Our Top Maintenance Tips for Beautiful Triangle Decks

triangle decksHere at Structurally Speaking, we build beautiful custom decks to perfectly suit your family’s needs. With a little deck maintenance, homeowners can make their Triangle decks last longer. Luckily, annual deck maintenance doesn’t have to be hard. Both wood decks and composite decks are fairly easy to maintain.


Decking Material and Maintenance Requirements

Two common decking materials are pressure-treated wood (typically pine) and composite. Some homeowners also like to consider exotic hardwoods, redwoods/cedar, and pvc vinyl. All decking materials have pros and cons when it comes to maintenance.

Pine is an extremely common option because it is less expensive. However, keep in mind that this material requires more upkeep over time, so it may not be the least expensive option in the end. Pine will fade to a gray look over time and needs to be repainted or restained every few years. This type of wood is susceptible to splitting and splintering if not maintained.

Exotic hardwoods give you beautiful, rich colors. These are extremely hard, which makes it more difficult to replace individual boards when needed. The good news, though, is that you won’t need to replace boards often. These types of woods resist rot and insect damage. You’ll still need to paint/stain occasionally if you want to maintain a certain color, but not as often as with pine. Redwood and cedar are similar, though these are softer woods that may need extra care in areas of high foot traffic.

Composite is a decking material we recommend if you want as little maintenance as possible while still maintaining the look of wood. This product is made with a combination of plastic and wood fibers. It doesn’t splinter or rot easily, and you don’t have to paint or stain it. PVC vinyl is also a low maintenance option, but unfortunately doesn’t give you the look of wood. However, many homeowners love this material for railing.

Spring Cleaning for Your Deck

No matter what type of decking material you choose, all Triangle decks need a little spring cleaning. This is a great time of year to give your deck a quick visual inspection and call us if any repairs are needed.

You’ll also want to wash off your deck to remove any dirt and grime that has built up during the winter. Pressure washing will really make your deck shine. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can also use a scrub brush and regular hose. Remove any loose debris like leaves first so you don’t scratch your deck. Remember to use cleaning products specifically made for decks, so it helps resist mold and mildew.

If you are going to use a pressure washer, make sure you are constantly moving the nozzle. Especially with pine, pressure washers can cause gouges in the wood if you stay on one spot too long.

After you clean your deck and allow it to dry, it is a great time to apply a coat of sealant. We can recommend a product that works with your specific deck material. Both wood decks and composite decks benefit from a coat of sealant.

Maintenance Throughout the Season for Triangle Decks

Over the spring, summer, and fall, a bit of quick maintenance can help your deck stay in great shape. We recommend sweeping away any debris that collects. If puddles collect in any area, you can sweep them away. Keep plants trimmed back so they are not settling against your deck, and make sure birds and other critters are not building nests, especially if your deck has a pergola.

In general, deck maintenance is pretty easy. The most difficult type of deck to maintain is a hot tub deck, because you have to ensure the hot tub water chemistry is correct, as well as drain the water and scrub the hot tub regularly. That said, many homeowners find the maintenance worth the reward of being able to soak in their own private hot tub whenever they want!

FAQs About Deck Contractors

If you don’t currently have a deck, we can help! Here at Structurally speaking we build custom decks to match your home and lifestyle. We’ll take maintenance into consideration when helping you select the design and materials for your deck. Here are some other frequently asked questions about working with deck builders:

Who are the best deck builders in my area?

We might be a bit too biased to answer this question! However, what we will say is that the best deck builders in any area will take your needs into consideration and design a deck just for you. Our owner, Jim, does a free consultation with every client to ensure that he creates the perfect deck for you. You deserve more than just a cookie-cutter wood platform. With custom Triangle decks, your backyard can truly be an oasis that you want to use every day.

What if I’m not happy with my deck?

