When you decide it’s time to install or replace a deck surface, you may find there are more choices than you had expected. There are many new materials and installation options that have come to the market over just the past few years. For example, in addition to traditional wood decking, there are contemporary synthetic and composite materials that possess properties that are remarkably similar to natural wood species – in terms of texture, appearance, density and workability – but offer superior weather endurance and a wider range of colours than natural surfaces. In addition, manufactured decking surfaces provide barefoot comfort without worry of splinters, as well as water-shedding properties that help improve traction after a rainstorm. Synthetic materials are also very popular when it comes to railings and steps thanks to innovative installation systems that are easy enough for most industrious homeowners to tackle. Many offer pre-cut and/or interlocking pieces. As well, certain aluminium installations are enjoying renewed popularity thanks to new options that are clad in vinyl for extended protection and reduced maintenance. Who Needs a Home Office? With the availability of more and more powerful mobile technology, it’s reasonable to presume that there is less need to dedicate time and space to a permanent home office. However, we also know that, from time to time, we need the opportunity to isolate ourselves at home, in order to get certain tasks accomplished. Getting “down to business” is a part of life, whether it’s for a student cramming for exams or a homeowner budgeting for a new mortgage. Getting these tasks done can require much less time if they’re easily accommodated. Fortunately, thanks to new modern furnishings that are flexible and adaptable, it’s no longer necessary to create a space that is uniquely dedicated to work. Nowadays, a homeowner can create a convertible workspace that allows a room to serve a dual role. By installing shelving that can fold out to a desktop, a worktable with an adjustable height, or a bed that folds up into the wall, any room can have the flexibility to serve as a quiet place to read, study or pay monthly bills, and convert into a cozy,welcoming guest room. So, the truth is, we all need a home office – but we don’t necessarily need it to be a dedicated single-use space.