For 28 years, Mike Corvino has transformed backyards throughout South Jersey into beautiful living spaces. Recently, Corvino, owner of DeckCrafters in Cherry Hill, submitted one of his projects to Timber Tech’s Show Off Your Deck national contest and won second place.
“We feel pretty darn good coming in second place,” says Corvino. “It’s reassuring, and gives us some more confidence.”
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The entry photos were of a deck Corvino and his crew built in Mount Laurel. They used Timber Tech-capped composite products from the Legacy Collection in Tigerwood and Mocha colors to protect the deck from falling foliage and Mother Nature. They used black rails to complement the deck colors, and installed a remote-controlled lighting system for ambiance and safety.
The winning deck design also is multi-level and multi-functional. The upper deck is off the kitchen, and has a barbecue and cooking area, as well as seating for a family dinner outside or a small group of people. Walk down the wide flare-style staircase to the lower level, which is the main entertaining area.
Corvino’s son-in-law and business partner for 12 years, Luke Stewart, helped complete this deck and is please with the contest results.
“Coming in second for a nationally recognized contest feels pretty good,” says Stewart, of Cherry Hill. “We are very happy.”
About 100 photographs were entered in the Show Off Your Deck contest, and after looking at each submission Julia Fitzgerald, chief marketing officer for CPG International, and her team narrowed down the entries to four finalists. The four finalist’s work were put on social media and voted on by everyone who viewed them.
“We wanted to run the contest to show off these wonderful decks,” says Fitzgerald. “The contractors do amazing transformations, and should take pride in their work.”
The first and second place winners get to celebrate with a gift certificate, $500 for first place and $250 for second, from Frontage, an outdoor furniture provider. Winning deck builders receive a tool certificate and gear for their crew. As a bonus, the winning contractor’s customer also receives a Frontage gift card.
Joshua Gillow, owner of MasterPLAN Landscaping in Brodheadsville, Pennsylvania, won first place.
“Mike made a big impact in the yard, the homeowners can get so much enjoyment from the deck,” says Fitzgerald of the DeckCrafters’ design. “The different levels work well, and it flows nicely from the back of their home.”
Fitzgerald says her team looked at the materials used, interest in the railing system, lighting and overall creativity when selecting the finalists of the contest. Homeowners can consider these points, too, when considering building a deck in their yards. Here are a few favorite trends to keep in mind when making plans for a deck this summer.
Style that lasts: “Wood has become passe,” says Corvino. “In the beginning, all I did was build cedar decks, but now people want the PVC or capped composite decking.”
Corvino says these materials are much lower maintenance than wood, and they are fade, stain, crash, mildew and mold resistant – making the deck extremely durable even when combating outside elements.
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“After 10 or 15 years, the deck will still look like it did on its first day,” says Corvino. “It doesn’t age. You can spill a glass of red wine on it and just hose it off.”
Capped composite and PVC decking materials are more expensive than wood, but Corvino says homeowners will make a return on this investment.
“You don’t need to stain it, power wash it or preserve it like a real wood deck,” says Corvino. “It’s saving time and money.”
Beyond basic browns: If wood has become passe, then so has its basic brown hues. Fitzgerald says she sees more homeowners passing over wood shades for colors that match their homes and yards.
“A lot of people are opting for gray colors when building decks,” says Fitzgerald. “They are becoming more confident to utilize colors that look great with their overall outdoor scheme.”
And, like Corvino did on his contest-winning deck creation, more people are opting for multiple materials instead of just one to give decks a unique, more intricate design.
“Many are not just choosing more color for decks, but also a variety of materials,” says Fitzgerald. “They are creating decks with designs, patterns and borders.”
Light it up: Lighting themes are becoming a priority among homeowners, too, says Stewart.
“Having a good lighting system makes it easier to enjoy the deck at night and provides safety – guests can better see where the steps are,” he says. “And lighting also gives decks a ‘cool’ factor. It looks nicer and impresses company when you host an evening party.”
Corvino says not many of his clients wanted lighting options when he started his business, but now most are asking for ideas to brighten up their deck at night. He says some choose to light up steps, and he recently installed recessed lights under a deck’s rails.
“The recessed lights under the rails highlights the rail system,” says Corvino. “It doesn’t shine in anyone’s face, but it brings attention to a deck’s features and gives ambiance.”
Retro railings: “Before, you would see white railings on decks, but now people are branching out and using different colors,” says Fitzgerald. “Another look that is popular are cable railings. It kind of gives decks a cool, retro look from the ’50s.”
Corvino says another favorite railing system is the capped composite radiance rail from Timber Tech.
“We used it on the deck we entered in the contest, and it is becoming popular,” he says. “People can bring their style to the deck with this material because it comes in different colors and grains.”
Cool combinations: Corvino says he is building more decks that have steps leading down to a patio and other hardscaping options.
“By making designs like this, the homeowners have another living space outside,” he says. “The deck and the hardscape provide different atmospheres, so people can have the best of both worlds.”
Stewart agrees, saying he also has seen more combinations and multipurpose decks.
“Everybody is putting more of an emphasis on a staycation, especially since the recession,” says Stewart. “They want to create functional spaces outside. When they walk out on the deck they want to have a place to barbecue, another place to eat and then an enjoyable area to sit back and relax with family and friends.”
For more information
DeckCrafters is located in Cherry Hill. For more information, call (856) 488-4387 or visit www.deckcrafters.org.
For more information about materials or deck ideas, visit www.timbertech.com or www.azek.com.