15 Questions To Ask Your Deck Contractor (Before You Get a Quote)

You’ve decided to hire a deck contractor–smart decision! But finding a company you can rely on feels daunting. There are hundreds of deck builders in Metro Vancouver, so how do you know when you’ve found a winner?

Uncovering a few deck contractors with great online reviews or getting a reference from a friend is a good place to start. Once you’ve made a promising shortlist, pick up the phone and get your notepad ready.

Call up your top choices and weed out the duds. Here’s what to ask your potential deck contractor:

What’s your specialty?

Many deck builders only work with one or two types of decking. It’s important to understand how experienced they are in working with your preferred material. You don’t want them learning on your deck, after all. They should be able to tell you about the pros and cons of the deck material you’re considering and help you make an informed decision.

Do you have staff or subcontract?

Some deck builders hire other companies to complete jobs (or portions of obs) on their behalf. While this can mean you get highly specialized trades people working on your deck, it also has the potential to cause communication issues. Deck companies with their own crews are generally more familiar with each worker’s experience and character. They also have more direct control over every aspect of the job, so it’s more likely to go as planned.

Will there be a supervisor on site?

Having a person working on your project with the responsibility of ensuring quality and authority to make decisions has obvious advantages. Knowing how often a supervisor will be present can help you decide between two comparable contractors.

What’s your warranty?

Hiring a deck contractor is an investment in your home. Deck builders should use quality products that carry a warranty and be able to produce that information for you. They should also provide a warranty for their work. Get clear on the specifics of what’s covered and for how long.

Are you licensed and insured?

If the answer is not a clear, “yes,” your conversation can end here. The potential deck contractor should be able to produce their insurance certificate, business license, and Work Safe BC credentials upon request. Any resistance, hesitation, or evasion is a major red flag.

How long have you been in business?

This question helps you understand how experienced they are in the decking industry. Dodgy deck contractors don’t last long in this competitive market. Also, established businesses are less likely to have financial or legal issues that could affect your project.

Do you have references?

It’s one thing to read online reviews, but to  personally speak with a past customer is another level of reassurance. While it’s probably not a good use of time to vet these references before you get a quote, knowing they’re available is promising.

How do you handle it when something goes wrong?

The measure of a company’s worth is not if something goes wrong, but how they handle an issue when it inevitably arises. Every deck contractor has had something go wrong, let them tell you about a specific time and how they made it right.

Will this deck require a permit and do you handle permits?

Permits are often a necessary evil. Your contractor should know when one’s required. While it’s usually best for you, the homeowner to manage the permit, some contractors do offer this service and all should guide you through the process.

Find out if you need a permit for your deck project

Who do you know?

When you’re renovating your outdoor space, there’s often other work on your to-do list too. Quality contractors have a network of trusted service providers that they can refer, saving you time and headache in future projects. Also, if your deck contractor isn’t full service like Citywide Sundecks is, you may need to hire other companies to complete portions of your deck renovation like landscaping and painting.

Do you do railings?

After all, no great deck is complete without beautiful railings. You can get a quote for a railing re-do while they’re completing an estimate on your deck project.

How long will it take and when could you start?

Getting an idea of the timeline for your project is important for your planning. Depending on the time of year, you may be waiting weeks (or months) for an opening. This can be a deciding factor in choosing your deck contractor.

What makes you unique?

Let them tell you how they’re different from those hundreds of other deck builders in Metro Vancouver. Here’s how Citywide is a unique Vancouver deck builder. Does what they say resonate with what you need?

Do you charge a deposit?

Most deck builders do, both to cover material costs, and for client peace of mind. Get details on how much the deposit is; between 10% and 30% is common. There is rarely a legitimate reason for a deposit of more than 30%.

What forms of payment do you accept?

If you’re planning on paying by credit, make sure that’s an option. If they only accept cash, that’s a pretty clear sign that the business is not above board. Sorting out these details in advance of any agreement makes the whole process smoother for everyone.

Now you’ve got a strong feeling for what it would be like working with each of the deck contractors on your short list. Choose your top three and request a quote.

If Citywide Sundecks has made your deck contractor shortlist, fill out the form below or call us at (604) 786-3325.


7 Steps to Spring Clean Your Deck – Fast

You have a deck to enjoy it, not to work on it! This simple guide helps you get your deck ready this summer faster than ever. Use these tips to get the work done quick, so you can get on to the important stuff like enjoying your sundeck.    

a wooden deck overgrown with weeds

Step 1: Prep

To properly clean your deck and keep it from premature degradation over the year clearing your deck is essential.

Start with clearing around your deck. Trimming back branches and vegetation to at least a foot from the edge of your deck and supports will reduce the chances of an insect infestation, sap and leaves dropping on your deck, and potential for storm damage.

Next, clear your deck surface. Removing patio furniture, barbeques, plants, and decor. Then, sweep the deck to remove leaves and other debris and  clean gutters and downspouts to avoid drainage problems.

dirty wooden deck black and white

Step 2: Inspect

Winter weather can wreak havoc on your outdoor oasis. Pick out potential problem spots by looking for wear and tear such as:

  • Loose or cracked trim
  • Detached or rusted flashing
  • Peeling or missing caulk
  • Signs of decay (soft spots)
  • Separation of gutters
  • Improper slope
  • Torn seams on vinyl decks
  • Insect damage
  • Rodent/bird holes
  • Cracked or leaking faucets
  • Shifted curbs and retaining walls

‘Out of sight out of mind’ is a fatal philosophy when it comes to your deck. Rot and worn fixtures can weaken your deck, making it unsafe.

Inspect your deck’s surface and supports by walking the surface of your deck to feel for weak or spongy spots beneath your feet. Pay special attention to damp spots and parts in contact with fasteners. It’s probably rotted if a screwdriver can easily penetrate the wood ¼- ½ inch or break off a sliver without splinters.

Fixtures and supports like posts, joists, and ledger board (where the deck attaches to the house) can degrade over time. Take a close look under your deck for signs of aging too.

Take a close look at your railings for rot, loose bolts, rusted fixtures, and general sturdiness. Consider replacing your maintenance-intensive wood railings with custom aluminum railings.

Make any necessary repairs before continuing your deck spring cleaning. Give us a call at 604-786-3325 if you need some expert assistance.

wet deck down

Step 3: Wet

Thoroughly wet down your deck with a garden hose. If you use a pressure washer, don’t exceed 150 psi or point the nozzle directly at any seams or attachments. Improper use of a pressure washer, like holding the nozzle too close to the deck, can cause permanent damage.

scrub deck

Step 4: Scrub

Some cleaners can damage your deck. Avoid using powered abrasives, steel wool, dry cleaning fluids, or lacquer thinner solvents.

For any deck material, use an effective biodegradable product like Oxyclean and use a bristled scrub brush over using a pressure washer. Combine the cleaner with water and test the mix in a small area. It should kill the mildew and remove the dirt in 10 to 15 minutes. Get the job done fast without damaging your deck by adjust your ratio if it’s too quick or slow to.

For tough stains from leaves, algae, moss or mold use diluted ammonia or outdoor bleach and a whole lot of elbow grease.

Step 5: Rinse

Rinse the deck to remove any cleaner residue and make sure you haven’t missed any spots.


Step 6: Dry

If you have a low maintenance deck like vinyl or composite, congratulations, you’re all done! If you’re the proud owner of a wooden deck, you’ll to wait until it’s completely dry before you can  stain or seal it. Wait at least two or three days before sanding and applying sealer for best results.

Citywide Sundecks custom vinyl patio


Step 7: Enjoy!

Give yourself a pat on the back. You have successfully spring cleaned your sundeck!

If you need some help getting your deck barbecue-ready this spring, Citywide Sundecks is your complete decking contractor. No job is too big or small for our expert crews.

Fill out the form below or call us at (604) 786-3325 for a free consultation and quote.

9 Ways Citywide Sundecks is a Unique Vancouver Deck Builder

When you’re looking for a deck builder, it can be difficult to figure out what makes one company different from another. With over 80 decking companies listed in the Yellow Pages for greater Vancouver, there’s no shortage of options to choose from.

If we’re lucky enough to be on your deck builder shortlist, check out these 9 ways that we’re unique from any other decking contractor in the Lower Mainland:

1 – We always provide detailed quotes

Citywide sundecks detailed Quote

When you’re spending thousands of dollars building or renovating your sundeck, you want to know exactly what you’re getting for your money. You don’t want to pay more than you have to, but you want to make sure your deck is going to be durable and beautiful.

We start with asking questions and understanding your needs to make the best recommendations possible. We’ll review your options with you and share our experience so that you can feel confident and supported in your decisions. After we understand what you need and want, we’ll compile a detailed quote that clearly outlines the project phases, materials, and costs.

