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.

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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.

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.

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.

How to Maintain Your Deck

So you finally have a deck. It’s just how you always imagined: big, perfectly structured, and well-designed. But how can you maintain your deck so it always looks that great?

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Martha Stewart has some basic care tips to help you out:

1. Use a broom made for outdoor surfaces, and sweep as often as needed to eliminate dust and debris.
2. Hose occasionally to remove substances that stain.
3. Start with the gentlest cleaning methods. If these don’t work, try products with stronger chemicals.
4. Before you work with cleaning products or apply stains or sealants, read all directions carefully.
5. Use only natural-bristle or plastic scrub brushes. Metal brushes can scratch surfaces easily and cause staining.
6. Saturate surfaces with water before using cleaning solutions to avoid staining. Never let cleaning solutions dry on surfaces. Cool, overcast days are best for this task.
7. Be certain to rinse all cleaning solutions thoroughly from surfaces with plain water.
8. Avoid power washing, except on concrete. It can save time, but it can also etch some types of brick and soft stone, damage mortar joints, and splinter wood.

To see care tips for specific types of decks, such as brick, concrete, or wood, click here.