Blog

Read about our decking services in Bucks County, Montgomery County & beyond!

How to Choose a Deck Railing

A railing is a railing is a railing… right? Wrong! When it comes to choosing a deck railing, there are so many different styles and materials to choose from. We put together this railing guide to help you learn the pros and cons of different railing options so that you can choose the best one for your deck.

deck railing

Wood

Simple and inexpensive, a wooden deck railing offers plenty of flexibility when it comes to selecting a style. This allows your builder to give you a custom look. One consideration when choosing a wood railing is maintenance. Wood typically requires a greater amount of maintenance and cleaning to keep it safe and in good shape for a long period of time.

Capped Composite

A lower maintenance option, capped composite is easy to keep clean and fresh looking for a long time. Though more expensive than wood, capped composite is still a middle-tier option, with materials ranging from $15-$30 per linear foot. With a wide range of brands to choose from, capped composite railings can be a great option for anything from a colonial home to a more contemporary deck.

Metal

Metal railings are made from three common materials: galvanized steel, aluminum, and iron. The price of a metal railing is dictated by the material chosen, but all metal railings tend to look slimmer than composite or wood. This allows for a better view of your landscape or backyard.

Cable Rail

A pricier option that maintains an even better view is a cable rail. Priced at upwards of $60 per linear foot, cable rail offers a sleek, almost invisible way to keep your deck safe and your view intact. 

Tempered Glass

The final railing option for your deck is tempered glass. While often more expensive than the other options, tempered glass can be an excellent way to protect against wind while offering a clear view of your landscape. 

Call Harmony Decking Today And Get Building!

Now that you know all about the different railing options for your deck, 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!

Tips to Enjoy Your Deck at Night

Sometimes the summer is just too hot to bear during the daytime, rendering your deck useless during the dog days. But what about at night? With the sun out of the way, summer is the perfect season to enjoy your deck at night. 

At Harmony Decking, we want to ensure that you are able to make the most out of your outdoor living space – even after sunset. Here we’ll explain some of our favorite easy modifications to allow you to enjoy your deck at night all summer long. 

Lighting

From moody twinkle lights to practical rail lights, deck lighting is a practical way to add some beauty to your outdoor space. As a bonus, it makes your deck safer to navigate when you party all night long. 

Bug Repellant

Nothing ruins a beautiful night like a bunch of bug bites. While wearing bug spray 24/7 may help keep those pesky mosquitoes at bay, it isn’t the most practical option. To keep your outdoor space bug free, consider installing a fan or two to create a light breeze, decorating with plants known to repel bugs (such as marigolds, lavender, and catnip), and eliminate sources of standing water. These are prime locations for mosquitoes and other pests to breed. 

Get Cozy

It may still be summertime, but the temps can drop pretty low at night. Benches with built in storage are a great way to keep blankets within easy reach. Want to keep it extra toasty? A patio heater is a great way to pack some serious warmth and enjoy your deck long into fall. 

Still don’t know what to do? Harmony Decking is here to help!

We’re ready to help you choose the ultimate deck design and lighting options for your home and your lifestyle. Contact us to learn about how we can help you create your perfect outdoor space. 

Quick Tips for Summer Deck Care

four gray loungers near pool

If you love spending summer outdoors as much as we do, your deck has probably already seen quite a bit of use this season. And if you’ve followed our advice about spring cleaning your deck, it’s probably still in pretty good shape! Here are a few of our best pieces of advice for summer deck care and maintenance.

Furniture

  • Keep umbrellas closed when not in use to protect them from the elements (and from blowing away in the wind)
  • Be sure to tip your aluminum furniture when expecting rain. This helps the rain run off and avoid pools where bugs can breed. 
  • Bring wicker, steel, fiber, and iron furniture inside or under cover when expecting rain. Wicker and fiber will absorb water, which can lead to mold, mildew, and warping. Steel and iron can rust and break or stain your deck. 