2 – We install and repair all decking types

Citywide sundecks installs all decking types

Want to change your style of deck? Not sure what decking you want? No problem. Many deck contractors only work with one or two types of decking. We have experience in vinyl, composite, cedar, pine, hardwood, fiberglass and more. We can construct a new deck or work with your original structure. We’ve even got you covered for patio covers, privacy walls, and custom railings. No matter what you’re starting with or what you want to have, our experience and expertise will ensure that we provide you just what you want, efficiently and affordably.


3 – We do more than decks

Citywide Building Envelope Logo

We’re not just experts in sundecks, we know exterior construction and waterproofing too. By staffing crew members with expertise in all elements of home improvement, we ensure that no matter the project, we have an expert on hand to get it done.

We don’t work with tunnel vision, we see the bigger picture. We build and install decks in a way that maintains the integrity of your home’s complete waterproofing and structural systems.

Our commercial and industrial branch, Citywide Building Envelope, caters to the needs of Stratas, Property Managers, Developers, and Architects. We handle siding, traffic coatings, and balconies in new construction and restoration projects.

Contact us to learn more about our commercial services.   


4 – We’re just the right size

_I was impressed with the service and the timely manner in which they scheduled the project. They arrived when they said, did a great job, and were finished when they promised._

Our team is big enough to get any job done, but not so big that you’re ever treated like a drop in the bucket.

Unlike many small one-man shows, we have full licensing and insurance. You’re not on the hook if something goes wrong. We also can’t disappear with your money and leave you high and dry.

Citywide is a local, family owned business that prides ourselves on serving families just like our own. We believe in doing the right thing and building decks that we can be proud of.


5 – Our staff are long-term

Citywide Sundecks happy customer note and treats for crew

Our core staff have been with us for years. Why does it matter? Well, they trust us and we trust them. It’s a testament to how we treat the people we work with: with respect and commitment. We know our staff well, including their capabilities, so we can be confident that we’ll always live up to your expectations. Clients frequently comment on how friendly and respectful our crews are. We wouldn’t have it any other way.



6 – We’ve won Best of Houzz 2017 + 2018

best of houzz 2018 service citywide sundecks
It’s one thing for us to tell you how awesome we are, but it means a whole lot more coming from a trusted third party. Houzz is a well-regarded home improvement organization that connects homeowners to contractors. Being recognized by them as the best deck builder in our area speaks volumes about our dedication to service and our clients’ satisfaction.  


7 – We’re a trusted member of GVHBA


Everyone’s heard a nightmare contractor story where someone was ripped off or duped by an unqualified or immoral company. So what’s your protection against this sort of horrific experience? We want you to feel 100% confident in choosing Citywide so we’ve volunteered to be part of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders Association.  As a member, we pledge to live up to strict expectations on integrity and professionalism. And if we ever fail, we’re accountable to the board and hundreds of our industry peers.



8 – We’re a certified installer of Duradek

Duradek Logo 2017

Not just anyone can install the #1 vinyl decking membrane for you. Duradek requires its products to be installed by trained and certified distributors. We happen to be the top Duradek installer in lower mainland BC.



9 – We only use high-quality materialsTimberTech warranty emblem for Citywide Sundecks

Beyond our vinyl decking supplier, we partner with the top local and international manufacturers and suppliers to make sure our decks are an incredible value. We build your deck like we would build our own.

Our preferred composite decking suppliers are TimberTech & AZEK. We choose to install these brands because of their outstanding quality and dedication to research and development. Their materials are constantly on the cutting edge of decking technology so you get the best there is.


Whether you want a one of a kind deck, or just a trustworthy deck builder, we can get the job done.

If you’d like to experience how Citywide Sundecks is unique, fill out the form below or call (604) 786-3325 for your free quote.


Duradek Announces New Legacy CEDARWOOD Design

Since 1974, Duradek has produced top quality vinyl decking that provides a durable, low maintenance, attractive way to effectively waterproof any deck.

The most recent group of designer deck colours by Duradek, the Legacy line, was unveiled in 2014 to commemorate their 40th year in business. The original Barnwood and Driftwood patterns were chosen to reflect the market demand for naturally inspired colours and textures. These flagship designs were followed in 2015 by the very popular Legacy Pebble Beach.

The latest addition to the commemorative line is Legacy Cedarwood:

“Legacy CEDARWOOD provides homeowners a stylish option for decks and other outdoor surfaces that emulates the appearance of natural wood, but with the low maintenance waterproofing advantages of durable vinyl.”

Duradek vinyl decking Legacy line introducing Cedarwood

The three wood grain designs offer unique tonal variations and striations that effectively mask dirt and remain resistant to the elements. The Cedarwood style provides a light, neutral color option for homeowners looking for a brighter natural tone. An added benefit of the lighter colour is a cooler deck surface, compared to darker vinyl hues.

At Citywide Sundecks and Railings, we are proud to be a certified distributor and installer of all Duradek products. Check out all of Duradek’s styles and colours and fill out the form below or call us at (604) 786-3325 for a free quote on your new Duradek sundeck!

Deck Giveaway: BC Home + Garden Show


Citywide is Giving Away a Sundeck This February

Citywide Sundecks is teaming up with the BC Home + Garden Show and Global BC along with Rymar Synthetic Grass to give one lucky home show attendee a major backyard make over. 

Our expert crews will install a brand new Duradek vinyl membrane that’ll make your neighbours green with envy. Check out the Durdek styles and colours and start planning your FREE dream deck. 

Find us at booth #1430 on the west end of the centre isle and enter to win!


BC Home + Garden Show Tickets button



What Type of Deck is Best for Pets?

Your whole family–including the four-legged members–loves to spend time on the sundeck together. So when you’re planning your new deck, you naturally want to consider what’s best for your furry companions, too.

While your pets can’t always tell you what they want, we’ll help you figure out which type of decking makes the most sense for you and your pal.

sad dog on worn wood deck with green blue paint

Scratch Resistant

Pet owners often deal with destruction caused by their buddy’s claws on flooring and furniture. To avoid your deck having the same fate, choose scratch resistant decking.

Capped composite has a hard plastic shell around a wood/plastic composite core. The shell makes it durable and resistant to rot and warping along with scratches. Composite decking mimics the look of natural wood, but without the upkeep. While it’s much more scratch resistant than wood, it’s not totally scratch proof. With enough gusto, your pooch could still leave permanent marks.

Vinyl decking is another durable solution to ward off a claw-tastrophy. This walkable roofing membrane is made to stand up to the elements while waterproofing with a low-maintenance, attractive finish. It’s also pretty difficult to scratch or tear this engineered material with anything short of a sharp tool.

brown and white short haired puppy on green wood deck

Potty Proof

If your pup has a tendency to have accidents on your deck, easy clean up is a priority. Both vinyl and capped composite decking are stain resistant and can be easily hosed down to clean up a mess. Wooden decks can be stained easily, so avoid this type of decking if your pooch is prone to piddles.

dog paws with long claws on deck



Paw Friendly

If a deck is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for little paws too. Decks built where they’ll absorb a lot of sunshine can get toasty on clear summer days. Choosing a lighter decking style for these areas can help reduce heat make it easier for all family member to walk on.

Slivers can also wreak havoc on paws of all types. Luckily, both vinyl and composite decks are totally splinter-free.  

golden retriever on shady deck with awning

Permanent Shelter

To help combat the heat, a patio cover is a smart addition. Not only will your pet enjoy the shade, but it makes for a more usable space year-round. When it’s pouring rain in the winter, a patio cover crates a dry outdoor space for you and your animal to take cover. You can get more use out of your deck and everyone will be more comfortable.

smiling dog with wooden railings and aluminum gate on wooden deck

Smart Railings

Railings make a huge difference in the look and safety of a deck. While you can often reinstall old railings on a new deck, consider if they make the most sense for your current needs. Custom aluminum railings are fabricated uniquely for each deck, so you can get exactly what you want. For smaller dogs and cats, you can choose a style with closer spindles and include a gate in the design so their chances of escape are slim. Glass railings are modern, safe, and allow uninterrupted views–but tend to be a magnet for nose smudges.


puppy dog on wood deck

Consider these expert tips when you’re planning your new outdoor space and you’ll feel good about your deck decision, knowing it’s pet-approved.  For more information on what decking is right for you (including costs) check out our blog on the pros and cons of popular deck types.

If you’re ready to chat with an expert about your deck project, our team is here to help. Fill out the form below or call (604) 786-3325 to get started.


The 5 Best [FREE] Deck Design Tools


A sundeck can increase not only the value of your home, but the quality of your life. A deck extends your living space to the outdoors allowing you to live your life more ideally and take full advantage of every square foot.

If you’re dreaming of adding or renovating a deck, these free deck design tools can inspire your creative side and help make your vision a reality. To help you know where to begin, we’ve tried them out to report the perks and drawbacks of each.

