Can a Custom Deck Builder Design the Deck of Your Dreams?

Custom Deck Builder

A custom deck builder can give you that awesome outdoor living space your family loves. However, if you don’t know exactly what you want, you are not alone. Many homeowners feel the frustration of not knowing how to improve their back yard.

We can help! At Structurally Speaking, we specialize in building custom decks. Our team can help you develop the plan for your space based on your needs, budget, and current landscaping. You don’t have to have a perfect deck in mind to begin your project. We’ll walk you through the process to bring your vision to life, even if your vision isn’t crystal clear at the start.

The Structurally Speaking Process

We have three phases to the custom deck building process. This helps us ensure we build an outdoor living space you love, rather than a deck that is “just okay.”

First, we’ll sit down with you to discuss your needs and budget during an initial consultation. Sometimes, a simple deck is best. Other times, a more elaborate design will work better. We’ll ask you a lot of questions about how you plan to use the space. Additionally, we’ll talk about your current outdoor space and the biggest frustrations you have about it. We’ll also get a sense of your style by showing you many different options. We also consider the shape of your property and the style of your home…a deck must complement the space to add value.

Next, we’ll create a custom deck design based on our initial meeting. Actually, we’ll create a few designs with variations so you have options. Most people don’t know exactly what they want when we start this process. Our design phase will help us bring the project to life so you can envision the final product. Don’t worry if we don’t hit the nail on the head the first time. We can make tweaks until you are completely happy with the design.

Finally, we’ll start the building project. Up until this point, you can walk away. There are no strings attached during our initial consultation and design. However, once we enter the building phase, we’ll sign a contract so you know exactly what you’ll be paying and the construction timeline. Our team will turn the final design into a reality.

Deck Cost and Timeline

The cost and timeline for your deck project will depend on several factors, including the materials you choose, the complexity of the design, and the time of year. That said, one thing is certain; hiring a professional custom deck builder is always going to save you money and time versus doing it yourself!

At first, it might seem like a deck DIY project is the way to go. Here are a few things to consider:

  • If you build the deck yourself, will the money you save go toward fixing mistakes later? Most homeowners make several mistakes while building their deck. Not only does this take time, but the mistakes you make could cost a lot of money later on.
  • Are you getting the best prices on materials? Sure, you’ll save on labor if you do the work yourself, but we get contractor deals on composite decking, wood, and other materials. We pass those savings on to you.
  • Do you know what permits and permissions you need from your local city/county and homeowner’s association? It depends on your location and the scope of your project. When you work with us, we can handle this for you so you don’t have to worry about fines.
  • Are you building on a solid base? Most deck projects work best with a layer of stone or cinder blocks to prevent moisture. If you build directly on the ground, you’ll have to repair or replace your deck sooner.
  • How valuable is your time? You’ll be amazed how fast we get your new deck built. We’re professionals, and our team does this every day. Plus, we have several people working at once. If you do it yourself, it can take several days or even weeks to finish your deck.

Here’s the good news: we talk about budget on day one. We don’t want to start the design, let alone the building part of the project unless you are comfortable with the numbers. You won’t get a surprise bill at the end of the project when you work with Structurally Speaking. Our goal is to create the deck that you want, while staying within your budget.

Custom Deck Design Materials

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make for your new deck is the building material. The deck installation process is roughly the same for all types of materials, but the material you choose can affect pricing and will definitely impact the overall look for your outdoor space.

A classic wood deck is a choice that’s hard to beat. We have both pressure-treated wood and composite options. Looking for an even more unique deck material option? During the consultation, let us know what you’re thinking, and we’ll let you know if it is possible!

If you do choose the more traditional option of wood or composite decking, we have a variety of options. Pine is a very affordable option that you can stain or paint in almost any color. We also have options such as cedar and exotic woods such as Ipe.

Features Your Custom Deck Builder Can Design

Maybe you want a simple deck that just provides a flat surface for your outdoor furniture and grill. If that’s the case, we can create the deck of your dreams. However, we also can add special features to your custom deck. These features make your deck more functional and beautiful. Here are a few of the most popular options for homeowners looking for something special for their deck:

Imagine relaxing in your very own hot tub at the end of a long day at work. We can create a beautiful hot tub deck that allows you easy access to your new spa.

