The reason why I’m in your Columbus backyard (It’s not because I’m nosy)

I’m pretty good with dogs, but if you were going to give me a nickname, it would more likely be “the house whisperer.” I listen closely to what my clients tell me about their vision for their outdoor living project, but I get a huge amount of the information I need to do my job right by a careful site survey–essentially listening to what the home and site tell me.

Obviously, homes don’t talk to you, but they do have individual characteristics and they all interact differently with the environment. While I’m walking around the yard with a homeowner, I’ll look places they might not expect, ask questions that they think are nuts and will take notes. It’s all part of the process of determining what is possible and what is best for a particular job.

I start by looking at site conditions. What is the architecture, size, and age of the home? Where are the vents, windows, and doors? What kind of siding and roof are on the existing home? And, probably most important of all: where is the water going to go? Not the water pipes, but the rain and snow melt.

Take a look at this home.
Take a look at this home before and after the new porch. There were multiple roof lines and the center portion had a high window that provided a challenge for adding a roof. This elevated roof porch overcame all the architectural solutions while creating a fabulous solution.

If you are building a Columbus screened porch, I will determine if a gable or hip roof is possible. Many people prefer gable roofs because they are so light and airy, but sometimes the location of a window or door will dictate a shed roof. The grade of the land will tell me whether we need to discuss a railing. Code states that any structure 30” or higher off the ground needs rails for safety.

In addition to design considerations, I’ll be thinking about some work site issues for my crew. Do they need to take down a fence to bring in large equipment? Is there space to stage lumber or materials on the site? How long will the commute be? Are there neighbors we don’t want to wake up early in the morning? Some of these issues impact the cost of labor and ultimately the price I will quote the clients. If a company is quoting you a flat price per square foot to do a job, they aren’t giving you an accurate bid, they are taking a shot in the dark.

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Take a look at the incredibly steep grade in this yard. Integrating with this steep drop off was one challenge. We also needed to follow the design lead of the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. The spiral stairs provided a great way to bridge the second story porch and the steep grade.

A comprehensive site survey also allows me to collect the information and photos that I will use to create architectural designs and plans.  So the short answer is: I’m in your yard getting your project started on the right foot.

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.

Round is beautiful on your Columbus OH deck

These TimberTech rails are bent for this deck
These TimberTech rails are bent for this deck

Humans are, generally speaking, not made of sharp angles. Our heads are rounded and our bodies tend toward the curvy. Our planet and the heavenly bodies are also circular so it’s not a surprise that we are drawn to rounded edges, curves, arches and domes in our architecture. Deck shape and edges are no exception.

Archadeck can and does build round-edge (also known as radius) decks all the time and they are very visually appealing. The way they extend into a landscape is very compelling.  They are also more technically demanding jobs to construct and, especially when it comes to using synthetic materials, can require special tools to do the job right. When I first started in this business, someone once told me, “If you bend, you spend,” and that’s still the case.

TimberTech Evolutions -Teak and Walnut with Cable RailingsWhat makes round decks cost 10-20% more than decks of similar size built at right angles?  Two things. First, building a rounded deck takes quite a bit longer to do and to do well, especially if you want to do a picture frame around the edging. This means higher labor costs. On a recent job using composite TimberTech, it took us about a ½ hour per board to heat and bend them to the correct angle. The sharper the radius we are trying to achieve, the longer it takes to heat and bend the boards or to cut them correctly.

When we lay out decks on right angles, we are able to minimize how many boards we need to cut.  Rounded decks require more board cuts which take more time and create more waste in materials. If you’ve ever made a lattice-top pie, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  This is also true when it comes to putting up the railings.  More often than not, rather than bend the railings, we install them at angles using short runs.  This requires that we use more rail posts.  Look around my our web site to see some examples of what is possible.

Muirfield Dublin TimberTech deckI’ll leave you with one last thing to consider when it comes to rounded decks: linear decks give you more functional space for things like furniture placement and traffic flow. There is a lot to love about a round Columbus deck, and if this is what you have your heart set on, the extra time in building and slightly less usable space won’t matter.

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.

