Top 5 Reasons to Build a Composite/Synthetic Deck by Archadeck of Columbus.

Archadeck of Columbus gives you the top 5 reasons to build a composite/synthetic deck.

Composite deck Columbus
This composite/synthetic deck by Archadeck of Columbus says it all.

When considering which type of decking material to construct your new deck from the number of choices, this otherwise easy task can turn into a quite daunting one.  It can seem sometimes like there is a little person on each shoulder, one of which is shouting “wood” and the other is shouting “composite”. Archadeck of Columbus is here to help you silence the shouting. Composite/synthetic is definitely the way to go for many reasons. The low maintenance, the beauty, and the consistency to remain looking like new are just a few reasons to choose composite/synthetic decking for your new deck. We have compiled a list of the top 5 reasons to build your new deck out of synthetics. The list is in no particular order of importance and was compiled to assist homeowners in making the daunting task of choosing their decking material a little easier.

columbus TimberTech Earthwood
TimberTech's Earthwood composites have the look of wood without the headaches.

1) No staining or painting, ever– with any wood deck you’re going to need to take care of it. Wood is also a natural material therefore, eventually, with any wood, it will rot. Depending on the deck’s location in relation to the sun, you might have to maintain a wood deck more readily if it is facing west with the sun’s rays beating down onto it constantly. Wood needs to be treated at a minimum of once per year. Wood decks also require power-washing to remove staining prior to sanding. It is also recommended to pre-treat a wood deck to ensure cleanliness before you apply any stain or paint. An average 300 sq. foot deck can cost between $500 to $900 per year to maintain properly. If your wood deck has a lot of details such as railings it can take a tremendous amount of time to stain or paint as well.

2) No more tweezer torture– Okay, we can all relate to this one. You or the kids get a splinter by simply walking barefoot across your wooden deck or one of the kids inevitably picks up a splinter every time they chase each other around the deck. You’re yelling stop running but it’s not because you’re scared of a fall. It’s because you dread putting your kids through tweezer torture to get splinters out. If your wood deck is not kept up to par, splinters will become an issue. Wood will move and expand with heat, and when it expands, it will not always shrink back and this causes splinters. Splinters can be a real headache, especially when you have to get out the tweezers to painfully remove the splinter and put yourself or your child through an instant replay of pain. Splinters hurt as much coming out as they do going in. Who wants a deck you can’t enjoy in your bare feet anyway?

TimberTech Earthwoods with Aluminum railings Columbus
This composite/synthetic deck by Archadeck of Columbus will retain its beauty for many years to come.

3) What you see is what you get– Synthetics retain that “like new” color and feel , so what you see is what you will still have years from now. Synthetics won’t fade like wood. Wood can fade gradually and over time you no longer get what you paid for, sort of like that expensive pair of designer jeans that fade out in the wash over time, one day you look down and think “wow” what happened?

4) 15 year warranty for wood VS 25+ year warranty on composite/synthetic– This one is really a “no brainer”. Usually the 15-year warranty on wood has a clause about “normal wear and tear”, which includes the pains of naturally aging wood like splintering, twisting, cupping, checking not to mention the other aches and pains of naturally weathering wood like fading among others. Today’s composite/synthetic decking has a 25+ year warranty, and they’ve only been around for close to 20 years, so the product could exceed the warranty by years beyond that.

Azek Harvest Series - Brownstone
This AZEK deck entails quality, beauty and a warranty to match.

5) A smart investment– If you’re making an investment in your home, it should be a smart investment. You wouldn’t buy a brand new car only to anticipate the transmission falling out after only  1,000 miles would you? Of course not, then why invest in a deck that is going to decay and fade over time when you can invest in a deck that will be like driving it off the showroom floor in 10 years?

With so many positive attributes in composite/synthetic decking nowadays, it is easy to make an informed and smart decision. Another great choice is pure PVC decking products such as  AZEK, TimberTech XLM and TimberTech Earthwood Essentials. These pure PVC products are non-porous , so stains won’t happen at all. You can also learn more about composite/synthetic decking materials by reading a wonderful story written last year on the subject

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

To learn more about the joys of  owning a composite/synthetic deck contact Archadeck of Columbus (740) 879 – 3730 We can create a deck that is made to enjoy, not to constantly worry about maintaining.