5 Free Deck Design Tools


One of the few free deck design tools that’s not affiliated with a decking materials brand, this easy to use online software makes deck design approachable for any inspired DIYer. The program provides simple deck designs for you to base your deck structure off and allows simple resizing of the height, dimensions, and shape. You can only choose between a generic composite or pressure treated pine as building materials, which makes the usability of the downloadable permit plan, order list, breakdown list, and plan specs somewhat limited if you’re planning to build with another material. Despite the materials limitations, you can get a strong idea of the shape and design features you’d like to have in a deck.



This design tool has an approachable interface with simple options to give you an idea of price, but overall is somewhat inflexible. You can choose from one of three pre-designed deck layouts and change the total square footage, but not the dimensions. While you only have the option of designing with Trex composite, you can check out their various colours and railing styles to see what combinations you like. The software gives you a materials list and Trex can point you in the direction of a local retailer or deck builder to make your dream design a reality.



Although is shares other design tool’s limitation on building material selection, this designer’s robust building features are intuitive to use. It offers a range of customizability from deck height, dimensions, and railings to board rotation, lighting, and accents. You can even add furniture and accessories to complete you dream design. Your bill of materials is available to review at any time and you can print off a PDF copy when you’re ready.  Whether you’re serious about designing a new sundeck, or just looking for some productive entertainment, this deck design tool is worth a click.


Fiberon Decking

Similar to the TimberTech interface in look and feel, it is slightly less robust and less intuitive. It has everything you need in a deck designer with some fun bells and whistles like a custom landscape and lighting designs.


Big Hammer

If you’re serious about designing decks (or you’re a deck builder) this software is a strong contender. Unlike previous options, you need to download and install this software to use it. However, it only works on Microsoft operating systems, so Mac users are S-O-L.


The #1 Free Deck Design Tool


While there are multiple easy to use, helpful deck design tools, one software stood out as a shining star: The TimberTech Deck Designer.

Even if you’re not planning on building a composite sundeck, this tool allows you to explore layouts, colours, and decor combinations to help you make smart design decisions for your new deck. It’s the most comprehensive and usable tool that we’ve tried, it’s even kind of fun!


If you’re looking for some expert insight on your deck design, if you’re not sure what material is best, or if you’re ready to build your dream deck, call 604-786-3325 or fill out the form below for a free consultation and quote.

The 5 Things To Do When You Have a Leaking Roof Deck

A leaking roof deck may go unnoticed for some time, but heavy Vancouver rains will eventually make the failure known. Heavy snowfall and snowmelt are also major culprits of bringing on roof deck leaks. When waterproof membranes fail, they need to be dealt with swiftly or damage and costs can multiply quickly.

Here’s what to do when your roof deck springs a leak:


1. Identify the source

If water is leaking into your home through the ceiling, your rooftop deck may or may not be the culprit. Examine the leaking water. If it’s clear, it could be from pipes running through the ceiling or walls. Water from leaking roofs and decks is often dirty and will create stains as it passes through drywall. If the leak appears to be from plumbing, you can cut a small hole in the drywall to check it out further.


2. Examine your deck

Take a look at the deck. Clear all furniture and debris so you can have a clear view of every square foot. Look for pooling water, weathered flashing, failing seams, and peeling caulking. Take a walk around your deck and feel for soft spots under your feet. If an area feels spongy, it’s a sign of rot and a clue to a compromised membrane. If you can identify where water may be coming in, set up a temporary barrier with tarping, sandbags, or caulking to slow the leak.


3. Damage control

Once you’ve done your best to determine the source of the leak and slow it down, head back inside to battle the water from below. Your objective is to dry the walls and floors out as best you can. The faster you dry things out, the lower your chance of mold–which is a costly and harmful effect of a long-term or major leak. Soak water up with towels, catch it with buckets, and set up fans and space heaters to evaporate remaining liquid.


4. Insurance

With any luck, your homeowner’s insurance will cover damage and repair costs. Keeping your deck properly maintained is the best way to avoid a leak and ensure that you’re covered if one does occur. Let your provider know about the situation and get specifics on what’s needed to file a claim. It’s best to take photos to document the water damage and the suspected source.


5. Call a pro

The sooner you get a professional deck builder out to take a look, the sooner your roof deck will be leak-free. Your insurance company may require you to get multiple quotes, which is always smart if you’re able. However, time is of the essence when you’re dealing with a leaky roof deck in Vancouver. The longer you wait, the higher costs will be. Look for a reputable deck builder in your area and check out their online reviews for peace-of-mind.


A leaking roof deck can cause a high-stress situation, but if you follow these five steps, you’ll have everything under control.


If you’re in need of roof deck repair fast, call 604-786-3325 to speak with a Citywide Sundecks expert deck contractor. 

The Citywide Guide to Expert Deck Maintenance

Having a sundeck is great. Maintaining it is not. But with this simple guide to deck maintenance, you’ll know just what to do (and when) so you can streamline your time spent doing chores on your deck.


Seasonal sudsing

The most important activity to extend the life of your deck, keep it safe, and make sure it’s looking sharp is a periodic cleaning. At least four times a year, ideally when seasons change, deep clean your deck. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Move any furniture off or to the side
  2. sweep off leaves, dirt, and debris
  3. clear any gutters or drains of build up.
  4. Hose down your deck
  5. Apply a non-toxic, biodegradable cleaner
  6. Scrub the deck to remove light stains and residual dirt
  7. Remove mildew with one part bleach, three parts water

You may need to clean your deck more often at some times of the year. If it’s located in an area that collects lots of leaves and debris, fall may call for frequent sweeping. If you enjoy barbecues and suntanning during summer, a weekly scrub can reduce the chances of permanent stains.

A dirty deck can accelerate the degradation decking, fasteners, and railings. Spending an hour or so each season to cleanse and inspect it will go a long way to reducing your costs and increasing your enjoyment of your deck.


Do rot reconnaissance

Along with your seasonal clean, check for signs of decay on your deck. On wooden decks, you can check for rot by testing areas with a screwdriver. If you can dig it in more than ½ cm or is you can break off a sliver of wood without splinters, rot is likely.

To check for rot on vinyl decks or decks with liquid-applied membranes, walk the surface of the deck in a grid formation. As you step, feel for soft or spongy spots. Take a close look at areas that are exposed to water or that stay wet for long periods of time.

To make sure the frame of the deck is structurally sound and rot-free, check the following areas for splitting, crumbling, or soft wood:

  1. The ledger board (where the deck attaches to the house)
  2. Support posts
  3. Joists under the deck
  4. Railings
  5. Stairs

If you think you’ve found rot, it’s important to do something. The risk of not repairing rot is that it will spread. If left untreated, someone may fall through the deck or it could completely collapse.


Look for loose fasteners

If your deck is rot-free, fantastic. But it doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. The fasteners of your deck are just as essential to your deck’s integrity. While you’re checking for rot, check your fasteners and supports, too.

Every season, tighten screws and anchors, hammer in popped nails, tests supports, and replace corroded metals. Rusted fasteners mean they’re weakened and they can also amplify wood deterioration.


Freshen your flashings

Flashing can be metal or plastic. It’s usually found where the deck and exterior wall meet. Ensure that it’s in place and doing its job to divert water away from the home. If there are areas where it’s corroded, broken, loose, or where water pools, avoid water leaking into your home by replacing the flashing.  


Railing research

You rely on your railings to keep you and your loved one’s safe. Make sure they’re up for the job.

First, check to see that they’re high enough. Vancouver deck building codes require 3-foot high railings with spindles a maximum of 10 cm apart so small children and pets can’t squeeze through.

Next, make sure they are sturdy. Do they give when pushed? If you have a wobbly railing, it may be due to rot, worn fixtures, or a poor fit. Find the source of the instability and remedy it before relying on your railings.

Redo your deck finish

Wooden decks require a new stain or seal every two years on average. Staining and sealing your wood deck helps defend it from weathering, rot, and insects. It also makes it look great.

If you’re tired of refinishing your sundeck every summer, consider renovating your deck. Vinyl membranes are the most popular decking in Metro Vancouver and composite decks are a beautiful alternative to wood. Both types of deck never require staining and are very low-maintenance.

To get a free quote on rot repair or a low-maintenance deck renovation, fill out the form below or give us a call at 604-786-3325.


The Citywide Guide to a Safe Sundeck

As an extension of your home, a sundeck should be comfortable, inviting, and enjoyable. But to qualify as any of these, it first needs to be safe.

Safe deck considerations

Any sundeck can benefit from these simple tips to create an outdoor space that’s suitable for the whole family–including pets and small children.


Non-Slip Stairs

Citywide Liquid Decking stairs with texture


In the wet Metro Vancouver climate that Citywide Sundecks works in, slippery stairs are a major concern for homeowners. They’re a liability in rental units and a hazard in your own home.


To avoid taking a spill on slick steps, clean them regularly. Use a low-grade pressure washer with a cleaning agent, or a scrub brush with some sudsy water and clear the surface of debris.


Increase texture on stairs by applying a liquid coating. The level of roughness and colours are completely customizable, so you can get just the look and feel you like. Rubber stripping is also a workable solution.


