Fence Contractor Summerville serves many purposes on a property. It helps keep stray animals or wildlife out of a yard, making it more difficult for burglars to break into a home.
However, a fence can get damaged over time and needs regular maintenance to stay in good condition. Here are some common signs of a fence in need of repair:
Fences are strong and durable, but even the most resilient fences may suffer damage or age over time. When your fence starts to show signs of wear and tear, whether it’s a sagging fence or one with gaps, there are many easy-to-follow steps to ensure it stays strong and sturdy.
The first step is to assess the problem. Determine what’s causing your fence to sag or have gaps, and determine how severe the problem is and whether it needs to be addressed immediately. Depending on how bad the issue is, you may need to replace one or more of your fence panels.
Sagging fences can often be remedied by tightening the screws or nails that hold your panels in place. This can secure the panels in place and will usually provide sufficient support, but if your fence is sagging in the middle, you may need to add braces or other forms of reinforcement.
If you have a wood fence, consider applying a new coat of stain or paint to the panels to rejuvenate them and keep them looking great. You can also use a waterproof sealant on the wood to help it resist moisture and weathering, keeping your panels looking nice and strong for years.
For chain-link fences, you can close gaps by attaching a tension wire along the bottom of your fence. This will prevent unsightly sagging and create an effective barrier to discourage unwanted visitors from entering your property.
If a fence post is leaning, you can correct the issue by digging about 18 inches around the base of the footer to reveal a large chunk of concrete. Once you’ve removed this prehistoric chunk of concrete, remove any rotted material that has formed beneath the surface and refill the hole with about 120 pounds of ready-mix concrete to stabilize your fence post.
If your fence is a scratch-built project, you can often replace the stringers by prying the old ones loose from the metal fence rail brackets and then pulling them out. Use a level to ensure that your fence is straight, then replace the stringers with new ones and mount them to the rail brackets using a drill/driver.
A leaning fence post is more than just an eyesore; it can also be a safety hazard. Whether it’s caused by shifting soil or by an external force, a crooked post can easily collapse or bend, potentially resulting in expensive damage to your fence panels and property. Fortunately, with some determination and the right tools, you can fix a leaning post without replacing it entirely.
To start, examine the degree and direction of the lean-to figure out why it’s happening. Then, clear away any dirt or debris covering the base of the post. Next, use a level or plumb line to determine the extent of the lean’s influence on adjacent fence panels. Finally, press down on the post to assess its strength and stability. If it gives way easily or feels loose when you touch it, it’s time to take action.
Before starting the repair, it’s a good idea to contact your neighbors if your fence borders their land. You’ll need to get on their side of the fence and work on this project, so it’s important to give them a heads-up about what you’re doing so they can prepare accordingly.
Once you have access to the affected fence post, use a shovel or other digging tool to dig out around the original footing of the post. You may need to dig down as much as a foot to expose the concrete. Once you have removed the old footing, inspect it for damage or rot. If the post is rotten, loose, or bent, it should be replaced immediately with a new one.
After removing the old footing:
- Dig a hole the same size as the old one and add a gravel or concrete mix layer to the bottom. This will help ensure the new footing is sturdy and solid, providing a stable foundation for your fence.
- Reattach the fence post using screws or nails.
- If you’re using a concrete mixture, mix it as per the instructions on the package and allow it to set for at least one day before working on the adjacent posts.
Brown and white fungi can cause wood rot, but it’s best to catch the problem early to prevent its spread. The first step is always to find the source of the damp or moisture causing the rot. Once that’s fixed, the rot must dry out completely before it can be repaired. This could take days, weeks, or months, depending on the season. Blowing air across the surface of the wood or using a heat gun can accelerate the drying process.
Once the wood dries, it will be much more difficult for the fungal spores to grow and cause new problems. However, if the fungus is still present in the wood, using a fungicide to kill it and prevent its spread is a good idea. Once the fungus is dead, removing it with a wood chisel or wire brush will be easier.
The wood must be treated with a preservative wood hardener, such as copper or borate. This will help restore the wood’s structural integrity and protect it from future fungal invasions.
Fungi are essential to the decomposition and nutrient cycles in forest ecosystems, but they can be problematic when they invade houses and buildings. Fungi that invade timbers and masonry are called saprophytic and are often responsible for decayed wood. They are part of a complex community that includes beetles, worms, and protists.
