The decks that we build are framed with pressure treated lumber for longetivity and set on poured-on-site concrete footings for long term stability. The framing is covered with either mill sawn old growth cedar or "sanded-four-sides" cedar. Any exposed framing is covered with 1" cedar facing boards so no pressure treated boards are visible.
All cuts get a pass with a round over bit on the router so there are no sharp corners or wood slivers to put holes in your socks or puncture skin.
This house got a full face lift for all of its outside living spaces. The upper decks were rebuilt and brought up to code with proper railings and the large lower area was rebuilt with steps, an arbour to hold up the grape vine, and built-in benches.
This project will eventually have a removable aluminum stanchion and cable railing system installed. The diagonal decking was the client's decision and it works beautifully, guiding your eye to the beach, and making the trim boards stand out.
This deck is high up on an ocean cliff. The decking was rotten but, aside from a few necessary repairs, the framing was in pretty good shape. The deck was originally designed and built with the integrated benches, planters and stairs. Much of the framing needed to be rebuilt, but the design was so gorgeous that it was easy to work on.
The cistern is hiding underneath the deck and the joists bear directly onto it. We didn't want to use pressure treated framing lumber for fear of contaminating the water so we used composite wood for all of the framing and cedar for the decking.
For this seaside deck we used old growth red cedar milled by a bandsaw mill on Vancouver island. The quality of the wood was astounding and was a joy to work with. We settled on three levels, each separated by one step and built a stairway down to the beach.
We were hired to rebuild a garden deck that had become completely rotten and very dangerous. We tore it right back to the footings, and even moved them around to accommodate more appropriate joist spans. The old deck had been framed with site milled fir and over the last 20 years had just turned to mush.
We re-framed it with pressure treated 2x8s, and redecked it with site-milled Western Red Cedar that had been sawn to a full 2x6 dimension. We rounded over all of the edges with a router before laying the decking down. A border board closed the deck and hides the end grain of the decking.
The upper deck was rebuilt with a post-and-beam feel to replace the closed in motif that was there previously. Less closed in space will allow for better air flow and the material will dry much more quickly.
There are many different options for railings. The traditional balustrade style in this picture works well in a forested garden. Glass panels or cable systems work well when the view is what is important.
Everyone needs a shed. Be it for a power drop, firewood storage, to store your tools, or in my case, where I put my sister-in-law when she comes on island.
We typically use cedar trim, corrugated metal siding, and metal roofing. It's cost effective, water collection safe, and handsome, too.
Workshop with Studio
This is a dream workshop with 1500 square feet of shop space. Above the white double doors is a second floor that serves as a studio or an apartment for visitors. The wood siding on the left conceals a set of double barn-style doors that make an 8' opening.
Barn with Overhang
This barn holds a tractor and lots of other machinery that needs to stay dry. We built a concrete slab on grade with a slightly sloping concrete apron. The roof is trusses with strapping and the siding a mix of cedar T&G and corrogated metal.
This tool shed was built to house... well... tools. It also doubles as a pump house. As a bit of an experiment, I sided it with 7/8 Corrugated Galvalume roofing. I used chunky bits of yellow cedar as corner boards and window trim to soften the industrial look of the metal cladding. Using prepared flashings for corners would be quicker, easier, and cheaper, but would present a much different look.
This is a pretty basic storage shed with an outdoor shower, covered wood storage, and a sleeping loft. There are skylights directly above the sleeping area and opening windows help with a nice crossdraft.
I built this garden shed with an attached wood storage space and an outdoor shower for a client. I may be a bit behind the curve, but I'm really liking the mix of corrugated metal roofing and chunky cedar. I've used it on our new tool shed and just about everything else I've been working on. As siding it's reasonably priced, and goes up quickly.
Our client needed a new hydro drop because the old one is... well.. lets just say, it's not to code. We decided on a 6' by 6' shed to support the drop and house a panel that could direct the power to several different locations on the property.
I'm still really enjoying working with the corrugated siding. I find it complements the rough Hornby cedar trim, lasts forever, and need no maintenance at all.
Once the weather gets nicer and the ground dries up we'll replace those muddy stairs with cedar decking.
We started by pouring an exposed aggregate slab. We then installed some elevated post bases which give a nice shadow line under the posts.
We love building wooden decks but that's not the only solution to a need. Here are a few other things that we can do.
Morning Coffee Patio
The morning sun shines on the back of this house and our client wanted a sunny spot to drink her coffee and read a book. We started with an exposed aggregate concrete slab, and built a wide and inviting set of steps down to it from the new deck.
Hardscaping an Otter Slide
OK, so it's not exactly an otter slide but it was a muddy slope that was very slippery in the winter. Even in the summer the steep slope made carrying kayaks a pretty scary operation.
We started by building a solid landing that could support the bottom step of the landscape ties. Each run of the 8x8 landscape ties is scribed to fit the sandstone rock that lies just under the soil. The rock added complexity by forcing us to work around it, but also let us pin the landscape ties to something very solid.
The boxes for this job were filled with pea gravel.
Its the attention to details that make the project pop.
We pay very close attention to spacing and form. Wherever possible we use a perimeter board to hide any end grain.
This 45 degree corner on a deck bench uses a herring bone pattern instead of a miter cut. We took care to countersink all of our screws and fill them with plugs.
This railing corner uses a lap joint instead of a mitre joint. With a season or two of weather mitres will inevitably open up and look awful. The lap joint is stronger and will continue to look good for years.
This boardwalk corner got a herring bone treatment.
Interested in keeping bees? These hives are a variant of the Kenyan Top Bar Hive. It's a very simple method of keeping bees where the bees are free to build their comb as they please. The dimensions of the hives are the same but the roof covering and side decorations can be tailored to enhance any garden space.
This hive houses a fairly large colony of Italian honey bees.
We're more of a structure building operation but we have the chops to build fine outdoor furniture.
Reclaimed Cedar Bench
We took down our old tool shed which left us with a whack of 3rd grade old growth cedar that the lumber yard was having a hard time giving away. I was thinking firewood or fencing when one of my clients asked me for a bench for his outdoor shower.
A pass or two through the thickness planer uncovered a beautiful piece of wood with lots of colour and variations in the grain.A couple of hours later this cute cedar bench emerged from the remnants of a demolished shed, a handful of screws, and a few coats of poly-urethane finish.
Out Door Dinner Table
With a bit of left over decking, one of the guys built this beautiful cedar table.