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The natural pool is a trend that first began in Europe but has recently made its way to North America and other parts of the globe. It’s appealing in a way you may have guessed; instead of being filled with chlorine and chemicals, these pools are filtered organically.
The water is cleaned by a small pool with a gravel filter or specific plants that make up a constructed wetland, a process similar to what happens in nature.
Of course, owning a natural pool may sound like a dream, but what are the practicalities of this project? This article will look a little closer at how they function, their pros and cons, and what it means to own one.
A natural pool doesn’t need to be surrounded by rocks, tall grass and trees to be considered natural. In fact, they can resemble your average inground pool without all those chemicals. As mentioned in our introduction, these pools use a natural filtration method.
A smaller pool called a regeneration zone is built in an area close by and this zone will house the gravel filter or a bunch of plants specifically chosen for their filtration abilities. Your natural pool and the regeneration zone will create a small ecosystem that attracts insects and animals alike, as time passes the ecosystem will grow and change.
This type of pool will not be compatible with every home or homeowner, and thus it’s important to examine the pros and cons of owning a natural pool.
Owning a pool of this type is very different from dunking in a cold, chlorinated pool on a long hot day. Luckily, with this type of pool, you’ll be able to avoid dry skin and hair as well as irritated eyes and the immediate need to take a shower. Here are some of the pros to owning a natural pool:
Now that we’ve looked at all of the wonderful benefits of owning a natural pool, let’s break down some of the cons we may need to deal with:
Now that we have a good idea of the implications of installing this kind of pool, it's time to learn a little more about how it works.
As you may have guessed, natural pool function by mimicking nature. As mentioned, this pool has two separate zones: one for swimming and one for filtration. Its design can vary greatly when compared with others and this includes its size and ratio. However, the minimum recommended size is 30 to 50 square meters, so if you’re going to install this style pool on your property, you’ll need the space for it.
Smaller pools can still function but aren’t as widely used. The reason for this is that a larger pool area will avoid algae growth, in smaller pools the growth of algae is more likely.
Another note is that excess sun will promote algae growth. Thus, we’d recommend placing your pool in a shaded area if possible. Shaded areas will also work to protect any life in the regeneration zone. The depth of your pool should live somewhere between 1 and 2 meters. A deeper pool will be cooler, so consider the depth in terms of your personal needs and your climate.
It’ll depend on the size of your pool, but the zone for swimming will generally comprise between 50 to 70% of the total water surface area. The rest of the pool will be shallow areas dedicated to filtration, water is pumped into these zones where natural plant life works to keep your water clean. Now, you’ll need to make sure pool pH levels are between 5.5 and 7 so that plant life can survive and thrive.
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It’s important to note that maintaining a natural pool is nothing like maintaining a chlorinated pool. We can consider this type of pool much like a garden, and thus it will need tending to and love to do well. The type of maintenance you’ll need to perform will depend on the size, depth and placement of your pool. Towards the end of the season, you should complete many tasks.
First of all, prune any plants and use a skimmer net to remove excess organic materials from the water. Following this, you should cover your natural pool with a net so that any additional debris can’t find its way in. Next, make sure to drain and dismantle the pump you’re using to move water from the swimming area into the regeneration zone.
