Sharing our blessings

Archadeck of Columbus Michael Reeder and familyI’m not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions. I’d rather use the holiday as an opportunity to reflect on the many wonderful blessings that we have had over the previous year. I guess you could say that I prefer to accentuate the positive in my life. And when you are a small business owner, like I am, your work really is a huge part of your life, so it’s a great place to start.

Always first on my list of blessings is my family. My amazing wife, Carol, has been an integral part of my business since Day 1, when the Archadeck of Columbus office was actually in our home. She is such a ray of sunshine and brings fun and good humor to everything she does. If you are one of our customers, you have probably spoken with her and would agree with me on this. She is also a peerless wife and mother. Thank you, honey.

Although they are too young to participate very actively in the business, our sons Jacob and Kyle are very supportive as well. They are very understanding when the inevitable phone call or business appointment interrupts family time and I’m so grateful for that. It may sound a little hokey, but my family is really what drives me to succeed, so they play a key role in that way as well. I also look forward to they next time I have the opportunity to get them to help me with one of our YouTube videos. That’s so much fun!

We continue to be blessed with outstanding employees and partners in the business and I’m very pleased to have the chance to tell them so. Sometimes during the craziness of the spring/summer/fall building season, I’m sure I don’t say so enough. I couldn’t build a single Columbus deck or screened porch without them.

I’m so grateful and proud that our brand is gaining additional recognition and strength, both in central Ohio and throughout the country. Part of the credit for that goes to our customers who take the time and effort to write positive reviews about us online at web sites like Angie’s List and who recommend us to their friends, family, and neighbors. We are humbled by your endorsements.

Hand-in-hand with those positive reviews and recommendations is our continued increase in year-over-year sales. Obviously this has a monetary reward which helps fund important investments like college accounts for the kids, but it also lets me know that we are putting our mark on Columbus. With our help, more families are able to experience richer home lives by improving their outdoor livings spaces. My grandfather was in the construction trade and you can still see his concrete block in Columbus buildings today. I love having that connection to this region’s past and future.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

I wish you all the best for a healthy and prosperous 2016. If that includes a Columbus porch, patio, deck or pergola, I hope you will give us a call. All our professional design consultations are free and we would love to hear from you. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.

A thousand small details add up to one stellar Columbus outdoor space

Take a look at the before and after of this stunning outdoor space
Take a look at the before and after of this stunning outdoor space

One glance at the “before” pictures and you can tell that this backyard space just wasn’t working. There were two small decks that came from two different parts of the house and there was nothing creating unity of space or purpose in between. Before, there was seating on three different levels, but everything was disjointed and awkward. The goal: create multiple beautiful spaces that could be enjoyed by parents and teens that encourages fluid movement throughout.

The clients originally started working with a lumber yard that also did some design work, but they lost confidence that the outfit was up to this challenge. One of our designers, Rob, stepped up to the plate and really hit this one out of the park. His solution of a covered TimberTech plank porch and multiple levels of Unilock Brussels paver patios hit every point on the customer’s wish list.

Columbus Powell open porch and multi-level patio lrThere are multiple decorative planting circles that create visual interest, define different spaces and give the owners a living creative outlet. Seating walls provide a casual place to relax and help keep landscaping in place. Gravel beds look decorative, but serve the added function of handling drainage. The fire pit has a gas starter and can burn either gas or wood– take your pick. The built-in grill is right outside the kitchen door and is convenient to inside or out making food transfer quick and simple.

Some of the critical details to the success of this project you might never notice; had to do with water management. The design of the patio or deck is what everyone sees. But as an outdoor designer, it’s our job to know about and take care of what everyone doesn’t see. In this case, that was water management.

The grade of the yard meant that we had to give lots of thought to water movement. We used a catch basin trenched into the woods to do the heavy lifting. We used a rubber roof system above the porch to handle rain and snowfall. The owners wanted everything to be easy to care for, that included having an irrigation system built in to the landscaping and planters. We also took care of rerouting hot water and dryer venting. We attended to every detail from start to finish.

