Deck of the Month: April 2024

Deck of the Month Winner for April 2024: Todd R.

Congratulations to Todd R. of Jamestown, Ohio, who wins our Deck of the Month award for April 2024!

Our April 2024 Deck of the Month winner

Todd's Incredible Build-Your-Own Wedding Venue

Todd's daughter was getting married - and the wedding would be in his backyard! The house he'd built himself 18 years ago had a walk-out basement, but no deck. So in February, Todd started planning an ambitious deck build with the September wedding day as his deadline.

Todd planned the deck himself, using Fortress Steel Framing and TimberTech composite decking to create a long-lasting structure that would look great for years to come with minimal maintenance. Todd said it only made sense to pair the long-lasting composite deck boards with a frame that could match that longevity.

"I just couldn't see putting a 30-year deck board on a wood frame," he said.

Steel deck framing attached to a brick exterior

It took some research and creativity to attach the steel ledger board through the brick exterior, especially around the family's breakfast nook. But with some expert guidance from Fortress, Todd was able to plan and install it himself - without bringing in a contractor.

Steel ledger board attached to brick siding
Steel deck on brick home

With the wedding fast approaching, Todd started laying his deck boards. He had ordered specialized hidden fasteners for his steel framing - but they came with a 3-week lead time. Not wanting to fall off track and miss his deadline, Todd started looking for alternatives - and found the CAMO EDGEXMETAL clips he needed in-stock and ready to ship from DecksDirect.

Steel deck joists with deck boards being fastened on top

Three days later, Todd had his metal deck clips, and his project was back on track. "If I had found you guys at the beginning, I could've ordered everything from you instead of going multiple places," Todd said.

A completed deck with steel framing and vertical cable railing

Todd worked tirelessly throughout the summer, building in the morning before work (Todd is an electrical engineer) and again for a few hours at night. Did he ever worry he wouldn't get the deck done in time for the wedding?

"Every day," he said with a laugh.

Todd finished off his setup with Westbury VertiCable railing, completing his project 6 days before the wedding.

Flowers underneath a deck with sleek steel framing

The wedding guests were amazed at how nice the deck looked, and even more amazed that Todd had built the entire thing himself. His daughter's wedding party even took photos on the deck. Now, Todd and his wife enjoy the evening sun on the deck, watching deer walk by from the nearby woods.

How To Get This Classy, Timeless Look & Function For Yourself

Todd's material choices created a timeless look that's built to be enjoyed - not constantly rebuilt or maintained. You can get this same look and function for yourself - here's a breakdown of the elements that make Todd's deck what it is:

Fortress Evolution Steel Deck Framing

Steel deck joists being installed

"Climate had everything to do with my decision to go steel," Todd said about his framing choice. Modern deck boards are designed to hold up in the elements - but what good is that if the frame beneath them rots away?

Todd used Fortress Evolution Steel Deck Framing for its many benefits, both in form and function:

The steel components are strong and sturdy. They don't rot, warp, fade or crack from water damage. Todd doesn't have to worry about insect damage or re-staining or re-painting wood framing. Not to mention how sleek and stylish it looks.

"What really sold me, besides the 50-year warranty," Todd said, "is that I've got the walk-out basement and the metal is galvanized and finished. It looks really nice."

The underside of a deck with Fortress Steel Deck Framing
Shop Steel Framing

Westbury VertiCable Railing

Originally, Todd wanted to promote his view with a glass deck railing. But he and his wife wanted something quicker and easier to clean. The vertical cable railing from Westbury provided all the view-enhancing elements of glass railing, without picking up smudges from their grandson (or any other young wedding guests).

A long deck with extended sections of vertical cable railing

The added bonus is that the vertical lines of the cable look great with the pleasant geometric pattern of the home's classic brick siding. The combination of brick, stainless steel cables, and polished black metal railing and framing posts creates a timeless look with lots of different industrial textures.

Westbury VertiCable deck railing on a wide deck
Shop VertiCable Railing

TimberTech Composite Deck Boards

Wide shots of the deck highlight the classy framing and railing. But when you're up close, it's the TimberTech composite decking that really shines.

TimberTech Composite Legacy deck boards on a brand-new deck in the sun

TimberTech is revolutionizing the composite decking industry with deck boards that don't just mimic wood - they improve the natural look of wood with wider, smoother color mixes and stunning matte finishes.

That incredible range of color within each board is on full display in Todd's deck - the red brick brings out the warm elements of the boards, while the polished black railings bring out the cool blacks and grays. In short, the deck boards tie all the other elements together into one cohesive look.

Shop TimberTech Decking

CAMO EdgexMetal Clips & Install Tools

CAMO is an installer's best friend, with deck installation tools to both speed up your project and improve the final look. Todd used several of these tools, including the CAMO DRIVE™ Stand-Up Tool and CAMO LEVER® Tool.

CAMO deck installation tools on a job site
Shop CAMO EdgexMetal Clips Shop CAMO Tools

Fortress Lighting

Todd extended the hours he can use the space by adding lighting to his setup. Low voltage lighting is easy and safe to wire, and does wonders in brightening up a deck space late into the night.

Fortress deck lighting brightening up a deck at night
Shop Fortress Lighting

Inspired? See More

Browse TimberTech Decking Photo Gallery

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Enter Our Deck of the Month Contest & Win Free Swag!

Are you the proud owner of a newly-upgraded deck? Show off your sparkling outdoor oasis and win some free swag - submit your best photos and your deck could be a future Deck of the Month winner!

To enter, send your best deck photos to and briefly tell us about your project. If your deck wins, we'll hook you up with some free DecksDirect swag and feature your photos on our site and social media profiles!

Enter Your Deck

To help your deck submission stand out, here are a couple of our favorite photo-taking tips:

  • Try several different angles: a high shot can show off more of your deck surface. A low shot lets everyone experience your deck the way you do when walking up to it. Try a couple different angles to really show off all aspects of your deck.
  • Include your decor and furniture: once you've completed your deck upgrade, don't take your photos until you've moved your furniture, grill, outdoor decorations and personal touches back into your space. We love seeing lived-in spaces that homeowners are already enjoying!
  • Wait for good weather: it's tempting to snap photos the moment you finish a project. But if it's raining or the sky is covered in dark and gloomy clouds, wait for a dry deck and brighter lighting to really show off the best side of your space.

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