Using architectural reveals for your screened porch interior design

Interior of screened room in Powell, OH by Archadeck of Columbus
The interior of this screen porch displays design perfection in every detail

Have you ever been flipping through your favorite home and garden magazine and seen an image that makes you wish you could have something just like it? If you are a proactive homeowner that is always looking for ways to improve upon your home or landscape then the answer is most certainly yes. These Powell, OH homeowners recently turned their dream of having a screen porch into a reality.

It all began when we initially sat down and met to get an idea of what they were looking to build. They told us that what they wanted most was a unique structure and they even gave us some pictures they had clipped out to use as a starting point for their project which showed a very finished structure that had wrapped beams and lots of architectural reveals on the inside and outside. The pictures provided valuable insight into developing the concept of the screen porch’s design. (see picture of clipping below). With the homeowner’s requests in mind we were ready to begin the design process.

Unique and beautiful screen porch in Powell, OH by Archadeck of Columbus
This screen porch in Powell, OH by Archadeck of Columbus is picture perfect in every way.

The finished porch boasts an abundant 16′ x 16′ sq. feet of blissful outdoor living space which includes 9′  high walls which are higher than standard screen porch walls.  High ceilings are becoming more and more popular and we like to build the walls of our outdoor structures to match  the the walls inside the house on the adjoining room. Your outdoor room is truly an extension of your home.

In terms of trimming out this screen porch, we used “build-up” columns in the screen porches interior. In essence this means we actually build them up to make them appear larger and more finished. By having thicker columns in the middle, we were able to put sconce lights in the interior and these more robust columns add to the elegance of the entire room. When working with certain interior design aspects of an outdoor structure, bigger is usually better, it gives your finished room a richer feel.

Powell, OH screen porch Cedar tongue and groove ceiling detailing
Powell, OH screen porch Cedar tongue and groove ceiling detailing

We used Paulownia trim on the posts which comes ready to paint upon installation. On the floor the homeowners chose a pressure-treated pine floor laid on a diagonal pattern.  Using pine adds a rustic, natural ambiance to a room like only real wood can, and choosing the diagonal patterning conveys a sense of creativity by steering away from the traditional pattern commonly seen in screen porches. These Powell, OH homeowners played on the rich lines and wood within the flooring and took it a step further by choosing an unfinished cedar tongue and groove ceiling. Also included were some little creature comforts and extras. These included a wall mount system for the homeowners TV, ceiling fans, and ample electrical outlets on those hearty posts.

Powell, Oh screen porch exterior by Archadeck of Columbus
This image shows the majesty of the porches exterior

Of course, the quality and sense of exclusivity was carried on to the exterior as well. We put architectural reveals on the outside with the use of  additional trim that creates the appearance of a  more layered look which shows shadow lines. We also installed  siding on  the exterior of the porch and painted it to make it look natural to the  house.  We used aluminum screen inserts and also placed white reveals around the screens to add character.

If you are looking for a builder that can deliver you a “picture-perfect” outdoor structure, contact Archadeck of Columbus to get started today call us at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at

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

To see more stunning Columbus area screen porches visit our screened porches photo gallery by visiting our website.

Columbus screen porch translating customer design ideas
Columbus screen porch translating customer design ideas

Do you know why Winter is actually the best time of year to build a new deck?

Archadeck of Columbus explains when is the most opportune time to build your new deck and why.

Imagine this beauty ready and waiting for you to enjoy with the first blooms of spring, after overwintering has seasoned it perfection

Many of our Columbus homeowners ask me when is the best time to build a new deck? Many of you may think that the best time to build a deck is the spring, but the truth is, the best time to consider building a new deck may be in the winter. The best way to explain the reasoning behind a winter deck construction is what i would refer to as the “give and take” of the project. Give and take refers to the use of pressure treated wood during the winter months. The give refers to the woods expansion, and the take refers to the woods contraction that is caused by the effects of varying outdoor temperatures on the wood itself.

Double low to grade deck in Columbus OH with fire pit
Double low to grade deck in Columbus OH with fire pit

The first thing you have to remember when considering building any type of deck or other outdoor structure, whether the decking boards you choose are composite, PVC, vinyl, IPE or hardwoods the foundation of your structure will be constructed using pressure treated  pine or another pressure treated wood. Wood curing is important to understand in relation to the wood’s natural tendency to “give and take”,  and curing which occurs over the winter months offers many important benefits.

Pressure treated wood  has a 50% moisture content when you initially build. This fresh lumber is sometimes referred to among builders as “green”.  The winter has less humidity and thus the pressure treated  wood will stabilize itself and dry more consistently and evenly when you build in the winter. On the other end of the spectrum a summer deck construction exposes the pressure treated wood to higher humidity conditions. In addition, when drying in the hot sun, pressure treated wood will undergo expansion and contraction which can cause cracking, warping and other damage to the wood itself. Due to the orientation of the sun during the winter months, the sun doesn’t beat down on your deck, and the pressure treated wood that holds the key to your project’s structural integrity will not undergo these negative effects.

timbertech deck and screen porch
TimberTech composite deck and screen porch by Archadeck of Columbus

Another benefit of building in winter is you will also experience less wait time and backlogs which are typical in spring and summer projects. Our typical waiting list is 8 weeks in the height of the season, during the winter you are likely going to cut that wait time in half. A winter project also causes less lifestyle interruption because homeowners typically spend less time outdoors and less time participating in outdoor activities during the colder months of the year. You will also experience less deterioration of the ground, and less turf damage during the winter months because of the dormancy period that Columbus landscapes experience through the cooler months.

