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Deck Maintenance: It’s Basic but It’s Necessary

basic deck maintenance

The quickest way for your deck to fall into disrepair is to not perform basic deck maintenance on it. Even the nicest, newest, and most well-built decks will begin to show age and issue if you ignore basic deck maintenance. At Harmony Decking, we know the importance of deck maintenance and want your deck to last as long as possible. That’s why we’ve compiled a few ways to perform basic deck maintenance that can help you upkeep your deck and keep it in tip-top shape.

Tips for Basic Deck Maintenance

Basic deck maintenance is something you should do every year. You can do it yourself or call in the experts. Either way, here are the most important basics to keep your deck in top shape:

  1. The first and easiest thing you’ll want to do is a basic inspection. This should be done consistently, at least once a season if not more. Make the rounds on your deck. Any boards loose or out of place? Any rot? Nails loose or protruding dangerously? These are the most basic things you’ll look for to know what you’re dealing with. Tackle these simple things head on and replace them quickly to ensure not only the longevity of your deck, but the safety of those using it.
  2. The next thing to do is wash your deck. It’s best to do this yearly. An appropriate deck cleaner can be found at the hardware store. Avoid acid-base cleaners and chlorine. These will begin to strip the color from your wood. When washing, use a pressure washer or a broom. If you do use a pressure washer, however, make sure to keep the pressure minimal. Keep enough distance between the deck and nozzle. Too much pressure isn’t good for the wood of your deck.
  3. Staining the deck is another part of basic deck maintenance. It’s going to help preserve the color. Some deck stains even contain mildewcide, which will help with upkeep against mildew and mold. For best results, choose a stain that will seep into the wood, not just sit directly on top.
  4. Last, seal the deck. You can decide if sealing is necessary by the wood’s reaction to water. If droplet sink into the wood right away, it’s time to seal. It’s important to wait for the stain to dry before you begin. Check the weather before you begin. You won’t want a rainy day to ruin the stain before you can seal it. You can use sprayers or paint brushes/rollers to seal your deck.

Want the Experts? Harmony Decking is Here to Help

Basic deck maintenance is something that’s possible to do on your own, but there is no shame calling in the experts. Harmony Decking knows exactly what to do and can do it in minimal time. If you need help with basic deck maintenance, give our deck experts a call at 215-290-7727 or fill out our online form. We’re just a call or click away!

Deck Safety – It’s for the Whole Family

how to childproof a deck

Summer and warm weather are finally here, which means it’s time to start using your deck again at last! You’ve prepped it for summer, uncovered the grill, and are ready to spend the summer outside. However, if you have small children (or even animals!) there’s one last thing you need to know: how to child-proof a deck. You want to spend time on your deck with your family, including your little ones, so it’s important to make sure your deck is safe and sound.

Safety First! How to Child-Proof A Deck

Young children are bound to get a few scrapes and bruises here and there when playing outside, but it’s up to you to do what you can to prevent serious injuries. That’s why Harmony Decking is here to help you know how to child-proof a deck:

  1. First, make sure access to your deck is only possibly with your help. Lock the door to your deck at all times. If you have stairs leading to your deck from outside, it may be a good idea to install a child gate so your child doesn’t make their way onto a dangerous staircase.
  2. Next, take a good look at your railings. Are the spindles/bars far enough for your child to fit through? Make sure a curious kid won’t be able to stick their hand through any wide spaces and get stuck! If you’re finding this is a problem, Harmony Decking can help you install a new, safer railing.
  3. Inspect your deck décor. Take a moment to look at your deck-orations. What may seem like a harmless decoration to you may be something that could cause harm to a small child or pet. Check for harmful plants, fountains that present a risk, and your grill placement. Make sure nothing dangerous is in reach of small children.
  4. Finally, make sure you have plenty of shade on your deck. Children and pets are more at risk of overheating than we are. Make sure they have a shady option and provide plenty of water to keep them cool and hydrated.

Child-Proofing Your Deck Can Start at the Foundation

These are just a few last-minute steps you can take to child-proof your deck. However, if you’re looking to build a deck with your child’s safety in mind, Harmony Decking is here to help. Whether it’s a safe foundation, stairs, or railings, Harmony Decking knows the best way to build a deck with your family’s safety as a top priority. For more information on how to child-proof a deck, call Harmony Decking at 215-290-7727 or fill out our online form.

Bugs, Insects, and Pests Vs Your Deck

how to protect a deck from bugsSummer is for spending time on your deck, enjoying the sun, grilling some burgers, and relaxing the weekends away. Unfortunately, people aren’t the only ones who enjoy summer. Summer means warm weather and warm weather can mean one thing – bugs! Mosquitoes, gnats, bees, flies, and more can create a pesky situation that can be annoying or even dangerous to people trying to enjoy their time outdoors. When you’re enjoying an evening on your deck, the last thing you want is to be swatting at insects all night. That’s why Harmony Decking is here with a few easy tips on how to protect a deck from bugs.

