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Get Ready for Decking Season with AdvantageLumber.com

Spring is sweeping across the country, and before long you’ll be enjoying balmy summer evenings in your backyard. Now’s the time to upgrade your outdoor living space.

Home improvement spending across the U.S. has risen dramatically. Since the 2008 financial collapse, the industry has been on a steady recovery, and Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies predicts this growth will continue through 2014. Already, home improvement spending is estimated at $144.7 billion, up from $127 billion this time last year. That kind of cash brings outdoor renovations in line with bathroom and kitchen remodeling. It seems everyone agrees: the time to build the deck of your dreams is now, and AdvantageLumber.com is ready to help.

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5 Questions to Ask Before You Buy A Home with a Deck

Solid wood deck made of Tigerwood.
This Tigerwood deck was built to code, has a strong support, & is durable enough to last over 40 years. Its striking looks & function also add to the home’s selling appeal.

Are you in the market for a home and coming across properties that have a deck previously installed?

Don’t be shy about asking these questions. You will save yourself valuable time, money, and future headaches. You also give the current owner a chance to explain the history of the deck. After all, you wouldn’t dream of walking into a used car lot and buy a car, no questions asked. Likewise, when buying a home with a deck, you need to know its history.

Here are The 5 Most Important Things to Know Before You Buy a Home with a Deck:

  1. What is the age of the deck? Obviously, the older the deck, the closer you want it inspected. Older decks deserve more scrutiny because of structural issues. Be sure to ask if it was every subject to insect attack. You’d also want to know if any part of the deck had been replaced.
  2. What is deck’s overall condition? Is it still structurally stable? Don’t just look at the deck’s surface to gauge its health. Take a good look “under the hood.” You or your home inspector should look under the deck and check out the condition of the joists and other support components. Are things starting to rot or rust? Is decay visible? Hopefully, the posts are also in good condition.
  3. Does it meet current building codes? This one is very important and can bite you in the you know where if you ever try to sell a home with a deck that isn’t up to code. The last thing you want also is to pay a fine, or have difficulty selling your home in the future.  You might want to look at an up-to-date survey, too.
  4. What kind of deck is it? If you’re looking at an old pressure treated deck, then you will have to be aware of the many chemicals and other problems that plague pressure-treated decking. Are you looking at a composite deck? Older composite decking may not be the best, or have that much longer of a lifespan. As for wood decking, they have been proven to be more dependable, but you should still be diligent.
  5. I love the home…but is the deck worth keeping / maintaining? If you found the home of your dreams, but the deck needs some work or repairs, seek a professional contractor’s advice to see how much it would cost to tear down and/or replace the deck. You might want to keep looking if you

All these question will help determine how much longer the deck will last, how much work will go in to getting it where you want, or if your better off starting over.

The point is, don’t just give those decks a passing glance. If you have to, jump up and down on the decking. If by looking at it, you’d rather NOT do that, then you might want to keep looking at other homes.

If you have any other questions you feel should be asked, or your own deck stories to tell, please comment below. Your experience can help other people.

Tips on How to Build a Deck in the Fall

The Fall season is a great time to build an ipe deck. With cooler weather and these how-to tips, you'll install your new ipe deck alot easier than in the summer!

Fall is a great time to build an ipe deck. With our low ipe prices, cool weather & these how-to tips, you’ll install an ipe deck alot easier than in the Summer!

Now that Summer is finally over, many people are taking advantage of our ipe decking sale and asking, “Do you have any tips on how to build a deck in the Fall?”

In fact, there are some critical things you can do to make your ipe deck installation easier. These tips will ensure that, when you’re done building an ipe deck, you can rest easy knowing that it will remain strong and look great for many years to come.

  1. Let your bundles of ipe decking acclimate to your immediate environment and humidity levels. We recommend that you allow for 3-5 days to pass before you start cutting the decking.
  2. Even though ipe is naturally resistant to mold, if you’re concerned about excess moisture or wet leaves covering your ipe wood, we recommend building a simple canopy over the wood. Why not just cover the wood with a tarp? Simply covering the wood in this manner will prohibit and extremely slow down the acclimation process. A canopy that covers, but allows for easy air circulation is a much better and time-saving solution.
  3. Do NOT apply a deck oil finish until after:
    1. The Ipe wood has acclimated and
    2. You install the ipe decking. Applying a finish prior to installation will lead to more work later on since, during the installation process, the finished ipe can scratch. If that occurs, then you’ll have to reapply your finish. Save yourself time and energy.
  4. Apply an ipe end sealer immediately after you cut the decking. This is a critical step when it comes to ensuring the overall health of the ipe deck boards. If you wait over an hour to apply the end sealer, the ipe can end up with checks/split ends
  5. Finally, since the next few months tends to be both rainy and, in certain areas, snowy, installing an ipe deck in the Fall means that your decking will have a higher moisture content. This is why you’ll need to build as tight and as stiff of a deck as possible. During the Spring and Summer, the decking will naturally dry and start to contract. If your deck was not as strong as it could have been, you could end up with loose, or warped boards come the warmer months. How can you ensure that your ipe deck installation is as tight as possible?
    1. Pre-drill, baby! Pre-drill! Seriously. Pre-drilling ipe with high-grade deck screws will help ensure a tight fit to the joist.
    2. With pre-grooved ipe decking, always use deck fasteners that require installation at a 45° angle. Independent scientific studies prove that installing at an angle provides a much tighter fit. Installing ipe this way also ensures that each individual deck board does not act independently and that the decking, as a whole, moves as one solid structure.

Finally, be sure to buy premium grade ipe decking from AdvantageLumber.com. We have everything you need to make building an ipe deck in the Fall an enjoyable experience. Remember, we’re running two great decking sales that will help you save hundreds of dollars on your order.