When you work with Structurally Speaking, we’re not happy until you are. Our building team can perfectly translate the design from paper to real life. Jim oversees the process every step of the way, so there are no surprises. What you see in the design presentation is what you get, period. Of course, if you are not 100% in love with the design, we can make changes. We won’t start building until you are happy with the deck design

Do you have more questions about building a custom deck? Contact us today! We’d love to help you build the deck of your dreams.

10 Design Ideas for Your Cozy and Cool Custom Hot Tub Deck

custom hot tubImagine finishing your work day and slipping into your very own bubbling hot tub. Is there any better way to relax? Here at Structurally Speaking, we have experience building custom hot tub decks. These decks support the weight of the hot tub and give you the perfect spa-like experience in your own backyard.


Because we build custom decks rather than simply providing cookie cutter solutions, we can add in features to make your deck even better. Here are ten cool deck ideas you can consider for your hot tub deck.

Add a Pergola for Protection from the Sun

Depending on the location of your new hot tub, you might need some protection from the sun. To fully immerse yourself in the spa experience, you need to be completely comfortable, which is hard to do with the sun in your eyes.

A pergola is a great option to solve this problem. With a pergola, you can control how much of the sun you block. Pergolas also make great structures for climbing plants if you want more of a rain forest feel for your hot tub deck. Learn more about our pergolas here.

Exotic Hardwoods as a Decking Material

You can take your hot tub deck to the next level by using exotic hardwoods as the decking material. Exotic hardwoods are a little more expensive than woods such as pine. However, they make a huge impact. They’re perfect if you want a real wow factor. Hardwoods can also last longer than some other kinds of decking material. Plus, they stand up well to the heaviness of a hot tub deck.

Keep in mind, exotic hardwoods aren’t total budget busters. Many varieties can still be less expensive than composite. During your initial consultation, we’ll talk about budget to help you choose the best decking material for your project.

Build a Combination Deck and Sunroom/Porch

Do you want to get even more use out of your hot tub deck? Don’t just stop with building a deck! Instead, build an entire outdoor living space.

We customize every deck project to perfectly suit your needs. A combination deck/sunroom makes sense for many families. Check out this blog post about the benefits to building a sunroom. If a sunroom isn’t right for you, you can also consider a screened porch to add a covered element to your outdoor living space.

Built-in Benches and Bars

We love to help homeowners make their custom hot tub decks more functional. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have our deck builders add benches or bars around the hot tub area.

When you are in the hot tub, you’ll need a place to set your drink, right? Benches and bars also work great for towels, food, books, or anything you need to set down within reach while you enjoy the water.

Multiple Levels for a Unique Design

A hot tub deck doesn’t have to be a simple square. Although, it can be! However, we love helping homeowners add a unique multi-level design. This allows your deck to have multiple “zones” for different activities.

In other words, we can create an area for your hot tub, but also areas for relaxing in a hammock, enjoying a fire pit or outdoor fire place, grilling or doing other types of cooking outside, gardening, and more. A multi-level deck design helps to break up the space, especially when you’re entertaining or if you have a large family.

Create a Zen Space Filled with Plants

Your deck can be so much more than slabs of wood. We can help you seamlessly integrate plants into your new deck. This includes:

  • Built-in planters
  • A deck built around trees or other mature, large plants
  • Walls and other structures for climbing plants
  • Spaces set aside within the deck for gardening
  • Storage areas for your gardening tools

During your consultation, let us know if you want to focus on adding plants as part of your new deck.

Entertain with Outdoor TVs, Speakers, and More

As you’re enjoying your hot tub, you might want to also watch a movie, listen to music, binge your favorite podcast, or otherwise enjoy some entertainment. We can make this possible.

Part of your hot tub deck design might focus on outdoor speakers, televisions, and projectors. Sure, you can get cheap waterproof speakers, but we can build them into your deck for an optimal experience.

Storage for Your Hot Tub Items

A hot tub is not all fun and games, unfortunately. It does need a bit of care over time. This includes checking the water chemistry and adding chemicals as needed, removing debris that gets into the water, and occasionally draining the tub to scrub it. Read more about hot tub maintenance here.

