106 South First Colonial Rd, Building 1, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Best Shade Structures for Outdoor Living

When the sun is shining and the weather is warm, there’s nothing quite like spending time in your outdoor living space. However, too much sun and heat can quickly make your time outdoors uncomfortable. That’s where shade structures come to the rescue. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the top shade structures for outdoor living spaces, including:

  • Pergolas
  • Pavilions
  • Shade Sails
  • Cabanas

Solid Structures designs and builds all types of custom shade structures and also a wide variety of manufactured items to completely transform your outdoor living space in the Coastal Virginia area. Our headquarters is located in Virginia Beach and we extend operations to Chesapeake, Norfolk, and other surrounding cities. For a professional design consultation for anything that’s outdoor living, please Contact Us to get your project started.

Check out our dedicated Shade Structures page for more information and also our Shade Structures Gallery for pictures and samples of our quality work,

Pergolas

Pergolas are a timeless choice for providing shade in outdoor spaces. They give the feel of a separate outdoor room to arrange furniture or other outdoor living essentials. They can either be freestanding (4 legs) or tied into an existing structure as shown below. These structures consist of vertical pillars supporting an open lattice or grid of beams on top. Pergolas offer a touch of elegance and charm while allowing dappled sunlight to filter through, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. You can customize your pergola with outdoor ceiling fans, lights, sound systems, and even water misting systems to stay cool.

Here’s a couple examples of our pergolas:

A Cozy Pergola Built by Solid Structures
An Outdoor Kitchen Pergola Built by Solid Structures

Solid Structures is a certified dealer and installer of “StruXure’s Pergolas and Cabanas.” These state-of-the-art shade structures are designed with smart technology that allows it to open, close, pivot, and slide according to your needs.

This brand is not just a pergola, it’s a lifestyle upgrade. It offers unmatched functionality and superior quality, making it the perfect addition to your outdoor space. Whether you’re looking to create a cozy residential patio or a spacious commercial outdoor area, Struxure has got you covered.

For more information, check out the examples on our Shade Structures page!

StruXure Pergola

Pavilions

For those seeking a more solid and substantial shade structure, pavilions are an excellent option. Pavilions feature a complete roof, providing comprehensive protection from the sun and rain. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, making it easy to find one that complements your outdoor space. You can furnish your pavilion with comfortable seating, lighting, and even an outdoor kitchen for the ultimate outdoor living experience.

Here’s a couple examples of our pavilions:

A Poolside Pavilion Built by Solid Structures
A Relaxing Pavilion with Firepit Built by Solid Structures

Shade Sails

Shade sails have gained popularity in recent years due to their modern and minimalist design. These tensioned fabric canopies come in various shapes and colors, allowing you to add a contemporary touch to your outdoor area. Installation is relatively simple, and you can create unique configurations to fit your space. Shade sails are not only functional but also aesthetically pleasing, making them a stylish choice for those who want to make a statement.

Here’s a couple example of our shade sails:

A Shade Sail Over Outdoor Kitchen Built by Solid Structures
A Pavilion with Shade Sail Built by Solid Structures

Cabanas

Typically found by the pool, cabanas offer a private and cozy retreat where you can escape the sun’s intensity. These small, freestanding structures often come equipped with comfortable seating, curtains for privacy, TVs for watching the big games, frozen drink machines, and a mini-bar. Cabanas provide a slice of resort-style relaxation right in your own backyard, making them a popular choice for those who love to unwind in style while enjoying the great outdoors. They typically have the ability to close up for protection from the elements.

A Poolside Cabana Built by Solid Structures

Conclusion

No matter which shade structure you choose, the goal is to create a comfortable and inviting outdoor living space where you can relax, entertain, and enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without worrying about the sun’s harsh rays or unpredictable weather. With the right shade structure, you can transform your outdoor space into a sanctuary of comfort and style.

