News & Articles

  • Recent project: Paver deck with infinity glass railing in Anacortes, WA.

    TOPICS: Projects  |  POSTED BY: Andrew
    KEY WORDS: Deck, glass railing, pavers, railing, waterproof deck

    Recent project: Paver deck with infinity glass railing in Anacortes, WA.

     Recent project: Paver deck with Infinity glass railing in Anacortes, WA.

    Click the title to read more about this project

    Here is a nice little project we just finished on a new home in Anacortes.  Ours was the first room to be completed and as you can tell by the furniture the owners are loving it, I am pretty sure they sit on the deck and watch the craftsmen working on the rest of their home. 

    Recent project: Paver deck with infinity glass railing in Anacortes, WA.

     

    The deck surface is 16"x16" concrete pavers with a waterproof membrane below making the area under the deck dry.  This setup is awesome, so much better than the vinyl deck membranes used on most "waterproof" decks you see.  With this system you get an extremely durable, low maintenance deck surface, a heavy duty commercial grade "roof" for the area below, and it looks great

    The railing is an Infinity glass railing in classic black with a clean modern look that doesn’t get in the way of the stunning views of the San Juan Islands. 

    Any railing that meets current building codes can protect your friends and loved ones while on your deck, but only a glass Infinity from DEXPERTS can protect your view !

     If you are thinking about a deck, railing, or other exterior project give us a call I am sure we can help.

  • Anacortes Decking Replacment

    TOPICS: Projects  |  POSTED BY: Kevin
    KEY WORDS: , Cedar, Deck, Decking, Project

    Decking replacment in Anacortes, WA

     

    Here is a project we recently completed in Anacortes, WA

    We removed the existing deck surface and replaced it with 5/4x5 Cedar decking fastened with stainless steel screws.

    Click the Title to read and see more of this project

    We recently completed a cedar re-deck near Anacortes, WA. 

    The original decking was 5/4” x 4” cedar decking that, while it had been maintained regularly, was nearing the end of its useful life.  The owner had replaced a few boards over the last few years and decided it was time to replace the entire deck. 

     Existing cedar deck near Anacortes, WA

    We discussed options for new decking.  Under consideration were Timbertech brand composite decking, mahogany and cedar.  Even though the manmade materials offered lower maintenance and longer life, the owner and his wife simply preferred the look and feel of real wood.  Mahogany was ruled out as it exceeded the project’s budget.  The choice was made to install Western Red Cedar decking. 

    Normally cedar decking is milled to a nominal 5/4” x 4” dimension (actual measurements being 1” x 3 ½”) or 2x4 or 2x6.  Because the original decking had been 5/4” material we wanted the new decking to match so it would fit beneath the door thresholds and existing railings.  We were able to source a slightly wider 5/4” x 5” which fit better with the scale of the project. 

    The first phase of the construction process was to carefully remove the existing decking.  Once the framing was exposed we inspect for any signs of rot or decay, make sure all flashings along the house are functioning properly and confirm that all hardware and bolts are installed correctly and not corroded.  This was a well constructed deck and everything is in great shape.

     The deck's frame once the decking was removed

    Now we can begin installing the new decking.  We fasten the 5/4” x 5” cedar decking with two 2 1/2” stainless steel trim-head screws into every joist.  Face-screwing provides a secure connection and allows boards to be removed easily if they need to be replaced in the future. 

     

    New Cedar Decking Being applied to the existing deck frame

    The decking process goes fairly quickly.  We installed nearly 800 square feet of decking, including a mitered border, in about two days.  While we work efficiently, we don’t rush the process.  It is important to check periodically that the courses of decking are running straight and parallel to the house and outside of the deck.  We also square the ends of all the boards and inspect them for any cracks or defects.

    New cedar decking fully installed

     

    The finished product, just in time for summer BBQs!

    All done with this Anacortes Cedar deck with stain

     

     

    If you have a deck that is getting long in the tooth CALL DEXPERTS! We can turn your existing deck into a thing of Beauty.

