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Building Materials Blog

Elevate Your Outdoor Living: Summer DIY Projects with Building Solutions

Hey there, fellow outdoor enthusiasts! With summer in full swing, it's time to turn our attention to those outdoor spaces and unleash our inner DIY guru. And where better to stock up on all the essentials for your projects than Building Solutions right here in Bend, Oregon? We've got everything you need to transform your backyard into a paradise of relaxation and entertainment. So, grab your tool belt and get ready to dive into some exciting summer DIY projects with our wide array of building materials.

Building a Deck

Let's start with one of the quintessential backyard additions: the deck. Whether you're dreaming of a cozy spot for morning coffee or a sprawling entertainment area for summer gatherings, a deck is the perfect foundation. Adding a deck to a home's outdoor space offers a multitude of benefits. Firstly, it expands usable living space, providing an area for relaxation, entertainment, and outdoor dining. A well-designed deck can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of the home and increase its resale value. Additionally, decks provide a versatile outdoor environment that can be enjoyed year-round, whether it's soaking up the sun in summer or cozying up by a fire pit in the cooler months. Furthermore, decks offer a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living, encouraging homeowners to spend more time outdoors and connect with nature.

Steps for Planning and Building a Deck:

  1. Design and Layout: Begin by envisioning the desired size, shape, and layout of the deck. Consider factors such as the existing landscape, sun exposure, and intended use of the space.

  2. Choosing Materials: Selecting the right decking materials is crucial for durability and aesthetics. Options include composite decking for low maintenance, pressure-treated lumber for affordability, and tropical hardwoods for natural beauty.

  3. Obtaining Permits: Check local building codes and obtain any necessary permits before starting construction to ensure compliance with regulations.

  4. Constructing the Frame: Build a sturdy frame using treated lumber or steel posts and beams, ensuring proper support and stability.

  5. Installing Decking Boards: Lay decking boards perpendicular to the joists, leaving adequate spacing for drainage and expansion. Secure boards with screws or hidden fasteners for a seamless finish.

  6. Adding Railings and Accessories: Install railings, stairs, and any desired accessories to enhance safety and functionality.

Variety of Decking Materials Available:

At Building Solutions, we offer a diverse range of decking materials to suit every preference and budget. Our selection includes:

  • Composite decking: Made from a blend of recycled plastics and wood fibers, composite decking offers durability, low maintenance, and resistance to rot and insects.

  • Pressure-treated lumber: Affordable and widely available, pressure-treated lumber is treated with chemicals to resist decay, making it a popular choice for deck construction.

  • Tropical hardwoods: Known for their natural beauty and durability, tropical hardwoods like ipe and mahogany offer unparalleled strength and resistance to decay, though they require regular maintenance to maintain their appearance.

Providing Tips for Deck Maintenance and Care:

To ensure the longevity of your deck, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Regularly inspect the deck for signs of damage, such as rot, warping, or loose boards, and make repairs as needed.

  • Clean the deck surface annually with a mild detergent and water to remove dirt, debris, and mold.

  • Apply a protective sealant or stain every few years to enhance the deck's appearance and protect against moisture damage.

  • Trim nearby vegetation to prevent mold growth and promote air circulation around the deck.

  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or pressure washers, as they can damage the decking material and finish.

At Building Solutions, we're your one-stop shop for all your decking needs. Whether you're envisioning a sprawling redwood deck for entertaining or a cozy cedar oasis for unwinding, we've got you covered. Our sustainably-harvested redwood deck materials and a wide selection of decking options, including cedar and composite, ensure you'll find exactly what you're looking for.

With a commitment to quality, we proudly offer products from top brands like Humboldt Redwood, OrePac, and Trex. Visit our design center to explore our extensive selection firsthand and receive a precise estimate for your project. Our knowledgeable staff is here to assist you every step of the way, ensuring you have everything you need to bring your vision to life.

Someone building a wooden pergola.

Constructing a Pergola

A pergola serves as a versatile and stylish addition to any backyard or patio area. Its primary purpose is to provide shade and define an outdoor space, creating a welcoming atmosphere for relaxation, entertaining, or dining. By adding a pergola, homeowners can enjoy the outdoors in comfort, shielded from the harsh sun while still embracing the beauty of their surroundings.

Additionally, pergolas enhance the visual appeal of a backyard, adding architectural interest and character to the landscape. Whether it's a cozy retreat for morning coffee or a picturesque setting for outdoor gatherings, a pergola adds both practicality and charm to any outdoor space.

Process of Designing and Building a Pergola:

  1. Selecting Materials: Choose from a variety of materials such as wood, vinyl, or aluminum, based on your desired aesthetics, budget, and maintenance preferences.

