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Different Deck Styles to Inspire Your Outdoor Space

With just a few weeks left until spring, it’s time to start planning your outdoor projects for the year! Maybe you’re finally ready to build that beautiful outdoor space you’ve been thinking about for ages, but you just don’t know where to begin! Have no fear – Harmony Decking has the ultimate guide to different deck styles to help you get started.

Different Deck Styles

Decks come in a wide variety of styles, with many options for colors, materials, and layouts. Decks can be built to fit all different kinds of homes and budgets. Here are some styles for you to consider:

  • Ground Level Decks – Simply structured, ground level decks can be placed on flat or slightly sloped ground. Their low elevation means that they typically don’t require a railing, which makes them a great, low-profile extension of your home into the outdoors.
  • Raised Decks – If your backyard is a bit bumpier, or you’re looking to build off of your second floor, raised decks are a common way to give outdoor access to upper floors, or work around a slanted backyard. Due to their height, raised decks always require a railing.
  • Wraparound Decks – Perfect for homes with multiple entrances, wraparound decks do just that – wrap around your home. Wraparound decks are popular for their ability to offer varying levels of sun and shade around the house, in addition to being able to support entertainment for larger groups. Depending on their elevation, wraparound decks may be built with or without railings.
  • Multi-Level Decks – If you’re really looking to go all out, multi level decks are an amazing way to build an experience in your own backyard. Varying elevations allow for spaces to take on different functions for grilling, entertaining, and more. Multi-level decks are the most complex to design and construct, but they are well worth it in the end.

Call Harmony Decking Today!

Now that you have an overview of options for different deck styles, it’s time to get to work! Whether you have something specific in mind or need guidance from the experts, give us a call at (215)-290-7727 to get started on your dream deck today! Be sure to view pictures of our work for more inspiration!

Winter Deck Tips: How to Handle Ice and Snow

Last month we talked about how to prepare your deck for winter, but what about keeping it in good shape during these wet and chilly months? Today we’re going to talk about our favorite winter deck tips and how you can keep your deck looking great all season long. 

The cold weather and threat of snow make it difficult to use your deck very often in the winter, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to neglect your outdoor space. Caring for your deck in the winter is one of the most important ways to ensure you have no surprises come springtime.

Here are some of our go-to ways to care for decks in the winter time:

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Before the first snow hits, it’s a good idea to give your deck a good scrub. Over time, wood stains can actually cause your deck to deteriorate, and they can be easy to forget about once they’re covered in a blanket of snow and ice. The last thing you want to walk out onto in the springtime is a warped or worn-away deck!

Check Your Labels

Speaking of ice, we recommend using a de-icer on your deck to avoid that slippery covering, but it’s vital that your de-icer is safe for your deck. Rock salt can contain harsh chemicals that actually make deck stains and corrosion worse. Opt for a safer alternative like ammonia sulfate to keep your deck de-iced (and stain free!).

Choose Your Shovel Wisely

Metal shovels may seem like a great way to scrape up the ice and snow covering your deck, but they can also scrape or dent the wood and leave you with a scratched up mess come springtime. When you shovel, choose a sturdy plastic and be sure to go with the grain of the wood, not against it.

Did all this talk of winter deck tips leave you dreaming of a deck of your own? Start planning today by contacting Harmony Decking. Call 215-290-7727, or fill out our  contact form to get started today!

Deck Maintenance: How Do I Prepare My Deck for Winter?

snow covered deck

Around this time every year, homeowners find themselves wondering: how do I prepare my deck for winter? Harmony Decking has the answer. Dropping temperatures and constant threats of snow and ice can shorten the life of your deck and lead to expensive repairs or even a full deck replacement over time. Fortunately, you can avoid these problems by winterizing your deck in a few easy steps.