We can’t promise to make this part of hot tub ownership fun, but we can make it much easier with built-in storage for your supplies. This is also a great place to store extra towels, robes, and other items you might need for your hot tub.

Location Options for Your Custom Hot Tub

As part of our design process, we’ll talk to you about your different options for your hot tub deck location. Sometimes, it makes sense to have the hot tub right outside your door. Other times, it might make sense to have a detached deck and gazebo area farther away from the house.

It really depends on several factors, including the view you want from your hot tub, privacy in relation to your neighbors, who will be using the hot tub, and more. If you aren’t sure which location is best, we’ll go over the pros and cons of each option.

Add Elements to Make It Your Own – FAQs about Other Options

The best design is a custom design. When you work with Structurally Speaking, you get a totally unique hot tub deck. Here are a few FAQs regarding other elements to your deck design:

Can you build a recessed hot tub deck?

Yes, though for safety reasons, we recommend a partially recessed hot tub. They are easy to get in and out of as compared to a fully recessed hot tub.

Does the deck have to be rectangular?

Absolutely not! Our hot tub decks can be built in any shape. We’ll help you come up with a design that fits your home, your yard, and the shape of your hot tub.

I have some really crazy deck ideas. Can you help?

We’re open to all your ideas. Our goal is to create a deck that you love. We’ll take your design dreams and turn them into reality.

Contact us today to get started with your new hot tub deck.

Our Triangle Deck Builders can Create an Outdoor Paradise

triangle deck buildersAre you itching for a vacation? When you have a beautiful backyard oasis, every day can feel like a vacation! Here at Structurally Speaking, we help our homeowners build the perfect outdoor paradise that’s always just a few steps away. Our Triangle deck builders turn your dreams into reality.


Complete Customization – No Boring, Cookie-Cutter Decks Here!

One of the biggest advantages of working with our team is that you’ll get a completely customized deck or other outdoor living space. We don’t build boring, rectangle decks that look exactly the same as every other deck in your neighborhood. There’s nothing wrong with a simple deck. However, these cookie cutter “solutions” don’t really give you the true functionality your family deserves.

Every new deck project we take on starts with a no-obligation consultation. We’ll listen to your ideas for your backyard space, and ask you questions about how the space will be used. Then, our owner Jim designs a deck just for you.

Your deck can be simple or complex. It can have stairs, ramps, or multiple levels. We can build a hot tub deck, add pergolas, build planters and benches, and more. In other words, we’ll build the perfect deck for you based on how you plan to use your new deck.

A Personalized Experience from Start to Finish

When you work with Structurally Speaking, we don’t just design the deck and then subcontract the work to a third party. Yes, some deck contractors do this, and it means you’ll have no idea if what you see on paper will translate into a real life deck. You might not even know when the builders are going to show up.

We oversee every project, which is built by our in-house team of experienced Triangle deck builders. We’re on hand during the entire construction process so you can ask questions. You’ll never have to wonder what is going on when you work with our team.

Our builders have experience with a wide range of materials, including both wood and composite. Composite decking gives you the look of wood, but is longer lasting. It is made from wood fiber, plastic, and a binding agent to give you a long-lasting product that works well for many homeowners. Whether you choose wood, composite, or another material, we’ll make sure it beautifully complements the look of your home.

Does Customization Come at a Cost?

You might be wondering how much your new backyard paradise will cost. Here’s the good news: we can work with most budgets!

When it comes to decks, you can find a very wide range of prices. Customization always costs a little more, but this slightly higher cost means that you can get the exact deck you really want. In turn, this means you’ll use your deck more often. We can also help you save money in other ways. For example, we use the best quality materials on the market, so your deck will last longer.

