Our feature story this week is a newly completed deck and pergola project in Central Georgia that is anything but ordinary. This particular deck is what we refer to as ultra low grade. This means the deck itself sits less than one foot off the ground. The completed project includes a pressure-treated deck with standard pressure treated railings. The railing also includes a custom gate to ensure the homeowner’s small kids stay on the deck and their dog stays off. We also built a stunning pergola over the top of the deck for shade and beauty. The pergola is built in a traditional style with pressure treated wood as well. The pergola provides shape and dimension to the deck and makes the perfect place for the homeowners to hang a ceiling fan.
In scenarios such as this, we usually prefer to build a paver patio in lieu of a deck because of the close proximity of the structure to the ground. Sometimes building a deck this low to grade can present issues because the lack of required space below the decking boards required for ventilation. Many times this absence of space will cause the decking planks to cup. Often, moisture that occurs naturally in every landscape will cause the deck to stay wet on the bottom. This moisture is usually not an issue because there is generally enough space under the deck to allow adequate ventilation and air flow ensuring the decking boards dry out appropriately. In the case of ultra low-to-grade decks, the bottom is more likely to remain wet and swollen for long periods while the top of the same board will dry and shrink. This opposite action on the same board will cause it to cup.
In most situations we prefer a distance of 16″ below the deck. There are some PVC decking boards on the market that don’t require this However, in our experience the best way to prevent cupping is to use a pressure treated wax injected wooden decking boards. This wax is the same as pre-treating your deck so the deck will not require sealing for a few years. However, the sun will degrade the wax over time and the deck will have to be sealed annually after that.” In this project, as with many of our low-to grade-deck designs, the bottom of the deck will be protected because this area will never have contact with the sun and the wax will never be burnt off. The only other instance when Archadeck of Central GA recommends using this product is when the customer is interested in selling their home in the new few years. This product ensures the homeowner’s will not have to perform any additional maintenance prior to moving.
The homeowners are very happy with their finished deck and pergola. The low-to-grade design adds a unique character to the rear of the home. These clients are looking forward to the outdoor living season and the opportunity to spend cherished family time on their new deck in the years to follow.
If you have a unique deck design in mind and are uncertain of how your idea will look or function in your landscape, contact Archadeck of Central Georgia. Our expert design experience and realistic renderings can help you determine if the outdoor space you have in mind is the best fit for your existing home and landscape. Call us today for a free design consultation at (478) 745 – 2000 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org