Add some shade to your new deck with the addition of a pergola. As an added bonus, pergolas offer a great structure for climbing plants such as ivy and various vines. So, if you love the idea of using your deck for plants, a pergola is a great option.

  • Other Plant-Friendly Features

In addition to pergolas, we can include other plant-friendly features. For example, we could include built-in planters. We can also build your deck around trees or other plants that are already part of your landscaping. Additionally, if you love to garden, we can create raised beds as part of your new deck.

  • Built-In Seating

Built-in benches, chairs, tables, and other seating can be a beautiful and functional feature to add to your deck. During the deck design process, we’ll talk to you about how you’ll use your new deck. Maybe you envision small family gatherings and intimate dinner parties. Or, maybe you like to host large reunions and gatherings. It might make sense to have one large seating area, or it might make sense to have several smaller seating areas. We’ll create a design that makes sense for your specific needs.

Multi-Level Deck Installation

Most people think about their decks as a one-level outdoor space. We can build these decks, but we can also expand the vision to include multiple levels.

A multi-level deck allows you several access points from your home. For example, you can exit from your kitchen to the lower level of your deck while also enjoying a balcony-level exit from your upstairs master bedroom.

We can create your multi-level deck using ramps, stairs, or a combination. Don’t forget the built-in lighting. As part of your custom-built deck, we can include solar lights or we can run electrical wiring for lights you can control via a switch or remote instead. These lights keep your family safe while using ramps and stairs to enjoy the multiple levels of your deck.

Building a Deck and Sunroom or Porch Combination

A deck gives you a beautiful outdoor living space to enjoy with your family. However, the weather doesn’t always allow you to spend time outside. We can create an indoor-outdoor combination space by adding on or attaching to a sunroom or screened porch.

Here are some top benefits of including a sunroom or screened porch as part of your deck project:

  • You can enjoy time “outside” even if it is raining. During the spring and fall, a porch or sunroom can also provide shelter from some chilly wind.
  • An indoor-outdoor space provides maximum shade from the sun on hot days. We can even install overhead fans to help keep the space cool.
  • You dream deck could also be a mosquito buffet if your home is near water. A porch or sunroom is a place to get some relief on especially buggy nights. For the same reason, it’s also a great place for the food during a party.
  • If your yard doesn’t have a fence, a screened porch or sunroom is a more secure play area for young children.

Keep in mind that a screened porch or sunroom will also add value to your home, as will a beautiful deck. Even if you currently have no plans to move, you will probably want to sell your home someday to either upgrade or downsize. When you’re ready, you’ll be happy for a backyard that increases the sale price.

Until then, the added equity means that you have the ability to get a home equity loan or line of credit when you need it. This money is nice to have for very large renovation projects, such as installing a new room. The FTC has some great information about home equity loans and credit lines if you’re interested in learning more.

Common Deck Mistakes Homeowners Make (and How to Avoid Them!)

As you are considering the type of deck you want, we urge you to avoid these common mistakes when hiring a custom deck builder.

First, the most common mistake we see is hiring a deck building company that isn’t licensed, insured, and experienced. We get it; a custom deck can be expensive. However, if you hire an inexperienced deck builder, your dream deck could turn into a nightmare. These companies often cut corners, which means you’ll spend twice as much to fix mistakes. They also don’t have insurance, so if anyone has an accident during construction, you could be liable. Don’t hire the first cheap company you see on Craigslist. Do your research and hire a company like Structurally Speaking. A local company strives to please its customers and relies on their recommendations to friends and family. We want your project to appeal to all of your guests and add value to your home. Read some reviews from satisfied customers to see how we value our customer service.

Another mistake we see homeowners make is not solidifying a total budget with a contract. Often, less scrupulous deck contractor companies won’t give you a contract. Then, at the end of the project they present you with a bill that is much higher than you thought it would be. Always get the total cost in writing. Here at Structurally Speaking, we don’t start a project until we are all in agreement about the price.

We also see homeowners make the mistake of hiring a deck contractor that doesn’t have experience with design. Building the deck is just one part of the project. If you know exactly what you want and have a very simple design in mind, these contractors can probably handle it. Although, you could have problems if they don’t get the appropriate permits or have insurance and a license. Some of these national companies will be leaving the area after they complete your project and will not be available if problems occur later on. Therefore, for a more complicated design or just for your peace of mind, always hire a professional with design experience. When you work with Structurally Speaking, you get the full attention of our owner Jim Brennan who has decades of decking experience. He has designed hundreds of decks and looks forward to designing yours as well. Click here to contact us today.

