How To Choose The Right Deck Builder

Deck builder holding design plans.

The time has come to either replace your deck or have one built. You’re hoping to add value to your home and expand your outdoor living space. One of the most cost-effective ways to do that is by adding a deck. There are so many deck builders in the metro Detroit area which can make the seemingly simple task of finding the right deck contractor quite overwhelming. Make it easy by following our tips for choosing the right deck builder for you. 


Do a little digging into the type of deck you want, whether composite or wood. Once you decide on the type of material your deck will be made from, do a little research on design. You can find inspiration on Pinterest, Instagram, or Google images. While you’re at it, play detective and check out the project pages of prospective decking companies to see the type of work they’ve done. 


Referrals are often the best way to find your deck builder. Ask around, see who your coworkers, friends, and family are using. Leveraging the people you are connected to can help you narrow and shorten your search. 


Just by typing the name of a decking company into a search engine, you can pull up current and past reviews. Hit up your social platforms. Ask your network if anyone has had firsthand experience working with your top three or five decking company choices. 

Things in reviews to notice are:

  • Are the negative reviews just petty or serious problems
  • What reviewers are saying about the workers
  • Was the company reliable


Meeting with different deck builders is always advisable. These people and their crew are going to be working on your home for a couple of days, minimum. You should have a good feeling about them. Have a conversation to get an idea of the type of person your potential deck builder is. Go with your gut. 

Some questions to ask a deck builder during your meeting are: 

  • How do you handle unforeseen circumstances like schedule changes, weather, stress?
  • Do you pull the permits or will I have to? (Tip: a good company will always handle the permits themselves).
  • What is the projected timeline for completion?
  • Is your crew one you have always worked with or are they subcontractors or freelancers?
  • How many decks like mine have you built?


One of the easiest determining factors is cost, along with what’s included within that price. Maybe some deck builders throw in lighting for free, while others will only produce the quoted work. In the end, the estimates you get from various deck builders will help you decide which one to go with.

End your search for a deck builder today. Contact Titan Decks and schedule your free consultation. 

What You Should Know Before Choosing A Composite Deck?

Picture of a wood deck behind a black house

Are you trying to decide between natural wood and composite material for your new deck? Both have good qualities, which makes choosing even more difficult. However, there is a reason for the rise in the popularity of composite decking. Doing research, like you are now, is the best way to make an informed decision on choosing your decking materials. 

Read on for some very important things you should know about composite materials for decks. 

Know The City Code

It almost seems like decking materials would be a non-issue when it came to city codes. That’s not the case. Not all cities allow the entire deck to be made of composite materials. If you’re working with a deck builder, that company should be aware of what can and cannot be done. If you’re building your own deck, call your city clerk office to learn more information before buying your deck materials. 

Know Composite Costs A Bit More

Composite material does tend to run pricier than traditional wood by two to three times the price per square foot. However, composite has a longer lifespan, so that makes up for the cost in the long run. And, composite decking requires much less maintenance, which alleviates some aggravation caused by wood decking. 

Know The Different Qualities

Not all composite decking materials are made to look like wood. The more expensive the product, the more it looks like natural wood, from the grain to the feel. The more texture the composite has, the more likely it is to trap in grime and debris. But, a simple washing will clean it right up. 

Know A Composite Deck May Be Slippery When Wet

Composite materials with little to no texture can become hazardous when wet. This is due to the finish, along with no roughness for grip. If you’re building any stairs for your deck, think about upgrading to a more natural, ridge-filled composite to prevent any unwanted mishaps. 

Know Some Composites Get Dangerously Hot

Composite decking can get scorching hot. Many companies now offer materials that are less heat-absorbing. If you’re choosing a darker color, take some samples. Leave them out in the direct sun, this will help you in determining which of your choices will allow you carefree barefooting across the surface. Or, you could go with a lighter shade of decking and not have to worry. 

Composite decking may not be real wood, but it’s much easier to take care of. Plus, most composite products come with a 20-year warranty! You can’t say that for a wood deck, those only include splinters free of charge.  
Working with a decking expert like Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Titan Decks will help you choose your deck material and design it to your specifications. They’ll make sure your deck is safe to enjoy for many seasons to come.

How To Know When It’s Time For A New Deck

New deck boards getting replaced.

A healthy wood or composite deck is a happy one. It doesn’t matter how well your deck is built, or what it’s made from, it is still outside and unprotected from all the elements. Catching any issues early on may prevent the need for a complete deck replacement. 

