Building Deck & DIY Platform for a Grill
BBQ Basics: Techniques You Need to Know

Grilling Tips

Weber charcoal grills and gas barbecues give you great grilled results every time because they are designed to give you ultimate control of your grilling temperature and cooking method. Here we explain the secret to great grilling.

Grilling Tips
Direct Method

The Direct Method is similar to broiling. Food is cooked directly over the heat source. For even cooking, food should be turned once halfway through the grilling time. Use the Direct method for foods that take less than 25 minutes to cook: like steaks, chops, kabobs, sausages and vegetables. Direct cooking is also necessary to sear meats. Searing creates that wonderful crisp, caramelized texture where the food hits the grate. It also adds nice grill marks and flavour to the entire food surface. Steaks, chops, chicken pieces, and larger cuts of meat all benefit from searing.

Grilling Tips
Indirect Method

The Indirect Method is similar to roasting, but with the added benefits of that grilled texture, flavour, and appearance you can't get from an oven. Heat rises, reflects off the lid and inside surfaces of the grill, and slowly cooks the food evenly on all sides. The circulating heat works much like a convection oven, so there's no need to turn the food. Use the Indirect Method for foods that require 25 minutes or more of grilling time or for foods that are so delicate that direct exposure to the heat source would dry them out or scorch them.

Grilling safety requires placing your grill on a flat, level surface that remains free of combustible materials that could catch fire should you experience grill flare-ups or your fire produces sparks.
Building a simple deck for your grill can provide a safe location to cook outdoors without worry. Choose from several different decking materials to build a deck that fits your style and level of building experience.
Regardless of which simple deck style you choose to use for your grill, you must prepare the ground beneath the area. You may need to level the surface if you intend to install the deck on the ground rather than install a raised deck.
You can find a variety of snap together decking tiles to use when building a simple grilling deck. These tiles are made from different hardwood and composite materials, such as teak, eucalyptus, recycled woods and recycled plastics.

How a Pergola on a Deck Completely Transforms Your Outdoor Space

A pergola on a deck is a simple outdoor structure that blurs the boundary between inside and out while providing overhead shade. This addition is great for families who want to be outside during peak sun times without scorching. The canopy and rafters minimize sunlight for a few hours each day. The space and size of pergola’s louvers and lattice give different amounts of shade or sunlight and transforms your deck into a partially shaded outdoor room. 

Lancaster County deck builders are mavericks at creating these sturdy outdoor structures. Each pergola can be freestanding and close to the house or attached to the deck.

 

How to Support Free Standing Pergolas

frees tanding Azek pergola

Freestanding pergolas stay upright by first using a power auger, shovel or clamshell digger to dig post holes to the recommended depth set forth by local building codes. Once the holes are dug, the craftsmen measure diagonally to make sure the measurements are identical before setting the posts and making sure they’re plumb.

Builders brace the post with stakes and pour concrete in the holes until it reaches an inch below the surface. The concrete will be the consistency of peanut butter. Builders churn the concrete to...


A pergola on a deck is a simple outdoor structure that blurs the boundary between inside and out while providing overhead shade. This addition is great for families who want to be outside during peak sun times without scorching. The canopy and rafters minimize sunlight for a few hours each day. The space and size of pergola’s louvers and lattice give different amounts of shade or sunlight and transforms your deck into a partially shaded outdoor room. 

Lancaster County deck builders are mavericks at creating these sturdy outdoor structures. Each pergola can be freestanding and close to the house or attached to the deck.

 

How to Support Free Standing Pergolas

frees tanding Azek pergola

Freestanding pergolas stay upright by first using a power auger, shovel or clamshell digger to dig post holes to the recommended depth set forth by local building codes. Once the holes are dug, the craftsmen measure diagonally to make sure the measurements are identical before setting the posts and making sure they’re plumb.

Builders brace the post with stakes and pour concrete in the holes until it reaches an inch below the surface. The concrete will be the consistency of peanut butter. Builders churn the concrete to break up air pockets and then let the concrete set for 48 hours. This is the foundation for a pergola that’s placed in the yard.

 

Securing a Pergola on a Deck

Whereas a free-standing pergola is set with concrete in the ground, a deck pergola sits up high and builders must ensure the pergola remains steady in heavy wind.

Instead of burying the posts in the ground, a deck pergola is held up by four posts attached to the joists—not the floorboards—of the deck. This prevents the structure from tumbling. Often Amish deck builders will use extra coated hot-dipped galvanized thick steel hardware to connect it.

white pergola on a deck  white vinyl pergola installed on Azek Island Oak deck

In both instances the post bases and columns support the weight of the structure. Timber bolts secure the beams which create the pergola’s iconic open framework.

There are countless ways to customize your structure regardless of whether you desire a freestanding pergola or to build a pergola on a raised deck.  By adding a pergola, it embellishes an otherwise a plain appearance of a deck that is devoid of additional architectural details.

Pergola with Canopy Ideas

Canopies are a popular addition to a pergola. If you're torn between adding a pergola or awning to your deck, consider a pergola with a canopy.

Awnings are known to enhance a home’s architecture, create a defined space, protect interior and exterior furniture from the sun, and may help control inside temperatures.

A pergola canopy offers similar benefits and works on both free-standing pergolas and ones on new and existing decks.

Not only does the covered structure define an outside space and enhance privacy, but it—like the awning—will offer shade and protection from the elements while also affording additional space for plants like clematis, ivy, wisteria, grape vines and honeysuckles to flourish and offer more shade.

Best of all with attractive landscaping, an affordable pergola enhances the beauty of your outdoor area and can help to add as much as 20 percent to your home.

These structures are as beautiful as they are functional. Canopies have a track that mounts on the underside. Manually pull the canvas in and out without worrying about tearing the canopy which feels like a high-end patio umbrella.

The open canvas allows sun to peek though and air to flow. A closed canvas shades the structure and prevents rain from soaking the furniture underneath.

Canopies can match nearly any size pergola. It will cover the width and length. Choose from over 20 different fabric styles for the perfect complement to your deck and home.

Canopies vary largely price depending on the length of the drive beam. Please contact us for pricing info.

Please note: If you have an existing pergola and you want us to add a canopy, it may cost you more depending if we need to retrofit your pergola to fit the canopy.

Pergola Sun Shades

Customers love pergolas with shades. We found a company in Ohio that makes high quality, retractable shade curtains that work well on the side of pergolas and gazebos. We can also modify your current deck railings to install these curtains, even if you don't have a gazebo or pergola.

Deck Pergola with sun shade  deck pergola with retractable sun shade


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