You can also see photos of other stunning composite/synthetic decks in our photo gallery at

A Deck/Patio Combo in Columbus turns out to be just what the Doctor Ordered

Archadeck of Columbus pairs together a deck and patio combination that suits these Columbus, Ohio homeowners to a “T”.

Columbus paver patio deck and landscaping
Columbus paver patio deck and landscaping

Here at Archadeck of Columbus, we recently completed a deck for this homeowner in Gahanna which is located in Columbus, Ohio. This customer decided to install a deck and patio combination because they liked the idea of having two different living areas and having adjoining seating areas to enjoy throughout the season.

Patios can be installed in the Columbus area from about March 15th until the first freeze which is usually around mid-December. The ideal is to wait to begin a patio until March or early April to make sure the ground is not frozen, or in some cases muddy from melting snow or ice.

We constructed the deck using TimberTech XLM in beautiful “river rock” gray and used a cedar rail for a wonderful contrast. We completed the deck prior to the stairs because we wanted to make sure the stairs are all the same height.

Design rendering in detail

The upcoming patio will be oval on one corner and the other corner will be a straight rectangle to accommodate a small retaining wall. Due to the excavation that is necessary for the patio’s installation there will be excess soil that needs to be removed. In most cases we can use excavated soil as topsoil to create planting beds or an upgrade at a later date around the perimeter of a structure such as this patio. In the case of this customer, they wanted to add planting beds that they could go ahead and plant in now. This worked out perfectly for this customer. We will also be adding a spading edge to the planting beds and mulch.

Umbriano "Winter marvel"
Archadeck Columbus paver patio architectural Rendering
Archadeck Columbus paver patio architectural Rendering

The patio itself will be finished using Uni-lock Umbriano pavers. These are concrete pavers but are made to look contemporary, the end effect resembles slabs with a larger pattern. This type of paver has been quite popular in the Columbus area. The color these homeowners chose is “winter marvel” for the field area and the soldier course ( perimeter/border) is “midnight sky”. We anticipate this combination will be breathtaking when completed.

The choice to include a patio with the deck area is clearly a design that can be integrated into any landscape whether it is single or multi-level. Having multiple living areas is a growing trend. The two structures harmonize together beautifully.

If you are considering a deck, a patio or both, give Archadeck of Columbus a call and we can meet with you to discuss placement, design and materials. We can give your backyard that same harmony. Give us a ring for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730
or email us at

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

Home Show Display Features Low Maintenance Decking

Your guide to Central Ohio Home and Garden Show

Archadeck Home/Garden Show - 2008

Yes, spring will be here soon enough!  A great way to taste the eventual break from winter is to join Archadeck of Columbus at the Central Ohio Home and Garden Show beginning Saturday, February 27th – March 7th, 2010.  Our new display will feature a double level curved deck using Timbertech wood/plastic composites as well as XLM (PVC decking).  We will also be showing Azek PVC decking as well as Fiberon products.

If you have not attended this Home Show and you are considering any home improvement, you should not miss this.  You can find most anything related to home improvement from decks, landscaping, windows, glass block to seminars on gardening and cooking tips. 

This show has been one of our biggest generators of leads throughout the year.  We get to meet folks whom are interested in our services but it also gives us a chance to assist homeowners with their questions.  The best part is the energetic atmosphere that spring is just around the corner!

2010 Home and Garden Show Display

Some tips if you are truly interested in using your time wisely:

  • Go on weeknights (the schedule can be found on the link below)
  • Avoid weekends!  We would love to see you but I must say it is packed until about 5pm.
  • Plan ahead and look for vendors whose products and services interest you.  The link (below) will help you as well as the free program which is provided upon arrival
  • Be sure to talk to the vendors.  Most spend a tremendous amount of time setting up their respective displays and are eager and appreciative when people come by.
  • If you are a DIY (do it yourself), be respectful that most vendors are interested in speaking with potential clients.  Please advise them early that you are going to do something by yourself, but are interested in their experience.  Most vendors will help you if their time permits
  • Don’t forget there are two separate buildings conducting the show.  The Multi-Purpose Building is where most home improvement companies reside and the Celeste Building is where the Garden Showcase is located as well as other home improvement booths.  There is an enclosed walkway between both buildings.  By the way,  Archadeck of Columbus is located in the Celeste Building near the showcase
  • Don’t miss the Garden Showcase.  The themes and displays are unique and change each year and the flowers give you a true sense of spring
  • Senior Day is Wednesday, March 3rd.  Discounted tickets are available and hours are from 12 noon – 9pm

Carol, Seth and I will be there throughout the week.  Please feel free to come by should you require our assistance. Happy Hunting!


