<span>April 2017</span>

  • How to Prep Pinewood Lumber to Use as Decking

    Pinewood lumber can be used for many applications. After pine is cut, the wood can be assembled into a piece of furniture, made into a derby car, fabricated into another form, or be used as decking. However, it must be painted, varnished or lacquered to preserve the finish to keep from rotting. Regardless of the final product, pinewood is susceptible to not only rot but to stains and other markings. Sealing pinewood and drying it properly will protect it. Although pine can be purchased pre-treated, some adventurous do-it-yourself types enjoy prepping the wood.

    Pinewood Deck Benefits

    Like any other material, there are different ways to customize a wood deck to really make it your own. Homeowners have many choices when it comes to deck materials, such as redwood and composite. But pinewood is also a great choice because of the benefits it offers. Unlike other types of wood, pine is significantly less expensive due to its ubiquity. It’s also easy to maintain, when properly treated. This is why so many homeowners choose pressurized, pre-treated pinewood. True treated pine can last between 10 and 15 years, with minimal maintenance.

    For many reasons like durability, low-cost and safety, treated pine decking is becoming more and more popular. The attempt to make decks long-lasting, economical and safer lead to the evolution of the science behind treated pine. Many people might prefer redwood or cedar for their deck but using treated pine you can have the same benefits or even more, and it is a lot cheaper than the other options. —Do It

    Pine also boasts a rustic aesthetic, with its many knots and rough edges. What’s more, pine is very eco-friendly. Even when treated, pine doesn’t pollute and can safely be burned at the end of its lifespan. A huge advantage pine has over other types of wood is its ability to absorb less heat and remains cool. That alone is a great combination to have during those long hot, summer days in Florida. Besides, installing a deck is just one of many fall landscaping ideas.

    How to Prep Pinewood Lumber to Use as Decking

    It is best to purchase pre-treated pine lumber for your deck but you can prep the wood on your own, if you like. The advantage of buying pre-treated is the wood is pressurized, maximizing the treatment applications, causing the lumber to last longer, even under heavy use conditions. But, you can prep it yourself by doing the following:

    • Place all the pine in one room. Choose a room or space that is dry and dust free as possible. You can use a garage, shed or another type of climate controlled space. It’s got to be free of floating debris and well-ventilated.
    • Begin to prep the pine lumber. Lay newspaper out over a table, then set the pinewood lumber or assembly on the newspaper. Leave the paint, lacquer or varnish to dry on the bare pinewood. Do not attach any metal or plastic hardware at this juncture or you may smudge the finish.
    • Apply paint, varnish, or lacquer. Consult the label on the paint, varnish or lacquer for the manufacturer’s suggested drying time. Be sure to apply two to three coats, allowing each ample time to dry.
    • Wait until the treatment dries completely. Set a timer to go off for the appropriate time — this may be as little as 30 minutes or as long as 48 hours. Do not rush the process or it won’t result in a lasting deck board product.
    • Test the pine lumber to ensure it’s ready to-go. Gently touch the pinewood with the tip of one finger after the timer has sounded. If it is tacky, allow to dry longer and check periodically until the finish dries completely.
    • Build your base and install the pinewood over it. Once the pinewood is treated, you can then build the deck base, using whatever material you prefer. It’s usually best to go with wood but you can also use other types of materials. When the base is complete, you can install the pine on top of it to finish.

    If it’s time to update your landscape or add more features, like a new deck, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are a full-service, professional landscape design company and serve all of Sarasota, including near Bayfront Drive, around Rolling Green Golf Club, along Longboat Club Road, and elsewhere.

  • 10 Ways to Customize a Wood Deck

    There are several ways to customize a wood deck and most of these improvements are quite inexpensive. If your home needs some pizzazz, you can refresh it by restaining your wood deck and adding some nice, useful features. With a little bit of effort and some imagination, your outdoor living space will transform into an enviable oasis.

    If you want to improve your deck simply and quickly, there are plenty of options. Before you get started, take time to clear it off and then give it a good cleaning. Just use soap and water with a long handle scrub brush to brush away the grime and surface debris. After it dries, make any necessary repairs, like replacing worn planks, filling in holes, and replacing missing fasteners.

    A deck is a great way to add low-cost living area. A professionally installed deck costs about $25 to $35 per square foot, compared to the $100 to $200 (and up) per square foot cost of an enclosed addition. You can ensure you’re getting the most from this smart investment with low-cost add-ons and special features that increase your deck’s appeal, and that will make your deck one of your home’s most enjoyable living spaces. –House

    Now your deck is clean and clear, it’s easier to reimagine its look and function. The sky’s the limit when it comes to these types of home improvement projects and you’ll have a plethora of choices. But don’t get overwhelmed. Think about how you currently use it, how you want to repurpose its use, or blend old with new. If you don’t know where to begin, here are ten ways to customize a wood deck you can use as inspiration:

