New Custom Deck In Durham

This is a custom deck which was designed and built to replace a small 4′x6′ deck in Durham, NC.  Due to setback requirements from property lines, this deck could not project out from the rear of the house more than 10′, so we made it wider in order to provide enough space on the new deck.

Note that all perimeter decking boards are “picture-framed” and mitered around the edge of the deck, which eliminates the sight of end-grain cuts and adds extra architectural detail when viewed from below and above.  Project completed in March, 2013.

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Attic Upfit: Guest Bedroom, Full Bath And Stairs



This project in Chapel Hill consisted of adding a guest bedroom and a full bathroom in an attic space above the existing garage.  The first task involved creating a stairway in the garage in order to access the attic space, since the only way to get up there was by way of a pull-down stair/ladder in the garage ceiling.

Many thanks to Triangle-based contractors Triune Plumbing & Piping, and Signature Flooring  for helping to make this project a complete success!  Plans by architecture firm Shaw Design Associates.

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Front Porch Face-Lift!



The owners of this Durham home were ready for an improvement to their front porch, which previously had no roof, but consisted of a simple crown pediment with a copper cap, and wrought-iron railings on a brick stoop (pictured above, top).

Together, we developed a design which would remove the existing trim and iron railings, then add a porch roof, columns and treated wood railings, painted.  On the new porch roof, we installed standing-seam metal roofing and a rain gutter.  the new ceiling is a rot-resistant cement panel, and all trim elements on columns and newel posts are PVC material.  This project, like all of our exterior work, is built to last a very long time!

The owners have received multiple compliments regarding the improvement, which has really enhanced the look of the front of the house.

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Photo-Journal: A Total Transformation





Big Woods Remodeling was contacted in early 2012 about an old (circa 1922) farmhouse in Zebulon, NC.  The owner wanted to add decks and screened porches, one upper and one lower, so we met on-site and discussed design ideas.

The owner wanted the new decks and screened porches to be completely rot-free and maintenance-free (i.e. no painted wood)..  So we complied by building the project with composite decking, PVC trim, vinyl ceilings/soffits/siding/post sleeves to match the existing house; -brilliant white with no paint.

In order to keep the porch below the upper deck dry, we installed a deck drainage system consisting of a membrane installed between the joists of the upper deck which drain into a concealed gutter above the lower ceiling; that gutters drains into the downspout from the upper roof.

Here are a few images of the completed project, enjoy!

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A Passive-Solar, Energy Efficient Home

Big Woods Remodeling recently built a new custom home in Chatham County, NC.  This home is small in size (1,000 Sq. Ft.) and extremely energy efficient.

The house makes use of South-facing (non low-e) casement windows and a sliding glass door to warm the concrete floor in winter months, providing thermal mass.  The temperature of the concrete remains stable and consistent, partly due to 1″ thick rigid foam insulation beneath the entire slab.  The concrete floor was finished with a 3-color acid-etching process, and then sealed.

Large roof overhangs provide the needed shade in warmer months, while 6″ exterior walls are filled with dense-pack cellulose insulation and covered with 1″ thick rigid foam insulation on the exterior.  A 3/4″ airspace was provided between the rigid insulation and the siding to allow for “thermal break”.

Siding is cement-based Hardie Siding and all exterior trim (fascia, frieze, battens etc) is Miratec, a composite product which is rot-resistant.

The attic has a depth of 24″ R-50 blown insulation, and the house has a concealed-duct mini-split heating/cooling system, which is extremely energy efficient.

Interior trim is natural Pine, and the drywall corners are rounded-over by use of “bullnose” corners.  See more photos of this house below.

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Great Look, Built To Last: Composite Decking With Cable Railings

Here is another example of a recently completed project by Big Woods Remodeling.  A small existing deck in Durham, NC was removed and replaced with a much larger deck, while leaving the existing trellis intact and in-place.

Here is what the old deck and trellis looked like before we started:

After the old deck was removed, a new one begins to take shape below the trellis:

New Trex decking was installed over the new deck.  Also, a stainless-steel cable railing system was installed instead of a traditional balustrade so as to provide unobstructed views of the yard and gardens.

Customized lattice panels were also built below the new deck.

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Weather-Damaged And Rotten Wood Replacement

An example of our company’s repair work:

The photos show wood columns, supporting a very heavy deck and gable roof on the front porch of a local house.  Until we removed some of the wood trim around the columns, the owner was unaware of the extent of the damage and the potentially dangerous situation.

All of the (8) columns were removed and replaced with new fiberglass Polycast structural columns, and all of the decorative trim, including column bases, capitals and mouldings, was replaced with PVC materials.  These new columns and trim materials will not rot and are covered by an extended warranty.

Rotten, weather-damaged wood, whether part of the framing, or the siding and trim on the exterior of your house, should be replaced.

If you see or suspect damaged and/or rotten wood within or on your house, call us for a free estimate.  Below is a photo of the completed job, after painting.  The owner of this home is very satisfied with the work that we performed.

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A Fast-Track Renovation

Dining RoomOur company was recently contacted by the owner of a rental property in Chapel Hill where a tenant had moved out after having leased the property for a few years and, needless to say, the home was very much in need of some work in order to restore it to a condition where it could be shown and rented again.

Many people think that all home renovation projects involve tearing out entire rooms, walls, flooring etc. and generally making a big mess that takes months to clean-up and complete.  Not so in many cases.

Merriam-Webster defines the word RENOVATE as follows: “To restore to a former better state as by cleaning, repairing or rebuilding.”

Notice that the first two terms used in the definition (cleaning and repairing) don’t involve making a mess at all, but rather describe the process of cleaning-up a mess.  Such is the case with this “fast-track renovation” which was performed by Big Woods Remodeling Co.

The phone call from the property’s owner came on a Thursday evening and we met with him the following day to walk-through the house and to hear from him what his desires and priorities were regarding what needed to be done.  The paint on the walls and interior trim were obviously the biggest priority as there were scuffs, dents in the drywall, crayon/ink marks on walls, and also some walls and ceilings partially painted with the wrong color of paint…  Also on the list were multiple interior doors that needed to be adjusted in order to operate and latch properly, the sliding-glass patio door lock was broken,
towel-racks/toilet paper holders/door bumpers missing or broken, light fixtures needed replacement, and several other interior and exterior items were discussed including power washing the mold from the exterior trim and siding.  The owner also indicated to us that it was imperative that this work be done ASAP as he was only in town for another week and wanted all repair work completed before he left!

By Saturday evening we had provided estimates and made contractual agreements to handle all of the necessary repair work.  Monday morning came and our top-notch painting crew was on-site and working on prepping the walls and the work began on the application of new interior paint for 90% of this 3500+ square-foot house.  They worked steadily throughout the week as did our “in-house” carpenters and others.  On Friday, all work was completed; a cleaning crew had been through the house and it just sparkled!  Also installed was an automatic dehumidifier in the basement to permanently control any moisture issues.

This job was another absolute success for a homeowner in the Jordan Hill neighborhood and for Big Woods Remodeling Co. and, per the owner’s requirements, we had finished within just 7 days of our initial meeting!

Remember:  Sometimes the word RENOVATE doesn’t mean tearing things apart, but rather putting them back together!  Look for more interesting articles and project updates on this site soon!

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