So, if you are ever lucky enough to be invited to a barbecue at this Powell porch and patio combination, make sure you get a chance to admire the huge grand staircase that leads to the landing patio– you might stop at the bistro table there for a drink. Or, if the mosquitoes are biting, use the remote to start the ceiling fan. It does a great job of shooing them away. You might want to play around a bit with the lighting too. It’s on a dimmer and the owners made some very attractive lighting choices, replacing an old sconce and adding some stylish new fixtures.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.

One stop shopping for your Columbus dream outdoor living space

Patio, deck and fire pit combination in Dublin, OH
This patio, deck and fire pit combination in Dublin, OH shows the use of curves to achieve harmony, flow and beauty in the overall design.

When you contract for a multi structure outdoor living space like a deck/patio combination or an addition like a Columbus sunroom, you will have tradesmen from a variety of building specialties involved in making your dream a reality. Coordinating the efforts this army of skilled workers is a large part of the general contractor’s job. Many contractors will “sub-out” or hire independent subcontractors for most of the different parts of their jobs. At Archadeck of Columbus, we have a professional team of in-house specialists who handle a majority of the work on all of our projects.

It’s easy to understand why many contractors work with so many different subcontractors. As the economy has improved over the last few years, building projects have generally increased in size, scope, and level of specialization, including the introduction of many new amenities and materials. Decking, pavers, and electrical components are just a few of the areas that have all changed dramatically in the last decade. It’s challenging to keep up with those technological advances and invest in the continuing education necessary to stay at the top of your trade.

Granville OH TimberTech decks
This deck was built using TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions

When I started this business more than 10 years ago, we were a deck and screened porch company. We have since expanded our range of expertise to include the many wonderful kinds of spaces you see illustrated on our web site. To maintain our uncompromising level of quality, Archadeck has its own carpenters and masons on staff who build all projects to our national specifications, using our unified structural system. While your design is custom, the standards are not— projects are built the same way across the country.  Whether you are interested in a deck/patio/landscaping job or adding a porch/patio/pergola combination, we either have the skills in-house or longstanding partnerships in place to quickly and professionally design and build the Columbus outdoor living space you’ve always wanted.

Gable roof Screen Porch with paved floor and adjacent patio
This gable roof screen porch incorporates patio elements into its design.

As specialists ourselves, we know what components of our jobs require another specialist. For some tasks, you want a specialist that does that particular function all day long every single day. For example, if your project includes wiring for lights, fans, or other electrical specifications, you will probably meet the electrician we partner with – James Hartley. We rely on Joe Hughes Roofing to top all of our porch and 3-season room jobs. Alex De la Paz at New Image Irrigation plays a big role in many of our landscaping projects. When it’s time to put the finishing touch of a coat of new paint on interior walls, it will likely be John Carter who will arrive promptly with ladders, brushes, and a smile.

We believe this approach to building projects ensures consistently high quality for our clients. Each of our partners is an expert in their field and we have built a relationship on mutual trust and reliability. We respect the work they do and won’t ask them to be part of a project that would compromise their professionalism. They always give us their best product because, in addition to their professional pride, they value their relationship with Archadeck. This collaboration is a win-win-win because together we are able to give our customers exactly what they want.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

 

Those are estimates, not bids (and they are not the same thing)

I visit with potential clients nearly every week of the year offering a free consultation on plans to create new outdoor living spaces. On Monday it may be a fixer-upper redecking project. On Wednesday I could be discussing options for a 3-season room with attached Columbus paver patio and pergola. The range of projects is nearly endless. With all of this experience, you might wonder why I can’t give you a “bid” that you can easily compare with bids from other builders.

12345The answer is that most homeowners don’t have the plans and specifications for the custom project that they want to build. Without the details included in those documents, it’s virtually impossible to give a reliable bid for a job. Anyone who tries has to make dozens of assumptions about the project and its unlikely that any two builders will make all the same ones. It’s the classic problem of trying to compare apples to oranges.