    1. Stain or paint it. For nearly instant transformation, stain or paint your deck. Choose a color complementary to your home and landscape. If you want bold, go for it and paint “tiles,” by choosing two colors and painting squares around the floor. Another option is to pick to shades of stain and alternate.
    2. Add creature comforts. A few chairs, a couch, and some pillows give it a homey feel while adding color and style. If you already have furniture, consider swapping it out or purchasing new covers for it to give it a new lease on life. Add an ottoman or two or more for dual use as foot rests and convenience tables.
    3. Erect a pergola. A fancy upgrade is erecting a pergola. This works well in a corner or over the entry/exit of your home. Place furniture or a seating table underneath and give it more aesthetics with rambling vines sprawling over the top.
    4. Add lighting. Install deck lighting to provide decorative illumination that will look great after the sun goes down. Deck lighting also provides the ability to use your deck during the evening hours and adds beauty to your home’s exterior.
    5. Install a privacy lattice. A privacy lattice is a great way to create a visual boundary that also serves as an aesthetic feature. You can stain or paint it to match or as a complementary color scheme for your outdoor space and landscape design elements.
    6. Build a wrap-around bench. A great way to add both function and style is to build a wrap-around bench. This feature provides family and guests a place to relax and can also be painted or stained with a complementary color scheme for your home’s exterior and/or landscape design elements.
    7. Put-up a green privacy wall. Put-up a lattice lined with colorful plants to create a green privacy wall. This provides a stunning visual boundary and can incorporate your landscape design features in the rest of your yard.
    8. Hang planter boxes. A very easy to install feature are planter boxes. Hang these from the rail of your deck on one or both sides, spacing them evenly apart. Plant simple to care for flowers with plenty of color to create great accent pieces.
    9. Set-up a long dining table. If you have the room to accommodate a long dining table, go for it and use it as a centerpiece. When you entertain guests, put out your best dinnerware, complete with a tablecloth for a sophisticated look; or, go come as you are casual with a picnic setup.
    10. Install an entertainment system. To provide entertainment to you family and guests, install a television and sound system. A sound system alone works best because it provides background and creates a mood to experience and enjoy without monopolizing people’s attention.

    If it’s time to improve your home with a new deck or to refurbish an existing deck, contact us. We are a full-service, professional landscape design company and serve all of Sarasota, including near Bayfront Drive, around Rolling Green Golf Club, along Longboat Club Road, and elsewhere.

  • How to Do Pool Patio Refinishing Prep

    Here in Sarasota, and across the Sunshine State peninsula, swimming pools are quite common, creature-comfort home amenities. The balmy, warm, subtropical like climate suits this recreation feature perfectly, and, because there’s an abundance of sunshine and hot days, pools can be used most of the calendar year.

    Swimming pools are generally works of art. These not only are a great source of cool enjoyment, but also, help to complement the landscaping, and, the home itself. Designed in a variety of materials, shapes, and colors, pools can be simple or exotic. What’s more, these can be customized to accommodate almost any yard, and, nearly regardless of its configuration.

    Though a pool is a welcome escape from the heat and makes an ideal place to relax and entertain, the surrounding patio will endure a lot of wear and tear. This is due not only to the heat and sunlight, but also, inclement weather, and normal use. Eventually, there are unmistakable signs a pool patio is ready to be refinished.

    Types of Pool Patio Resurfacing

    One concern of many homeowners facing pool patio resurfacing comes-in right alongside of cost: type. When a patio is refinished or resurfaced, it doesn’t necessarily have to be the same as the original. Homeowners can elect to put-in a different type of surface for a fresh, new look. Another piece of good news is that there are quite a few varieties of materials and designs. What was a plain, boring pool patio can be transformed into something eye-catching and spectacular.

    Taking the time to resurface a concrete pool deck will instantly bring a renewed and enhanced sense of beauty to your backyard and the costs for resurfacing are far less than the costs of replacing old concrete pool decks with new concrete. Anyone can hire an independent contractor to resurface a pool deck but unknown to many people, the job of swimming pool resurfacing is quite manageable for most motivated DIY homeowners. —

    This seemingly inconvenient predicament provides the opportunity to add color, style, and even function to your outdoor area. You can choose concrete as a finish, which is one of the most popular, and, most versatile available. Concrete allows for stamping, a process which produces a finish, like rock, brick, stone, wood, marble, tile, or practically any other kind. For those wishing to splurge on their pool patio refinish, flagstone, slate or brick are options, but are among the most expensive. Unlike concrete, these are authentic materials and perform quite well over their lifetime. Tile is one of the least expensive options, but, it’s not necessarily as exotic durable as other materials.

    Pool Patio Refinishing Prep Guide

    Once you’ve chosen the finishing material, you’ll need to prepare the area for resurfacing. It’s important to keep children and pets away from your outdoor space during the process to keep them safe. While prepping the area might not seem like a big deal, it will save you money on the resurface cost. You should set aside some time to have this done in advance of resurfacing. Here’s a quick guide on how to prepare a pool patio for refinishing:

    • Clear the area completely. Refinishing takes a significant amount of time and work-space to complete. Because many patios are at a premium for space, you’ll have to relocate all outdoor furniture and anything else, like grills and fire pits. This is not only to prevent tripping hazards, but also, to protect your patio furniture and other items.
    • Cover your pool thoroughly. Resurfacing broadcasts dust and other debris particles all over, far and wide. To protect your pool water and filtration system, it’s necessary to cover it completely. There’s no reason to chance debris shards wreaking havoc on your pump and filter. A right-sized pool cover will be the best option to protect your pool and maintenance equipment.
    • Clean off any loose debris. After the pool is completely covered, it’s time to clean the patio thoroughly. You can use a broom or leaf blower first, then, use a garden hose or a power washer. Be cautious about spraying a worn patio surface with a pressure washer because it might dislodge large debris.
    • Repair any cracks and chips. If there are any cracks or chips, these will need to be repaired prior to applying the finishing material. There are many commercial repair kits on the market which are designed for different surfaces. Be sure to use one that will work on your patio and to follow the manufacturer’s application instructions carefully. Allow ample time to set and dry before proceeding with refinishing.

    It’s highly recommended you don’t attempt to tackle the entire project yourself. Refinishing requires a lot of experience and the right equipment. If you try to resurface the patio yourself, you could well inadvertently cause serious and costly damage. It’s best to hire a licensed contractor for this type of work.