404 Frequently Asked Questions - The Wood Wizard

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do I need a building permit before I start my project?
The short and simple answer is, in most cases yes. Whenever you are building a structure that is either freestanding or attached to your existing home we recommend that you consult your local city/municipality and acquire a building permit. Please feel free to contact one of our Wood Wizards if you need any guidance with this process.

Will I need to stain my deck or fence? If so how often?
Yes. We recommend staining your exterior woodwork every 2 years. This not only keeps your project looking beautiful but it also protects the wood from wet rot, and fading from the sun. The best time to do it is in the late spring or early summer after a few days of sunshine. This will ensure that a minimal amount of moisture is trapped inside the wood.

How can I have a deck built that provides dry storage underneath?
This is called a sloped deck and must be sloped at 1/8″-1/4″ per foot.
Once the deck is framed you will need to apply a waterproof membrane, such as vinyl to the plywood sheathing. Our carpenters can build the structure screw down the plywood and ready it for the vinyl topping. We can also enclose the walls underneath the deck if you wish to create a dry secure storage area for tools etc.

What type of wood is best for my outdoor project?
The best type of wood for most outdoor projects is undoubtably cedar. All types of cedar contain naturally occurring chemical extractives that make cedar virtually rot resistant. Although preference may dictate which type of wood is most visually stimulating, it’s hard to beat the look of a well constructed cedar deck. For the more budget minded individual pressure treated spruce or pine is also an option.

What about composite decking material?
Composite decking material has come a long way in the last 10 years. Although it is usually more expensive it provides many benefits such as less maintenance, and more colour options.

With some composite systems it is also possible to create a finished product that has no visible fasteners. These products also usually come with a manufacture warranty. Our carpenters are experienced in composite installation, and we will work hand in hand with the supplier to ensure that all manufacture specs are followed.

How deep will you dig the post holes for my fence?
The proper depth for a fence post hole is half of the total height of the fence. Therefore if you have a 6′ high fence the hole will be 3′ deep.

What’s better for my project? Nails or screws?
Interesting question. The answer is, both. There are some applications such as securing deck boards, or fence panels that definitely require screws. However there are other applications such as structural framing that the shear strength of nails is required.

It it also very important when working with pressure treated lumber to ONLY use hot dipped galvanized coated nails, or coated exterior decking screws. If you use regular nails or screws the chemicals in the pressure treated lumber will disintegrate the fasteners within 10 years.

Are you insured?

Do you have WCB coverage?

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Interested in learning more? Get a free quote now!