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Transform Your Backyard by Renovating Your Deck

Transform Your Backyard by Renovating Your Deck

Exterior renovationsTransform Your Backyard by Renovating Your Deck

In Quebec, summertime is short-lived. Since we want to enjoy it as much as possible, we rarely hesitate to make our backyards a full-on, outdoor living space. No matter the design or layout, a patio or deck remains the centrepiece. This versatile space can be used as a living room, a dining room, and a remote office. Six months out of the year, it’s a household fan favourite. Since it has an expiration date, your deck might have lost its charm or is no longer suitable in size or location.

Have you decided to revamp your old deck to make it into a comfortable living space? It’ll likely be a decision you won’t regret any soon. As such, in this article, you’ll find valuable tips to ensure your project is a success!

Rebuild or Renovate Your Deck?

build or renovate your deck

Source: Canva

Now, that’s quite a question! For an answer, ask yourself the following:

  • Is the deck’s structural component in good condition? Has the formwork reached the end of its service life? Is simply replacing or staining the platform enough to give it a second wind? 

  • Is your deck's design outdated?

  • Is the size of the surface area meeting your current needs? Does its size call into question the kid's dream of having a swimming pool? Is there enough room to eat as a whole family?

  • Was the deck’s layout well-thought-out? Does it allow for some privacy? Is it too exposed to sunlight or constantly in the shade?

  • Are you spending too much time and energy on maintenance?

If you’ve answered the majority of these questions without pausing, it’s highly likely that you’ve already made up your mind. So, what’s the verdict? To renovate or to start anew?

Building and Designing a New Deck

build or renovate your deck

Source: Canva

You’ve decided to go with building a new deck? Before jumpstarting the project, take some time to thoroughly define the purpose of your future outdoor living space.

Long-term planning

Don’t limit yourself to a simple deck sketch. Use your layout plan to map out the yard’s entire design, just as you would imagine the final outcome. If you’re planning on adding a pool in 5 years, add it to your plan. Indicate where your shed, trees, garden, flower beds, and kids’ play area will be. Present or future!

Define your dream deck’s dimensions

Also, think about what kind of patio furniture you’d like to have. If you’re considering purchasing a sectional to suit the whole family or designing an outdoor kitchen to wow your friends, your deck plan will have to feature those elements. 

Cast your deck into the landscape 

By taking into consideration the land in question, it allows you to seamlessly integrate a deck into a backyard. We often tend to limit ourselves to simple, straightforward shapes and a simple platform decked out with basic steps. However, from your new deck, you get to appreciate your backyard. Are you hoping to settle in and look after the kids while they’re playing, or access the pool area within a few feet?

If your yard is uneven, take advantage of the situation by designing different platform levels. A first platform could serve as a dining area, the next one as a lounge area!

How to Coat or Renovate a Deck

build or renovate your deck

Source: Canva

Replacing the deck platform

Are you the owner of a deck with damaged, partially missing, or rotten boards? If the posts are pretty solid and their size meets your needs, you can simply replace the platform (surface on which you tread). There’s a wide range of materials you can use to replace your decking: cedar, teak, composite, fibreglass, etc. Learn about the pros and cons of the different materials in the section below.

Restoring a deck platform

The task is made far easier if the deck’s structural components and platform are still in good condition. To revamp your deck, simply clean it with a degreaser, then lightly sand the surface prior to staining or painting the wood to add a protective layer. 

We love a good…

Liquid penetrant

This category of products groups natural oils, oil-in-water emulsions, and concentrate treatments that seep into the wood’s grain without leaving any visible traces behind. 

Since the wood is protected from within, its nice and natural appearance and wood grain are highlighted. And, as a bonus, such a product doesn’t peel or chip. Albeit expensive, product durability and easy maintenance make for winning options.

Instant Barn Wood and LifeTime wood treatments

Two note-worthy products! Both economical and ecological, they’re perfect for homeowners who like wood, but not necessarily the workload that comes with it. 

Available in powder form, you simply have to mix the products with water. One or two coats are enough to protect your wood for its entire service life. Based on the essence used, you’ll obtain a pretty grey or brown colour. The result will be immediate for Instant Barn Wood products, while with LifeTime, the colour will settle after a few weeks. 

 

What type of decking should you use in Canada?

build or renovate your deck

Source: Canva

The beauty of a deck is that it can come in various shapes and sizes to please any and all. The formwork is typically made with treated wood, however, when it comes to the platform, the choice is yours, and they certainly aren’t lacking!

Here’s a short guide that’ll allow you to compare the pros and cons of various materials.

Wood decking

A staple in most yards on the East Coast, the wooden deck is timeless and suits any décor. Eastern white pine, Western red cedar, Ipe, teak, torrified or treated wood, there’s something for all tastes and budgets. 

Treated wood

Mainly made with Eastern white pine, it’s the most-used material when it comes to building decks in the province of Quebec. 

Pros

  • Cheapest option

  • Easy to work

  • Mould- and humidity-resistant

  • Bug-proof

  • Sturdy

  • Can be painted or stained

Cons

  • Relatively short service life (about 10 years)

  • Needs regular maintenance (coat of stain every 3-5 years)

  • Contains environmentally harmful chemicals 

 

Torrefied wood 

It’s a wood that’s heated at extremely high temperatures for the purpose of altering its properties. 

Pros

  • Devoid of chemical products

  • Aesthetic

  • Super trendy

Cons

  • Tends to fade from sun exposure

  • Needs special and regular maintenance

 

Exotic wood (Ipe or teak)

Exotic woods like teak and Ipe are perfect for decks or terraces since they’re incredibly resistant to adverse weather, UV rays, and humidity. However, they’re more expensive than regional wood and necessitate regular maintenance. 

