Deck Maintenance: Best Practices and What to Avoid

A deck offers the ideal spot to unwind, spend time with family, or entertain friends. If you’re looking to get a new deck, check out some of the latest deck designs for 2021. Regardless of the deck material or design you choose, your deck requires regular cleaning and maintenance to retain its appearance and structural integrity.

Ensure your deck stays beautiful and safe for years to come with these dos and don’ts.

Best Practices

Inspect Your Deck

Performing an annual inspection of your deck’s surface and substructure helps you catch problems before they develop into larger, more costly situations. Check for these common issues:

  • Ground contact or joist issues
  • Rot
  • Moisture damage
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • Loose fasteners or deck screws
  • Any other structural concerns

Cleaning

An annual cleaning is a must to keep your deck safe and looking its best. Cleaning is especially crucial for wood decking, which needs a yearly exfoliation so the wood can better absorb stain or sealer. Be sure to use the appropriate cleaning brush for the type of decking you have and give the deck ample time to dry (perhaps 48 hours) after cleaning before doing any more work.

Since your deck is exposed to the elements all year, don’t forget to keep the surface free of dirt, leaves, and other debris. Clean the surface periodically, and rinse routinely with a garden hose outfitted with a nozzle.

Sanding, Staining, and Sealing

If you plan to reseal your wood decking, make sure to sand the deck about two days after it’s clean and dry. However, avoid using a power sander because it will likely damage the surface. Applying wood deck stain or sealer will help to protect the wood. During the process, be sure to cover nearby plants and vegetation to protect them from potentially harmful chemicals in cleaners and sealers.

Partner With a Professional for Deck Maintenance

As compared to DIY, a professional cleaning contractor will be more familiar with the equipment and products needed to provide better overall cleaning and maintenance results without the risk of damaging your deck’s surface.

What to Avoid

Prevent damage to your deck by avoiding potentially damaging actions:

  • Avoid using a high-powered pressure washer because pressure washing can damage the wood if not held at a proper angle.
  • Don’t use chlorine bleach to clean your deck. It’s too harsh. Chlorine may strip the deck of its natural color and even damage its structural integrity.
  • Don’t use paint as a sealant. Paint looks good momentarily, but since it doesn’t penetrate the wood, it will quickly peel and crack.
  • Avoid cleaning the deck in direct sunlight as it could cause the cleaner to dry too quickly, causing a white residue.
  • Don’t use a harsh chemical cleaner. The wrong cleaner could discolor or permanently damage your deck’s surface.
  • Don’t assume pressure-treated lumber is maintenance-free. It might resist rot and infestation, but you still need to clean and seal the deck to withstand damage from the elements.

Are you looking for experts for your deck project? Contact Eastern Atlantic Carpentry. We provide top-notch deck carpentry in Emerald Isle, NC. You can trust our experienced team for new deck construction, deck maintenance and repairs, and replacement of stairs and railings.

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2021’s Latest Deck Designs to Adapt for Your Home

Your deck looks a little tired, so you decide to update it to one of the latest deck designs. The problem is that you have no idea where to start. How do you choose between all of the deck designs out there?

The answer is simple. Read through this list of 2021’s latest deck designs. Then learn more about wooden decks and get in touch with the Eastern Atlantic Carpentry team.

The Bigger, the Better

Your wood deck is an extension of your living area. Thanks to Covid-19, everyone is aware of the need for space. Every entertainment spot, from your backyard deck to your patio area, is larger in 2021 to give guests more room to spread out.

More Practical Use of Vertical Space

Many of the latest deck designs consist of multiple levels. The raised areas allow you to utilize the dry space below as an additional entertainment area. The multi-level design also allows for a practical division of space.

You could, for example, have an entertainment area for guests and then a little private nook for yoga or meditation.

Speak to the team at Eastern Atlantic Carpentry about a custom deck that meets your lifestyle and budgetary requirements.

Fire Pits or Tables Are In

Fire pits create a cozy area for the family to gather around. You can spend the evening making smores, exchanging scary stories, or just enjoying a bonfire. It also makes for a romantic setting for date nights.