Wood affected by fungus often appears soft, mushy, and dry and crumbles easily. The fungus penetrates the grain and creates a network of hyphae, or thread-like structures, that extend into adjacent wood cells. The hyphae secrete cellulase enzymes into the wood cells, which break down cellulose and hemicellulose.
Fungi also inject lytic acid into the cell wall, which disrupts the cell membrane and releases sugars absorbed by the fungus. In advanced stages, the fungus may start to form rhomboidal cavities in the cell wall, creating the characteristic signature of brown or white rot. The fungus can also spread to unaffected timbers and masonry via water, air, or insects.
Wood can fade from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. This happens primarily due to the sun’s UV rays, which cause the pigments within the wood to lighten or darken. Some wood species fade more than others, depending on their natural color and finish. Choosing lighter-engineered hardwood planks or natural wood species can reduce the fading in a space.
Wood may also fade because of weather conditions, like humidity and temperature. This can lead to cyclical shrinking and expansion that affects the integrity of the wood. The result is that the wood grain can become raised or recessed, causing discoloration.
Restoring dull and faded wood is fairly simple, but you should know a few things before beginning. First, you should clean the wood as best you can using a moist cloth or cleaning agent. Next, you should sand the wood. You can sand by hand or use an orbital or drum sander with coarse grit (20 to 36). After filing:
- Vacuum the sanded area to remove the wood particles from the air.
- Once you’ve removed most of the previous finish, go over it with medium sandpaper (50 to 60 grit), then fine sandpaper (80 to 100 grit).
- Apply a gel stain to match the original wood color and help blend the repaired areas into the surrounding veneer.
Another option is to apply a new coating of polyurethane or varnish to the surface. These products are designed to protect and shine the wood for a long time, but following the manufacturer’s directions is important. The last thing you want is to end up with a chipping, cracking, or scratching product.
Many chemical products on the market claim to restore faded wood, but these chemicals can damage your health and the environment. Try applying coconut oil to the discolored wood for a safer and more eco-friendly solution. This natural remedy will not only bring out the wood’s natural color but will also moisturize it.
A custom deck is great for relaxing, working out, or hosting friends. It also helps protect you from ground-level weather conditions and pests.
When looking for a deck builder, ensure they have experience with local climate and building codes. This will help the construction process run smoothly. For more information, visit Deck Cleaning Summerville SC.
A custom deck is one of the best ways to add value to your home. It also offers a great place to relax and unwind. However, it can be a costly project, depending on the size of the deck and the materials used. It is also important to consider the design and layout of the deck, as this can increase the overall cost.
Many factors determining the cost of a new custom deck can be tweaked and adjusted to keep the costs within your budget. These include the layout and size of the deck, the number of staircases, the type of material, and any fancy design features that may require more labor or materials. It is also important to consider the costs of removing any existing structure that may need demolishing to make way for the new deck.
Other considerations for your deck include the type of cover, lighting, and if you plan to add any extra structures like pergolas. Consider whether you want to install a hot tub, as this can be a real selling point for your home in the future.
Lumber prices can also impact the cost of a new custom deck. This is because lumber is a commodity that can change in price depending on market conditions. The COVID-19 pandemic has also caused many lumber mills to close, meaning there is less supply than usual.
Adding a pergola or covering your deck can significantly impact the cost of a custom deck. However, the benefits of these additions can be well worth the investment. For example, a pergola will create a more private space for entertaining or relaxing, while a covered deck can protect the wood from moisture and insects.
Another factor that can influence the cost of a new deck is if you are building it yourself or getting it done by a professional. A deck is typically considered a beginner to intermediate DIY project but requires much time and the right tools to build. Therefore, choosing a reputable deck builder with a proven track record is a good idea. However, be cautious of selecting the lowest bidder, as this can indicate that they will cut corners or use low-quality materials.
A custom deck is a great way to add value and curb appeal to your home. It can also provide a place to relax and entertain family and friends. However, there are some things to consider before making a decision. First, you should know the esthetic style of your home and the type of yard you have. Ideally, the deck should blend seamlessly with the rest of your property. It should also be designed with easy-to-maintain materials.