Columbus deck built with treated pine
Columbus deck built with treated pine
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Keep in mind that Archadeck of Columbus can also build your outdoor structure combination in stages. Winter is the perfect time to start the first stage of your desired outdoor living project. If you are considering a deck and patio combination for example, you can take advantage of our staged building option and build the deck this winter and then we can add the patio later into the spring. With Archadeck of Columbus’ staged building the choice is yours. Contact us today to learn more, call us at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at

A perfect pair of pergolas for homeowners in Columbus, OH

Archadeck of Columbus build a pair of pergolas for homeowners in Columbus, OH, and gives you the lowdown on pergola materials and styles.

This photo shows one of the pergolas the homeowner chose
This photo shows one of the pergolas the homeowner chose

These Columbus, OH homeowners recently hired Archadeck of Columbus to install a pergola at their home. The homeowners could not decide upon one pergola design that would work for all their needs, therefore they decided upon two pergolas in order to achieve what they were looking for.

Pergolas, also know as arbors or trellises are limitless in their design. Materials such as traditional wood and cedar are options to consider when deciding upon your pergola. Treated wood moves by expanding and contracting, whereas cedar doesn’t move because of the oils within the wood itself. Cedar is more costly than treated wood, so this is a consideration you may want to think about.

This free-standing pergola was another pergola selected for these Columbus, OH homeowners

The components of the pergola itself  come with choices as well.  Component options all depend upon the design and look you wish to achieve with your pergola. Usually rafters are set 16″ on center, and the lathing is 2×2 or 1×4 which are typically spaced 6″ apart. In order to accommodate or gain more shade, we may add in more components to bring in further sun protection, for example we can make rafters 12″ on center and the lathing 4″ on center. Archadeck of Columbus can construct your pergola to fit your individual needs.

The design rendering and drawings for the multiple pergolas for these Columbus, OH homeowners

In this day and age there are also the low maintenance fiberglass and vinyl pergolas as well. Backyard America manufactures pergola kits of fiberglass and we install these pergolas. This method is another consideration to keep in mind when planning your pergola. Here at Archadeck of Columbus we always supply our customers with a detailed design rendering of the outdoor structure they are considering, this way every detail is precise and to the customers approval before construction begins.

Here are some examples of pergolas by Archadeck of Columbus

Vinyl pergola in adobe, white or tan

This vinyl pergola comes in adobe, white or tan.

Vinyl pergolas have leuvered slats

With vinyl you can have different rafter rails as well, vinyl pergolas have leuvered slats angled toward the setting sun so you’re getting more shade.

Screens or backyard blinds installed in pergola by Archadeck of Columbus

Archadeck of Columbus can also install screens (backyard blinds) into your pergola to get more shade as the sun sets.

Aluminum powder coated trusses on pergola

Pergolas are typically used as a shade structure or for aesthetics. This one is created to be easy on the eye. This pergola is made with custom powder-coated aluminum trusses and cedar railing with black aluminum pickets to match.

pergola incorporated into a privacy fence

This cedar pergola is incorporated into the design of this privacy fence. It adds a perfect place to avoid the noon sun and to nurture climbing vines such as clematis or wisteria.

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

No matter which pergola style or design tickles your fancy Archadeck of Columbus can help you plan and construct the perfect pergola, or pair of pergolas, for your landscape. Contact us today to find out more (740) 879 – 3730

Pressure Treated Pine – A Maintenance Nightmare?

Un-maintained Treated Pine Deck

I just returned from visiting a client whom inherited a pressure treated pine deck and was disgusted with its condition. His initial intent was to tear down the entire deck and start over. He truly liked the look of wood and understood maintenance was involved but he didn’t realize that treated pine does have advantages. At the end of our meeting we agreed that removing the entire deck was not necessary and we  just replace the flooring and rails. I thought it might be useful to share more information to you about Pressure Treated Pine (PTP).

PTP still remains the #1 choice for outdoor structures. Whether used for decks, screen porches, playground sets, fencing or sandboxes, PTP is the best value for your buck. All PTP comes with a lifetime warranty against rotting (fungal decay) and termite infestation. The characteristics and maintenance of this species are integral to understanding its benefits and imperfections.