Greening Your Deck

Another deck idea gaining traction in 2021 is incorporating lush vegetation onto the deck. The concept itself isn’t new, but its execution in 2021 is changing. Instead of cluttering the space with potted plants, modern homeowners are using hanging baskets and deck railing accessories.

Vertical gardens are easy to maintain and require less space. What you plant is up to you. Some homeowners like a bit of greenery, while others start organic gardens.

Varied Plank Decking

One of the most interesting of the latest deck designs is varied plank decking. There are two options with this look:

  • Planks that differ in size: Alternating widths and lengths of wood make an attractive design statement.
  • Planks that vary in color: Our designer can add extra interest by alternating planks in different colors.

Staggered, Full-Length Steps

Full-length steps double as extra seating. By staggering them, they also become an exciting feature for your entertainment area. If you like, you may also incorporate storage into some of the steps.

Cocktail Railings

With 2021’s focus on outdoor entertaining, cocktail railings are seeing a resurgence in popularity. This type of rail has a large, flat surface to allow guests to rest their drinks or plates of food on. The additional space provides a less cluttered environment and brings in a range of new design elements.

Eastern Atlantic Carpentry is the Crystal Coast’s premier deck-building service. Contact us at (252) 262-6600 to discuss the latest deck designs or learn more about Eastern Atlantic Carpentry’s decking services by contacting us through our website.

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How to Choose the Best Decking Material for Your Home

Dreaming of new decking in Emerald Isle? If so, then choosing the best decking material should be one of your first steps. The material you choose can impact the costs of your project and the other materials necessary to complete the job.

You can review the facts about decking material with our team at Eastern Atlantic Carpentry. Call us at (252) 262-6600 to learn more.

Consider Your Budget

Many property owners focus on their budget when selecting the best decking material for their projects. Companies typically charge by the linear foot for decking material, though some places charge by the square foot. Each kind of material comes with a different cost.

Pressure-treated wood usually represents the least expensive option, at around $1 per linear foot. Other options include:

  • Composite decking from $2-5 dollars per linear foot
  • Specialty wood decking from $3.50 per linear foot
  • Aluminum decking from around $9 per linear foot

You may also consider vinyl decking. However, PVC decking often gets uncomfortably hot in our area.

Review Your Unique Needs

You can consider your needs before you commit to any decking material. For example, perhaps you want a material that requires little upkeep over the years. In this situation, composite decking may represent your best option.

Aluminum decking also requires minimal amounts of upkeep and holds up well in damp environments, as it cannot rust. It also tends to stay cool in the heat of summer. However, it is very expensive.

For that reason, wooden decking has grown in popularity. Pressure-treated lumber can resist the elements and moisture with smaller up-front costs than aluminum. However, you should know that wooden decks often require more upkeep, especially over the long term.

Focus on Your Taste

A deck represents a lasting addition to your home. While recycled plastic or pressure-treated lumber are cheaper options, they may not match your aesthetic sensibilities. Many property owners prefer the natural beauty of specialty woods such as:

  • Tropical hardwood
  • Redwood
  • Cedar

Specialty woods often cost more than composite options but less than metal decking. They provide a natural sense of peace and tranquility, and many come in rich and lovely colors. Some woods, like cedar, also resist moisture and withstand inclement weather very well.

However, wood does wear out over time. You may need to regularly apply sealers to keep wooden decking from splintering or cracking. Natural wood also changes color over time, especially when exposed to the elements.

You can maintain the original color of your wooden deck by applying protectants or re-staining the wood as time passes. Either option can help you get a deck that matches your tastes.

Learn More About Your Deck Options

Our team at Eastern Atlantic Carpentry can help you identify the best decking material for your project, regardless of how big or small. Allow us to go over the pros and cons of different decking material options, including wooden deck ideas for coastal backyards. You can easily contact us for help by calling (252) 262-6600.

