Our Current Blog Articles
July 12, 2018
Stamped Concrete or Pavers, What’s Better for Your Patio?
Choosing stamped concrete or pavers for your back patio, even walkways or a driveway, is a great way to add a bit of pizzazz to your home. However, each material comes with its own pluses and minuses.
So what’s better for your patio when both are viable options for beautifying your outdoor space?
Today, the experts at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers breaks down everything you need to know when making your decision. Generally speaking, there are 4 main areas to consider:
- Creating a patio that fits your style and coordinates with your home’s architecture
- Ensuring your safety and preventing slips or falls, especially if you have a pool
- Looking at the maintenance and upkeep needed to enjoy your patio for decades
- Deciding on a cost that won’t stress you out – after all, you want to enjoy your patio
Deciding Between Stamped Concrete or Pavers
Pavers and stamped concrete both have their good points and their not-so-good points. Both make for attractive and reasonably affordable options, but one or the other may offer a better solution for your situation. Let’s look at both and see how each one performs in the following four areas.
Style and Aesthetics
Even though aesthetics is the least important aspect practically, it is the first thing everyone thinks of when planning, and the first thing your guests will notice upon arrival. Style is very important and the reason why many people even consider installing outdoor flooring.
So, which one looks better – stamped concrete or pavers? Ultimately, that’s personal opinion. Some people love the texture and versatility afforded by stamped concrete. You can shape and color it in infinite ways, even to mimic natural materials like brick, slate or flagstone.
On the other hand, stone pavers offer a beautiful, natural finish while masonry pavers come in quite a few varieties to create the look you want. Pavers offer flexibility in design, and many people love the ability to personalize the pattern.
There is no clear winner in the aesthetics category. It truly comes down to personal taste and what type of look you prefer. Let’s move along and consider the other categories to help determine a winner.
Safety and Preventing Slips
Safety concerns are generally not the first thing that people think of when choosing stamped concrete or pavers. However, they are obviously a critical consideration.
The main safety concerns with any type of flooring are slipping and tripping.
Stamped concrete is poured in a continuous slab which makes tripping a rare problem. It also means that it does tend to get slippery when wet. However, the right installation experts can add texture, even a special sealer to greatly improve its slip-resistance. There would be a very low hazard at that point.
Pavers, while they might not get as slippery thanks to good water drainage, tend to present a tripping hazard. When pavers are first installed, the surface is usually very even, and tripping is not too serious of a problem. However, the ground settles over time and the pavers shift, making the surface deceptively uneven and posing a significant hazard. It’s an issue that may require upkeep or repair along the way.
For this area, stamped concrete sneaks ahead, though pavers still have their own merits.
Maintenance & Upkeep
Maintenance is a very significant aspect of choosing between stamped concrete or pavers. Nobody wants to spend all their free time or money on upkeep. They want to spend time enjoying their patio.
Stamped concrete is a bit of a hassle when it’s first installed. It requires 3-5 days of curing before you can even walk on it. Because of its continuous nature, it is also more prone to cracks than pavers.
Many factors (like traffic, hot and cold temperature changes, settling, and shrinkage) affect how quickly cracks may appear. Unfortunately, you can be assured that they probably will appear at some point. For this reason, people often choose a textured pattern to camouflage cracks as they appear.
Pavers are generally not as delicate. You don’t have to wait 3-5 days to start using them, and they are not nearly as prone to cracking. Because they are individual pieces, they have the flexibility to move with settling and hot and cold pressure changes. It is also easier to replace just one section if it gets damaged and makes the patch look uniform with the old pavers.
However, you do have to be aware that from time to time you will need to buy sand to refill the spaces between the pavers.
Material & Install Costs
When you can’t decide on a material, it often comes down to cost. Fortunately, both are relatively affordable options. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help much with the decision-making process!
The upfront cost of stamped concrete is generally less than that of pavers, especially if you want high-end natural stone pavers installed across a massive patio area. That can really add up.
However, long-term costs are harder to gauge. The same material in one yard, where it was installed the right way and taken care of, will last longer and be less expensive than in another yard where the installer was careless and the homeowner skipped all upkeep work.
The long-term cost is just one of the reasons why it is so important to choose a reputable company to install your outdoor flooring whether you choose stamped concrete or pavers.
Carefree Decks and Patio Covers has been providing excellent deck and patio services to our neighbors here in the metro Denver area for over 20 years. We would be happy to help you make the best choice for your specific circumstances, as well as provide expert installation!
Because we are acquainted with these materials, you can trust us to point you in the right direction for your home and budget. Contact us today to request a free quote on stamped concrete or pavers and any other project you’d like to take on to beautify your outdoor space.
June 12, 2018
4 Deck Railing Considerations You Shouldn't Ignore
At Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, we realize that you're likely more focused on the deck than the railing. After all, it's just there for safety, right?