If you plan on having children or small pets on your sundeck, installing an aluminum gate at the top of the stairs is a smart choice. Investing in a sturdy gate is an easy way to prevent a potentially tragic tumble.


Practical Sundeck Railings

Citywide Sundecks West Vancouver standard glass railings


Railings are a sundeck feature required specifically for safety. But impractical railings can still be hazardous.

Railing risks

Insecurely fastened or improperly built railings are obvious dangers, but frequently overlooked risks are climb-able railings and ones with wide gaps. Toddlers or pets can easily scale or slip through.

Safe railing tips

To combat ineffective rails, cover them with an attractive facade like plexiglass or temporary bamboo fencing. Also, keep furniture away from the perimeter of the deck, as it can be used by crafty pets and children to hop the barrier.

Aluminum railings are a low-maintenance, sturdy solution that can be completely customized. Starting at $60 per linear foot, they’re an affordable (and attractive) safety measure that you never have to stain or seal.


Smart Decor

AZEK Arbor Hazelwood


Keeping your deck comfortable and inviting calls for furniture and decoration, but as you design your outdoor oasis, keep these practices in mind.

Safe plants

Adding greenery to your deck is a smart way to make a relaxing space. However, some common plants can be harmful to our health. If you’re going to have pets on your sundeck, check out this list of poisonous plants for cats and dogs. Curious children (or quirky neighbours?) may also have a munch. It’s best to avoid keeping rhubarb, water hemlock, bleeding hearts, and Lily-of-the-Valley.

Tripping hazards

Keep pathways clear of furniture, potted plants, and other items. Designate children’s play areas that are away from doors, stairs, BBQ’s and walkways.

Open Flame

Fire pits and candles are a great way to add ambiance (and warmth) to any area. Always attend to any open flame near your deck and keep a fire extinguisher on-hand. It only takes a few moments for a rogue ember or knocked over candle to spark a blaze.


Safe BBQ-ing

Citywide Safe BBQing


A stellar barbeque is essential for any awesome deck. Especially when your children are around, never leave a how grill unattended. The catch basin is a magnet for pets, so keep it out of reach or covered with aluminum foil. Put a heat-resistant mat underneath and keep it at least a foot away from railings siding, and other objects to avoid damage.


Splinter-Free Deck Material

Citywide Sundecks custom vinyl patio


Going barefoot on your deck is a summertime rite of passage, but a splinter can quickly spoil the fun. Older wooden decks will undoubtedly victimize a few feet. Regular sanding and staining can ward off slivers.

Low-maintenance decks

If you’d rather spend your time enjoying your deck than maintaining it, consider switching from a wood deck to a more family-friendly material like vinyl or composite decking. These options only require periodic cleaning and can last 10-30 years.  


Sheltered Space

On hot summer days, shaded areas will keep pets cool and people from getting too much sun. A sheltered area is also important for creating a refuge from rainy weather. Adding an awning or patio cover to your sundeck can help your whole family comfortably enjoy your outdoor space year-round.


The Citywide Sundecks Solution

A comfortable, inviting, and enjoyable sundeck is an invaluable asset to any home. Follow these tips to create your ideal outdoor space for the whole family.

If you’d like to upgrade your decking material, add a patio cover, or create a slip-resistant surface, Citywide can help.

Call 604-786-3325 for a free quote, or fill out the form below.

How Composite Decking Has Changed

You’ve heard of composite decking; it’s an alternative to wood that you never have to stain and that’ll last for decades.

You may have also heard about its rocky entry to the decking market. You might be unconvinced that it’s a good choice. The product on the market today isn’t your parent’s composite. Composite decking has come along way since it was first introduced.

We’re bringing you up to speed on how composite has changed over time and what people are excited to buy today.

Tough Beginnings

Composite decking came on the market in the 1990’s, with brands like Trex, TimberTech, Fiberon, MoistureShield, and EverGrain making their debuts. Composite decking generated a buzz of excitement around the low-maintenance alternative to wood decking.

Consumer’s hopes were dashed when the new products fell short of its promises. Early composite decking products were porous blends of plastic and sawdust that tended to stain and fade easily. Buyers complained of mold and mildew build up as well as warping and cracking boards. Some of the major decking manufacturers even faced class-action lawsuits for the sub-par products.

Because of the poorly-designed early composite decking, many homeowners lost faith in composite decking following the 1990’s. But, closing in on 20 years of market experience, those manufacturers who are still in business have learned from their tough beginnings. Products are more sophisticated now, based on decades of research and testing.

The Evolution of Composite Decking

Some brands have discontinued their original lines of composite decking completely, while others have refined them through testing and research. Today, the standard of quality is a capped composite, which has a PVC shell encircling a composite core. The cap functions to seal moisture and insects out, amplifying the integrity of the boards. It also allows for flexibility with coloring and texture, while ensuring a uniform composition of the structural core.

Trex discontinued their last uncapped product in 2014, after introducing a new capped decking line. TimberTech, MoistureShield, and EverGrain kept their (much improved and less expensive) uncapped lines and also offer multiple capped composite options.

Homeowners Love Capped Composite

The love for composite decking is stronger than ever, with sales growing each year across North America. A study recently found that buyers are favouring higher value, better performance, longer life, and better aesthetics in their decking purchases. More homeowners are buying capped composite decking than ever before.

The Vancouver, BC area has seen a significant sales growth in recent years, with a notable shift from uncapped to capped composite materials. The infamous wetness of the region makes the moisture protection of the PVC cap essential for composite decks to last without warping or mildew buildup.

Homeowners choose composite decking over wooden decking for a number of reasons:

  • Get the classic look of wood, without the work.
  • Never sand or stain your deck again.
  • It’s fire resistant, burning at much higher temperatures than wood.
  • Long-term cost is lower than traditional wooden decks.
  • Recycled and non-toxic materials are an environmentally-friendly choice.
  • Stands up to moisture and extreme temperature changes with minimal wear.
  • Comes with one of the best warranties of any decking material (average 25 years)
  • No slivers, mold, or mildew.

While uncapped composite’s lower price is enticing for some, ultimately, aesthetics and durability are most important to homeowners. The top composite brands are fairly comparable in quality and durability. The final choice is less a question of what brand and more often comes down to the colors offered.

Citywide Sundecks Composite Deck Construction in Vancouver

At Citywide Sundecks, we prefer to build with TimberTech and AZEK composite decking products. These brands have a history of innovation, with a huge emphasis on research and technology. Between the two, our clients have 23 different colours to choose from, so they can get exactly the look they want.

TimberTech is a traditional wood/plastic composite product, while AZEK Decking is a pure PVC plank. With AZEK, we can build patios at ground level or even floating decks without an issue of water damage. Both brands are owned by CPG building products and are backed by 25-year and limited lifetime warranties.

If you have questions about resurfacing your existing deck with composite or building a new composite deck, we can help. Call 604-786-3325 or fill out the form below for a free quote.


10 Surefire Signs You Need a New Deck

Are you avoiding admitting that you need a new sundeck?

Waiting too long for a deck renovation is a dangerous game. Aged and unmaintained decks pose serious safety risks and the likelihood of failure increases the longer you delay. 

Whether your deck is dangerous (or just more of an eyesore) these are ten irrefutable signs that your sundeck has reached the end of its lifespan:

1 – Spongy Spots

Areas of your deck that are soft underfoot are tell-tale of rot. If rot is apparent at the surface of the deck, your risk of falling through is real. If rot persists to the support structures of the deck, complete deck collapse is possible. This is the worst-case-scenario for a neglected deck, so take those spongy spots seriously!

2 – Leaks

If your deck should be waterproof, but you’re seeing signs of leakage like water spots, mold, or drywall softness, you’ve got a problem. Over time, seams and seals weather and can allow water ingress. Regular cleaning and maintenance will prolong the life of your deck, but once it’s spring a leak, repair or replacement is inevitable.

3 – Cloudy Railing Glass

Glass railings are a beautiful and functional design feature for sundecks. Glass can make smaller decks feel larger, and allows you to see the beautiful landscape and ocean views better. Overtime calcium and lime can build up on glass and plexiglass can cloud, hindering the benefits of glass railings. While you can usually clean buildup from glass, clouded plexiglass will need replacement to remedy the issue.

4 – Faded and Stained

Older decking materials like uncapped composite and traditional wood are susceptible to fading from UV exposure. In areas with tree cover, pine needles and leaves are notorious for prematurely aging decks with irreversible stains. While a stained deck will likely be safe and functional, it may be an eyesore worth curing. Once you refinish the deck, regular cleaning can ward off weathering.  

5 – Age (Yours)

Just like decks have an expiration date, your willingness and ability to maintain them does, too. High-maintenance decking like timber can be traded-in for low maintenance alternatives like Duradek and capped composite.

6 – Growing Family

As your family grows, so should your deck. Making memories on the porch is something every parent should enjoy with their children. Some materials are better than others, like slip resistant, splinter-free vinyl decks. They’re also one of the more affordable options for a young family.

