Have you seen me lately? A tale of composite and synthetic decking evolution.

TimberTech XLM Harvest Bronze deck with black aluminum railings
TimberTech XLM (Now AZEK XLM) Harvest Bronze deck with black aluminum railings

It’s easy to love the low maintenance and incredible durability of synthetic wood products. No pressure treated pine on earth comes with the kind of stain, fade, and scratch warranties offered by companies like TimberTech and AZEK. When people choose wood over synthetics, it is usually for one of two reasons. The first is price. Synthetics cost more initially, although if you figure in the long-term costs of owning your Columbus porch or deck, the total price to own is very competitive. The second reason is the look of synthetics: they don’t look like “real” wood… or do they?

In the early days of synthetic timber, decks and porches made with synthetic products had some flaws and looking like plastic was one of them. Now that the industry and its products are more mature, most of the design shortcomings of composite and PVC products have been engineered away. Take the VertiGrain™ innovation from TimberTech as an example. Each board has textures, color, and streaking that make it unique.

TimberTech Legacy deck pergola Dublin OH lr
TimberTech Legacy synthetic decking with VertiGrain patterning

How does TimberTech achieve this one-of-a-kind look for each plank coming off its production line?  Similar products attempt to recreate a “V” shaped sawn lumber pattern by embossing or other methods that can look a little “cookie cutter.” VertiGrain™ emulates the look of top-quality vertical grain lumber: no two pieces are alike in their simulated wood grain. You won’t see any repetitive patterns on your deck. Customers can see VertiGrain™ in action in all of the boards in the Legacy and Tropical series by TimberTech. Hidden fasteners are available in those lines as well for a sleek, streamlined look.

Another method for making each board unique is the trend toward bringing hand-scraping from the interior of the home to outdoor living spaces. In addition to giving the boards additional variety in texture, hand scraping allows you to feel grooves in the wood at a variety of lengths and depths. Hand scraping is a trend that has been with us for a while and it seems to be growing more and more popular. I see it in hundreds of homes each year. With synthetics, you don’t really need to worry about damage from pets and kids, but this distressing takes that protection to the next level.

I’m often asked about how slippery synthetic plank floors are when they get wet. Fully plastic boards, including capped composites and PVC, take a little longer to dry, but are not any more difficult to walk on safely when wet than traditional wood. They are also remarkably easy to squeegee off, if you like, and that will speed up the drying process. When it comes to ice and snow, things will always be treacherous, regardless of the type of flooring you choose. Step carefully!

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.

Composites add great options to your Columbus deck color palette

One of the final steps in the porch or deck design process is picking out colors. Color means the least in terms of how well a design functions, but can have a huge emotional impact on how you respond to the project. You know from your own experience that the colors around you affect how you feel.

Your color preferences may impact your choice of materials. While most of the synthetic lumber lines take their color cues from natural woods, from a practical perspective, there are many more choices available in composite decking than there are in real life.  Color is also more consistent and predictable when you order it from our stock of samples. These products are also less likely to change and fade significantly over time.

TimberTech legacy deck in mocha. Patio compliments deck and house trim.
TimberTech legacy deck in mocha. Patio compliments deck and house trim.

When people ask me for guidance on choosing colors, I often recommend tying into a dominant color from one or more of the surrounding structures.  If you are building a deck adjoining the house, consider matching a trim color.  If you are trying to bring together a deck, paver patio and home together, settle first on a family of colors– warm earth tones for example. Narrowing the choices down that way makes your ultimate selections easier. This photo shows pavers echoing roof and picture frame pavers matching deck in Timbertech Legacy Mocha.

Color style trends drive availability of different colors in the marketplace.  Recently, darker colors have gained in popularity and Timbertech has responded with its popular Legacy line that includes Tigerwood, Pecan and Mocha.  At the moment, our top three sellers are TimberTech Brown Oak, Walnut and a gray tone: Silver Maple.  I like the last

TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Silver Maple
TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Silver Maple

one because it’s still in the earth family, but allows you to blend colors with many of the grouts used in paver patios. I’ve heard from other professionals that gray is coming back into style as well. The photo to the left shows TimberTech Silver Maple which is growing in popularity.  The darker striations in the timber look great with the black aluminum rails)

Some people like to stay with classic, timeless colors.  You can never go wrong there.  Oak and Walnut, both medium browns, are timeless choices.  I can bring a variety of samples to your home and we can look at them out in the sunlight.  If you are still concerned about color choice, we would be happy to send you to see different projects in colors you like so that you can see how they look on a large scale.

