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Make Your Front Porch Fancy for Fall

Front porch steps

“They were very helpful, with clear communication regarding any delays (eg, bad weather). They were able to match materials, creating a great outcome. We have been very satisfied with the quality of work and their commitment to customer satisfaction. We further appreciate their support in some of the ancillary services to the deck repair, which made the process much more convenient. We also took quotes for additional deck replacement/expansion, as we would be happy to use his services again in the future.” – Ken, Eagleville

If you’ve commissioned Harmony Decking to install a deck or porch for your home, you’re already well on your way to having the best looking house on the block. There are, however, a few things you can do to really ramp up the curb appeal—especially during this beautiful time of year! Take a look at our suggestions for a cozy, inviting front porch:

Front door – A uniquely colored door is definitely an eye-catching feature on any home. Is your current entryway a dismal brown or dull grey? Why not add a splash of color to help your house stand out? Opting for a cheerful shade of red or bright blue makes for a much more welcoming sight. For a fun project with the kids, you could also dress your door up with a homemade seasonal wreath that will delight and impress your guests.

Yellow front door

Furniture – Setting up a rocking chair or porch swing not only lends your home a cozier look, it provides a great little spot for relaxing and enjoying the fresh air. Add a small table to set mugs of cocoa and dog-eared books, and you’ve got yourself a front porch paradise.

Fence decorations – It may not be Christmas quite yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t string some beautiful lights on your porch fence! This serves the dual purpose of lighting the way for visitors and making your house a twinkling, cheerful sight. Festive garlands are a nice touch, too!

Flora – This is a great time of year to get creative with porch décor: Think pots of mums in autumn hues, carved pumpkins, and gnarled, bumpy gourds. The fall season provides gorgeous natural inspiration that you can use to dress up the front of your home. If you haven’t already, take a trip to the pumpkin patch and pick out a few beauties!

Porch pumpkins

On a final note, make sure your front porch looks neat and well-maintained before you even begin with decorations; if it requires a fresh coat of paint or repairs to damaged areas, tackle those issues first. Don’t hesitate to contact Harmony Decking about deck or porch installation—we’d be happy to help create the outdoor living space you’ve been dreaming of!

On Deck: Summer Deck Maintenance–Dos and Don’ts

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Summer is usually the time when your deck gets the most use: the warm weather, the right furniture, and a sizzling grill combine to encourage you to spend as much time outdoors as you can. If you’ve kept up with your spring deck maintenance, your deck is already looking its best; here are a few dos and don’ts to help you keep it that way through the summer.

Summer Deck Dos and Don’ts

Furniture

  • Do: leave any aluminum furniture outside, even when it rains. But we do recommend tipping furniture to help water run off and dry more quickly. Keep your umbrella closed when not in use–this will protect it from dust, sun fading, and bird droppings.
  • Don’t: leave wicker, steel, natural fibers, or iron out in the rain. Water absorption will make wicker swell and break–not to mention encourage the growth of mold or mildew. Iron or steel is prone to rust, which could damage the furniture or stain your deck.

Cleaning

Do: sweep away debris, leaves or dust as soon as they accumulate. Clean up any spills from grilling right away–they can damage the seal on your deck. Make sure you use the appropriate cleaner for your deck material. Composite cleans needs just soap and water. An oxygenated bleach detergent or compatible deck cleaner works well with wood.
Don’t: use a power washer. Power washers damage wood or composite, voiding the warranty. Regular garden hose sprayers work just fine, even if they aren’t as fast–making your deck last longer is more important than saving ten minutes!

Inspection and Maintenance

Do: take advantage of the good weather for general maintenance. Check for: signs of rot (discoloration, cracks, crumbly/spongy texture, musty smell); loose boards; wobbly railings and supports; protruding screws or nails; wasp nests.
Don’t: forget to check the ledger board–the board that connects your deck to your house. It should be attached with screws, rather than nails. While you’re down there, check out the flashing–the material that protects your deck from moisture and debris. Harmony Decking can provide any needed repairs that go beyond basic maintenance.

If you follow these tips, you’ll keep your deck and furniture in good shape through the summer and ready for your winter weather preparations!

Harmony Decking: Experts in Installation, Maintenance, Inspection and Renovation

If you need help with deck inspection, repairs, or even renovation, the skilled contractors at Harmony Decking are just waiting to put their 30 years of experience at your service. Formed by two friends with a vision of superlative service married to enduring craftsmanship, Harmony is a HomeAdvisor-screened and approved company that has built hundreds of decks for many satisfied customers.

