Why You Should Build a Deck Addition: All Decked Out

Your backyard is your very own sanctuary to relax, play with the kids, and entertain family and friends. Want to step it up a notch? Consider adding a deck addition to your home. After all, they are they perfect place for outdoor entertainment.

deck addition contractor

Deck additions are a great investment for your home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report for 2017 (www.costvsvalue.com), they can return up to 62.7% of the initial costs for a deck addition in the Richmond, Virginia area. Additionally, decks are a sought after feature for many homebuyers. Homebuyers often want to see a family friendly home that they can see themselves spending time in, this includes the outdoor space. Having a deck addition will make your home that much more desirable when it comes time to sell!

A deck can be the perfect way to add on some extra entertaining space without the cost of a full room addition. Home additions can take months to complete. Additionally, decks are usually much less invasive than home additions since the bulk of the work is kept outside of the home.

deck addition contractor

A deck can improve the beauty of your home. Decks can be built in virtually any design and style to suit your home. One of the main factors that determines what your deck will ultimately look like is the material that you choose. Some decking materials include: pressure treated wood, composite, aluminum, and plastic.

  1. Pressure treated wood decking is the most common material for deck additions. This is perhaps because it is the most affordable option on the market. While you will see a high return on investment with a wood deck, it will require annual maintenance.
  2. Plastic decking is by far the most weather resistant decking material available. However, some cheaper versions can get extremely slippery when wet.
  3. On the contrary, aluminum decking is extremely durable and slip-resistant. This material can stand up to harsh weather conditions and is much lighter than other materials. Unfortunately, it will also make the biggest dent in your budget.
  4. Composite decking is becoming a more and more popular option. This is because it has the beauty of wood without the upkeep. Some major downsides with composite is that it can be slippery, is susceptible to stains, and tends to be a little more costly than other options.

Ultimately, the material that you choose for your deck is dependent upon your budget and the time that you plan on devoting to upkeeps. If you have any further questions choosing a decking material that is right for you, feel free to contact us for a free consultation and we would be happy to help you.

deck addition contractor

Whatever the reason for wanting to add a deck to your home, make sure it is done properly. After all, a deck made of quality materials should provide you and your family years of enjoyment. For expert deck installation in the metro Richmond, Virginia area, feel free to contact Balducci Exteriors with any questions.

© 2017 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling
2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

Planning an Outdoor Kitchen (And Why You Need One)

For many people, outdoor kitchens are a far fetched dream. They exude luxury entertainment and can be as well equipped as any indoor kitchen. Adding an outdoor kitchen to your home has many benefits. In addition to providing an awesome entertainment space, an outdoor kitchen can increase your home value. Some other lesser known benefits of adding an outdoor kitchen include: cooking healthier recipes, saving money by eating out less, and keeping bad cooking smells out of your home.

outdoor kitchen

When planning an outdoor kitchen space, there are several things to keep in mind to create an efficient and inviting space. here are some tips to make the planning process a little less overwhelming:

Establish the Location

Often, the first step in planning your outdoor kitchen is to establish where you want the kitchen to be located. Typically, it is better to have your outdoor kitchen closer to your house if you plan on using some appliances in the main kitchen, or if you have a smaller yard size. This set up works well if you plan on using your outdoor kitchen for mainly grilling and will keep condiments and beverages inside. placing your outdoor kitchen close to the house makes preparing meals in the outdoor kitchen more convenient. However, if you want a more extravagant outdoor kitchen, placing it farther away from the home will serve the space better. This is also preferable if you have a larger yard size. Plus, this will help to keep fumes and smells outside of your home.

Choose Your Equipment

Choosing a grill for your outdoor kitchen can be overwhelming. After all, it is typically the focal point of any outdoor kitchen. Will you have natural gas or charcoal? How many guests do you plan on cooking for? Grills can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Practically speaking, you will want a grill that has at least 12,000 British thermal units per burner, ample cooking space, and a grill cover. Once you have the basics covered, feel free to add on any bells and whistles that you desire.

In addition to the grill, it is also important to determine any other appliances that you wish to include. This can include anything from a small refrigerator or prep sink, to a kegerator and pizza oven. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing appliances for your outdoor kitchen is their durability.

Planning the Layout and Materials

Just as any kitchen should have a good, working design and configuration between the appliances and prep areas, so should your outdoor kitchen. A good way to ensure the efficiency of an outdoor kitchen layout is by utilizing a working triangle. In a working triangle, it is important to leave enough space between each appliance to allow for ample prep and cooking space without feeling too claustrophobic. Going along with the working triangle, it is also important to allot for ample countertop space. It is recommended that you have at least 12 inches of work space on either side of the grill to set down plates and utensils as you’re cooking. In addition to a work space, you can configure your countertops to also serve as a serving and eating space.

The countertops and all other materials that you choose must be hardworking. After all, it will be exposed to whatever the weather brings – from bright sunlight to snowfall. Some durable and low maintenance materials include stainless steel and tile.

