Why Deck Material Selection Matters

Morgan Contractors


Make The Right Deck Material Selection For Your Backyard

The deck best described as a venerable status symbol of suburbia is a personal oasis for homeowners after a hard week of work. Typical deck décor, playing host to the chatter of family, extended family, and neighbors gathered to celebrate the customary summertime events of Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and the Fourth of July. Of course, we can’t forget the barbecue grill, Adirondack chairs, and patio set complete with an umbrella. The deck is also a haven for young children to play on while affording mom and dad an easy view from the house window.

While the traditional ways of enjoying a deck have remained unchanged in the suburban American culture, deck design options have expanded, along with an abundance of new and varied deck material to fit any household budget.

Here are five popular and unique deck material selections to choose from:


The favorite natural wood, pressure-treated deck, is still popular for being a low-cost to build. There are two color choices of tan or brown. Such natural wood decks do require refinishing every two years with a clear sealer or stain. Nevertheless, the natural wood decks are the best economical deck material selection if seeking a large deck for those large family gatherings.


Cedar decks are both lightweight and sturdy wood. The natural oils and tannins make Cedar resistant to rot, insects, and an excellent deck material selection for homes along the coast. Cedar can be stained or sealed to thwart cracks and splinters. The beauty of this deck material, which comes in grades, is offset only by its cost per square foot. The best categories of Cedar wood are architect clear, custom clear, architect knotty, and custom knotty. Equal in many ways to Cedar is Redwood — but significantly more costly per square foot.


Bluestone is a non-slip, natural flagstone material that provides a touch of elegance to a home. It has a blue hue, as the name would indicate. Since it is a non-slip material, Bluestone is the perfect choice for decking around the swimming pool or as detached island decking in the backyard. Bluestone is a superb choice where rainfall is abundant but does get unpleasantly hot when in the direct path of the rays of the sun. A natural quarried stone material, it can be a beautiful addition to your backyard. 


A composite deck is a manufactured deck material that is a mix of wood fibers and recycled plastic. This deck sports a ‘wood-like’ texture but will not rot, warp, splinter, nor become home to insects as can befall natural wood decks. Non-textured composite decks can be slippery. While low maintenance, these decks are not maintenance-free. They can be prone to mold or mildew when located in a damp location and to decay due to its wood filler. Homeowners can, however, generally expect to get twenty-five to thirty years of enjoyment from such a deck and why it is growing in popularity.


The best grade aluminum deck is a waterproof, interlocking board design providing a uniform look without gaps. Waterproof aluminum is recommended in areas with much rainfall. Powder finishes offer the most color choices; however, bear in mind that manufacturers are known to discontinue colors, so consider buying a few extra boards in case repairs are required. Aluminum decks are low maintenance and provide decades-long durability due to inability to rust, warp, splinter, rot, crack, peel, or blister. These decks are mold-resistant and free of any insect infiltration.


Morgan Contractors, a licensed NJ home remodeling and renovation contractor, is experienced in both interior and exterior renovation, including decks! Contact Morgan Contractors, and we will be happy to evaluate and discuss the best deck design and deck material selection for your home and your budget.

Do You Know The Different Sheen Levels In Paint?

Morgan Contractors


Selecting The Right Sheen Levels In Paint For Your Space

Decisions, decisions — such is a part of life at every juncture. As any decision dilemma can best be described as a ‘Goldilocks moment,’ that of finding the ‘just right’ sheen level in paint is especially relevant. Consequently, the decision-making process is always made simpler with the attainment of knowledge and experience.

As well-seasoned renovations and remodeling experts, Morgan Contractors wishes to stress the importance of understanding the different sheen levels in paint, to begin with.

Selecting The Right Sheen Levels In Paint For Your Space

When trying to navigate the various sheen options, which include gloss or semi-gloss, satin, flat, matte, or eggshell — the sheen level in paint needs to be determined based on several factors.  These factors include:

  • Room size
  • Type of room
  • Amount of light in the room
  • Condition of the walls

The measure of sheen level in paint is determined by whether the light reflects or absorbs the paint surface.  Flat or Matte paint finishes absorb the brightness of a room, while high gloss or semi-gloss finishes reflect the light.  A high gloss or semi-gloss paint provides a luster — and is quite easy to clean! If there are several imperfections on your walls – consider the choice of flat or matte finish paint.

Keep the size, type, and amount of natural and artificial light of the room in mind when determining the best paint finish. A high or semi-gloss sheen would be an excellent choice in the laundry room, bathroom, or kitchen, where its staining and mildew resistant character reign supreme, as well as having outstanding durability where many hands may touch the walls daily. High gloss is the choice also for cabinets, doors, baseboard trim, and ceiling moldings.

In rooms that do not have much natural or artificial light and are small in size, it only makes sense to choose a higher sheen level in the paint to add brightness to the room space.

