20 Deck Ideas for Your HomePrimarily, design a deck that takes advantage of stunning outdoor views. From an ocean vista to a forest panorama, build a deck that allows guests to soak up spectacular views of nature.
- If you or someone in the family is a gourmet chef in the making, why not design a deck with a full outdoor kitchen? With a built-in grill, countertop, cabinets, sink, and fridge outside your back door, you can enjoy eating al fresco at your leisure.
- A spa-themed deck with swimming area, hot tub, and party lights is an excellent choice for stressed out souls. Luxuriate in thick spa towels, overstuffed lounge chairs, and a heavenly outdoor sound system emitting spa music for pure deck hedonism. Hang a hammock just for fun.
- A private deck oasis teeming with potted plants, privacy screens, and oversized outdoor furniture and pillows provides a delicious sanctuary for reading the days away.
- Decide on an open deck for unobstructed views of landscaping or an enclosed deck with railings for safety.
- A covered deck permits entertaining in any weather. A glass enclosed deck or a pergola does the trick nicely.
- A multi-level deck space allows for separate dining, lounging, and hot tub soaking areas.
- Tastefully combined wood and stone decking adds a visual dynamic to your outdoor living space while blending in beautifully with nature.
- Choose to refrain from staining a deck and leave it in its natural state for a more rustic ambience. Alternately, stain a cedar deck in any colour of the rainbow to match the home exterior.
- Raised wood garden beds with wheels are a great addition to decks for garden enthusiasts. They may be moved around your deck for more sunlight or protection from voluminous rains.
- A deck that incorporates a soothing water feature drowns out unwanted noise. Either a water fountain in an attractive container or a rock water wall designed into the deck can provide years of auditory bliss.
- If it’s more intimacy you desire, gather loved ones around a warm fire pit placed in the deck lounging zone.
- Wide stairs provide safe and spacious outdoor walking zones when built strategically around the deck. Deep deck steps also allow room for lush flower containers.
- Additionally, integrate deck lighting along stairs and around landscaping. You’ll feel as if you’re on holiday every time you head out to stargaze.
- Cedar benching built onto the deck adds harmony and extra seating.
- Instead of customary straight edged decking, why not choose curved edges?
- A built-in gazebo or pergola on the deck provides decorators with plenty of options for hanging baskets and ambient lighting.
- For those who adore clean, open spaces, go symmetrical for a structured deck.
- Mix elements of nature by incorporating natural stone walkways or walls with cedar decking.
- Reduce the threat of fire on your deck with Fire Retardant Treated Wood and keep your home and family safe and sound.
- Two main varieties of birch for building purposes are yellow and white.
- Yellow Birch varies from pale yellow to white in colour, with reddish-brown heartwood.
- White Birch has a whiter colour resembling the light, creamy colours of Maple Wood, and can be indistinguishable between the two.
- Birch is harder than Cedar, stable, and relatively easy to work with.
- Birch is less expensive than several types of hardwoods and is readily available.
- Birch doesn’t gouge easily and is therefore practical to work with.
- Often used in the manufacturing of fine furniture and millwork, birch is also commonly used as veneer over plywood instead of solid wood.
- Staining can be tricky with Birch since it can get blotchy and may require painting.
- Birch holds screws well and is strong, making it ideal for bracing and other structural components, such as tables and cabinets.
- Birch has good shock resistance and takes both stain and polish well.
- The most common variety of cedar wood is Western Red Cedar which has a reddish colour, although there exists over a dozen species of cedar belonging to several different families of trees.
- Western Red Cedar has a reddish to pink-brown heartwood and a light yellow-white sapwood.
- Cedar has one of the most aromatic wood scents making it a pleasing addition to the interior and exterior of any building.
- Cedar is an ideal choice for decks, patio furniture, wood shingles, and fence posts due to its inherent durability to withstand the elements.
- Cedar has a straight grain and is known for its narrow, knotty planks because of its slow growth.
- Western Red Cedar can withstand moist environments without decaying.
- Additionally, it can be pre-stained in any colour you choose or left in its natural state. Western Red Cedar readily accepts colours and finishes and may be purchased in a wide range of grades, textures, and dimensions.
- Biodegradable and recyclable, cedar provides excellent insulation.
- Cedar wood decking is lighter and therefore, easier to work with than many other types of decking material.
- Cedar softwood is also affordable and sustainably sourced.