Step 1: Inspect

Chances are you haven’t used your deck very much as it has gotten colder in the late fall. That’s why it’s good to give it a once-over and inspect for any damage that has already occurred. A proper deck self-inspection consists of:

  • Examining your ledger board, where the deck attaches to the house. Ensure that all fasteners are secure.
  • Take a look at all of the support posts and joists to make sure that they are structurally sound. This may mean getting on the ground or underneath your deck to get a proper view.
  • Look around for loose screws or nails and tighten or drive in as necessary.
  • Check for spots where water collects and address as necessary.
  • Test your handrails, railings and stairs to make sure they are secure.
  • If you have children or elderly members in your household, it may be a good idea to add abrasive strips to the stairs to avoid slip and fall events in the icy winter.

Step 2: Clean

As tempting as it may be to put off cleaning your deck until the warmer springtime, any existing messes will only get worse through the winter months. Before it gets too cold or icy, give your deck a good final clean by:

  • Clearing the deck of all furniture, planters, grills, etc. and storing them in a safe, dry place if possible. We have an excellent guide for storing outdoor furniture if you are unsure of where to best keep these items.
  • Sweep or leaf-blow the entire surface of your deck
  • Using mild detergent with a hose or the lowest setting on a pressure washer, thoroughly clean the surface of your deck to remove dirt, stains, and mold.
  • If any finishes are peeling away or deteriorating, remove them,. This limits the extent of the damage and gives your deck an overall fresher appearance.
  • Clear the deck of all furniture, planters, grills, etc. and sweep or leaf-blow the entire surface. If possible, store these items in a safe, dry place for the winter.
  • With a mild detergent and water (using a hose or pressure washer at the lowest setting), thoroughly clean the deck surface to remove dirt, stains, and mold.
  • Remove any finishes that are peeling away or deteriorating to limit the extent of the damage and to give it a fresher overall appearance.

Step 3: Seal

You should seal your deck annually with a water repellant to prevent slow water damage over time. If you haven’t sealed your deck within the last year, now is a great time to get it done! Simply follow the manufacturer instructions for the sealant of your choice and ta-da! Your deck is ready for winter.

Call Harmony Decking for Help Preparing Your Deck for Winter

Next time you find yourself wondering “How do I prepare my deck for winter?” give Harmony Decking a call.

At Harmony Decking, we care about your home and your investment. If you or someone you know needs help with these tasks, contact us today – we’re happy to assist with preventative maintenance! You can be sure we’ll do the job right the first time, every time.

 

Harmony Decking’s Ultimate Winter Outdoor Furniture Storage Guide

outdoor winter furniture storage

Rapidly dropping temperatures and the looming threat of snow can leave some deck owners in a panic when it comes to winter outdoor furniture storage.

What should I do with my outdoor furniture? Can I leave it outside? Do I need to put it in my house? What will happen if I let it sit out all winter?

The answer to all of these questions comes down to one factor: material. It’s key to understand the material that your outdoor furniture is made of in order to make an educated decision about where to store it in the winter.

Harmony Decking’s Ultimate Winter Outdoor Furniture Storage Guide

We know it can be complicated to search for the various ways to care for the many materials used to make outdoor furniture, so we put together this helpful guide so that you know exactly what to do with your outdoor furniture this season.

Wicker

The many pores and cracks in wicker furniture make it susceptible to expanding and contracting with changes in moisture, meaning your furniture may be cracked come springtime. Bring your wicker furniture indoors if you’re not looking to replace it once the weather warms up. 

Steel

Steel-framed furniture is another type that is vulnerable to changes in moisture and temperature. The risks of rust and cracking increase over time, so you’re better off bringing it inside and away from the elements this winter.

Aluminum

Known for its light weight, you wouldn’t think that aluminum would be able to stand up to the harsh winter elements, but aluminum is actually the toughest of all patio furniture. If you lack the indoor space to clear away your outdoor furniture, or you just don’t feel like bringing it indoors – aluminum outdoor furniture is the choice for you!

Natural Stone

The cracks and crevices that make natural stone furniture so pretty are also responsible for making it at risk of breaking if left out in the winter. If water enters the cracks and expands with the cold, your favorite tabletop could wind up breaking in two! 

Fabric Materials

You should already be putting away your outdoor cushions and pillows when they aren’t in use, but if you like leaving them out all season, you should be warned that they don’t fare so well in the harsh winter temperatures. Save yourself the hassle of replacing your fabric materials in the spring and bring in your pillows and cushions before winter hits. 

