Archadeck turns one deck into two outdoor living spaces with the installation of their dry deck system

The addition of a dry, or rain deck such as this can create double room for relaxing and outdoor living by taking advantage of the area underneath your deck

The addition of a dry, or rain deck such as this can create double room for relaxing and outdoor living by taking advantage of the area underneath your deck

Many homeowners ask us what to do with the unused space that is located under their second story, or multi level deck. In many of these cases the area located underneath the deck can be used as an additional outdoor living space that works like a covered patio or covered porch. It can be used when the weather won’t allow you to use your deck, or as an extension of living space perfect for reading or relaxing on those warm sunny days when all you really want is a shaded spot for peace and quiet. Being able to create that special spot is as simple as constructing or re-decking your multi-level or second story deck with the proper solutions to take advantage of your under deck space. Archadeck uses a dry deck system, also referred to as a rain deck to turn the space into an oasis for you and your family.

Columbus rubber membrane installation under framing members

This project by Archadeck of Columbus shows the bare bones of this dry deck system installation

A dry deck system entails adding certain waterproofing  materials and building techniques that facilitate a dry space. This also keeps moisture away from your existing home and your deck’s sub-structure. To do this we us a specialized roofing membrane that keeps moisture from penetrating the surface and enables you to have a  complete, cohesive dry roof underneath the deck.  By placing the roofing membrane atop the framing members and installing a gutter which can catch and divert rain and moisture off and away from the deck and home. You then have a worry free answer to creating a dry space you can enjoy for many years to come. Archadeck of Austin recently took us to a project where they had recently installed a dry deck system to a second story deck that was built with tigerwood, and we had the opportunity to videotape the details

Another example of an Archadeck rain deck

Another example of an Archadeck rain deck

Along with Archadeck of Austin, many of our locations throughout the country recommend the use of a dry deck system, or rain deck to put the space located under their decks to good use. Archadeck of Columbus wrote an article that showed us the importance of using a rubber membrane to prevent rot and decay, you can read the article by visiting

Using a dry deck system is like having your cake and eating it too. Our dry decking system is perfect for multi-level, second story and rooftop decks as well.  Contact your local Archadeck location to learn more about our dry decking system process and to create a double outdoor living area  that will double your enjoyment with this simple step. Visit our locations list located on our website to find an Archadeck location near you.

Put a little holiday in your step with a new deck by Archadeck

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Archadeck focuses on the joy of the season with this “Christmas deck” by Archadeck of Greater Atlanta, which is truly a deck for all seasons packed with functionality and style. A deck like this can be yours with Archadeck. Continue reading

Don’t let the chill in the air discourage you from enjoying your outdoor living space

Arch. of maryland screened porch w skylights

This magnificent screened porch by Archadeck of Maryland uses skylights to add additional height to the vaulted ceiling, this result is open and airy.

The chill in the air is beginning to become more noticeable all around the country. It signifies the end of summer splendor and its long balmy days spent enjoying your deck. Just because summer has ended doesn’t mean you have to cuddle up inside to keep warm and miss mother nature’s splendor that is still unfolding all around you. Many homeowners are considering the ever-popular option of closing in their existing deck, or a portion of their deck and creating a three or four season room  or other outdoor structure that can extend your outdoor living enjoyment into and beyond the cooler months of the year. In order to determine if closing in to create an extended season outdoor living structure would be right for you there are several considerations that have to be bought to the forefront.

The first consideration that has to be addressed is the structural integrity of your existing deck. In order to accommodate the weight of a roofed structure. Many decks are not built to withstand the weight of adding a roof. In order for a deck to be able to withstand the weight of a roof. The foundation of the deck will have to extend all the way to the corners of the structure. In cases where the foundation does not extend to the corners, changes must be made to have the foundation extended and new footers will have to be added in order to safely support and hold the weight. Determining whether or not your deck fits conversion criteria can be answered from a quick inspection by a professional outdoor structure builder, and  depending on their findings will let you know how you wish to proceed with getting the deck structurally compatible to withstand a conversion such as a three or four season room, a screened porch or even a sunroom.

Cedar screened porch in Ankeny Iowa

Cedar screened porch in Ankeny Iowa

Once the issue of foundation reinforcements has been addressed, the next step is to decide which type of conversion would best suit your individual needs. Screen porches are very popular and can be enjoyed late into the fall in many areas around the country, but this all depends on your geographical location and whether the area you live in experiences mild autumns or more harsh, cold autumns. Making the decision to convert your deck or a section of your deck into a screened porch will have benefits even in the warm summer months by keeping insects at bay and protecting you from the sun. Screen porches can be in use even during inclement weather since they are roofed. This means that the backyard dinner you had planned won’t be put on hold with a little rain because you  would have a roofed screen porch to utilize. Many homeowners also opt to use a sliding window panel system to make use of their screened porch later into the year. A convertible windows like the EZE breeze sliding panel system and the Artistic Enclosures Screen Plus System offer you the ability to convert your screened porch into a three season room on demand. These convertibility systems use sliding glass panels that mimic the function of a sliding door and can be set into place very easily and quickly. By adding a space heater to the structure you can utilize the space for longer periods through even the chilliest season. By using a convertible system on your screened porch you can still feel the warm breezes of summer, and when the temperature drops you have the peace of mind  knowing that your screened porch also offers more function with added cold weather protection as well.

