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17 Divinity St
Bristol, CT, 06010
United States


Since 1975, O'Donnell Bros has been providing greater Bristol and Central Connecticut with residential and commercial remodeling solutions. We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, doors, gutters, downspouts and so much more. We look forward to helping you with all your remodeling needs. 

New Decking Materials To Improve Your Outdoor Living Game


O'Donnell Bros President, Bob O'Donnell, is a regular contributor to The Bristol Press. Read his home improvement articles here.


New Decking Materials To Improve Your Outdoor Living Game

Chelsea O'Donnell

One of the jobs I’ll be tackling this fall is replacing my deck. It’s been 25 years since we built it, but with all the new styles and materials available these days, I think my wife would agree that it could use a facelift.

Did you know that 85% of homes in the U.S. have a deck, porch, or some kind of outdoor living space? It’s true, and yet many of us don’t take advantage of enjoying the fresh air as much as we should. 

Back when I built my deck in the 80’s, I went for the most popular option available – wood. Sure, it was pressure treated and looked great at the time, but after years of constant exposure to the elements, it’s seen better days. And to be honest, the upkeep is a killer. Staining it is a real pain, but if I don’t clean and recoat it, the wood looks old and faded. So I’ve decided it’s time for something more modern and easier to manage.

Much like the house materials on the market, today’s decks are often made of composite materials, which last longer, are more durable, and are a breeze to maintain. Plus, unlike the wood decks of decades past, you don’t have to worry about termites getting in and taking over your backyard. So if you’re ready to trade in that retro deck for a something that will allow you to enjoy your backyard with ease, here are some ideas to consider.

As I mentioned, a lot of deck materials today are made from capped composite, a material that’s flexible and virtually unbreakable. Capped composite is usually a mix of PVC or polymers and wood fibers. While the initial cost of this kind of deck is higher than the wood variety, consider the fact that the maintenance is virtually non-existent. What I like best about capped composite is that it won’t fade in the sun, and it comes in a variety of colors that can mimic and hardwood, or any other color if you’re feeling artistic. What’s also interesting is that many new decking products have interlocking technology which means that every board fits perfectly together, allowing for optimal drainage and airflow. Imagine, no nails popping up that need to be hammered back down and no splinters!

The best part about having a deck is the ability to extend your living space and make optimal use of the great outdoors. Newer materials make customization easy – whether that’s building a curved deck, a multi-story feature, or installing more personal add-ons. I love cooking outside, so a simple outdoor kitchen with a built-in grill is a real draw card for me. You can customize your space to fit your lifestyle too, whether that’s incorporating a hot tub, building a pergola for a more permanent outdoor dining room, building a safe fire pit for toasting marshmallows by the fire, or even creating a separate space for peaceful yoga practice. 

If you really want to enjoy the outdoors, two additional things to keep in mind are light and shade. The summer sun can be brutal, so you’ll want to ensure that some permanent and wind resistant protection is incorporated into your design. Also, say goodbye to those tiki torches. Recessed lighting is an excellent enhancement to ensure your outdoor space is as comfortable as the indoors. There are some great solar powered options to consider which are inexpensive to install and won’t leave you with any surprises when your energy bill arrives.

Thinking about putting in a new deck this summer or fall? Get in touch today to request a quote.