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Last modified 2023-06-20
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 21 Apr 2023
Buying an above-ground pool means enjoying the best of what the summer season has to offer, and that, on a daily basis. Although such an installation has many advantages, it may seem challenging at first to set up and blend in with your current landscape. However, with a little planning and the right material selection, you can create a design that'll complement your overall décor. As such, your pool is sure to please all generations for years to come. The first step towards achieving this vision is to build the actual pool deck. A deck isn't only practical and safe, but it's also an extension of the house, just like patios, porches, and balconies. Here are some pro tips and ideas to make the most of it. Advantages of Wood When Designing a Pool Deck Source: Canva When it comes to choosing pool decking, the first thing to look for is a water-resistant surface. Other features to look for are durability and structural strength. Given its intended use, it's also critical that the materials are foot-friendly, non-slip, and won't overheat in the sun. Wood is an excellent material to build a swimming pool deck. It's by far the material that has the most balanced combination of aesthetics, comfort, durability, and manageability. It's natural and warm, fits in with all architectural styles, and has a unique landscaping appeal. Pressure-treated wood or essences that are humidity-resistant—choose a product that’s both rot-proof and adapted to outdoor use. Our personal favourite: teak since it has an exotic feel to it! How to Build an Above-Ground Pool Deck Source: Canva When building a pool deck, careful planning is a must. While a small platform with steps is all you really need to access a pool, designing a more elaborate, but most importantly, well-thought-out layout, will allow you to fully enjoy the pool, as well as the entire backyard. Beyond its utilitarian factor, think big, consider all possibilities, and then dive right in! Think outside the box! When thinking of an above-ground pool deck, one usually pictures a structure surrounding the whole of the pool or simply a section of it. Beyond that, it can feature different levels, it can bridge the gap between the pool and the house, have a seating area or flower boxes, etc. A pool deck is also a convenient excuse to alter backyard lighting and build a privacy screen, or a pergola where you can hang curtains or veils much like a resort. Take advantage of your new structural element to customize it! Are you looking for experts for your deck or balcony project? Fill in our form to be connected to top-rated contractors! Pool Deck Building Steps Here’s a step-by-step guide to building a standard deck that’ll surround the entirety of your above-ground pool so you can benefit from a beautiful outdoor living space. Plan your project Measure the pool’s diameter and determine the dimensions of the deck. If your deck also doubles as a backyard patio, you may need to fence off the pool to meet municipal and government safety standards. Make sure the deck has enough room to easily walk on it without fear of falling into the water. Keep in mind that your deck will come in handy when you're doing any sort of pool maintenance. Make sure you have enough room to get around! Inquire as to the current standards; Shop around for plans; Request a permit from your municipality; Choose the pool decking. Build the structure Drive stakes into the ground and run a string from one stake to the other to determine the deck’s exterior perimeter. Build the foundation and install the treated wood posts around the pool. These will serve as the deck’s frame. Use a level and a carpenter’s square to correctly position the posts. Inside the deck’s frame, fit joists hangers every 40 cm (16 in). Affix the treated wood joists perpendicularly to the hangers. Install the braces diagonally to connect the interior stakes to the exterior ones. Install the decking Install the decking while ensuring there’s about a 1 cm clearance between the decking and the pool to account for a possible expansion. With a spacer, make sure the boards are equally spaced out to allow the water the drain and the wood to expand. With a circular saw, cut the end of any too-long boards to even them out. Build the steps and guardrails Install guardrails according to construction standards. Build the steps. You can use prefabricated stringers, which are sold in hardware stores. Make sure they’re positioned on the cinder blocks. That way, they’ll be protected against the moisture from the ground and won’t rot prematurely. For safety reasons, the steps leading to the deck must be equipped with a door and locking mechanism. For more information regarding a swimming pool installation, click here. Our Top Ideas for Extra Privacy on Your Pool Deck Source: Canva And there you have it! You can now really enjoy your pool! Are you already picturing yourself sunbathing on your deck? Even if you love your neighbours, it’s highly likely that you’d rather enjoy your backyard in total privacy. If the case may be, here are a few simple ideas that’ll allow you to fully (and in a mere instant) benefit from your outdoor space. Build a Fence or Privacy Screen These installations prevent onlookers from peering into your backyard and allow you to enjoy this oasis in complete peace and tranquillity. Planks, trellises, or even louver fences are great options. They can easily match the décor or be draped with climbing plants for a trendy green wall effect. Various types of vines grow quickly, but for floral options, try climbing hydrangeas, clematis, honeysuckles, or climbing roses. Pro tip: Install a fence yourself in no time with HOFT products. This brand of beautiful fences comes with a variety of accessories like planters, hooks, and shelves. We also really like Barrette Outdoor Living fences that combine metal posts with wood panels for a sleek look. Set Up a Pergola Source: Canva The pergola is a