation, a properly maintained structure built from pressure treated lumber should last in the neighborhood of 15 years or longer before it starts to show significant signs of wear.
· Redwood and Cedar - Because of their natural ability to resist weather and insects, redwood and cedar are excellent choices. Builders have long said that these materials are worth the larger initial investment and most homeowners agree that in both looks and longevity, they are worth every penny. As an added bonus, because both are technically "soft woods," they splinter less than other wood species, which is good news for decking. If you go this route, it is worth the extra expense to invest in heartwood versus other cuts of these species, since the heartwood demonstrates the highest level of natural resistance to the elements.
· Composite Decking - Composite materials are produced by combining sawdust and other "waste" wood, plastics, and a bonding resin, under high pressure to form planks. The result is a virtually maintenance-free, flexible, and attractive alternative to solid wood structures. When it comes to composite planking, it is worth the investment in the highest quality you can afford, as some lesser quality composites will eventually take on the very problems they were designed to withstand.
As a homeowner, one of the best things you can do to ensure an installation that will hold up is listen to the advice from your builder. Minneapolis can eat up a wood structures in no time, and while you might imagine a professional suggesting a more costly material or more intricate design having only profit on his or her mind, the fact is, Minnesota demands a more significant investment than other areas when it comes to outdoor structures!
Permagreen has collaborated with Thein Companies Inc., a Twin Cities premier contractor to do outdoor structure installations. If you need a deck as part of your outdoor living area, contact Permagreen today and we will work with Thein to design and build your entire outdoor living area.
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