Deck Design and Installation

Specializing in deck construction and repair, Whitford Contracting is your one stop resource for all your deck related needs. Whether you need a complete installation from start to finish or just some minor repair work, our licensed and insured contractors will guide you through every step of the way and work within your budget.

We install and repair all types of decks, including:

  • Wood Decks
  • Composite Decks
  • Screened Porches
  • Porch Build Outs
  • Roof Decks
  • Pool Decks
  • Backyard Decks
  • Jacuzzi Decks

Decking Frequently Asked Questions

Should I choose wood or composite material for my deck?

The common denominator in wood decking, whether it's treated pine, redwood or cedar, is the need for regular care and maintenance. Sanding, staining and resealing are an annual chore for some, but others might go two or three years between treatments.

In recent years some sharp entrepreneurs, recognizing that many homeowners might appreciate a lower-maintenance option, came up with some alternatives. In addition to vinyl and aluminum, there's even plastic decking available now. But the segment of the decking industry that's seen the biggest change is what's called composite decking.

Composite decking is typically made from a combination of different materials (namely, wood and plastic), which are processed to give the appearance of wood. Both the wood (which consists of lumber industry byproducts like sawdust, chips and wood fiber) and the plastic can be made from virgin or recycled material.

Manufacturers mix the components, often adding a pigment and preservative. The mixture is heated, formed into board-shaped lengths and then cooled. The resulting board of composite decking is usually heavier than wood but not as strong. But composite decking is resistant to rot, doesn't warp, won't give people splinters, and doesn't need to be painted, stained or sealed.

The color of most composite decking will fade somewhat after the initial installation. Homeowners are encouraged to keep their composite decking swept clean, attend to any stains as soon as possible, and hose it down twice a year, finishing with a soap and water scrub.

What is picture-framing a deck?

“Picture-framing” refers to putting a border around the edge of a deck or porch. On a composite deck or porch, picture frames are constructed using square-edge boards and mitered corners to ensure a clean, finished look.

Among the reasons to consider a picture frame:

  • It heightens visual interest. Most contractors will use one color for the deck's interior and then a contrasting shade for the picture frame. This enhances the custom look of the space and creates a border that really pops.
  • It creates a polished look. Framing with a square-edge board will cover the exposed ends of interior boards as well as hide the edge on grooved decking that is used with hidden fastening systems.
  • It highlights deck stairs and edges, visually reminding guests to watch their footing. That's a smart, easy way to enhance safety on your space. One thing to consider: Darker picture frames are easier to see during the day; however, lighter picture frames are often easier to discern in the evening – especially if you don't have riser lights on stairs.
  • Picture-framing is also effective for defining specific zones on your deck, such as the dining area, as well as highlighting special features like a fire pit.

One final tip: Be sure that the width of the picture frame is in correct proportion to the size of the overall deck. If you're working with a large space, you may want to create a wider, two-board-width picture frame. If the deck is smaller, stick to one board width.

What can I use to melt ice and snow on my deck without damaging it?

The best thing for removing ice and snow is a calcium chloride-based "ice-melt" or rock salt. If you're unsure about what type of ice-melt you're looking for, search for a product that has the phrases, "safe for concrete", "safe for flagstone", and "will not kill grass" in its description. Do not use ice melt with an added colorant. The dyes can stain your composite decking. Never use sand on Fiberon Decking. Sand abrasion can grind into the decking and permanently damage the surface.