Cleaning

  • Sweep dirt, debris, and dust regularly.
  • Clean up food spills and grill grease ASAP. You never know what could stain your deck if allowed to sit for too long. 
  • Don’t use a power washer. It may seem like a quick way to clean your deck, but it can severely damage the building material and void your warranty. A regular hose + spray nozzle will work just fine. For deep cleaning, contact a professional.

Maintenance

  • Take advantage of the great weather to check your deck for signs of rot, loose boards, wobbly railings, and signs of critters. It’s better to learn about and address these issues now than to wait until winter, when you might forget about them and potentially uncover a much bigger issue in the spring. 

We hope you enjoy these quick summer deck care tips to keep your deck in good shape. With proper maintenance, you can enjoy it for the whole summer (and many more to come)! Need help with your inspection, repairs, or even a renovation? The skilled contractors at Harmony Decking are just waiting to put their 30 years of experience at your service. 

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!

Making the Most of your Outdoor Living Space

Whether you prefer enjoying coffee and the sunrise or a cold one and the sunset, your outdoor living space is an extension of your home that you should make the most of! While the design and construction of your deck is the first step in creating an outdoor experience, there are plenty of additional ways to make the most of your outdoor living space this season.

outdoor living space

Get Shady

Some sunshine is great, but every now and then you need some respite from those summer rays. Umbrellas and awnings are both fantastic ways to bring a little shade to the situation – without having to go indoors. Umbrellas, like free standing or table umbrellas, are a great option to provide some mobile shade so that everybody can get comfortable. Awnings are great for shade but also rain protection!

Pillows and Tables and Chairs Oh My!

From loungers to yoga mats, picnic tables to end tables, deckside furniture offers unlimited opportunities! Some things to keep in mind when planning your outdoor furniture setup include:

Activities

What will you be doing on the deck? Eating dinner and playing board games? Laying in the sun and doing yoga? Understanding how you plan to use your deck is key to figure out what kind of furniture is right for you.

Gatherings

How many people do you want to have on your deck at a time? Do you want to give them a choice in type of seating? These questions help you determine the number and arrangement of your seating situation, which can help you pick chairs vs loungers vs outdoor couches.

Space

Perhaps the most important question when furnishing your outdoor space – how big is it? This will help you decide what kind and amount of furniture you can reasonably fit.

Flex your Green Thumb (or not)

Whether you’re a gardening guru or a total black thumb, plants are a beautiful way to bring life and variety into your outdoor space. While living plants can be great for growing summer fruits, veggies, and herbs, you can easily go for artificial plants for a lower maintenance option (shh…we won’t tell).

Feel the Heat

Sometimes those summer nights can get shockingly chilly! Having a heat source like a fire ring or heat lamp can help you keep the party going into the wee hours of the night (and make s’mores of course).

Love these ideas but need a deck to start out on? Harmony Decking is here to help! From idea to execution, we’ll be with you every step of the way.

What are you waiting for? Check out our work and give us a call today. 215 290 7727

Throw the Ultimate Deck Party this Memorial Day Weekend

As we round the corner to Memorial Day (aka the official kickoff to summer), we can’t help but get excited to finally show off our decks for some backyard BBQ. That’s why we’ve put together this list of our top tips to help you throw the ultimate deck party this Memorial Day weekend.


deck party

Check for any maintenance issues.

We recently talked about how to spring clean your deck and gave a great overview of how to check for any signs of wear and tear from winter. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to give your deck a once-over and make sure there aren’t any safety hazards that might pose a problem for your guests.

Light it Up!

It’s not a real deck party if it doesn’t go on into the wee hours of the night! These lighting tips for your deck are a great way to keep your party going all night long. Plus, exterior lighting is ideal for showcasing your home while providing additional security.

Get Grilling

Memorial Day weekend is all about firing up the grill! This article from Bon Appetit features 75 drool-worthy grilling recipes sure to leave your guests impressed. Show off those grill skills!

Game Time

You can’t celebrate Memorial Day weekend without some killer party games! This list is packed with fun games for kids, adults, and everyone to play together and make great memories this MDW. Have some fun in between grilling up those burgers and lounging in the sun.