When choosing a custom deck builder, look for one with experience and a portfolio of previous projects. You should also ensure they have a reliable reputation and are licensed and insured. Finally, get a detailed quote and contract before starting the project. This will help you avoid any surprises or misunderstandings down the road.
A good custom deck design will blend seamlessly with the house, allowing you to extend your living space outdoors. A well-designed deck should also fit your lifestyle, preferences, and budget. A professional contractor will consider your outdoor landscape, the sunlight you receive, and how much shade you have. They will also consider the height of your home and whether it is on a slope.
With a custom deck, you can enjoy a barbecue, watch the sunset, and spend time with your family without leaving the house. If you have a pool, a deck can be used as a dining area, living room, and kitchen.
While a new deck can increase your home’s value, it can be expensive. You may need to tear down walls or make major structural changes in your home to accommodate the deck. This can be a costly and stressful project. Fortunately, you can use the online 3D deck design tool to create your dream backyard.
Online 3D deck design software allows you to view a 2D and a 3D model of your deck plans simultaneously. The tool lets you quickly add elements such as railings and stairs and makes it easy to see how your design will look.
Building a deck is a great way to get the most use out of your outdoor space. It can give you a place to relax, work out, have kids play, or host family gatherings. It’s also a good investment that adds to your home’s value. But there’s a lot to think about before you start the project.
One important factor is the material used to build your deck. There are many different types of materials to choose from. The most popular option is pressure-treated lumber, which is inexpensive and easy to work with. It is also resistant to rot and insect infestation. However, it does require regular staining to keep the color from fading or becoming worn.
Another type of material that is often used for decks is cedar. This natural wood is a popular choice because it is durable and beautiful. It is also easy to stain and can be painted to match your home. However, it is less strong than other types of wood and may require more frequent maintenance.
Synthetic materials like composite and PVC are also available for custom decks. These are ideal if you’re looking for low-maintenance options that will last a long time without needing attention. They are also an excellent choice if you want to use eco-friendly, sustainable materials for your custom deck.
Other things to consider when choosing the materials for your custom deck include their durability and resistance to weathering and pests. Rain, snow, UV rays, and fluctuating temperatures can all damage the material over time. Different materials are better able to withstand these conditions, so talk with your custom deck builder about which material is best for your needs and location.
In addition to the deck’s surface, it’s also necessary to have a solid structure to support it. This is known as the foundation of the deck. The foundation is composed of posts or beams that are supported by stringers. Stringers are pieces of wood or metal that run diagonally between the deck boards.
If you’re considering a custom deck, contact your local 84 Lumber store. Our expert team will help you design a deck that fits your needs, taste, and budget. We can also provide you with the materials you need to get started.
A quality deck is an investment for your home that can increase the value of your property. It can also provide a great space for entertaining family and friends, and it can help you get the most enjoyment out of your yard. But before you hire a contractor to build your custom deck, make sure you take the time to understand your needs and design preferences. This will ensure that the final product meets your expectations and complies with all local zoning regulations.
Hiring a reputable custom deck builder will protect you from expensive mistakes that may occur during the building process. The best deck builders can give you an estimate for the project and work with you to meet your budget and vision. They can explain the construction process and answer any questions you have. They will also have a portfolio that shows past projects and can give you references to contact.
An experienced custom deck builder will know how to work with the landscape of your yard. They will consider the size of your existing trees if your yard is sloped, and how involved the landscaping is. This will determine how big or small your deck can be and the options for a layout. A good custom deck builder will know the different design possibilities for your backyard, including pergolas, covered patios, under-deck systems, outdoor kitchens, gazebos, privacy options, and more.
When selecting a custom deck builder, ask for references from previous clients. This will give you an idea of the builder’s quality of work and whether or not they are a good fit for your project. I suggest scheduling a meeting in person to discuss the task.
A good custom deck builder should be licensed and insured, have a strong reputation and good referrals, and offer warranties or guarantees on their work. It’s important not always to choose the lowest bidder, as this could lead to a poor-quality deck that will not last for years. By finding the right contractor for your job, you can be sure that your deck will be a beautiful addition to your home that you and your family will enjoy for years.
Affiliate marketing is a great attraction for people looking to get into running a business because the start-up costs are low, and it’s easy to manage. Everything like product purchases and shipping is already handled for you. However, just because it might seem easy there is still plenty of hard work in order for you to develop a sustainable income.
