deck boards
Redwood Table

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Decks
"Installing a deck may be the most cost-efficient way to add square footage to your house, and of all the outdoor home improvements except painting, it may be the most reliable value. Decks average $6,304 and generally recoup 104% of their value. That may not sound terribly impressive, but other touted outdoor improvements fare much worse."
--SmartMoney.com
   June 2004

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"There is hardly anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price only are this man's lawful prey." -John Ruskin

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For the purposes of clarifying any "Deal" or coupon:
A "Deck" or "New Deck Installation" is defined by anything that is over 200 sf. and includes stairs and railing. Anything less may be defined as a Porch, Platform, Stoop or landing. Furthermore, sf. rates are higher for smaller items to cover set up costs; standard volume discounts on sf. rates apply to larger structures on top of any "Deals" or coupons.

 

 

 





Technical Information

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Custom Deckworks builds decks the "Old School" way. Progress and invention do not always improve on the quality of things. Sometimes we are simply left with cheap products which are harder to work with and don't last as long.

This is the section that will help you to compare apples to apples when getting bids on your project. Ask every contractor you interview about each item on these pages. Remember, it's your money; you deserve to have your deck built the right way. Here are a few examples of why we and our customers say "The Quality Is The Difference".

  • For starters, we always attach our decks to the house using 3/8" lag screws.

Lag Screws
3/8" lag screws

When attaching to the wood band of a house, we first nail our Deck Band and then install lag screws. If attaching to brick or block, we drill into the mortar joints and install lead lag shields between the brick to receive the lag screws. This fastening system is time-tested and proven to be the best all-around way to ensure a secure and long lasting mount. Some builders are fans of carriage bolts (smooth round head, washer & nut on opposite end) but have to admit that they can't always be fully tightened. Without a very tight "pressurized" mount, they are relying on the sheer-force of the bolts and the integrity of the existing structure alone. Often times, because of the excellence of lag screws, our Deck Band has served as a "band-aid" to existing damaged structures.

  • Next, the type and size of nail used is very important. Every nail used on our decks is a 3" hot-dipped electro-galvanized ring-shank nail.

Nails
3" hot-dipped electro-galvanized ring-shank nail

The "hot-dipped electro-galvanized" is a must since January 2004 when the chemicals in treated lumber changed from CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate) to ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quat). The lumber treatment companies insist that using anything less could result in the nail corroding in half within six months. We cannot confirm any truth in this but, we would never ask you to help us test their theory by using any other nail on your deck.

If you've ever had a deck with any nails that have "popped up" from the deck surface, your deck was probably built using "smooth-shank" nails. This is caused by the sun heating them and allowing them to rise up. The "ring-shank" nails we use are designed to stay put. They hold so well that it's difficult to even pull them with a hammer. Again, some builders are fans of screws. Screws, however, present several problems: They are very costly to purchase, very costly to install, frequently the heads break off just before they're screwed flush and the heads also have the tendency to strip easily preventing them from being fully installed or being backed out. Having a board replaced that has been screwed down can quickly turn from a $5.00 labor fee into a $50.00 labor fee.

NOTE:         (October 2005)
For those of you who really like for the horizontal surfaces of your deck (floor, top-cap of handrail, etc.) to be fastened with screws, there are some very good screws that are becoming much more readily available and we are certainly glad to use them at your request. These screws are properly coated to last with any type of wood or composite and are designed to eliminate some of the problems listed above. There is, however, an extra charge when using screws to cover the higher cost and the extra labor involved.

Page 2 of Technical Information

Important News & Updates. Please Read!

 

Members - Click Here!
MUST READ for Angie's List Members!

 

Before you sign a Contract!

Must Read!

 

Spring 2013 :   BEWARE! Scam Alerts....

- Don't ever say you weren't warned!

 

 

Spring 2012 :   Pricing Information....

"The Bitterness of Low Quality Remains
Long After the Sweetness of Low Price
is Forgotten!..."

 

 

Spring 2009 :   Apples to Apples in a Bad Economy....

...It could be a mistake not to read this.

 

 

Update: 2012

Arkansas Code § 17-25-501 thru 17-25-515. Act 1208 of 2011 Summary:

ANYONE performing work at a Residence, when the project is $2,000 or more, labor & material,

IS required to have a license from the Contractors Licensing Board

starting January 1, 2012!

 

In most cases this does not apply to the Homeowners doing work themselves.

But if you hire someone to build your deck that does NOT have a license,

you may be breaking the law and will have very limited recourse in the event of a dispute.

If they don't have a REAL license, DON'T HIRE THEM!

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