Keep in mind that adding a deck also adds value to your home. You’ll generally recoup over 70% of the costs if you add a deck to your home, according to Remodeling’s Cost vs. Value report. This makes adding a wood deck one of the best renovations you could do, financially speaking. Not only does it increase your home’s value, but it can also help you sell your home faster. So, someday if you decide to sell your home, you’ll be glad it has a beautiful outdoor living space.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hiring Triangle Deck Builders

If you have any questions about building a new deck or renovating an old deck, we are happy to help. Here are a few frequently asked questions we get from homeowners here in North Carolina:

  • Do I need a permit to build a new deck?

It depends on your county/city building codes and the scope of the project. We’re extremely familiar with filing the right paperwork before we build your deck. You can leave this part to us! We’ll let you know exactly what permits you need and apply for them on your behalf.

  • Will I need permission from my homeowner’s associate?

Again, it depends. Every homeowner’s association is different. Generally speaking, decks are fine because they are in your backyard and add value to your home. However, we can help you navigate this situation if you have a homeowner’s association.

  • How long will it take for my new deck project to be finished?

We’ll talk about your timeline during your initial consultation. Typically, we can complete deck projects fairly quickly. Smaller decks take just a few days, while larger decks and more complex decks can take a week or more. Rain can also hinder the project. We’ll discuss this with you so you know exactly what to expect with your deck.

  • Which decking material is best?

This answer will vary depending on your needs. Wood is typically cheaper upfront but does have more upkeep costs, since you’ll have to paint or stain it regularly. Composite materials are more expensive upfront but have lower upkeep costs over time. Within these categories, there are also a range of prices and features. We’ll help you chose what makes the most sense for your deck based on your needs and budget.

If you have more questions about Triangle deck builders or your deck project, contact us today. We can answer your questions as well as set up a free initial consultation to discuss your deck needs.

Benefits of Adding a Screened Deck to Your Home

screened deckIs a screened deck right for your home? If you’re looking for a new indoor/outdoor living space, a screened porch or deck is just one of your options. Here at Structurally Speaking, we can create a custom design just for you. Our goal is to construct the perfect additional living space, based on your family’s specific needs and your home’s design.

Screened Deck Advantages

Adding a screened in porch or deck gives you an additional living space for entertaining and relaxing. You get some additional benefits as well:

  • A screened living space allows you to bring the outdoors in, so you can enjoy your backyard with some protection from the elements.
  • Unlike open decks, a screened in deck is a safer option for young children and pets, since you can keep the door locked.
  • You don’t need to build a new room onto your home. We can add screens to your current deck or porch.
  • With the screens, you are protected from bugs, which is especially helpful on summer evenings when mosquitos can make enjoying your yard unbearable.

Additionally, adding an outdoor space can be a great home improvement investment. According to Remodeling Magazine, you can recoup over 70% of your costs if you add a deck, for example. In other words, the value of your home will increase, so that someday when you sell, you’ll be able to ask a higher price. You will also typically be able to sell your home faster, since buyers often look for an indoor/outdoor space when searching for a home.

Beyond Decks: Other Indoor/Outdoor Space Options

Instead of a screened deck, you may wish to consider a different type of living space that brings the outdoors inside. Each has its own advantages.

First, many homeowners love the versatility of adding a sunroom. A sunroom typically has large windows, but also has heating, cooling, and electricity. You can use this space all year long, even during the coldest parts of winter and hottest parts of summer.

You can also consider a three-season room. Unlike screened porches and decks, these rooms are completely enclosed with glass windows for added protection from the elements. However, these typically don’t have heating and cooling like a true sunroom.

Some homeowners may also want to consider a traditional porch, patio, or deck instead of a screened-in option. You can add on to an existing porch or deck, or we can build one from scratch. These spaces are less versatile than a room with windows or screens, but they are a budget-friendly option.

The Budget for Your New Deck

Speaking of your budget, you might be wondering how much to set aside for your new indoor/outdoor living space. The short answer is: it depends.