We’d be happy to meet you and design a custom outdoor living area transform your lifestyle. Start Your Project by Contacting Us today!

Does Composite Decking Get Hot in the Sun?

Building buildiful and functional custom wood decks for our customers is where Solid Structures started. The composite decking industry has significantly improved the materials within their products over the years for the most enjoyable and durable product. The last thing homeowners want to do is spend more time maintaining their deck than enjoying it…and composite decking definitely helps in that regard. However, one concern that often arises with traditional wood decks is the potential for them to become scorching hot in the sun. Noone wants their feet fried, and the tolerances of kids and pets may be more sensitive than adults. Newer composite decking claims to offer a solution to the heat problem. In this blog, we’ll delve into the question: Does composite decking get hot in the sun?

Bottom line up front: All surfaces increase their temperature in direct sunlight! Composite decking comes in various light colors, such as sandy colors and light grays, that will reflect the suns rays more than a dark color would. This is the same concept as wearing a white t-shirt or a black t-shirt on a hot summer day.

Solid Structures designs and builds decks for all of your outdoor living needs in the Coastal Virginia area. Our headquarters is located in Virginia Beach and we extend operations to Chesapeake, Norfolk, and other surrounding cities. For a professional design consultation for anything that’s outdoor living, please Contact Us to get your project started.

Composite Deck Designed and Built by Solid Structures

Understanding Composite Decking

Before we address the heat factor, let’s first understand what composite decking is. Composite decking is a popular choice for backyard decks, and it’s made from a blend of wood fibers and recycled plastic materials. These materials are fused together to create a durable and low-maintenance decking option.

Composite decking has several advantages, such as its resistance to rot, splintering, and warping. It’s also highly durable and less prone to fading or staining compared to traditional wood decks. But what about the issue of heat?

Composite Deck Designed and Built by Solid Structures

The Heat Factor

One of the primary reasons homeowners consider composite decking is its reputation for staying cooler than traditional wood in the sun. However, whether composite decking gets hot in the sun depends on several factors.

  1. Color: The color of your composite decking can significantly impact its heat retention. Dark-colored composite boards tend to absorb and retain more heat than lighter-colored ones. Lighter colors like gray or beige will generally be cooler underfoot.
  2. Temperature: Like any other material, composite decking will become warmer in direct sunlight. This is true for all materials, but composite decks, with the right color choice, can be more comfortable to walk on than certain wood decks.
  3. Ventilation: Proper deck design and ventilation can also affect how hot your composite deck becomes. Adequate airflow can help dissipate heat, making the deck more comfortable to use on hot days.
  4. Accessories: Adding shade structures, outdoor rugs, or placing potted plants on your deck can help reduce the heat effect and make your outdoor space more enjoyable.
A Shade Structure Over a Composite Deck Designed and Built by Solid Structures

So, Does Composite Decking Get Hot?

Composite decking does have the potential to get hot in the sun, but it tends to be cooler than traditional wood decks, especially if you choose a lighter color and take steps to improve ventilation and minimize heat absorption. Keep in mind that on extremely hot days, any deck, whether it’s made of wood or composite, can become warm to the touch.

If you’re concerned about the heat, there are steps you can take to mitigate the issue, such as choosing lighter-colored composite boards, incorporating shade, or using outdoor rugs. Ultimately, the heat factor should not be a deterrent when considering composite decking for your backyard. Many people are also adding water misting features to their outdoor living spaces to combat extreme summer heat.

Conclusion

Composite decking offers numerous benefits, including its resistance to heat absorption compared to traditional wood. While it may still get warm in direct sunlight, the temperature is generally more manageable. Choosing the right color and implementing proper deck design and maintenance can help ensure a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor space for your summertime gatherings. So, when it comes to the question of whether composite decking gets hot in the sun, the answer is yes, but with some thoughtful planning, it can be a cool and stylish addition to your backyard.