Where the home path is ‘less traveled’— such as entrance foyers, closets, master bedroom, or a guest bedroom, a matte or flat paint finish works well. In contrast, the elegance of eggshell or soft, satin finishes are popular options for the family living space, formal dining rooms, children’s bedrooms, and hallways due to its elegant, lower sheen, soft, smooth finish, stain, and scuff-resistant character. Satin and eggshell finishes are also more easily washed than flat or matte painted surfaces.

More Tips!

We conclude with the following additional painting tips to ensure a ‘just right’ paint project:

  • Matte finishes have less cost per gallon and require less prep of walls before painting due to its characteristic of hiding wall imperfections.
  • High gloss or semi-gloss paint will call attention to any imperfections of the wall and requires thorough cleaning and spackling of holes to ensure a smooth painted surface. High gloss or semi-gloss paints will look darker than what the paint swatch shows, so consider making the color a shade lighter.
  • Eggshell finishes provide the best ‘true color.’ Eggshell paint finishes are easy to paint over, should you wish a new room color.
  • Higher quality paints have higher pigment levels and resins, which provides long-lasting durability and fewer paint applications to cover the wall surface.


If you’re thinking of taking on a painting project, Morgan Contractors can help make your life tremendously easier. Contact us today, and we can help you sort through color selection, sheen levels in paint, and so much more!

Small Room Renovation Designs 101

Morgan Contractors


4 Small Room Renovation Tips You Need To Try

Living large does not have to ‘bust the budget.’ The ability to live large within a smaller space only takes a willingness to open one’s mind to new ways of seeing. The following are some small room renovation tips and ‘tricks’ to consider.

Create Open Floor Plans

The most common small room renovation trick to making a more modest space appear visually larger is removing the walls separating two or three combined small rooms. Minimize the room cluttering accessories of endless end tables, coffee tables, and table lamps. Use ceiling lighting or floor-to-ceiling pole lamps in opposite corners to provide even illumination to the room. Allow open shelving or cubes to act as a room divider, while also serving to display the bric-a-brac. Choose one sofa and a long, cushioned bench for seating, one that serves as extra storage space to store books, magazines, and blankets.

Use Wall Space Effectively

In a small bedroom where every inch of floor space matters, use floor-to-ceiling built-in cabinetry to eliminate the bulky clothes dresser. Let a bookshelf double as both a headboard and a nightstand for books.  Remove the doors of the closet and use the nook space as an out-of-the-way built-in desk. Painting walls a lighter, rather than darker color, will push those walls outward optically.  Naturally, for a children’s bedroom, the use of a bunk bed is a superb space saver!

Keep Design in Mind

Along with the previously mentioned bunk bed furniture design, consider nesting end tables for small living rooms, utility carts for a kitchen lacking adequate counter space, a drop-leaf table that adds or subtracts table width in small kitchen or dining room, and furniture offering multiple uses — such as sofa beds, multi-purpose cribs with changing table and dresser, and storage ottomans as part of the small room renovations.

Use monotone colors for floor and wall tiles in small bathrooms or when painting the walls of adjoining rooms to bring about a visual cohesiveness that optimizes the reality of a small space. Larger, rather than smaller, floor tiles will bring the eyes to see the unity of a room and make a small room appear larger. Horizontal striped wallpaper or painted horizontal stripes, as border design, will create the illusion of a longer wall. Vertical striped lines will draw the focus upward rather than on the room space.

Install Mirrors

‘It’s all done with mirrors,’ is the explanation of a magician’s trick that defies and skews reality — as when, ‘TA-DAAAH,’ the facts of a room’s dimensions are skewed by the presence of a mirror, which effectively extends a room’s length and width! Installing a mirror on one wall will give the appearance of more space, alleviating the feeling of being cramped or confined within a space.


If you’d like to take on any of these renovation tricks, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Morgan Contractors today!

Essential Winter Renovation Projects

Morgan Contractors


For several reasons, winter is a great season for fixer-uppers around the house. Not only are we spending the bulk of our time indoors, but contractors are generally less busy than in the spring or summer as well, so you’ll get some scheduling flexibility. Keep reading for some excellent winter renovation projects to keep you busy and make your home feel fresh!

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How House Upgrades Can Up Your Resale Value

Morgan Contractors


5 House Upgrades To Get The Best Value For Your Dollar

The wonderful thing about a home renovation is that you get to enjoy a freshly restored space and potentially boost your home’s resale value at the same time. While every renovation project greatly improves the condition of a home, certain house upgrades will prove more valuable down the road when it’s time to sell.

If you’re interested in doing a remodel, we’ve curated some ways you can get the most value for your dollar.

Here are 5 house upgrades to increase your home’s value:

A finished basement

If a home addition just isn’t in the cards and you want to ensure every existing room is habitable – finish your basement. Create a space that’s welcoming and lighten up the area to avoid that typical dark and cramped feeling. You could experiment with a bar, office, media room, or playroom for the kids. What’s more, if you have the space, consider adding another bathroom to really boost your home’s value.