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The Best Wood for Outdoor Furniture: Guide for Homeowners

Outdoor wood furniture gives you an eco-friendly and aesthetically pleasing option for seating in your yard or on your deck. You may wonder about the best wood for outdoor furniture if you’re thinking about updating your outdoor living space.

Our team at Eastern Atlantic Carpentry can help you review your wood furniture options and avoid common mistakes, like purchasing fake wood instead of real wood. Keep reading to explore the advantages of different types of wood.

Teak

Many people consider teak to be the best wood for outdoor furniture. Teak’s density makes it a good choice for an outdoor project. The wood also contains a natural oil that helps it resist:

  • Decay
  • Insects
  • Damage from moisture

Teak offers you a lot of durability. Expect the wood to age into a silvery color over time.

White Oak

Many property owners consider white oak for outdoor furniture. White oak’s low number of pores makes it a solid contender when it comes to purchasing furniture meant to handle the weather. Fewer pores mean this wood absorbs less moisture.

White oak absorbs oil well and often lasts for many years, even in harsh conditions.

Eucalyptus

Are you interested in wood furniture with an attractive grain pattern and smooth texture? If so, eucalyptus might be the right choice for you. Crafters choose responsibly-grown eucalyptus to construct furniture.

Eucalyptus contains natural oils that help block moisture and limit the effects of rot and decay. Note that, in some cases, you cannot scrub, sand, or hose down eucalyptus furniture. Keep this in mind if you decide to purchase outdoor chairs, tables, or stools made from eucalyptus.

Ipe

Some woods are denser than others. Ipe serves as an example of a very dense wood that resists water so well that it barely floats. You may also hear professionals use the term Brazilian ironwood when they speak about Ipe.

Ipe matches the durability of teak in many cases but costs less money. The wood lasts a long time, even untreated, making it a good choice for outdoor furniture.

Shorea

Shorea also provides you with a very dense option for outdoor furniture. Shorea grows naturally in the Pacific Rim area and generally comes close to teak in terms of durability while coming with a lower price tag.

You may notice end-grain cracks if you purchase Shorea wood furniture. However, these cracks should not impact the strength of your furniture over the years.

Fir

Fir remains a common choice for outdoor furniture. Often, the brightly painted Adirondack chairs you see for sale feature this fast-growing, yellow wood. Sometimes, manufacturers make these chairs of pressed wood or even plastic, but real wood furniture made of fir offers you strong and light furniture that promises to last a long time.

Review Your Best Options for Outdoor Furniture

Here at Eastern Atlantic Carpentry, our team can help you select the best wood for outdoor furniture. We provide real wood furniture that fits perfectly in your backyard or on your porch. Learn about wood furniture in Emerald Isle by calling us at (252) 262-6600.

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5 Ways to Tell If Your Wood Furniture Is Real or Fake

You’re at a yard sale or flea market, and you’ve found the perfect piece of solid wood furniture to finish off your living room or bedroom. The finish is beautiful, the design is flawless, but is it real or fake? Before you go shopping for your next dresser or sideboard, here are some ways how to tell if the furniture is real wood or not.

Solid Wood Furniture Is Heavy

One of the easiest ways to tell if wood furniture is real or fake is by its weight. Real wood furniture is extremely heavy.

Dovetail Construction

The construction of the wood furniture piece provides much information about its authenticity. One of the hallmarks of real wood furniture is the dovetail joint.

Dovetail construction fits together like a puzzle, forming a joint so tight that even old pieces of furniture still maintain their strength and stability centuries later, and all without glue, screws, or nails. Even if the drawer’s face is covered with wood veneer, the interior construction, including dovetail joints, indicates a piece built from solid wood.

Wood Grain

It can be challenging for an untrained eye to see the difference between natural wood grain and veneer or laminate. Feeling the difference is one way. If it isn’t sealed, run your fingertips over the surface, and you will feel the grain of the wood, almost like the ridges of fingerprints.

If sealed, you can still look closely and note differences. Real wood grain has a pattern from nature, so it will vary significantly over the whole piece. If you can see the grain, but it repeats and lacks texture, it is most likely a veneer. If it has no grain at all, it’s laminate.