  • Timbertech Legacy Capped Coposite Decking

    TOPICS: Materials  |  POSTED BY: Andrew
    KEY WORDS: bellingham decks, Composit, Decking, Decks, recent projects, Timbertech

    Timbertech's latest composite deck offering, Legacy collection in "Tiger Wood"

    We just finished this little project that gave us a chance to use the newest offering from Timbertech.  The decking is from their "Legacy" collection and is the "Tigerwood" color.  It is held down with hidden fasteners and features a mitered border.

    Click the title to read more about our experience with this new decking product


    We just finished this little project that gave us a chance to use the newest offering from Timbertech.  The decking is from their "Legacy" collection and is the "Tigerwood" color.  It is held down with hidden fasteners and features a mitered border.

     

    Timbertech's latest composite deck offering, Legacy collection in "Tiger Wood"

     

    Now for a quick review of the product: 

    The Legacy collection is probably the best looking composite decking i have seen.  It has a varied color with wood grain appearance and lots of texture. 

    There is a few things going on with the texture, first there is an embossed "wood grain" as well as a hand scraped scalloped effect.  The problem with all this texture is that the scallops seem to prevent water from draining off the decking, this combined with boards that consistently had a slight cup at the ends made for a very wet deck.

    Timbertech’s Legacy decking  will be very popular with homeowners due its great appearance but I think that in our damp climate its tendency to pool water on the deck  is going to keep me from recommending it to my customers, at the very least I will be letting people know about this decking’s tendency to stay wet after a rain.

  • Does Construction Lingo Leave You Confused?

    TOPICS: Suggested Reading  |  POSTED BY: Andrew

    Communication in the design and building of decks and other exterior projects.

    In my years discussing deck construction with clients and other construction professionals it has become clear that a common vocabulary is essential whenever two or more people pursue a joint project.  With that in mind, Dexperts have compiled a list of construction terms that apply to deck and outdoor living space construction.

     


     

     

    In my years discussing deck construction with clients and other construction professionals it has become clear that a common vocabulary is essential whenever two or more people pursue a joint project.  With that in mind, Dexperts have compiled a list of construction terms that apply to deck and outdoor living space construction.

     

    I will add to the list as necessary, either as new products and practices become common or as the need becomes apparent.

     

    Glossary

     

    Actual Dimensions:                 The exact measurements of a piece of lumber after it has been cut, surfaced and dried.  For example, a 2x4 is actually 1 ½” x 3 ½”. (Also see Nominal Dimensions)

     

    Arbor:                                      A garden structure that can provide shade or ornamental appeal.  Can include a bench or swing, but is typically something that is walked/passed under and not a seating area.

     

    Azek®:                                    A manufacturer of PVC building products including decking, trim and fascia.

                                                   

    Balusters:                                The vertical components of a railing system.

     

    Beam:                                      A large framing member supported by posts and used to support joists.

     

    Blocking:                                 Solid pieces of lumber cut to fit snugly between joists.  Used to prevent joists from cupping or rolling.

     

    Break Board:                           A deck board installed perpendicular to the rest of the decking that can be used to break up large areas or define certain areas within a deck.

     

    Building Codes:                      Requirements for safe building practices and procedures enforced by local municipalities.

     

    Building Permit:                      A license, obtained from the local building and planning department, authorizing work to be done on a home.  Structural changes and changes to a building’s water, waste or electrical systems require a building permit and inspections.

     

    Cantilever:                               Construction that extends beyond any vertical support.

     

    Capped Composite:                Deck boards with a core made of composite but then wrapped in a protective coating which is generally plastic.

     

    Composite Decking:               Decking products manufactured using a blend of wood and plastic.  Composite decking requires less maintenance than wood and doesn’t rot, crack, or split.             

     

    Decking:                                  Boards nailed to the tops of joists to form the deck surface.

     

    Elevation:                                An architectural drawing of a structure from the front, rear, or side view.

     

    Fascia Board:                          A facing board that covers the deck framing to provide a finished appearance.

     

    Finial:                                      A decorative element at the top of a post.

     

    Footing:                                   The concrete base that supports posts or steps.

     

    Frost line:                                The maximum depth to which the ground freezes in a given geographical area.

     

    Galvanized:                             A coating for metal of zinc and other chemicals to prevent rusting.

     

    Grade:                                     The natural ground level.

