What types of decking are people using?

Most of our customers are choosing composite decking such as Azek or Trex.  They are more expensive than Cedar or treated wood, but they look and feel like wood and will never have to be replaced again.

What services do you offer?

We specialize in log and cedar home design, construction, and restoration. These are our main services, but if you have anything else you need feel free to contact us!

  • Deck design/build
  • Screen porch design/build
  • 3-4 Season porch design/build
  • Deck refurbishing
  • Custom pergola design/build
  • Interior shiplap
  • Custom millwork
  • Log home staining
  • Log home chinking
  • Exterior painting
  • Interior painting
  • Interior staining
  • Interior decorating
  • Interior remodeling
  • Kitchen and bath

What are my options for deck railing?

Since there are so many nice options now, I think it’s really important to put some time into this decision.  Our customers use Cedar, Log, glass, stainless cables, and aluminum, among others. Considering what works with the style of your home and offers you the best view are really important.

Do I have to replace my whole deck, or can I just replace decking and railing?

Many of the times we find the structure of the deck to still be solid, and only the decking and railing to be rotting away.  This is a result of the deck being constructed out of green treated material, which lasts longer than the cedar decking. In this case, we can replace the deck boards and the railing, saving you the cost of framing a new deck.

My logs are turning black, what should I do?

We see this often in log homes and homes with cedar shakes.  Once the finish has deteriorated, no longer repelling the moisture and the UV rays, the wood will start to mildew.  This is often times what you are seeing with the blackening. It’s important to get as much of the surface blackening removed as possible, using a solution such as TSP to clean and kill the mildew.  If the blackening of the wood has soaked deep in, you may not be able to fully remove that appearance, only stop it from getting worse by killing the surface mildew and then protecting it with a high-quality exterior stain or paint.

How do I know what stain to use?

It’s always best to know what the original stain or paint was used on the home.  Many of the stains have properties that are unique and are meant to bond well when recoated.  If you don’t know what stain was used, the general rule of thumb is as follows: Oil stains need to penetrate deep in the wood, water-based stains are meant to cure on the surface.  Oil stains can only go on top of oil, if put on top of water based stains they will not adhere. Water stains can be used on top of water or oils, as they can cure on the surface. There are always exceptions, so consult a professional.

How long will the finish last?

Most stain manufacturers will cover the stains for 3-5 years before they want it top coated.  Paints will last 5-7 years before needing any attention. It’s important to use the top coat to protect the first coat of stain or paint, which is really protecting your logs or cedar from the sun damage and the mildew growth.

How much more is composite decking than cedar — Is it worth paying more for composite decking?

Composite decking can average about 60% more than cedar decking.  Today’s composites will hold the color very well and are not susceptible to rot and water damage.  Cedar decks are beautiful, however, they do require you to stain and seal them once every 2-3 years max.  Even with this, they will eventually need replacing.

How long have you been in business?

I have been in the business for 30 years, LakeLife Homes Inc. has been in business since 2014.

Do I need a permit to build my deck/porch?

You should only work with a licensed residential builder in the state of MN.  They should have a license number that begins with BC followed by numbers. The contractor will then be responsible for determining if a permit is needed and if it is submitting all of the necessary information and following the permit process.  If you build the deck yourself without hiring a contractor you will be responsible for the same standards that the contractor would be if hired by you. If you work with a contractor who is not licensed or do the deck yourself without pulling a permit you will most likely be fined and required to bring the deck up to code.

Do you offer design for decks and porches?

Yes, we are a full-service design/build company.  We are happy to build the deck to match your design or work with you to create your dream design.

Ready to start on your next project?

We are ready to get started. Contact us today!