Monday, August 25, 2014

Decks and porch trends in Custom Homes for 2014

2014 Decks and porch trends in Custom Homes

Here are some of the trends in the Decks and Porches of custom homes that are being constructed and planned in 2014. Some of these trends have started this year (2014), a lot of the trends where started in 2013 construction year and continued into this calendar year. There are also trends that have been sustained year over year as well; they are considered the long running trends.

This portion of construction and design has changed so quickly that you should take your time when planning and designing any outdoor space. In the lists below I’m attempting to steer you the reader in a direction that I believe will keep you on trend and give you an overall finish that will not only impress your friends and family but also make you satisfied that you went the direction that you did.

Decks and Porches of Custom homes

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

Composite decking continues to be extremely popular with new deck tops. The longevity of the product, the amount of different colours and the many different textures that are available has made it a desirable decking material.

The structural framing that is assembled to support decks and porches are still mostly pressure treated wood. It is still the most cost effective way to build the structural component and have any sort of longevity.

Less people are using pressure treated for the topping on the deck. This is a trend that has over the years become the norm.

Glass railings with metal posts to help increase the view from elevated porches and decks is the most common form of railing when considering any kind of view.

Outdoor spaces have become more important areas, a lot more design is being put into these outdoor spaces with kitchens, seating areas, hot-tubs and firepits all built into the decking plans.

Iron railings which were more of a trend are now the norm with cheaper versions of it being made available in big box stores.

LED lighting is a normal thing now in decks. You can find the lighting installed in the top of deck posts, the end joists, the stair treads and around the doors that enter and exit the house on to the deck or porch.

The foundations of decks and especially porches have changed. In the past normal sauna tubes where used by burying them and then filling them with concrete. Today the trend is to use a “bigfoot” or “footing tube”, these are premade molded plastic forms that you bury in the ground and then fill with concrete. They have a large bell on the bottom of them that create a footing at the bottom, this helps spread the weight of the porch or deck and reduces the likely hood of frost heave in the winter.

Hidden fasteners are now the norm when installing decking. People like the smooth simple look of no fasteners. The hidden fasteners work by applying the fasteners to the joist and then screwing into the bottom of the decking boards. It’s a little more labour intensive but the look is well worth it.

Here is a list of the trends that have started this year or last year and are growing in popularity;

The fastest growing segment of material for the tops of decks has to be torrefied or thermally modified wood. This is a decking that is placed in kilns and dried until there is virtually no moisture left in the wood. It turns the colour of the wood a brown colour and is guaranteed to last a lifetime. No chemicals are needed and there are a variety of woods that you can get it in, your choices include most hardwoods like maple and ash and some soft woods like pine.

Cedar which has been on the decline because of the poor longevity of the product is making a comeback. Cedar decking has dropped in price in the last year or so and that has created a growing trend of people going back to cedar decks, they are choosing to pay a little bit more for the cedar instead of using pressure treated for the tops of their decks.

The last couple years has seen the evolution of the deck joist, we are now constructing what is called the 100 year deck joist. This is when you wrap the top portion of the deck joist with a waterproofing membrane so that the part of the deck that comes in contact with the most moisture is protected from water penetration.

Railings with a combination of iron spindles and wood posts with wood top and bottom rails have become trendy. This allows people the option for a classier look then the typical wood railings.

A growing trend for porches is the use of stone pillars that rise up out of the deck to at least railing height. Some of these have posts in them to hold roofs up and some are to help hold the railings. It makes a very classy look and turns a normal railing into a showpiece.

Pressure treated wood has taken on a new look. You can now buy pressure treated in several different colours then the typical green that it comes. The colours vary from brown to white and give people the ability to have something different then the norm.

Powered bug screened porches are now on everyone’s must have list for custom homes. This allows a homeowner to at a push of a button have a bug screen lower out of the ceiling so that the outdoors becomes a bit friendlier to be in.

Wall or ceiling mounted heaters are being seen everywhere. They are replacing the traditional stand alone heater that was placed around different parts of the deck. They help extend the seasons that you can use your outdoor space.

Masonry hand built pizza ovens, Rumford fireplaces and stone patios have become all the rage. Everyone wants to sit outside and relax in front of a real roaring fire during the summer.

The rate of which materials, accessories and options are changing is almost staggering when dealing outdoor entertaining. Every year there are dozens of new products on the market to make your deck look bigger and better. It is a radical change compared to how stagnant the decking marker used to be with limited choices and limited products.

Rob Abbott
Village Builders

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