Article Courtesy of Understand Building Construction
Wood has been used as a building material for thousands of years, being second only to stone in terms of its rich and storied history in the world of construction. The chemical properties of wood are inherently complex, but even in spite of this challenge, human beings have successfully harnessed the unique characteristics of wood to build a seemingly unlimited variety of structures. This exceptionally versatile material is commonly used to build houses, shelters and boats, but it is also extensively used in the furniture and home decor industry as well. Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of using wood as a building material is that it is a natural resource, making it readily available and economically feasible. It is remarkably strong in relation to its weight, and it provides good insulation from the cold. Wood is highly machinable, and can be fabricated into all kinds of shapes and sizes to fit practically any construction need. Wood is also the perfect example of an environmentally sustainable product; it is biodegradable and renewable, and carries the lowest carbon footprint of any comparable building material. In addition, no high-energy fossil fuels are required to produce wood, unlike other common building materials such as brick, steel or plastic.
LUMBER OR TIMBER?
TYPES OF WOOD
BENEFITS OF WOOD IN CONSTRUCTION
- Cedar is popular and aesthetically pleasing in all modern builds. A stunning cedar deck is an attractive selling feature and will hold its resale value when listing a home.
- Cedar decking won’t warp and split in a high moisture atmosphere like several other decking materials since it naturally repels moisture.
- Additionally, Cedar softwood is naturally resistant to insects and rot; therefore, it doesn’t require potentially toxic chemical treatments.
- Cedar decking requires less maintenance than certain other decking materials, an advantage to busy homeowners.
- The distinctive colour and look of cedar offers a pleasing atmosphere in which to relax and blends in exquisitely with nature.
- The aroma of Cedar is truly amazing—much nicer than many man-made decking materials.
- Homeowners and builders have the option of staining cedar in any colour of their choice, making it ideal to match with an existing building.
- Cedar can be left in its natural state and does not require pre-staining. Homeowners who appreciate the natural aesthetic will be pleased with the rustic appearance of an unstained cedar deck.
- Resistant to extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions, property owners can rest easy knowing the durable cedar deck will still look great over the years with regular maintenance.
- The variety of grades in cedar decking boards provide a distinct look that will be unique to each build and not look like anyone else’s deck.
Advantages of Fire Treated Wood
- FRTW can be safely used in both interior (inclusive of humid interiors) and exterior builds.
- Expenditures may also decrease since there will be no need for a sprinkler system in some cases.
- The smoke impact is substantially reduced when fire treated wood is ignited.
- The chemicals used in the process are water-based and non-toxic.
- Fire treated wood maintains its structural integrity at higher temperatures than steel.
- Fire Retardant Treated Wood further reduces the speed of combustion by reducing flame travel rate.
- The costs of FRTW are similar to pre-stained lumber.
- The treatment lasts as long as the building.
- Working with this treated wood allows for greater flexibility in designing a building for the architects in possible fire hazard zones.
- Typical end uses encompass a variety of possiblities: roofing shingles, roof construction, internal wall and ceiling linings, and even scaffolding.
- FRTW is manufactured in Canada with the utmost of integrity. Therefore, manufacturers are fully supportive of the product.
- FRTW offers job site convenience in that the wood can be crosscut to length and drilled for holes after treatment, without a loss of its effectiveness.
- The treatment is not considered hazardous so there need not be any further safeguards taken when working with the material other than the usual dust masks and eye goggle protection.
- A home or building constructed using fire retardant treated wood will hold its resale value.
Building costs are high and affordable housing is a challenge in many areas of our cities and towns. For obvious reasons, inexpensive construction by means of cheap labour and inexpensive materials are often the chosen path. However, those days are quickly disappearing, being replaced with green builds and an eye to a more affordable and energy efficient lifestyle; builds assembled with sustainably-sourced, toxin-free materials, designed for reduced energy consumption in both use and during construction.
This style of advanced construction follows an assessment for building design and construction. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a certification program that awards four levels of certification based on a point system. Points are bestowed for energy efficiency, water usage, air quality, and building materials used, in addition for environmental factors, like access to public transportation and responsible land use.
Thankfully, there are increasingly more contractors, architects, and companies getting on board with LEED certification and all the benefits extended to both the company and the individual.
REASONS WHY LEED CERTIFICATION IS IMPORTANT
- Pollutants in an unhealthy building, possibly made with toxic materials or made with inadequate ventilation, cause all kinds of respiratory illness and consequently, employee absenteeism. LEED certification standards establish minimum indoor air quality (IAQ) performance. A healthy workplace thereby promotes healthy productivity and well-being of employees.