Timbertech Earthwood Walnut with a Stained Cedar Rail and Black aluminum Pickets
Timbertech Earthwood Walnut with a Stained Cedar Rail and Black aluminum Pickets

One color caution I would offer is to not try and exactly match wood or paver colors directly with the facade of your home.  Go with a contrasting or complementary color.  Even if the colors match perfectly today, it is unlikely that the deck and the home will weather and age in exactly the same way. We want to help you build a deck you will love for a lifetime.

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.

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

Call (740) 879 – 3730

email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net

We look forward to your call.

Tomay-to or Tomah-to, any way you slice it, redecking your Columbus deck might be a fabulous choice!

Before...
Before…

Whether you call it redecking, refurbishing, renovating, or rejuvenating, pulling up the older or damaged parts of your deck and replacing those portions with new materials can mean big savings and a fabulous new deck for your Columbus home. Projects like this are also a terrific opportunity to make a few upgrades or stylistic changes while you are at it.

These Columbus homeowners had a deck that needed a face lift. The deck had aged quite a bit. When we first visited their Dublin home, we evaluated the flooring, railing and stairs of their existing deck. These are the parts of the deck that can possibly be replaced in a redecking. They are also usually the first victims of weather damage. During a renovation we will pull up splintering boards, replace any soft wood and address uneven areas underfoot. Then we looked at the framing to see if the underlying structure of the deck was still solid.

Take a look at this bump-out area that can be used for a grill or other uses
Take a look at this bump-out area that can be used for a grill or other uses

Our inspection showed that redecking was going to be a great option and solution for this Dublin deck. The customer decided to use composite decking and rails this time around to give the deck a longer lifespan and decrease the required maintenance. We replaced the sun-damaged pressure-treated wood boards with TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions from their Tropical Collection.

When we spoke with the homeowner, she told us that she felt like the layout of her deck was a little awkward and that she didn’t use it as much as she would like. We noticed that the grill was set on the ground next to the deck and there wasn’t any lighting installed, other than the single fixture attached to the house, just outside the door: problems easily fixed during redecking.

This TimberTech built in wrap bench provides more than visual interest
This TimberTech built in wrap bench provides more than visual interest

The rejuvenated deck is much more guest-friendly.  Our client’s friends and family now relax on built-in benches all along one side and the grillmaster doesn’t have to feel like he has been put into solitary confinement. There is a grill bumpout up on the deck itself and additional lighting for all thanks to LED lamps on selected rails. Even little details, like black aluminum pickets set into the white Radiance Rails, make the deck feel more like part of the yard.  It’s much easier for everyone to see through those slim, dark pickets to see the lovely landscaping beyond and they pick up the dark striations in the flooring beautifully.

This project has been like getting a whole new deck, but at a more economical price.  All the parts that the client sees were customized to her taste.  Now it is truly her deck, not the builder’s.  The stairs were relocated according to how she uses the space and she’s out there so much more now that it is well lit all the way around.  It’s going to be a beautiful fall season in this Dublin yard!

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

If you’re thinking about adding a new or updated 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.

Collaboration is the key to a great project in your Columbus OH backyard

multi level low-to-grade TimberTech deck Dublin Columbus lrI love getting to know each of our new clients and count many customers among my friends.  When you work on a home improvement project like a new Columbus screened porch or a Hilliard paver patio, you have time to build a relationship. It starts with the interview process.  You meet with me, I listen to your ideas, concerns, budget and dreams. You get a chance to hear my thoughts and look at my recommendations. Hopefully you read some reviews of my work on a site like Angie’s List or check my references. We are getting to know each other.

TimberTech Legacy deck pergola Dublin OH lrThe next move is yours. I want your feedback. What is your response to the plans I proposed for you? What do you like or want to change? I need to understand what you like and how you plan to use your new space. You need to have enough information that you trust that I will do the best job I can for you and that my standards are very high. We begin your project; if you are like most of my customers, you are cautiously enthusiastic.