It is important that you treat your website visitors right. They know an affiliate advertisement when they see one. If you endorse a product that you do not believe in or if you take advantage of their visit with excessive ads, then they will not visit your website in the future.
Make sure that you are not trying to market products that are already in a market that is saturated. You want your products to be good quality, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will be popular. Going up against giant competitors, as a small business owner, can be bad for your business. In this situation, you may not make much profit.
Proper affiliate marketing is going to take a lot of research on your part, but that doesn’t mean it has to be tedious. Thanks to viral video sites like YouTube and Dailymotion, just to name a couple, you can now check out entertaining tutorials that are not only entertaining but are also two-for-one opportunities, as they tell you how to do something and show you.
Although it’s a bad idea for an affiliate to act as if they’re totally in love with a product, since it turns the potential customer off, it is still wise to link to the company’s pre-sell product pitch. As long as you have read the pitch and find it to be tasteful, authoritative and relevant, you should send your traffic there.
Your goals should go beyond making a sustainable income. Make sure you work hard every day to make your profits grow. At first, it will be difficult to put in a lot of time, but it will be worth it in the long run.
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Boat Dock Lifts Charleston SC is more than just a place to tie up and anchor your boat. It can serve various functions, including relaxing by the water, building a workshop, or cleaning fish.
Whether you are building or renovating a dock, there are some crucial points to remember. These include material, design, permits, and installation.
The material used in the construction of a dock will have a significant impact on how well it performs and how long it lasts. The choice of materials also has to consider whether the dock will be located in fresh, brackish, or salt water. Some of the most popular materials for a dock include concrete, steel, and wood. Some people prefer to use a composite of different materials to get the best of both worlds. Other choices include vinyl and plastic. These are among the most affordable options for a boat dock. They are easy to install and come in various colors and textures. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, including heavy wind and wave action. However, one drawback of this type of dock is that it has a different visual appeal than a wooden or composite dock.
Another important consideration is the specific gravity of the material. The SG of water is 1.00, so any material with a lower SG will float, and any higher will sink. While many people assume that the SG of the dock is a factor in its durability and longevity, some factors can affect a dock’s SG, including its thickness, the amount of water it holds, and the type of sea current it will be subject to.
Ideally, a dock should be constructed with an entrance channel of adequate depth. This is necessary for the safe berthing of vessels and is essential in port facilities. In addition to this, the dock should be adequately sheltered from winds and water currents. This is often accomplished through walls, lee breakwaters, and other structures.
Although it may cost more upfront, a good quality dock should be made from quality materials that will hold up to the elements. Poor-quality materials will succumb to damage more easily and must be repaired or replaced sooner. This could cost more money in the long run, as well as cause environmental harm.
Some of the most common materials for a dock include pressure-treated pine, cedarwood, and metal. Woods such as cedar have a natural resistance to rot and wood-boring insects, and they can be preserved with a water sealant. This makes them a great alternative to pressure-treated pine, which can deteriorate or decay if not properly sealed.
Whether you’re planning a small dock for a personal watercraft or a large one for commercial boats, the structure’s design is a crucial factor. It should be well-thought-out to ensure that it meets the desired function and can withstand the conditions of the water.
For example, a dock should be designed to allow for the safe entry and exit of swimmers. Moreover, it should be built at the highest possible water level. This way, the dock can withstand surges caused by weather events. Additionally, it can prevent the accumulation of ice in winter.
Another important consideration is the type of vessel to be docked. Different watercraft have different requirements, including the weight of the boat and the type of watercraft. Depending on this, the dock should be constructed with the right material to withstand the loads and pressures of the boat.
The shape of the dock is also a key factor. It should be straight, as this offers increased berthing space. The design should also avoid any bendings as they may hinder the berthing of vessels. Some of the most popular types of docks include quay walls, wharves, and piers.
In addition to these, the dock size should be a consideration. The dock should be big enough to accommodate the boats while ensuring sufficient space for other uses. For instance, a dock can have benches or a platform for fishing. It can even serve as a gathering point for family and friends.
It is advisable to consult experts for help with the dock’s design. They will come up with a suitable plan for the construction. A reputable company will use high-quality materials to ensure the structure can withstand harsh weather conditions.
