I want to replace a small deck, 20' × 11', on the north side of the house (no railing) with a composite material. I've heard and read all sorts of horror stories about staining, warping and sagging. Any TT'rs with experience and/or recommendations?
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Haven't used it myself, but from what I've seen and heard, it's very expensive but worth it if installed properly. I have never heard of trying to stain it.
I saw something called redeck I think it was called, thinner and cheaper because it goes over the existing deck.
Thanks hockeyfan. The staining issue results from mold/mildew getting inside the composite material and the resultant stains cant be removed.
Linecrosser - I'll look into that. Our old deck is structurally sound, just butt ugly because we cant get it properly stained.
LC , stay away from that shit. My bro in law is dealing right now with a deck that was installed improperly and has the staining you speak off. Its caused by mold and mildew in the sawdust that makes up the wood portion of the composite. He's been around and around with Home Depot (who sold it) and the manufacturer and they are not doiong anything because the guy who put it up (not the bro in law) was not trained by them to install it and didn't work for a company that does it. If you do it yourself, make sure you have good supports underneath and do the gaps between the deck boards correctly as well as venting the sidewalls under the deck. It has to be kept strictly dry at all times all around it and make sure you have good attachements to the house wall. Bro in law's is sagging and sinking and looks horrible, they have to have the whole thing torn out and replaced right down to teh ground. We researched it for him and that stuff is the purest shit ever. So glad I know NEVER to use it, go wood!!
oops, I meant Holland, not LC, lol, trying to get my answer to you before you buy that crap! :)
Iím a concrete patio guy. I had 1200sq. ft. of concrete put in last year and couldnít be happier. No maintenance and besides I like being down in plant beds verses being above them.
Thanks nana. I've heard similar.
Sensor G the deck is only 12 inches off the ground (hence no need for railing) and its my front entrance to boot. I made a horrible paint/stain choice when it first went down. Not color wise but type wise. I have paint/stain peeling. The appearance is wretchedly embarrasing. Its either a new top or a complete sanding job. Also all the wood is run and cut on the diagonal. Makes for a nice "statement" but we dont think we have the ability make that many correct cuts as a DIY project.
Maybe I should be asking for recommendations for a contractor instead. All it needs is a new top.
<hijack> SensorG, care to offer up a referral for your concrete guy? We're ready to move on our patio project and I have NO idea who to call. Also, I'm rudely asking what 1200 sq ft of patio costs. :-) </hijack>
Jared at mcmillen concrete. 4.50 a square foot for 4 inch with screen reinforcing mesh. Did a 12 by 28 this year. Love it. Btw 1200 square feet is huge.
Thanks, justread. I am gonna go start my own thread to try to decrease my footprint on THIS one. Sorry, holland...
Pressure Treated wood and Maintenance is all that is needed with wood deck. Before you put anything on the deck let it dry out for about 3-6 months and then use a stain or water sealer.
That's if you put down new wood that you let it sit for that amount of time.
I've done the decks my dad has built for years and have done numerous other decks through different painting companies I've worked for. One thing you want to stay away from though is regular exterior paint. Use either a water sealer or a solid or transparent stain.
The best brands available are Azek, Timbertech, and Fiberon. I would avoid a composite and use a PVC decking material. Also, if you are going to pay the cost for composite, I would strongly recommend a hidden fastener system.
Have you considered a South American hardwood? Some of them are beautiful and not much different in pricing than the better synthetic decking materials. Tigerwood, Ipe, and Garapa are beautiful once installed and do not need to be stained to get a great color.
Here's a great explanation of different types of synthetic decking.
If your going for A concrete Patio, Speaking from a Engineers point of view. Skip the wire mesh go with the fibers in the concrete mix. Ask for a concrete mix with 600 lbs cement in the mix ( ODOT Class "C" concrete Mix). Don't settle for ANYTHING less. The use of wire mesh is only waste of money the concrete will still crack, because it shrinks as it cures out. To prevent the shrinkage cracks in the concrete from reveling themselves the Concrete must be saw cut at a maxium of 15 feet apart and the depth of the saw joint must be a 1 1/2 inches deep. Also the concrete must be placed on a good draining, compacted subase. Use 304 aggregate base at six (6) inches thick Minimum and request the subase to compacted with a small virbartoy roller or jumping jack, not vribratoy plate compactor. No Matter what the contractor say's about using a small vibratoy plate compactor. It just does not compact six (6) inches of material. Also request a white spray cure material to be applied to concrete after it is finished. This will help in the curing process of the concrete. If You don't spray cure then ask for a seven day water cure, using wet burlap and white visqueen
Request the concrete to placed early in the morning when the air temp is at lowest. Because the aggregate piles have been gaining heat during the day siiting in the sun. If the the concrete is placed late in the morning or in the afternoon the concrete mix has already generated heat and will setup faster than expected. Making it harder to work and Place. If the concrete is stiff or hot at time of placement the contractor will want to add water to the mix so they work it easier. Please don't let them add water to the mix on the job site. You will be only asking for problems later.
And Above All do not apply loads to the concrete for Seven (7) Days. That also means not walking on it. It may look hard the next day but it is still subject to failure. Because the concrete is gaining strength during those seven days. It reaches 75% of its design strength.
If You follow these steps and don't settle for anything else You will Have a great looking concrete patio for years to come.