The term PTP means the pine when milled is infused with chemicals to provide the warranties discussed above. The wood will essentially not rot and can be placed in the ground. The chemicals used have been changed over the last 7 years. I won’t go into that as it’s quite convoluted. The main point is the warranties provided. The main characteristic about PTP is the susceptibility to changes in temperatures, humidity and overall weather. In a nutshell this species will expand and contract based on climate conditions. Remember the sun is your enemy. The hotter its gets, the more it will expand. Ever notice decks built with PTP where the floor, rail caps or stair treads are cracking? This is a result of the sun. Ever notice how decking boards appear to “cup”. Cupping occurs as the edges of boards are stretching towards the sun in hot weather. A misnomer about cupping, it is not because the grain of the boards were placed incorrectly upon installation. It is simply a result of expansion and contraction.

Another consideration about PTP, the material needs to dry for at least 3-6 months prior to sealing or staining. When first installed, most boards will be damp. This is due to the chemicals within the product. You may notice the top of the deck boards are dry within a week or two, but that does not mean the entire board is dry. Remember vaporizing (drying) goes up through the board. In addition, as it dries the boards tend to shrink leaving gaps between deck boards.

The best advice I can pass on about PTP, is to keep the deck wet in the summer months. This does not mean hosing your deck off daily, but be conscious and apply as needed. Factors such as exposure to the sun (i.e. orientation of your deck to the sun) and shade need to be considered. I would suggest keeping an eye on the floor boards. If they show signs of cracking, hose it down. Once the cracking occurs, you will never be able to reverse that trend. So keep it wet!

Maintenance such as staining, stripping and cleaning are an integral aspect with any wood product exposed to exterior elements. This maintenance, on average, depends on exposure to the sun. Usually I hear people say they have to complete the work once per year. Ever notice how PTP has a light hue to it when a project is first built outside? Look again 3-6 months later (if not stained or painted), it begins to turn grey. This is due to the UV rays from the sun. In order to maintain a PTP product you can apply several methods:

 Semi-transparent Stain

 Opaque Stains

 Transparent Sealers

 Painting

Semi-Transparent Stains have a small amount of stain in them combined with UV protection. Lots of staining products on the market indicate claims and warranties that their particular goods contain UV protection. Of course that doesn’t take into account, normal wear and tear. This includes high traffic areas. The slight amount of stain in these products assists with deterioration. I see the best results with this method.

Opaque Stains are simply a stain that will change the color of the wood. If you really like this look, go for it, but be aware that your high traffic areas will deteriorate quicker. Compare that to low traffic areas where the stain is holding up. Now what do you do?

Transparent Sealers have no stain in them and just provide UV protection. Remember the UV rays are powerful and the decking will begin to turn grey, eventually. This is the easiest of methods as the “stripping” phase is less time consuming.

Painting is a bad idea especially with “horizontal” surfaces. This includes deck flooring, rail caps, bench seats, planters and steps. Paint will begin to chip and deteriorate when exposed to the elements over time. Think about it, where does the water sit? If you want to paint “Vertical” components (i.e. railing posts, pickets, porch posts, that will last longer in most cases.

Here are some recommendations and websites of products we have had good feedback on. The best of these products is Cabot Stain More expensive than most yet remember, you get what you pay for! I have seen success with Sherwin-Williams products as well. Lastly, I must profess, we do not provide staining or painting services as part of our business, but we do recommend an awesome painter if clients inquire.

Does this all mean that PTP is awful? Of course not. Many folks still build with PTP but we want to ensure clients understand how the product will perform. If you like the look of wood, PTP is a decent option, but be aware the maintenance required to maintain the beauty. I hope this helps. Cheers!

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!


Plan earlier for Spring!

Planning earlier for your deck, screen porch, pergola, gazebo to attain maximum use for warm weather.

Outdoor living is almost here!  We in the industry eagerly await the “season” to arrive.  We are implementing marketing plans, preparing or participating in home shows, developing action plans, meeting with potential customers regarding their plans and signing contracts.

It surprises me every year that more people don’t plan earlier for their project(s).  I know, like you we are caught up in the daily challenges of life; kids, work, homework and American Idol (I have to admit, it’s addicting).  Typically the phones really begin to ring (off the hook) by mid March and continue through October in this region of the country.  On average, by the time we meet, draw optional designs, implement contracts, submit for permits (including home owner associations and zoning requirements) and manage logistics, we typically cannot begin construction for at least 3-6 weeks once a contract is approved. 

On average a typical deck project takes about a week to construct.  For those that do plan in March, they can begin using their new addition by mid to late April.  What about the majority of our customers who wait till late April or May when it truly begins to get warm?  Unfortunately for those, it can be late June or July before they begin to use it.  Beware of contractors whom can start tomorrow!

My suggestion is to plan earlier.  If you are planning graduation parties, birthday parties or other events, please contact us earlier (or whomever you are thinking about contracting with).  Hopefully, contractors want to ensure they meet your deadlines.  I can assure you it’s vitally important to us. 

Did you know that Archadeck of Columbus can build year round?  Even though we experience cold weather, it doesn’t impede us from completing decks, screen porches, etc.  Annually we are fortunate enough to have business throughout the winter and build them.

Good Luck and I hope you attain your outdoor project this year and can use it all season!