What kind of assumptions do these jobs demand? Here are a few, just to give you an idea.

You want a wood deck made of pressure-treated pine. Is that premium clear pine or normal, builder-grade pine? Will you use nails or screws? What metal are they made from? Polymer coating or ceramic? How long are they? How thick? Is the thread type standard or coarse? How do you want to orient the boards? How much space will be between the joists? What shape will the deck be? How high off the ground? Those are just a few of the questions at the top of a very long list for a simple wood deck. They sound ridiculous and nit-picky when you list them out, but each answer has an impact on the cost and results of the project.

If you are considering a Columbus composite deck, paver patio or screened porch, the number of factors to consider really goes through the roof (so to speak). And those are just the tangible materials expenses for the project. When you hire someone to custom design and build an outdoor living space for your home, you also must look at factors like the builder’s track record in the local area, certifications and references. Do they build to minimum code requirements or do they exceed them? How happy are their past customers? Will you feel comfortable around this contractor and his crew at 7:30 in the morning when you are wearing your bathrobe? Where does he get his carpenters? How long have they worked with his company? If there is a problem or a delay, will he return your calls promptly and work with you to solve the issues that arise? Does the builder offer a warranty?

Archadeck of Columbus is committed to creating outdoor living spaces that are beautiful, durable, safe, and appropriate for how the clients want to use them. It’s about value. I won’t attempt to compete on price, but I stand behind the quality to price ratio on every job I do. Look at photos. Ask for references and go visit those jobs in person. Talk to past customers– both ours and our competitions.  A few extra bucks in your wallet are thin comfort when your major home project doesn’t turn out like you planned.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Contact Archadeck of Columbus today to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Proud to win a 3rd year in a row

Consumers choice Archadeck of ColumbusWhat do you call it when something good happens three years in a row? It’s certainly not a “turkey” like in bowling. “Third time’s the charm” makes it sound like we didn’t win it before. Perhaps there is nothing to call it but a tremendous and humbling honor. Archadeck of Columbus is so excited to have won the prestigious Consumer’s Choice Award for 2014 in the category of Home Improvement: Patio and Deck Builders. In fact, we are honored that this is the 3rd year in a row that we’ve won.

You may be wondering how the nomination and award selection process works in competitions like this. The Consumer’s Choice Award board advertised on TV and radio for people to visit their website to nominate a business. People were not given a list to choose from. They needed to already know about our company. The were asked to “consider issues such as Value, Service, Professionalism, Appearance of the Business or any other criteria you wish to take into account.”

After Consumer’s Choice collected nominations, it hired a top consumer research company called Survey Sampling International® to query a panel of roughly 5,000 respondents in the Columbus area. Next, a legal panel validates the work of the consumers by reviewing the background of each of the companies to make sure that they meet important ethical standards. Only after a company clears all of those hurdles can it be named a Consumers’ Choice Award winner.

I wish I could thank all the people who helped us to win this award through nominating or voting for us. I’d like to thank the people who helped us earn this recognition: my office, design, and construction staff. If you haven’t met them, you should. You couldn’t ask for a nicer, more professional group to work with. I’m so lucky. We will continue to work hard through 2015 to earn the privilege of winning this prestigious award again next spring. Even if we are not lucky enough to win for a 4th year, I’d be satisfied to spend another year creating more gorgeous Columbus decks, porches, patios and outdoor living spaces for our local Buckeye families.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you have a Columbus outdoor living space you are considering for 2015, we’d love to hear from you: (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.  The consultation is completely free.

Love to spend time in your sunny Columbus OH back yard? Want shade?

TimberTech Legacy deck pergola Dublin OH lr
Cedar pergola attached to the house over composite deck

If you are like me, you are trying to figure out ways to get more sun, not less. But, trust me, there will soon come a time when you will be looking for ways to get a little protection from the hot summer sunshine. One of the most beautiful and versatile ways to introduce additional shade to your deck, patio or yard is by building a Columbus pergola.

