Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Trends in garages for custom homes 2013

2013- Garages in custom homes

Here are some trends in the garages of custom homes in 2013. Some of the trends have started this year (2013), a lot of trends where started in the 2012 construction year and continued into this calendar year. There are trends that have been sustained year over year as well; they are the long running trends.

Garages in Custom Homes

Here is a list of the trends that have stayed the same over the last several years;

Custom home Garages are getting bigger. The size and shape of them has increased every year to help accommodate a population that is more active in their advancing years.

Since bonus rooms are all the rage in custom homes the height of garages has exploded. Once garages where a normal 9 to 10 feet high, now it is routine to find garages with 14 foot ceilings.

Insulated garages. Every garage built that is attached to a custom home is now insulated, even if the garage is not heated. It’s a convenience allowing you the option to heat the garage with space heaters if you require it easily.

Large tube fluorescent lighting is still the most popular choice to light up garages. With the ceiling heights growing ever higher it becomes harder and harder to light the space below. Fluorescent lighting is inexpensive to install and uses little energy to work.

Most custom homes have attached garages today. There are several reasons for this, lack of space and convenience being the most implied.

Custom built work benches are common now in every garage. The owners don’t even have to be handy, but it comes in handy for even simple tasks like waxing skis or cleaning gardening tools.

Here is a list of new trends in custom home garages for 2013;

Humidity controlled fans. This is a great way to guarantee that you never have humidity problems in your garage. Since most garages are now insulated even without heat it is more important than ever that the humid air in the garage be removed. This helps prevent the formation of mold and mildew on the ceiling.

Larger windows are being set higher up in the walls to let more natural light into the garages. Since the ceiling heights have risen so to have the windows. This allows people the natural light they require and still have the security that people won't be able to look through the windows and see all their toys.

Dog showers or wash stations for gardening tools. This isn’t a new thing to custom homes, but it’s a new thing to the garage. It allows people the ability to control the mess before it comes in the house.

Vinyl slot wall is all the rage today. Because of a more active population, people seem to have more sports equipment that needs a safe place to rest when not in use. New slot wall technology that is made out of materials like vinyl will last a life time without staining or ripping. The endless attachments that come with it allow you to hang any number of things from your bike to your skis to kayaks or canoes.

Coated floors that resist staining are an up and coming trend. This is a great way to make your garage look like a stylish piece of the home. The coating helps with clean up and can help keep yourself clean when working on equipment that requires you to be on or near the floor.

Diamond plating is exploding in popularity. Because of its stylish look and durability people are using it for all number of things in their new garages. They use it for a baseboard, or for a counter top. They are installing it on steps for traction and having cabinets faced with it. It’s a great way to make sure that your garage will look shiny and new years into the future.

These are just some the new trends in the Garages of today’s new custom homes.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Planning for Patio Season


With summer here and in all it's glory, it’s time to shape that backyard into your outdoor living space. Transform your backyard into a functional and stylish room that can feel like a getaway escape with great outdoor furniture.

Whether you are entertaining often or seeking solitude consider the pieces you will need.

If you are cramped for space, think about surfaces that serve multiple purposes such as a hinged bench which offers a place to sit but also serves as a storage unit for cushions or other backyard items.  Look for sturdy frames that are waterproof, rustproof and fade resistant with comfortable cushions. A pivoting umbrella can offer a shady place when needed as well as a nice pop of colour.

Invest the time in sourcing furniture, or hire a professional to do so.

Check out Andrew Richard Designs for inspiration.

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Jaws Ladder

Jaws ladders

Ladders are one of the biggest expenses that a contractor has when buying equipment. Every ladder is made and designed for a different purpose. Some ladders are short and made for quick and easy set up, some ladders are long and heavy and made to be set up for work that is high off the ground.

Most contractors have a pile of ladders in their yards that would make a home depot jealous. The thing with ladders is that the small ladders get used the most and also need to be replaced the most. The longer ladders don’t and they tend to be around for much longer periods of time. It can be a frustrating thing endlessly buying small ladders and having to look at the inventory of longer ladders that seem to sit in one place for 75% of the year until they are needed. There is a solution; it’s called the JAWS Ladder.

A jaws ladder is a telescopic ladder that when folded up starts as a simple 5ft step ladder, with extending the legs down it becomes a 12 ft step ladder. If you unfold the ladder at its main hinge point that is in the middle of the ladder it becomes a 10 ft straight ladder and will extend to 24 ft in the air. The extensions work in a way that you can extend it around 1 ft at a time. This means that this one ladder is actually 4 or 5 different ladders in one.