The more you know, the better your deck and backyard projects will be! Whether you’re looking at a brand new project, a deck update, or a style refresh, check out our Deck Installation page and our Deck Photo Gallery. We’d be happy to meet you and design a custom deck that will transform your outdoor living space. Start Your Project by Contacting Us today!

Composite Deck Designed and Built by Solid Structures

Outdoor Kitchen Top Features to Consider

Seriously, what’s better than being able to cook and relax outdoors with your family and also host friends and house guests? Transforming your outdoor living space to something that feels like a resort is what we specialize at here at Solid Structures. Adding an outdoor kitchen to your outdoor living space not only adds value to your home but also creates a fantastic space for entertaining family and friends. From grilling the usual rotation of home cooked meals, to smoking a brisket, rack of ribs, or pork shoulder for multiple hours, or wood firing delicious pizzas, you’ll love the amenities of doing all this without setting off the indoor smoke detectors! In this blog post, we will explore the top five components that are essential for creating a functional and stylish backyard outdoor kitchen.

Solid Structures has custom designed and installed outdoor kitchens all over the Virginia Beach and Chesapeake areas of Coastal Virginia. We offer the highest quality types of grills, refrigeration, storage, and other accessories. Please check out our Outdoor Kitchen Gallery and Hardscape Installation pages for more information. However, keep in mind that outdoor kitchens can be created on existing patios as an upgrade to your existing structure. If you’d like a design consultation, please Contact Us to get your project started.

1. Quality Grill

The centerpiece of any outdoor kitchen is undoubtedly the grill. Investing in a high-quality grill is crucial for achieving exceptional cooking results. Consider choosing a grill that suits your needs, whether it’s a gas grill for convenience, a charcoal grill for that authentic smoky flavor, a versatile hybrid grill, or even a kamado grill, which combines the features of a grill, smoker, and oven. Furthermore, for pizza lovers, a pizza oven can be a desirable addition, providing the ability to create authentic wood-fired pizzas right in your backyard or insert a large cast iron pan to fire up vegetables, chicken, fish, or whatever you can dream up. The main takeaway here is having multiple cooking elements opens up endless possibilities and allows for different types of cooking to be happening simultaneously for entertaining.

Outdoor Kitchen Installed by Solid Structures

2. Ample Counter Space

Adequate counter space is essential for preparing ingredients, organizing utensils, and serving food. Incorporating durable and weather-resistant countertops, such as granite or stainless steel, ensures longevity and easy maintenance. Consider the layout of your outdoor kitchen and allocate sufficient space for food prep, including areas for cutting boards, sinks, and other accessories.

Outdoor Kitchen Installed by Solid Structures

3. Functional Storage and Electricity

Stainless steel cabinets, drawers, garbage containers, and even paper towel dispensers are key to maintaining a clean and clutter-free outdoor kitchen. Store all your grilling accessories, a blender, lighters, eating utensils, and even things such as card games, TV remote controls, and other entertainment items. The key here is you don’t want to have to store everything inside and bring it outside for use. Stock the outdoor kitchen with what it needs for convenience.

Additionally, you are going to want electricity with multiple outlets for countertop appliances. Not only will you need lighting, but running blenders, electric deep fryers (yes, no more smelling of frying oil inside the house!), and even rotisserie motors are common uses of electricity in an outdoor kitchen.

Outdoor Kitchen Installed by Solid Structures

4. Outdoor Refrigeration

Adding an outdoor refrigerator to your backyard outdoor kitchen offers convenience and functionality. With a dedicated space to store perishable items and cold drinks, you can easily access chilled ingredients without the need to run back and forth to your indoor kitchen. Have your burgers and dogs ready to throw on the grill as requested. Look for a refrigerator designed for outdoor use, equipped with weatherproof features and temperature control to ensure your food stays fresh and drinks stay cool.

