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Jay's article Jay's article Document Transcript

  • ❱❱ The GreaT OuTdOOrs ❰❰allhandsOndecK B Y P AT LY N C H Building beside the ocean – or on the side of a mountain – calls for some complicated construction ❱❱40 renocontractor.ca | May/June 2012 Renovation Contractor
  • ❱❱ The GreaT OuTdOOrs ❰❰Renovation Contractor May/June 2012 | renocontractor.ca 41
  • ❱❱ The Great Outdoors ❰❰ Rise To the Top: While building his company, Cedar Creek Decks, Jason Howell has had to deal with mountain slopes,There’s a hell soar on wind currents that perpetual moisture, "geotechnical complication," and evenof a view from sweep up steep, rocky the odd barge ride.the decks perched cliffs that plunge fromhigh on the hills the back doors of hillside oceanfront multi-level deck: to slapping up a killer deckof West Van. mansions to the ocean curved railings, curved than laying the footingsThe city of Vancouver below. It’s a nature-lover’s deck, composite...looks and banging togethersparkles to the south over paradise, but views like this really sharp.” some boards. There’sthe waters of English Bay don’t come cheap. You’d hope so, seeing as often crazy issueswhile the forested slopes “We just finished a job the deck cost the owner with grade. Moisture.of Vancouver Island loom on a really beautiful house a mere, well, you know, Geotechnical complica- Photos Phillip Chinto the west, separated in West Vancouver,” says $120,000. tions. And, as in the casefrom the mainland by the Jason Howell, owner of Sometimes thats how it of this West Van beauty,dark, churning waters of Maple Ridge-based Cedar goes on the rugged West access to the site canthe Georgia Strait. Eagles Creek Decks. “We did an Coast, where there’s more never be taken for granted.42 renocontractor.ca | May/June 2012 Renovation Contractor
  • ❱❱ The Great Outdoors ❰❰ “We actually had to small-crew operationbarge in the materials that services the entirefrom Horseshoe Bay,” says Lower Mainland.Howell. “That’s the kind of “I know when I started out,thing you need to build into doing a lot of the 40 per-the estimate.” cent grade stuff, the extra Putting together a realis- engineering costs that gotic B.C. quote is something with that kind of job wouldHowell’s learned quickly in sometimes take me andthe six years he’s been run- the client by surprise,” saysning Cedar Creek Decks, a Howell. “Its always touchy44 renocontractor.ca | May/June 2012 Renovation Contractor
  • ❱❱ The Great Outdoors ❰❰because it’s extra money, terrain. “If you don’t knowwhich you’ve gotta factor in what you’re doing, youright off the top and you’ve could get yourself intogot to make it clear why it’s big trouble with any deckgoing to cost more.” you try to build.” Add to this the slow- Even in the more geo-moving prospects of work- graphically tame Lowering on a rock ledge, where Mainland areas serviced byyour crew needs to be Cedar Creek, places suchtied off with safety dowels as Richmond, Burnaby,drilled securely into good Surrey, and Langley, geo-rock as an extra precaution. technical issues ranging“Especially on the North from grade to soil typeShore,” says Howell, of the can slow down a job andregion’s famously steep add to its cost.Getting Copacetic With Synthetics By Ian H. BurnsThey may look more like real wood than ever before, but workingwith composite decking requires unique techniques and toolsWith more homeown- Plastic Fantastic popular for deck and rail- Edge-to-edge installationers trying to avoid the Composite decking is ing systems. PVC decking may require a ¼" to ⅜"maintenance hassles that made from wood flour and is flexible and may require gap; for end-to-end instal-come with natural wood recycled plastics. While 12" o.c. joist spacing. lation, revise gap allow-decks, the choice of syn- it is insect resistant, its Manufacturers proclaim ance to ¹⁄₁₆" to ⅛" based onthetic building materials tendency to retain water PVC decking to be fade, the temperature differenceis becoming increasingly creates the potential for scratch, and stain resistant. of the date of installationpopular. And while the prin- mould and mildew. and the hottest projectedciples of deck construction Capped composite gets Alternatives date of summer.haven’t changed, contrac- its name from the fact schooltors may want to consider that it is a composite If you haven’t worked with A cut abovesome minor adjustments core coated (capped) synthetic decking before, it’s The manufacturers ofwhen working with com- with PVC, polypropylene, worth reading the instal- synthetic materials all claimposite materials, at least or polyethylene, making it lation instructions – and their products cut the sameuntil composite-specific stain and scratch resistant. maybe even checking out as natural wood, and whiletools become available. Like the composites, it one of the video tutorials some contractors are con- Here’s a brief overview tends to absorb moisture manufacturers post online. tent to use a circular saw,of what’s on the market, at the cut ends, so be sure Among the key tips you’ll many have adopted thefrom the products to the to seal all cuts. pick up is the need to seal use of 10" or 12" mitre sawstools you’ll need to work Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) cut ends and to allow for on mobile stands to ensurewith them. decking is fast becoming expansion and contraction. cutting accuracy.46 renocontractor.ca | May/June 2012 Renovation Contractor