Be Wary of Red Flags When Finding Decking Companies Near Me

decking companies near meIf you do a simple Google search for decking companies near me online, you’ll find many options in the Raleigh area. It can be overwhelming. However, it is only through asking questions that you can find the best decking contractor for your project.

Here at Structurally Speaking, we put the homeowner first. The result? Gorgeous decks that are exactly what our customers wanted. (Yes, even if they didn’t know exactly what they wanted when we started working together!)

But don’t take our word for it. If you’re considering hiring us – or any deck builder – for an upcoming project, we encourage you to ask a lot of questions. You should feel completely comfortable with the deck company you hire. Here are a few notable red flags that should make you run the other direction when you are choosing a contractor for your new deck.

They Don’t Have Much Deck Building Experience

General contractors are a dime a dozen. If you want the best result, find a contractor that specializes in outdoor projects.

Here at Structurally Speaking, every project is overseen by Jim Brennan, who has been designing and building decks since 1999. After ten years of being a top designer for the largest deck and porch builder in the United States, Jim decided to form his own company. He based Structurally Speaking on his approach to the deck building process, which is to individually design custom decks instead of giving you a cookie cutter solution that doesn’t fully meet your needs. We have been serving the greater Raleigh community since 2008. When you buy from a local company, you know that they want satisfied customers to recommend them to friends and family. That is our goal…satisfied customers who love their new outdoor spaces.

When you hire a general contractor, they may do the work, and it may even be a good job. However, you’ll probably find that your deck isn’t taking full advantage of everything your outdoor space has to offer.

Simply put, Jim has been doing this for over 20 years. He knows exactly what questions to ask about your lifestyle, budget, and personal aesthetic to create the deck of your dreams. To us, your home deserves so much more than a slab of concrete or wood. You deserve a true outdoor living area that your entire family can enjoy.

When You Ask Questions, They Side-Step

It should be a huge red flag to you if a contractor doesn’t answer your questions directly. It typically means one of two things:

  1. They don’t know the answer and are trying to make you think they do.
  2. You might not like the answer, so they’re misleading you.

Some people talk a big game, so to speak. They are great at sales, but lacking in the knowledge department. The honest thing to do is to simply say, “I don’t know.” Otherwise, they might be giving you incorrect information. We learn new things every day. Even though we are deck building experts with more than two decades of experience, sometimes a homeowner asks us a question and we don’t know the answer. If that is the case, we’ll always tell you the truth – that we don’t know, but we will find out. We won’t sidestep a question to try to seem smarter.

It’s even more upsetting that a deck company may try to mislead you because they are worried about your reaction about something. Here’s the thing: when we talk about certain topics, especially budget, it’s a little uncomfortable. We might have to break the news to you that a certain type of wood won’t fit into your price range. Or we might have to tell you that a certain design isn’t possible.

Whatever the case may be, you can always count on us to be 100% upfront about your deck and the building process. If something isn’t possible, we’ll work together with you to find an even better solution. We believe this is the only way to ensure you are in love with your new deck at the end of the project. Ask a lot of questions! (Here are five questions we recommend to get started.)

They Push You in a Certain Direction

Don’t let any deck contractor push you around. A contractor might try to push you toward a certain decking material or design for any number of reasons. Remember, this is your home, not theirs. Your opinion is the one that matters.

The most common way a deck contractor will try to push you in a certain direction is with a tactic called “upselling.” This is when a salesperson tries to convince you to upgrade to spend more money. Often, they do this in a sneaky way by getting you to agree to small upgrades and continuing to push you more and more. Suddenly, you could find that your price quote triples, and your deck project has morphed into something you don’t even want.

Our team here at Structurally Speaking will always present you with your options, including different decking materialpergola options, built-in features like a fire pit or outdoor kitchen, screened-in porch designs, and more. However, we are always, first and foremost, conscious of your budget. If you want to go wild with a custom deck that has room for a hot tub, we’ll make it happen! What we won’t do is talk you into a hot tub that you don’t even want.

You Get No Direction at All

Although you don’t want someone to push you in a certain direction, you also need at least a little input from the contractor. A deck company should never expect you to be the designer of your own dream deck. After all, who is the expert here?