Outdoor Kitchen Installed by Solid Structures

5. Comfortable Seating and Shade Structures

To create a welcoming atmosphere in your outdoor kitchen, consider designing a comfortable seating and dining area. Choose durable and weather-resistant furniture that complements your overall aesthetic. From cozy lounges to sturdy dining sets, ensure that the seating area accommodates your family and guests comfortably. Incorporate shade solutions like umbrellas, pergolas, or retractable awnings to protect against the elements and provide a cool respite during hot summer days.

Check out our Shade Structures page and Shade Structures Gallery.

Outdoor Kitchen Bar Height Counter Seating

Conclusion

Creating an outdoor kitchen in your backyard can elevate your culinary experiences and enhance your outdoor living space. Remember to consider your specific needs, preferences, and budget when designing your dream outdoor kitchen. So, gather your loved ones, fire up the grill or smoker, and savor the joy of cooking outdoors. Cheers to creating cherished memories in your backyard oasis!

If you are looking for a backyard oasis in the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, or larger Coastal Virginia area, please contact Solid Structures.

What’s Better for a Deck – Composite or Lumber?

When it comes to building a wood deck, one of the most important decisions homeowners will make is choosing the material, the desired color, and features to incorporate into the overall design. There are two primary options: lumber and composite decking material. Both have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to weigh these factors before making a decision. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of each option.

Solid Structures designs and builds decks for all of your outdoor living needs in the Virginia Beach area, to include Chesapeake and other areas within Coastal Virginia. For a professional design consultation, please Contact Us to get your project started.

Composite Deck Designed and Built by Solid Structures

Lumber Decking

Here we’ll cover some pros and cons of lumber decking material.

Lumber Deck Designed and Built by Solid Structures

Pros

  1. Affordability: One of the biggest advantages of using real wood and pressure-treated lumber for your deck is that it’s typically more affordable than composite materials. If you’re on a tight budget, lumber may be the way to go.
  2. Natural look: Many people prefer the look of natural look of real wood over composite materials. Lumber decking can add a warm, rustic feel to your outdoor space. However, composite decking has been looking more realistic and is significantly less maintenance.
  3. Easy to work with: Real wood is a relatively easy material to work with, even if you’re not an experienced DIYer.

Cons

  1. Maintenance: Lumber requires regular maintenance to keep it looking good. You’ll need to stain or seal your deck every few years to protect it from the elements and prevent rot. Staining/sealing is also the primary way to achieve the desired color that you want.
  2. Durability: Lumber is susceptible to damage from pests and weather, which can lead to decay over time. It may not last as long as composite materials.
  3. Safety concerns: Lumber decking can become slippery when wet, which can be a safety hazard. It’s also prone to splinters, which can be painful if stepped on.

Composite Decking

Here we’ll cover some pros and cons of composite decking material.

Composite Deck Designed and Built by Solid Structures

Pros

  1. Low maintenance: Composite decking requires very little maintenance compared to lumber. You don’t need to stain or seal it, and it’s resistant to rot, mold, and mildew.
  2. Durability: Composite decking is extremely durable and can last for decades. It’s resistant to pests, weather, and other environmental factors that can damage lumber.
  3. Safety: Composite decking is typically less slippery than lumber, which makes it safer to walk on. It’s also less prone to splinters.

Cons

  1. Cost: Composite decking is generally more expensive than lumber. If you’re on a tight budget, it may not be the best option.
  2. Limited color options: While composite decking comes in a variety of colors, it doesn’t have the same natural look as lumber. If you’re looking for a specific color or pattern, you may not find it in composite materials.
  3. Heat absorption: Composite decking can absorb heat from the sun, which can make it uncomfortable to walk on in hot weather. Newer types of composite decking mitigate this concern with material technology and lighter color options.