A reputable dock builder will also consider the local laws and regulations regarding construction on the water. Some areas require permits to construct a dock, while others have strict rules on the type of structure that can be built. A floating dock that does not contact the water bed is more acceptable in these locations, as it has a low environmental impact.
If you’re interested in building a dock on your property, it’s important to understand that your local community and neighborhood require a permit before beginning the construction process. Getting this permit ensures that your project is done correctly and follows standard regulations for safety and structural soundness. In addition, it can help you avoid any potential headaches down the road.
The types of permits needed vary from place to place, depending on factors like whether the water body is a lake or ocean, the size of the project, and any other requirements that might be relevant. For example, in some states, a dock must be built at least a certain distance from the shoreline to prevent erosion and damage. In other cases, you may need to submit a plan to the local government before being given a permit.
Generally, a dock permit requires a certified survey of the owner’s property indicating the zoning district and showing property lines, the exact location of the proposed dock and other structures, and any unusual natural features. It also requires a detailed drawing in plan and elevation format that shows the structural design details of the dock. Finally, specifications are needed for the construction materials to be used.
Residential docks, piers and gangways, and any other structure that comes in direct contact with the water must be constructed of non-toxic materials or treated wood that complies with the Western Wood Preservers Institute Best Management Practices for the Use of Treated Wood in Aquatic and Sensitive Areas. They must be designed with a minimum of 40 percent open spacing through grated decking or space between the decking. They must also be located in a water depth that is sufficient for safe boating and must meet strict design standards and survey requirements.
It’s important to note that if you’re building a dock on or near wetlands, the Department of Environmental Conservation requires TVA approval through their 26a application. This can take up to six months to receive. It’s important to work with Dock Masters to ensure your dock is safe and meets all required standards.
Docks are constructed to moor ships or other boats in an enclosed water space. They can also be used to transport goods and cargo from ship to shore, as well as carry out repairs or maintenance. They are usually anchored to pilings or sheets and driven into the ground with heavy equipment at the bottom of a lake or pond.
A dock builder can help you install a new one or repair an existing structure. In addition to their expertise, they can also advise you on the best materials and layout for your waterfront.
Before beginning construction, it’s important to familiarize yourself with your waterfront area. It pays to know whether your shoreline is sand, soil, or rocky, as these factors will affect how the dock is installed and how it will behave in the water. It would be best to consider how much the water level fluctuates yearly.
When you’re ready to start building, first assemble the basic frame of the dock. Then, attach float drums to the frame using the holes provided. Make sure the floats are properly positioned and are not too high or low on the frame.
Next, deck the dock using your chosen material. It’s important to use the right tools and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each process step. It’s also wise to mark each board for fasteners, as this will ensure that nails or screws are spaced evenly across the boards and that no gaps are left.
Lastly, install dock accessories and add safety lines. You can even build seating directly into the dock design, a popular trend that reduces the need for additional furniture and saves on cost.
Considering the importance of docks, it’s critical to get them right the first time. Contact a local dock builder for an expert consultation. They’ll be able to identify any potential issues before they arise and recommend the best solution. They may also have access to nearby resources for marine electricians and other professionals who can assist with any complex problems.
Concrete Contractors Colorado Springs can take our civilization skywards and push it outwards, swallowing up fertile topsoil and choking habitats. That is why architects are increasingly turning to eco-friendly materials to reduce the environmental impact of their buildings.
The aim is to lower the embodied energy in concrete by using supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs) such as fly ash and slag cement and by utilizing higher-strength concrete.
Aggregate is the granular portion of concrete that provides structure and strength. It contains various materials such as sand, gravel, crushed stone, slag, and recycled concrete. Construction aggregates are used in road building, commercial construction, and industrial applications. They are an important component in any project because they provide concrete support. The type of aggregate used has a significant impact on the performance and durability of the final tangible product.
Recycled concrete aggregate (RCA) is a green alternative to conventional aggregates for concrete production. RCA is created by collecting material from construction and demolition waste (CDW). This material undergoes a series of processes to convert into an acceptable construction material. These include crushing, screening, and grading. In addition, it is subjected to strict quality controls to ensure that the material meets the appropriate specifications for use in concrete.