7 – Selling your home

In a competitive real estate market, a dodgy deck can be seen by potential home buyers as more of a liability than an asset. Make the best impression with a simple deck facelift. Chances are, you’ll regain your investment tenfold.

8 – Shaking, Wobbling, and Sagging

It doesn’t take a pro to know that signs of an unstable deck are serious. Unsecured footings, loose joints, and degraded materials spell trouble. Even newer and well-built decks can be victim to settling and shifting that may compromise a deck’s integrity. Bring in a contractor immediately to inspect any deck that shows signs of instability.

9 – Age (the Deck’s)

The average deck will last 10-25 years, depending on the quality of materials that are used and the maintenance practices. As most deck’s support structures are made from wood, even with chemical sealants and coatings, any organic material will degrade over time. Like changing a timing belt in your car, consider redoing your deck before you run into any major issues.

10 – It’s Spring or Fall

The peak season for sundeck contractors is summer time. During these three months of the year, contractors will often do 80% or more of their business. That means that they’re very busy during summer, but the other nine months of the year are much slower. As a matter of supply and demand, during slower times of the year, you’ll get the best builders at the lowest prices.


If your deck needs some TLC, fill out the form below or call 604-786-3325 to speak with a Citywide Sundecks expert.

Infographic Guide to Choosing a Deck

If you’re considering having a deck built or renovated, you may be unsure about what type of decking makes the most sense for your needs and tastes. This infographic guide leads you through the proper questions to ask yourself so that you’re able to come to the best conclusion on your sundeck conundrum.

Get started now with, “is your deck over living space?”:

Infographic Guide to Choosing The Right Deck


Citywide Sundecks and Railings specialize in providing homeowners in Metro Vancouver with the area’s best value, highest quality sundeck solutions. Check out more about our complete deck construction and renovation services, or fill out the form below to schedule your free quote.


What Makes TimberTech the Best Composite Decking?

If you’re looking into composite decking as an option for your home, you’ve likely seen a few different brands pop up in your research. The brand that you opt for can make a big difference in your overall satisfaction with your new deck.

As experienced pros, our favourite composite decking brand is TimberTech. We’re not alone, independent 3rd party research shows homeowners choose Timbertech 2:1 over Trex.

We’re giving you the rundown on what makes TimberTech the best:

Looks that ‘wow’

Functionality, safety, and low-maintenance are a given of composite decking. What makes this brand noticeably unique from others on the market is that look and feel is truest to real wood. Other brands are obviously plastic masquerading as wood, but TimberTech gets it right, ensuring that even their entry-level products are convincing. Unique color variations within each board are designed to emulate the appearance of natural hardwood. With over 25 hues to choose from (including options from sister brand, AZEK), there’s something to match every home and satisfy any taste.

Unparalleled research and development

TimberTech heavily invests in testing and research, ensuring they are industry-leaders in product durability and innovation. They cap their boards on all four sides to resist mold, mildew, moisture damage, and insects. Their sky-high standards mean that every board is straight, with uniform composition so your deck looks incredible and lasts longer than competitor’s products. 

An outstanding warranty

Their dedication to quality is reflected in the TimberTech warranty: 30-year Fade & Stain and 25-year Limited Warranties. No other company on the market offers that kind of protection.

Environmentally friendly

TimberTech is manufactured from up to 73% recycled materials. Not only that, they’ve developed a unique water filtration system that dramatically reduces the amount of water used in production by reusing hundreds of gallons each day. Even the packing materials are 100% recyclable.


If you need more evidence that TimberTech is the best choice for your deck, see how it stacks up against competitors and check out the available colours.



To get a free quote on your composite deck installation, fill out the form below, or call (604) 786-3325.

What is Liquid Decking And Is It Right For My Sundeck?

Liquid Decking On Concrete Stoop With Coloured Texture
Liquid Decking With Texture Over Vinyl At Wall
Liquid Decking On Concrete Stairs With Coloured Texture
Waterproof Liquid Decking With Texture Over Vinyl
IMG 1529Liquid Decking On Concrete Stairs With Coloured Texture   Finished
Liquid Decking With Texture Over Vinyl
Liquid Decking With Texture Over Vinyl With View
Liquid Applied Decking Membrane On Stairs
Liquid Decking Mix
Liquid Decking At Wall
Liquid Decking Epoxy Primer Coat
Liquid Decking Texture


Liquid decking goes by many names: deck coating; roll-on membrane; liquid rubber; and liquid-applied membrane.

While its title varies, its purpose and benefits are clear: Liquid decking seals your deck, creating a waterproof, safe, and easy to clean surface.

Here are some more details on exactly what liquid decking is, how it works, and how to know if it’s the right choice for your deck:

What is liquid decking made of?

There are various products on the market, each with slightly different ingredients. Generally, liquid deck coatings are a polyurethane, with optional pigment and texture added.

Polyurethanes are naturally flexible, making them scratch resistant and accommodating to large temperature fluctuations. With natural UV inhibitors, this material also stands up well to sunlight.

How does liquid decking work?

Liquid decking can be applied to almost any surface –concrete, wood, metal, and vinyl.

First, the surface is cleaned and leveled. To ensure adhesion and flexibility, Citywide Sundecks uses an epoxy primer under a polyurethane topcoat. Epoxy is much harder than polyurethane, but effectively seals and binds to various substrates and the polyurethane. The resulting combination is a durable, flexible, non-porous, well-bonded, waterproof membrane.

Texture can be added between coats of polyurethane to create a slip-resistant surface. Polyurethane can be pigmented to various colours and detailed designs can be created with coloured mix-ins.

How does it compare to other types of decking?

Liquid decking is a smart option for homeowners looking to waterproof their deck and those who want a low-maintenance solution.

Liquid decking is easy to clean and easy to repair. Where vinyl decking required a noticeable patch over damaged areas, damage to a liquid deck is resolved with a spot-applied top coat. Liquid decks are also seamless, reducing the risk of waterproof failure.

While it has numerous benefits, liquid decking requires specific conditions for application. Direct sunlight, excessive moisture, and cold temperatures complicate adhesion and curing. On the west coast, liquid decking is best installed in summer months.

For more info, read about the pros and cons of popular types of decks.

What does liquid decking cost?

Liquid decking is affordable. Especially considering maintenance and repair costs, this option provides great value. Citywide Sundecks charges an average of $10-$12 per square foot, with additional deck preparation costs varying.

Can I do it myself?

Some homeowners take deck projects on themselves, and some are successful. There are dozens of products available at hardware stores for waterproofing your deck. But, if your deck is over living space, we recommend you hire a professional to install your liquid decking.

When you DIY, what you save up front could lead to costly water damage later on. Citywide Sundecks uses industrial grade products and our installers have decades of experience. We can ensure it’s done right the first time, saving you time and headache.


If you’re interested in a liquid applied deck coating for your sundeck, call 604-786-3225 or fill out the form below for a free consultation and quote.

Hire a Deck Contractor or DIY?

Building or repairing a deck is one of the most common home improvement tasks that homeowners aim to take on themselves. Unlike other renovation projects, decks seem fairly straightforward and low risk. If you’re considering hiring a decking contractor or completing a deck renovation on your own, we’ll help you make the right decision.

The case for DIY

Being able to tick something off your list without having to hire help can mean big savings. Beyond financial benefit, taking on a deck renovation yourself can be a welcomed challenge — it may be an opportunity for the family to work together. There’s certainly something to be said for sweat equity and a hard day’s work. If you’re excited to spend your free time outdoors with power tools (and you’ve got some experience with them) this may be just the project for your summer.

Why you should hire a deck contractor

If you’re still up in the air about what you should do, allow us to make the case for bringing in the professionals. A professional decking contractor (like us!) has expertise and insurance — two very important things that won’t be matched by most homeowner’s policies or experience.

Experience is important for getting it done right the first time. Ensuring the deck is built to code and that it’s going to stay standing are some additional benefits.

Insurance is important because if something goes wrong during the project –someone gets hurt, damage occurs, etc — you don’t want to be the one footing the bill or on your way to the ER.

Moreover, hiring a contractor means that you don’t have to spend your precious leisure time smashing your thumb with a hammer or sweating like a hog. A team of pros will complete your dream deck faster, so you can spend your time actually enjoying it.

A happy medium

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you want to play more of a part in your deck renovation than just Capt. Check Signer, consider completing part of the project yourself and bringing the cavalry in for the harder stuff.

We often have clients who will complete portions of the preparation or finishing on a project, making it faster for us and cheaper for them. Just make sure you consult your deck contractor before you dive in, or your work may actually cause more trouble than good.

To speak with an expert deck contractor and get a free quote on your deck renovation, Fill out the form below or call 604-786-3325.

The Most Eco-Friendly Decking Material

Environmental consciousness is commonplace in British Columbia. From reusable water bottles to electric cars, Vancouver-area residents care about buying eco-friendly.