Erik went above and beyond in answering all of my questions and helping me make decisions in designing my perfect deck. He made suggestions I would have never thought of and the deck turned out great. Love it!
Grace from Jamison, PA

Call us at 215-290-7727 or visit our website for more information and to contact us today. Whatever the job size, we’re happy to serve you!

On Deck: Is Pressure-Treated Wood Safe to Use?

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For decades, pressure-treated wood has been the most common material for building decks: it’s cost-effective, supremely durable, and has the natural beauty of wood. However, concerns have been raised by the EPA about the chemicals used to transform softwoods into this long-lived construction standby. You’re probably wondering: is my pressure-treated wood deck safe for my family to use? Or should I consider using pressure-treated wood as a material for my deck project?

“A Wood for All Seasons”

Pressure-treated wood is usually created by placing the wood in a vacuum to force it to absorb a chemical preparation that renders it impervious to vermin, fungus, and rot. Better suited to endure than untreated wood, it is used in all sorts of construction where wood is exposed to the elements or harsh conditions.

Until 2003 the most common preparation for pressure-treated wood was chromated copper arsenate (CCA,) a preservative containing poisonous arsenic. Over time, arsenic can (in small amounts) leach out of treated wood into the environment: the soil, or the surface of construction. While arsenic is a common substance that exists in soil, water, and even in the food we eat, the type of arsenic used in CCA-treated wood is more toxic, especially to children. This is concerning considering this type of wood has been used in playgrounds where children can touch the wooden structures and then put their hands in their mouths.

What if my Deck is Made of CCA-Treated Wood?

If your deck was constructed before 2003, it was probably made with CCA-treated wood. CCA-treated wood usually has a greenish tint, but that fades over time. If you aren’t sure, you can ask the experts at Harmony Decking to inspect your deck: we are certified to perform safety inspections and can ensure your deck meets the standards for your region.

However, you don’t need to tear out your deck if it’s made of CCA-treated wood. In fact, removing such structures could increase your exposure to arsenic. The EPA has determined that, with basic maintenance and precautions, even CCA-treated wood can be safe for family use.

  • Always use gloves, dust masks, and protective eyewear when working with CCA-treated wood.
  • Treat your deck yearly with a penetrating sealant. Choosing a sealant that changes the appearance of the wood will make wear more noticeable.
  • Don’t prepare food directly on treated wood, and make sure you and your kids wash your hands before eating after outdoor activities.

Pressure-Treated Wood Today

In 2003, the construction industry voluntarily agreed to phase out the use of CCA-treated lumber in residential construction, and it’s no longer available for purchase by general consumers. Today’s pressure-treated lumber is treated with alternative preparations that are safe. It’s still recommended that you treat it yearly with a protective finish, but it has all the benefits that have always come with pressure-treated wood: longevity, low-cost, and the attractiveness of natural wood. Harmony Decking strongly recommends pressure-treated wood as a decking material. If you’re feeling daunted by the idea, we can help you select the right wood or alternative material and plan a deck that is not only up to code for your region, but also a beautiful addition to your home.

On Deck: 3 Tips to Keep Your Grilling Season Safe with Harmony Decking

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Summertime is here: the weather’s warm, the sun is bright, and your deck or patio is all set. It’s time to fire up the grill (can’t you just smell the hamburgers cooking?) But wait—the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that grilling results in 8,900 home fires every year. Surprisingly, more of those fires are caused by gas grills than charcoal. Before heading out to your deck, be sure to review Harmony Decking’s top three grilling safety tips.

1. Grill in the right place.

  • Always grill outdoors—deadly carbon monoxide will accumulate in an enclosed space and could suffocate you.
  • If grilling on your deck, make sure your grill is ten feet from your house, furniture, railings, overhanging trees, or anything flammable. (Failure to do so could melt the siding off your house–believe me, it happens.) 17% of all grill fires occur when an object is too near the grill.
  • We also recommend using a gas grill if your deck is made out of wood; charcoal is safer on concrete, brick, or your lawn.

2. Use your grill properly.

  • Make sure you read the owner’s manual.
  • If your gas grill doesn’t ignite right away, the NFPA recommends waiting at least five minutes for the gas to dissipate before trying again. When done grilling, close the propane valve first before turning off the burners.
  • Be sure to keep the flames under control by spreading out your coals or adjusting the temperature knobs. If you must use water to douse the flames, use a spray bottle and remove the food first.
  • Store lighter fluid away from heat sources.
  • Use long-handled tools to prevent burns from grease splatter or contact with the grill.
  • Don’t wear risky loose clothing while grilling.
  • Never leave your food cooking unattended, and don’t—just don’t—try to move a hot grill.

