It’s no surprise that demand in the U.S. for decking is expected to increase 1.8 percent per year through 2020. From backyard cookouts to moonlit bonfires, nothing helps bring together friends and family quite like a deck. Perhaps even more importantly, a deck can provide a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of a typical work week.
Several studies have pointed out the benefits of spending time outside, including lower stress levels, improved mental health and increased happiness. A deck makes it easy to do just that right from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
Take advantage of these benefits and more by building the deck of your dreams this spring. By following these two tips, you’ll be able to build or renovate a deck that helps foster lifelong memories while improving your health — all without negatively impacting the environment.
Know your decking options
One of the biggest concerns homeowners face when building a deck is the required maintenance. After all, re-staining and sealing a deck every couple years is both time-consuming and costly. So, what are the best low maintenance options out there?
In the past, composite decking has dominated the market, thanks in large part to its numerous color options, available warranty coverage and lower maintenance requirements. However, technological advancements and increased demand for more natural products has ushered in a host of new options, one of which is modified wood decking, like Kebony.
For consumers who love the look and feel of real wood but don’t want to deal with regular maintenance modified wood is the perfect solution. During an advanced treatment process involving a bio-based liquid, rather than toxins or other harmful substances, Kebony wood becomes both highly durable and aesthetically beautiful. This gives companies, like Kebony, the opportunity to harvest sustainable wood species instead of contributing toward rainforest degradation.
When it comes to performance and appearance, modified wood is far above the rest. Unlike composite, which is made from recycled plastic and wood fiber, treated wood stays cool during the summer months and rarely splinters. Better yet, it develops a natural silver-gray patina over time and exposure to the elements. This graceful aging process is a far cry from the “plastic” look that characterizes many composites.
Choose the right design
After you’ve decided on a decking option, the next step to building an eco-friendly deck is selecting a design that meets your needs and cuts down on your deck’s carbon footprint. Not sure where to get started? Take a few moments to consider how your deck fits within the rest of your yard. Drawing up a design that incorporates tall trees or bushes to produce plenty of shade could save you the trouble of building other structures, such as a roof or tent, to help keep cool.
When it comes to lighting, sidestep complicated electrical work by opting for solar-powered deck lights. Finding ones that are motion-sensored could boost your energy savings even further.
From major health benefits to cherished memories with friends and family, a deck provides plenty of bang for its buck. By choosing the right decking option and design, you can reap the rewards of a deck while also lessening its environmental impact.
About the author
Brian Gurry is a master contractor and founder of Tuff TV network’s “American Builder”, a reality-based home improvement and commercial construction media brand with television shows that have won five Emmy Awards. Brian is also known for National Geographic’s “Bid and Destroy,” and he is the commercial face of Renewal by Andersen windows.
Photography © by Christoper Lawson
This article was originally published on Green Living Ideas on January 16, 2017.