See how this homeowner achieved a high-end finish for a high-in-the-air project
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Local Articles in Preston
Is it OK to leave snow sitting on your deck all winter? Here's how to prevent damaging your wood or composite deck with proper preparation and maintenance.
Contractors say homeowners with this trait are the most satisfied with home improvement projects.
The old fixtures we replaced were nothing to write home about, and as a result, this simple swap has made all the difference. With Scott as my hand model, we’ll show you how to install an exterior light in no time!
I agree with Jim Casper - after about 50 years of dealing with weathered wood finishing both in my homes and in the construction business, it comes down to about 90% preparation, 10% the finishing. If you do not prep the wood right, any moisture, mold, etc in the wood will destroy whatever you put over it.
High-build finishes like paint and epoxies and, from reading the Rustoleum flyer on this new product that too, work by trying to make an impenetrable surface and depend on a very good bond with the surface, AND no water getting under them. Because they are thick and are designed to provide a waterproof surface, unfortunately where water gets under them they are just as good or better at keeping it from evaporating, so you get fungal growth, blistering, and peeling.
Unfortunately, on deck and most outdoor applications except siding the surface will get nicked, scratched and otherwise develop leaks in short order. Water will therefore get into the underlying wood, and because it entered through small cracks and scratches, does not have any airflow to make it evaporate, so it sits there and breaks the finish bond to the wood (causing peeling and blisters), and promotes decay. That is why new deck boards and siding and trim that have been heavily or multi-coat painted on all 4 sides, thinking that will give the best protection, only last a few years versus the usual 10-20 years or so for boards that are painted top and sides only.
The full sun and hot conditions will, of course, cause more thann normal heating of dark colored painted decking. I had one instance where I was doing an independent appraisal of a very large commercial deck at a government facility, and in 85-90 degree daytime temps, in the sushine the chocolate brown deck surface temp was 150 degrees, and the paint was softening so much it stuck to the bottom of your shoes a couple of months after application.
As Jim said, the studies pretty clearly show that a breathable penetrating stain gives the best life, after plain ACA/CCA (copper chromium variations - the green stuff) treated wood. Penetrating stains, properly applied, do NOT seal in the moisture, they inhibit its entry and (when dark colored) help protect against sun damage to the wood and finish, but still breathe enough to let moisture escape on dry days. For my money, I will only use petroleum distillate (paint thinner cleanup) products, as they penetrate into the wood much better. Water based ones immediately start swelling the wood pores, so it blocks further penetration of the stain, which while cleanup is a bit easier, totally defeats the purpose of a PENETRATING stain or sealer.
I would recommend against any sort of waterproofing sealer, as they trap the water just like paint, and I have never seen one that is effective for 2 years.
My personal preference, though it limits the architectural coloration possibilities, is ground-contact rated copper compound treated wood (NOT the Wolmanized brown product), which comes green initially but can be retreated with either green or brown solution or can be liquid colorized darker (though not easily to a specific tone) using either of those as a base. My practice is to redo the treatment before installation to ensure thorough treatment, as from the mill it commonly has skips where boards contacted each other or where stacking seperators laid on it, and the ends are commonly very poorly done. This is done after cutting to length, as cut ends have to be retreated anyway. A simple short deck cleaner soak followed by a light pressure washing and brush or roller re-treating of ONLY the TOP surface every 10 years or so has, for me, reduced visible weathering of the boards and beams to negligible.
The product has evolved considerably since the lawsuit.
I would still do your own research and give you contractor your feedback. At the end of the day, the cost for whatever board you want will be similar.
That being said, a legitimate contractor still has operating cost which vary by area and how they run their business. I break even at $150/day not including labor and materials so I've got to charge more than that to make money. To keep the math simple, if I'm paying $250 for a pne day job in labor plus another $300 in materials and $150 operating costs I've got to charge $700 to the customer to break even. That's if I'm only doing one job a day which is why most of us manage several at a time. The point I'm trying to make is that someone with the necessary knowledge and experience to build you a safe deck is not going to be cheap. Knowledge accompanies success which costs money.