Jaws ladders have wider bases at the top and bottom of the ladder and are made of a heavier material then normal ladders. This makes them extremely sturdy to work on and to also carry material like shingles up without the fear of the rungs on the ladder collapsing.

There are a couple down sides to the jaws ladder, it is a very heavy ladder to carry around. It can be a difficult ladder to maneuver in tight spaces and inside finished homes. Also because the top and the bottom of the ladder are wider than normal ladders you might find it difficult to squeeze it into certain spaces around gables.

One thing you will find if you buy the original JAWS ladder and not the cheap knockoffs that are being sold out there is that the ladder will last you a long time. We have a pair of JAWS ladders that we bought 20 years ago; one is still around and functioning perfectly. The second one was around for 15 years until someone stole the ladder. That’s right someone stole a 15 year old ladder, that’s how valuable these ladders are to tradesmen out there.

So the next time you need to buy new ladders for your field personal look into the JAWS ladder, you might find that it is the only ladder you need to buy.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Home Heating systems in the modern home

Modern Day Construction for custom homes Part 18

In today’s modern world of construction things are changing year to year faster than they did decade to decade in any other previous time period. In this multi part series I will traverse through an entire house starting with the foundation and working my way up to the roof and then to the finishing’s. I will explain what has changed in the last twenty years in custom home building.

One thing that you should be able to take away from this is how important it is to not just hire the right general contractor to build your custom home but how important it is to hire one that is up on today’s building methods.

Home Heating Systems 

Twenty years ago you had limited options for heating, depending on where you lived. Electric baseboard and electric forced air furnaces were the norm. Also a lot rural houses had oil furnaces. Low to medium natural gas furnaces where starting to become more common in the larger cities.

Today there is a plethora of heating options, depending on where you build your house. Here are the most popular ones;

Ground source heat or Geothermal heating. Geothermal heating is a newer idea in North America, it has been used in places like Iceland for decades. The basic principal of it is that pipes are installed 8 feet in the ground outside of your home, depending on the size of the home will determine the size and amount of loops of pipe you will require. The pipes travel from the outside through your basement wall into your furnace. The liquid inside of the pipes absorbs the heat out of the ground, it is then circulated back to the furnace where it is pressurized and then fed through the furnace. The furnace blows air across these lines using the heat from the lines to warm up the air that is passing through the furnace into your duct work, this warm air is what warms up your home. If the system is run in reverse you receive air conditioning in the summer from the lines absorbing the cold from the earth. This is the most efficient heating system known today. It runs on electricity but barely uses enough electricity for you to notice on your electrical bill. The pipes can also be run into your hot water tank giving you free hot water in the summer time. This system when installed in the country is installed 8 ft under the ground in a field or in a pond that is at least 8 ft deep or if you are on a large body of water like a lake or a large river. In town it can be used by drilling wells vertically into the ground. This system is the best system you can have for heating, but it is also costs the most to install as well.

High efficiency natural gas furnace. This furnace is the best bang for your buck. Natural gas furnaces have come a long way in the past two decades, they use very little gas to make a lot of heat compared to they older models. The units are also significantly smaller than most other types of furnaces, they do not take up a lot of space in a mechanical room. The duct work is usually larger than the furnace. You can only get natural gas if you live in town or close enough to town that there is a natural gas line installed on your road. You also have to make sure that the furnace can be properly vented, you will have to clear the snow away from the intake and exhaust ports in the winter. Natural gas furnaces do not do air conditioning; you will require a separate electric air conditioner on the outside of your house.

Propane furnace. Propane furnaces are a cheaper option for people that have no access to natural gas and cannot afford geothermal. Propane is about a quarter of the efficiency of natural gas and is on par with oil furnaces. You will have to have a large propane storage tank installed on your property and have it filled once or twice a year depending on your heating requirements. Propane furnaces just like natural gas furnaces do not do air conditioning. You will require a separate electric air conditioner on the outside of your house.

Oil Furnaces. Oil furnaces are still used in rural areas. Oil furnaces have become more efficient in the last two decades. But they require you to have a holding tank installed in the basement of your house. Oil furnaces can be smelly and if they are not taken care of properly there can be oil leaks. Insurance companies have raised the premiums on them because of the potential liability of oil spill clean ups in and around your home. Oil furnaces do not do air conditioning, a separate electric air conditioner on the outside of your home will need to be installed.