Well, let's rethink that.
If you want to create the perfect look for your outdoor space, the humble and functional deck rail deserves a bit of your attention.
After all, you don’t want to put a lot of thought, money and effort into building an amazing new deck only to have the final product ruined by ignoring these 4 deck railing considerations.
Consider that Gorgeous View
Keep in mind that the overall look of your deck doesn’t just encompass the deck itself, but also includes everything in the vicinity.
To achieve the best overall effect, be sure to consider the surrounding area where you want to build the deck, including proximity to the house, your line of sight and the level of privacy that you desire.
For example, let’s say your backyard affords a majestic mountain view or a great spot to watch the sunset. You won’t want your new deck or the deck railing to get in the way of all that natural beauty, so it is best to choose a thin railing in dark colors to minimize the appearance and maximize the view.
However, if your backyard is small and the neighbors are close, choosing a thicker railing is an excellent way to create more private space for you and your guests to enjoy. Our experts can even help you mix railing types to give you the best of both worlds.
Consider Your Deck Railing Materials
When it comes to railing considerations, remember that not all materials are created equal. Some are more of an investment than others, and some require more work and upkeep than others.
For example, wood is classically beautiful but unfortunately can rot and decay faster than other materials. To slow that process, you must keep up on restaining and sealing frequently which can get to be a bit of a headache.
Glass inserts might be great to see that view, but remember that you'll need to clean the fingerprints and dust off of it if you want to be able to see the view through it.
On the flip side, composites, PVC and aluminum are all great options for versatility and easy maintenance of your deck railing. You only have to decide what is most important to you and what works best for your budget.
Consider Covenants & Building Codes
This should go without saying, but not everyone thinks about it. Before getting started on the build, one of the key deck railing considerations is to ensure compliance.
Check out your local building codes in your specific areas. Different cities and counties often have different codes for building a deck, so what might work in one area won’t necessarily be allowed in another.
If you live in a community with an HOA, you may also want to review your covenants. Many will require you to submit design plans to a committee for review. If you proceed without permission, you may face fines and possibly have to rip out your new deck and rebuild according to their rules.
Of course, working with a reputable company like Carefree Decks will help with this tremendously. We make it our business to know the rules and ensure that we are playing by them and always advise our customers about possible violations. It’s just one of the ways that we can provide excellent service to our clients!
Consider Color and Style
This is the fun part. Here, you can express your personal brand of creativity.
One of the great things is that the possibilities are virtually endless when creating the perfect color/style combination to perfectly accent your deck and your home.
You can quite literally do almost anything you want. The frustrating thing is that with so many options it can feel overwhelming to many homeowners.
Here, we offer a few basic design ideas to help narrow things down a little and get you started on the right track.
- Coordinate – This is the safe route for those who prefer a low-key and a risk-free design. Choose a deck and railing that are all the same color, and you can create a sophisticated, somewhat muted, classic look. This look is easy to pull off and easy to coordinate with the color of your house.
- Contrast – This is pretty much the opposite of coordinating. This idea consists of choosing a deck railing color that will stand out in stark contrast to your deck. For example, you might pair a white railing with a dark deck or a black railing with a lighter colored deck. Keep in mind, if you have a view you want to showcase, dark railings are exceptional for blending into the background and not drawing the eye away from the view.
- Mix and Match – This option is for the creatives out there who enjoy working with different colors and moods. This is where you can go crazy and really let your personality shine even in something as mundane as your deck. With all the color, style, and even texture options (depending on the material you choose) there is virtually no end to the combinations that you could create.
For those of you that really want a unique look, but don’t know how to create it on your own, you can always talk to us here at Carefree Decks. One of our expert designers will help you create your vision, even if you don’t know exactly what you're envisioning yet.
So, when it comes to designing and building the perfect deck, with the ideal deck railing for your view and personal style, please don’t hesitate to call us here at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers.
We will get you on the right track quickly and you will have your dream deck designed, built, and installed as quickly as possible. And don't worry, there's plenty of summer (and even fall) left to enjoy a fabulous new deck.
Give us a call today to learn more and request your deck railing quote.
May 16, 2018
Get the Best Results for your Deck Using Trex Composite Decking Boards
With any home project, your options are limitless. Choosing your tools, help, and materials can be a bit overwhelming. How can you be sure you're making the best choice?
Fear not! Carefree Decks and Patio Covers is about to make it much easier to choose the best boards for your new deck.
Trex composite decking boards are your best choice for your deck project for several reasons, which we've listed below. Check them out:
Why Composite Decking Boards Are Better
When building a deck, always use composite boards. Composite boards are better than wood boards, hands down. Here's why.
No Bleach, No Power Washing, NO MOLD!