What To Look For When Self Inspecting

A routine inspection is necessary in order to maintain the lifespan of your deck. At the very least, you need to use a screwdriver or awl and take a look at how it’s faring, once per year. 

  • The posts: These are what hold up your structure. Look for any water damage or wood rot. One or two could easily be replaced. But, if you see issues with all of the posts then it may be time to think about getting a new deck.
  • The joists: Joists make sure your build is stable. Because they are difficult to replace, damage to the joists means you may need a new deck. 
  • The railing: Before entertaining on your deck, it’s good practice to ensure the security of the rails. If they are unsteady or rotting, it’s a potential hazard. 
  • The ledger board: This is what secures the deck to your house. If it’s pulling away in any areas, then it can collapse. 
  • The age: Decks over 5 years old should be inspected professionally. 


If your deck is sagging, there could be a structural issue. A damaged substructure or beams can be the culprit. If either of those are the cause, then consider having a new one installed. 


Wood decks are exposed to the elements all year round. When the wood starts splintering, warping,  or cracking, and no amount of sealer makes it look any better, that’s a sign your deck needs to be replaced. 


Rotting wood is damp, soft, and structurally unsound. When one or two pieces have rot, that means the rest of the adjoining boards will closely follow in its footsteps. Replacing those rotten pieces may save the deck, but it is a warning sign that a new deck may be the safest route. 

Nails popping

An occasional nail pop is natural. But, if you’re noticing that several nails aren’t staying in place, even after a session with a hammer, this could mean the boards need to be replaced. 

Termite invasion

These pesky insects burrow into the wood and cause it to hollow out, which makes your wood planks more prone to rotting. If you don’t get rid of the termites, the problem they cause will worsen. 

Wood or composite, decks need an annual inspection to keep it healthy. If you’ve noticed any of the issues stated above, then it is time to bring in a professional to help you determine if your deck is salvageable or needs replacing. 

How To Take Care Of Your Deck

Deck maintenance done by a man power washing his deck.

Sunny weather means more time spent on your deck. Natural wear and tear is normal, especially in a high-traffic area like your outdoor living space. Not to mention year-round exposure to the elements that can cause weathering, cracks, rust, and other hazards. Whether your deck is made of composite or hardwood, proper maintenance is necessary to keep it looking good. 

In addition to professional servicing, here are some things you can do to ensure your deck stays in great shape and offers many years of outdoor entertainment. 

Yearly Deck Inspection

Similarly to your once a year doctor appointment, your deck needs its yearly checkup. Natural settling, weather, and wear can cause cracked boards, loose and protruding nails, mildew and mold, and more. You will need to make sure the frame and joints are secure, as well as the ledger, which is the part that connects the deck to your home.

You can take care of this yourself, or schedule a yearly inspection with Titan Decks. It’s important to do a thorough job if you want your deck to last a lifetime. 

Power Washing

To prevent damaging growth such as mold and moss from sprouting on your deck, it’s a good idea to wash it thoroughly. The type of product you use will depend on whether your deck is made of real wood or composite. 

When using a pressure washer, make sure to follow the grain of the wood to prevent any damage. 

Sealing and Staining Your Deck

A sealant will create a protective barrier over the wood, keeping it safe from the elements. Reinforce the effects of a sealant by staining your natural wood deck boards. Many stains already have the sealant added, and there are many colors you can choose from. Once you decide, consider products that include UV protection and water repellent for further preservation. 

Weekly Cleanup

Once per week, sweep away fallen debris that litter the deck. Also, keep any trees trimmed back at least a foot from the area to prevent moss and fungus growth. 

Have fun rearranging the outdoor furniture, which should be done regularly in order to keep certain areas from fading faster than others. Also, make sure to pay attention to the space around your grill. Oil and food spills can cause damage to the surface. 


Michigan winters can start in October and go through April. Those long, cold months can wreak havoc on your deck if you hadn’t properly winterized it. 

  • Remove outdoor furniture
  • Clear off the potted plants (maybe move them indoors)
  • Store the grill if it’s not built-in
  • Clean off any leaves, and make sure there aren’t any between the boards.
  • Remove any snow that builds up–shovel with the grain to lessen the chance of surface scratches
  • Avoid putting down any salt or other chemicals that could wear away the finish

If you need assistance with the upkeep of your deck, please reach out to Titan Decks. We’re here to help. 