Quit Bugging Me! – How to Keep Bugs Away from Your Deck

When you’re on your deck, you want to be holding those grill tongs, not a bug swatter. Use these helpful tips to know how to protect a deck from bugs:

  1. Keep your deck clean! Keeping your deck crumb and trash free is the first and easiest step you can take to keep those bugs away. Bugs are attracted to trash and food. The less you have on your deck, the less attracted to it bugs will be.
  2. Plant herbs. Garlic doesn’t just keep vampires away. Having rosemary, garlic, or chives growing on or near your deck will keep away several kinds of insects, including mosquitoes.
  3. Light your deck up right. White bulbs attract insects, so try switching them out for sodium vapor or yellow lights.
  4. Citronella is your friend. Invest in a few citronella torches to keep bugs away. Plus, they create an awesome aesthetic. If you don’t want to do that, citrus-flavored candles are a good backup plan.

Don’t Let Bugs Get You Down

Insects still bugging you? If you’ve tried these tips and insects are still attracted to your deck, it may be time to get an expert in to take a look at your deck. You could have problems with your wood, finish, or even something underneath your deck. For more information on how to protect a deck from bugs, call Harmony Decking at 215-290-7727, or fill out our online form.

Shading Your Deck – Know Before You Build

shade for your deck

When building a deck, most homeowners hope to maximize exposure to the sun. Sunny decks are much more inviting than shady decks and you can always add shade. How you add that shade is up to you! There are several options for adding shade to your deck that range from temporary to permanent. Knowing how you intend to provide shade for your deck is important because your deck can be built to accommodate whatever option you choose! At Harmony Decking, we strive to provide you with a deck you love and use often, so we’re happy to help give you all the tools necessary to decide on your decking options.

Temporary vs Permanent Shading Options

The first thing to consider is whether you want your shading options to be available to you all year-round or if you intend to move them in inclement weather.

Temporary shading options include:

  • Umbrellas and collapsible canopies are easy and affordable do-it-yourself options. 
  • Fabric Awnings are one of the more popular choices for shading a deck, but are not good in inclement weather. When it gets windy, fabric awnings require maintenance by the homeowner to bring in and put back up. For the off-season, the awning will need to be taken down. This can be done by the homeowner, but it’s often a good idea to hire experts to do this for you. Fabric awnings look great and provide a flexible option for those who don’t want to always have their deck covered.

Permanent shading options include:

  • Metal Awnings, like fabric awnings, provide a great source of shade for your deck. Unlike fabric awnings however, they typically are built into the structure and stay up year-round due to their durability. They’re typically more expensive because they’re permanent, and due to the metal material, are noisy during inclement weather.
  • Pergolas are another more permanent option, and one your deck builder can help you with. Pergolas are a crosshatch structure of beams and posts that let both air and light in and are often decorated with hanging or climbing vines. Pergolas have a very natural look and look great with your deck, but they don’t provide much protection from bad weather. If you desire a pergola as a shading option, many deck-builders can include it in the infrastructure of your deck. There are also DIY kits out there for those who want to construct their own pergola.
  • Built-in overhangs are the most permanent option. Like a roof, they protect your deck from harm and weather. They provide the most shade and cannot be taken down during inclement weather. Your deck-builder will need to build this in conjunction with your deck.

Shading with Harmony Decking

At Harmony Decking, we want your deck to be part of your home, not just an add-on. Providing shade during the summer is an option we are happy to help you with, whether that’s helping you decide what’s the best fit for your deck or installing it for you. For more information about your shading options, call us at 215-290-7727, or fill out our online form. Not sure what you want? Check out our body of work for ideas!

How Harmony Decking Can Help You Build the Deck of your Dreams

You hopefully have or are on your way to your dream home – so what’s standing in the way of your dream deck? When you work with Harmony Decking, we’ll be with you every step of the way to help you build the deck of your dreams. 

build the deck of your dreams

Deck Building Homeowners Love!

You can trust us when we say we have a lot of experience, both as deck builders and homeowners. From location and size, to style and elevation, we’ve learned how to make the most out of any space and maximize deck enjoyment. What does this mean? We can help you design and build the perfect deck. 

Location Location Location

While it’s common for homeowners to add a deck right off of the back door, it’s not the only option when it comes to choosing a location for your deck. The back door may be a convenient location to access your deck and maximize indoor/outdoor flow, other factors like sun exposure, landscaping, and existing hardscape like a pool or other patio are all factors to consider when finding the perfect placement for your deck. 

Style and Size

Once you’ve chosen the perfect location, we’ll help you decide what style and size of deck is appropriate for your space. Considerations such as storage, deck activities, and the overall size and shape of your backyard will all be factored into the final decision of what your deck will look like and how big it will be. 

Maintenance and Materials:

The next decision that Harmony will help you make when building the deck of your dreams is the material. Our standard recommendation is a composite decking material made to look like wood. Unlike wood decks, which can deteriorate quickly due to weather, composite deck materials are low maintenance and high quality, and the ones we use offer a 30 year limited warranty with virtually no additional maintenance!

Call Harmony Decking For Deck Building Homeowners Deserve!

You shouldn’t have to wait any longer to build the deck of your dreams. Give Harmony Decking a call today to set up your free consultation and be on the way to your dream deck today.