  • “In terms of engineering, Moisture, which any con- workdays are going to be Vancouver environmentwe often have to get holes tractor has to deal with on wet, so you need to plan begs for some subtle tweaksdug out due to grade and site, is an even bigger issue for it.” to the structure, particu-have inspectors come in to larly on ground-level decks. “test the soil,” says Howell. “You want to make sure you“Or we find ourselves deal-ing with five or six feet of We can’t build there have cross-ventilation,” says Howell, “so you have to have until we dig down to the ”topsoil that’s been backfilled at least two inches under allinto a new yard to make a load-bearing ground. the sides so that air can flowflat kind of deck area. We underneath the deck and, ofcan’t build there until we dig course, you want to gap outdown to the load-bearing on the wet, er, West Coast. That goes beyond your deck boards more thanground, so that’s another “We’re living in a rain- raingear. you would normally: at leastcomplication we often deal forest,” says Howell, In terms of actual deck a good ¼". It’s not as muchwith out here.” half-joking. “A lot of the construction, the moist of a worry with composite, Here is a selection of what that built America” has a finish will reduce heat andwe consider the best tools magnesium housing and friction and perform bestfor working with composite comes with a 24-tooth car- with composite materials.decking materials: bide blade. Suggested blades:MiTre saWs WiTh DeWalt Precision Line withcOMPaTible DeWalt DWS780 12" Tough Coat FinishsTands double bevel sliding • DW3194 7 ¼" (40 tooth) compound mitre saw with • DW3196 7 ¼" (60 tooth) the DWX723 stand: The • DW3232 12" (80 tooth) Editors’ Choice from our Rigid 3202 6½" Compact 2011 Tool Test; though the Framing Saw: This 6 ½" stand doesn’t have wheels, circular saw can cut 2x4 it too comes with rapid tool material at 50 degrees, release mounts, making it and a 4x4 in two passes. portable and easy to move. And it’s light, to boot.Bosch GCM12SD 12" dualbevel saw with axial glide circular saWs blades Freud Premier Fusion withtechnology and the T4B When cutting synthetic Perma-Shield Coatinggravity rise wheeled stand: material, most manufacturers • P410 10" (40 tooth)An honourable mention in recommend using carbide- • P412 12" (48 tooth)Renovation Contractor’s tipped blades with 40 teethNov/Dec 2011 Mitre Saw or less for crosscutting or Freud is the only manu-Tool Test. The T4B stand’s ripping, and a 60-tooth facturer currently testing aquick-release tool mounts SKIL MAG77-75 7¼" Worm blade for cutting railing composite-specific blade,are compatible with most Drive Saw: This 75th anni- stock. It’s also suggested promising it will be readymitre saws. versary model of “the saw that blades with a coated for market in fall 2012.Renovation Contractor May/June 2012 | renocontractor.ca 47
  • ❱❱ The Great Outdoors ❰❰but with the moisture cedar “We have 80-degree move your deck up and job, Clay Constructionand pressure-treated will fluctuations in tempera- down, big time.” To coun- built a two-storey monsterhold in, those ¼" gaps are ture from summer to ter the harsh conditions, using that technique andgoing to shrink up to ⅛" winter out here,” he says Clay buries pilings ¾" treated lumber, the mate-come winter.” rial of choice in his region “ Those kinds of West Coast of the prairies.winter considerations might “We’ve dabbled in cedar,make a guy like Jeremy Clay We have 80-degree and done a few compos- fluctuations in temperature from ”snicker. The owner of Clay ite jobs but, in our area atConstruction, a Langenburg, summer to winter out here. least, there’s not a lot ofSask., company that special- people looking for thatizes in homes but dabbles kind of thing,” says Clay.in decking on custom of Langenburg, a town below grade and insists “Out here, people are look-residences, Clay has more of 1,000 roughly 400 on Sonotube to preserve ing for something wherethan board spacing to worry kilometres northeast of the integrity of the footing. they can sit out on theabout come winter. Winnipeg. “The frost will On a recent custom-home weekend and drink a beer.”48 renocontractor.ca | May/June 2012 Renovation Contractor
