With the balcony bill in force & building owners/HOA’s etc. seeking qualified inspectors, I would like to caution BOD’s & owners to be wary of deck inspectors who refer you to a company for any repairs they found needing to be done. General contractors can perform these inspections, but should not bid to repair any problems the inspection might turn up. To be completely free of bias one cannot be a deck inspector on one side & have an interest in a construction firm fixing decks. I’ve heard from a few past clients of HOA’s asking me about being referred to a contractor by their inspector & I reply every BOD should prepare specifications for repairs, work with a construction manager to obtain 3 bids based on those specifications & then award the contract (the Associations attorney writes, not the other way around) to the most responsible bidder. Note I said most responsible bidder. That’s a different subject for a different post… Let us all remember why this balcony inspection bill exists; just over 5 years ago 6 young people died & 7 others were seriously & permanently injured. Lets also remember those that stood against it… Get an inspection done, obtain specifications, have a project manager, get 3 bids, fix and then maintain…lives are at stake.
As winter starts heading into spring you may have looked out at your deck and heaved a sigh knowing you have a choice to make this year…replacing that old rickety wood deck or the fading, sagging composite deck that was supposed to last 30 years. What to do what to do? Go back to a wood deck using exotic Ipe and hope that lasts longer and has less maintenance? Use the newest and “greatest” composite?
While the wood and composite markets currently dominate the deck market, the end user is getting tired of the limited color choices of composite decking available at lumber stores and doesn’t want to wait for a special order with it’s various requirements and doesn’t really like the thought of the maintenance that wood decks require. The newest choice available is actually a choice that’s been around for a long time, it’s just that not many knew about this choice til now.
The new “choice” for decking is rapidly becoming solid surface walking deck systems installed over a plywood substrate on conventional doug fir or pressure treated framing. Solid surface decking systems offer many advantages over it’s wood and composite competitors. Some of those advantages are
- Waterproof! These decks can waterproof and give you a walkable surface on a roof deck, dry in a patio below, keep a storage area dry underneath. Increases your homes value!
- Cost competitive. Framing costs are the same as for decks receiving wood/composite decking. Plywood and the waterproof coating system often costs less than composite decking and almost always less than exotic hardwoods.
- Less Maintenance! No sanding, staining and sealing every year. Most waterproof deck systems require resealing every 3-5 years. Clean them off easily using Simple Green, water and a hose and brush.
- Unique Looks! Waterproof decks can look like anything you want-wood (yep), tile, stone, brick, stained, stamped…the designs are virtually unlimited!
Look at our deck finishes, you’ll see some of the many various finishes available that can set you apart from the rest of the pack.
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