Pros

  • Undeniable beauty

  • Mould- and humidity-resistant

  • Bug-proof

  • Sturdy 

  • Very durable (50 years)

  • Distinctive product

  • Fireproof

  • Rich nuances

Cons

  • Must be imported 

  • Very expensive

  • Requires good working tools

  • Varying availability

 

Western red cedar

Super trendy right now, Western red cedar is a great compromise for those looking for a high-end, distinctive product originating from Canada.

Pros

  • Sought-after look

  • Wood grain uniformity

  • Requires little maintenance

  • Naturally mould-resistant

  • Insect repellent

  • Sturdy 

  • Durable

  • Smells nice

  • Beautiful natural colouring

Cons

  • A lot more expensive than treated wood

  • UV-vulnerable

  • Turns greyish if not protected or stained regularly

  • Spots easily when heavy objects land on its surface

 

Composite wood

Composite wood is made with a combination of wood fibres, recycled plastics, and synthetic polymers.

Pros

  • High-end

  • Rot-proof and humidity-resistant

  • Bug-proof

  • Durable (over 25 years)

  • Wide range of colours

  • Available in various finishes

  • Basically maintenance-free

Cons

  • Elevated price point

  • Can’t change the colour

  • Expands or shrinks when exposed to humidity

  • Becomes very hot in the sun

  • Must be professionally installed

 

Fibreglass

A synthetic surface that will appeal to those who are looking for a hassle-free option.

Pros

  • Low maintenance

  • Uniform

  • Durable (20- 25 years)

  • Rot-proof

  • Bug-proof

  • Corrosion-proof

  • For both commercial spaces and plexes

  • Freeze-thaw-proof

  • Available in various nuances and finishes

Cons

  • Can crack when exposed to heat

  • Can’t be recycled

  • Slippery in winter

  • Gets really hot in summer

  • Can stain due to rust

  • Items left in place for too long a period can cause a change in colour

  • Must be professionally installed

PVC membrane

PVC membranes are a great way to renovate a deck. They’re stormproof and can be installed quickly and easily. 

Pros

  • Tried and tested

  • Different colour choices

  • Waterproof

  • Wearproof

  • Calcium- and chlorine-resistant

  • Different choices for Jacuzzi and pools

  • Non-slip

  • UV ray-resistant once treated

  • Easy on the feet

  • Doesn’t get too warm when exposed to the sun’s rays

Cons

  • Limited durability (10-15 years)

  • Especially vulnerable to cold weather

Aluminum

Aluminum is an affordable and durable option when it comes to renovating a deck. It’s a lightweight, durable metal that’s storm- and UV-proof. It doesn’t require paint and is especially easy to clean and maintain.

Pros

  • Rust-resistant

  • Doesn’t warp

  • Doesn’t split or crack

  • Durable

  • Not really vulnerable to temperature changes

  • Lightweight

  • Sturdy

  • Easier to install than other products

Cons

  • Quite expensive

Deck Renovation Ideas in Canada

build and renovate your deck

Source: Canva

  • Integrate plants. Besides potted flowers, one can add climbers and vines for a super trendy green wall: rose bushes, hydrangeas, or honeysuckles. 

  • Zen patio. Enjoy the soothing sound of water by adding a fountain!

  • Focus on lighting. Lanterns, retro bulbs, integrated lights, wall lights, string lights, lamp posts, etc. 

  • Add a privacy screen.

  • Organize the vertical space with shelves, trellises, planters, etc.

  • Divide up the space with a dining area, an outdoor kitchen, a lounge area, etc.

  • Add a pergola embellished with veils, resort-like!

  • Create a container garden on your deck with large planters or pots of various sizes…

  • Take your plants outside. They’ll add some life to your deck and thrive in the sunlight and fresh air. 

  • Add a few palm trees for a more tropical look!

How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Outdoor Deck Space

build or renovate your deck

Source: Canva

Now that you’ve selected a deck design and materials, and have obtained your permit, you’re ready to jumpstart the work. 

To prevent your deck project from turning into a nightmare, you need to find a contractor that’ll be able to carry out the work to your satisfaction. Here are a few tips to help you find the right one.

  • Ask around. Talk to people you know, relatives, friends, neighbours, and office colleagues. They may be able to recommend a professional. If one of them has recently dealt with a contractor, check out their latest projects!

  • Check out the CAA’s Approved Residential Suppliers list and NetCertification. You’ll find several certified contractors. To get the “recommended” label, the latter must have proved their excellence. 

  • Contact the Office de la protection du consommateur (Bureau of Consumer Protection). This government organization will allow you to obtain information on the contractor you’re looking to hire, specifically if they were subject to legal action. 

  • Check whether the contractor has a Régie du bâtiment du Québec licence. The latter certifies that the company is operating legally and has the appropriate qualifications to carry out your project.

  • Ask previous clients about their satisfaction. If the contractor agrees to give you their contact information, it's already a good sign!

How to Calculate the Cost of a Deck/Patio

build or renovate your deck

Source: Canva

It’s quite difficult to provide exact numbers when it comes to the cost of building a deck/patio. Costs will vary based on the chosen materials, surface, deck’s height, and structure (screw piles, cinder blocks, Sonotubes), but especially based on the contractor’s fee.

Even if you don't particularly want to, getting together with different industry professionals to compare quotes is essential!

Here are some ballpark numbers (based on the cost of the chosen deck construction materials).

  • Treated wood: $25-$30 per square foot 

  • Western red cedar: $33-$35 per square foot

  • Composite: $50-$60 per square foot

  • Fibreglass: $36-$48 per square foot

Get 3 quotes for your deck renovation project

RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your deck and balcony project. By submitting your project, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

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Last modified 2024-04-17

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