In-floor radiant heat. There are two types of in-floor radiant heat, natural gas and geothermal. In floor heat is basically pipes laid under your flooring that have water circulated through them at a certain temperature. This warms the floor up which in turn warms the air above it. This is a wonderful way to heat a home because you are heating the air at the floor and since warm air always rises you always have warm air rising past you. So with in-floor radiant heat you never have cold spots in the home, the heat is evenly distributed throughout the home.

Air source heat pumps. This is a unit that runs on electricity that converts the air outside to heat or cooling in the same way the geothermal does. It is not as efficient as geothermal but can be cheaper to install, it is more efficient than just a propane, electric or oil furnace on its own, but it is also more expensive to purchase in the beginning. Heat pumps work best when paired with a furnace to help move air around the home. Heat pumps do air conditioning as well and usually do it extremely efficiently. Newer models of heat pumps coming on the market are extremely efficient and are able to make heat out of air as cold as -30 c.

Look for part 19 coming soon....

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Ways to meet the new minimum code for insulating exterior walls in Ontario

When you are thinking about insulating your new custom home spray foam should be one of the main types of insulation that you should consider.

There are many different ways to insulate a home today; depending on where you live the building codes require you to do different things for different parts of the home. Insulation has changed so much in the last 10 to 20 years that a lot of people and contractors are having trouble keeping up.

In the province of Ontario the building code for exterior walls has changed in the last couple of years, several years ago they outside walls had to be R-20 to meet the minimum code requirement. Today the minimum code requirement is R-24.

There are several options for people to meet this new code; here are some of the most common ways:

Owens Corning has come out with a new fibreglass batt that is R-24; this replaces their older batt that was rated at only R-22. This is the easiest and cheapest way to meet the new code.

Add polystyrene insulation to the outside of the walls. Polystyrene with a normal R-22 batt will exceed the code requirements.  This works well because it insulates over the studs and not just between them eliminating thermal bridging. You have to plan in advance for this because adding the insulation to the outside of the building will require things like the windows to be installed farther out, making the build-outs deeper than normal.

Add foil back foam board to the inside of the wall, foil back foam is denser then polystyrene so that it isn’t as thick. The foil works to reflect the heat back into the building helping the energy efficiency of the home. The foil back foam also covers the studs on the inside of the wall not just between them stopping the thermal bridging. This allows you to use the foil back foam as vapour barrier as well once you tape the joints, eliminating the need for super 6 plastic.

Spraying closed cell foam in the walls, allows you to fill the entire cavity and increase the R-value to between R-35 and R-31, this makes the house extremely sound proof and air tight. Some municipalities will allow you to skip the vapour barrier when the walls are spray foamed.

Another way to use spray foam is to butter the walls between the studs with a 2” of spray foam and then add a 4” roxal batt to bring the insulation up to between R-24 and R-28. This helps keep the price down compared to filling the entire cavity with spray foam.

You can use a netting loose insulation in the outside walls. The process is rather simple, you install netting over the studs and then you blow loose fibre glass insulation into the wall cavities. The netting keeps the loose insulation from falling out and allows for a tighter fit between studs. This can give you an R-24 insulation rating.

These are the most common types of insulating for a 2x6 stick framed exterior residential house wall.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, July 19, 2013

I want to buy a gas fireplace but can’t vent it out of my roof, should I still buy one?


I want to buy a gas fireplace but can’t vent it out of my roof, should I still buy one?


With gas fireplaces venting is always a concern and needs to be considered before you buy any type of gas fireplace. There are many different options for venting gas fireplaces that do not require you to go out through the roof.

One of the simplest and easy ways to vent a gas fireplace is called direct vent. This is a venting system that vents the gas emissions from the fireplace through the wall to the outside. This does require you to place your gas fireplace on an outside wall so the piping can go directly through it.

Another option is called a powered vent. This is a system that uses an electric fan to push the gas emissions through the piping and outside. The great thing about this system is that you can run up to 50 ft of piping before having to exhaust the emissions outside of the house. This can allow you to run through floor joist or into the basement or the crawl space as long as you end up outside at the end of the pipe run. The downside to this system is that it is an expensive option and some fireplaces do not have it. This option will limit your options on the style and make of the gas fireplace that you have to choose from.

