Burlington Decks:
Design and Planning Tips

There are many different ways one can landscape and design a backyard in Burlington. Decks are a popular choice. Perhaps the most important and used space, is the gathering area. During the warmer seasons, the outdoor gathering area is of course where all the fun parties and celebrations take place, meals are cooked, and birthday songs are sung. Backyard decks offer a warm and cozy feel and when properly built, are a long lasting solution. When choosing a Burlington deck builder, one must be cognisant of many things that will add to the longevity and functionality of the deck.

Wood Type and Decking


There are many different styles and designs to choose from when planning out a deck. Burlington residents typically live in houses or town-houses which allow for creative options. One of the first and most important factors, is the decking (what you walk on) and wood type (structure). There are various types of wood and decking on the market, each with a different price tag. One thing to keep in mind, when doing a budget, is the type of wood you will use for your deck. Burlington lumber stores have varying prices but generally speaking, there are different tiers (types) of wood.

Pressure-treated lumber and cedar are commonly used to build the structure of the deck, and have been a popular choice for many years. Many Burlington decks have been built with this type of wood and there are numerous examples in every neighbourhood. Cedar is considered a softer wood and has been used by many a deck contractor for generations. Pressure-treated lumber (often pine), is a comparatively newer product that includes the spraying of chemicals to increase lumber longevity. Traditionally pressure-treated lumber came in a green shade but has recently shifted to a more natural looking brown, or “Sienna.” The newer MicroPro Sienna offers a robust finished look which better compliments furniture and decorative finishes on decks. Burlington Sienna-based decks are on the rise.

Both cedar and pressure-treated lumber can used for decking. Decking is defined simply as the “top boards,” or boards which are visually apparent on decks. Burlington has many decks built with pressure-treated wood. An alternative option is to use composite decking. Many contractors have been building Burlington decks with this material over the years since its introduction in the 90s. Composite deck boards are typically made of recycled materials - wood, sawdust and plastic film - and are environmentally friendly. Because of their composite nature, there are more offerings in shade, colour, and style and many varieties can be seen in Burlington. Decks built from composite are lower in maintenance compared to real wood. When budgeting a deck, pressure-treated is the most cost effective option. Cedar is slightly higher, and decks with a composite finish are the most expensive.

Privacy

An important factor to consider when building a deck, is privacy. Many Burlington decks directly face each other, and home owners realize this later than they originally would have liked. When building a deck in Burlington, the walking height plays an integral role in privacy. If your back door is more than 2' off the ground, it is important to consider some factors. Some important questions to think about are: “How close will my finished deck installation be to my neighbour’s deck/patio?” “Will I be able to see my neighbours?” “Will my neighbours be able to see me?” If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, some extra privacy planning is warranted. Burlington decks and their related height are important to think about, especially in congested areas. While you cannot change the height of your back door, a simple privacy solution may be effective. One way to add privacy to your deck is build a lattice screen. A lattice screen will give you the privacy you desire without comprising an “open feel.” This works well on raised (higher) decks. Burlington residents who want creative and cost-effective solutions typically do this. The lattice screen and can be built in as a railing or siding. An alternative to this would be shrubbery; particularly cedars. Cedars can be planted fully grown, along the side of a fence, to produce a private and serene effect. The good news is you will likely only have to implement these privacy solutions on one side of your deck.

Sunlight and Exposure


Exposure plays a key role in any backyard experience. As it's mostly suburban, Burlington decks face all directions so it is good to note the times in which the sun will be in your backyard. If you have an eastern exposure, the sun will rise and give you breakfast sunshine. If you have a western exposure, the sun will creep into your yard later in the day and set. During the winter months the sun exposure can be an afterthought. During the summer months, exposure is important to consider as the heat can be unbearable. A family BBQ in the evening without the proper shade would be uncomfortable to all. At Kasty Landscaping we recommend a pergola or roof tie-in to create shade on decks. Burlington decks can be accommodated with these structures at a later date, but it is always best to plan ahead of time with a deck company, before the construction phase begins.

Maintenance


With every deck and material type comes long-term care and maintenance. Burlington decks are a long-term investment which is seasonally used, yet is exposed to the elements year around. Wood and composite materials have varying degrees of maintenance. A stain can be used to enhance the colour and shade for wood decks. Burlington has many speciality stores which offer numerous options. One thing to note however, is once you commit to staining your deck, it needs to be done annually. However, a wood deck can be left unstained (natural) indefinitely. Composite decking has less maintenance and a good annual power wash will typically do the trick. For more questions about Burlington decks, maintenance, or quotes feel free to contact us.