Call Harmony Decking Today!

If all this talk about winter outdoor furniture storage has you itching to create an outdoor space of your own, contact Harmony Decking today! Started by two friends who value honesty, Harmony Decking always aims to provide great work for a fair price. Give us a call today so we can prove that when you work with us, your project is in good hands. 

Fall Deck Maintenance and Modernization

Decorating decks for holidaysCooler fall temps are finally upon us, which makes now the perfect time to be outside. With a little bit of time and effort, you can get your fall deck in its best shape. And if you’re in the mood for a little updating, there are some amazing new trends that lend themselves to the beautiful fall hues.

Fall Deck Upkeep

There’s nothing more lovely than viewing the fall foliage from the comfort of your own deck. And there’s nothing more unappealing than a rotting pumpkin or decaying piles of leaves. As much as we all love to decorate for the fall, it’s important to remember to be timely about cleaning these wet messes. Even the morning dew can add more moisture than you think and make those piles of leaves wet enough to cause unsightly damage to your deck.

Update Your Deck For Fall

Speaking of fall colors, deep reds and warm browns offer a stunning alternative for your decking options. If you’re considering updating your deck or building a new deck, consider an autumn-inspired color combination. These color schemes not only lend themselves to autumn hues but will look beautiful all year round.

At Harmony Decking, we prefer AZEK’s composite decking because of its high quality. What we love even more is their Harvest Decking Collection. With coordinating planks and rails, it’s easy to choose a stunning combination. Feeling a little spicy? Check out their ravishing reds’ collection.

Another striking update is adding a portable fireplace or electric bonfire. With designs to fit every theme and color scheme, this addition is a dazzling feature that will lengthen the time you can enjoy your deck. Even more importantly, these electric fireplaces and portable bonfires are both safe for your composite deck. They make the perfect addition for creating a beautiful warm ambience. If you prefer something that takes up less space but still provides light, consider adding in deck lighting.

Find Your Fall Deck With Harmony Decking

This fall, make your deck a place you love again. Don’t wait for spring to roll back around. Call Harmony Decking today at 215-290-7727.

Top Tips For Fall Deck Maintenance

Fall Deck MaintenanceAs summer weather slowly fades, we may find some respite in the cooler weather of autumn. While the days are growing shorter, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy our outdoor spaces—and plenty of time for tackling fall deck maintenance.

Top Tips For Fall Deck Maintenance

Don’t Leave the Leaves!

You may think that allowing leaves to linger for weeks until most or all of the leaves have fallen sounds like a time-saving idea. Yet we caution you against this. Leaves that are allowed to remain cause big trouble:

  • They provide safe harbor for pesky allergens. Mold and pollen linger in leaf piles, irritating autumnal allergies.
  • They give home to all sorts of creepy crawlers. You may not mind bugs, but we doubt you want them to set up shop on your deck. Allowing leaves to sit in a wet moldy pile invites beetles, spiders, and other insects that make your deck unsightly. Of course, for major bug infestations, you may need to try some serious combat.
  • They allowed for discoloration and damage due to mold growth. Mold is one of the biggest culprits of major home destruction. Don’t allow avoidance of a chore to lead to moldy mayhem.

For these reasons, it’s best to sweep up leaves on a weekly basis.

Be Your Own Deck Inspector

Scope out the beams, posts, rails, and steps on your deck. If you notice any wobbling parts or wider gaps, repair them immediately. Of course, a professional deck company is your best bet to ensure that you don’t miss any problems, but independently inspecting your deck can go a long way towards finding problems before they become worse.

Swab (And Seal) The Deck

Sometimes as we wind towards fall, we think cleaning our decks isn’t as necessary because we don’t intend to use it on a regular basis. This could not be farther from the truth. Giving your deck a good scrub or pressure wash to remove all remaining debris and gunk. If you have a wood deck, follow that up with a fresh coat of water repellent sealant to protect from the upcoming winter weather.

Harmony Decking: Your Local Deck Experts

Not loving your deck lately, or feeling overwhelmed at the thought of how to make it fresh and new? Contact our team at Harmony Decking today. We’ll help you find a way to make your deck a place you love again.