Be sure to look along the sides and under the piece, too. The veneer edges will be visible where the sheet attaches to the front of the furniture piece, and the horizontal grain pattern of the veneer will go onto the edges of the piece. That will not happen if it is real wood.

Laminate tends to cover every exposed part of the piece, so it is most likely real wood if you find unfinished wood on the bottom.

It’s In the Details

Decorative details also tell you whether it is fake wood furniture or real. Fake wood furniture will not feature any ornate details or carving because you cannot carve veneer or laminate. If there is any carved ornamentation on the piece, it is most definitely real wood.

Cost

Finally, there is the price. Real wood furniture costs more than fake, whether the piece is custom furniture or an antique.

Next time you go shopping for real wood furniture, follow these simple tips, and you’ll know how to tell if the furniture is real wood or fake.

Eastern Atlantic Carpentry of Emerald Ilse, NC is the premier coastal carpenter in the region. From outdoor furniture to kitchen countertops and more, we are committed to delivering superior craftsmanship to our customers along the Crystal Coast. Call us today at (252) 262-6600 to discuss your next project.

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Seven Wood Front Porch Ideas & Designs for Your North Carolina Home

Your front porch is the first part of your home that everyone sees, so an eye-catching and appealing design is essential. A well-designed porch can improve curb appeal and determine how guests perceive your house from the roadside. Front porch design is often a challenge for many homeowners, but it doesn’t have to be! At Eastern Atlantic Carpentry in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, our team of interior designers and expert carpenters can build the porch of your dreams or design a custom porch to match the style of your home.

Types of Front Porches

Front porches are an essential part of any home. They reflect the homeowner’s tastes and personality and serve as the perfect place for relaxation and entertainment.

Some of the common types of front porches include:

  • Open porch
  • Screened porch
  • Covered porch
  • Wraparound porch

Though you should always consult a licensed carpenter when designing your home’s front porch, the following wood front porch design ideas will spark inspiration and help you picture your dream front porch.

Seven Wood Front Porch Ideas and Designs

1.     Open Entryway

Consider going for a wide wood front porch design that spans the width of your house. Opt for simple décor and subtle vegetative color to draw guests in even more. Add a comfortable seating area to kick back and relax on your inviting and relaxing wooden porch.

2.     Long Grained

This design would leave you with an open porch that provides guests with an inviting and warm place to step onto. With the right placement and color, the long-grained wooden boards create subtle natural hues and perpendicular lines that draw the eye.

3.     Inviting Exterior

Such a design provides guests with multiple entryways and a private sitting area that give the perfect view of the landscape surrounding your North Carolina home. In addition, consider placing shrubs in front of the porch to create a natural screen that will not obstruct or dominate the view.

4.     Front Porch Extension

Consider going for an inviting walk-up front porch, adding an outdoor fireplace to make it the perfect spot for entertaining friends and family. Opt for contrasting colors along the porch’s railing that match your home’s trim. A wood front porch extension is an ideal outdoor living space that blends effortlessly with the rest of your home.

5.     Colorful Spaces

Opt for a single-wide front porch that doubles as both a sitting and gardening area. Go for bright summer annual flowers, a porch swing, and twinkle lights on the railing to create the perfect place for you and your family to relax on a cool summer evening.

6.     Enclosed Dining

Enclosing your wood front porch with a screen and a porch ceiling creates the perfect, year-round spot to enjoy your home’s surroundings even late in the night. Add a coffee table and comfy rocking chairs, and you will have the perfect place to dine and entertain.

7.     Timbered Design

Add a classic touch to your modern-style home by framing your small porch with large timbers. Match the wood grain, texture, and color to your existing front door for a seamless design. Complement the design with a few perfectly placed lighting sconces, plants, and interior design elements to enhance the effect.

Excellent Construction Services

When you are looking to add a wood front porch to your home, repair or redesign the one you currently have, or simply add porch décor, Eastern Atlantic Carpentry provides you with the high-quality solutions you need.

