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.

Deck Materials: A Breakdown

hard wood and concrete wall

The materials you select to build your deck will influence the look and vibe of your outdoor space. Make sure the design is compatible with the style, colors, and era of your home. Additionally, the materials you select for the deck will influence the appearance of your home. As you work out the budget and deck construction plan, consider the appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost of deck materials.

Whether you settle on wood or non-wood decking, durability is a huge factor. Some materials hold up much longer than others. Durability includes how long your deck appears fresh, holds up to wind storms, rain, snow, and yard debris. You can review the charts below for specifics - but even synthetic deck materials have varying durability.

If you like to power wash, air dry, and re-stain the deck every year or two, then you can handle anything the deck will throw at you. But if you're not that guy or gal, maintaining the deck surface needs to be a simple task. It might be best to look at synthetic or non-wood materials with a record of resisting mildew and stains.

Generally, higher grade materials will require less maintenance and hold a longer lifespan. The lifelong value of...


hard wood and concrete wall

The materials you select to build your deck will influence the look and vibe of your outdoor space. Make sure the design is compatible with the style, colors, and era of your home. Additionally, the materials you select for the deck will influence the appearance of your home. As you work out the budget and deck construction plan, consider the appearance, durability, maintenance, and cost of deck materials.

Whether you settle on wood or non-wood decking, durability is a huge factor. Some materials hold up much longer than others. Durability includes how long your deck appears fresh, holds up to wind storms, rain, snow, and yard debris. You can review the charts below for specifics - but even synthetic deck materials have varying durability.

If you like to power wash, air dry, and re-stain the deck every year or two, then you can handle anything the deck will throw at you. But if you're not that guy or gal, maintaining the deck surface needs to be a simple task. It might be best to look at synthetic or non-wood materials with a record of resisting mildew and stains.

Generally, higher grade materials will require less maintenance and hold a longer lifespan. The lifelong value of your deck is definitely important, but your budget may drive the final selection of deck materials. Costs vary greatly and depend on the “feel” and durability of the material. So, let's go over your options and narrow down the best deck materials for your project.

Wood Decks

Wood is still the most common building material for outdoor construction projects. Traditionally, it's the less expensive material and versatile because it can be shaped into all sorts of forms like matching walkways, fences, pergolas, and screens.

Natural wood is attractive. It fits many home and architectural styles. Natural wood is also very accessible. You can find many wood types locally at home improvement centers and lumberyards including pre-cut and assembled items like stairs, planters, and railings.

When selecting boards, inspect for flaws—warping, twists, splits, sap, and loose knots—and choose the strongest pieces, those with the grain running the length of the board (look for vertical lines on the ends.) And when selecting wood, consider what types are most suitable for outdoor use. It must be durable against rot and insect damage or you'll begin replacing boards within a few years.

Wood Type Soft Hard Decay Resistant Cost Durability
Presuure-treated x   xxx $ xxx
Cedar x   xx $$ xx
Redwood x   xxx $$ xx
Cypress x   x $ xx
Mahogany   x xx $$ xx
Cumaru   x xxxx $$$ xxxx
Ipe   x xxxx $$$ xxxx

Depending on the quality, wood decks are cost effective and have a natural look and feel. Synthetic materials just cannot reproduce the feeling of real wood. However, natural defects in the wood can lead to issues like splinters and rot. It will always require a little maintenance, periodic cleaning, and staining.

Non-Wood Decks

There are hundreds of great reasons to use synthetic materials to build your deck. Non-wood decking has environmental benefits as it can be made of post-consumer plastic and wood waste, last for many years, and require very little seasonal maintenance.

Some types, like composite decking, have not evolved over the past twenty years. But vinyl decking (PVC) has developed new technologies and are quite competitive with the best hardwoods when it comes to longevity, comfort, and natural appearance.

Some benefits of synthetic wood decking include stain and scratch resistance, durability, easy installation, the appearance of either soft or hardwood, and impervious to rotting and insect damage. On the downside, non-wood decks still require periodic cleaning, may leach chemicals or emit fumes, are not as attractive or pleasant to walk on, and require special fasteners.

Type Decay Resistant Cost Durability
Composite x $$ x
Vinyl Capped Composite xx $$ xx
Vinyl (PVC) xxx $ xxx

Composite

Invented in the 1990s, Composite wood decking is made from a mixture of either wood or bamboo flour and polypropylene or polyethylene. Using blended wood waste, plastic filler can be either recycled or virgin plastics. The actual planks are manufactured hollow or in a solid mold which is stronger.

Composite decking is more expensive than wood and only has a 5-7 year lifespan. Moisture tends to creep in and over time, mildew, mold, splits, fading, and decomposition occurs. It is, however, easy to clean with a pressure washer or brush and gentle soapy water. Scratches are common in pet-friendly households and since composite decking cannot be refinished or recycled, it ends up in a landfill.

Recent improvements to composite wood planks are significant enough to reconsider this material. You will find some manufacturers using bamboo instead of wood pulp which increases rigidity and reduces bounce.

Vinyl Capped Composite

Capped composite decking is manufactured similarly to composite boards but includes an additional shell of Vinyl PVC. This extra layer protects the organic wood pulp from moisture and immediate decay. The PVC coating also delays stains, reduces scratches, and weather damage.

Vinyl (PVC)

Cellular PVC Vinyl decking is the most modern and long-lasting synthetic material on the market. It is 100% vinyl plastic and does not hold moisture which means mildew and mold are virtually non-existent. Very little maintenance is required. It's fade resistant, so you won't spend time or money on sanding and staining.

The lighter colors are cool to the touch in the summer heat. Expect dramatic changes in the length of PVC boards in hot weather. UV light causes decay in PVC which results in a whitish powder appearing on the surface over time.

Many PVC boards are designed with a wood texture which provides traction when wet. In cold weather, it is durable with minimal ice buildup. However, PVC Vinyl is brittle at cold temperatures, susceptible to cracking below 32 degrees F.

It’s tough to decide which materials to use for your deck, but with a little research you’ll find the perfect solution for you and your home. Once you choose materials, check out some styles and get a quote to start your project!


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