At Green Side Up Contracting we believe in protecting your investment! We are a certified TrexPro Gold Contractor and we will build out of Trex and Cedar. To help you make an educated decision, we have compiled some information on different material types for you to read, see bottom of page.
We believe in following the best building practices, especially when it comes to the most important part of your deck - the footings. At Green Side Up Contracting we use concrete files for foundation footings.
Once informed with this information, and you've used the Deck Calculator to receive an instant and hassle free estimate, please contact us so we can schedule a phone consultation to answer your questions.
The next step would be to schedule onsite consultation with our architectural team who will take accurate measurements, create the design, and the technical drawings required for the permit. At this point we will provide you with official estimate. After reviewing our official estimate and you've made your decision to have Green Side Up Contracting build your deck, one of our very talented Red Seal Carpenters will be very happy to build you an excellent quality deck, which is backed up by a FIVE YEAR WARRANTY.
Three questions are often asked by our customers
1. Do I require a building
permit to build a deck:
Following are guidelines for most municipalities around GTA:
- A Building Permit is required for all decks which are more than 600 mm (2 ft.) above adjacent average grade and are attached to a building;
- A Building Permit is required for all decks which are more than 600 mm (2 ft.) above average adjacent grade and are greater than 10 m² (107.64 sq.ft.) in area;
- All footings are to be located on undisturbed soil, minimum 1.2m (4 ft) below finished grade. Both foundation and deck structure shall be designed in accordance with Division B Part 9 of the Ontario Building Code.
- Decks that meet zoning by law may still require a building permit
- Decks may also be subject to approval by heritage and conservation authority if applicable.
It is 100% the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure the any construction to your home has the necessary building permits. We at Green Side Up Contracting believe in Protecting Your Investment which means we encourage our clients to do the right thing and obtain the building permit.
We realize this can be a bit headache so to make this process much easier for our clients, we have partnered up with an architectural firm that specializes in building permits. Permitguys.ca will not only prepare the design and technical drawing but also obtain all the necessary required permits. Their qualified and experienced staff can also assist in committee of adjustments and conservation approvals.
We work along side our designers and architectural partners to ensure the project flows smoothly and the design concept comes to fruition without any headache. To assist our clients we will take $500 off your invoice for design services provided by the permitguys.ca should you choose Green Side Up Contracting. The average fee from the Permit Guys $1500.
Ultimately building under permit protects YOU! For permitted jobs, city officials will inspect and ensure construction is done per building code and approved permits. We at green Side Up Contracting have a really good experience and network with inspectors. Inspections may slow the construction process by a day or two, but our main focus is to protect your investment and build a safe durable deck that lasts decades!
A contractor who encourages a deck build without a permit, should be excluded from your choice of trusted contractors.
Basic Timeline of the permit process
Please consider that weather conditions, scope of work, different municipalities and overall complexity of your project may affect the timelines outlined below
- Coordinate initial design consultation meeting with your architectural designers along with a detailed site measure
- Produce drawings illustrating existing conditions as well as a preliminary design (2-3 business days)
- If required, make amendments to preliminary design or propose alternative design options (timeline may vary depending on number of amendments)
After the Design is Finalized
- Preparation of permit-ready construction drawings and designer or engineer sign-offs (2-3 business days)
After Submitting for Building Permit
- Submit construction drawing set to the building department in your area (1-2 business day)
- City review, city comments / change-requests and process the permit issuance (10-20 business days, depending on municipality)
*Please be advised that city processing times may vary depending on your municipality or the number of approvals that are required. Some properties are subject to heritage and conservation approvals in addition to the conventional building permit approval.
After Building Permits are Issued
- We can start building
2. Is there such a thing as
a 100% maintenance free deck?
The short answer is no!
The long answer is, unlike Cedar or Trex Composite is an extremely low maintenance product. Trex is a high-performance composite deck board that is engineered to resist fading, scratches and stains, and eliminate time-consuming maintenance so you’ll never step foot in the stain aisle again. Trex also offers a 25 year warranty.
