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Bluline

 

DECKS

xDream Woodwork does not just build decks we design and construct xDream Decks that reflect your lifestyle.

Ceder deck with a built in bench

Cedar deck with a built in bench

Ceder deck with lights

Cedar deck with lights

Main floor deck with glass rail and stairs

Main floor deck with glass rail and stairs

Mahogany hot tub deck

Mahogany hot tub deck

main floor deck with built ib BBQ

main floor deck with built in Cedar BBQ

Hot tub deck on two sides

Hot tub deck on two sides

Post detail

Post detail

A tri level ceder deck with lots of extras

A tri level Cedar deck with lots of extras

Rail detail

Rail detail

Mahogany, mahogany, mahogany

Mahogany, mahogany, mahogany

<A renovated deck

A renovated deck

More Mahogany

More Mahogany

 

 

An interesting pattern in a Cedar deck

 

xDream Woodwork can design and build you a front deck that reflects the character of your house and enhances the curb appeal. WE can also increase your living area by constructing a rear deck.

Front deck railing

A new Pressure Treated railing on an existing ground level deck

 

MATERIALS

Pressure Treated Wood – The cheapest choice for decks
There are reported to be some 50,000,000 wood decks in the United States and Canada, and the number increases with every new subdivision. Despite the ongoing use of some naturally durable species of wood and the emergence of several types of artificial wood, the overwhelmingly chosen material for decks is pressure-treated wood.


Treated wood, sold in nearly every lumber outlet in North America, is favoured for a variety of reasons: it has a natural appearance, its resistance to termites and rot is well established, wood is a plentiful and renewable resource, and treated wood is usually the most economical choice.


Wood can be impregnated with a variety of preservative chemicals to prevent rot and insect infestation in exterior applications like decks. Several species of wood can be treated, but a regionally available species usually predominates in any particular locale. Pressure treated lumber is ideal for outdoor construction as it has a long, useful life span and is much less expensive than alternatives. Treated wood can last more than 40 years. The treatment process involves placing a load of lumber in a huge cylindrical chamber called a retort with a door on one end that can be sealed airtight and then forcing waterborne chemicals into the wood under pressure.
In the past, almost all deck lumber was impregnated with CCA (chromated copper arsenate) preservative. Now, however, residential lumber is protected by newer preservatives, such as CA (copper azole) and ACQ (alkaline copper quaternary). Wood treated with these preservatives is available from lumber dealers under various brand names.

Cedar
Cedar is a fantastic choice for a deck building material because of its combination of unique properties. It is dimensionally stable meaning that it lays flat and stays straight. Even grain and consistent density make it less likely to warp, cup, or twist. It’s fragrant; dark-colour heartwood naturally resists rot and insect infestation in outdoor environments without the need for preservative chemicals. It has a rich warm aesthetic quality offering a range of natural hues, tight grain patterns, and soft textures. Fresh cut cedar will come in a wide range of honey/peach shades of light brown. When exposed to weather it will change in color to silver gray. Cedar’s softness makes it easy to work with and readily accepts protective stains although its sawdust can be irritating to the skin and lungs. Its thermal properties allow it to stay cool to the touch in summer heat. The price and availability for different types of cedar wood will vary from region to region. It should be more available and less expensive than hardwood and composite decking. We recommend that Cedar should be protected by the use of a stain.


Cedar trees have a long history in the forestry industry and have been studied by scientists for over a century. The trees grow principally in the British Columbia and Pacific Northwest forests; many reach heights of up to 200 feet tall. These forests are precious resources that require centuries to mature and thrive. Most Old Growth Cedar forests have been restricted or closed to logging to protect its unique ecosystem from exploitation. Old Growth Cedar has higher density than Second Growth but because it is not primarily used for its structural properties it usually makes little difference. Managed forestry is the environmentally and socially responsible practice of logging and manufacturing lumber to maintain the sustainability of our forests. Be sure that any Cedar you buy includes a FCS product label to ensure that it was responsibly harvested and can be traced by its chain of custody. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) www.fsc.org is an international non-profit organization that’s mission is to promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests.


Cedar is generally used for the finished surfaces of decks including decking, railing, and trim applications. Because of its softness and lack of structural strength properties it is not usually practical to use for framing materials. This would also be a very expensive framing alternative to using pressure treated wood. Cedar decking will be principally radius edge 5/4x6 lengths that can span up to 16" over joists and 2x6 lengths that can span up to 24" over joists. (Be sure to check on span information with your local building inspector) Rail parts will typically include 2x4’s and 2x6’s for top and bottom rails, 4x4’s or 6x6’s for rail posts and 2x2’s for rail pickets. 1x12 Rough Sawn Cedar is sometimes used to provide a more rugged texture to cover up a pressure treated rim board as fascia and trim but is prone to checking in the sun as are 6x6 cedar posts. Cedar is also used in construction for a number of other exterior applications like shingles, clapboards, fencing, furniture and siding. Cedar has a long and interesting history of uses including the construction of King Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, totem poles and canoes built by pre-Columbian Native Americans.