     

    Guard Railing:                        Decks over 30 inches off the ground require a railing around the deck to protect people from falling off.  A rail can be decorative and made of a variety of materials, but must be a minimum of 36 inches high and have no openings larger than 4 inches.

     

    Hand Rail:                               Any stairs that have more than 3 steps require a graspable surface on at least one side of the stairs.

     

    Joists:                                      Structural members placed across beams to support deck boards.

     

    Joist Hanger:                           Metal connector used to support one end of a joist.

     

    Knot:                                       The high density root of a limb that is not connected to the surrounding wood.

     

    Lag Screw:                              A large diameter wood screw used to connect the ledger board to the house framing.

     

    Lattice:                                    A cross-pattern material made from wood, plastic, or metal.

     

    Ledger:                                    A horizontal board attached to the side of a house to support one end of a deck or overhead structure.

     

    Nominal Dimensions:              The identifying dimensions of a piece of lumber which are larger than the actual dimensions.

     

    Pergola:                                   An overhead structure consisting of beams or latticework set atop columns or posts.  Often built over a path or patio area for shade or decoration and is differentiated from an arbor in function more than in design.

     

    Permanent Structure:              Any structure that is anchored to the ground.

     

    Plan Drawing:                         A drawing which gives an overhead view showing locations of footings and framing pieces.

     

    Plumb:                                     Vertically straight, in relation to a horizontally level surface.

     

    Post:                                        A vertical framing member.

     

    Post Anchor:                           A metal connector used to attach the base of a post to the footing.

     

    Pressure-treated Lumber:        Wood that has had preservative chemicals forced into it under pressure in the manufacturing process.

     

    PVC Decking:                         A man-made decking product consisting entirely of cellular PVC.  It is impervious to water and insects and comes in many attractive colors and textures.

     

    On Center:                              Measurement from the center of one framing member to the next.  Used as a reference point in layout.

     

    Rail:                             A horizontal member placed between posts.

     

    Recommended Span: The distance a piece of lumber can safely traverse without being supported.

     

    Redwood:                  A straight-grained weather-resistant wood used for outdoor building.

     

    Rim Joist:                 The joist running perpendicular to all other joists on the perimeter of a deck.

     

    Riser:                      The vertical part of each step on a set of stairs.

     

    Site Plan:               A map of the property which includes locations of buildings, driveways and parking areas, utilities, slopes, vegetation and other features.

     

    Skirt:                   Any material installed between the ground and the bottom of the deck.  Provides a more finished appearance and keeps animals out.

     

    Stringer:            On stairs, the diagonal board which support the treads and risers.  Also called a “stair jack”.

     

    Timbertech®:    A leading manufacturer of composite decking, railing and trim. 

     

    Toenail:          To drive a nail through the end of one board into the face of another to connect them.

     

    Tread:         On stairs, the horizontal boards that make up each step.

     

    Trellis:          A latticework used as a light screen or as a support for climbing plants.

     

    XLM:        A durable and long-lasting PVC decking product. Originally a Timbertech product, now            marketed under the Azek brand. XLM is stain, scratch, split and mold resistant, XLM stands for eXtreme Low Maintenance.  It is available in a variety of colors and can be installed with hidden fasteners.

  • May is Deck Safety Month

    TOPICS: News  |  POSTED BY: Kevin
    KEY WORDS: Deck Safety

    Your deck is the perfect place to enjoy the warm weather with friends and loved ones.  Without proper inspection your deck could be unsafe and potentially collapse or fail in some other way, causing serious injuries to you and your guests.

    Older decks require closer scrutiny. Many of these decks were built before current International Building Code (IBC)  requirements were in place for decks.  If your deck is older, it is even more important to have it inspected by either a certified home inspector or a knowledgeable deck builder.

    Below is a list of areas and components that should be periodically inspected including brief descriptions of what to look for.

     

     

    General condition: Observe your deck from multiple vantage points; look for leaning, sagging, and sinking that would indicate the deck has moved since construction.  Posts should look plumb, both front to back and side to side. The deck, stairs and railing should appear even and should not sway or move when tested. 

    Ledger:  The ledger board is the part of the deck structure that is attached to the house.  When a deck collapse occurs this is the likely point of failure.  A deck should be attached to the house using bolts, never attached to the house with nails.  Joists are attached to the ledger with metal hangers.  Make sure all hangers are securely fastened and free of rust.