I've repaired or restructured several decks built by handymen who should find another profession. Ask yourself this question when hiring someone for this project: Would I trust this person to build my house? If the answer is no you need to find someone else. The deck is just as important. It's where your family, friends, kids are going to gather and interact. If it isn't structurally sound it can collapse causing injury or even death. One last word on decks: Always screw a deck together, don't nail it.
Todd's Home Services
San Antonio, TX
Deck Building reviews in Preston
M main complaint is that I spent way too much time trying to manage his subcontractors - none of whom spoke English. I've got nothing against Hispanic workers, but if you're going to hire subs that don't speak English then it's your job to explain to them what they need to do. The one exception was his electrician -
All in all, I like
the file cabinet and refrigerator were not the right size...The refrigerator
fell into the hole and the file cabinet wouldn't fit all the way in, it was too
high off the floor and had to be lowered. Again, the contractor didn't measure
correctly. I made it clear to the
contractor, I wanted open shelves on another wall, but his guys created a wall
and had to take it down.
I paid the company
the 2nd installment based on the CEO's definition of being half-way done, not
mine. Shortly after that payment, the
contractors stopped showing up and the company boss wouldn't answer my phone
calls. I was left in a construction site, with dust (and I have asthma), switches
hanging out of the walls, my refrigerator and file cabinet weren't installed
because they had yet to correct the openings, the sheet rock work wasn't done
on the ceilings or walls or around the cabinet areas, there were no drawers and
shelves in the openings as they were not measured correctly, and there was no
After 2 months of
trying to get the workers to come back to finish the job, I went to DPOR to
to a previous job and entered into a contract with me on a form which listed
his license number (2705-141820A).
During those two months, I did what I could to clean up their mess...I
did sheet rock work, hired an electrician to fix the plugs, bought storage cubes
to put into 2 of the openings, bought more wood to create shelves above the
other two units, and my son tore apart the 4 openings that weren't measured
right to lower them so the new cubes would fit.
I bought a plastic shoe unit and installed it myself and fixed the dry
wall next to the bathroom and around the other openings.
In August after the
complaint came down from DPOR, the contractor got in touch with me and agreed
to an addendum (dated 8-5-2014) to the original contract. Pictures were taken and signed, a new list of
needs were addressed, and work was started again based on what still needed to
be done. On the list was Framing,
installing the units, the refrigerator, the file cabinet, and trim work. The
contractor added that "all previous work completed and done to client's
satisfaction which I made him cross through. He also added "Once contract
is satisfied there is no need for legal action" which I wanted to remove
but he didn't. And I made him put in a
completion date which we argued about.
It took his man only 4 days to complete a job I
waited 5 months to get done while living in a construction site. I had since suffered with sinusitis, 2 trips
to the emergency room for my back due to dry wall work, I lost my job due to
anxiety and time out of work, and it cost me an additional $800. to get
supplies and materials to fix the contractors mistakes. To add insult to injury, I took him to court
and lost, now I have to pay him $1300. for doing all that to me. I don't blame the judge because he has to go
by the addendum and cannot make moral judgements. The entire process from beginning to end took
10 months between the construction, waiting, and going to court. I'm glad it's almost over except for the
payments. This contractor didn't listen
to my wishes, his men don't know how to measure anything correctly, he dumped
me and left me hanging so I had no other recourse except to try and
The demolition and construction crews were both very professional and it was a pleasure watching how they worked together. The construction crew in particular, consisting of
The Trek Pro Platinum designation is well deserved by
Back to why the reviews are surprising - every challenge we have had with them are specifically listed as positive, "A", reviews on their site. They are not responsive. They do not stay in any type of communication, even after we have repeatedly begged for it. They do not clean up the job site - our backyard has become their dumpster - we have asked multiple times for them to clean it up to no avail. We have dogs and children that cannot use the yard because of the scattered debris.
We wish could add pictures to show the mess...
Please be careful and fully vet these guys before signing on. Ask to contact previous customers. You might be surprised to hear that the glowing reviews listed on this page are not what they seem.
Good luck! Fingers crossed our project gets finished...at this point, we're not overly confident.
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