Those are the two most common venting options when you don’t want to penetrate through the roof.

One of the best things that you can do is find yourself a mechanical contractor that will supply and install it for you. To install a gas fireplace you will need at a minimum a licensed professional gas fitter to install it. They can recommend when you show them the spot that you want to place the fireplace what type of fireplace you will need and what model would work best for that application.

I recommend that you also find someone that is qualified to build the surround for it; each fireplace has a unique set of specifications on how the framing is suppose to be constructed. This is to reduce the risk of a fire.

 A gas fireplace has to legally pass a municipal framing inspection along with a gas inspection before it can be turned on.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Are you thinking about renovating in Wasaga Beach?

Renovating in Wasaga Beach

If you are thinking about renovating in Wasaga Beach then one of is the first things that you need to do is find yourself a company to do the actual renovation work. Your best bet is to call a general contractor that can give you an accurate quote on the drawings that you will have created by an interior designer.

That’s right the best thing that you can do is go out and find yourself an interior designer. An interior designer will be able to produce accurate drawings, this will help you to understand what the potential is for the space you want to renovate.

Village Builders Inc. is one of those general contractors that can give you an accurate quote, they also have access to excellent interior designers who can take your ideas and create digital drawings for you to view. This means that they are able to streamline the process of design and build by keeping it all in house. This will give you a great 1-2 punch when planning, constructing and completing your renovation.

Here are some of things that Village Builders is able to do for their clients when they want to renovate their home;

Have drawings created and if needed submitted to the township for approval.

Working with the local municipality to help to get the permit approved and also to pass all municipal building inspections.

Give accurate quotes from the drawings created with an extreme amount of detail in the quote so that you the client know exactly what you are getting.

Drawings once they are created can be rendered and displayed on a screen allowing you to be placed in the room to give you the feel of what your renovated space will look like.

Protect other parts of the house and your furniture from the dust when there is demolition during the construction process.

Give simple, organized billing so that you understand what and where you are spending your money.

Organize all sub-trades in an orderly and timely manner to attend the project.

Insure that all sub-trades have proper insurance and WSIB coverage to protect you and your home.

Consult on other problems in the home like pest or bug infestations when they arise.

Use garbage bins or large containers so that there aren’t large piles of waste lying around the work site, this helps keep the jobsite neat and tidy.

Work within neighbourhood regulations such as specific start and end times for noise and work during the week and work restrictions during the weekend.

Source, quote, acquire and install all plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, audio/video equipment, furniture, fireplaces (wood and gas), appliances and flooring at contractor discounted pricing. (only if requested by owner)

Provide consultation on how to make your home more energy efficient and environmentally friendly before and during the renovation process.

Give the homeowner a high quality job using the highest quality of materials within their budget.

Make sure that once the project is completed the job is left clean, complete and the customer happy.

Staging of all rooms that were renovated so that you are able to move and enjoy the space immediately.

If you are looking to renovate in Wasaga Beach then look at our website at or stop by our showroom/office at 3 Caroline St. East in the village of Creemore.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Summer Design Ideas that won't brake the budget!

Summer is finally here!

It’s time to put away the heavy drapes and fur blankets and inject summer style.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

Slipcovers: Offer a dramatic change to a sofa or chair, in a crisp white fabric, its fresh and easy.

Sheers: Soften the light and add movement on a breezy day.

Pillows: Look to the sea and sun for colour and pattern inspiration, leaning towards a casual look.

Rugs: Made from natural fibers, jute, seagrass & sisal, all good choices for a kid or pet friendly room.

Paint: An easy and impactful way to change any space. A fresh coat of paint always makes a room feel more alive.

Don't forget we are here to help you make good choices with great products and we offer decorating services.

 This is an exert from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc. If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Don’t be afraid to cut down that tree!

Don’t be afraid to cut down that tree!

A lot of people have trouble with trees encroaching on their homes. What people tend to do is find solutions to allow the tree to stay.

I have had clients that have installed expensive steel roofs on their roofs because the swinging branches are tearing off the shingles.

I have seen homeowners pay large amounts of money to trim large trees every year to keep the tree away from the house; this is usually after the tree has caused damage to the roof or the house.

This might sound like a good thing to do, but what you don’t see is the large root structure that is attacking at the underside of your home. Tree roots can damage waterproofing, drainage tile, underground power lines, sewer lines, septic lines, septic beds as well as underground telephone lines, cable and internet lines.