We work closely with you to understand your vision, paying attention to the finest details to ensure that we add the perfect wood porch to your home in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, and surrounding areas.

Call us today at (252) 262-6600.

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4 Gorgeous Wooden Deck Ideas for Coastal Backyards

Vacationing to exotic locales may not seem as appealing to you while we’re living in such hectic times. However, if your home is on the coast, then there’s no reason that you can’t bring the vacation to your backyard. A well-built outdoor living space can act as the perfect relaxation area as you take in the beautiful vista right there in your backyard.

Backyard wood decks can serve as your very own getaway from the stresses of everyday life. At Eastern Atlantic Carpentry, we specialize in deck design ideas that cater to your specific needs. Made from only the finest natural wood, we guarantee our decks will come out beautiful and last for years to come.

If you’re having trouble deciding what your dream deck would be, read below, where we’ve outlined four ideas that can help get you started!

1. Coastal Deck With a View

In place of traditional deck railings, why not try a deck screened-in with large glass windows? They offer a similar scenic view for nature lovers and protection from harsh winds, flying sand, and sea spray. Sheltered from the weather, our expert team can add more modern amenities to the space (like television or sound system) and make your backyard wood deck the perfect recreation spot.

2. Roof Deck

The roof deck is an ideal relaxation area for the home with a bit more space to work with on top. Get a bird’s eyes view of the shoreline as you and your guests relax on a raised deck made from top-quality, pressure-treated lumber.  There are also smaller rooftop decks that you can have installed outside of your bedroom, providing a private lounging experience.

3. Multi-Level Deck

There’s nothing quite like sharing a beautiful ocean view with your friends and family. Multi-level deck designs are perfect for providing your home with a more social atmosphere, built with an expansive surface area to accommodate as many guests as possible.

Your multi-level deck can come in many appealing forms, with multiple extravagant staircases from the ground floor to the top or simple platforms at different levels.

4. Platform Decks

One of the simplest ways to make the most of an empty backyard is to have a platform deck installed. They are simpler to put in and carry elegance with even the most basic of designs. However, you can easily decorate a platform deck according to your style despite their more basic layouts.

Extend your platform deck into a curtained gazebo to keep out the sun’s rays, or add a hot tub for an escape from the cool coastal air.

Wrap-Up

A backyard wood deck can come in many shapes, sizes, and materials to accommodate a coastal property. There’s often some difficulty finding a carpenter that can fulfill your design ideas while ensuring that your deck can withstand the humidity and salt water, but Eastern Atlantic Carpentry has your back.

We’ve dedicated ourselves to providing our customers with a stellar coastal carpentry service that ensures their decks stand the test of time.  Contact us at (252) 262-6600 and schedule your estimate today!

 

 

 

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Cellular PVC Trim: Benefits and Applications in Coastal Homes

Having a coastal home means close access to the beach for relaxation, sun, fun, and beautiful scenery. Unfortunately, living by the coast also means your home has constant exposure to wind, humidity, extreme seaside weather, and saltwater.

Without optimal construction materials and installations, your home won’t stand up to the coastal environment. Wood trim creates a beautiful, natural aesthetic, but it can rot from excessive moisture exposure. Cellular PVC trim is an excellent alternative to wood, and it affords many benefits and uses to coastal homes.

What Is Cellular PVC Trim?

PVC or polyvinyl chloride is a plastic polymer, a dense synthetic material that doesn’t separate easily. It’s a highly durable material with many uses, including pipes, drainage trenches, flooring, cable insulation, footwear, and more.

Because PVC doesn’t warp or rot from water exposure, it’s an excellent material for plumbing and construction, including trim for coastal homes.

Cellular PVC is a version of the polymer that contains tiny bubbles, allowing the material to be flexible and durable. Builders can shape the polymer into any form, making Cellular PVC trim a great alternative to wood trim.

Benefits of Cellular PVC Trim

The strength and water-resistance of cellar PVC trim are two reasons why builders like to include it in construction projects, including coastal homes. Other advantages of using the material include cost, color, versatility, and durability.