And, when it comes to building and renovating homes, Vancouverites maintain our eco-conscious consumption. But while there are numerous building products on the market that claim to be ‘green’, it’s sometimes hard to know which products live up to the earth-friendly claims and which ones are eco-duds.

As deck experts and fellow eco-minded consumers, Citywide Sundecks is here to weigh in on the greenest deck material.

Environmental pros and cons of common deck materials

Many deck materials claim to be environmentally friendly and many are, to varying degrees. At Citywide Sundecks, we install wood, composite, vinyl, and liquid decking. Each of these popular deck materials has environmental pros and cons:

Wooden decking

Pros – Wood is natural and compostable. At the end of a wooden deck’s lifespan, it rots and becomes harmlessly part of the ecosystem once again.

Cons – Timber’s organic nature requires it to be coated for protection from the environment. Harsh chemicals in stain, sealant, and paint can be damaging to the environment and are usually required annually.

Composite decking

Pros – composite (wood mixed with plastic) lasts longer than traditional wood, never requiring painting or stainings and is made from recycled materials.

Cons – This mixed material can’t be recycled at the end of its lifespan. Manufacturing can require excessive energy and water.

Vinyl decking

Pros – This PVC based material is long lasting (up to 30 years) and takes up much less landfill space than its composite counterpart.

Cons – This material is non-recyclable and requires significant energy in manufacturing.

Liquid decking

Pros – Liquid deck coatings, generally urethane-based, are long-lasting and easily repaired. When the coating is worn, rather than needing to remove the material, another coat is simply added. This saves tons of waste.

Cons – Liquid coatings are chemical, some properties are toxic in the liquid form, disposal of unused material requires special processing to protect the environment.

The most environmentally friendly deck material

The materials mentioned above have varying issues for the environment ranging from inability to recycle, energy inefficiency, short lifespan, the volume of waste, and toxic chemical concerns. There is one material, that overcomes all these shortcomings while looking fantastic in any home: Cellular PVC.

Cellular PVC, marketed as a composite deck material, is 100% PVC. Unlike traditional composite decking, it’s 100% recyclable. At Citywide Sundecks, we install the cellular PVC brand, AZEK.

AZEK cellular PVC

Through our years of experience in deck construction and restoration, we’ve seen a lot of different decking materials and brands. Above them all, AZEK stands out for their research-based sustainable manufacturing and beautiful product.

The Most Eco-Friendly Decking Material
AZEK Arbor Hazelwood
Azek Slate Gray

Each year, AZEK Building Products reduces the amount of trash sent to landfills by recycling and reusing the majority of waste material during manufacturing. The AZEK Deck line is manufactured from up to 36% recycled material.

Annually, over 100,000 trees are saved by using AZEK cellular PVC products over wood or composite decking. Not only is their product helping forests, but the company recently drove a successful #sharesfortrees campaign for Earth Day, donating $5k for 5,000 planted trees through the National Forest Foundation.

AZEK is safe. Made without the use of urea or formaldehyde, AZEK Building Products are certified by the National Green Building Standard (NGBS).  

Beyond being an environmentally-friendly choice for any homeowner, AZEK has many other benefits. It’s one of the most durable, low maintenance, and beautiful materials used in decking. Unlike composite or timber decking, it holds up when in direct contact with soil or water for extended periods of time. Because it’s entirely plastic, it can be heated and molded into incredible curved and circular designs for one-of-a-kind results.  

If you’re considering a new deck and are interested in a beautiful, durable, environmentally friendly product, consider AZEK.


For a free quote on your new AZEK deck, call 604-786-3325 or fill out the form below.

Do you need a permit for your deck project?

One of the most frequently asked questions we get at Citywide Sundecks is, “do I need a permit?”

The answer is not as straight-forward as you may hope, but we’re here to demystify this important question. Learn about general guidelines of when a permit is required for a deck and what might happen if you don’t get one.

When is a permit required for a deck in BC?

Each municipality has slightly different guidelines for permitting. When you’re building a new deck you almost always need a permit unless the deck is unattached and less than 100 square feet.

A permit is usually required in BC if:You probably don’t need a permit if:
  • Your new deck will be more than 2 feet off the ground.
  • Your new deck will be attached to the home.
  • Your new deck is 100 square feet or more.
  • You’re changing the footprint of your deck.
  • You’re adding a patio cover.
  • You’re not changing the size, location, or height of your deck.
  • You’re not adding a patio cover.
  • You’re not attaching the deck to your home.
  • Your deck is lower than 2 feet.

It’s easy to find out definitively if a permit is needed by visiting your city hall’s building permit department (municipal links below).

Don’t assume previous work has a permit

If you have an existing deck that you’re renovating, you still need to ensure that a permit was pulled for its original construction. If your original deck was not permitted, your renovation and the original structure could be mandated non-compliant and torn down.

While the deck may have lived up to bylaws and zoning at the time of construction, laws change all the time. If you’re not protected by a permit, your old deck will be held to the new standards when inspected.

What do I need to get a permit?

To get a building permit, you need to provide various documents and drawings as well as fee payment to your city permit department. Below are checklists provided by some Metro Vancouver municipalities to help make sure you have everything you need, depending on where your home is.

Deck permit application checklists by BC municipality:

In some historic areas and heritage homes, you may require a development permit as well. Check with your city for confirmation.

What will keep me from getting a deck permit?

To qualify for a permit, your plans need to prove that the construction will be safe. Permitting departments will also consider:

  • Proximity to your neighbour and property lines.
  • Total footprint of structures must be less than 60% of the property square footage.
  • Aesthetic consistency with the neighbourhood.

Who is responsible for getting a building permit?

It’s the homeowner’s responsibility to have a permit for any work done on their home. While contractors may incur penalties for completing unpermitted work, the homeowner is ultimately legally and financially responsible for any infractions.  

If you’re doing the work yourself or hiring someone else to do it, don’t rely on someone else to research the necessity of a permit.  Thier negligence may become your problem.

What will happen if I don’t get a permit for my deck?

Unpermitted work can incur a fine that often costs more than the permit itself. It can also result in you partially or fully undoing work or changing the project scope. However, many people choose not to get a permit for their deck project.

If you don’t get a permit, there are three ways you may run into trouble:

  1. A third -party complaint.
  2. Home inspection upon sale.
  3. Insurance claims.

People choose not to get a permit because they feel the cost and the time required to get a permit is worth the risk of not having one.

Many people feel that as long as your work is compliant to zoning and bylaws, the risk is negligible. After all, it’s not an inspector’s job to drive around looking for unpermitted work. A neighbour must file a complaint or there must be signs of deficiencies upon inspection to raise red flags about a lack of permit.

Bottom line of deck permits

Getting a permit can be a long, expensive, and frustrating process. For many people, the risk of not obtaining a permit is worth the reward of being able to finish a project in a timely manner.

If you choose not to obtain a permit for your project, you must at least confirm that the project is permit-able. It’s simple and fairly low cost to obtain a permit for a structure after the fact, as long as it’s all to code.

If your deck is not permissible and an inspector makes a call to your house during or after the project, you will face much more serious fines and will likely be required to tear the deck down.

While a deck contractor will likely respect your informed decision to forego a permit, they should never pressure you not to get a permit.

If you’re ready to build or renovate a deck, Citywide Sundecks makes it easy. We’ll walk you through the whole process and give you answers specific to your circumstances.


Call 604-786-3325 or fill out the form below for a free quote and consultation on your deck project.

How To Spot a Dodgy Deck Contractor

For many people, the task of hiring a deck contractor comes with a lot of stress and questions.

Bad contractors are in every city. HGTV shows feature countless stories of people just like you, being left high and dry after trusting the wrong person. You may even know someone personally who’s had a bad experience with a contractor.

But, that doesn’t have to be your story.

Here are 8 surefire ways to identify a dodgy deck contractor before it’s too late:

They need payment upfront

It’s common for most contractors to ask for a deposit of 10-25% before work starts.

If you’ve ever been burned by a company who no-showed, you can appreciate the sense of security that a reasonable deposit affords both parties. A reasonable deposit is professional and binding. However, a disproportionate up-front charge is concerning.

If your contractor is asking for payment of 30% or more before any work starts, they better make it crystal clear why that’s necessary.

Get a few quotes and see if other companies are making the same request with the same justification. If there seems to be no way around it, protect yourself by consulting a construction attorney before paying up.

They require cash

When you hear “cash” think, “undocumented”.

This is good for the dodgy contractor because they don’t have to pay taxes and fees on the revenue. But, it’s bad for you because if anything goes wrong, you have little recourse.

If someone is pushing you to pay in cash — even for a discount or other incentive– make sure you’ve got strong documentation of your agreement in writing. Without payment records, claims may not be defendable in court and a dodgy contractor can essentially walk away with your money.

If the contractor insists on cash terms and resists documentation, don’t walk, run away.