  2. Determining Size and Placement: Consider the size of your outdoor space, the intended use of the pergola, and any existing landscaping or structures when determining the size and placement of the pergola.

  3. Constructing the Structure: Build the pergola frame using sturdy posts and beams, ensuring proper support and stability. Add cross beams or lattice panels for additional shade and visual interest.

  4. Customizing Design: Personalize the design with decorative elements such as ornamental details, lighting fixtures, or climbing vines to enhance the overall ambiance of the pergola.

Pergola Materials:

Pergolas can be built from a variety of materials to fit any style and budget:

  • Wood: Choose from classic cedar or pressure-treated lumber for a natural, rustic look that blends seamlessly with the outdoor environment. Our lumber yard boasts over three sprawling acres of top-tier boards sourced from the finest mills in the region. Explore our vast selection of impeccably straight boards, available in a variety of dimensions and species, conveniently located in our easily accessible lumber yard.

  • Vinyl: Opt for low-maintenance vinyl pergolas that require minimal upkeep and offer durability and longevity.

  • Aluminum: Select sleek and modern aluminum pergolas for a contemporary aesthetic, ideal for urban settings or minimalist landscapes.

Creative Ideas for Decorating and Accessorizing the Pergola:

  • Hang string lights or lanterns to create a cozy ambiance for evening gatherings.

  • Add outdoor curtains or drapes for privacy and shade, or install retractable canopy systems for adjustable sun protection.

  • Incorporate comfortable seating, outdoor rugs, and throw pillows to create a welcoming lounge area.

  • Plant climbing vines or hanging baskets of flowers to add natural beauty and shade to the pergola.

  • Install built-in features such as a fireplace, outdoor kitchen, or bar area to maximize the pergola's functionality and entertainment potential.

By following these steps and incorporating creative ideas, homeowners can design and build a pergola that enhances their outdoor living experience and adds value to their home.

At Building Solutions, we offer a range of materials and hardware options to suit your aesthetic preferences and practical needs. With our help, you'll be able to construct a pergola that's both stylish and functional.

Friends gathered around an outdoor kitchen serving food.

Creating an Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor kitchens have become a hot trend in recent years, and for good reason! They offer a unique and enjoyable way to elevate your summer entertaining experience. Picture this: firing up the grill under the open sky, mingling with friends and family while sipping cool drinks, all against the backdrop of a beautiful sunset. It's no wonder outdoor kitchens are becoming a must-have feature for homeowners looking to maximize their outdoor living spaces. From casual cookouts to extravagant dinner parties, outdoor kitchens provide the perfect setting for unforgettable summer gatherings.

Discussing the Essential Components of an Outdoor Kitchen:

When it comes to designing an outdoor kitchen, there are a few key components to consider:

  • Countertops: Choose durable and weather-resistant materials like granite, concrete, or quartz to withstand outdoor elements.

  • Appliances: Essential appliances include a grill, refrigerator, sink, and storage drawers or cabinets to keep cooking utensils and supplies organized.

  • Storage: Incorporate ample storage space for dishes, cookware, and pantry items to streamline meal prep and outdoor dining.

Designing and Building an Outdoor Kitchen Layout:

Designing the layout of an outdoor kitchen requires careful planning to ensure functionality and aesthetics. Consider factors such as the size and shape of the space, the homeowner's cooking and entertaining preferences, and any existing landscaping or architectural features.

A well-designed outdoor kitchen layout should flow seamlessly, with designated zones for cooking, prepping, and dining. By maximizing space and incorporating efficient design elements, homeowners can create a functional and inviting outdoor kitchen that meets their needs and space constraints.

Building Materials:

At Building Solutions we offer a wide range of high-quality building materials and products to bring your outdoor kitchen vision to life. Our knowledgeable staff is here to assist you every step of the way, from selecting the perfect materials to providing expert advice on installation and maintenance. With our premium products and personalized service, you can trust Building Solutions to help you build the outdoor kitchen of your dreams.

And don't forget the finishing touches – add a built-in grill, a mini-fridge for cold beverages, and a bar area for serving up a selection of local brews and spirits.

And there you have it – three exciting summer DIY projects to elevate your outdoor living space with Building Solutions in Bend, Oregon. Whether you're building a deck, constructing a pergola, or creating an outdoor kitchen, we've got everything you need to bring your vision to life. So why wait? Stop by our store today and let us help you make your outdoor oasis dreams a reality.

With our top-quality materials, expert advice, and unbeatable selection, you'll be well on your way to enjoying a summer filled with outdoor fun and relaxation. Happy building!


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