3. Maintain your grill.

  • Don’t forget to check the condition of your hoses and propane tanks, checking for dents, cracks, or leaks.
  • Most importantly, you must keep your grill clean! This is the leading contributor of grill fires. Be sure to always thoroughly clean your grill and empty the grease trap.

Grill-related injuries sent 16,600 people to the emergency room in 2014.

Even when practicing safety, injuries happen. Just in case, review how to treat burns, and keep a first aid kit nearby. It’s also a good idea to keep a box of baking soda handy for grease fires, along with a fire extinguisher.
With all those safety precautions in mind, you’re ready for grilling season: time to break out those hot dogs—or try this classic recipe for Savory Grilled Onions.

Looking for more deck tips or advice?

Harmony Decking has 30 years of experience in home improvement, and can help you with everything from maintenance and renovation of your old deck, to design and installation of a new deck, patio, or lighting scheme. Check out our previous work on our website, or give us a call at 215-290-7727. We’re committed to providing honest, friendly service that will help you realize your dream project.

Harmony Decking’s May Inspection Tips

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If home maintenance isn’t high on the list of things you love to do in life, then chances are you haven’t checked on your deck’s structural safety in a while. The time is now! May is National Deck Safety Month, so head to the backyard and inspect your deck for any telltale signs of instability. Here are four ways you can check on your deck this month to make sure it’s safe for all of those summer outdoor activities:

  1. Check the surface – Take a look at your deck material to see if any of the wood is split or decaying. If there are cracks, insert a flathead screwdriver into them – if more than ¼ inch of the screwdriver can fit in, you may have rotting wood. Keep an eye out for holes too, which could be a sign of insects boring into your deck.
  2. Look at your ledger board – Your ledger board is the board that connects the deck to your house. Carefully take a peek under your deck to make sure it’s attached with stainless or galvanized-steel screws and bolts rather than nails, which can easily pop loose. Your bolts may need tightening as well.
  3. Is your flashing on tight? – Flashing is the material near the ledger board that keeps water and moisture out and prevents rotting. Make sure the flashing is not pulling away from the house and that no dirt or debris are getting between it and the wall.
  4. Wriggle your railings – Do they wobble? If so, it’s time to get them repaired. Check that your railings are up to local code too, which typically requires them to be at least three feet tall and balusters to be no more than four inches apart.

Contact Harmony Decking for a Professional Deck Inspection

Why should you choose us to ensure the safety of your deck? Harmony Decking is an honest and reliable company that was formed by two friends who had a vision to provide people with excellent, enduring craftsmanship. Between the two of them, they have over 30 years of experience and have built a solid reputation among clients. With Harmony Decking, you can be sure that your dreams for an outdoor space are in good hands.

Keeping an eye on your deck by following the tips above is important, but you should also have a professional come in and take a look once per year–especially if your deck is over ten years old. If your deck is due for an inspection, contact the deck professional you can trust at Harmony Decking. You can call us at 215-290-7727 to learn about our pricing options and products. We look forward to hearing from you!

How to Choose the Right Type of Deck Railing

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If you thought there was one standard type of deck railing, think again! There are many different styles and materials to choose from. So, if you’re getting ready to build a deck this Spring, get a head start with this railing guide from Harmony Decking!

Harmony Decking is a deck building company in Warrington, PA and our goal is to help our clients build their dream deck. By teaming up with us, you’ll have expert insight into the right style, size and price for your family.

Types of Railing

Here is a list of the types of railings you can choose from and the advantages of each:

  • Wood – This is the simplest and cheapest option for deck railing. It leaves you with a lot of flexibility in terms of style since your builder can mix and match wooden materials to give you a custom look. Unfortunately, wood requires a lot of maintenance and cleaning to keep it safe and looking great over the years.
  • Capped Composite – One of the greatest benefits of this type of material is that it requires little maintenance to keep it looking clean and fresh. It runs in the middle in terms of price, with materials running $15-$30 per linear foot. There are many different brands to choose from. Capped composite railings work well with anything from a coastal or colonial home to a contemporary house!
  • Metal – The most common types of metal railing include galvanized steel, aluminum and iron. Metal railings tend to look slimmer than composite or wood and don’t block as much of the view of your landscape or backyard.
  • Cable Rail – Cable rail is a more high-end option, with materials costing at least $60 per linear foot. Many homeowners find it a worthwhile purchase, since the horizontal cables have a sleek look and almost seem to disappear when you’re looking toward the view beyond.
  • Tempered Glass – This is a good option if you live in an area where there is a lot of wind. The downside is the high price, but the upside is you get a clear view of the landscape without the wind ruining your time outdoors.