There’s just something about the color oak when it comes to your Columbus deck

This large TimberTech deck in the color brown oak fits perfectly with the rear facade of this Marysville home
This large TimberTech deck in the color brown oak fits perfectly with the rear facade of this Marysville home

Brown is a very popular shade for decks for a number of reasons. First, it has some nostalgic appeal. Thinking back to our childhood, most decks were made of pressure-treated wood that ages to a grayish brown color. The oak shades, in particular, are very popular because oak is such a warm shade of brown. Warm shades are pleasing to the eye and the color is also subtle enough that it does not compete with other design elements or furniture on the deck.

Marysville Columbus TimberTech brown oak deckWe recently finished a deck in Marysville OH using TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions in Brown Oak. The decking is run at an angle for both strength of construction and also for visual appeal. You will notice that we used parting boards where the boards meet. This also provides visual appeal and creates a clean transition between the deck board sections.

On this particular deck we used white vinyl railing with white vinyl posts. White railing will be forever popular because of the clean appealing look. To some extent, white railing maintains its popularity for the same reasons that oak is perennially popular. White railing has nostalgic appeal. There’s a reason why people refer to “white picket fences” as an ideal. They’re neat, attractive, and classic.

TimberTech rail cap on white Columbus vinyl railingYou’ll notice that we used the TimberTech brown oak decking for the rail cap. This is a popular technique that connects the railing to the deck aesthetically. It’s a perfect way to tie the deck and railing together.

Color is a very important consideration when you’re selecting the best deck design options. As we wrote recently, composite decking surprisingly comes in a wide variety of colors. In addition, natural woods also have a wide range of colors. On the light end of the spectrum is pressure-treated southern yellow pine. On the dark end is Ipe Brazilian hardwood.

Marysville Columbus deck steps with lighting
One of the finishing touches included TimberTech step lighting
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, contact us 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 atwestcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

 

Your Columbus deck doesn’t need to be built in just various shades of brown. Let’s talk about color!

Columbus TimberTech Legacy mocha color
Both the TimberTech Legacy decking and the pergola contrast the white home exterior. Look what a great statement contrast can make!

When many people think of decking colors, they generally think in shades of natural wood that range from the very common pressure-treated pine to dark hardwoods shades found in ipe or other Brazilian hardwoods.  This provides a large array of color options. But add all the color options within the synthetic decking lines, and you have a virtual rainbow of colors from which to choose to build your deck or porch.

People who are unsure of  the options available often choose to match the outdoor living space to the existing house.  That’s always a good option.  But you might also want to take a look at some of the other colors available.  For most projects you have the option to pick two, three or even four colors as part of the design process if you choose.

The first, and most visible color, will be the deck flooring.  There is a lot of it, so it is very noticeable. You may choose to match or compliment your house. Or, going with a

TimberTech Pacific Walnut deck with paver steps in Dublin, OH
Contrast can be breathtaking. This decking is a complete contrast to the home, but was designed with matching rails.

strong contrast color to your house will really make your custom space stand out. But your color choices don’t have to stop there. Today’s homeowners are choosing a variety of color for their new custom space to add visual interest and appeal.

Here are some fun options. We can add a contrasting border which will set off the color you choose for the rest of the flooring.  If you are going to add a railing, it can have a different color and the posts that sit atop the railing can contrast or compliment as well.  The slats between the posts can also have a distinct shade.  One of our suppliers, TimberTech, has a visualizer web tool that you can use to get an idea about what I’m describing.  It’s very useful and pretty fun.

If you want to do a deck refresh or re-decking, color can really be your friend.  Maybe you would like to add a pergola.  Upgrades and updates provide a terrific opportunity

Columbus TT Teack with white vinyl pergola
This Columbus TimberTech deck features a white vinyl pergola serving for added shade and maximum aesthetic appeal.

to spruce up the whole area with different colors that will make it look like a brand new space. For example, a white pergola that picks up the trim color from your home is a great contrast to an alternately colored deck.

With color, you can really personalize the project and give it a custom look.  Your deck won’t look like five other ones in the neighborhood.  Color is often the best way to create a one-of-a-kind project without spending extra money.  If you think you’d like to explore some different color options, we’d love to offer a free consultation to discuss the new space you have in mind.  I’ve been building decks in the Columbus market for more than 10 years and I’ve build decks in every size, shape and color. That experience helps with recommendations and by giving me a huge photo library to show you in helping you design your new Archadeck space.

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.