Archadeck of Chester County sunroom and deck

This design by Archadeck of Chester County includes a deck and a custom sunroom.

Another viable option when making the decision to enclose a deck or portion thereof, is a four season room or a sunroom. These type of structures function as an extension of your homes living area as well as an extension of your outdoor living area.  Four season rooms, as well as sunrooms give you an unobscured view of nature by the use of  numerous windows that sometimes even feel as though they are window walls. These structures can be used year round, snow or sleet because sunrooms and four season rooms require a HVAC system, or instill the use of a wall mounted electric inversion  heating and cooling system that offer individual room control  like those offered by Mitsubishi electric. In essence the presence of HVAC, or heating and cooling system creates a dynamic where you actually are getting a room addition when you choose to convert to a four season room or sunroom.

Here is an example of a sunroom that makes beautiful music with Velux skylights.

The world is your oyster in terms of design,when you choose to transform your deck into a four season room or sunroom.

Another benefit of converting your deck into a sunroom or four season room is the freedom of material choices that can be used within  it and to finish out your structure. A whole new set of design choices open up to sunroom and four season room owners. All of the same materials that can be used safely within an interior room inside your home can become finish options for your sunroom or four season room. These include sheetrocked walls, carpet, hardwoods and a myriad of other design choices. An added benefit is that the furniture used within your structure won’t have to be weatherproof when considering using it on your sunroom or four season room. The world is truly your oyster.

If you are on the fence about considering an enclosure or conversion of your deck, or a part of you deck into a screened porch or three season room or even a sunroom or four season room Archadeck can make it happen. Contact us today to learn more about improving the lifestyle you lead on your deck.

To learn more and find an Archadeck in your area, see our locations list located on our website.

You can also get more ideas and design inspirations by visiting our screened porch gallery, sunroom gallery, and our three and four season room gallery, also located on our website.

Archadeck of Charleston breathes new life into this deck in Summerville, SC

Charleston_replacement_deck_after

Archadeck of Charleston was able to breathe new life into this deck with new supports, re-decking and new railings.

When choosing the materials for your anticipated outdoor structure it is important to look at things from the “big picture”. I think a lot of times the homeowner makes decisions based on visualizing their completed outdoor structure from afar, like a distant wish or the way we perceive a star in the night sky when looking up above from down below. It is important to try to visualize your outdoor structure from the vantage point where you and your family are most likely to view the structure itself while in use. The main idea is to make design and material choices based on the inside looking out, rather than the outside looking in, after all you are the one who will be using and enjoying the structure. Case in point is a recent upgrade and re-decking that was completed by Archadeck of Charleston, which gives a perfect example of what a huge difference detailing can make.

Clyde Hess and the crew from Archadeck of Charleston were able to breathe new life into this 20-year-old deck for these Summerville, SC homeowners. Their deck not only had a little age on it, it also had been the victim of many amateur repairs during it’s lifetime. The existing deck was treated wood decking as well as the framing which was attached solely with nails. This situation of using “only nails” had turned into a constant problem of having to continually re-nail the structure to try to compensate for the fact it was coming apart. The structure had no joist hangers, no bolting of any manner and no columns to joist. The railing was only tied in by toe nailing and had become dangerous to lean on.  This dilemma was not only structurally inept, it carried the potential to become a safety hazard.

Charleston_replacement_deck

This image shows the deck before Archadeck of Charleston began.

Archadeck of Charleston efficiently addressed all the issues present with the existing deck and set out to make it structurally sound and also make it a feast for the eyes. Using 2×10 drop beams for the front and back for free-standing, we began adding support and strength to the deck in anticipation of the re-decking. The beams were supported and double bolted onto notched out 6×6  posts secured in a 16″ concrete footing. We then added Cox columns as rail posts in line on the deck,  double bolted to the deck band and blocked.  We then added stairs out to compensate for the property line setbacks and water runoff due to the steep grade of the lot. We then re-decked the entire structure with #1 premium grade Yellow Pine pressure treated wood. The homeowner decided to upgrade the wooden railing to a metal railing for aesthetics as well as strength, this decision also opened up the view where the homeowners can now take in all the lovely vistas of their backyard. These views were not as visible before with the old wooden railing.