We work with many homeowners who have a good idea of what they want. In this case, we’ll still make some suggestions, which you might want to veto or which you might love. When an expert looks at your outdoor space, they probably see possibilities that you don’t. So, we’ll always give you our suggestions.

If you have no idea what you want, beyond a functional outdoor living space, we can help you as well. In this case, we’ll ask you many questions about what you like and dislike. We can even look at pictures of our past projects together to get a better sense of your personal style. Then, we’ll design your dream deck with various options.

What we’ll never do is expect you to just tell us what you want with absolutely no guidance. We’ll walk you through the design process every step of the way.

Their Deck Construction Timeline is Unclear

Over the years, we have worked on hundreds of projects. It’s a simple fact that deck and porch jobs sometimes get delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, such as poor weather. However, all decking companies near me should be able to give you at least an idea of the timeline.

When you work with Structurally Speaking, we commit to:

  • Giving you an accurate and honest timeline from the start
  • Working with your schedule to ensure that the project fits into your life with as little upheaval as possible
  • Staying in close communication about any delays, such as bad weather in the forecast
  • Showing up on time on the days we will be working, so you never have to wonder where we are

Any deck contractor you hire should be able to commit to these things as well. If someone won’t set a firm schedule/timeline with you, we recommend working with a different contractor.

They Can’t Show Proof of Insurance or a License (All Decking Companies Near Me Should Have Proof!)

When you’re comparing price quotes from several builders, you might notice one thing the cheapest companies have in common: they have no license or insurance.

In North Carolina, a contracting license is required for larger jobs. If your deck job will cost more than $30,000, it would be illegal for a deck builder to take on that job without a contractor’s license. That said, all companies need to have a regular business license, even if your deck will cost significantly less. Companies who operate without a business license are attempting to bypass certain fees and taxes that the law requires.

It’s also important that you work with an insured contractor. Insurance protects both you and the deck builder. Let’s say, for example, that one of the people working on your deck gets injured. If the company isn’t insured, they could turn around and sue you, the homeowner! While your homeowner’s insurance does protect you in some cases, it is always best to work with an insured contractor. That way, you know you’re covered and you aren’t personally at risk.

Don’t be afraid to ask for license and insurance paperwork when you are interviewing companies and collecting quotes. If they sidestep the question or say they don’t give out this information, you shouldn’t work with that company.

Additionally, we recommend never paying “under the table” for a deck job. If a contractor requests this it is because they are trying to illegally avoid paying taxes. Make sure you have a paper trail to show what you paid and when. If you’re paying with cash, have the person taking your money write out and sign a receipt.

You Don’t Have a Good Sense of What Your New Deck Will Cost

Speaking of money, our last piece of advice is to always work with a contractor who is upfront and transparent about pricing. Otherwise, you could find yourself with a surprise bill at the end of a project.

You should speak with your contractor about your budget at your initial meeting. This budget should be the driving force behind their design suggestions. At Structurally Speaking, we always have an honest conversation at the start of a deck project about budget, so we can set realistic expectations. Then, we’ll show you designs and options that fit into this budget.

A price quote from any deck builder should not be a vague range. Before any money changes hands or any work begins, make sure to set a clear expectation about the price. Sign a contract to ensure that everyone is clear about the amount due and how much you’ll pay upfront versus how much you’ll pay at the end of the project.

During the work, your total cost should not increase unless you add new features. Some companies will try to scam you by telling you that there were unforeseen issues or that the price of their materials went up. Any professional deck builder won’t have these “problems” and can complete the job on budget.

The Structurally Speaking Process

If you’ve been getting a lot of red flags with other companies, we would love to take on your project. Here’s how we work:

  • First, we sit down with you to determine your budget and what you want in a new deck. This initial consultation is completely free with no obligation to hire us.
  • Next, Jim will take this information and complete some designs custom-created for your home. He’ll sit with you to present these designs, so you can choose the best option for you.
  • Only after you’ve chosen a design you love, will we start the building process. We’ll stay within the budget and communicate closely with you. If you have any questions, we’re always available.

Jim oversees every single project to ensure the quality of the work. We don’t hand you off to a third party. Your home is important to us.

Are you ready to begin with a free consultation? There’s absolutely no obligation to sit down with Jim and discuss your decking needs. Click here to contact us today. Or, just give us a call at 919-786-4825.