type of structure that can be customized in an infinite number of ways. You can give it a modern look with right angles and a black tint. Or, if you prefer a romantic flair, it can be painted white and decorated with beautifully shaped ends. As an added bonus, the structure can easily be used for climbing plants, hanging curtains, or wispy veils that'll catch in the slightest breeze. Most professionals offer their services when it comes to building your dream structure at home. Hardware stores and department stores also carry different pergola models. Pro tip: Toja Grid modular DIY pergola kits allow you to build the perfect triangular structure for your pool deck! Use Prefabricated Screen Panels Not looking to build anything? Hardware stores and garden centres sell great-looking prefabricated screen sections that are easy to install. Available in different materials and offered in various styles and colours, there's something for all tastes and budgets. For an exclusive product, use a province-based artisan or manufacturer. Prefabricated screen sections are an easy solution. They can be used as a one-off, two-piece unit, or at will.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 20 Apr 2023
One of the best ways to enjoy the sunshine during the summer is to have an outdoor living space. Decks and patios are two types of common constructions for that matter. However, it’s especially important to differentiate them from one another to figure out which one will work best in your backyard. Over the course of this article, learn all the must-know deck- and patio-building facts. What’s the difference between a patio and a deck? Source: Canva A deck and patio are two types of constructions that provide outdoor living space on a property. They enable numerous activities: gatherings between friends for a good meal, enjoying the sunshine, relaxing or fun family times, etc. Having a deck or patio is a significant asset that enhances the value of your property in the event of a resale. These two types of construction, though often merged as a single unit, have significant distinctions that may influence your decision to opt for one or the other. As a matter of fact, a patio is a construction that is typically found at ground level. It can also be elevated if your house happens to be on a slope. It can be built next to a house or anywhere else in your yard since it doesn’t require much structural support. For example, next to a pool, garden, etc. The most common building materials are concrete and stone. On the other hand, a deck is an elevated structure that’s often made of wood, concrete, composite materials, etc. This structure is most often attached to the house and supported by concrete footings or screw piles. Wooden decks can extend several feet above ground level and require adequate structural support beneath them. Pros and Cons of a Wooden Patio and Deck Both patios and decks alike are beneficial, however, they do have some drawbacks, which are listed here. Wooden Patio Source: Canva Pros The wooden patio is best known for its great durability and resistance. Wood is an ecological and timeless material that normally lasts between 10 and 50 years. It’s easy to work with and adds a warm and friendly atmosphere to the space altogether. Furthermore, a wooden patio is easy to dismantle if need be, and has an added privacy factor, unlike a deck. Cons The wooden patio is vulnerable to temperature changes. It can also be subject to rotting, cracks, and structural movement. Moreover, wood doesn’t suit uneven land and requires a lot of upkeep. You’ll need to regularly check the slat fasteners, planks, and steps. Are you looking for experts for your deck and balcony project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Wooden Deck Source: Canva Pros Wood decks have the advantage of benefiting from versatile design options. They can be built at ground level or according to a multi-level structure with steps. With its elevated configuration, it's ideal for panoramic views. Furthermore, wooden decks come in a plethora of colours that you can change after a few years if you wish to do so. If your deck is quite costly, it makes for an excellent investment that can result in up to 75% return on the initial investment in case you decide to put your property on the market for sale. Cons As above-mentioned, the wooden deck is very expensive. Its building materials can cost between $15 and $45 per square foot. It's especially susceptible to mould and is prone to rot if not maintained regularly. Also, note that an elevated wood deck reduces the amount of privacy offered by a fence or any other landscaping feature. Must-Know Facts About Building a Patio or Deck Source: Canva Whether you’re building a deck or a patio, it’s very important to plan your project ahead of time, prior to starting the work: Consult your municipality to educate yourself regarding the rules associated with building such a structure. Draw up a plan with the exact measurements of your deck or patio. This plan will help you determine the amount of materials needed. Consider the layout of the planks that will make up the floor. Would you rather them be diagonally positioned, perpendicular or parallel to that of your house? Consider the distance between each floor joist. Think about the disposition of your structure. Would you prefer it be independent of your house or anchored to it? For the latter, you’ll need to plan for the necessary material. Choose the materials according to their durability, your budget, and your personal preferences. Decide on accessories and type of finish to use (sealant, stain, or paint). Landscaping and Outdoor Design Ideas Source: Canva Here are a few patio or deck design ideas: Put up outdoor curtains to create a feeling of privacy for your deck or patio. Opt for outdoor rugs to create a cozy vibe. Deck out your seating area with cute, mismatched throw pillows for a trendy and modern look. Install string lights to give a fairytale-like feel to your layout. Go for rich colours like purple, red, and turquoise.