Pergolas are open structures that can transform your yard or garden into a cooler, quieter, more peaceful haven. They frequently have a lattice design across the “roof” which provides shade on its own and may also serve as a frame for decorative climbers like clematis or wisteria. Whether or not your pergola is adorned with greenery, it provides a striking vertical interest to your yard.

This TimberTech deck includes classic white rail with decking boards as rail caps.
Unattached pergola over TimberTech composite deck

Pergolas can be free-standing and may be designed in many different shapes with details that complement the architecture of your home and yard.  One of the first things we look at when starting a discussion about a pergola or Columbus arbor or trellis is the orientation of the yard with regards to the sun. It’s important to orient the structure so that it best suits your needs during the prime outdoor entertaining months. We’ll also help you choose the size of your pergola based on how you plan to use it– I love them for their flexibility is size, design, and choice of material.

Many of our customers love vinyl pergolas because they are low maintenance and their slats are angled slightly to provide additional shade. White is the most popular color for our vinyl structures as many homes have white trim on their windows or elsewhere on their exterior, which provides a nice visual tie-in. Beige is another option. Regardless of color, vinyl offers superior strength and long life, in addition to its easy-care nature.

Columbus cedar pergola and hardscape duo
Columbus cedar pergola and hardscape duo

Pressure-treated pine is the least expensive option for building a pergola, with cedar at the midrange (about 20% more) and vinyl at the higher end (about a 75% premium, depending on the design). Fiberglass and aluminum have a smaller presence in the marketplace. Regardless of the material you choose for your Columbus pergola, it will be a gorgeous adornment to a walkway, deck, patio or other seating area.

If you are interested in a new twist on the traditional pergola design, I’d encourage you to check out ShadeTree canopies. They have an almost Mediterranean look, which will make you feel like you have an exotic getaway locale right in your own backyard. Whether you choose ShadeTree or another pergola design, you have the option of upgrading with ceiling fans, lights, speakers or other accessories that will make your yard more fun and festive. Bring us your ideas or ask us for some. Brainstorming your dream backyard is the most fun part of every free consultation.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Contact Archadeck of Columbus today to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

 

Your big May or June outdoor event needs to be started in March – if you are planning on using your new Columbus deck or porch

Don’t wait! Do you have a backyard event you’re planning for May, June, or July? Are you planning on having that event on a new deck, porch or patio? If so, you will want to call your Columbus outdoor builder in March or as soon as you can.

Marysville Columbus TimberTech brown oak deckI know it sounds counter intuitive to be calling Archadeck for a free consultation on a Columbus deck now when you don’t really need your new space until May, June or July; but if you wait until things get nice outside to start thinking about your project, it will be too late for you to get the most out of your new space this summer.  Believe it or not, it’s only early March and we are already booked into late April. Once a new project is on the schedule, we need several weeks to work through all the steps of the design and permitting process. For example, in Powell, Lewis Center, Westerville, and other parts of Delaware County, OH, we complete one of these forms and wait as long as four weeks for approval.

Are you looking forward to a barbecue blowout for Memorial Day weekend? If you give us a call now, there may still be time to get a new deck and grill pad in place for the event. Want to host a graduation party in the backyard? You won’t have to worry about a rain-out if you have a new screened porch for your guests. Regardless of your plans for outdoor entertaining this summer, the key to making them happen is to act on them now.

perfect backyard oasis in Columbus OH by Archadeck lrDon’t be tempted to delay with the rationale that you can simply choose a builder who isn’t busy. If a contractor or tradesman isn’t busy in central Ohio in spring and summer, you have to ask yourself why. Then ask them for referrals because they are either new to the area or they don’t have repeat customers or clients who sent friends and neighbors their way. Your family’s safety, your wallet, and your sanity demand that you find someone to work with who is professional and reliable.

It’s already March. If you call now, you can talk to me about your Columbus porch or patio project (and I’d love to!). I can give you my enthusiastic and undivided attention.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you have a Columbus outdoor living space you are considering for 2015, we’d love to hear from you: (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.  The consultation is completely free.