There is a solution that most people don’t find appealing buy they should, you could simply cut the tree down, and this would solve all your problems and be cheaper in the long run.

Now before you get offended that I want to cut all the trees around your house down, there are other options.

For the amount of money that people spend having large trees trimmed and houses repaired from the large tree you could have cut down, removed and then had the stump grinded out.

Then you hire a landscaper to come and plant a new younger tree in the old tree’s place, maybe placing the tree a little farther away from the building. This will allow you to still enjoy a tree, but it allows you to watch a new tree grow. Newer younger trees are much easier to take care of and placing the tree even a little farther away from the building will allow the tree to grow naturally without needing to be trimmed for decades.

Planting a new tree allows you decades to enjoy the tree until it becomes large enough that it needs attention like large pruning and maintenance.

Sometimes you have to think outside the box when it comes to your home, people hate to cut trees down but you will waste more money, time and materials trimming them compared to just removing them and planting a new one.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sound insulating and dampening when you renovate

Remodeling for Peace and Quiet

Remodeling projects typically focus on updating finishes and improving energy performance, but it's also a good time to consider another key element to quality of life: peace and quiet. In a major renovation, steps can be taken to help block out unwanted outdoor annoyances like traffic, and to better handle indoor noise like the dishwasher or Monday Night Football.

To accomplish this, the professional remodeler understands how sound travels and how to muffle it. Sound can travel through the air (from the television, for example) or through the structure (as with the knocking of hot-water pipes). Quieting each type requires its own set of products and strategies.

Doors and Windows

Parents who have teens rocking to their favorite music in the bedroom across the hall can help confine that sound by installing solid core doors. Outfitting those doors with weather-stripping and a threshold with a door sweep will make them even more effective. This approach will also help muffle equipment sound from a laundry room or furnace closet.

Noise from outside the home can be dampened by replacing older windows with newer, dual or triple-pane models. Sealing gaps around window and door frames with acoustic caulk or low-expansion polyurethane foam will also help.

Wall Strategies

Sound travels through a wall assembly by vibrating the studs and drywall -- much like a speaker. Creating an air space in the wall or adding vibration-dampening materials will help reduce noise transmission between adjacent rooms.

The best opportunity for room-to-room soundproofing is when the drywall is being replaced. A menu of options is available, depending on budget. These should be used on the home's interior walls.

A second layer of drywall will reduce wall vibration by increasing its mass. (A second layer can be added even if the drywall is not being replaced.)

Sound deadening drywall has come on the market in recent years. It's expensive, but it can outperform multiple layers of standard drywall.

Sound-deadening insulation is usually sold in batts (often made from mineral fiber), but spray foam is also an excellent choice.

Resilient channels can be installed between the drywall and framing. These metal strips create a half-inch space between the framing and drywall. They can reduce sound transmission dramatically.

Between Floors

Carpet and under pad can help dampen sound from the floor above, but have no effect on sound transmission coming from below. When Top Gun is blaring from the downstairs media room, it may feel like sonic booms emanating from under the bed. Some of the same approaches used on walls will also work here, in particular two layers of drywall, sound deadening drywall, and resilient channels.

If the offending speakers are buried in a wall or ceiling, a technical product called "mass loaded vinyl" can be draped over the backside of speakers, or sound-deadening insulation installed around and above them.

These create a vibration-absorbing barrier between ceiling drywall and framing.


When considering appliances, pay attention to the "sone" ratings; the lower the sone rating, the less noisy the appliance. And a lower sone rating generally indicates a better-built appliance. These usually have better bearings, more insulation and a more efficient motor.

Addressing noise reduction during a remodel will go a long way towards making the home a more pleasant place to live. Properly done, it can create a tranquil living environment that the homeowners will enjoy for years to come.

Warm Regards,

Doug Abbott
Village Builders

This is an excerpt from a newsletter that is distributed to all former, current and future clients of Village Builders Inc.  If you would like to receive this newsletter feel free to email me at

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How do I find out what plants and turf species are native to my climate?

How do I find out what plants and turf species are native to my climate?


Your best source is a reputable local nursery, ideally one that serves both retail and wholesale customers and is focused primarily (if not exclusively) on gardening. You can also check out the Native Plant Database, one of several online sources.

If you don’t have the time to do the research yourself one of the easiest things to do is contact a landscaper that is in your area.