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 31 May 2023
Are you yearning for the ultimate outdoor experience this summer? Look no further than a patio or balcony awning, a perfect solution that fulfills both your practical requirements and aesthetic desires. By selecting the perfect model, you can revel in its multitude of advantages, basking in shade and protection from the scorching sun during heatwaves, while also reaping the benefits indoors as your AC unit enjoys a well-deserved respite. It's a great way to enhance both backyard space and home comfort. We'll walk you through the different models and the many options available to help you choose the one that suits both your outdoor space and your lifestyle. This summer, let your awning extend beyond your balcony or patio to delight your senses. Why install a balcony awning? Source: Canva Living in a region where summers never seem to stretch out long enough, a balcony awning allows people to spend more time outdoors. Come rain or shine, a balcony awning can turn your outdoor space into a wonderful little cocoon. It’s an undeniable value added to your outdoor space and it takes your patio game up to a whole other level. Why settle for merely decorating your deck when you could transform it into a whole new space that expands beyond the confines of your home? Your new outdoor dining area or living room could be the perfect place to gather with friends, but it could also be the perfect living space for the whole family. 7 Advantages of Having a Balcony Awning It’s an exceptionally comfortable space to relax or gather with guests. It personalizes your backyard and contributes to the uniqueness of the space. By shielding you from rain or sunshine, it allows you to fully benefit from the summer months. It’s a value added to your property. It’s a long-term investment: a well-maintained awning can easily last 15 to 20 years, 30 even. It envelops a part of your home with shade, helps keep rooms cooler, and saves you up to 17% on air-conditioning costs by creating zones of shade in certain areas in your home. In an exposed backyard, it adds a sense of privacy to your patio or deck, shielding you from prying eyes. How to Choose a Balcony Awning Source: Canva Before settling for one particular awning, you have to consider several factors, such as: The square footage to cover; Sun exposure; Wind strength. You also need to determine whether or not you want to use it as a shelter when it's raining. Consider whether you want it to be fixed or retractable, so you can enjoy the sun from time to time, or the starry night sky. Since there’s a wide range of models available on the market, it’s best to think over your decision to ensure you’re making the right choice based on your long-term needs. Don't buy one on a whim! Some flashy models may appeal to you at first, but may not meet your long-term needs. Keep in mind that it’s best to choose patterns and colours that blend in with the rest of your house—siding and style—rather than succumbing to a favourite that won’t necessarily, once the spell has worn off, meet your needs down the line! 5 Fan-Favourite Brands of Awnings Based on the space to cover and the property’s architecture, some brands could be a better fit compared to others. Here are a few brands that stand out from the crowd, awning-wise. Mitjavila Made in Quebec, Majavila awnings offer great flexibility and are available in various sizes, both manual and motorized. Also worth noting: they're easy to repair, if necessary. BAT Here’s an Italian best, a meticulously crafted model, with over 500 colours, variable slopes, and motors to suit all needs. The ultimate sun and rain protection. Corradi A high-quality, European-looking, retractable awning. It features a fixed, waterproof structure made of aluminum or exotic wood. While the colour scheme is rather limited, people still steer toward it due to its smartphone feature. Bellon With over 125 years of experience in the industry, Bellon offers its own exclusive brand, developed to meet the needs of residents of Quebec. This results in a wide range of fabrics and flexibility in terms of awning slope. Bellon also offers awning fabric storage, cleaning, and repair services. Stobag Yet another well-known brand, hailing from Switzerland. Available in 300 patterns and colours to give your outdoor space a unique look. A Tailor-Made Awning for Your Home Every year, a lot of people mistakenly choose to invest in a low-end awning, which proves to be just so. Albeit cost-effective at first, it deteriorates rather quickly and offers very few advantages when compared to a custom-made awning. Aside from its superior quality in general, the first advantage of a custom-made awning is that it’s perfectly fitted to your outdoor space to fully meet your various needs. Designed based on the size of your patio, it perfectly blends in to enhance your décor. You also have access to a huge selection of colours and patterns that perfectly match your house. It takes 3 to 4 weeks to design and manufacture a made-to-order awning. By just grabbing one off the shelves, you