    While checking the ledger, inspect the ledger flashing.  This is a metal or plastic extrusion that directs water away from deck to house joint.  If a ledger flashing is not installed or incorrectly installed water intrusion can cause decay to the house structure weakening the deck to house connection and lead to very costly repairs of the home.    

    Railing: Railings are required on all decks that are 30” or more above ground surface (grade).  Minimum height for railings is 36” and the largest openings allowed are 4”.  Push on railings and banisters to make sure they feel sturdy and up to the challenge of keeping people safely on the deck.  Railings should be secured to the structure using bolts or specialty hardware, not attached with nails.

    Stairs: Check the stringers (the sides of the stairs that hold up the steps), to be certain that they are securely attached at both the deck and at ground level.  Check railings or handrails to make sure they are firmly in place and, if more than 30” above grade, that there are no openings larger than 4”.  If the area behind the treads (steps) is open, these openings should also be no larger than 4”.

    Wood components: Check several different areas of the deck to be sure the wood is still sound (no soft spots, mold etc). This includes the ledger board, support posts, joists underneath the deck, deck boards, railings and stairs.  Pay particular attention to areas that can trap moisture and debris.

    • Use a tool such as an ice pick, awl or screwdriver to penetrate the wood. If you can easily push 1/4 to 1/2 inch into the lumber and break off a sliver of wood without splinters (wood breaks above tool), or discover that the wood is soft and spongy your deck may be decaying.  Look for signs of wood destroying organisms.  Insects may leave small holes in the wood or you may see mushrooms or fungus growing out of the wood.

    Fasteners:  Check the condition of nails, screws, bolts and anchors.  Look for and tighten any loose fasteners.  Any rusted/corroded fasteners need replacement, not only are the fasteners themselves weakened by corrosion but corroded fasteners can cause surrounding wood to deteriorate.

    Finish:  Clear away all leaves, needles and other debris.  Debris can be slippery, trap moisture and promote the growth of algae, mildew, and other funguses.  If the decking stain or waterproofing has worn away, protect the surface by cleaning and resealing the surface.  Keeping the surface of your deck sealed will help prevent splitting and checking which leads to decay and loosened fasteners.

    If you found anything questionable during the inspection of your deck have a Dexperts representative perform a professional safety check.  Doing a safety check now and making any necessary repairs means you’re ready to safely use your deck as soon as warm weather returns.

    Having your deck inspected now can help you avoid problems later. Please call us at (360) 305-9260 for more information or to schedule your deck inspection.

  • DEXPERTS at the Whatcom County Home Show

    TOPICS: News  |  POSTED BY: Andrew
    KEY WORDS: News

    DEXPERTS at the Home Show

    DEXPERTS is proud to announce that we will once again be hosting a booth at the annual Whatcom County Home & Garden Show.  The event takes place from Friday, March 2nd through Sunday March 4th at the NW Washington fairgrounds in Lynden.  This is always a fun opportunity to see all of the new products and ideas in the building and landscaping industry.

    The show this year promises to feature over 300 exhibitors from roofers to remodelers and nurseries to appliance giants, as well as a full schedule of seminars and entertaining speakers.  Cisco Morris, a perennial favorite, will be back on Saturday afternoon inviting anyone to stump him with their toughest gardening questions.  Many presenters this year will be focusing on energy-efficiency and sustainable living techniques.

    This will be our fifth year exhibiting at the Garden Show.  We have met many new customers there and always look forward to seeing those from the past.  Whether you are planning a major renovation or just want to take the family out for a few hours we hope you make it by our booth.  We will be raffling off some cedar planter boxes and other prizes throughout the show so stop by and visit anytime.

  • Welcome

    TOPICS: News  |  POSTED BY: Andrew
    KEY WORDS: News

    Welcome to our Blog.

    The goal of this blog is to provide useful information pertaining to outdoor construction, outdoor living spaces, and the deck industry.  We will try to keep the topics local, pertinent and frequently updated.   Some of the more common topics will be: our current activities, Special offers and promotions, building products, deck safety, and building codes.

    If you have any suggestions for blog topics please send us a note.