So whether you’re spending Memorial Day weekend relaxing or throwing this summer’s premiere barbecue, we hope you’ve enjoyed these tips on throwing the ultimate deck party. Want to spruce up your deck or build a brand new one? Don’t hesitate to contact us for all of your deck building or repair needs.


Signs It’s Time for a Deck Replacement


Deck replacement is a big undertaking and for many, one that is put off until it’s too late. Is it time for you to replace your deck? Take a look at this list from Harmony Decking. If one or more things apply, you may need a replacement.

You might need to repair or replace your deck if….

Your deck isn’t up to code

How could your deck not be up to code? Well, some decks are older than NJ and PA regulations, so they were built before some important regulations were introduced. In these states, a deck has to be 30” above grade level and be surrounded by a railing with spindles no further apart than 4”. If your deck doesn’t fit these criteria, it’s time for a new one.

You’ve had accidents on your deck

If you, a family member, or a guest has injured themselves on a loose screw, nail, or gnarly piece of wood, it’s time to give your deck an upgrade. Sometimes this can mean just replacing a few boards. But in other instances, your deck may be too far gone and you will need to replace it entirely.

Stains and other marks

Stains and other marks can be an ugly feature on a once pristine deck, but that’s not why they are a cause for replacement. Marks, scuffs, and other stains can interfere with the sealant or protective coating of your deck. This can result in peeling, moisture exposure, and rotting. These stains may not lead to a full deck remodel, but they do require further inspection to determine the extent of the damage.

Broken boards

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but if you have broken or damaged boards on your deck, they need to be replaced ASAP. Weaknesses in some boards can lead to overcompensation by others. This means there can be more damage and potential for injury in the future.

Dry rot

Dry rot can often go unnoticed, which is why it’s imperative to know what to look for so that you can avoid structural damage caused by untreated dry rot. Fungal growth, shrinking boards, dark stains, and a musty odor are all signs of dry rot that should be treated immediately to avoid costly damage in the future. Dry rot can sneak up on you but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken

Any of these danger signs could mean that you need a deck replacement or some repairs at the very least. If you think your deck is in need of a little TLC, we strongly recommend you give us a call. At Harmony Decking, we put your happiness and safety first, and it is our goal to help you create (or maintain) the deck of your dreams.

What are you waiting for? Give us a call at (215) 290-7727 today or send an email to harmonydecking@verizon.net to learn more!

How To Spring Clean Your Deck

Daylight Savings means you finally get some after-work sunshine, but before you can really enjoy the great outdoors, your deck probably needs a little TLC. Don’t worry, with these tips you’ll be spring cleaning your deck and ready to kick back and relax in no time.

spring cleaning your deck

Check out some of Harmony Decking’s favorite tips for spring cleaning your deck so that you can put those dreary winter days behind you:

Give your Railings an Update

Harsh weather and drastic temperature changes can wreak havoc on both the look and structural integrity of your railings. The last thing you want is for them to give way and break at a time when you need them the most. Have your railings inspected by a decking expert to ensure that they are in good shape to keep you safe. If your railings are weak – or worse, rotting away – give them an update! A fresh set of railings can not only help give you peace of mind that your deck is safe, they can also give your deck a total makeover for a fraction of the cost of a full reno.

Give it a Good Scrub

Winter’s constant snow and ice can leave your deck looking lackluster and dull. The mild spring temperatures are the perfect time to spruce things up before the drying summer sun rolls around. A soft scrubber brush is the best way to dig out all the nasty dirt, and a semi transparent stain gives the perfect protective finish.

Give Pinterest a Go

After spending the cold winter cooped up inside, scrolling Pinterest for inspiration, spring is your time to shine! Use that inspo board of yours to load your deck up with seasonal plants, decorative pillows, and even an outdoor rug or two. You don’t have to worry about ice and snow wrecking your decor anymore, so it’s time to get creative!

Spring Cleaning Your Deck? – Give Harmony Decking a Call!

If all this talk about spring cleaning your deck has you wistful for a deck of your own, give us a call at (215) 290-7727! We’d love to help you build the deck of your dreams.  

 

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.