If you hire a landscaper to work on your property they will be able to advise you on what plants and turf species are native to your climate. They will be able to buy, deliver and install them for you, this will give you the information you need on the species you want and how to properly plant them. They can also show you tips on helping them survive and thrive.
When you hire a landscaper you don’t have to hire them to maintain your property, but a good landscaper will give you all the information that you require to help keep the property up after they are gone.

The hiring of a landscaper is another matter entirely. The easiest thing to do is talk to people in your area that have used landscapers and get their recommendations on who to use. Talk to these companies and get a feel for who you feel comfortable working with and who is in your price range. Ask to see some of the projects they have recently accomplished, this will give you a feel for what type and style of landscaping they do.

Going the landscaper route is a great way to take the stress of a large project off your shoulders and putting it on professionals that do this as a career.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Safety Tip Proper notice posting

Safety Tip Proper notice posting

The construction industry has changed with the manner they work and in the way that they accomplish the erecting of buildings. Along with the new methods and equipment have come new and advanced safety regulations. In the modern age of construction safety comes before all else when building a custom home.
One of the biggest changes in the look of residential construction sites is the amount of signs that are posted.

You will find signs for all types of things, some giving you instructions and some warning you of potential dangers. There is a reason that safety associations have pushed for years for more safety signage, it’s because it helps remind you to work in a safe manner at all times.

Everyone in the construction industry takes safety courses, but the courses are only for a day and then you return to work and forget about a lot of what you were told as the daily activities in a construction site take over. Because of this safety associations and the ministry of labour started asking and mandating more signage. There is signage to remind you to work safety and also to inform you of what to do if something goes wrong.

Signage with the right information can help people manage a crisis, get help for people and tell them what needs to be done and in what order. A lot of this information is critical to help employees before and after someone is potentially injured.

In a perfect world the signage would be enough to warn people and keep them out of harm’s way, but people are easily distracted and that’s when a lot of accidents happen.

On any construction site you can see the following signage;

1,2,3,4 sign that tells you what to do in an emergency.

Ministry of labour worksite posting, telling everyone that the job has been registered with the ministry of labour.

Building permit.

Conservation approval permits.

Emergency contact information.

Warning signs for open holes, live electrical and other dangerous areas that should be worked around with extreme caution.

Eye wash station.

First aid equipment.

Propane storage.

Flammable liquids.

Hazardous chemicals.

Signs that explain the rules of entering the site, such as hard hats, work boot area or reporting to the site supervisor.

NO trespassing signs.

These are just a sample of the safety signs that are posted in construction sites these days, so when you enter a construction site make sure you read the signs that are near you, they are there for your safety and the safety of the workers.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In-Deck storage for your custom deck

In-Deck Storage

One of the newest options for people building custom decks is called In-Deck Storage. This is basically what the name states; it is storage that is built into the underside of the deck.

The suppliers of composite decking have invented a plastic storage bin that is installed in between the joist of the deck under the finished decking. They usually have a hinged door with a locking mechanism that is flush with the deck boards or nearly flush, this is to help prevent you from stubbing your toe when walking over it.

This storage area is a great place to store patio furniture cushions, sports equipment, children’s tools, pet tools, garden tools or anything else that can handle being left out side and out of sight. Some boxes are more waterproof then others so be careful what you leave in it.

To install the storage box in the deck you will need to know the dimensions of the box before you finish the framing. You need to leave enough room for the box to fit in between the deck joists, most storage boxes are larger than the 16” centre’s that are commonly used when framing decks. You will have to add support underneath the storage box to re-enforce it, that’s so if you load it right full of heavy items the middle of the plastic box doesn’t break and collapse. You will also have to add extra blocking around the edges of the storage box so that there is proper nailing for your decking above.

The in-deck storage box is a direct replacement for the above deck storage box that you buy from any big box store. Both are made from plastic, the one big difference is that the lid of the in-deck storage bin is re-enforced, it is re-enforced not only to take the weight of a person walking on it but also the weight of the decking material that you are using as the top finish. Installing decking on top of the lid helps hide the storage bin; one of the reasons for it being installed under the deck is not just to create more space above, it is also so that the storage bin is out of sight and out of mind. This is good not only for looks but also for security, people can’t steal your things when they can’t find them.

When you are planning your next deck project think about where you plan to store your items, think about underneath and think about the in-deck storage box.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.