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Family gets a second chance to have the deck of their dreams
Landscape Design | Decks | Deck Ideas | Composite Decking
Will & Wendy Dunkerly appreciated the terrific advantages that an outdoor backyard deck delivered to them and their two sons: being able to relax, dine and entertain, all the while enjoying the great outdoors in spring, summer and fall.
The three-tiered deck creates a trio of entertaining spaces behind this home.
But Will and Wendy were weary of the problems and maintenance required for the wood deck on their home. “For ten years, we had to contend with splinters and nail pops. Plus the job of staining the deck every other year was not fun at all,” points out Wendy.
So when the Dunkerlys had a new home built, Will and Wendy, like many other homeowners, chose a deck made of composite material. Composite decking is basically a mixture of wood fiber, plastic and a binding agent, forming an attractive material that’s denser and stronger than wood—with many big advantages such as increased durability and reliability coupled with extremely low maintenance.
The built-in riser lights are a nice safety feature when the homeowners want to spend time on the deck at night.
Selecting the perfect materials
After researching various companies offering composite decking, Will and Wendy decided on a product called TimberTech. Will designed a three-tiered deck to meet the needs of the active family and the Dunkerlys contracted with Precision Fence Company, an authorized TimberTech installer in Long Island New York, to construct their 500-square-foot deck.
The result is a quite lovely addition to their new home, a deck that achieves the perfect combination of elegance and ruggedness while not splintering, warping or needing pampering the way wood does. “We absolutely love this deck, especially when we remember the hassles of the deck at our previous home,” says Wendy. “Now we have a deck with zero maintenance and the look we want.”
The couple says that because they chose composite material they had more color and style choices. Since the exterior of the Dunkerly home features grey, red and black, they chose the Silver Maple color in the Earthwoods Evolution Terrain line, a TimberTech product that’s capped with a protective polymer shell.
“We also made the smart choice of getting a textured material,” Wendy points out. “When kids with wet feet are on the deck, there’s far less chance of slipping. Plus we notice in icy weather that the dog doesn’t slide around when going outside.”
The lowest level is so close to the ground that it didn’t require a railing.
Creating the design
The Dunkerlys’ deck has three distinctive levels, starting with a top tier that’s flush with the back door of the home, making a smooth and natural flow to the outdoor space. Here’s where the couple enjoys a quiet moment with their morning coffee, sitting at a small bistro set or in comfy lounge chairs. It’s a haven to relax before starting their workday—or better yet, planning weekend fun.
Steps from the deck’s top level lead to a path going to other parts of their beautiful wooded back yard. A couple of other steps lead to the deck’s middle level, a charming and cozy octagonal space featuring an outdoor dining set.
The top two decks feature black and brick red TimberTech railings that coordinate smartly with the home’s exterior colors. “Our railing allows for significant design possibilities with various mix and match colors and infill options. “It is the finishing touches that can really improve an outdoor living space.”
This bench pulls double duty by providing extra seating and blocking the view of the underside of the upper deck.
The bottom level of the Dunkerlys’ deck is close to the ground so no rail is needed, making for a wonderful transition to nature. “Will and I love to sit here, maybe have a glass of wine, and watch Landon and Cooper and their friends on the trampoline or playing lacrosse.”
The bottom deck level features irresistible lounge chairs and a bench comprised of TimberTech material built by Precision Fence Company. “We’re not fans of latticework, but we needed something to block the view of the underside of the next level up,” reports Wendy. “A bench works well as a cover-up and as additional places to sit.”
“Using the TimberTech material makes it easy to construct a bench that’s safe and offers decorative advantages,” says Neeley, who installs about 60 decks a year. “About 80% of homeowners want a bench.”
When the sun goes down, fun on the deck doesn’t stop since all steps feature built-in riser lights.
It’s no exaggeration to say that the Dunkerlys love everything about their deck, including the handsome look it brings to their outdoors.
A TimberTech deck has hidden fasteners so no more nail pops – and the deck is splinter-free. “Instead of staining, maintenance now means just an occasional cleaning and we love that,” says Wendy. “Honest, if we had to move tomorrow, we’d have a TimberTech deck built at our next house.”
Precision Fence Company says in over ten years of installing TimberTech, he has never had one customer complaint.
* Added Value *
When considering any remodeling project, homeowners always want to know, “Will the improvement increase my home’s value?”
Decks are a popular item often sought-after by home buyers. In fact, according to the popular “Cost Vs. Value” annual chart in Remodeling magazine, the “cost recouped” projection for a midrange composite deck addition is 75.5% and 73.2% for an upscale deck.