They have zero bad reviews

Reviews are a great resource for finding high-quality contractors.

You wouldn’t choose a company that has tons of negative reviews, obviously, but you should also be wary of ones with only great reviews. There’s not a single contractor that has never had an unhappy client. If they have only positive reviews, you’re only getting part of the picture, and it’s not the most helpful part. Negative reviews give you an opportunity to see how a company deals with a mistake or misunderstanding. Check out 3 things you should know about online reviews.

Look for companies with a mix of reviews.

Pay attention to the way they respond to any negative reviews or if they respond at all. Note the particular complaint the review addresses and why the situation may have arisen. Don’t be afraid to ask a deck contractor about a negative review you’ve seen. Their reaction is likely indicative of how they’ll feel about and deal with your potential issues.

They can start immediately

When you need a deck renovation or repair, finding someone that can start right away may seem like a godsend. However, especially in the busy spring and summer months, most reputable companies fill their schedules quickly — most have wait lists weeks or months long.

If your project is small, maybe they can squeeze it in on short notice, or if you pay a premium they may bump other discounted work. But generally, this ‘blessing’ should be scrutinized a more closely.

Ask them for references, how long they’ve been in business, and what other projects they are currently working on to gauge a deck contractor’s reputability.  

They pressure the sale

All good salespeople establish some urgency, but when someone pressures you into a decision by capitalizing on your fears or through aggression, that’s plain wrong.

Rather than pushing you into an agreement, a contractor should provide you all the information you need to comfortably make a decision. High-pressure sales rely on your impulsivity and fear to get what they want from you — it’s no way to start a relationship that should be built on trust and open communication.

Even if your deck is literally falling apart, there is no reason to rush a decision. If someone won’t give you the time and attention to make an informed, logical decision, then don’t give them your money.

They Don’t ask questions

You’ll undoubtedly have a set of questions for every decking company providing you a quote and estimators worth their salt will have their own questions for you. A contractor needs to know what you want and what your expectations are to be able to give you an accurate quote. They should be asking questions about why you want a deck, who will use it, and how.

By understanding your needs, they can make their best recommendations and also understand what should be included or discluded in their quote. When a contractor doesn’t ask questions, they are assuming what you want and need, which will inevitably cause conflict or disappointment.

They skip the paperwork

Always, always, always get a written contract.

Ensure specifics about what’s included or not included as well as pricing and payment terms are outlined. This contract will serve as your protection if conflict or misunderstanding should arise.

Doing business on a handshake leaves you open for a world of hurt.

The paperwork also protects the contractor and there’s no reason a legitimate company would want to begin a project without the proper records.

The paperwork includes licenses and insurance. If a company can’t produce this upon request, they probably don’t have it and they’re not someone you should ever do business with.

It seems too good to be true

Are you a lucky person? When you need a job done fast, but your price is tight, you’re going to need luck to find a good contractor that can help.

If you’re getting a screamin’ deal, it’s probably not really a deal at all.

Reflect on the previous signs of a dodgy contractor and figure out where you may be having the wool pulled over your eyes. As they say, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.  

There are honest, experienced, and affordable deck contractors in this world. If you’re looking for one in the Vancouver BC area, call Citywide Sundecks and Railings at (604) 786-3325 and ensure your deck story has a happy ending.

How To Clean Your Vinyl Sundeck

Vinyl sundecks are virtually maintenance free, but like anything outdoors, they need periodic cleaning to stay looking their best.

Here are Citywide Sundecks’ tips on when and how to clean your vinyl sundeck:

Seasonal cleaning

To keep your vinyl sundeck spic and span, clean it once per season. For general cleaning, use soap and water. First, clear the deck of furniture and any other items. Next, wet the whole deck surface down. Lightly scrub the vinyl with a stiff broom and a dish soap solution. The soap and water solution should be similar to what you would use to wash dishes. When you’ve scrubbed all over the deck, make sure any gutters and drains are clear before rinsing the deck.

Deep cleaning your vinyl sundeck

If basic soap and water just aren’t cutting it, there are a few other go-to cleaners that’ll get your vinyl sundeck looking like new.

Fantastik spray cleaner is useful for tough stains like motor oil, coffee, crayon, and makeup. Cascade Powdered Dishwasher Detergent also works well. Before using a cleaner, lightly scrape or wipe off any excess material. Wet the area, apply the cleaner, and scrub with medium pressure to remove the spot, then rinse. When you use either of these products on your vinyl deck, ensure they’re not left to sit or dry on your deck, as they may cause damage. Always rinse thoroughly after cleaning.

Duradek Vinyl Cleaner is a specially formulated cleaner for vinyl surfaces. It can be used in place of soap and water for a light to medium cleaning that won’t leave residue behind. You can order Duradek Vinyl Cleaner by contacting Duradek headquarters in Surrey, BC.

Ammonia mixed with water at a ratio of 1 tablespoon to 1 quart is an excellent first line of defense against mildew or wet leaf stains. Ammonia is also helpful with tough stains such as yellow mustard or permanent marker, in combination with Fantastik spray cleaner.

Naval Jelly applied with water on rust stains will quickly clear up any rust spots.

Rub-on citrus based hand cleaner is a sellar cleaner for fresh (not dried) urethane caulking. First, scrape off any excess caulking, then wait 5 minutes after applying the cleaner before rubbing it off and rinsing with water. 

Note: Certain substances such as suntan lotions, wet leaves, cedar, permanent markers and others contain dyes that permanently stain vinyl. Clean your deck promptly after exposure to these items for best results.


Power washing your vinyl sundeck

Yes, you can powerwash your vinyl sundeck! Power washing can remove dirt and debris, but it’s not recommended for removing embedded stains.

To avoid damage to your vinyl, set the psi at 1500 (max), and hold the nozzle one foot from the deck surface. Couple the power washing with soap and water for the best cleaning.

Be very careful at the seams, railing attachment, caulking, and house trim. Avoid spraying directly on these more delicate areas to protect the membrane integrity.


How NOT to clean your vinyl sundeck

Vinyl is highly durable, but with improper cleaning practices you can still cause damage. Avoid these mistakes to keep your deck in ship shape. Don’t clean…

All at once – Test an unseen area of vinyl before cleaning a stain in the middle of your deck. Start in a corner or where furniture hides the deck to ensure there is no damage or discolouration from the product.

Without rinsing – All cleaning methods must be followed by a thorough rinse with water. Leaving chemicals on the vinyl deck surface to dry can cause damage.

In direct sunlight – baking cleaning product into your vinyl sundeck is not a good idea. Keep the deck wet and create shade while cleaning, whenever possible.

With whatever’s under the sink – You can’t use just anything to clean vinyl. Certain household cleaners, powdered abrasives, steel wool and industrial cleaners can cause damage and discoloration. Dry cleaning fluids and lacquer thinner/solvents will remove the printed pattern and gloss on the vinyl decking. Waxes may also cause permanent damage. Stick to the recommendations here.

With whatever’s in the shed – A soft to stiff plastic brush or broom is best for cleaning your vinyl. Never use a metal-tipped shovel or other metal tools as they can pierce or rip the vinyl.

Infrequently – Vinyl will last decades with just a little TLC. Clean your deck seasonally and always clean it immediately after spills and fallen leaves to avoid staining.


If cleaning isn’t cutting it, it’s time to replace your vinyl deck. Citywide Sundecks and Railings is Metro Vancouver’s vinyl decking expert.

Fill out the form below or call 604-SUN-DECK for a free quote.



These tips were adapted from Duradek’s Care and Cleaning Guide.

Cost of Deck Railings in Vancouver: Wood, Aluminum, Glass, and Composite

In Vancouver and around the world, deck railings vary greatly in style and cost. So what railing type is best for your greater Vancouver home? This article considers cost, durability, maintenance requirements, and building code restrictions of the most popular deck railings to help you decide.

Wooden Deck Railings

$30 – $60



Wooden deck railings are generally the least expensive type of railing to install. Ranging from $30 – $60 per linear foot, design options are endless. Wooden railings can have traditional posts, lattice, or panel designs. They can be composed of pressure treated wood, cedar, or a combination. With wooden deck railings, you have the option to paint or stain them varying colours, giving you more flexibility and control over some design elements. Wood railings are generally simple to install and work well for wooden decks but pose complications on vinyl decks.

The drawback of wooden railings is the amount of maintenance required. Almost yearly, wooden railings need sanding and refinishing to keep up their appearance. Each post can take up to 10 minutes to prep and seal with the right equipment, making maintenance annoyingly time consuming.  


Aluminum Deck Railings

$40 – $90

Aluminum deck railing. Thick double top cap side mount

Aluminum railings are the sweetheart of the decking industry. Highly durable, affordable, and very low maintenance, this type of railing has few drawbacks and makes a lot of sense for most people. Aluminum railings can be either mounted on the facia (side mounted) or on top of the deck (top mounted). This makes them ideal for tight spaces on balconies and for vinyl decks, where waterproofing is a concern. Standard aluminum railings are narrow picket and are available prefabricated, or custom built.