  • ❱❱ The GreaT OuTdOOrs ❰❰ a deck for the ages how to build the colosseum of backyard Patios Make it last forever. as cumaru, garapa, jatoba, massaranduba, and tiger- No, that’s not the refrain of your long-suffering lady wood, or for a longer-lasting deck with porcelain tile, friend. But when it comes to dropping dosh on a deck, and/or concrete/granite/travertine paver stones. (The it’s what you’re likely going to hear from an increasing Colosseum, by the way, was built of travertine stone number of customers looking for a low-maintenance held together by iron clamps, the essence of what’s alternative to traditional materials. going on here. Try selling that on your next bid.) Taking a page out of the Roman Empire’s architec- Naccarato concedes that a customer really has to tural playbook, Paverdeck, billed by its manufacturer as want that concrete-paver look to be swayed by the a “maintenance-free lifetime deck option,” makes use Paverdeck’s pitch, but in a world where composites of some of the concepts used to build the Colosseum, look increasingly more like the wood they’re masquer- which, still standing after 1,900 years, is what you ading as, so too are stone treatments. “We’re working might call well-built. Instead of using wood, Paverdeck with a company now to manufacture a concrete prod- systems are comprised of a galvanized steel platform uct that looks like a piece of cedar,” says Naccarato, that takes any number of finish treatments, from stone “so they’ll be able to get the wood look but in a long- to tile; it all depends what your customer likes and how term, low-maintenance material.” much dough they’re ready to drop. The system is actually an integrated platform dia- “We invented a lifetime galvanized undercarriage,” phragm that is extremely strong in terms of carrying says Jon Naccarato, president of Sault St. Marie, a lot of load – up to 260 lbs./sq. ft. Priced compara- Ont.-based Evolutiondeck Inc., the manufacturer of bly with combination pressure-treated/cedar decks, Paverdeck. “By itself it’s designed to last 60 years Paverdeck’s costs are contingent on the materials used – with a set of anodes on it that are designed to be for the surface (from concrete pavers at $2/sq. ft. all replaced every five years, it can literally last a lifetime.” the way up to stone pavers at $12/sq. ft.). They come Engineers with backgrounds in the automotive and in standard kits (10 x 10 and 14 x 14) available at steel industries, Naccarato and his business partner, some Rona stores in the GTA, custom kits, and custom Joe Sevirini, have been marketing their product for the designs installed by one of Evolutiondeck’s partners.Images courtesy of Evolution Deck Inc past four years as an environmentally friendly alterna- And for contractors concerned about their crews tive to traditional decks – made with recycled steel, it being stymied by the installation process, Naccarato comes with a 30-year structural warranty and side- says, no worries: “The installation learning curve is very steps the use of wood and chemical stains and sealants short. The deck system only goes together one way that are part of a wooden deck’s standard upkeep. and is assembled using traditional tools. Carpenters The heavy-duty undercarriage can be skinned for have no problem adapting.” a more traditional look with exotic hardwoods such The only question left is, will your customers? —PL Renovation Contractor May/June 2012 | renocontractor.ca 49
  • ❱❱ The Great Outdoors ❰❰ As the name of his Trex Transcend series is has become a regular query someone to build you acompany suggests, Jason the composite he leans from customers that simply deck,” says Howell, withHowell, on the other hand, toward. “We’ll do three or don’t want to deal with the a laugh. “But we’re put-has by and large specialized four a year now, whereas ongoing labour and costs ting hot tubs on elevatedin cedar decks since 2006, we used to do maybe one. of maintenance. “That West decks now, so we’re talkingfeeding a B.C. appetite The cost factor has gotten Van place? Theyd spend three to four tonnes offor traditional wood, often more competitive in the last $2,000 every year staining load-bearing ability. Thesewith pergolas and arbour couple of years, so custom- the thing if they hadn’t are extensions of people’saccents. But as more cus- ers are seeing the dollar gone composite.” living rooms into theirtomers come to him look- value in the long run. You’re And whether it’s a simple backyard. If you don’t geting for lower-maintenance paying a bit more upfront, deck in the heartland or a it right, it’s just not goingoptions with added longev- but you’re trading that off $120,000 behemoth on the to last.” RCity, the domination of tree- for the life of your deck and ocean, the notion of buildingbased materials has begun the low-maintenance.” something to last is every- Pat Lynch is an editor at Theto shift. Even concrete, while less where nowadays. (See, “A Globe and Mail. In a previous “Composites have really common (“We’ve done Deck for the Ages,” page 49.) life he wielded a recip saw andstarted to pick up for us,” maybe three stamped con- “You used to get your pushed a mean broom for ahe says, adding that the crete decks, total,” he says), uncle or your cousin or Toronto-based contractor.Renovation Contractor May/June 2012 | renocontractor.ca 51