When considering a new patio or deck in Vancouver, West Coast Modernscape advises one of the first considerations to think about is the weather. Even in the Vancouver area, there are micro-climates. For instance the amount of rainfall on the north shore could be more than double the amount that may be received in the White Rock area. This being said, the overall area is still a damp climate that brings to light considerations on the materials that should be used for your patio or deck.
Although you are not creating a concrete driveway, concrete is still used in most decks and patios for the footings. Like our previous article on concrete driveways (here), weather must be considered for set times and curing. The footings are one of the most important factors in the project as they provide a solid foundation to support your entire deck structure. The design of your deck will determine how loads are transferred from one part of the deck or patio to another.
Once the foundations of your deck are poured, the next consideration is attaching the ledger board. This is the part that is attached to the house rim. During the attachment of the ledger board, you must ensure it is straight. You must confirm that the flashing is bent over the top and around the corners to provide drainage for water away from the house. Caulking should also be applied to seal all openings where water could potentially penetrate.
When the framing stage begins (after frost footings), it is always advisable to frame the perimeter of the deck using temporary supports, however the design of each deck will dictate the order of assembly. When the framing is complete, further considerations for the railing stairs, lighting and maintenance need to be taken into consideration.
West Coast Modernscape works with you when designing a deck or patio to ensure there is a happy compliment between not just the look & style; however the materials used while keeping cost in mind. Cost is always a factor, however so is longevity and ease of future maintenance of the deck or patio. A key point to also keep in mind as a home owner is that quality is always more expensive, but cheaper in the long run.
In the wet climate that Vancouver area resident’s face, if wood is the choice for their deck, treated wood for areas exposed to the elements is a must. When the wood is treated, (which may be chemically treated, also known as pressure treatment), it helps extend the life of the wood or wood structure and increase resistance against moisture, insects or fungus. More on wood preservation may be found at WikiPedia.
At West Coast Modernscape, we feel that knowing the basics of your project can go a long way in understanding how it all comes together. Whether it is general landscaping, a new concrete driveway or a deck, we don’t want to leave you in the dark which is why we keep our website updated with this information.