Call Harmony Decking Today And Get Building!

Now that you are up to speed on the types of railings you could choose from, call Harmony Decking at 215-290-7727 to talk about installing your favorite option. We are the Warrington deck builders who will always provide you with honest and fair work. You can check out examples of our work to see the quality you can expect when you work with us!

How to Spruce Up Your Deck This Spring!

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The dreary winter season is just a few days away from finally coming to an end, and with warmer temperatures and sunny skies in sight, it’s time to get inspired!

Although your garage, closets and bedrooms might be the focus of your dusting and organizing, your deck is probably overdue for a makeover. That’s where Harmony Decking comes in.

In this blog, we’ll give you the best cleaning and decorating tips to take your deck from discolored and drab to bright and brilliant!

Spring Clean Your Deck With Harmony Decking

Here are a few ways you can clean, clear and enhance your deck this spring:

  • Sand, Wash and Stain: The first thing you might notice after the last bit of snow finally melts is that your deck is looking dull. Spring is the perfect time and temperature to clean your deck since the summer heat can stress out the wood. Sand and clean your deck using a soft scrubber brush and an oxygenated bleach cleaner. Then vacuum up any dust and finish it off with a semi-transparent stain to protect the wood. Voila!
  • Add Pillows and Plants: The best part about spring and summer? You don’t have to worry about snow and ice ruining everything! Decorate your deck with outdoor fabric pillows to make it an inviting hangout spot. And now that the killer cold is long gone, you can add pots of bright plants to bring your deck to life.
  • Update Your Railings: First, make sure your railings are safe (an annual inspection with decking experts in your area will help you make sure they’re up to code). If they aren’t in good shape, consider killing two birds with one stone by replacing your railings with trendy materials like glass panels.
  • Lay Down Rugs: Don’t have time to clean up the stains re-appearing from under the melted snow? Cover them up and accessorize by adding an outdoor rug.

Don’t Put Your Dreams On Hold – Call Harmony Decking!

Now that you have some ideas to spruce up your deck, get to it! Like the ideas but don’t have the deck yet? You know who to call. Harmony Decking was built by two friends who wanted to create an honest and fair business. Contact us today by calling 215-290-7727. You won’t regret it!

Winter Deck Tips: Do’s and Don’ts

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This time of year our decks don’t get much attention, aside from a few longing gazes as we stare at them from indoors and dream of summer. A snow-covered deck, however, just means that spring is next in line. When you’re ready to host the season’s first barbecue party, make sure your deck looks great the moment the white stuff melts! Harmony Decking has some tips that will help you keep your deck protected all winter long.

Harmony Decking is a decking company in Warrington, PA. We have built our business on honesty and fairness so that our clients can trust who they are doing business with. In this blog we’ll show you all of the right ways to treat your deck during the winter, as well as a few things to avoid.

Protect Your Deck

What many people don’t realize is that their decks need a little TLC here and there to last as long as possible. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for handling your deck between fall and spring:

  1. Do prepare – Before the snow falls, it’s a good idea to give your deck a good wash. Stains can deteriorate deck wood over time so you want to remove them before they sit under a blanket of snow and ice for days at a time. Use a bleach-free cleaner made for wood to preserve the quality of your deck. Then apply a water-resistant finish to really toughen it up.
  2. Do use wood-friendly de-icers – Avoid slips and falls; make sure your deck is safe to walk on after leftover snow and water turns to ice! Rock salt–particularly the dyed type–is NOT a good choice. Rather than having your deck become stained and corroded by the harsh chemicals in rock salt, opt for safer alternatives such as ammonia sulfate.
  3. Don’t use a metal shovel – Your deck should be able to withstand a couple feet of snow, but if you’re going to shovel it off, go with plastic tools. Metal can scrape or dent the wood (without you even knowing it) and leave you with a scratched-up deck come spring. Make sure you shovel with the grain of the wood, not against it!
  4. Don’t leave out your plants – Your potted plants might not be faring too well this time of year anyway, but they’ll be in much worse shape if you leave them out on your deck all winter long. The wood itself runs the risk of getting damaged, as moisture can get trapped between the pot and the deck’s surface, causing dirty marks and mold to accumulate.

