Deck and Decorative Porch Specialists
Shells Only Home Improvements began a generation ago as a family business. Over decades, while our family has grown, our traditions and beliefs have remained the same. This constant translates to customer service that is unmatched in the industry. We are committed to our customers - every one - every day. Our customer service representatives will be in contact with you throughout your project to make sure that even your smallest concern is addressed. Our systems may be sophisticated but our goal is simple: to provide you with the best customer service possible. See more photos in our Photo Gallery!
- Decks and Porches
- Masonry Porches
- Covered Porches
- Cedar Decking
- Wood Decking
- Wood Railings
- Composite Railings
- Composite Decking
- Barrel Ceilings
- Poly Railings
- Redwood Decking
GUIDE TO CHOOSING THE RIGHT DECKING MATERIAL:
The Economic Answer: Pressure-Treated Lumber
Despite all the competition, this ubiquitous green-tinted wood is still the No. 1 decking material sold today. In fact, according to Arch Treatment Technologies, a leading producer of wood preservatives, approximately 75 percent of all new decks are finished with pressure-treated (PT) lumber.
The widespread popularity of PT lumber isn't surprising: it's affordable, readily available coast-to-coast, and easy to cut and fasten with nails or screws. Most PT decking is milled from southern yellow pine, and then chemically treated to resist rot, fungus and wood-boring bugs.
The downside of PT lumber is that it's not very dimensionally stable, so it has a tendency to crack, split and warp. And routine maintenance is necessary to prolong the life and look of the deck. This will include an annual power washing and an application of stain or wood preservative every two or three years.
Naturally Superior: Redwood and Cedar
For many purists, the only choices for decking are redwood or red cedar. Both of these western softwoods are prized for their rich color and natural beauty, and because they aren't pumped full of chemicals or preservatives. Both species contain tannins and oils that make them naturally resistant to rot, decay and insects.
Exotic Import: Tropical Hardwoods
Massaranduba, cumaru, red tauari, tigerwood, ipe, and Philippine mahogany are just some of the tropical hardwoods available for decking. These exotic, rich-grained woods are extremely hard, very durable and naturally resistant to rot and insects. However, because these woods are so dense, they're heavy and difficult to cut and drill. In fact, it's virtually impossible to drive a nail or screw without first boring a pilot hole, which is why tropical decking is typically installed with some sort of hidden fastener that clips or screws into the edge of the boards.
Better Board: Composites
Composite decking and its cousin, plastic lumber, represent the fastest-growing decking materials sold today. More than two dozen companies make plastic or composite decking. Most products are made from polyethylene or polyvinyl chloride, and come in a wide range of colors. Composites, like Trex, TimberTech, CorrectDeck, and Veranda, to name a few, are composed primarily of wood fibers and recycled plastic. The result is an extremely weather- and stain-resistant board that won't splinter, warp, rot or split. They're extremely low-maintenance and never need to be sanded, refinished or stained.