5 Questions to Find the Best Decking Contractors Near Me

Decking contractors near me

When hiring decking contractors near me, what sets apart one contractor from another? And how can you pick the options for your deck project? Let’s talk about five questions every homeowner needs to consider when hiring a deck builder.

Which Decking Contractors Near Me Offer Custom-Designed Decks?

First, consider which deck contractor will be able to take your vision and bring it to life? And what if you don’t know what you want, beyond a beautiful outdoor living space?

Here at Structurally Speaking, owner Jim Brennan personally oversees every project from start to finish. He’ll meet with you to discuss your needs and see your outdoor space, design your deck, and oversee the building team. If you have an idea of what you want, Jim will help you achieve your goals. On the other hand, if you’re not sure what you want, Jim can explain your options. His decades of expertise in this field will always provide you with your dream deck…no matter what your dream envisions!

Our decks can be simple or elaborate. Here are just a few of the different projects we’ve designed and completed in the past:

  • Multi-level decks
  • Second-story decks with stairs leading down to your yards
  • Decks with pergolas
  • Small decks for limited spaces
  • Hot tub decks
  • Decks that are built around landscape features, such as trees
  • Combination deck/sunrooms
  • Decks with built-in benches
  • Gardener-friendly decks with built-in planters
  • Decks around a pool

Your custom deck will take advantage of all your home and garden’s unique features when it is designed by Structurally Speaking.

When designing your new deck, here are a few things Jim and our team will keep in mind:

  • What is the primary use for your deck and which family members will use it most often?
  • Will you need built-in seating for large parties? Or will you need areas where seating arrangements can be created with stand-alone furniture pieces?
  • What kind of maintenance and upkeep are you willing to do?
  • Are there any mobility issues for yourself or guests that necessitate ramps, wider stairs, etc.?
  • Do you have an existing porch, patio, or deck that needs to be demolished or incorporated into the design?
  • What direction does your home face? (i.e., when and how much sun will your deck get?)
  • Do you have a pool, hot tub, or water feature you’d like to incorporate?
  • Is it important to you that we include a fire pit or fire table area?
  • What kind of railing do you want (and what do you need to keep your family safe)?
  • Are you interested in a wood deck, a composite deck, or another material?
  • Do you have existing outdoor furniture or elements that you want us to incorporate into the deck design?
  • Will you need new doors added to your home to access the deck?
  • Do you have any construction challenges, such as an extremely sloped yard?
  • Does the deck design need to incorporate built-in lights, or will you make use of existing outdoor lights?
  • Do you want space for outdoor cooking and grilling?
  • What is the overall aesthetic of your home?

This isn’t a complete list, but don’t be intimidated. We’ll walk you through all the options in terms of size, color, materials, and more during the initial consultation.

After the initial consultation, we’ll do a design presentation with at least two different design recommendations. These are scaled drawings that show different elevations and viewpoints. You get a chance to discuss the advantages of each option, as well as make any changes.

You won’t get this kind of back and forth with every deck builder. With other contractors, you might have fewer options for customization. In fact, some only offer cookie-cutter decking solutions. Will you really use your new outdoor space if it isn’t designed well? A custom solution gives you more bang for your buck. It’s why we are a top deck contractor in the Triad area!

How Much Will My New Deck Cost?

Every deck builder has their own way of calculating how much your deck project will cost. However, when you work with the Structurally Speaking team, we don’t start with a design and then determine the budget. Instead, we start with your budget and create a design that falls within it.

Speaking about your budget will be part of our initial consultation. If you have a limited budget, don’t worry! We can still help you build the deck of your dreams. In this case, we’ll look for ways to save money while maintaining the unique deck elements that are important to you.

For example, maybe you are willing to consider a smaller deck, as long as it still has enough room for seating your family.

Or, as another example, maybe you go for the bigger deck but a less expensive material and standard decking color, instead of a material that is fully customized and more expensive.

We’ll go over every design element so we can gauge what is most important to you. Then, we’ll design a deck that perfectly fits your budget and your wish list.

Keep in mind that when you work with the Structurally Speaking team for your custom deck, we don’t present you with a surprise bill at the end of the project. You’ll know exactly how much your deck will cost before we start building it. We don’t magically find ways to inflate your bill during the project as some contractors do. The number we quote is the price you pay.

