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The Ins and Outs of Custom Decks: An Interview with Anne Poirier of Beauchemin Lumber

By Anne Poirier

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

We will be celebrating our 65th anniversary this year. Our business was started by my grandfather, Alcee H. Beauchemin in 1949. He started the business for his sons who were returning from the war.

What are the main decisions a homeowner needs to make before having a new deck built?

The main decision is what material to use. Years ago there was only regular wood (spruce or hemlock) and from there it progressed to pressure treated, which is treated southern yellow pine. There are many more choices today. The most popular is composite or PVC decking. There is also composite decking with a plastic wrap which helps with preventing mildew.

Can you give an estimate of a range for what it can cost? How is the price for a custom deck usually calculated?

Generally, the customer will have some sort of plan or drawing of the deck they wish to purchase. We will estimate the quantity and lengths of the boards they will need to complete their deck. We do the same for railings if needed. The most popular is vinyl railing with little or no maintenance.

What is one of the biggest challenges involved with building a custom deck?

I would think the biggest challenge is having the right plan and to make sure it is built to local building codes.

Is there any regular maintenance that would help people preserve their decks and avoid unnecessary repairs?

Regular maintenance for wood decks would be power washing, cleaning and re-staining. Maintenance for composite or PVC is pretty much just power washing or cleaning if there are stains or mildew.

Do you have any tips for homeowners who want to build onto an existing deck?

I would suggest hiring a reputable and capable contractor for the above mentioned reasons. They will also be able to offer different ideas and suggestions.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

We are located at 334 Social St., Woonsocket, RI, 401-762-1657

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