Plan for Lighting

Lighting is an essential part of any outdoor living space, especially for outdoor kitchens. Including lights in your outdoor kitchen area can allow you to enjoy your space long after dinner. The best way to effectively incorporate lighting into your outdoor kitchen is by including both task lighting and ambient lighting. This can be accomplished by installing a couple of lights over the grilling and food prep areas, as well as any dining areas. To set the mood, it is also a good idea to include some decorative lights, such as string lights, solar powered lights, candles, and even tiki torches.

outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are a great investment for those who love to invite family and friends over by adding additional entertaining space. Planning an outdoor kitchen can be overwhelming; however, it can be made a little more manageable if you plan its location, equipment, appliances, materials, and lighting ahead of time. Once your outdoor kitchen is complete, don’t forget to plan that long awaited barbecue with family and friends to enjoy your new space.

4 Driveway Materials That Aren’t Concrete or Asphalt

Today, there are a limitless number of driveway options available. However, it seems that concrete and asphalt driveways are the most common driveway materials in the majority of residential areas. This is because these materials are affordable and relatively easy to install. While concrete and asphalt are good options, there are many others on the market. Here are four driveway option ideas:

Brick Paver Driveways

driveway driveways contractor
Photo: The Spruce

Brick driveways give off a classical feel and are perfect for colonial, craftsman, and other architectural styles; however, they can be a beautiful addition to almost any home. Brick paver driveways are extremely durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions and frequent use. This driveway material is durable and should last at least 25 years.

Cobblestone Paver Driveways

driveway driveways contractor
Photo: Unilock

Cobblestone paver driveways are notorious for their “Old World” appeal and are usually composed of granite. Cobblestone driveways may be one of the most expensive driveway options; however, a well-built cobblestone driveway can easily last over a century. One major advantage of cobblestone is that wear and tear will only accentuate the cobblestone’s character.

Macadam Driveways

driveway driveways contractor
Photo: Pinterest

Macadam driveways, also referred to as “tar and chip” driveways consist of aggregate layers of stone and a binding agent. Unlike asphalt, macadam driveways are low maintenance since they don’t require a yearly sealing. In addition to being low maintenance, they are also affordable. Macadam is slightly cheaper than asphalt to install. Furthermore, macadam driveways can last around a decade and can provide good traction, even in the rain.

Concrete Paver Driveways

driveway driveways contractor
Photo: The Spruce

Concrete pavers is a very versatile driveway option since it is available in a variety of shapes, colors, styles, and patterns. Concrete paver driveways can last anywhere from 25 to 50 years. The biggest downfall of concrete is that it can stain easily; however, choosing pavers over large slabs is a huge advantage since you can easily replace individual pavers.

Qualities to Look for in Roofers for Your Home

After you have determined whether your roof is due for a replacement or a repair, perhaps the most difficult step is choosing a roofing contractor near you. When choosing between roofers in your area, there are a few major credentials that you need to look for.

Licensed and Insured

One of the first things that you should search for in a roofing company is checking whether they are fully licensed and insured. The contractor should have insurance that covers all employees and subcontractors. Feel free to request their business license and a copy of their insurance for any roofing contractor you are considering doing work on your home.

Knowledgable

It is important to choose a roofing contractor that is knowledgable in good roofing practices, installation, dealing with problem spots, and roof flashing details. In addition, it is helpful to choose a roofer that knows about different shingles, grades, colors, low slope roofing, and flat roofing materials. Perhaps, your roofing contractor can suggest something for your roof that you had not thought of previously.

Experience

While a roofer doesn’t necessarily need many years of experience to do a good job, it is beneficial to choose a contractor that has seen a variety of jobs. Experience is great in the event that you choose a not as common shingle material, or if your roof has interesting slopes, or any other factor. Then, your roofer of choice can share a time when they had previously worked with that material, or on another house similar to yours.

Testimonials

Speaking of experience, it is also a good idea to ask roofers for some testimonials, or feedback, from previous clients. This can help you get a better feel of what it is like to work with different roofers. It is also a good idea to reach out to neighbors, friends, and family when choosing a roofer to see who they would recommend to get the job done.

Better Business Bureau (BBB)

The Better Business Bureau is a great resource to look at reputable companies in your area. Checking for different roofers’ ratings can help you find out more about them from an unbiased source. Always be on the lookout for an “A+” rating by the Better Business Bureau when choosing between roofing contractors.

Benefits of Double Pane Windows

Due for a window replacement? If you are looking to maximize the energy efficiency in your home, it may be time to consider installing double pane windows.

double pane windows

Double pane, or dual pane, windows are windows with two panes of glass as opposed to single pane windows, which one have one pane of glass. In double pane windows, there is a small opening between the glass pane to allow for better, more efficient insulation.

Some double plane windows just have plain air sitting between the glass panes; however, the more energy efficient double pane windows have argon gas between the glass panes. Argon is chosen for double pane windows because it is inexpensive, non-toxic, and odorless. Double pane windows with argon gas offer better insulation because gas is heavier than air. Argon gas also helps to prevent frost from forming on the bottom of the window in cold weather.