- Another element of a LEED certified build is the use of natural light. Workers are exposed to more natural daylight which makes them more effective and improves quality of sleep at night. It also provides an attractive, bright place to function.
- Tenants benefit from reduced living expenses when they invest in a LEED certified build. Savings are achieved through reduced energy and water costs, as well as reduced water and energy consumption with energy efficient appliances.
- A LEED certified build retains a higher property value over time than one without.
- Tax credits may be available in certain cases.
- LEED builds are made with natural, sustainable building material, such as the untreated, completely biodegradable Cedar available from Longhouse.
Individual well-being is rapidly becoming more important than blind over-production and work demands. Productivity improves in a healthy work atmosphere and home environment. Individuals today want to know how their company is contributing to a healthier, more sustainable future because he or she seeks the same goal.
Indeed, certain architects believe LEED certification is essential for modern builds. Environmentally conscious millennials are eager to not only live in sustainable homes, but also want to work for corporations who’ve adopted green initiatives and committed to LEED certified buildings. Longhouse continues to be involved and supportive of LEED certified projects worldwide and we remain passionate on persisting our journey on the higher road.
Here on the West Coast of British Columbia, and indeed worldwide, sustainability and environmental protection are top of mind with eco-conscious builders and homeowners. Certainly, many of us strive to protect the beauty of our precious environment while pursuing innovative ways to live greener every day of our lives.
Builders and homeowners embrace a greener way of living by supporting the construction of Net Zero Energy homes. These homes are the pinnacle of energy efficiency, designed and constructed to produce as much energy as it consumes annually.
What is Net Zero?
The definition of a Zero Energy Building or Zero Net Energy Building is a structure with zero net energy consumption. In other words, the total amount of energy used by the building each year approximately equals the amount of renewable energy created on site. Consequently, these types of buildings generate a smaller amount of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than traditional builds.
A further definition, according to Mike Holmes of HGTV online, “A Net Zero home produces its own energy locally and should aim to produce at least as much energy as it consumes. EnerGuide rates the energy performance of the home; the higher the rating, the more efficient the home. The lower the EnerGuide number the better energy performance of the home is. In order for a home to be completely Net Zero, it will most likely need to incorporate solar power or utilize some form of renewable energy source.”
Concerned individuals choose a net zero home build because they’re up to 80% more energy efficient than typical new home builds. They produce as much clean energy as they consume. All this plus a more comfortable living space and reduced future energy costs for the homeowner.
The features that enable a Net Zero Energy Home to do what it does comprises sourcing passive heat from the sun, using air-sourced and ground-sourced heat pumps, as well as the installation of solar panels.
There are further benefits to living in a Net Zero Home:
- All home features work together to minimize the household’s environmental footprint.
- Comes equipped with water-saving fixtures and appliances.
- Produces as much clean, renewable energy as the structure consumes.
- Empowers homeowners to help protect against climate change and preserve our natural resources.
- Provides a quiet, peaceful living atmosphere due to superior insulation.
- Provides clean fresh air indoors via a filtration system that reduces allergens and other air pollutants for a healthier living environment.
- Delivers outstanding year-round comfort with advanced construction methods and materials, in addition to heating, cooling, and ventilation systems that maintain comfortable, consistent temperatures everywhere in the home.
- Offers durability with high-performance windows, superior insulation in walls and roofs, all built to higher standards than conventional homes.
- Protects the homeowner from future increases in energy prices.
- Generates minimal year-round utility bills.
- Built with an advanced foundation system with superior insulation qualities.
Why Choose Net Zero?
Net Zero Houses are important to us for several reasons. For one, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation describes a substantial rebate on your mortgage insurance premium when you invest in a Net Zero Energy Home. Furthermore, they’re not limited to new builds, although it takes some planning, renovating an old home to a net-zero home is possible and the energy savings are worth the effort.
In order to build a net zero home, the Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) has a labelling program to guide consumers. They are also a rich source of information to help plan a net zero build.
Longhouse has long been a supporter and partner in a number of sustainable building projects. We are proud to support these types of endeavours and believe they’re a mainstay of our future. If you’re searching for a more efficient, sustainable way of living, a net zero home is a sensible choice.
Timber buildings have been around for centuries. Thankfully, over time, code restrictions have been revised and changed, with concerns of fire safety topmost in many architects’ and builders’ minds.