Ample natural light

Whether you’re working with a large or small space, sometimes the layout of your home just doesn’t work in the sun’s favor. Natural light has the ability to really open up a home, giving it a much more spacious appearance. If your home is compartmentalized, try knocking down some walls or installing a skylight. Open floor plans that bring in natural light are exceedingly popular among home-buyers.

A work from home space

Because we live in a digital world, more and more individuals are staying home to work remotely. A great way to entice home-buyers is by converting a bedroom or basement into a home office. A visibly designated workspace with ample outlets is a great selling point and will work in your favor.

Updated bathrooms

It’s not unusual that home-buyers will have something to say about an outdated bathroom, a bathroom’s size, or the fact that there are just not enough of them. A bathroom remodel shows a tremendous return for your costs. Updating your amenities and fixtures will go a long way, but don’t forget about outdated plumbing and what’s going on behind the scenes. Adding another bathroom will also give you a competitive edge if homes in your neighborhood traditionally only have a certain number.

Updated kitchen

This is probably one of the most popular renovations and the costliest. However, this is a huge selling point for home-buyers. If they look at your kitchen and see that it already has all the bells and whistles, they’ll know it’s a future expense they won’t have to tackle any time soon. Updated countertops, a kitchen island for more counter space, a renovated backsplash, and upgraded appliances will surely entice home-buyers.

If you’re interested in giving your home a facelift, why not make it count? Morgan Contractors can help you with everything, from additions to renovations to restorations. Contact us today for a quote!

Your Ultimate Kitchen Renovation Guide

Morgan Contractors


With the holidays coming up, we’re all bound to be spending more time in the kitchen than usual. Between the extra work and extra people who will be moving around your space, it can start feeling tired and cramped. This is usually when ideas of how to better make use of your space come to mind. Whether a kitchen renovation is your dream or your current reality, keep reading for some tips that will ensure success.

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Mudroom Renovations 101

Morgan Contractors


We’re all looking for ways to improve the layout of our homes. Beyond the beauty of it all, we want to ensure each space is functional and practical for our everyday needs. There are usually a few rooms in our homes that could benefit from an organizational overhaul. Besides a traditional kitchen or bathroom renovation, a mudroom renovation may just be the pick-me-up your home needs.

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Laundry Room Reno Ideas

Morgan Contractors


While laundry rooms have never been known to be glamorous spaces in the past, today, they are certainly climbing their way to the top of the home renovations list. Homeowners have slowly begun to place emphasis on the spaces in their homes that were once hidden from guests’ eyes.

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Your Backyard Deck Upgrade For The Summer

Morgan Contractors


5 Backyard Deck Upgrades You Need To Try

Having some backyard space of your own is probably one of the greatest assets of a home. It’s a spot where you can spend time outside and enjoy the elements, away from it all. Since most backyards usually need some structure, a common feature most homeowners usually add is a deck. But what if your typical, standard deck just isn’t cutting it anymore?

If you’re looking for some backyard deck upgrade inspiration, we have a few great options for you. To learn how to optimize your enjoyment and make the most out of this traditional backyard staple, keep reading.

Here are five great backyard deck upgrades:

  1. Addition, addition, addition
    If you have the space and your deck is in good condition, why not build an addition? This is a great way to maximize your outdoor space, giving your family and friends more room to roam. A gazebo could be a great addition, giving you some extra shelter and a comfy spot to sit when the rain rolls in.
  2. Grow something
    Enhance the flowers and vegetables in your backyard by building garden boxes onto your deck. You can easily maintain and grow your veggies and flowers, as you won’t have to venture far to reach them. A garden box also adds some interest and color to an often-understated wood deck.
  3. Add some seating
    Built-in benches around the perimeter of your deck can offer another dimension of appeal. Spruce up your benches with some weather-friendly cushions and pillows to add some color! Your friends and family will be happy to have the extra seating during a get together as well.
  4. Add a cover
    During the warmer months, extending your living space outdoors always seems to be the goal. If you have a deck, why not add a wooden pergola or a roof frame? If you’re covered, you’ll never have to worry about taking your meal or relaxing afternoon indoors if it rains. The real bonus is not having to worry about bringing outdoor furniture and accessories in before a storm.
  5. Add some storage
    You may want to consider adding on some storage. You’d be amazed how convenient it is to have storage boxes built onto your deck. You don’t have to worry about lugging your cushions, pool accessories, or anything else into the house or shed overnight. It makes the clean-up quick, and your job even easier.

Your deck can easily go from lackluster to luminous with any of these upgrades. Is your deck in tip-top shape? Morgan Contractors has the expertise required to give you the deck you’ve always dreamed of. Contact us today to make the most of your outdoor space!

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