Did you know that windows account for approximately 50% of your heating and cooling bills? This is why it is so important to have good quality windows installed in your home, specifically dual pane windows. Perhaps the biggest and most noticeable benefit of installing double pane windows is the increased energy savings. While single pane windows may cost less initially, dual pane windows will eventually save you money due to the increased energy savings. Some estimate that double pane windows can save 20%-30% on annual energy bills.

replacement windows richmond

Another benefit of dual pane windows is that it helps in noise reduction because of its insulating abilities. While it does not soundproof things completely, it does help to keep a quieter home. This is especially beneficial for those who live on a busy street or for those who work at home.

For those who are due for a window replacement in the near future, we recommend double pane windows. They are available in many popular window styles, including casement, double-hung, and sliding and provide the most energy savings. Interested in a window replacement? Contact us today!

Composite Decking for Your Outdoor Living Space

Outdoor decks are a great way to add an entertainment area to your home. What many people do not know is that there are many available decking materials for you to choose from. The available materials include wood, plastic, aluminum, and composite. Composite decking is a great option because it is low maintenance, has an attractive appearance, and it is durable.

 

composite decking
Photo: Pinterest

Low Maintenance

One of the biggest benefits that comes with composite decking is that it does away with the burden of constant upkeep. Wood decks need to be re-stained, power washed, and sanded regularly to maintain their appearance. Composite decking doesn’t require re-staining or sanding.

Additionally, wood decks also require the addition of pesticides and metals during the pressure treating process. While this helps to prevent pests, it is bad for the environment and can be dangerous to children and animals as it deteriorates over time. Composite doesn’t require these harmful additives since it is naturally resistant to insects, mold, and decay.

 

Durability

Composite decking is comprised of waste wood, plastic, and other recycled materials. Since it combines wood with plastic, it lasts longer in the elements than wood decks. Wood decks are known to rot, mold, and splinter. On the other hand, composite decks don’t experience these problems. The only thing that you need to look for in composite decking is the occasional surface mold and discoloration. This can be easily taken care of with a household cleaner and a brush.

 

 

Appearance

Many homeowners choose to go with composite decking because of their consistent coloring. Since they are manufactured, each board will look identical to the next. On the other hand, wood decks are known to fade to a dusty gray after a few years if they are not properly maintained.

 

composite decking
Photo: Pinterest

Since composite decking is manufactured, it is constantly improving with advancements in technology and the manufacturing process. Although composite decks are a great option, they are a little more pricey than wood decks. However, a composite deck doesn’t require much maintenance – which means more time can be spent enjoying your outdoor living space with your family.

Benefits of a Vinyl Siding Replacement

As you may know, vinyl siding is one of the most popular siding options available. When vinyl siding first became available, it was meant to replace the then-popular aluminum siding. Early vinyl siding quickly earned a bad name for many homeowners since it had a tendency to crack and sag. However, that is simply not the case nowadays. If you choose to have a vinyl siding replacement for your home, you will see some of the biggest benefits associated with vinyl siding.

vinyl siding colors vinyl siding replacement
Custom Home by Balducci Builders, Inc.

Variety

Vinyl siding is no longer the cheap, plastic product of the past. Thanks to improving technologies, vinyl siding is now manufactured in a wide variety of styles, colors, and textures. Vinyl can even be manufactured to mimic the look of cedar shakes, ceramic tile, and more. In the past, vinyl was often only available in white or light-hued colors. With the progression of anti-fade technologies, vinyl siding is now available in endless colors – ranging from your darkest grays to your brightest whites!

Affordable

Perhaps the biggest reason why vinyl siding is so popular is because it is by far the most affordable house siding option available. In addition, the average lifespan on vinyl siding is about 50 years, which means that you will be getting your money’s worth. According to the Remodeling Cost vs. Value report for 2017 (costvsvalue.com), a vinyl siding replacement will recoup an average of 76.4% of your investment. This proves that a vinyl siding replacement is a great investment for your home.

Durable

If you decide to have a vinyl siding replacement for your home, you will be lucky enough to witness the durability of vinyl siding. Vinyl siding is made to withstand the elements – from wind, to rain, to hail. It even has the ability to withstand high winds of more than 200 mph. Additionally, vinyl is resistant to moisture, meaning it is not likely to rust or corrode over time.

vinyl siding replacement

Simple Maintenance

A great thing about a vinyl siding replacement is that vinyl is virtually maintenance free. Vinyl siding will never need repainting, which is required for other types of siding. The only maintenance that is required for vinyl siding is an annual cleaning with mild soap and water, which means that the rest of the year leaves time to relax.

Easy to Install

Having a vinyl siding replacement done on your home is a relatively cheap and simple process. This is mainly because vinyl is a lightweight material. Vinyl siding can be installed over existing materials, making it a great retrofit option. As a bonus, since vinyl siding is simple to install it helps to cut down on labor costs.

© 2017 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling
2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at http://www.costvsvalue.com.