Using RCA reduces both the consumption and waste of natural mineral resources. It also helps to conserve landfill space. In addition, using RCA is a way to comply with the LEED Green Building Rating System. The system’s credit 4 requires a minimum of 25% of the building materials to be recycled or “post-consumer” materials.
The properties of RCA are comparable to those of conventional aggregates. RCA has a higher water absorption rate than natural aggregates but is less affected by temperature changes. This characteristic makes it an ideal replacement for natural sand. It also has better wear resistance and more stable permeability than natural aggregates.
On the other hand, RCA is more susceptible to carbonation and chloride penetration than natural aggregates. Moreover, it has lower density and mechanical strength. Furthermore, it has higher porosity and water absorption, making it unsuitable for high-strength concrete use.
Allied has conducted an in-depth review of several states’ transportation agencies’ usage of RCA for concrete. The process involved a meeting with agency staff to discuss applications used in each state and interviewing them on their experience using the material. The review team included Allied’s engineering, environmental, design, and materials department representatives.
Concrete is one of the world’s most popular construction materials, yet it also contributes substantial embodied carbon. Some estimates put the industry’s contribution at 10 percent of global carbon emissions. Fortunately, engineers have a range of impressive, cost-effective solutions to reduce the environmental impact of concrete.
Some manufacturers are trying to reduce this carbon footprint by using alternative heat sources. The most common replacement is ground granulated blast-furnace slag, but waste glass is another option. Another way to lower a plant’s carbon footprint is to use recycled aggregate, which reduces the need for virgin material. This approach can cut a concrete plant’s carbon footprint by about 40 percent.
Several companies are working on even more dramatically reducing concrete’s environmental footprint. For example, CarbonCure Precast injects recycled CO2 into concrete as it’s being mixed, causing a chemical reaction that increases the strength of the finished product. This approach not only cuts the carbon footprint of the concrete, but it can also earn a building company a green premium that can improve its market position.
Electrifying the lime kilns used to make Portland cement is another possibility. The kilns are almost entirely fossil fuel heated, and switching to electricity would cut emissions dramatically. This move is particularly important because it would enable the kilns to take advantage of renewable energy, which can be produced in a more environmentally conscious manner.
Using less concrete is an obvious way to reduce the environmental impact of buildings, and some builders are now offering to specify low-carbon concrete for their projects. Some of this low-impact concrete is made with a blend containing no Portland cement. In contrast, others use a material called Fly Aggregate, which has the same structural characteristics as traditional concrete but doesn’t require the same heat to set.
Water-reducing agents are a class of concrete admixtures that decrease the amount of water needed to achieve a given slump while maintaining the workability of the mix. They are usually anionic surfactants, such as lignosulfonate or naphthalenesulfonate formaldehyde polymer, and can disperse cement particles to make the concrete flow easier. The result is a lower water-to-cement ratio, saving cement and lowering contractor costs.
They also mitigate drying shrinkage, reducing cracking and deformation. These benefits make them ideal for large concrete pours or structures with restrained conditions. Additionally, water reducers extend the workability of the concrete, allowing it to be transported and placed over longer distances or timeframes.
These admixtures also improve the cohesion between cement particles and reduce segregation and bleeding, making them ideal for high-strength, low-slump concrete. Finally, they can help improve the mix’s durability, reducing freeze-thaw damage and other long-term concerns.
While the first water reducer was developed in 1932, researchers at GCP Applied Technologies continue refining this technology. They recently introduced an innovation to the ready mix industry that can remotely manage concrete slumps between the plant and the job site using smart technology.
The benefits of these innovations are hugely significant for sustainability. By optimizing mix designs, utilizing SCMs like fly ash, GGBFS, and silica fume, and reducing the amount of water used in concrete production, you can dramatically minimize the environmental impact of your next construction project.
In addition, sourcing local materials and using lean manufacturing practices promotes resource efficiency by eliminating transportation-related emissions and supporting the local economy. Additionally, utilizing industrial byproducts and implementing just-in-time production ensures that materials are only used when required, minimizing storage requirements and waste. As more research is conducted, these advancements will allow the industry to develop eco-friendly concrete that meets or exceeds the performance of traditional materials. Ultimately, this can reduce maintenance and repair needs for sustainable buildings and structures that will last for generations.