If you've ever owned a wood deck for more than a year, you've probably had to deal with one of two problems: a moldy deck or a detailed, yearly cleaning. Normal wood decks require bleaching and/or power washing at least once a year to prevent mold.
Composite decks require much less maintenance. For the most part, you clean it by spraying it with a hose once in a while and cleaning up food right away with soapy water. You still can pressure wash it if you wish, with a pressure of 3100 psi or less.
No Staining or Finishing
When building a wood deck, you'll have to stain the wood unless you pay extra for wood that is already stained. After installing a wood deck, you must apply a weather sealant to protect from the elements and then reapply as needed.
Or you can get composite boards and never have to do any of that. Buy them in whatever color you want them to be and you're done. No staining, no finishing, no painting, no reapplying ever.
With composite boards, you also don't have to worry about the other kind of stains. That is, grease stains, spaghetti stains, wine stains and other common stains are not a concern with composite boards. As long as you clean them up right away with soap and water, your composite deck will always look just as amazing as it did the day it was installed.
They are Just as Beautiful as Wood
Speaking of looking amazing, a lot of people are concerned that composite decks won't look as good as wood decks. on the contrary, Composite decks look just as good if not better than wood decks.
This is especially true as the decks get older. Wood decks have a tendency to crack, rot or mold, but composite decks never will. But don't just take our word for it. See for yourself with this gallery from Trex.
Other Advantages Over Wood Decks
You'll never get splinters from your beautiful, composite deck. And you'll never have to worry about termites, either.
Better Performance Than Other Decking Materials
Wood isn't the only decking material that composite boards have an advantage over. Composite boards are also better than PVC boards when it comes to performance.
Composite boards are less likely than PVC boards to expand and contract with temperature changes. PVC boards are also more easily stained by various substances. And PVC boards often require special cleaners and other maintenance that composite boards don't.
Why Trex Composite Decking Boards Are Even Better
Aside from the above reasons why composite decking boards are better than wood, there are many things that make Trex the king of composite boards. See what makes Trex the best below.
A Good, Trusted Brand
Trex has been producing quality, high-end composite boards since 1996. That means they have been doing this since the very beginning of composite boards.
Being in the industry so long has given them a distinct advantage. They have already been testing and improving their product for up to decades longer than other, younger composite board companies.
For example, all Trex boards are enveloped by a unique, weather-resistant shell that protects against stains and fading. It's one of the reasons why Trex boards require so much less maintenance than other boards.
And Trex boards look better than the competition. Some Trex boards are indistinguishable from wood to the naked eye. The rest look even better.
With Trex, you'll find much higher quality, more types of products and a wider variety of colors and styles than you'll find at other composite board companies. They will even give you a free sample if you ask.
Trex boards are always made of 95% recycled materials using environmentally friendly production methods. That's something most companies in the world can't say about their main product. It's a lot more green than making your deck out of cut-down trees or virgin plastic PVC boards.
Trex Hideaway Fasteners
Trex composite decking boards can be installed using most standard installation methods. Or you can make it much easier on yourself using the provided Hideaway Fasteners by Trex.
The Hideaway Fasteners are little clips you install underneath the Trex boards on your deck. The grooved sides of the Trex boards are made to fit into the clips.
Simply install the clips, slide the board in place and repeat until your deck is done. When finished, all boards are securely in place and there are no exposed screws to worry about.
Here's a video of Hideaway Fastener installation so you can see how it works.
25 Year Warranty
All Trex composite boards come with a 25-year warranty. All you need to do is follow the simple care instructions to enjoy your gorgeous deck worry free for 25 years.
Trex Composite Decking Boards: The Right Choice
No other boards will perform as well in all types of weather. No other boards will require so little maintenance and have so long a warranty. No other boards are as environmentally friendly.
And no other company will have the exact, high-quality decking boards you are looking for like Trex. The choice is obvious! Trex composite decking boards are the best possible choice for your decking needs.
For more ways to awesomize your deck with the help of Carefree Decks and Patio Covers, check out 5 Awesome Ideas for Your Deck and How to Fight Mosquitos and Enjoy Your Deck. Or take advantage of our quality, professional help! Contact us today for your free quote.
April 18, 2018
How to Fight Mosquitos and Enjoy Your Deck
Today, Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker offers tips on how to fight mosquitos and enjoy your deck this summer. There can be nothing more frustrating than getting ready to enjoy some outdoor time out on your deck but the moment you step outside getting mauled by mosquitos. Let us help.
How to fight mosquitos include:
- No standing water
- Ensure proper deck drainage
- Use mosquito dunks
- Plant natural repellants
- Trim grass and bushes
- Attract birds to eat them
- Clean your gutters
- Add deck fans
- Use mosquito repellant
Let’s take a closer look at each of these options to keep mosquitos at bay.
No Standing Water
First things first, empty any standing water on your property. Mosquitos lay their eggs in standing water, so eliminating their options for reproducing is going to help the situation immensely.