Montgomery County Deck: A Guide To Combating An Insect Invasion

montgomery county deckAh, summer. The perfect time to kick back, relax, and… swat at gnats? Chase bees away? Smack mosquitos off your arms? It’s likely that none of those statements finish the sentence the way you want, but they certainly apply to the month of August in the Delaware Valley. Air that is swelteringly humid and annoyingly buggy is all around. So, what can you do about pesky bugs invading your backyard oasis? Plenty! We’ve got a plan to debug your Montgomery County deck.

Identify What Types Of Bugs Are Invading Your Space

  • Do you see holes in your wood or composite deck? Or perhaps sawdust piles? If so, you may have an issue with termites, carpenter bees, carpenter ants, or beetles.
  • Are you and your loved ones coming in covered in swollen red bites? While mosquitos are a likely culprit, you mustn’t rule out spider bites.
  • Do you find yourself swatting the air constantly as you sit outside? Whether gnats, flies, or something more vicious, all are troublemakers.

How To Bug-Proof Your Backyard Paradise

  1. Treat your deck for carpenter bee or termite problems. For wood decks, apply a protective sealant.
  2. Clear out any brush near your deck to make it less bug-friendly. This has the added bonus of keeping rodents and small animals away, too!
  3. Search around and under your deck for standing water, which attracts flies and mosquitos. If found, fill with rocks or gravel, or redirect the water that pooled there.
  4. Sweep away any piles of debris or signs of cobwebs to remove potential friendly space for unwanted creepers.
  5. Call an exterminator for serious repeat offenders that don’t respond to the steps above. 
  6. Contact your local deck expert at Harmony Decking for other structural suggestions to make your outdoor space the haven you deserve!

Beware: Bugs Are NOT Just A Minor Annoyance

Bugs and/or rodents can harm the structure of your deck, not just your enjoyment of the outdoors. If allowed to roam unabated, these pests can cause critical (and expensive) damage. Treat any issues as soon as you notice them to avoid bigger problems. Neither avoiding your deck nor ignoring the bugs is a smart solution.

Montgomery County Deck Experts: Harmony Decking

For all your Montgomery County deck needs, call Harmony Decking. We love create outdoor oases for our customers. Let us help you perfect your deck paradise and make it the backyard retreat you long for.

Deck Lighting: How To Light Up The Night

how to enjoy your deck at nightWhen you think about your deck, most of your time, energy, and budget goes into the basics: deck furniture, deck installation, and maintenance. However, there is an up-and-coming trend in deck design: deck lighting. Increased opportunities abound to enhance your deck’s ambiance through creative lighting.

Harmony Decking Spotlights Superior Deck Lighting Options

Our team at Harmony Decking loves constructing the perfect deck for every home. That means that for the perfect deck, we use only the highest quality products from TimberTechⓇ and AzekⓇ. Check out our favorite lighting options produced by these top-tier companies.

  • Accent Lights: For understated lighting that adds a soft and subtle glow, we recommend adding accent lights. Installing them on a vertical surface, such as railings, creates an effect of a cascading waterfall of light.
  • Post Cap Lights: We can easily install post cap lights directly in between your railing and railing caps. The effect is unassumingly elegant—a truly spectacular option.
  • In-Deck Lights: In-deck lights can be easily mounted within your composite deck surface space. They are unobtrusive and small enough to fit in any available space. But we especially like to use them around deck perimeters for added safety and a soft, warm glow.
  • Riser Lights: Riser lights are installed directly in your risers, or stairs. More than just a simple addition of luminous lighting, these lights are a sparkling safety feature. Similar to movie theater lighting, riser lights light the pathway up the stairs at night.
  • Under-Rail Lights: Another ambient lighting and stellar safety feature, under-rail lights are the perfect partnership between aesthetics and safety.

No matter what your color scheme or lighting needs are, Harmony Decking can help! There are countless lighting options, and lighting is a great way to highlight your deck’s features and make it safer and more enjoyable for your family and friends.

Living (and Loving) the Deck Life with Harmony Decking

There is still plenty of deck weather remaining this season. Don’t miss out on beautiful deck days and memorable deck nights. Call Harmony Decking today for a consultation on creating your dream deck for this season and many more to come.