There are several different types of Cedar The most common type of cedar you are likely to find at your local lumberyard is Western Red Cedar. Western Red Cedar is more rot resistant than Eastern varieties. It also comes from a significantly larger tree so it can yield a larger variety of dimensional lumber. It is native to the Pacific Northwest. WRC is moderately soft and light weight, and its heartwood is extremely decay resistant and exhibits little shrinkage. The wood is generally straight grained and has a uniform but rather coarse texture. The heartwood of western red cedar is fragrant reddish or pinkish brown to dull brown and the sapwood is nearly white.

Composite Decking
The question we hear more often than any other is "What is the best composite decking material? The answer is that it really depends on what you are looking for.


Composite decking materials truly have improved over the last decade. Most old problems like mould and mildew have improved. Nevertheless it is important to find a product that has a good warranty in case of a problem. You can find the details and lengths of the warranties on all of the products webpages or from the lumberyard where you purchase the materials.
The appearance of the material is a very important and personal decision. There is a wide range of colors, textures and installation systems available. Find out if the colors will fade or if the surface will easily stain or scratch. Getting your hands on some samples at this point might be helpful.


The final factor is cost. Once you have narrowed your search you can begin to locate suppliers on the manufacturer’s website to see what is available and how expensive it is. Remember that composite material will be 1.5-3 times the price of wood. But before suffering from sticker shock you should consider that you will be saving the time and expense of staining your deck every year. Most estimates show that the costs even out after about 4 or 5 years.

Hardwoods
Hardwood lumber can be somewhat difficult to work with, especially with hand tools. Hardwoods can have quite a blunting effect on cutting edges. It is recommended that you use a reduced cutting angle, keep edges sharp, and always predrill for nails or screws. Have numerous extra drill bits handy. Hardwood planks do not bend well, but the wood finishes and sands quite smoothly, with no splintering.
In our climate Hardwoods tend to swell as they acclimatize. They should be installed with at least a ¼ inch gap between boards and it is best to use a hidden fastener system such as a Kreg Deck Jig™

Mahogany
Mahogany decking is rapidly becoming the most widely used lumber to add elegance and beauty to your deck. Because of its strong withstanding and graceful properties, mahogany decking is the best choice when it comes to the field of wood decking. Mahogany in our area predominantly comes from Malaysia and is well known for its beautiful reddish shades and long wearing structure. Mahogany has straight grains and there are no harsh surfaces in this type that makes it long lasting and serviceable. Mahogany decks are becoming the first choice of landscapers and interior and exterior decorators because of the versatile qualities and benefits of mahogany decking and mystical looks that mahogany decks give to any viewer.


The cost of hardwood decking cannot be directly compared to the cost of pressure treated lumber or even knotty cedar. It would be like matching Heinz Ketchup with no name canned tomatoes!


Ipe
If thinking of wood decking, Ipe is next to perfect!


Ipe decks are expected to last many years. The US forest products laboratory has classified it as "Very Durable 25+ years" and expects "wood decking; Ipe" will last much longer but this is the highest category available for classification. Thus, you and I won't be around to worry about whether our Ipe decking is sound or not!
Ipe wood decking is hard, strong and so dense that slivers are not a problem. Ipe lumber is almost twice as dense as most woods and up to 5 times harder. Ipe lumber is naturally resistant to rot, mould, termites, abrasion & weather without the use of any toxic chemicals. What's not to like?


Ipe as a deck wood, And it gets better.... as a wood decking, Ipe has the highest, Class A fire rating (or class 1 by the UBC),.... the same rating given to concrete & steel, and on top of all that Ipe wood is a beautiful exotic wood with rich dark brown colors, like a mahogany, so not only lasts a long time but Ipe decking has the beauty of a piece of fine interior furniture
Ipe wood typically grows in tropical South-central America, in a wide variety of sites, in marshes and riverbanks as well as ridge tops. Ipe trees may grow to 140 feet in height with trunk diameter of up to 6'. It is one of the tallest trees of the amazon region.


Ipe wood products contain no added harmful chemicals so it can be used near water without potential contamination, although its dust can cause a number of respiratory and contact dermatitis allergic reactions in humans.
Ipe Heartwood is typically reddish brown, sometimes with a greenish tinge, often with lighter or darker striping. It can be covered with a yellow lapachol powder. Much of what I have seen looks similar to a teak wood. Ipe wood comes in good long lengths with limited warp. Sapwood is much lighter white or yellow usually removed at the mill, although small strips along the edge can be present. Ipe hardwood has no distinctive odour or taste.


Ipe wood is very dense, and as such is extremely resistant to preservation treatments. Left to nature the UV sun rays and traditional weathering will change the Ipe to a nice consistent light gray. Finishes applied on an annual basis can be used to hold Ipe's original colour. If it has been allowed to gray, Ipe can be power washed back to its original appearance.

We also offer a complementary spring DECK CHECK, or you can get a copy on our download page and do it yourself.

Please remember that a Building Permits and Handrails are required for decks over 2’ above grade due to certain structural requirements as per the current Alberta Safety Code. There is a downloadable brochure on our downloads page and a link to the Town of High River planning department on the links page

Bluline

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