We have relationships with many manufacturers, so we’re able to offer competitive pricing. We pass on any savings to you, so you’ll be able to get a new deck without breaking the bank.

Will My Deck Project Be Well-Managed?

Deck building is our passion. We don’t sell you on a design and then pass off the project to an independent general contractor, as is the case with some companies. When you hire Structurally Speaking, you hire our in-house team. We’ll be the ones completing the construction part of the project.

This is part of the reason why it’s so important to hire a local team for the job. Larger national companies generally have subcontractor teams that take over when the sales team is done. The problem with this is that the sales team might not know much about decking design. They just know how to convince you to sign on the dotted line. At the same time, the general contractor team doesn’t know what the sales team promised. They aren’t invested in making sure the customer, is happy. They simply build what they are told.

And if they can cut corners, they often do. Subcontractors are paid a set fee to do the work, and this pay rate is often low. So, they cut corners in order to take home more money. They might buy lower-quality supplies, rush the work, or skip important steps. As a result, many homeowners who work with larger decking companies find that they need a deck replacement after just a few years.

At Structurally Speaking, Jim oversees every project to make sure it is done right and you are happy with the results. We never cut corners to make a job go faster, and our number one concern is ensuring your deck is safe, functional, and beautiful. You won’t need to replace your Structurally Speaking deck for decades after it is built.

Can the Contractor Help Me if a Deck isn’t the Best Option?

Sometimes, you might start out thinking that you want a deck. However, once you really think about it, you might want a screened porchthree season porch, or sunroom instead. If this is the case, can the contractor you choose help you?

If you hire Structurally Speaking, the answer is yes! We have experiences with all types of decks and porches. Our goal isn’t to design your deck; it’s to design your perfect outdoor living space. Sometimes, once we start talking, we determine that a deck isn’t the best choice. Or, we do a dual deck/sunroom combination.

Your outdoor living space needs to fit your family’s needs. So, if you hire a custom deck builder who isn’t flexible, you may find yourself with an end product that you don’t really use.

Which Local Deck Contractor Provides the Best Customer Service?

Our overall recommendation is to interview several potential custom deck builder companies and find the one that provides you with the best customer service. Most other issues can be handled if you have a design and building team dedicated to making you happy. Here’s how we go above and beyond for our customers:

  • We stay in close contact during your project. You never have to wonder what’s going on, and you can call any time if you have a question.
  • When we set a timeline, we stick to it. Obviously, when speaking about outdoor work, Mother Nature sometimes has other plans. However, we always stay in close communication. During the building process, our team shows up on time, so you don’t have to sit around wondering where we are or if we are coming that day.
  • We love your input. We don’t have pre-set designs that we use for every homeowner. Your home and yard are unique, so your deck should be unique too. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what you want initially. We’ll walk you through it.)
  • If needed, we’ll do the paperwork for you. Some projects require approval from a homeowners’ association or even a permit from the city. We know exactly how to deal with these needs to ensure that your deck building project is completed without any problems.
  • We’ll hunt down those special materials you really want. If you have your heart set on something, we’ll make it happen.
  • If you aren’t happy about something, we’ll make it right. At the end of the project, you should completely love your new deck.

We take pride in providing top-quality customer service every step of the way. In fact, here’s what one of our customers had to say about working with our team:

“Now that our deck is complete, I want to thank you and your team for the high level of craftsmanship and professionalism. We gave you a tight deadline for completion of the deck before a major social event and your team hit the target perfectly. The back and forth exchange of ideas and suggestions for the materials and design were most productive and our collaboration produced a beautiful deck area. As you know we connected immediately with the sense we could work well together and the whole process was well-explained and executed to perfection. The experience you possess showed itself many times over from the easy inspection approval to the look of the deck design from all viewpoints. Your crew was hard-working and very highly skilled…a rare combination that shows in the final product. Thanks for a great job and many more beautiful decks are in your future, we are certain.” – Rob and Sheila Roszell

You can read more customer reviews here.

How to Get Started

If you’re ready to start on your custom deck design, click here to contact us. Jim is happy to speak with you in a no-obligation consultation, in order to determine the best option for your home.

Learn How Our Deck Builders can Customize Your New Deck

deck buildersStaying at home can get monotonous, especially if you are used to getting out of the house during the summer. A custom deck or porch can add to your usable living space in a fun new way. Imagine drinks on the deck with your spouse or enjoying time outside with your kids. Here at Structurally Speaking, our team of deck builders can create the custom enclosed porch or deck of your dreams. Let’s take a look at exactly how you can customize your outdoor living space.