Low Cost

Wood is a sustainable resource, but some timber species can be expensive, and prices fluctuate. The cost of cellular PVC trim is more stable and sometimes cheaper than wood. Without worrying about price fluctuations, builders can accurately predict budgets, saving you money on frivolous expenses.

Vibrant White Color

Most cellular PVC comes in a stark white, which complements any design or architectural style. There’s no need to paint PVC because the color will last for years so that homeowners can save on maintenance costs. Painting is possible but unnecessary.

Versatility

Because the material is soft and builders can mill the PVC, it’s an excellent option for installing trim around curved structures with ease.

Durability

Cellular PVC is both moisture- and flame-resistant, so it works well in coastal areas and places where high heat or brushfires are threats. The material will neither catch fire nor worsen an existing fire.

Applications for Cellular PVC Trim

Cellular PVC trim is a highly versatile material. Like wood, builders can cut, mill, and shape the polymer using standard woodworking tools. Some of its applications include:

  • Outer band trim
  • Trimboards and sheets
  • Wrapping for columns
  • Soffits
  • Corner and frieze boards
  • Fascia

Azek: Superior Cellular PVC Products

When searching for quality cellular PVC products, Azek Exteriors comes out on top. The company manufactures long-lasting building materials that enhance the visual appeal and weather protection of any structure. They offer many elegant design choices that will complement each other to create a distinctive look.

Final Thoughts

Adding cellular PVC trim to your coastal home will keep it protected from humidity, storms, and other environmental factors without sacrificing visual appeal. If you’d like to improve your home’s aesthetic and weather protection, reach out to our skilled team for PVC trim carpentry services.

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Carpenters in Coastal Areas

For those living in coastal areas, specialist carpentry services are essential. The unique conditions of these areas—humidity, saltwater, wet climates—means that you need a carpenter who understands how the environment impacts the home.

Carpenters are specialists in working with wood to craft specialty items such as furniture or home improvement pieces. They can design and construct a new deck, porch, door, or siding for your coastal home. To find the best carpenter, keep these factors in mind!

Finding a Quality Carpenter

The first important step in finding a good carpenter for your project is to make use of expert recommendations.

If you have a reliable general contractor, they can point you in the right direction and recommend experts in the construction and carpentry industry.

If you’re managing a home improvement project and need to find a carpenter, the process requires some research. Signs to look for in a carpenter include at least five years of experience and the flexibility to work with your budget and vision. Carpentry relies on training and experience, and the more experience that a carpenter has, the better results you will see.

Carpentry Contracts

Carpenters will finish a project before payment occurs. In the case where a large quantity of supplies, like wood, is necessary to complete the project, they might ask you for a portion of upfront costs. However, a legitimate carpenter will never ask you to pay the entire sum in full before starting the project.

A quality carpenter will complete the project in full and to the client’s satisfaction before asking for payment. These terms should be in writing in your contract.

Best Types of Trim and Siding for the Coastal Area

Coastal homes often need siding work, which is where carpenters come in handy. Siding covers the outside of homes, protecting from inclement weather and adding style.

For both siding and trim, there are different options for the material used: wood, metal, vinyl, or fiber cement.

In the coastal area, high humidity levels and risks for strong seasonal thunderstorms mean that vinyl or fiber-cement material would be the best. These materials offer durability and protection and are less likely to erode or break down quickly the way an organic material might.

Ideal Doors Used for Coastal Homes

Coastal homes also see significant wear and tear on their doors. Not only do people use the doors every day, but also the elements can break down components.

In coastal homes near the ocean, water resistivity is imperative because of the expected high humidity and rain. The risk of wood warping and bending out of shape makes wood a lesser option than vinyl or steel.

However, steel doors are not ideal for wetter climates since the humidity and salt can make the material vulnerable to corrosion. If you need a door replacement, vinyl will be the best and longest-lasting option.

Final Thoughts

Carpentry takes a skilled eye and experience to understand the details of home renovation. Follow some of these tips if you are looking to hire a carpenter or start a home improvement project for your coastal home!

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