Concrete is a popular building material and a major component of modern infrastructure. However, during its manufacture, it creates large amounts of carbon dioxide as a chemical byproduct and in the energy needed to power the reactions that make it. Concrete producers can significantly reduce these emissions by replacing some of the cement in their mix with sustainable concrete admixtures, such as fly ash, silica fume, and ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBFS). These materials are also often cheaper than OPC and aggregate.
Using these alternative concrete admixtures in conjunction with oil can further cut a project’s carbon footprint. Form oil is a non-staining hydrocarbon product that prevents the concrete from adhering to metal and wood forms, which are used to shape the concrete while it cures. For years, mineral oil has been the standard form release agent, but organic and synthetic oils are now gaining popularity as alternatives.
When used properly, form oil prevents the concrete from adhering to wooden and metal forms and allows for quick and easy removal of the formed concrete. It also helps to protect the forms from rust and corrosion, which increases their life.
In addition to reducing environmental impacts, using form oil can reduce construction time by up to 40 percent. This reduction in time translates to reduced energy consumption during the construction process and a lower operating cost for buildings made with precast concrete.
Sustainability is a holistic approach to balancing economic and social needs, manipulating long-term development and endurance while protecting the environment. Concrete manufacturers can achieve this by utilizing environmentally friendly raw materials and incorporating innovative production techniques, such as precasting.
Precast concrete is usually manufactured close to where it will be erected, decreasing hauling distances and fuel consumption and exhaust levels. In addition, the concrete’s thermal mass stores and releases heat slowly over time, which can result in substantial energy savings for the building owner, especially when combined with insulation. This energy conservation is a key factor in sustainability.
Your deck is where luxury and leisure collide, so it’s important to curate a space that is both stylish and functional. Whether you’re hosting friends or relaxing alone, these deck ideas will make your home retreat shine.
Shield a lounge area from views and wind with a simple lattice wall. Plants like clematis and climbing roses will eventually grow up the walls for a flowering, fragrant privacy screen.
Stylish Railings and Posts
One of the easiest ways to personalize a deck is by introducing interesting railings and posts. You can use a variety of styles to create an eye-catching look, from intricately carved wood to sleek modern metal and practically invisible glass panels. The possibilities are truly endless, but to give you a starting point, here are some eye-catching ideas that will make your home’s elevated outdoor space stand out from the crowd.
For a traditional design that is sure to please, consider painting your deck’s railings a soft white. This will complement the beauty of the natural wood and also add a touch of elegance to your yard. If you want to keep your deck’s look more casual, a dark brown stain will give it a rich look that will fit in with the rest of your yard.
You can also use your deck’s stairwell as an opportunity to add some style to your home. Varying the level of your stairs can help you break up a large deck into distinct areas for different purposes, such as dining or relaxing. This deck from Crisp Architects features two levels, with the lower-level built-in curved bench providing seating without blocking the gorgeous view for people sitting in chairs on the upper level.
Another fun deck railing idea is to use a wrought-iron fence to divide your deck and provide a place to rest your head. This option can be very functional and stylish, especially if you live in an area with lots of windy weather. A fence like this is sturdy enough to keep you safe from any potential fall, and it will also give your deck a more defined look.
If you want your deck’s railings to be a little more creative than the standard options available, consider using repurposed birch lumber to give them a unique look. You could also use other types of recycled material to create a cool railing that fits your personality.
A final cool deck railing idea is to incorporate a set of wires into your design to create a more modern look. This is a great option for those who have an eclectic style, and it will look great with any type of deck furniture.
Your deck may seem like a simple wooden platform jutting out from your home, but with the right lighting, it can become a fabulous al fresco family room or entertaining space. The best deck lighting designs are both practical and creative, creating a romantic ambiance for your evenings on the deck and showing off your landscape.
For a chic touch, add LED step lights to your deck that are motion activated and will turn on only when someone approaches. The alternating lights create a beautiful stairway, while also providing safety and visibility. You can find these types of lights at most hardware stores.
Another way to illuminate a deck is with ceiling fans that have built-in lights. These fans increase visibility and help to circulate air on warm, humid nights. You can also install a string light fixture that will hang around the edges of your deck, framing it in a magical glow at night. These lights are available in different colors and sizes to suit the ambiance of your deck.