Deck Shade And Cover Ideas

Deck Shade Ideas

There’s nothing better than the feeling of the warm sun on your skin. Well, except when it starts getting too warm, and there’s no deck shade to retreat to. You don’t have to go indoors to seek shelter from the summer swelter. Adding a sun-protected space to your deck will allow you to enjoy the Michigan summer, without feeling the burn. 


A pergola can be either attached to your home, or it can be a free-standing structure. There are so many ways to decorate it, as well. From draping canopies for more cover to adding string lights, pergolas can add a bit of drama to liven up any backyard. 


Umbrellas are an easy way to create shade. Because many umbrellas are portable, you can move them wherever you need to. With so many different varieties and colors, it’s a great way to add some character to your outdoor space. 


Gazebos can provide much-needed protection from the sun, as well as a beautiful structure to add more flair to your outdoor space. Gazebo prices run the gamut, as do the styles. Varieties include ‘open-air’ gazebos, as well as ones with netting or curtains. 


Considered “Nature’s Canopy” for good reason. In this instance, they provide coverage from the sun when they are strategically placed around your deck. Avoid planting trees too close to your house, they can cause problems with the foundation. Also, once that shed too much, the foliage and the fluids can cause damage to the deck planks. 


Canopies are as versatile as they are easy. There are many pop up canopies available, making them extremely portable. Canopies are also very low maintenance, as well as removable. 

Tiki-thatched Roof 

Capture an island vibe with a thatched roof strategically placed over a sitting area. Chill with a cocktail and enjoy the comfort of your tropical backyard vacay. 

Screens or Awnings

There are a variety of screens available that will give your deck some sun relief. Some, you can set up manually. Others are more complex so you’ll need to hire a professional. 
At Titan Decks, we can create your dream backyard, from decks to deck shade. Give us a call for your free contactless in-home estimate.

How To Create A Backyard Vacation Destination

Backyard Vacation

Vacation plans may be put on hold, but that doesn’t mean you have to nix the idea entirely. If you live in a home with a yard, you have your next vacation destination right outside your door. Maybe your backyard lacks that vacation appeal. But, with a little imagination, elbow grease, and TLC, your best vacation memories await.


Elements To Create That Outdoor Vacay Vibe

There are so many fun and creative things you can do to create that perfect backyard oasis. Whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional, we’ve got some backyard vacation ideas for you that will help you turn your yard into your favorite fiesta place. 

  • Fire Pit: You can easily build a fire pit, or purchase one through your favorite retailer. They come in all shapes and sizes. Wind down the evening around your very own campfire, roasting marshmallows and spinning ghost stories. 

  • Bar: This is another feature you can build or buy. Host parties, or just have a little family time. A bartender not included with purchase. You can buy a little bar cart, or have a more permanent one built into your deck. 

  • Furniture: Porch swings, zero gravity chairs, overstuffed couches–so many options available to furnish your outdoor space. Create an inviting outdoor living area to kick your feet up and chill. 

  • Water features: The soothing sounds of a water feature can block out the unwanted street noises, further adding to the ambiance of your backyard vacation destination. 

  • Decorative lighting: With some strategically placed outdoor lights, you can set any kind of mood. Hang string (fairy) lights. Add path lights and deck lights to create the perfect amount of glow. 

When it comes to your backyard living, the sky’s the limit. Well, and a budget may make that limit more limited. However, it can be a work in progress if you add what you can, whenever you’re able to.



She Shed, He Shed

Everyone’s Shed!

If you have one, turn that shed into a cozy little cabin where you can enjoy the evenings, sheltered in your own little hotel room. Backyard vacations can be day/night trips or extended getaways. The choice is yours.


If a shed isn’t an option, then consider:

  • Pitching a tent:  Plop down large pillows, and chill out with your favorite nighttime drinks.

  • Installing an awning: Have a little area that provides shade and overhead shelter. 

  • Creating a canopy: Hang gauzy curtains secured by clothespins and wire. 

  • Building a gazebo: For a gazebo, you may need the help of professionals

There are so many ways to create that outdoor oasis. Add a white sheet to a wall, point a movie projector in its direction, and have a fun little movie theater experience before hunkering down in your shed for the night. 


And hey, once you’re satisfied with how your little vacation room looks, invite us over! Or, share pictures with us on our Facebook or Instagram accounts!