What Deck is Right for You?

It’s officially been cold long enough that we’re starting to dream of summer once again. Relaxing out on the deck… grilling on the deck… entertaining on the – wait, what’s that? You don’t have a deck yet!?

popular deck designs

Then this blog post is perfect for you. Today we’re going to dive into our 5 most popular deck designs to help you decide which one is best for you (and what to add to your list for Santa). 

Platform Deck

To put it simply, a platform deck is attached to the ground level floor of your home. Since it’s essentially resting on the ground, a platform deck doesn’t require too many supportive materials or railings, which makes them extra budget friendly. However, extra considerations for waterproofing must be made to protect from moisture damage. 

Raised Deck

If your first floor is above ground level, a raised deck may be right for you. A raised deck functions like an extension of your living space, just like a platform deck, but it requires railings for safety, as well as support beams to ensure that the raised deck stays raised!

Two-Story Decks

A two story deck is a great option if you want a connected outdoor space that gives you access to multiple floors of your home. While slightly more complicated to build, two story decks offer tons of extra outdoor space which can be great for entertaining.

Multi-Level Decks

A multi-level deck is a great option if you want to take advantage of a large outdoor space to create a diverse lounging experience. Multi-level decks can be broken up into different areas for relaxation, playtime, and even outdoor cooking!

Freestanding Deck

If you thought your deck needed to be attached directly to your home – you thought wrong! A freestanding deck is a great option for folks who are interested in an outdoor space, but may not have the optimal set-up for it to be directly connected to their home. The best part? You get to pick your favorite spot in the yard!

So what are you waiting for? Call the experts at Harmony Decking to get started on your free consultation today! Whether you choose one of these popular deck designs or something totally new, we will help you turn your backyard dream into a designer deck reality!

Decking the Halls for Winter & Fall: Harmony’s Top Cold Weather Decorating Tips

Have you already worked with Harmony Decking to build the outdoor space of your dreams? If so, you’ve probably got one of the best looking houses on your street. Still, decorating for the holidays can be one of the most fun parts of having a deck. We put together a list of our top cold weather decorating tips so you can be sure to have the snazziest outdoor space on your block. 

top cold weather decorating tips

Flora

The time for pumpkin carving may have come and gone. However, there are still plenty of seasonal flowers, gourds, and other natural decorations that you can use to spruce up your space. 

Furniture

There’s no point of having a nicely decorated deck if you don’t have a space to enjoy it! Has your regular outdoor furniture has already been stored for the winter? A simple bench or rocking chair can add a nice cozy touch and give you a place to hang out during the last few warm days of the year. 

Front Door

While it may not technically be a part of your deck, the front door is quite literally the first thing that any guest sees when they visit your home. Neutrals like brown and grey can feel appropriate at the time, but will quickly grow to appear sad and dull. Consider choosing a fun color like vibrant red or royal blue. This will give your home some personality even after your decorations are put away. 

Festive Lights

Traditional red and green Christmas lights can feel a bit tacky if hung up too early. However, you can’t go wrong with a simple string of white or cream icicle lights dangling from your deck railing. Sparkly like freshly fallen snow, these festive lights are seasonal – making them the perfect deck decoration as long as it’s cold enough for snow!

Of course no decorations will look their best if the deck underneath is in shambles. Sweep your deck free of debris, add a fresh coat of paint if necessary, and contact Harmony Decking if there are any serious underlying issues. 

Don’t have a deck yet? We can fix that! Give us a call and we’ll get started helping you create the outdoor living space of your dreams!

How To Care For Your Deck This Fall

Fall has finally arrived and, while many of us are still taking advantage of the mild temperatures, it’s important to pay extra attention to the care of your deck in the fall to ensure that it is ready for winter. Proper treatment in fall is the best way to ensure that your deck is in tip top shape once things start to warm up again in the spring. 

fall deck care

3 Fall Deck Care Tips

Keep it Clean

It may be pretty to watch the changing leaves fall and gather on your deck, but it is vital that you remove them promptly before they can cause damage. Piles of leaves combined with autumn rain and moisture can lead to mold and mildew buildup that you may not notice until it’s too late. A quick sweep followed by a light scrub with soap and water is all it takes to keep your deck clean and clear this fall. 

How’s the Stain?

Aside from keeping your deck the color you’ve chosen, stain helps protect your deck from sun and water. Stains aren’t a one and done deal however, and should be applied every 3-4 years for optimal results. Early fall is the perfect time to stain your deck to keep it protected for the winter. 

Is Everything Secure? 

After every major deck season it’s a good idea to give your deck a onceover. Are your railings sturdy or have they come loose? Are there any boards that are wobbly or creaky? Is your deck properly attached to your home? A quick assessment of your deck and its parts is an easy way to catch any structural problems before it’s too late. 

Something Wrong? Let Harmony Decking Help You Fix It!These tips are simple enough for any homeowner to follow but if you run into a problem, don’t hesitate to give Harmony Decking a call! If you want to learn more about Harmony Decking or have a problem that needs work, you can contact us at 215-290-7727. Let us help you with all your deck work this fall!

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.