To maintain a Trex deck you simply have to wash it down with soap and water when required.
3. What is the best type of material to use for your deck?
What is the best type of material to use?
As a Trex Pro, Green Side Up Contracting recommends Trex low maintenance decking which will out last all wood options. Although your initial investment will be higher, the lack of maintenance costs, the aesthetics and enjoyment, the longevity and the added value it brings when selling your home, your investment out way going with the lower quality material options.
Trex Composite Decking
Trex composite decking is made from a combination of plastic and wood fibre. The wood fibre typically consists of anything from wood chips to sawdust. Additionally, the plastic part of composite decking can come from recycled plastic materials or new plastic materials.
Trex has never cut down a single tree, and the product is made from 95% recycled material. Trex keeps ~500 million pounds of plastic and wood waste out of lakes, rivers and landfills every year. Trex is now officially the biggest plastic recycler on planet earth. No one recycles more plastic than Trex.
On your initial investment Trex decking, is approximately 39% more than Cedar and 80% more than Pressure Treated decking however the total cost of ownership is much lower thank the other decking options.
Trex offers a 25 year manufactures warranty. Please visit the Trex website to learn more about their amazing product.
Cedar has a long history of use in decking. It's a durable wood that is naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks, resists moisture absorption and doesn't warp or split as easily.
Unlike many of our competitors who use Knotty Cedar, Green Side Up Contracting uses Pinnacle Premium Western Red Cedar which is premium product.
The down side to cedar decking is that it must have an initial stain after installed then annual maintenance which involves the following steps:
- Power wash deck which will remove any dirt and will allow stain to better absorb
- Sand the deck boards to remove any old stain
- Stain entire deck
If you are handy, I often refer to cedar decking as the best value. If you are not so handy this process could be a nightmare that will consume some your time and if neglected will cause your deck to deteriorate.
For those who are not so handy, you can hire a company that offers this service. The typical cost to power wash, sand and seal a cedar deck is approximately $3.00 per square foot. Please visit Total cost of ownership (below) for more information
Pressure Treated Pine
At Green Side Up Contracting, we believe in delivering excellence and have decided to no longer build decks using this material. Please click here to find out why.
Total Cost of Ownership
Besides delivering excellence when it comes to the build, it is also our job to Protect Your Investment, and part of that is to provide you information for you to make an educated decision.
Although our favourite decking material to build with is Trex, it’s not necessary a good fit for everyone.
If you look at the below chart (can you please use the data in the spreadsheet to best show the information) you will quickly see that investing in the wrong decking material will end up costing you more money in the long run and definitely will not be as enjoyable as a low maintenance Trex deck
We based annual maintenance fees on the Jiffy on Demand website. Please note you may or not have to maintain your deck annually. It all depends on how much sun and wear and tear your deck receives
On a cedar deck in year 5 your deck will start costing you more than the initial investment of a Trex deck
|Year 1 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Year 2 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Year 3 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Year 4 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Year 5 Maintenance Cost||$0.00|
|Year 6 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Year 7 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Year 8 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Year 9 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Year 10 Maintenance Cost||$0.00||$1,200|
|Total Cost of Ownership||$24,400||$30,000|
Two other things that hold value to consider:
- If you are planning to sell your home in next ten years, there is a fairly good chance that a cedar deck may be an eyesore. A potential buy could look at the deck and see that the deck will need to be replaced if not now, in the not so distant future.
- It’s difficult to put a number on your enjoyment, however there is great value that comes with this that you consider.
Please note at Green Side Up Contracting we believe in Protecting Your Investment. This means providing with facts so you can make an educated decision. Although building Trex decks is our favourite deck style to build due to the over all beauty and customer satisfaction, we are happy to build your deck from Cedar. Please know that our margins are the same across all decking options. We are here to sell you the right deck NOT the most expensive deck!