Here’s a recent project we did in Dublin; it was fairly typical of many of the projects we build. The owners had a modest builder deck. Its steps led down to a patio that had some structural issues. Like most homeowners, the clients wanted to keep what
Low-to-grade TimberTech deck Cols OH lrthey could to limit costs, while creating a space that was large enough to use and enjoy daily. They wanted to invest in quality, beauty and durability and have this deck last for the rest of the time they own the home. No do-overs.

We used TimberTech synthetic decking for its longevity and natural look. We installed LED lights on the risers and accent lights on the posts which add safety and make the space relaxing to use in the evenings. You want to be able to see each other, but not have a giant spotlight over head drawing attention from the neighbors. Did the clients have all these thoughtful details in mind when we first sat down together? No, but this is the kind of expertise Archadeck brings to the table.

TimberTech deck picture frame detail lrOur clients told me that they wanted to have areas to kick back with friends and another for cooking and eating. Experience told me that using multiple levels and different directions on the planking would make it feel like two different decks, even though they are connected. A pergola and ceiling fan over the conversation area will keep things cool and a few evergreens along one side offer natural privacy and a pop of color.

The finished deck is a wonderful addition to the home. All the design details and fit and finish demonstrate the quality and professionalism that we bring to every job. This deck bears no resemblance to something a typical homeowner or neighborhood handyman would create. It was a collaborative project from the first meeting and the results speak for themselves. The homeowners have a terrific new space to entertain and we have more photos to show prospective customers in our portfolio.

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.

TimberTech’s new Legacy line extends indoor hardwood looks into outdoor living spaces in Columbus

TimberTech Legacy deck Dublin Columbus OH lrComposite decking materials just keep getting better and better.  The newest offering from the decking board industry is a fabulous product called TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Legacy.  It gives its owners the beauty of hand-crafted hardwood indoor flooring in a product that is designed for outdoor living spaces. It’s incredibly durable and has a 25-year fade and stain warranty.  It is available in Mocha, Pecan and Tigerwood and can be ordered with a grooved or square shouldered profile.  We can install it with color-matched screws or no visible screws when we use TimberTech’s proprietary hidden fasteners.

We just installed our first deck with this new board and we are very excited about it.  The board has a hand-scraped surface with variegated streaking and colors within the deck boards so it very accurately mimics wood found in nature.  We wrote about this new line last fall when we saw it during a factory tour and have been secretly hoping that we

Can you say night and day
Can you say night and day

would have the opportunity to use it soon.  Our clients chose the darkest of the family of three tropical decking colors.  Their house is white aluminum and we were anxious to see how the contrast would work–hint–it worked beautifully.

The owners had a large existing patio that was not build correctly and was, as a result, unsafe.  They found Archadeck after looking for a Columbus TimberTech deck builder.  They also wanted to purchase and integrate a new hot tub into their deck.   We knew this was an opportunity to create a unique Columbus deck design that would give them terrific flexibility in how they use their yard every day and, more importantly, eliminate a safety hazard from their home.

Columbus TimberTech Legacy mocha color lrThe new deck isn’t large– about 475 square feet, but it has a huge impact on the look of the house and how the family uses their yard for relaxing and entertaining.  The TimberTech Mocha floor is surrounded by cedar railings with white aluminum pickets and matching mocha rail caps.  We built a shady cedar pergola over a portion of the deck.  The homeowner plans to stain all the cedar white to match the house.  An LED-lighted inset bayed staircase naturally flows onto the stone patio.

The completed project features three distinctive outdoor living areas with a variety of views and uses.  There is a fire pit and dining area in one section that allows for easy monitoring of the kids on the playset.  The area under the pergola offers a little extra privacy when using the hot tub.  The patio pavers are Unilock Camelot.  The whole project from the cedar lattice skirting to the grand staircase look elegant and high maintenance, but are really very easy to care for.  Everyone was thrilled with the beauty of the TimberTech decking.

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.

 

What’s new with TimberTech in 2014?

TimberTech Evolutions ColumbusWe recently told you about our plant tour at TimberTech in Wilmington OH. We had a chance to see the massive scale of operations, all the different products, the shipping logistics, and we also had a sneak preview into new products!

