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Decks and Doors: Orthodontics Of Home Design

Ah, summer in Alabama. Birds are singing, people are sweating, and basically the whole state is melting. While the sun is blaring down, any good Southerner knows the heat can’t stop the fun of a good cookout or pool party on the deck. Wilson Lumber has earned a reputation as being the go-to contractor supplier for all things home construction, including helping area homeowners realize their deck dreams are within reach.

When it comes to decks, homeowners have two primary choices—the traditional, pre-treated wood or a new composite deck made from recycled materials. While wood decks are cheaper, Lee Barton, the business development director for Wilson Lumber, recommends a composite deck. They will last close to 25 years without having to be re-stained every summer.

Composite decks are also ideal for families with young children—or those who just like to run around barefoot—because composite material stays smooth.

“It doesn’t splinter, so you don’t get splinters in the baby’s feet,” Lee said. “It doesn’t warp and twist and get all cock-eyed like wood does over time. It’s easy to maintain. You wash it with soap and water and a brush. If you stain wood, you have to keep staining it. This is a one and done.”

So what exactly are composite decks composed of? Wilson Lumber carries composite decks where the boards are made from, reclaimed wood and plastic film from plastic bags.

Since the composite boards are more expensive, experts at Wilson Lumber work to create a deck that uses all of the boards, eliminating waste and ensuring the customer only orders the absolute minimum needed to complete the project.

“We try to only sell people what they need,” Lee said. “We hope there is not much scrap at all leftover.”

Still, wood decks are a popular choice for some homeowners. If you’re building a house and plan on having a deck put in last, oftentimes the end-of-project budget constraints limit you to pressure-treated wood.

Also, if you’re thinking about changing the color of your deck over time, a wood structure would be the best choice. Since you have to re-stain every year, you can change up the look from summer to summer.

Lights, Views and Safety Features

Composite decks can be dressed up with low-voltage LED lights either on the end caps of the posts or in rope-light form under the stair treads for an added safety measure.

If you’re considering a deck overlooking a scenic area, you can opt for a cable baluster—a thin piece of wire instead of a thicker, wooden spindle—giving you a less-obstructed view.

Wilson Lumber can also help with the undercarriage—the framing that holds the deck up.

“People hear about decks falling all the time,” Lee said. “So the deck codes have really increased. We make sure we design it with the right girders and right lumber underneath. … When we’re involved with it, the deck is really strong.”

Braces For Your House

While backyard fun takes precedence during the summer, don’t forget that Christmas wreath-filled doors are right around the corner. Every year, Wilson Lumber installs dozens of iron, wood and fiberglass doors ranging from the simple, standard door to ornate, arch-topped entryways that would be a great addition to any castle.

“That front door—it’s why you give your children braces so their teeth look pretty,” Lee said. “Because that’s the first thing people see is their smile. So the front door is kind of like that. We really hope people will include in their budget a really nice entry door because their friends are going to come in and out that all the time.”

Wilson Lumber carries a variety of doors from Tuscan Iron Works, produced in Memphis, Tennessee, specializing in hand-forged iron doors. In addition to having a custom entrance to your home, these doors provide significant safety and security—few burglars will be able to get past an iron door.

On the lower end of the door display at Wilson Lumber are fiberglass doors. While these were once reserved for contractor pricing and starter homes, they’ve developed into designer pieces with the help of a little faux-wood grain and a stain kit. Fiberglass doors start around $200.

Wilson Lumber also carries the two-part stain kit needed to make the fiberglass look like a solid mahogany door.

Don’t worry. If you’re not a DIY-er, they will also point you to some painters they work with who can help you get the perfect stain.

Arched, wooden doors are growing in popularity in Huntsville.

“It’s like a piece of furniture attached to the outside of your house,” Lee said. “If you took your dining room table out to your back yard for a picnic, if you left it out there, you sure better take care of it. Same thing with a front door.”

The Wilson Lumber showroom displays a number of traditional, contemporary and custom doors alongside the different options for decks and patios. Stop by to get ideas and start planning your next home improvement project.

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