Garapa Deck in Old Greenwich, CT

I was recently looking for pictures of some new Archadeck Outdoor Living projects when I came across

This before picture shows the rectangular deck that needed some updating

this one from our deck builder in Greenwich, CT, Rick Crossman. I thought the before and after photos from the space were incredible, making the space not only bigger, but more open and usable.

When Rick first visited these homeowners, they had an old bi-level rectangular deck and railing. Their biggest objective for the new deck was to increase the amount of livable space. Their original deck was too small and the dining and seating spaces were too close together for their liking.

The after shows a larger more open deck

Rick designed a space for them that would better fit their entertaining and relaxing needs. Two design components that really helped open up the space was keeping the deck on one level and removing the railings.

Multi-level decks are a great way to separate different parts of an outdoor living space that needs to serve multiple purposes, but if it isn’t done correctly it can cut off part of the space. The one level deck Rick designed was large enough to have clear areas for dining and for lounging while still having an open feel.

The dining space of this deck and now clearly separate from the seating area

The homeowners wanted their new deck to open up to their backyard and garden. The original railings were cutting those off completely. Rick suggested removing the railings and replacing them with stairs and a built in bench to keep from obstructing the views, and man, did it open it up.

Once the design was finished, Rick and the homeowners had to decide what to materials to use in the build. The homeowners wanted wood as opposed to composite or pvc decking. Rick decided that Garapa decking (with an Azek trim), a Brazilian oak, would be the best choice for their home. Garapa is an exotic wood that is intrinsically hard and is naturally resistant to rot and insects. Garapa projects are known to last over 20 years in some cases.

If you have questions regarding outdoor living spaces and how they could enhance your home, please contact your local Archadeck office.

The Hard and Beautiful Truth About Exotic Hardwoods

exotic hardwood deck by Archadeck

exotic hardwood deck by Archadeck

Brazilian hardwoods– they are beautiful, strong, naturally resistant against insects and durable just to name a few qualities. Brazilian or exotic  hardwoods are quite popular in uses such as flooring, decking, furniture making, docks, pool houses, and even to finish out ceiling in structures like covered porches, sunrooms and some homes. Their exotic and intoxicating beauty is unique in its variation and veining as well as their coloring.

Massaranduba_deck_with_Deckorators_2

Massaranduba deck

Brazilian hardwoods include Brazilian Walnut (Ipe), Brazilian teak ( Cumaru), Brazilian cherry (Jatoba), Brazilian redwood (Masaranduba) and the unmistakable Tigerwood. The natural colors of each of these woods is so desirable and unique it doesn’t require any staining or color additive.

Ipe is possibly one of the hardest woods available on the market today. Ipe is rated to last an astounding 100 years!  Ipe has a class A fire rating which is same rating given to concrete as well as steel. Exposure to weather, including moisture has very little effect on the structural quality of the wood, this is why it is a popular choice among dock owners. Archadeck of Maryland recently focused on the use of beautiful Ipe in this blog story about an Ipe deck in Potomac MD.

beautiful_tigerwood_picture_lr

Tigerwood up close-breathtaking

Tigerwood is another great option when considering exotic hardwoods. Tigerwood will not rot or decay over time. It is also quite disease- and fungus-resistant which make Tigerwood another viable option for use around a pool area, or area that is exposed to moisture. Another great article on Tigerwood was done by Archadeck of Austin, to read more just click the link below…

http://archadeckaustin.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/archadeck-of-austin-focus-on-the-fierce-beauty-of-tigerwood-2/

IPE Brazilian hardwood roof deck from Rhode Island Builder - Archadeck

Ipe Brazilian hardwood roof deck from Rhode Island Builder - Archadeck

Even though some hardwoods are better known to consumers such as Ipe and Tigerwood, there are many more of these exotic woods on today’s market. Exotics require different installation than a typical wood application. Pre-drilled holes are required to ensure the decking will not split due to the hardness and resiliency of the wood. All Brazilian hardwoods carry at the very least a 25 year guarantee. We do recommend treating the deck on a regular basis to maintain those rich warm tones. Eventually all exotics will weather to a beautiful silver patina over time.

IPE Brazilian hardwood deck with galvanized steel railing

Ipe Brazilian hardwood deck with galvanized steel railing

If you are interested in re-decking or new decking with Brazilian hardwoods. Archadeck has the expertise and experience of working with these exotics. We can design, plan and build your next outdoor structure. Contact us today to see the Archadeck difference. 888-687-3325 or email us at  info@archadeck.net

Roof decks aren’t just in New York – Rhode Island too!

Challenge:

  • Providence, RI
  • Roof deck wanted
  • High-wind zone
  • Live load restriction
  • Multi-story building

Solution:
IPE Brazilian hardwood roof deck with galvanized metal rail and steel pipe top rail

Brazilian hardwood roof deck in Providence RI

Brazilian hardwood roof deck in Providence RI

While this deck is beautiful, it is even more amazing when you see the before picture and realize what went into making this treasure. Here is the before picture.

Roof before deck was built

Roof before deck was built

What makes for a great project are when the owner and the builder put their heads together to marry the homeowner’s vision, dream, and goals with the building design and craftsmanship that an experienced builder brings to the job.

IPE Brazilian hardwood deck with galvanized steel railing

IPE Brazilian hardwood deck with galvanized steel railing

This Providence, RI owner had a very clear vision of what he wanted but needed the help of Susan Lee of Archadeck of Providence to make it a reality. The owner wanted high quality wood and a nice contrast with the industrial feel of steel. So they chose to work with a Brazilian hardwood for the decking and corrugated galvanized sheets for the railing with galvanized steel pipe for the top rail.

This combination of very different materials provided a deck and rails that were extremely sturdy and also had a unique and very interesting contrast to make this a one-of-a-kind deck.

IPE Brazilian hardwood roof deck from Rhode Island Builder - Archadeck

IPE Brazilian hardwood roof deck from Rhode Island Builder - Archadeck

There were some building challenges. This is why it’s always good to work with an established and very experienced builder who knows and understands building restrictions, codes, permits and all of the critical paperwork that needs to go into the planning and be done for a successful completion.

Deck transport using boom to take to roof level

Deck transport using boom to take to roof level

The next challenge was the placement of the deck – on the roof – as well as the access. Access to the roof was only through a small circular staircase which existed in an old elevator shaft area. So, the deck needed to be built off-site, taken apart, loaded it on a large truck, took it to the site and boomed it up.

Roof deck zen garden area

Roof deck zen garden area

Here is a picture of another of the congregating areas of the deck. This section reminds me of a zen garden. The owner had great design flair to go along with his vision.

This roof room was truly a room with a view.

Providence roof deck - a room with a view

Providence roof deck - a room with a view

Here is a view of the deck coming out from the stairway. Take a look at the built-in planters using the same great combination of materials.

Metal and wood planters on roof deck

Metal and wood planters on roof deck

Here is another close-up of the planters.

Roof deck zen garden built-in planters and benches

Roof deck zen garden built-in planters and benches

If you have a project you’re thinking about in the Providence, RI area, give a call to Susan Lee at Archadeck of Providence – (401) 397 – 6927. The consultation is free.