Prefabricated Aluminum Railings

Prefabricated aluminum railings are designed for the DIY-er and are available at hardware stores from $40 – $90 per linear foot. Prefab railings are used on decks with standard measurements and require some technical know-how to install — and, of course, time.

Custom Aluminum Railings

Custom aluminum railings are manufactured to order. Measurements are taken of the deck, stairs, and any nooks and crannies that require a railing. They’re produced in two to three weeks and powder coated in your preferred colour. Custom aluminum railings cost $60 – $150 per linear foot installed by a professional. Custom railings also give you the option to get creative with design. Twisted pickets, thickened pickets, a double top cap, or other design features will cost an additional $5 – 10 per linear foot.


Composite Deck Railings


black composite picket railing. RadianceRail TimberTech


For composite decks, composite deck railings are the obvious choice. Like their decking counterpart, composite railings provide supreme durability with minimal maintenance. This type of railing is composed of a pressure treated wood post, wrapped in a composite or PVC sleeve for protection and aesthetics. The composite lasts 25+ years without fading or warping and requires only periodic washing. Between posts, composite pickets, aluminum, cable or glass can be used. Many brands of composite railings, such as TimberTech’s Radiance Rail, can incorporate lighting into the railings — a delicate and stunning accent.

However, composite railings feel out of place when not on composite decks and can only be top mounted. Additionally, they are only available in limited colours, making design options minimal. Although, if you have a composite deck, railing colours will match and this option makes perfect sense as a polished, low-maintenance choice.


Glass Deck Railings

$66 – $200

deck railings with frosted glass and black aluminum frame with privacy wall


To maximize your view of BC’s beautiful vistas, glass railings are second to none. Glass deck railings make decks feel larger. Most often coupled with an aluminum picture frame for sturdiness and building code requirements, glass/aluminum combination railings start around $66 per linear foot installed.

Panorama short post glass railings cost approximately $140 per linear foot. These railings have aluminum posts on either side of each glass panel, but no aluminum top cap on the railing.  Short post glass railings decrease the obstruction of your view, while still providing optimal strength and peace of mind.

For a completely unobstructed view, postless tempered glass panel railings are available for around $180-$200 per linear foot installed. These side-mounted glass panels are a sleek option for million-dollar views found in West Vancouver, White Rock, and other coastal communities. With proper installation, they are 100% safe and will make a lasting impression on guests.

The drawback of glass railings – especially in homes with kids and pets – is that they tend to get smudged and require regular cleaning. If you can live with that, glass railings are a charming addition to any home. Some municipalities don’t allow topless glass railings, but aluminum framed glass railings are unanimously welcome.



Every deck (more than 18” off the ground) needs railings. Whether you’re building a new deck, refreshing your old one, or just in need of deck railings, consider what material will be the best fit for your use of the deck and for your budget.

Citywide Sundecks & Railings builds and renovates decks in Metro Vancouver, BC. We have expertise in all of the above railing types and can help you decide which is best for your needs and budget.


To get a FREE estimate on the cost of your deck railings, fill out the form below or call 604-786-3325 today.



  • My experience with Paul and his Citywide Sundeck crew has been nothing but positive. They are on time and completely professional and able to offer solutions to complicated waterproofing challenges.

    Joe C. – Vancouver

  • I’m a general contractor in the lower mainland. I contacted Paul to help us re-vinyl a deck that used to be fiberglass. GREAT customer service, the job was professionally done by 2 of his crew members. When I called 4 other companies to look at the job, no one came or called back. Paul was attentive to our needs & was able to squeeze us in with a 2-3 day lead time.   Thank you so much for your consistent attention to detail, professionalism, & continuous strive for quality.

    Steve – New Westminster

  • Hard working and respectful crew. Deck turned out great. I would recommend Citywide to others who are considering building or replacing their deck.

    Vito – North Vancouver

  • Two years ago we hired Citywide to renovate our sundeck and back porch. We were very happy with the results and we are enjoying them every day. Last month we had them renovate our front stairs and walkway. The result exceeded our expectation. Now our front entrance looks good enough to welcome a queen! I like Paul’s workers they are friendly and able. Also, Paul is one of the most organized and punctual people I have ever known. We have had a lot of problems with tradesmen in the past. It’s nice to know Paul for a change.

    Sadako – Burnaby

  • I had Citywide Sundecks replace the 28 year old Duradeck sheeting with the similar material on my sundeck. The job was completed in one and a half days to my complete satisfaction. The deck looks like new with all the joints and seams glued and heat treated to ensure maximum waterproofing. Stainless steel screws were used throughout in reinstalling the original aluminum railings and stairs to ensure longevity and improved appearances. When the job was completed the installers cleaned up the work site. I was impressed and pleased with this Citywide crew. They were professional.

    Stephen – Richmond

  • We had our hot tub and sundeck replaced this summer. Citywide Sundecks did a wonderful job of the vinyl deck. The installation was complicated by the fact that the hot tub was sunk into the deck and the glass railings had to be removed and replaced. The job was done in a timely manner with great efficiency. We truly appreciated the skill of the workmanship, the attention to detail and the concern for aesthetics.

    McBride – Coquitlam

  • Paul and his team did excellent work with attention to detail. The work was done quickly and we are very happy with the result.

    Lora – North Vancouver

  • Great service and a fair price for the work. Delivered on all their promises and even did a nice job cleaning up. I would definitely recommend them.

    R. B. – Vancouver

  • Amazing service. Friendly, prompt, really good product. The installers are wonderful and skilled, friendly. I really would recommend this company. I like the range of products they offer and they took time to explain all my options.

    A. R. – Vancouver

  • We were very surprised when we were told that they were able to start working on the project within a week of us signing our contract. We were kept updated of progress and appreciated being contacted by Paul to see how they were doing and if we had any questions. The work was completed quickly and efficiently. The fellows who did the work were friendly and cleaned up after they had finished for the day. We were very happy and have referred them to our friends.

    Courtland C. – Delta

  • Paul and his crew were hired to rebuild a terrible deck that was built last year. Citywide Sundecks isn’t the cheapest, but they did the job right and on time, and it comes with a 10 year warranty. We should have gone with hie the first time around.

    Job P. – Surrey

  • Paul and his crew did a great job of taking care of us. We had to replace a deck and deal with some water issues above and below the deck, all which was behind the stucco. This work has been completed and we are very happy. Paul and the crew kept me informed throughout. They were very easy to deal with and answered all my questions as the work progressed. All this was done at what I thought was a fair price.

    Andy Stephens. – Surrey

  • Very happy with our Duradek job.  It was installed exactly as discussed and Paul made sure that we were completely satisfied.

    Rene B. – Vancouver

  • We are very pleased with the restoration project completed by Citywide Sundecks and Railings during the summer of 2015. The beautiful new sundeck was rebuilt in a very professional manner and the installed aluminum railings were a real upgrade on our original wooden ones. We are so glad that we contracted CWS as they were terrific to deal with and they provided quality work from start to finish.

    Bruce & Loreen S. – Richmond

  • I live in Prince George and contacted Paul at Citywide Sundecks to enquire about installing Duradek at my 85-year-old mother’s house in New Westminster. Paul kept us informed every step of the way. His crew was professional and hard working. They completed the job as agreed and ahead of schedule, even throwing in a few extras for my mum at no cost! My mother was very pleased with the outcome and happy to be enjoying her new deck.

    Leanne M. – Prince George

  • We were in a rush to get our sundeck stairs repaired. Paul was very accommodating and had the stairs replaced very quickly. The quality of work was excellent! I would highly recommend Citywide Sundecks.

    Linda & Rob M. – Delta

  • A word of thanks, for the excellent work on my sundecks, stairs, and railing. Your work was done on time and within budget. I must say it’s the envy of my neighbours. They ask who did the work, and of course I tell them Citywide. The house looks great, with the new decks and stairs.

    Tony C. – Vancouver

  • We were very pleased with the deck installation performed by Citywide Sundecks.  Paul took the time to show us a recent installation he had done in our neighbourhood, which helped us to visualize how our deck would look after it was complete.  He explained how he would address deficiencies with the existing installation.  His staff were very efficient, courteous and professional.  I would recommend Citywide Sundecks.

    Stephen G. – Tsawwassen

  • I called Citywide Sundecks and Paul was at my home within two hours of my inquiry. He was professional, knowledgeable, efficient and easy to deal with. The gentleman that did the vinyl on my deck came out and completed the job in one day with no mess left behind. The whole process took less than a week from initial inquiry. I would recommend Citywide Sundecks to anyone.

    A. R. – Burnaby

  • We were very impressed with the professionalism of Citywide Sundecks. We really do enjoy our deck. and would recommend Citywide to anyone.

    Alan – Vancouver

Email: info@citywide.ca

Best Of TrustedPros.ca 2017

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