Conclusion:

Ultimately, the decision between lumber and composite decking comes down to your personal preferences. In short, pressure-treated lumber is less expensive and requires more maintenance than composite decking material. Composite decking material is more expensive but likely less in the long-term if considering maintenance over time as part of the cost. Lastly, we recommend visiting completed projects of both to experience the look and feel of all options, colors, and different design features that can be incorporated. Here at Solid Structures, we specialize in proper consultation and design to ensure your deck installation investment compliments your existing home, lifestyle, and entertaining preferences.

How much does a deck cost?

A deck installation may be the perfect project if you’re looking to improve your outdoor living space for summer gatherings or want to add value to your home before selling. But how much does it cost to have a new deck installed? And what factors will affect the final price? Keep reading for answers to those questions and more.

Average Deck Cost Per Square Foot of Deck Installation

Deck building is an investment in your property that will provide you with years of use. The average cost for building one range from about $2200 to $6160, but if we consider what materials are used and how big it gets, it might reach up to $10k.

Cost To Build A Deck By Size

The most common deck sizes and the average cost to build a backyard addition are based on varying levels of material used.

Deck Size Average Cost

10×10 sq. ft – ($2,200 – $6,160)

20×20 sq. ft – ($8,800 – $22,560)

30×30 sq. ft – ($19,200 – $48,960)

40×40 sq. ft – ($32,000 – $86,400)

 

Deck Cost


Material Costs To Build A Deck

Material cost to build a deck ranges from $6 to $8 per square foot on the national average. You can use three main types of materials when building a deck. Wood, composite, and PVC. These are the primary building materials for installing a new deck in your home.

Pressure-Treated Deck Cost

The pressure-treated lumber used to build your deck will be the most significant factor in determining the overall cost of materials. The average price per square foot of pressure-treated lumber is $18.

Composite Decking Cost

Composite decking materials look like wood but are much easier to maintain. The average price per square foot of composite material decking is $35.

Trex Decking Cost

Trex is one of the leading composite decking brands. The average price per square foot of Trex decking is $35.

Deck Materials

Additional Decking Options & Construction Costs

The cost will increase if you want to add features to your existing deck. Below are some features that will affect the price include. This can also be added to an old deck.

Cost To Build Deck Stairs

Building stairs to your deck will add to the total cost. The average price for building steps is $40 per step, so you must get this number correct in order not only to access the upper levels of your home but also to keep things safe and secure while doing so!

Cost To Install Deck Railing

Installing railings on your deck is another project that will add to the overall cost. The average price for wood, composite, or aluminum materials is about $25 per linear foot, with most people opting for something more durable like metal instead of plastic since it can often last twice as long before needing replacement which adds up over time!

Deck Fireplace & Fire Pit Cost

For the ultimate in backyard entertaining, nothing beats an Outdoor Fireplace. They’re great for large gatherings and can be customized to fit your needs with different size options like a Custom carved stone fireplace or perhaps even one fashioned out of metal! If you want to add a fireplace or fire pit to your deck, the average cost will be about $2,500 to $6500.

Patio Enclosures Cost

If you have a patio that you want to enclose, the cost will be about $6,000 on average—this is a great way to add value to your home and extend your living space.

Screened In Deck Cost

If you want to add a screened-in deck to your home, the cost will be about $600 on average for a small porch. This is a great way to enjoy the outdoors without worrying about bugs or bad weather.

Deck Flooring Costs

The cost of deck flooring will depend on the material you choose. The most common materials are wood, composite, and PVC.

Wood Deck Flooring Cost

Wood is the most popular type of decking material. The average price for wood deck flooring is $6 per square foot.

Composite Deck Flooring Cost

Composite decking looks like wood but is much easier to maintain. The average price for composite deck flooring is $35 per square foot.

PVC Deck Flooring Cost

PVC decking is the most durable type of decking material. The average price for PVC deck flooring is $7 per square foot.

Built-In Deck Seating

If you want to add built-in seating to your deck, the average cost will be about $500 to $5000. This is a great way to enjoy your deck and have a place to sit without taking up too much space.