Making the decision to replace the old style railing with the metal railing opens up a world of possibilities for these Summerville, SC homeowners and they are elated. By changing this one  simple element of the deck, they feel like they have more room and definitely more of a view. This is a fine example of looking out as opposed to looking in at your outdoor structure. The new railing and new deck is certainly beautiful from the outside, but from the inside it is breathtaking and adds more style and functionality as well. Making sure your outdoor structure is structurally sound from the bottom up is crucial, as is the little nuances and changes that can certainly breathe new life into your outdoor structure. Making elemental changes within the design when re-vamping an existing deck can make a world of difference as to how you use and perceive your deck. The addition of railings, directional changes in a staircase or even using built-in benches or planters in lieu of railings if you have a low-to-grade deck can really change the feel and personality of the entire structure.

Clyde Hess owner, Archadeck of Charleston

If you are ready to transform your existing deck into a masterpiece of strength and design contact Archadeck  of Charleston to learn more. Get the most out of your outdoor structure today at (843) 873 – 6236
charleston@archadeck.net

You can also take a tour of other beautiful decks by our Archadeck locations all over the country by visiting our galleries http://www.archadeck.com/pickYourProject/Decks.html

804.353.6999 • info@archadeck.net

We’re not talking turkey, composites have it all

Have you ever wondered just why things that claim they are “better” than the original often emulate characteristics of the very thing they are touting they are better than?

turkey_bacon

Turkey bacon- the great pretender that is better for us in the big scheme of things

I use yesterdays breakfast as an example. I was cooking turkey bacon along with eggs and toast for me and my family. Now, turkey bacon does not claim that it is better tasting than the regular pork bacon that we are all familiar with, it does however emulate the “look” of turkey bacon with its perfectly scalloped edging and striping which is added to make the turkey bacon look more like “the real thing”.  The turkey bacon is indeed better for us, it is lower in fat, sodium and cholesterol. In the big scheme of things the turkey bacon is better from a health standpoint. I then wondered since it is obviously the better choice then why did the company who made the turkey bacon find it necessary to add the little aesthetic touches to emulate real bacon? After some thought I then realized that every product, material and item we are accustomed to using or consuming comes with an emotional attachment. I believe we are hardwired to perceive things a certain way by the memories we retain from using ,or in the case of the bacon, consuming in the past.

Beautiful composite deck

Beautiful composite deck

Millions of products on the market have proven to be better than the original. Much the same can be said about composite decking versus wood decking.

Composite decking materials such as AZEK, TimberTechTrex, Fiberon and many others have successfully emulated the look of real wood. Composites have been tried and true with the advances in technology to be stronger than real wood decking, insect and fungus resistant, mold and mildew resistant and they won’t warp or fade from the elements over time. Many of today’s composites are backed by industry warranties that cover staining and fading in some cases for over 25 years. A deck constructed of quality composite materials becomes a deck that no longer needs laborious maintenance, staining or upkeep. With all these intensely positive attributes of composites, why have they been cultured to emulate real wood? I will tell you why…

It is hard to tell the difference with today's composites-they look so close to real wood

It is hard to tell the difference with today's composites-they look so close to real wood

Locked deep inside our memory banks is a fond memory that involves wood. It may be your mother telling you not to run around the deck of your backyard pool without your sandals because “you’ll get splinters”. It may be the warmth and aroma created from roasting marshmallows over a bonfire on burning hardwoods while at summer camp. It may be the warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you think of visiting grandma’s house on Sundays for fried chicken  in her dining room with beautiful wide plank hardwood floors. Wood is part of our heritage. Wood promotes warmth, security and pleasantries within us. The beauty of wood is rustic, earthy and natural.

TimberTech xlm-desert-bronze

TimberTech XLM composite decking

It is only natural that composites emulate the look of real wood. After all you are getting the best of both worlds with composites, strength, durability and the aesthetics and graining characteristics of real wood, a winning combination indeed.

To find out more about composite decking contact Archadeck today. We can help you decide on the composite deck that is right for your individual tastes and needs. Call us at 888-687-3325 or email us at info@archadeck.net and find out more about the Archadeck difference.

Composites come full circle

Archadeck tiered composite deck

Carefree with unforgettable beauty-composite decking of today has it all.

Do you want to enjoy your deck and not have to think about splitting, cracking, staining, warping, discoloration, mold, or having to scrub it year after year?

Guess what- you don’t have to. That’s right, with solid PVC decking  and composite decking, to a degree, all these worries and chores are a thing of the past.

Composite decking such as TimberTech, AZEK, and Fiberon are worry free, strong, durable and beautiful as well.  Archadeck is proud to build with these high quality composite brands to you along with our highly skilled installers and award-winning designs.