Wood Plastic Composites vs. PVC Decking

What are the differences between composites and pvc decking and how to keep composites clean?

Timbertech XLM Desert Bronze, Columbus, Ohio

When we began designing and building decks and screen porches, the majority of customers were interested in wood with a small percentage intrigued about composites, or low maintenance decking.  In the last 10 years, we have seen exponential growth in the low maintenance decking class in brands, color choices and styles.

Over the past 5 years, we have built approximately 70% of our projects in composites or with the newest technological advancement….PVC decking.  If you are not familiar with wood/plastic composites or PVC decking options, here are some differences to consider including a couple recommendations on products and cleaning solutions.

Wood/Plastic Composites

Composite decking is nothing more than wood flour mixed with plastics and extruded into a “low maintenance” decking board.  Please note I did not say “no maintenance”.    Most composites contain 50% wood and 50% plastic.  Natural products such as wood are affected by the elements.  This equates to fading, scratching and contending with dirt, snow, rain, etc. which necessitates some cleaning.  This may sound somewhat counterproductive, but it surely is easier than stripping and staining a wood deck every year.

My wife and I have 2 young boys, so we are constantly in man to man defense and they still spill drinks all the time!  The simple answer is when it gets dirty, or you or someone else spills something, hose it off.   Most soap and water solutions will remove the grime.  You can use a power washer, but it is not recommended (have you seen what a power washer can do to concrete?).  Should a “stain” go unclean for a longer period, it may need more “elbow grease”.    Some recommended cleaners are:

  • CorteClean
  • OxiClean
  • Cabot’s Composite Deck Cleaner
  • Jomax

Mold and mildew is a different issue.  Mold can grow on anything.  The quality composites contain mold inhibitors which hinder mold spores from feeding.   For more information on mold and how to remove it refer to this article written by the North American Deck and Railing Association.

Our most requested wood plastic composite is Timbertech.  We have used many composites around the country and by far Timbertech is the top of the class in the category of wood/plastic composites.  Their three products in this series are:

  • Reliaboard is their newest product to enter the market.  Colors are Cedar and Grey.
  • Twinfinish is the standard and comes in 3 colors, Cedar, Gray and Redwood. 
  • Earthwood series is beautiful and includes black streaking within the product to give a look of exotic hardwoods.  Colors include Teak, Walnut and Rosewood. 
Timbertech Twinfinish - Cedar
Timbertech Deck Columbus, Ohio
Timbertech Earthwood Deck Columbus, Ohio

The products are listed according to price point, Reliaboard being the least expensive.  Feel free to read their user-friendly website (link above).

PVC Decking

This category of decking entered the market about 5 years ago and has grown in popularity.  The main difference is there is no wood mix.  They are solid core cellular pvc, or in other words, pure plastic.  The advantages of this is they are more stain and scratch resistant than wood/plastic composites.  With the lack of wood in the products, they are denser and less porous which means lower maintenance; simply clean periodically with a soap and water solution.  Another advantage is they will fade less compared to composites (no wood in them).

The disadvantages of this type of decking is cost and, to some, appearance.  They do have the look and feel of plastic.  In addition, color choices are limited but lately we have seen additional darker colors choices including streaking to enhance the appearance.

Timbertech XLM (extreme low maintenance) entered the market 3 years ago.  They have the most beautiful board, Desert Bronze (streaking included) but it is the most expensive.  Other colors available in XLM are Sand Ridge, Mountain Cedar, and River Rock.

Timbertech XLM Deck, Powell, Ohio

   Azek is another option to consider.  The Harvest Collection series offers basic colors, but in my opinion, are a little bland.  They introduced two new series, the Terra Collection (2009) and the new Arbor Collection (2010) with darker colors.  The least expensive is the Harvest Collection up to the Arbor series.  Check out their website for more information.

Azek Brownstone
Azek Brownstone with White Vinyl Rail, Columbus, Ohio
Azek Brownstone with Cedar Rail, Powell, Ohio

There are many more choices to consider, such as Evergrain, Fiberon and Trex.  We at Archadeck are the largest conglomerate of design and build services in the Decking and Screen Porch industry.  The recommendations of Timbertech and Azek are Archadeck’s definitive favorites, especially Timbertech.  Feel free to contact us should you have any questions!