Underneath your deck may be a source of standing water and drainage issues. Inspect for proper drainage and install a French drain or apply sand to any areas that accumulate water. This will reduce the chances of mosquitos breeding in standing water around your home.
For any standing water that cannot be drained or eliminated, such as a birdbath, pond, or water feature, insert Mosquito Dunks which are non-toxic and very effective for hampering mosquito larvae from hatching.
Use herbs and proven repellant plants such as lemongrass, mint, rosemary, and citronella around your patio to ward off mosquitos. Be sure that they drain correctly and do not create any additional standing water problems.
Trim Grasses and Bushes
Mosquitos also look for long grass and thicker bushes, where moisture accumulates, to lay their eggs in. Keep grasses and shrubs trimmed to help avoid created the perfect environment for breeding mosquitos.
Encouraging birds (and even bats) to take up residence in your yard is going to help keep mosquitos at bay near your patio. Birds feast heavily on mosquitos, plus you will enjoy the wildlife scenery they offer.
If your gutters fill up with debris and do not drain properly, these can provide a haven for pesky mosquitos. Be sure to get your gutters cleaned regularly to enable proper drainage flow away from the house.
Fortunately, mosquitos cannot fly in more than 2pmh winds. Most oscillating fans will produce sufficient air movement to prevent mosquitos from flying near the patio. Plus, the extra airflow will work great to cool down the patio especially if airflow is an issue, to begin with.
Citronella is a proven mosquito repellent. Use it in plant form or burn it in candle and oil form. Create a perimeter around the patio 2-4 feet apart for extra buggy areas, about 8-10 feet away from the patio, so that you will not get smoked out also.
If all else fails, using a mosquito spray with DEET will stave off mosquitos from the patio, but be aware of the health concerns of doing so too often. This is a potent chemical that’s not good for bugs or people!
Hopefully, you are more equipped than ever with how to fight mosquitos and enjoy your deck this year. The team at Carefree Patios and Deck Covers have a vast repertoire of deck design options and installations that can curb the onslaught of mosquitos this year, so call us the moment you are ready to get the most out of your patio.
April 8, 2018
5 Awesome Ideas for Your Deck
Carefree Decks and Patio Covers in Parker, Colorado has 5 awesome ideas for decks. We put together a list that is going to help you think about what matters when it comes to your backyard and patio options. Take a look and see what sounds good to you and get ready to dramatically improve your free time at home with these awesome ideas for decks in Colorado.
- Outdoor Cooking: One of the most enjoyable means to cook up some delicious meals is to do it outdoors in the fresh air with friends and family all around. Everyone tends to gravitate toward the kitchen, so when planning to add an outdoor kitchen to your space, first think about the fire. Do you prefer to have a stovetop or a grill to do your spring, summer and fall cooking on? The options are many. Choose a portable grill or a built-in, but be sure to place it in a location with excellent airflow. Get ready to love your outdoor kitchen and cook up a storm this year.
- Vertical Gardens: Fresh from the garden to the table, consider a vertical herb and veggie garden and save yourself a trip to the store. It is incredibly satisfying to grow the very food you serve, and it is easily done with a do-it-yourself vertical garden design. Wooden pallets are a great place to start, especially if you would like to block the view from the road or neighbors. Otherwise, use wire mesh to get started with your vertical garden design at home.
- Hot Tub: When it comes to awesome ideas for your deck, there may be no better therapy than having your very own hot tub spa in your yard. Whether relaxing after a day at the office or stargazing with your loved one, a hot tub can add so much enjoyment and relaxation to your current outdoor space. There is indeed a hot tub out there with your name on it. Consider the many benefits of adding a hot tub spa to your existing outdoor living area for maximum enjoyment.
- Pergola: A pergola or any type of pavilion added to your outdoor space is going to enhance the shade qualities protecting from the harsh sun. Add trellising and vines or other yard art to make it your own style. These are great for putting in your favorite place to sit outdoors or in the garden. It can be attached to another structure including the home or stand freely. It all depends on your shade goals. The shapes and sizes available are endless including arched, promenade, open-top, and pitched, made of wood including cedar or plastic such as vinyl.
- Fireplace and Seating: As human beings, we are innately drawn to the fire. Add an outdoor fireplace to your yard and watch as the crowd gathers to enjoy. A fireplace can be an addition to your patio or stand alone. A two-sided fireplace will divide your outdoor space and give more options for relaxing. The options available for outdoor seating are immense, so have fun with it. Choose from outdoor sofas, loungers, wicker chairs and more.
Take advantage of the expertise at Carefree Decks and Patio Covers with these 5 awesome ideas for your deck. Our practical design and build services set us apart as a leader in Colorado for lasting deck installation results. Call us as soon as you are ready to love your outdoor space much more.