TimberTech inlay for rounded deck

TimberTech inlay for rounded deck

Today’s composites provide you with the flexibility and freedom to create designs within the deck itself that just aren’t possible with woods such as pressure treated pine. The design possibilities are endless and are reminiscent of meticulous wood inlays. Composite decking now has the natural look of real woods such as Ipe,cedar and redwood to name a few-and you will never have to stain it.

Deck with rounded edges and decorative inlays

Deck with rounded edges and decorative inlays

Today’s composites are also sustainable, being constructed to varying degrees, with recycled materials by using polymer technology. So you not only get a solid, and carefree material, you also get the pride of knowing your deck is eco-friendly as well.

TimberTech’s Earthwood Evolutions has a 25 year stain and fade warranty along with its superior scratch resistance. TimberTech’s XLM composite is designed to withstand heavy traffic and is super slip resistant and a solid choice among composite pool, spa decks and general decks.

TimberTech xlm-desert-bronze

TimberTech XLM-desert-bronze

AZEK composite decking also boasts superior stain and scratch resistance as well as mold and mildew resistance. It is also long-lasting and durable and comes in many hues to suit even the most discriminating tastes.

Fiberon decking has a 25 year stain and fade warranty as well as offering superior scratch, stain and mold resistance. It also comes in a myriad of true-to-life wood tones that you will have to see to believe.

Seeing is believing when it comes to the composites of today. To see more visit Archadeck or call us today to set up a free design consultation featuring your new composite deck. 888-687-3325

The color wheel is still the real deal when picking outdoor structure colors

Once you’ve decided on adding an Archadeck structure to your home and landscape most of the major decisions have already been made like size, type of material, and accessories.

Archadeck deck in TimberTech teak by Jim Hilliard of Archadeck Pittsburgh

Archadeck deck in TimberTech teak by Jim Hilliard of Archadeck Pittsburgh

Whether you have chosen a deck, a sunroom, a pergola or even a patio, you will have to decide what colors to use. Archadeck has a talented and trained staff to guide you through  from start to finish to assist you with your new addition. There are a wide array of colors and textures to choose from when deciding on what materials to construct your structure out of.  Choosing colors to use can be a daunting task in itself.

Based upon your individual taste and the colors of your existing structures, color selections can be fun and interesting. You want your structure to reflect your taste and your individuality and be as unique as you are. Many interior designers and building professionals use the convenience of the color wheel and color theory in helping their clients make their color selections. Color theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual impacts of specific color combinations. The color wheel is a simple color chart in which complementary colors are arranged on opposite sides of a circle. The color wheel was said to be invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1670. The principles of color theory also first appeared in the notebooks of  the famous painter, sculptor, and  architect Leonardo Da’vinci (one of his greatest works being “The Mona Lisa”) as early as 1490.The uses of color theory and the color wheel are not all ancient history, it is alive and well and being used in the 21st century. Below is an early color wheel from Goethe’s color wheel from his 1810 “Theory of colors”.

Goethe’s color wheel from his 1810 “Theory of colors”

By effectively using the color wheel you can decide what colors complement each other. For example, if you have a Terra cotta color brick home and are planning on building a deck attached to your house. You would find your brick color on the color wheel, then look directly across from the color on the color wheel and you would find the color that best complements your brick color. In this example Terra cotta is an orange/red color, directly across from the orange/red color is a gray/blue color. By reading the color chart you can see that a darker gray deck or stain may be the best color choice to complement your Terra cotta brick.

Archadeck Colorado redwood deck over rock wall

Wheat Ridge CO redwood deck over rock wall

Color as you know can also enhance or set a mood. When you discuss color choices you have to take into consideration above anything else, your personal tastes. Did you know that certain colors have a “psychology”, meaning that different colors can affect your mood?  Yes, just like certain scents have mood altering effects on the brain, color does too.

The color wheel is split into warm and cool colors. Warm colors such as red, orange and yellows can give you a feeling of warmth, enthusiasm , strength , and passion. Your cool colors such as greens and blues give you the feeling of  depth, trust, freshness and tranquility.  Much can be said about the neutral tones that are most often used in the construction of outdoor structures. Brown is of course the color of the earth and is considered to be comforting and reassuring. In design brown can add depth and warmth to your structure.  Gray is subtle and can be calming. Black is Elegant. Black is usually used to make something stand out and will draw attention to detail and is often used in ornamental details. Whites are classic and timeless. White is clean and fresh like a new fallen snow. So as you can clearly see. Colors can set a mood and promote a feeling you want to convey when enjoying your outdoor structure. Spending time on your sunroom with deep brown flooring accented with white trim can make you feel as if you are curled up with a big slice of warm apple pie a la mode!

Now that you armed with the knowledge you need to make great color choices plus the uniqueness of your favorite colors don’t be afraid to dive into the color selection process. Archadeck has a rainbow of choices to guide you and the talent and know how to make your experience unforgettable.