At Green Side Up Contracting, we believe in protecting your investment! We are a certified TrexPro Platinum Contractor and build using Trex composite and Cedar material. To help you make an informed decision, we have compiled information on different material types at the bottom of this page.
We follow the best building practices, particularly when it comes to the most critical part of your deck - the footings. At Green Side Up Contracting, we use helical piles for foundation footings.
Once you have reviewed this information and used the Deck Calculator for an instant, hassle-free estimate, please contact us to schedule a phone consultation to answer any questions you may have.
The next step is to schedule an onsite consultation with our architectural team, who will take accurate measurements, create a design, and prepare the technical drawings required for the permit. At this point, we will provide you with an official estimate. After reviewing our official estimate and deciding to have Green Side Up Contracting build your deck, one of our talented Red Seal Carpenters will be happy to build you an excellent quality deck backed by a TEN-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 the homeowner's responsibility to ensure that any construction to their home has the necessary building permits. At Green Side Up Contracting, we believe in protecting your investment, which means we encourage our clients to obtain the necessary building permit.
We realize that this can be a bit of a headache, so to make the process easier for our clients, we have partnered with an architectural firm that specializes in building permits. Permitguys.ca will not only prepare the design and technical drawings but also obtain all the necessary permits. Their qualified and experienced staff can also assist with committee of adjustments and conservation approvals.
We work alongside our designers and architectural partners to ensure the project flows smoothly and the design concept comes to fruition without any headaches. To assist our clients, we will take $500 off your invoice for design services provided by Permitguys.ca if you choose Green Side Up Contracting. The average fee from Permitguys is $1500.
Ultimately, building under permit protects you. For permitted jobs, city officials will inspect and ensure that construction is done per building code and approved permits. At Green Side Up Contracting, we have good experience and a 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 note that weather conditions, scope of work, different municipalities, and the 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 the 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 outlast all wood options. Although the initial investment will be higher, the lack of maintenance costs, aesthetics and enjoyment, longevity, and added value it brings when selling your home outweigh going with 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 the planet. No one recycles more plastic than Trex.
The initial investment for Trex decking is approximately 39% more than Cedar and 80% more than Pressure-Treated decking. However, the total cost of ownership is much lower than the other decking options.
Trex offers a 25-year manufacturer's 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. It 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 a premium product.
The downside to cedar decking is that it must have an initial stain after installation, 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, cedar decking may be the best value. If you are not so handy, this process could be a nightmare that will consume some of 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 not to 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 with information to make an educated decision.
Although our favourite decking material to build with is Trex, it’s not necessarily a good fit for everyone.
If you look at the chart below, 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||$34,400||$43,200|
Two other things that hold value to consider:
- If you are planning to sell your home in the next ten years, there is a fairly good chance that a cedar deck may be an eyesore. A potential buyer could look at the deck and see that it will need to be replaced if not now, then in the not-so-distant future.
- It's difficult to put a number on your enjoyment, but there is great value that comes with considering this.
Please note that at Green Side Up Contracting, we believe in protecting your investment. This means providing you with facts so you can make an educated decision. Although building Trex decks is our favorite deck style to build due to the overall 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!"