Philadelphia handyman talks about decks and porches

Philadelphia handyman talks about decks and porches

Mike Albertson started his construction business more than 30 years ago after serving four years in Vietnam. He finds great satisfaction in creating something out of nothing but remains humble about his accomplishments.

"I've got quite a resume of things I've built, but I'd just be blowing my own horn," Albertson says. "I have nothing in the way of awards - other than 'Best Dad' 16 years running."

Why should I consider adding a deck or porch to my home?

"Adding a deck increases your overall living space and your entertaining space. The difference between a porch and a deck is a porch is usually enclosed and more weatherproofed and a deck is a space outside where you can put a grill and a bunch of chairs.

There are a lot of people who have porches and they're enclosing them in order to use them more often. Many people are utilizing any small areas they might have for a deck.

Especially people who live in the city and only have space on top of their building. They're building roof decks, which we can build as well."

What kind of materials do you use?

"We use the highest grade of pressure treated lumber or we'll use hardwood. Hardwood is much more expensive because we have to drill holes individually and it's not that common here, more so in the South due to the weather. The most common material we use in this area is the pressure treated lumber."

Do I need to get a permit?

"No, you don't need a permit if you're replacing a deck or porch. A lot of times we're replacing or repairing an original deck. It also depends on what area of town you live in.

Some neighborhoods might require a permit from the neighborhood association or from the town or city. It's the homeowner's responsibility to obtain the permit."

What do I need to do to maintain my deck or porch?

"Every couple of years you should seal the deck. A lot of people think once a deck is constructed they can leave it as is. Decks will last a long time, but they'll last longer if you seal it every two to three years. But cleaning isn't necessary."

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