Lanterns – either filled with candles or battery-powered – are a stylish and functional addition to any deck. These lighting options are easy to move and set up as needed, perfect for creating a cozy nook or illuminating a dining table.
If you have a large deck, a fire pit is the perfect feature to add. A fire pit is both a functional area for seating and entertaining, but it also offers warmth and a cozy atmosphere on cool nights. A fire pit can be located on or off the deck and is an excellent spot to gather as a family.
While many decks are exposed to the elements, they can be shielded from whipping winds and harsh sunlight with a simple draped tarp. This is a great option for homeowners who do not want to invest in an expensive roof. It’s also easy to coordinate the tarp with your color scheme by matching it with your cushions or outdoor pillows.
Your deck might seem like just an innocuous wooden platform jutting out into your backyard, but with the right planning and design ideas, you can transform it into the perfect al fresco family room, area for entertaining or just a spot to kick off your shoes and relax. To make the most of your deck, consider introducing some eye-catching art that serves as a focal point and brings a bit of drama to the space.
Choose a bold color to create a pop of color on your deck that will catch the attention of guests. You can also add a neutral look that is subtle enough to blend in with your home. Use railings or screens to break up the large expanse of wood and add visual interest. For example, a light-wood trellis provides definition for this contemporary deck without obscuring the view, while black cable railings give it a high-impact look.
Another great idea is to incorporate a Jacuzzi in your deck to serve as a hot tub and an outdoor shower, allowing you to get clean in the sun. The sleek in-ground style blends into this small deck designed by Tamsin Johnson Interiors rather than standing out as a standalone feature and takes up less floorspace than a raised tub might.
A wood-framed pergola provides both shade and structure to this deck, which features bench seating with cushions from Perennials and a dining table made by Jenni Kayne. A mix of greenery and flowers adds to the lush feel, while a low-maintenance firepit is an added bonus for cooler months.
The deck stair of this home by Carlson Projects is both functional and decorative, using natural spindles that match the wood flooring to visually tie the spaces together. A simple yet stunning idea for a modern deck is to stain the wood flooring, railings and screens with a dark hue, such as black. When paired with white furniture, the high contrast design delivers an elegant, sophisticated vibe.
A wood lattice wall is a stylish addition to any deck and can be covered with climbing plants such as clematis or roses to create a living privacy screen. To prevent the climbing vines from dissolving the open feeling of this modern deck, a pair of matching head-high planters were placed along the edge to add definition and provide a space for growing fresh herbs and vegetables.
Taking the time to think through how you will use your deck can help you create a space that feels just right. For example, if you love to entertain guests, create a zone where you can serve drinks and food. If you plan to practice yoga, designate a spot for meditation and stretching. If you like to grill, a barbecue area is a smart addition. You can even divide a small deck with a few movable furnishings to create several different types of spaces.
The right furniture and accessories can make your deck feel like an outdoor living room. Choose pieces that match your home and work with the style of your yard for a cohesive look. Add a rug, cushioned seating, a coffee table, and other decorative elements to transform a simple deck into an inviting escape.
When designing your deck, consider how much shade you want and the weather conditions where you live. A covered deck will protect you from rain and hot sun, making it easier to cook meals outdoors and lounge comfortably in your backyard. If your deck doesn’t have a roof, you can shield it with an easy-to-install pergola structure. This modern example from designer Pamela Shamshiri features a white structure that complements the shingles on the house.
If you want to increase your deck’s privacy without closing it off from the surrounding landscape, frame a section with a wood-slat screen. The slats are easy to build yourself and fit in with any kind of backyard style. This option allows you to enjoy a scenic view while remaining comfortable and protected from harsh sunlight and wind.
You can also install a wall of greenery to create a privacy barrier for your deck. Use a vertical lattice structure as the base and plant climbing vines like clematis or roses to create an attractive green wall on your deck. The vines will also cling to the wall and keep the space fragrant.
Give your deck a personal touch with unique garden art or outdoor furnishings that stand up to the elements. Hang a bright kite on the stone wall for a quick pop of color, or display a collection of architectural salvage items for a focal point that’s also functional. A personal fire bowl of clean-burning gel fuel is another warm and welcoming addition to any deck. The flickering warmth adds a cozy atmosphere when twilight falls.
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