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.

For Deck Contractors Near Me Choose Structurally Speaking

deck contractors near meDoes your family love the outdoors? If so, then you know how important it is to have an outdoor space that attracts the whole family. A comfortable, outdoor living space is key to making sure everyone enjoys the fun all spring and summer long. Custom decks are the perfect solution. If you’ve been looking for deck contractors near me then look no further. Structurally Speaking is the Triad’s decking expert. From design to installation, their work stands out for its quality and durability.

The Best Deck Contractors Near Me

It can be hard to find a good deck builder or contractor in general. The friendly team at Structurally Speaking prides itself on service and quality work. From design to installation, they work with you every step of the way. They are only satisfied once you are satisfied. Plus, they can work with you to build your perfect deck, no matter what your budget may be. Prices can vary based on many factors, but they will be able to give you a quick and accurate quote.

Benefits of a Deck

A deck is more than just an addition to your home. It is an outdoor extension of your style and taste. So why have just an ordinary deck? Let Structurally Speaking design and build the deck of your dreams. Spend a lot of time outdoors as a family? Go with a big deck with multiple areas. Do a lot of outdoor cooking? Make sure your design includes an outdoor kitchen and dining area. Structurally Speaking will custom build a living space around your needs and specifications. They are the area’s top deck contractors near me for good reason.

In addition, they offer a choice of decking materials and will explain the benefits of each. Structurally Speaking also provides a wide variety of customization options so your deck will be as unique as you are. Choose from the following options:

  • Composite, stainless and aluminum railing & systems
  • Deck redesigns
  • Planters
  • Pergolas
  • Screened-in porches
  • Benches
  • Hot Tubs
  • Framing
  • Stairs
  • Extensions
  • & much more

Best of all, they help with every aspect of the process. Eliminate the hassle and let them help prepare all necessary documentation. Don’t let your homeowner’s association of neighborhood cramp the excitement. They can handle their requirements for you!

Up the Ante with A Hot Tub Deck

The only thing more luxurious than a sprawling deck adorning your home is a hot tub deck. With a hot tub deck from Structurally Speaking, your family will never want to go inside. These are not the ugly eyesores, tucked away in other backyards. A hot tub deck from Structurally Speaking will change the way you view hot tubs. They not only offer comfort and relaxation but also therapy for tired, sore, or aching muscles. Check out just a few of the benefits of a custom hot tub deck from Structurally Speaking:

  • Tremendous Value—a hot tub deck can be surprisingly affordable. In fact, quality work pays for itself very quickly. Adding a spa or hot tub deck to a home raises its value exponentially. In fact, homeowners recover 76% of the cost of installation on average. This makes hot tub decks one of the best investments you can make in your home.
  • A Gathering Area for the Whole Family—it can be tough getting the whole family together. Teens generally want to do their own thing while smaller kids want to keep up the fun. Appeal to family members of all ages with a hot tub deck. Let this be the center of fun all summer long while you get to enjoy the intimacy of having everyone together.
  • Health Benefits—hot tubs have been around (in different forms) since ancient times. In fact, the word spa comes from the Latin phrase for “health from water.” Hot tubs have a proven track record of healing therapy. They help your body absorb heat, increase your blood flow, and relax your muscles. Decking from Structurally Speaking is more than a luxury—it’s a source of revitalization!

Over a Decade of Experience

Structurally Speaking strives to be a partner for homeowners to trust. They offer a wide range of services for all home improvement needs. Since 2008, they have offered Triad-area residents building and design services for decks, porches, sunrooms, and more. They proudly serve Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, Apex, Hillsborough, Carrboro, Holly Springs, Garner, and the surrounding areas. The owner, Jim Brennan, has earned a stellar reputation as a designer/builder in the greater Raleigh area. He personally oversees every project to ensure top quality in every detail. Look through the gallery of completed projects to get an idea for your own retreat!

So, give them a call today at (919) 786-4825 to see how they can help improve your home!

Enclosed Porch Ideas to Enhance Your Outdoor Living Areas

enclosed porch ideasMany of us enjoy nature but don’t necessarily wish to feel all of it, all of the time. For example, extreme heat or cold gets a bit uncomfortable after extended periods of exposure. Generally, wiggly critters, crawling insects or flying creatures are more fun to watch behind a bit of protection. Furthermore, rain or snow are much more pleasant to witness when not landing directly on your head. Therefore, you may be searching for enclosed porch ideas to make outdoor living a little more enjoyable.

Structurally Speaking serves the greater Raleigh-Durham area as one of the premier specialists in porches and decks. The owner, Jim Brennan, has been designing and building these structures for over 2 decades. His reputation as one of the top designers and builders is evident in every project. He brings his personal touch as he oversees every step of the process.

Three Enclosed Porch Ideas

If you already have a patio or deck in place, enclosing it is not complicated. Or, you may be adding a new feature to your home…one that will add space for your family to enjoy. Either way, an enclosed porch increases the value of your home.

First, you must decide which enclosed porch ideas fit you the best. Determining how you wish to use your porch or sunroom helps you choose.

For instance, do you prefer the beauty of nature year-round without the weather worries? Or, do you like to feel the outdoors as you immerse yourself in it? Perhaps, you’re a little in between. Some days, it’s nice to have the breeze tickling your skin. Other times, it’s a bit annoying when playing a card game or eating a meal.

Consider three options:

1. Screened Porch

Ultimately, a screen porch is the most cost-effective move beyond a patio or a deck to enhance outdoor space. Essentially, you enjoy all the features of your patio without the aforementioned critters and weather infringing on your space. Additionally, lighting and ceiling fans are options. So, you can still get a little relief from heat and use your space at night as well.

2. Three Season Porch

This option is similar to a screen porch but has windows to close against the screens when needed. As a result, you have a little more protection from weather woes. Although wired for electricity, it does not integrate into your heating or cooling system. However, you can always add a space heater during the cooler North Carolina months.

3. Sunroom

Not only does a sunroom add value to your living, it adds value to your home. Coupled with increased square footage and beautiful outdoor living space, sunrooms enhance your property. Conversely to the porches, sunrooms heat and cool with the rest of your home. Correspondingly, you can enjoy complete comfort no matter the weather and still have a stunning view of the outdoors.

The Building Process

Once you’ve determined what fits best, it’s time to begin the planning and building part of the project. Don’t worry if you haven’t figured out whether you prefer a sunroom or enclosed porch. Structurally Speaking combines that step in our process. In fact, we will sit down with you and discuss what fits your lifestyle best in our initial meeting. Better yet, this free, no-obligation consultation is the perfect chance to narrow down your options. You learn from us as we learn from you and your home.

Next, we take the information gathered and create a customized design that works with the existing structure of your house. At this point, we present fully-detailed options and make recommendations based on your needs and budget.

Finally, we start the building process. Often, this begins with presenting plans to a homeowners’ association with which we gladly assist. Then, we expedite building permits, which is a tedious task when done on your own. Finally, we build! During this phase, our professionally-trained supervisors are respectful of your property, family and day-to-day activities.

Today, contact our specialists to begin your home project as soon as possible! Or, call us directly to discuss your project at 919-786-4825.