Decking Materials to Fit Your Home’s Style

When you picture your new deck in your mind, what is it made from? Most people would say wood, but we have several material options to fit your aesthetics and budget.

No one material is better than others. That’s why every deck project we complete starts with a consultation. We’ll talk about your vision and lifestyle. Then, we’ll design options with the materials that will work best. Before our team of deck builders gets to work, we’ll make sure you are 100% happy with the color, maintenance needs, and style of the deck materials you choose.

Pressure-treated wood and composite decking are two of the more traditional deck materials. However, our team also can use stainless and aluminum options or discuss other materials with you as well. Wood options can be stained or painted, based on the look you want and the level of upkeep you want to do in the future.

In short, the best way to learn about deck material options is to speak with a deck contractor like Structurally Speaking. We’ll go over the pros and cons of each option.

Levels and Stairs with Your New Deck

Here at Structurally Speaking, we build all kinds of decks. If you check out our gallery, you’ll notice that we’ve built small, simple decks, as well as large multi-level decks with stairs.

Which is the best option for your home? Here are a few questions to consider:

  • How often do you plan to use your deck? Do you often wish you had an outdoor space to entertain, or is it just a place to put the grill? If you want to use your deck as an extension of your home, you’ll want to think bigger.
  • What makes the most sense for your home’s style? Some homes lend themselves to a multi-level deck, while others look better with a single-level deck.
  • Is your yard on an incline? A natural incline lends itself to a multi-level deck, even if you have a ranch style home.
  • What is your budget? Obviously, the bigger the deck, the more expensive it will be due to the increased materials. Bigger decks also take longer to build. Our custom deck builder team is fast, but we don’t rush through a project or cut corners.

If you aren’t sure, we can show you multiple deck designs. After your initial consultation, we will come up with a few options for you, based on your needs and budget. We can include a multi-level deck as one of the options if you are interested in this kind of design. There are no strings attached if you decide you want a smaller deck after all.

Deck Seating to Provide a Comfortable Outdoor Space

You can’t fully enjoy your new deck without seating. You have two main options for seating:

  1. Stand-alone seating that you purchase separately
  2. Built-in seating such as benches, which we’ll design as part of the deck project

If you’ll be purchasing stand-alone seating, we’ll still want to include it in our design plans. Your new deck will be perfectly suited to your needs, with space for any planned seating. For example, if you plan for a small round table with four chairs, you’ll need a different design than if you want a large table with seating for eight.

With a larger deck, you’ll typically want a few different seating areas based on how you’ll be using the space. You may want seating for outdoor dining, as well as seats that enjoy more sun or more shade.

If you enjoy hosting gatherings, you’ll also want additional seating options for guests that don’t obstruct your use of the deck when they aren’t in use. To solve this problem, we recommend built-in benches. Our team has experience building functional benches that also look great. Benches can serve as additional seating when you need it, but also work well for potted plants. We can also build wide stairs that double as benches.

Room to Garden on Your New Deck

Speaking of potted plants, do you enjoy gardening? We can build a deck that works with your existing landscape and gives you a new area for gardening options. Every deck installation has only one goal – to focus on your satisfaction with the finished product.

First, it bears mentioning that we’ll respect your current landscape if it is important to you. Don’t worry about your favorite rose bush or tree. Our designs will take any existing landscape into consideration. We work with your yard, not against it. This includes considering how your new deck may cast shadows in areas that were once sunny. Our deck builders are also careful to not disturb your landscaping more than necessary during construction.

If you love to garden, we can create new opportunities built into the deck design. Benches are just the start. With a new wood deck, you can also have built-in planters or planting areas. We’ll design them in the perfect locations for sun or shade, based on what your plants require.

Additionally, we can include a pergola as part of your dream deck. Pergolas have several benefits:

  • Planting: You can plant any kind of climbing ivy, rose, or vine to create a vertical garden on your new deck.
  • Cooling: A pergola adds extra protection from the sun in certain areas. If you have plants or seating areas that need shade, a pergola is a great option.
  • Privacy: Once you’ve added the climbing plants, a pergola adds a little privacy to your deck, without completely obstructing your view.
  • Uniqueness: Pergolas give your landscape that “something special” that you don’t find everywhere.
  • Defining a Space: With a pergola, you define a space without closing it off. This works especially well for large decks.