At Structurally Speaking, we create a custom design for every homeowner. You’ll start the process with a no-obligation meeting where we discuss your design preferences, along with budget. We think it’s extremely important to start on the same page. We’ll never design a space you can’t afford.

To keep the price in your budget, we can look at the size and complexity of design for your new deck, as well as the materials. We don’t sacrifice quality, but some materials are just naturally less expensive than others. For example, composite decking typically costs more than wood. We’ll also ensure the screen material, roof material, and other materials fit into your budget.

How We Create the Perfect Deck Design

The budget isn’t the only thing we discuss during your initial consultation. This is a meeting you’ll have with Jim, the owner of Structurally Speaking. Jim oversees every deck, porch, and sunroom project from start to finish.

If you have clear deck or porch ideas, Jim can bring life to the picture in your head. However, if you aren’t sure what you want, he can help. He’ll look at your existing deck or porch if you have one, as well as the overall space and design of your home. He will also go over features you can add, such as a hot tub deck, pergola, fire pit, built-in planters, and more. By the end of this meeting, Jim will have a good idea of what will work best for your home and family.

Next, we’ll schedule a design presentation. During this second meeting, Jim will show you drawings of his designs for your space. You can make changes to the deck or porch design at this point, so the final result is exactly what you want.

Once you are completely happy with the design, we’ll start the building process. Jim oversees the team to ensure that his drawings are translated from paper to real life. You don’t have to worry about the deck or porch cost inflating at this point; the price we quoted at the design presentation is the price you get. We don’t give you a surprise bill at the end of the project.

FAQs about Screened Decks

Every screened-in porch or deck is different, but here are a few frequently asked questions about this kind of outdoor living space:

  • Is a screened-in deck heated or cooled?

Typically, no, though it is common to have a ceiling fan. If you want a climate-controlled space, we recommend a sunroom.

  • Can screened decks have a fire pit?

We don’t recommend most fire pits under a roof. However, you can still have a fire feature! There are fire features that are safe under a roof, such as outdoor fireplaces.

  • Does a screened porch or deck add to the square footage of your home?

This area is usually not calculated as square footage if you sell the home, but it is a bonus space that buyers love to see.

Do you have more questions about screened decks or other outdoor living areas? Contact us today! Give us a call at 919-786-4825. We’re happy to answer any of your questions and set up an initial meeting so you can speak to Jim about your deck project.

Advantages of A Screened In Porch Raleigh NC Contractor

Screened In Porch Raleigh NCCOVID restrictions have put everyone at home making for cramped quarters. Trying to meet everyone’s needs can be a real challenge. One way to expand your living space is with a screened porch. Porch enclosures protect against weather elements. Plus, our mild southern winters allow for longer use. When searching for a screened in porch Raleigh NC contractor, choose Structurally Speaking.

Our owner, Jim Brennan, started out working for one of those large national porch and deck builders. Dissatisfied with the lack of personalization and customization, he left and began his own company. Today, we’re one of Raleigh’s premier custom designing and building companies for outdoor structures.

Benefits Of A Patio Enclosure

A screen room can serve many functions. You can use the extra space as a family room, playroom, dining area, home office, or entertainment area. The enclosure offers shade on the sunniest days and protection for the rain on wet days. In addition to extra living space, you’ll appreciate some other additional benefits:

  • Increased home value
  • Extra entertainment area
  • Freedom from bugs
  • Privacy
  • Visual interest

While open porches and decks are great for adding outdoor living space, they can’t protect you from pesky bugs. With a porch enclosure, the screens prevent bees, mosquitoes, flies, and all manner of annoying insects away from you. Plus, you’ll enjoy some added privacy from your neighbors.

A bonus is the visual interest a screened room adds. An enclosure adds dimension and depth. For many buyers, a screened porch is a must-have option.

Is A Screened Patio Expensive?

