Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Etobicoke - Toronto Cedar Decks

More Cedar decks in Etobicoke, (part of Toronto Ontario). This deck was designed by Lawrence and built by Luke Simonovski and Crew. The deck we replaced was 3 levels and was poorly planned. A narrow upper platform and another narrow platform below made it too cramped for furniture.

Privacy screens work well to create a sense of privacy even though the neighbours are only a few feet away. By adding found objects or art sculpture you can personalize these blank panels and make it feel more like the interior of your home.

These decks have plenty of space for furniture and still maintain traffic flow.  The pergola is designed for a future retractable canopy system. There is still a nook in the far corner designed for housing a hot tub in the future.

Dropping the level of the deck and maintaining the barbecue area up top means a larger lower platform. When you want to build beautiful decks in Toronto Please call us at (416) 951-9998. Everywhere else, please call (888) 293-8938

To see more photos of these Toronto Decks click here.

To see more photos of our decks click here

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stairs with No Screws?

Here's a new twist on stairs...  No fasteners. Well, not very many anyways.

When I was looking at this deck in Muskoka, I nearly missed this. Normally I am pretty quick on the critiques, but it was one of the last things I noticed. The deck did look fairly good, and it was a new build. Ford had it's better idea... (the Pinto).
Chev had it's better idea... (the Vega)

And this carpenter's better idea, gluing stairs together with flooring adhesive... YIKES!

 There are a few finishing nails to hold the outer stringers on until the glue sets... but the only screws, (which shouldn't be used for stairs anyhow), were toenailed into the stringers 1 per plank.

Please don't try this at home people... VERY DANGEROUS to mess with stairs when you don't have a clue what you are doing. I know, not a fair statement. This guy knew enough to build a beautiful deck, and the only flaw other than the stairs that I could find were a few odd spaced joists and some joist hangers that are too small. He won't know that the glued stringers idea didn't work...because he ran off with the client's money. That's why I was there--they had me price finishing the rails. I designed a nice system for the rails that matched the log home rather nicely if I don't say so myself!

So, to sum up, as wood expands and contracts glue will separate on exterior work. Wood shrinks in all directions. Unless the grains are aligned and you use marine epoxy... glue will release. These stairs will come tumbling down, maybe not this year... but likely within 3. 

When stairs collapse it nearly always ends in injury...and they nearly always collapse when someone of size is using them, which makes the injury worse.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Life Time Lumber-- Out of Business

Another Composite Decking Company has closed it's doors. Two months ago they sent us samples... and today, they are out of business.  The website is gone... I guess warranty service isn't an issue, unless the composite decking you bought from these guys doesn't live up to expectations. In that case--you have no warranty--sorry.

 Composite decking companies seem to come and go. If anyone knows of a site keeping score of composite decking company failures, please let me know about it.

Life Time Lumber has closed up shop and their manufacturing facility is winding up production.  This company had actually constructed pergolas out of the materials so it had peaked my interest. Unfortunately the samples (delivered by UPS ) were damaged during the shipping process even though they were bubble wrapped.

The material was extremely heavy and also very soft. It reminds me of MDO in structure and I am not convinced that material will work very well for exterior work that is exposed to potential damage.

I was going to do a little experiment... hanging a concrete block off double rafters for a couple of seasons to measure it's structural strength. I guess they saved me time by going out of business.

Nice knowing you Life Time Lumber--


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Copper Post Caps or Cheap Immitation?

I suspected it, and yes, it is pretty much impossible to create copper clad post caps for $20.

As you can see the copper... is peeling off. Copper does not de-laminate from the cheap tin core like this post cap is doing.

These beautiful and inexpensive copper topped post caps you find at the big box stores are not what they seem. They are anodized coatings that eventually corrode off and leave you with the cheap tin top you paid for. There are authentic copper caps available from specialty retailers, but be careful. you can test them by scratching the finish in an unobtrusive place. Real copper will be the same color inside as it is on the outer surface.

You can expect to pay $35 or more for authentic copper caps. Copper caps will turn a green patina as they oxidize and they don't rot...unless you have 3 or 4 hundred years to wait.

When it comes to copper clad post caps...if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.