New height restrictions have been introduced for wooden structures in the newest Mass Timber Code Proposals guide. Specifically, Code Change Proposals G75-18, G80-18, and G84-18 deal with tall wood buildings. The three code changes state that height, number of stories, and allowable area, should be reviewed only after one becomes familiar with the types of construction.
In the News
According to a recent news article, ‘Peter Busby designs a 40 storey timber tower proposed for Vancouver’, posted on treehugger.com, a new timber tower is in the works. Peter Busby of Perkins+Will Canada is the designer onboard the proposed green-build project. According to their website, Perkins+Will has one of the highest numbers of ‘Certified Passive House Designers’ of any design firm in North America.
One of the founders of the Canada Green Building Council (CGBC), with which Longhouse remains a member, Busby has a vision towards reducing energy consumption in new builds. To paraphrase, the tower is the tallest Busby thinks can technically be made with wood today. The building is to be predominantly made out of cross-laminated timbers (CLT) and dowel laminated timbers (DLT). This timber is manufactured in British Columbia and culled from damaged trees. Busby is optimistic it can be built between 35-40 stories high.
However, several people doubt the project will in fact go ahead due to the revised building codes. The new codes permit wood structures up to 12 stories with exposed wood elements, and up to 18 stories with wood enclosed in gypsum board. Procedures may be taken that permit variances from the code but could be time-consuming. To date, the tallest wooden skyscraper in Canada is the Brock Commons at UBC, at 18 stories.
Furthermore, zoning on the site in question has a limit of 14 stories. Unquestionably, every project should be studied to be suitable to the existing neighbourhood. Although wood is having a renaissance, there seems to be much debate about whether the proposed 40 towers is too tall for the site.
Longhouse Specialty Forest Products has played a role in thousands of exciting custom projects worldwide. We’ve had the pleasure of working with several talented individuals in the design and construction industry. Dedicated to sustainable construction methods and growth, in addition to maintaining as tiny of a carbon footprint as possible, we’re keeping a close watch to see how these new height restrictions affect future modern projects.
Family owned and operated
Longhouse Specialty Forest Products, located in Parksville, BC, was recently honoured with the title of ‘Manufacturer of the Year’ by the Vancouver Island Construction Association.
The 2019 inaugural Awards Gala, held by VICA, is open to all its members in good standing and intended to formally acknowledge the work members do across Vancouver Island. The panel of judges are comprised of industry professionals from across the Industrial, Commercial, Institutional, and multi-family residential construction sectors. Longhouse received the award specifically for the company’s recent project Pacific Centre Family Services Association in Victoria.
When asked how he feels about receiving the new title, Longhouse owner Brian Jenkins replied “Humbled. We went into it with no expectations. Longhouse manufactures pre-finished/ fire treated high grade lumber products. We are unlike any other forest products company. Our lumber products are not mass produced or from foreign countries. All of our products are sourced locally.”
Longhouse boasts delivering over 14,000 projects globally in the construction and design industry since 1985.
Concerning the project that won them the award, Jenkins says “We work on many projects, and this one in particular was a health centre and it looks fabulous. It was created using sustainable wood products. Unlike other buildings on the market, this one will stand for centuries because of its build and design.”
Longhouse Specialty Forest Products maintains FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council) certification by the Rainforest Alliance since 2007. The company is also a member of the Canada Green Building Council and the Greater Vancouver Home Building Association. Longhouse also belongs to Passive house Canada and the Living Building Challenge Foundation.
Although they specialize in Western Red Cedar, Longhouse manufactures all British Columbia softwood species, such as yellow cypress (cedar), Douglas-fir, Pacific Coast hemlock, and spruce pine fir (SPF). Specialty products manufactured by the company encompass custom cut yellow cedar decking, solid wood flooring, cedar fascia and soffits, different varieties of FSC® certified cedar siding, Japanese grade spruce siding, and Douglas Fir products.
For Longhouse, the award is a meaningful achievement.
“It recognizes Longhouse for being unique in what we do,” says Jenkins, “We are unlike any other company. It shows that our work is finally paying off and being recognized for what we do. Not only that but it will help to create a stronger customer base. People that may not have been familiar to the Longhouse brand, will now have the opportunity to hear of us. We are excited about what the future has in store for us.”
Longhouse would like to give tribute
“To our committed team whereby this award belongs to them equally. Ken L’Heureux company millwright of 20 years, and Matt Newton production manager of 15 years, and all of our suppliers who believed in our commitment to value added over the last 30 plus years.”
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