Choose Harmony Decking To Build Your Dream Deck!

If you’re looking to get the outdoor space of your dreams, you can start planning today by contacting Harmony Decking! Give us a call at 215-290-7727 or fill out our contact form. Still on the fence? Read these testimonials to find out what our satisfied customers are saying about Harmony Decking and contact us when you’re ready to get started!

The Benefits Of Building A Deck – Harmony Decking

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If you’re looking for more space in your home but a full addition is just too big of a commitment, then a deck is the way to go. Experts say building a deck is by far one of the best home improvement projects to take on because it provides lots of advantages.

Harmony Decking was formed by two friends who had a vision to build decks and create a business that valued honesty and fairness. Between the two, they have over thirty years of experience and are skilled in electrical and home improvement as well. In this blog, we’ll explain why decks are many homeowners’ favorite choice for an addition and why they’re great for getting the most bang for your buck.

The Advantages of Building a Deck

When you think of a deck, the first thing that comes to mind is probably burgers sizzling on the grille, right? Or maybe it’s lying out in the sun or soaking in an above-ground jacuzzi. We could come up with hundreds of ways to enjoy your deck, but here are the top five reasons homeowners choose building a deck as their favorite home-improvement project:

  1. Excellent ROI: Building a deck is a worthwhile home improvement project because it will likely increase the value of your home. In fact, you can get up to 81-percent of the project cost back at resale.
  2. No Space, No Problem: No space in the house? Move the party outdoors. It’s like having another room for you and your guests to enjoy. Besides, nothing beats fresh air.
  3. Easy On The Pocket: Compared to other home-improvement projects such as additions, decks are much more affordable. The cost starts at about $15 per square foot.
  4. Speedy Recovery: Nobody likes to listen to the clang and clatter of construction for too long. Luckily, with the right team, building a deck can be done in as little as a week.
  5. Eye-Catching: Decks are not only functional; they’re easy on the eyes, too! They come in a variety of colors, stains and styles so you can craft the deck that makes you happiest.

Start Planning Your Dream Deck With Harmony Decking!

It’s not too early to start thinking about designing the perfect outdoor space for your home. Harmony Decking offers a variety of products and design styles. Contact us today and we’ll help you get inspired!

The Guide to Decking Material

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So you want to build a deck, but you just don’t know where to start! Maybe you know what color you want, but don’t know what is going to be in your budget. Maybe you could care less about the color but want to make sure your decking material is tough and will last for years. Or maybe you don’t even know what you want, you just want a little bit of information to give you perspective.

There are so many options these days for decking material and each one differs in color, weight, and durability. If you’re not already up to speed on the various decking materials out there, don’t waste your time meandering through Home Depot. You can get the perfect guide right here, right now without ever having to leave your home!

Choosing The Right Decking Material

Some people have trouble deciding which brand of cereal to buy at the grocery store, let alone choosing the type of deck that will be permanently attached to your house! That’s why Harmony Decking has a list of the most common types of decking material and the pros and cons of each.

  1. Pressure-Treated Lumber: This stuff is the #1 seller today. It’s affordable, readily available throughout the country and easy to work with. However, it does have a tendency to crack.
  2. Redwood and Cedar: Many people love these types of materials because of the great color. Plus, they look more natural than other types of material. Redwood and cedar can be pricey though, costing three to four times as much as pressure-treated lumber.
  3. Tropical Hardwoods: Examples of these hardwoods include Massaranduba, Cumaru and Red Tauari. Many people love the exotic feel, but tropical hardwoods can be super dense and difficult to drill through.
  4. Aluminum: Aluminum isn’t very common for decking material but it’s got some great benefits. Aluminum doesn’t crack or warp, plus it’s mold-proof, fire-proof and recyclable! But something that perfect doesn’t come without a price…and for aluminum it’s a high one! It’s one of the most expensive decking materials out there.

Contact Harmony Decking Today And Build Your Perfect Deck!

It’s never too late to consider adding a deck to your home! A deck can increase outdoor space and can up the value of your home…so why say no? If you have any questions about decking material or you want to start planning your dream outdoor space, you can call Harmony Decking at 215-290-7727. You can even request a quote by filling out our contact form! So give us a call and get decking!