Deck Building Bucks County Pa Homeowners Love

deck building bucks county paFrom the moment you chose your house, either by designing it yourself or falling in love with it on your search as a buyer, you began creating a home in your vision. Why should your deck be any different? For a deck that will enhance your Bucks County PA home, check out our suggestions.

Deck Building Bucks County PA Homeowners Love!

Based on our experience as deck builders and homeowners, we’ve learned how to get maximum enjoyment out of our decks. From location to size to style, we can help you design the perfect deck.

Perfect Placement:

Most homeowners assume that they should have the deck right off the back door. And while that’s a convenient choice when it comes to easily taking meals and supplies from inside to out, that’s not always the best choice for your yard. If there’s a lot of sun in a certain area, extensive landscaping in another, or you already have a pool in place, you may want to think about placing your deck with these considerations in mind.

Size and Style:

Decks aren’t one-size-fits-all entities. So how big does your deck need to be? Consider the following:

  • Do I want storage on my deck? If so, how much? Storage for outdoor supplies is a game-changer and can make life much simpler!
  • What will I do on my deck? Eat family meals? Entertain a crowd? Cook? Relax? Depending on the number of people you’ll want to have on your deck and how many ways you’re likely to use it, the size will change.
  • Will one level suffice? Or do I prefer the option and appearance of multiple levels? One level is standard, but more than one level can allow for more flexibility.

Low Maintenance:

For the best of both worlds, we often recommend composite decking made to look like real wood. Composite deck materials are high quality and low maintenance. Unlike wood decks that require more maintenance and deteriorate more quickly overtime, the composite materials we use have a 30-year limited warranty with no annual sealing required. That means less deck maintenance and more deck fun!

Call Harmony Decking For Deck Building Bucks County PA Homes Deserve!

Haven’t you waited long enough to have your dream deck? Call Harmony Decking today and set an appointment for a free consultation. We are the local experts for deck building Bucks County PA homes deserve and we’d love to share our dynamic deck design ideas with you!

Deck Maintenance to Prepare For Making Memories This Season

deck maintenanceImagine your deck as a boat, protecting anyone on it from the dangers of the deep blue sea. We bet you’d be extra cautious about preparing it for a several months long voyage. Well, then why is it we often only give our decks a cursory glance before expecting them55 to hold up to the spring and summer seasons? Join us for deck maintenance 101.

Deck Maintenance 101: Start From The Ground And Work Your Way Up

  • Focus on the Foundation: Look closely at the foundational beams, especially where they meet the ground. As moisture can be trapped here, these areas tend to weaken sooner than others. While you’re completing each of the other inspection points, check the wood in each area. You can do this by taking a skinny sharp tool, such as an ice pick to any seemingly weak area. If the ice pick pokes through the wood, you’ve probably got rot and decay.
  • Scrutinize the steps: Take care to stand and even bounce on the balls of your feet on each step. If any of the stairs feel wobbly or weak beneath your step, you likely need to replace boards and screws.
  • Concentrate on Joints and Fasteners: These areas are key to your deck’s support, so they take a lot of pressure. It’s important to look closely for splitting at the joints and rusted fasteners, such as screws, nails, and bolts.
  • Examine the Flashing: The flashing is a waterproof material installed where the deck is attached to your house. It protects your home from water damage, rot, and decay. This often overlooked but frequent flier in the area of safety concerns deserves extra attention.
  • Scrutinize the Railings: Wobbly, split, or broken railings need immediate attention. These railings protect you, your family, and your guests from potentially serious falls and injuries.

Not sure about whether or not your deck needs minor repairs or massive overhaul? Contact our expert team at Harmony Decking. We are experienced in building durable, dream decks that require less deck maintenance that standard wood.

Make Sure Your Deck Is In Check This Year!

Deck season has surely arrived. But before you fire up the grill and kick your feet up, these key tasks need to be checked off your deck-to-do list. Call Harmony Decking today for your appointment to ensure your deck is safe. Before you know it, you’ll be prepared to set sail to your deck destination.