Cost To Add Hot Tub To Deck

Adding a hot tub to your deck is a great way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The cost to add a hot tub to your deck can vary depending on what you want. A simple in-ground installation might only set you back about $2,000, while more elaborate ones could go at around $5-$15k+. The type of heaters installed will affect the installation cost of the deck for your home improvement.

Hot tub in a deck with a view

Cost To Build Pergola or Roof Over Deck

Adding a pergola or roof over your deck can create an outdoor living space that is even more enjoyable. Some homeowners add an outdoor kitchen to fully utilized the outdoor experience, which is perfect for summer events and parties. On average, the cost to build a pergola or roof over your deck will be about $3,000.

Cost To Install Deck Skirting

Deck skirting is a great way to add a bit of privacy to your deck. On average, the cost to install deck skirting will be about $25-$30 per square foot.

Deck Material Costs

Estimating The Cost Of Building Your Deck

The deck has become a popular addition to homes in this era of outdoor living. If you’re tired from walking out your back door and having nothing decent outside, never mind hosting a BBQ or enjoying time by hot tub; A deck can provide all these things for you!

Deck Size

The first step is to determine the size of your deck and deck design. To do this, you’ll need to measure the length and width of the area where you want to build your deck project. Once you have these measurements, you can multiply them to get the square footage. The deck board sizes will also play a significant factor in choosing your new deck.

Ground Level Vs. Second Story Deck

The next step is deciding whether you want a ground-level or second-story deck. A ground-level deck is typically less expensive to build than a second-story one because it doesn’t require support or stairs.

HOA & Neighborhood Restrictions

Before you start planning your dream deck, you’ll need to ensure that it is allowed by your homeowner’s association (HOA) and neighborhood restrictions. Some HOAs have strict rules about the size, material, and style of allowed decks.

Building Permits

Once you’ve checked for HOA and neighborhood restrictions, you’ll need a building permit from your local municipality. The building codes are essential in considering the correct sizes available for you. The cost of a building permit is typical $200-$500.

Taxes

In some areas, the deck may be subject to taxes. The tax rate will vary depending on the location of the deck.

Insurance

The deck will increase your home’s value, which means you’ll pay more in property taxes. The amount depends on what it is made of and where local rates fall within this spectrum; have an assessor check-up with any updates. Usually, these deck installations come with a warranty that covers up to 5years, depending on the company.

Deck Styles & Types

Location Options

There are three main decks: ground-level, elevated, and rooftop.

  • Ground-Level Deck

    A ground-level deck is the most basic type of deck. It is typically built on a level piece of land with good drainage.

  • Elevated Deck

    An elevated deck is built on a platform raised above the ground. This can be a multi-level deck, depending on the house’s landscape. It is typically supported by posts or columns.

  • Rooftop Deck

    A rooftop deck is built on a roof. It is usually enclosed with a railing to prevent people from falling off.

Hiring a Deck Builder

Deck builder

Return On Investment

Homeowners who invest in professionally installed decks will likely see their home’s value increase than the owners who do DIY deck installation. No matter what the housing market is doing, adding a deck to your house landscaping generally translates into higher sales prices for homes all around town! The average ROI for a deck is 70%. If you spend $10,000 on a deck, you can expect to get back $7,000 when you sell your home.

Installing a deck can significantly improve your home’s value and create extra living space. But it’s important to factor in the deck installation cost, labor cost, and the maintenance required down the road. Consult with a deck builder or contractor to get a more accurate estimate for your specific project. And take the time to find the best deck installation company for your needs to help ensure that you’re happy with the final results.

Get free estimates from Solid Structures, a trusted deck contractor.

Associations & Certifications
Belgarde Hardscape Hero Logo
AFA Logo
Concrete Masonry & Hardscapes Association Logo
NAHB Logo
CVBIA Logo
Trex Pro Logo
icpi Logo
HBAV Logo
Call Now Start Your Project