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.

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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

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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

Archadeck invites you take the plunge with a stunning hot tub or spa deck

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This hot tub deck has the added luxury of a bar

This hot tub deck has the added luxury of a bar

When those  chilly autumn winds start to blow, thoughts turn to cozy and unique ways to get warm but still enjoy the scenic panoramic views and crisp, clean air of the season. One way to knock off the chill of fall and take advantage of mother nature’s beauty is to take a dip, or two, in your very own hot tub or spa. The soothing warm water and sound of the bubbles can not only work wonders on your muscles but your spirits as well. Imagine soaking in your spa with the harvest colors of autumn as you backdrop enjoying a glass of your favorite beverage while wafts of steam mingle into the cool air that surrounds you. This imagery sounds tantalizing enough to the senses but the location and surrounding area around your hot tub or spa can really make or break the whole experience. Incorporating a deck or patio into the design of your hot tub’s location can really improve the appeal and aesthetics of your entire backyard.

This Archadeck hot tub deck has adequate and convenient bench seating built into the deck's design

This Archadeck hot tub deck has adequate and convenient bench seating built into the deck's design

Hot tub decks and spa decks help turn the functionality of the hot tub or spa into a total experience. A deck can add valuable outdoor living space for entertaining , grilling and dining as well. When you think in terms of how you will use your spa or hot tub deck it is important to factor in the little nuances that will add to your enjoyment of the spa.  Hot tub and spa decks can be built to include storage areas for towels and other accessories you will need when the spa is in use as well as built-in bench seating for sitting and removing your shoes  so, if you so choose you can just dangle your feet over the side of your spa if you don’t feel like taking the whole plunge. The variations and range of hot tub decks and spa deck design is endless. We pride ourselves on thinking outside the box when it comes to getting the most out of your deck’s design even moving the hot tub or spa out of the usual centered location on the deck and placing it in a location within the deck that will give you better views while using your spa and create more usable  deck space for other outdoor living endeavors.

If you are considering a hot tub or spa deck one important consideration is the decking material and the underlying strength that is needed to properly house a hot tub or spa. When the spa or hot tub is filled with water it will add a tremendous amount of weight. Archadeck pays close attention to these needs and added requirements and builds a spa support deck with many of our hot tub and spa deck installations. The use of a support deck will take the excess load off the deck itself and make the deck and the hot tub or spa safe and free of any areas that might compromise your structure. Archadeck of Fort Wayne recently installed a spa deck for homeowners that wished to incorporate a Micheal Phelps swim spa into the decks design and as you can tell by reading the article about this particular installation, that if you are thinking of buying a spa strong enough for Micheal Phelps then it is important to have a deck that is equally as strong. When considering materials for your hot tub or spa deck you want to choose a material that is kind to bare feet and will not splinter or retain an excessive amount of heat. Another key factor is reducing or eliminating slippage when those bare feet exit the hot tub and are wet. There are many high quality decking choices available for use on spa decks that offer little or no heat retention and decrease slippage.

Archadeck Greenville Spartanburg Gazebo and Hot Tub Deck

Archadeck Greenville Spartanburg Gazebo and Hot Tub Deck

Some key considerations to remember when you make the choice to build a hot tub or spa deck are you want the hot tub or spa to be where it is 18″ above the deck and not flush to the deck so you will be able to sit on the sides and swing around when necessary. You also want to ensure you can enter and exit the deck from all sides with adequate walk-around room at a minimum of 4 feet , by having 6 feet you will have room for bench seating to sit down and remove your shoes, etc. Another key element in good spa deck design is never place your spa deck under a window because it will become an eyesore when looking out from the interior of your home.

This hot tub deck by Archadeck is an oasis of relaxation

This hot tub deck by Archadeck is an oasis of relaxation

If you are ready to take the plunge by building a hot tub or spa deck then contact Archadeck to learn more. We can design and build a hot tub or spa deck that will make you never want to leave the comforting warmth of your hot tub or spa when it is surrounded by the beauty of one of our masterpieces of deck design.

info@archadeck.net

To see more delectable pool, hot tub and spa decks visit our photo galleries

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

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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.

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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?

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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.

How to Increase Home Value

In this market, it can seem impossible to sell your house. There are so many home improvement projects you can do to raise your home value, but which ones help the most? The last thing you need to do at this point is waste your time on projects that only garner a small amount of home value.

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Remodeling Magazine has been conducting annual surveys of the most cost-effective home improvements since 1987. In 2007, the winner for a mid-range home was a wooden deck. Homeowners who had a 16 by 20 foot pressure treated deck installed recouped an average of 85.4 percent of cost of the project.

Similarly, patios, porches, and other outdoor areas have a high return on investment, as well. To explore these options and raise your home value, take a look at the Archadeck website.

Fighting Sun Damage

It’s the peak of summer now, and the sun hotter than ever. You can get a sunburn all year long, but did you know you don’t have to burn at all to develop skin cancer? Any type of sun exposure can lead to skin cancer and other types of skin damage.

Whether you’re trying to avoid early wrinkling, age spots, keratoses, skin cancer, or more, protection from the sun is key at this point. Anybody who has applied sunblock or sunscreen knows that they only work for a certain period of time. Having to reapply sunblock throughout the day can be a huge pain and get in the way of enjoying yourself.

Hats don’t always work either, since they only cover part of the face. So what can you do if you want to enjoy yourself in your backyard without worrying about your skin getting damaged? Archadeck has a number of appealing options that can protect you from the sun and make your outdoor living space welcoming and comfortable as well.

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Between open porches, patios, gazebos, and pergolas, your choices are endless. Check out this slideshow to see examples of they various types.

New Website Launched!

Archadeck’s brand new website officially launched this weekend with a different look and more information. There are slideshows of pictures for decks, sunrooms, porches, and more, along with descriptions of services and locations. You can even follow Archadeck on Facebook now, using a link on the website.

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Enter your zip code to find the closest location to you or follow the link to start your own Archadeck franchise-it’s that easy.

How to Combine a Patio and a Porch

When it comes to updating your backyard, you may think of just one project at a time. A porch OR a patio. A gazebo OR a deck. So how can you combine more than one of these elements without overdoing it?

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Check out this project to see how multiple outdoor areas can be combined to give a cozy and relaxing feel to your backyard. The project features a screened porch, a stone patio, and a firepit, fully decorated with an outdoor dining area and spa.

What Is IPE And Is It Right For Your Deck?

You may have heard of decks made with IPE. You may have heard people gush about their durability and resilience. So what is it?

IPE (aka Ironwood) is one of the commercial names for a group of trees from the species Tabebuia. The trees typically grow from about 140-150 feet, but can reach heights of up to 200 feet. They can be found in Central and South America, but primarily grow in Brazil.

IPE’s tough, resilent properties have given it increasing popularity in the decking and outdoor furniture world. Along with being incredibly durable, it’s also naturally resistant to decay, wet conditions, and infestation by termites and borers. Additionally, it has a Class A fire rating-the same rating given to concrete and setel.

IPE’s heartwood is olive brown to black, and tends to feature striping. Its sapwood is much lighter, usually white or yellow.

To see examples of an Archadeck project made with IPE, click here.