can install it the same day; however, an awning that’ll last for years surely is worth waiting around for a few weeks. Also, the manufacturer almost always offers installation services. Some models can be installed by the homeowners themselves, but most of the time, it’s best to call in professionals. A poorly installed awning may cause both damage and injury. Are you looking for general contractors for your renovation project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! The Different Types of Outdoor Awnings Source: Canva Choose from various models with tinted glass, opaque or clear tops, and UV protection. Enjoy numerous configurations, with or without a valance. Let us guide you through the diverse choices to find your perfect awning. Fixed or permanent awning A fixed awning is permanent, in the sense that its structure remains in place all season, or year-round, depending on the model selected. If the awning is made of canvas, it should be carefully removed before winter and stored in a warm, dry area. Retractable or manual awning A retractable awning is kind of like a wall-mounted sunshade. It's fixed to a building wall and has retractable brackets that allow it to be folded away as required. It provides cover on hot summer days and can be retracted when you're out on the patio, looking to soak up the warmth of the sun at the beginning or end of the summer. It can be manually retracted using a hand crank. In winter, the awning has to be retracted since the freeze could damage it. For added protection, a custom-made cover or case can be purchased to prevent rodents from nesting in it during the cold season. NOTE: The retractable awning can also be freestanding if you’re not inclined on having it affixed to the side of your house. It’s a practical concept if you’re a tenant and aren’t allowed to alter the exterior shell of a structure. Motorized awning (remote-controlled) Investing in a remote-controlled, retractable awning means getting the most out of the summer months. Versatile and ultra-functional, it suits all patios to help shield you from the sun and bad weather. It retracts by means of a motor connected to a wall switch or remote control. Some home-automated awnings can also be controlled via a smart device. This means you can remotely control the awning if unexpected rainfall jeopardizes your patio furniture. WE LOVE the wind and rain sensor that automatically retracts the awning when the wind picks up or rainfall occurs. A range of settings enables the awning to withstand different weather conditions. And, as an added bonus: the retractable awning and patio heater can be connected! Glass awning The fixed or permanent glass awning allows you to benefit from your outdoor space, at all times, no matter the weather. Your patio furniture is always protected and you’ll never have to postpone outdoor gatherings due to bad weather. These are custom-made and ideal for decks, patios, or balconies, and, as an added bonus, said structure allows you to significantly limit the heating value inside your home! Designed to withstand the harshest weather, there's no need to worry, winter or summer. Now that's something to feel good about! Aluminum composite structures guarantee up to 30 years of service life, while 5 mm thick tempered glass is synonymous with peace of mind, come rain or shine. Opt for clear or opaque panels or a combo of both. Last but not least, make sure your structure can withstand the weight of snow and is certified by local engineers. The Different Awning Materials Source: Canva Polycarbonate and aluminum are two quality materials used to manufacture awnings. It’s two really good options. Here’s essential information about each option: Aluminum Pros More resistant and durable than polycarbonate Doesn’t fade Withstands extreme weather conditions, including hurricanes Average service life of 18 years Easy soap-and-water cleaning Higher resale value Cons More expensive than polycarbonate Heavier (requires heavy-duty anchors) Limited colour range, but can be painted More prone to corrosion if exposed to salt water or chemical products Polycarbonate Pros More affordable Withstands the weight of snow Doesn’t deteriorate over time Available in a wide range of colours and finishes Slightly more sheer so it doesn’t obstruct views Lighter, doesn’t require any structural support Easier to install Cons Doesn’t withstand extreme weather conditions as well Made with PVC plastic, which can crack Less cold-resistant Not as UV ray-resistant More high-maintenance Turns yellow or gray if not cleaned with bleach every year
SoumissionRenovation.ca • 24 May 2023