Having additional outdoor living space is invaluable. Sometimes, you just can’t put a price on having an extra room for entertaining, working, or relaxing. However, as a homeowner, you do have a certain budget to work within. Thus, many people want to know how much enclosing a porch will cost.

Your porch enclosure is entirely customizable so pricing widely varies. With this in mind, certain choices do affect your cost:

  • Size
  • Materials
  • Roofing options
  • Flooring
  • Amenities

When considering the size of your enclosure, be sure you have enough space to use it comfortably. Start by deciding on the main function of your enclosure. Think about the type of furniture that will occupy the space.

Additionally, you have many choices when it comes to choosing your materials. Screens, roofing, and flooring options are varied and plentiful. Plus, you can add many different types of amenities:

  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fan
  • Electrical outlets
  • Fireplace
  • Speakers

It’s best to sit down with a general contractor, like Structurally Speaking, and discuss your ideas and budget. Your contractor can help you choose the best options for your needs and enjoyment of your outdoor space.

How Can I Winterize My Enclosed Porch?

During the warmer months, you can enjoy the fresh air wafting through your enclosure while you remain protected from insects. Yet, when the days turn chilly, your screen porch becomes a neglected room. However, if you winterize your enclosure, you can enjoy your room all year round.

One easy way to winterize your enclosure is with clear vinyl curtains. Curtains are an inexpensive way to keep the chill out of your enclosure and heat in. Plus, vinyl curtains can block snow from accumulating on your porch floor without obstructing your view.

Adding vinyl curtains creates an environment similar to a greenhouse. Light energy enters your enclosure, converting to heat energy once inside. However, the heat energy cannot escape, warming your enclosure. Often, your porch can be 30° F warmer than the outside air.

Moreover, you can add a space heater or fireplace for more warmth. Moreover, a fireplace adds ambiance and makes your space feel more like your interior.

Some FAQs Regarding Screened Enclosures

Many homeowners have the same questions as you do regarding enclosing a porch. We’ve answered the most commonly asked ones below. If you have any other questions, give us a call at 919-786-4825 and we’ll be happy to help.

Can I Enclose An Existing Porch, Deck, Or Patio?

The general answer to this question is yes with certain considerations. First, the existing structure must be sound and in good shape. Next, the existing structure needs to be strong to support the additional weight of the enclosure.

Finally, you must comply with local ordinances and zoning laws. Hiring a local contractor knowledgeable in this area saves you a lot of trouble. Structurally Speaking is a local Raleigh based company with over 20 years of experience in designing and constructing outdoor enclosures.

Are Screened Porches Customizable?

Yes! We start with our free no-obligation consultation discussing your needs and wants. During our initial meeting, we’ll also review your budget to ensure our design is within your means. The price we quote is the price you’ll pay.

Plus, we individualize our designs so that your project is unique. Likewise, if you change your mind during the designing stage, we can easily adapt to those changes. As we discuss your usage needs, you may decide on a 3-season room or sunroom. We’re flexible and want you to be completely happy.

How long does the installation take?

All home remodeling projects are unique. Size, scope, and weather all impact the finish date. Similarly, if you’re not familiar with the rules and regulations in construction, you may face more delays.

However, when you hire Structurally Speaking, you won’t have to worry about any local legislative hurdles interfering with your timeline. We’re a local company. Thus, we know how to cut through the bureaucratic red tape so that our project finishes on time.

The Screened In Porch Raleigh NC Contractor Trusted By Many

Extra space in a home is always a welcome addition. Enclosing a porch is a great way to extend your living space. When searching for a screened in porch Raleigh NC company homeowners love, choose Structurally Speaking.

We offer personalized custom design, competitive pricing, and professional project management. Better yet, we can also build you a new deck, pergola, hot tub deck, 3-season room, or sunroom. Combined with our experience and excellent customer service, we guarantee your complete satisfaction.

Why wait? Call us at 919-786-4825 for your free consultation. Spring will soon be here. Let’s have your project completed to enjoy those pleasant, warm days.