TimberTech’s vastly popular Earthwood Evolutions line continues to expand and this year is no exception. The Evolutions line is a capped composite line meaning the core of the boards are traditional composite but the exterior of the boards has a polymer cap. This is the perfect combination. The traditional composite material is less expensive because it is blended with wood fiber. The polymer cap provides additional low maintenance performance characteristics expanding the 25 year warranty to include fade and stain protection.

TimberTech evolutions Terrain Archadeck ColumbusTaking low maintenance even one step further is TimberTech’s most recent line addition called Earthwood Evolutions Terrain. The terrain line is designed for the value conscious customer who wants all the benefit of a great low maintenance capped board at a little lower price. The Terrain board has a notched pattern on the bottom of the board which cannot seen from the top. The notches allow the boards to utilize less material without compromising the integrity. The Terrain boards pass all the stringent tests applied to all TimberTech products. 2014 will deliver a great new color in the Terrain line which has tan and taupe nuances in the color called Sandy Beach.

In 2014, TimberTech is also debuting a new line called Legacy. The Legacy line is a capped composite board capped with a new harder cap. It will debut with 3 colors – Tigerwood, Pecan and mocha. With technology, we’re now seeing not only new colors but also new textures. The Legacy line will have a different type of embossing that has a hand-scraped texture.

As you can tell, Archadeck of Columbus has a long history working with TimberTech products. We believe in their products not only because their manufacturing is close to home but also because they work. We have had minimal issues over the past 10 years and when an issue arrives, TimberTech resolves the issue quickly with as little impact to the homeowner as possible.

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

If you’re considering adding a new deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living space to your Columbus area home, give us a call for a free consultation. Give us a call at (740) 879 – 3730 or drop us an email at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

Take a look at the photo galleries on our website to see more composite and vinyl decks and porches we’ve built here in the Columbus market.

Thanks to TimberTech for a great plant tour!

Powell OH TimberTech XLM Harvest Bronze with TimberTech Radiance rail
This deck in Powell, OH is built with TimberTech XLM Harvest Bronze with TimberTech Radiance rail

Last week we were graciously invited and hosted by TimberTech for a plant tour in their Wilmington OH plant location. During the visit, we had an extensive plant tour, learned about some new products that are already on the market and even got a sneak preview of a couple new items that are coming to market soon.

The plant tour

TimberTech has extensive product testing and research laboratories. These labs simulate weathering conditions including heat, sunlight, rain, and even moldy conditions. The TimberTech line of products are exposed to strength tests and pushed to their limit to ensure their products last and fulfill the promise of the 25 year warranty.

We then took to the plant tour and were able to see the raw materials in mass quantities. These included polyethylene and wood fiber. Different compositions are used depending on the particular boards. We then looked at various extrusion lines producing different boards.

We were also able to see the mass scale of the logistics and distribution operation. Rail cars make a direct stop right outside the back door and lots are stacked with thousands and thousands of completed boards. In addition to rail loading and unloading, there is a facility for tractor trailers which come and go all throughout the day. We were able to see the major plant expansion as TimberTech is consolidating manufacturing operations to this plant.

The TimberTech/AZEK combination

As you may or may not know, TimberTech and AZEK joined forces last year giving the combined company a more expansive line to surface nearly any outdoor living space. Both TimberTech and AZEK have strong and expansive lines of products within the low maintenance outdoor living materials markets. These include not only floor products but also railings and lighting.

AZEK vast pavers Columbus OH installed by ArchadeckAfter our plant tour, we watched a demonstration of the new AZEK Vast pavers. This line includes landscaping, permeable, and resurfacing pavers. The pavers are made up of 95% recycled materials. While the paver looks every bit like traditional pavers, they are anything but traditional in their makeup. The recycled materials make the paver lighter and less breakable at the same time. While concrete pavers chip and break, these pavers are strong, solid, and low maintenance. The installation system is based on locking in to a grid for easy installation.

We also had a sneak preview of some new products that are coming to market. We will be able to share more about those in an upcoming blog post.

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

If you’re considering adding a deck, patio, porch, or other outdoor living space to your yard, give us a call for a free consultation.

(740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

Visit our Archadeck of Columbus website

Read more about TimberTech on their website.

Read more about AZEK Vast pavers