With the swimming season around the corner, the only thing you’re probably awaiting is taking that first refreshing dip into a nice, clean pool. But first, you have to open it, which isn't a fun thing to do. Fear not, as this article will guide you through the swiftest and simplest method to open your pool! How to Open an Above- or In-Ground Pool Source: Canva Regardless of whether your pool is above- or in-ground, the initial steps for opening it remain basically the same. The key is to ensure you have the appropriate equipment for your specific system. Below, you'll find a list of the materials typically needed to open a pool: Plumber’s tape Pool silicone lubricant Wrench Garden hose Leaf skimmer Cleaner Tongue and groove pliers Pool brush Test kits or strips Safety goggles Gloves Pool Starter Kit A pool starter kit contains the tools and products necessary to prepare your pool for use following the winter months. Generally, it includes: Cleaning and disinfecting products, like chlorine; Water treatment products; And required items such as pipes, filters, and robotic pool cleaners. There’s a wide range of products, readily available at hardware and department stores. Prices range from $15 to $50. Before purchasing, check the volume of litres treated per container. Certain brands offer distinct starter kits tailored to above- or in-ground pools. Keep in mind that opening an in-ground pool generally requires a larger quantity of products compared to opening an above-ground pool. How to Start an Above-Ground Pool Source: Canva To open your above-ground pool properly, you'll need to follow a set of precise steps: Step 1: Start by cleaning it The initial step toward successfully opening your pool is cleaning. Twenty-four hours prior to opening your pool, start by removing any leaves or debris floating on the pool’s winter cover, then remove it. Take this opportunity to thoroughly clean and dry the pool cover before storing it until next winter. Clean the bottom of your pool with a pool brush or pole. You can also pour in a pool degreaser to facilitate the cleaning process. Step 2: Plug in the pool filter and other equipment This next step consists of plugging in your pool’s filter system. Before turning on the filter, make sure it’s correctly fitted. Also, verify that all other equipment (skimmers, nozzles, lighting, pumps and filters) is properly connected and in good condition. Make sure that all connections are firmly secured. Are you looking for experts for your landscaping project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! Step 3: Vacuum After plugging in all equipment and ensuring their proper functioning, set the pool filter to “Waste” and clean the bottom of the pool with a pool vacuum. Also, clean the filter’s skimmer basket to maximize debris extraction. For more effective cleaning, run the pool for about 5 hours. Step 4: Analyze pool water To prevent potential skin irritation or diseases, it’s best to analyze and treat the pool water. You can either take a sample of the water to a pool professional or use a DIY water test kit to monitor the water’s total alkalinity, pH, and calcium hardness. In the event of a problem, ask a specialist for the right products. And there you have it! Your pool should be good to go! Now you take that well-deserved first dip. What products should you use first to perform a pool shock treatment? A pool shock treatment is an essential step in purifying your pool's water. It effectively eliminates microbes and algae, restoring the water to a healthy and pristine state. Start by slightly increasing the water level compared to normal, while simultaneously pouring a degreaser straight into the water. Allow it to take effect for a minimum of 24 hours, meanwhile, you can clean the area surrounding your pool. Run the filter system and set it to "Waste" mode. Empty and refit the basket several times to remove any residual dirt. Increase the pool water level once again and backwash your pool. Use the products found in your starter kit and backwash your pool once more. We strongly recommend that you run your pump, uninterrupted, for at least 24 hours to have crystal-clear water. When Is the Right Time to Open an In-Ground Pool? Source: Canva The general recommendation is to open an in-ground pool after the ice melts, typically around mid-April. However, the specific timing may vary based on your geographical location. Note that algae growth typically occurs as the water’s temperature rises. CAA-Quebec recommends opening a pool prior to water temperatures reaching 21°C. Thus, it’s best to open it as soon as possible to mitigate algae growth. If the algae start lining your pool, it will render the cleaning process much more difficult. Moreover, this will help limit the amount of pollen vacuumed by the filter system. Another benefit of opening your pool sooner rather than later is that it'll allow you to look over its general condition and repair any equipment that may have been damaged during the winter months. You'll then be able to enjoy your pool, worry-free, all summer long. Pool Opening Tips Here are a few useful tips to successfully open your pool: If this is your first time opening your pool, it’s best to have the company that installed it perform the work. A pool professional will carry out a complete inspection to spot any potential anomalies before the warranty period expires. Regularly maintain your pool to ensure that it’s in tip-top shape throughout the summer months as it’ll ensure quality water and an extended service life. Remember to change the sand in your filter every 4 years.