Adding a pergola to your deck project is extremely affordable. It adds visual impact to your deck without breaking the bank. Simply mention to our designer that you are considering a pergola during your initial consultation. We’re happy to show you custom deck options with and without including a pergola.

Add a Hot Tub, Kitchen, or Other Features to Your Deck

Your new deck can truly be an addition to your home. As we design it, we can add any special features you might want, including room for a hot tub, a large outdoor kitchen, and more. Consider built-in lighting, a fence enclosure, sunken seating, designer handrails, a fire pit, and other fun features. If you can dream it, we can build it. This article from Houzz has a few luxury deck ideas to help get your creative juices flowing.

We can Redesign Your Old Deck

Instead of starting from scratch, the deck builder team at Structurally Speaking can simply redesign and replace your existing deck. Over the years, any deck can fall into disrepair. This can be a hazard for your family, pets, and guests. Here are a few indications that you may need a new deck:

  • Severe discoloration that is not easily fixed with a pressure washer or refinish
  • Holes or broken boards
  • Signs of damage from pests such as termites
  • Visible mold, mildew, or rot
  • Boards that are separating and pushing nails out of the wood
  • Tree roots breaking through your deck
  • Loose deck railing or stairs

We can come to your home to assess the condition. Sometimes, deck repair makes the most sense. Often, problems look worse than they really are. However, it is always better to have our professionals assess the problem. We can spot safety hazards and build you a new beautiful deck if it is time to say goodbye to the old one.

Beyond the Deck: Other Options Available from Deck Builders

Although we love decks, they are not your only option for remodeling your outdoor living space. Here at Structurally Speaking, we also build screened porches/sunrooms to make outdoor living possible for your family. Here are a few reasons why you might want a screened porch instead of a traditional deck:

  • Function During Three Seasons: A screened porch is often called a three season porch because you can use it for most of the year. The entire porch is actually a room with ceiling and screens to protect you from rain. It can have fans or even heating and cooling.
  • No Pests: Say goodbye to mosquito bites or the need for harsh chemical sprays and insect repelling candles. Screened porches are also an especially good place to enjoy an outdoor meal without constantly swatting flies away from the food.
  • More Secure: Families with young children and pets often like a screened porch, since it adds an extra level of security. If you don’t have a fenced-in yard or have a pool without a separate gate, a screened porch maybe be a great option for you. Of course, a screened-in porch also has a door that can be locked at night, making it slightly more secure for items that could be easily stolen from a porch or deck.
  • Comfortable Seating for All Guests: When you’re hosting a party, you want all guests to feel comfortable. Older guests and others who are more susceptible to high temperatures might like sitting inside better than enjoying the fun outside. A screened porch allows everyone to be together.
  • Increase Your Home’s Value: As with a quality deck, a beautiful screened porch can increase your home’s value. It is a major selling point if you ever decide to put your home on the market.

We can easily convert your current porch or deck to be a screened porch or sunroom. Or, let us design and build one from scratch.

And here’s the best part: You don’t have to choose. We can create a combination deck and screened porch for the perfect backyard space for your home.

Why Choose Structurally Speaking for Your Custom Deck

For nearly a decade, Structurally Speaking owner Jim Brennan worked for the largest deck and porch builder in the United States. During this time, he became a top deck and porch designer and learned that his approach was what made him stand apart. He started Structurally Speaking in 2008, and today, Jim still personally works with every client. When you choose Structurally Speaking, here’s what you can expect:

  • Jim will work with you directly to create a design you love. No idea is too outlandish. No project is too small.
  • We’ll set a budget during your initial consultation, and we’ll stick to it. No surprise bills!
  • Our pricing is competitive. We have relationships with manufacturers so we are able to pass on those savings to you.
  • Jim supervises the crew and oversees every project. We don’t pass off the construction to a third party.

Most importantly, if you have any questions along the way, we’re happy to answer them. We listen to every concern and can make changes as needed. This is your new deck and we want you to love it. After all, you’re the one who has to live with it after our crew leaves. If you aren’t completely satisfied, we’ll work with you until you are.

Your new deck starts with a free no-strings-attached consultation with Jim. Fill out the form on this page to get started or click here to contact us.