Friday, February 24, 2012

Build an Environmentally Friendly Deck

Recommendations for Building a Green Deck

If your goal is to minimize your carbon footprint but maximize your outdoor living space, there are environmentally friendly decking materials that will allow you to enjoy your deck while also protecting the earth.

For clients who want a true green construction, we recommend Trex Transcend, a high-performance decking made with a unique combination of materials that are 95 percent recycled or reclaimed from wood and plastic and contain no toxic chemicals or preservatives. In fact, Trex Company created the composite decking category, revolutionizing the decking industry.

As for Transcend, it could be said that this composite blends with nature because it isn’t negatively affected by sunlight, harsh weather, or insect damage – some of a deck-owner’s biggest concerns. The two components of the composite itself – plastic and wood – work in conjunction to shield each other from the elements, UV rays, and pests, therefore preventing rotting, warping, cracking, fading, staining, and scratching.

If your outdoor space includes a pool, spa, or hot tub, Trex decking resists moisture and mold, making it an ideal counterpart to your H2O pursuits. And you can feel safe relaxing in your bare feet as the smooth, slip-resistant composition of this decking eliminates worries about splinters or falls.

Often, using green products limits your ability to be creative with your design. But Trex offers natural-looking, rich earth tones in a wide range of colors and finishes – from tan to dark brown, you can create a realistic hardwood appearance or go for subtle elegance with shades of gray. The distinctive wood grain patterns can be mixed and matched to create a truly unique design and matching rail and trim options are available. Another advantage: The decking, though very strong, can be bent to create patterns and curves that are not possible with wood.

Ultimately, everyone wants a quality deck that is going to have longevity – though wood products have a lower upfront cost, Trex wood-alternative products pay for themselves in less than six years because there is minimal maintenance required. Using this weather-resistant decking, you will be free from having to sand, stain, or paint your deck. Only periodic cleanings are recommended to keep this material looking fresh.

So your biggest job? Get outside, soak up the sun, and enjoy your beautiful, environmentally responsible deck.

Design Builders, Inc.

8315 North Brook Ln. #205Bethesda, MD 20814

(301)875-2781 Decks in Maryland by Design Builders Inc.

Custom Round Decks in Northern Virginia

Deck Design Fairfax, Virginia

Round Deck Design Fairfax, VA

This deck design for a Fairfax, VA home owner features Shoreline white vinyl handrails, Deckorators black powder coated aluminum balusters, Azek Vinyl decking, and PVC trim to hide all framing.  The curved front creates an added appeal while maintaining functionality and plenty of space for outdoor entertaining.  This 24x16' deck has plenty of space for a BBQ, large table, and multiple chairs.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Front Porch Design Rockville, Maryland

Front Porch Design Rockville, Maryland

Curb appeal is very important to any home.  You want to feel good when you come home ever day after a hard day's work.  When selling your home, curb appeal makes your house stand out.  Adding a covered front porch to a home without a portico or covered from step can make a huge impact.  This 32' wide by 6' deep front porch extends the length of the house and has access points at the driveway and in the center of porch.  An 8' wide gable feature in the center adds architectural interest.  Recessed lights, a swinging char, and ceiling fans help make this area  wonderful place to enjoy evenings with family and friends.

Creative Deck Design Columbia, Maryland


Our Columbia, Marland client need a large deck and patio for their son's college graduation party.  Design Builders, Inc. was up to the task.  DB created a deck that features smooth lines instead of the hard lines of their existing deck.  This deck is 22' wide and extends 12' from the house with a slight curve on the left side.  Azek low maintenance decking is the material for the floor surface.  The handrail system is comprised of pressure treated posts, deckorators black classic balusters, and an Azek deck board top cap.  The landing and stairs fall on the Belgard paver patio beneath.  A retaining wall on the left side holds dirt back and provides a sitting wall for under deck entertaining.  The patio extends beneath the landing to access the basement door on the right.

Check our our Video on How to build a Curved Deck:


Monday, February 6, 2012

Railing Options for Maryland Decks

Beyond Basic Deck Railing

Deck railings come in many shapes, sizes, and styles. Trex Artisan Rails, Azek Railing, Deckorators Railing, RDI Endurance railing, Shoreline Railing, and Fairway Vinyl are all popular brands. From inexpensive to extremely customized and high end, a railing is necessary for decks that are above 30’’ above grade.

Deck railings are still a necessary safety measure, but they can also add curb appeal to your home. Solid wood, straight lines – you are no longer limited to just one or two options.

Screen Porch and Deck Columbia, Maryland
We often use railing made by Deckorators, a company that began simply producing balusters but is now creating their own custom railing system, similar to their competitors Azek Railing, Fiberon Missions Railing, and Trex Artisan Railing.

The railing and balusters from Deckorators come in a variety of shapes, colors, and materials, including glass, composite, and powder coated aluminum. These components also feature add-ons and upgrades – install a decorative Tiffany-style post cap or traditional stepped post skirt. A popular top cap option features solar lighting or low voltage lighting, which adds a soft glow and subtle illumination to your outdoor living space and activities.

Whether your style is classic, contemporary, modern, or all of the above, you can create a railing and baluster combination to reflect your aesthetic and make your deck memorable, comfortable, and stunning.

Design Builders, Inc.

8315 North Brook Ln. #205Bethesda, MD 20814

(301)875-2781 Decks in Maryland by Design Builders Inc.

Screen Porch and Patio Design Potomac, Maryland

This design was a challenge because the patio and walkway were existing from a previous construction.  The idea for this project was to add a low maintenance screen room to the back yard to protect these Potomac, MD homeowners away from the bugs.  The previous owners were big into hardscaping and had created a large patio, stairs, sitting walls, outdoor fireplace, and walkway, so integrating the new screen room had its difficulties.  We decided a door location tight to the house would be best to maximize furniture space on the interior of the screen porch.  A patio walkway was added to connect the screen porch to the existing patio.  The existing plant bed was changed and manipulated to fit around the new screen enclosure.  Decorative local shrubs are installed around the porch to hide the area under the deck.  

Friday, February 3, 2012

Half Synthetic and Half Wood Screen Porch Bethesda

[[posterous-content:pid___0]]Not all projects have to be either 100% synthetic or 100% natural wood.  A good way to save cost as well as blend material is to install low maintenance vinyl decking and build a typical wooden screen porch structure on the deck.  Your deck gets the brunt of the wear and tear.  Water can pool and the UV rays hit the horizontal surface directly.  Low maintenance decking is advised for longetivy of your deck boards.  However, an area that doesn't face as much damage are the posts, railings, and beams of the screen porch.  Becasue they are installed vertically, water cannot pool.  The posts and rails aren't as effected by the UV rays as well.  So, installing wooden posts and rails on a low maintnenace deck is a wonderful way to save cost on a project and also get the 'woodsy' feel you are going for.  This project features Azek Decking Morado Color and have pine posts and rails installed and stained to match.  Sometimes synthetic material isn't the best choice, especially on an older bricke home.  To see more examples of our projects visit our webiste and flickr portfolio.