N/A • 26 Apr 2023
During the summer months, decks make for an entirely new living space in your backyard. It's the perfect spot to savour your first cup of coffee in the morning, share meals with your family, gather with friends for drinks, and, in the evening, wind down with a good book in hand. While numerous articles focus solely on decks, this particular one offers a unique blend of depth and superficiality. It delves into comprehensive information about deck structures, while also providing a cost overview of long-lasting coating options. Learn more about deck structures, including their materials and components, and gain insight into the step-by-step building stages of treated wood, ground-level decks. Different Deck Structures Source: Canva Structural strength guarantees the durability of your deck and, therefore, of your investment. While rebuilding the deck's platform might be relatively simple after a few years, the same cannot be said for its framework. The structure must be securely anchored, carefully designed to withstand freeze-thaw weather conditions, and made from the highest quality materials. All of which ensures its strength and durability. You have to consider the following: High-quality wood has fewer knots and is typically more resistant. The chosen materials have to withstand the harsh Eastern winters. The whole can’t allow any sort of water build-up. The beams and frame must be covered with a membrane to shield them from water. The structure has to withstand repeated freeze-thaw cycles. The materials can’t be affected by moisture. The spacing between the planks must allow water to run off. Foundation When building a wooden deck, it’s important to raise the structure above ground level. Piles, Sonotubes, or cinder blocks can support the deck. It should never be directly on the ground since moisture will lead to the structure’s premature deterioration. A cinder block-supported structure will move according to freeze-thaw cycles. Sonotubes and piles are a more structurally sound option. The latter must be driven 4 feet underground, below the frost line. PRO TIP: It isn’t necessary to use hangers. However, note that with time and excess weight from the deck, the screws can bend and break. Hangers allow even load distribution and guarantee a sturdy, durable structure. Aluminum Decking Source: Canva While decks are typically built with treated wood, others opt for aluminum decking, which is often seen with balconies and patios. Aluminum deck structures have sure advantages: Maintenance-free Especially sturdy Has excellent durability over time It’s lightweight compared to wooden structures It minimizes environmental impact It’s available in a variety of colours to blend in with the décor Are you looking for experts for your deck or balcony project? Fill in our form to be connected with top-rated contractors! What deck base material is best used? Source: Canva A deck’s framework isn’t solely built for the purpose of bearing the intended load, but also for fluctuating temperatures, which will lead to ground motions due to freeze-thaw cycles. To ensure the deck’s sturdiness, make sure the foundation is sound. Concrete Piles (Sonotube) It's a well-proven, standard method. However, it should be carried out properly. Ideally, digging should be done with a mini-excavator rather than by hand or with an auger. The piles should be at least 8 inches wide, made with reinforced concrete (rebar), and rest against a 24 in. x 24 in. base, 54 inches deep at most. Albeit quite costly, it’s often the best option when building a heavy and imposing structure like a sunroom or veranda. Deck Screw Piles Although relatively new, this method has also been tried and tested. You need specific equipment to screw tubular metal piles into the ground. It's the preferred option for small or already landscaped areas since it's less intrusive. Which to choose: 2 in. x 6 in. or 2 in. x 8 in. rim joists? A 2 in. x 6 in. structure will buckle under the slightest overload. The structure itself is definitely not where you want to try to cut corners. When you're building a structure, think long-term. Consider durability...and sturdiness. A trained professional might opt for 2 in. X 8 in. boards when building the deck frame. As such, the structure will be more stable and durable, and you'll be able to space out the ground supports. Treated Decking Source: Canva Treated wood is the most used deck-building material in Quebec. No wonder. It's an easy-to-work, versatile product that's less expensive than most of the competing products and blends well with any and all décor and home architecture. Since it was designed to withstand our climate and the test of time, you’ll simply have to maintain it somewhat to preserve it and enjoy it for the next 10 to 15 years. Since it's durable, it offsets the fact that it can't be salvaged or burned. Since 2004, the chemicals used to make it weather-, moisture- and insect-resistant have been much less toxic. However, it doesn’t render it eco-friendly by any stretch of the imagination. Copper is among the chemical agents used to treat wood. Since it’ll likely cause the screws, nails, and hangers to corrode, the different elements used to build the deck’s structure must be in compliance with the ACQ (Association de la construction du Québec). They're mainly made of galvanized steel, which makes them ideal for all outdoor projects. Pros of Using PVC Deck Membranes Is your deck still structurally sound, but the boards making up the platform appear weak? If you want to save a bit of time and energy for the next 15 to 20 years to come, the PVC membrane is a worthwhile option. It’s a really versatile decking, ideal year-round. It’s waterproof and anti-slip in winter and is able to withstand summer temperatures without overheating. PVC membranes are a convenient and affordable way to give your décor a stylish look while also extending the service life of your deck. It's available in a variety of shades, formats, textures, and patterns, so there's truly something for all preferences. PVC membranes can be installed on treated wood, fibreglass, or concrete. It protects the surface it covers and prevents deterioration. The membrane is adhesively sealed to the surface, while watertight joints ensure maximum water resistance. It’s actually used to cover rooftop decks! PVC membranes are aesthetic, waterproof, durable and, above all, maintenance-free, and are ideal for decking, balconies, patios, and stairs. How to Build a Ground-Level Deck Source: Canva Are you planning on building a deck? Whether you're carrying out the work yourself or hiring a professional, the key is having a clear picture of the various steps involved. Bear in mind that you'll need a plan and permit issued by your municipality before you can greenlight your project. Building a patio, balcony, veranda, or deck absolutely must comply with the Quebec Construction Code. Building the framework Choose where the first landing—the one nearest the ground—will be located. Next, mark the spot where the dek-blocks will sit, roughly 8 feet apart. For every block, dig a hole that’s slightly bigger than the block, 6 inches deep. Fill it with tightly packed stone dust, then drop the cinder block in. Build the deck’s perimeter square using 2 in. x 8 in. planks. Instructions: Position the rim joists against the support blocks, then screw them together. For additional support, double the rim joists. Running parallel to the rim joists in the middle of the structure, fasten the centre joist by securing two 2 in. x 8 in. planks. Before moving forward, make sure everything is perfectly squared off and level (both diagonals must be the same length). Remove the grass under the structure and cover the ground with a geotextile barrier to prevent grass and weeds from growing. Cover the barrier with an inch of 0-¾ crushed stones. Secure the metal hangers to the joists with galvanized steel nails. Fit the 2 in. x 8 in. planks into the hangers—they'll make up the structure's joists—and nail them in. Fit spacers between the joists. Building the top landing Determine the height of the deck’s rim joist by positioning a 2 in. x 8 in. board against the house’s exterior wall. Use a level to ensure it’s straight. Use a hammer drill bit to drill holes where the anchors will be affixed. Anchor the plank to the building. Once the first section is correctly positioned, secure the second one. Outline the top landing by positioning the joists. The second landing will rest against the lower landing and, as such, has to overhang to such an extent that it can be secured with 4 in. x 4 in. posts. Verify that the structure is properly squared off and level. (Both diagonals must be the same length.) Use galvanized steel nails to secure the metal hangers to the joists, 12 inches apart. Install the 2 in. x 8 in. planks in the hangers to create joists. Nail the joists into the hangers and install spacers between every joist. Install the planks that will make up the deck’s platform on both landings, starting with the outermost section.