An old deck becomes new again with Archadeck of Columbus

Perhaps your deck frame is just fine and it just looks bad on top. Depending on the stability of your deck frame, you may have that option to reduce costs. Watch this video to see how an old deck becomes new with replacing the deck boards on top.

Last week, we wrote about transforming an old beaten-down deck into a brand new deck using low-maintenance composite materials. Watch this video to see more of the transformation.

Can parts of your old deck be salvaged to reduce cost in replacing your deck?

A qualified deck professional will be glad to inspect your existing deck to determine if you can replace the top layer but keep your existing sub-structure for a reduced cost in replacing your deck.

If you have an existing deck that is badly in need of replacement, there’s a chance you don’t have to scrap the entire thing. If the foundation is fit, you may be able to “re-deck” it which means utilizing the existing under structure but replacing the decking boards, railing and stairs or thing top part of the structure.

Before re-deck

For these Hilliard, Ohio homeowners, this is exactly what we did. The existing deck was originally multi leveled and contained a hot tub. The original deck had a hot tub which took up a considerable amount of the usable living space. The owners wanted to remove the hot tub which had previously necessitated a minor step-up that further restricted the usable living space. In removing the hot tub, we were able to level out the deck which increased the usable living space by 100 more feet. How do you know if your existing deck under structure is sound enough to support re-decking? Call a qualified, reputable decking company for an estimate. They will be able to evaluate your deck to see if it is a candidate for re-decking.

We used TimberTech XLM which is an extremely low maintenance PVC decking board. We also used TimberTech XLM for the rail cap. TimberTech XLM is a non-wood, non-porous material that you can easily keep clean just by hosing off. We used vinyl railings with vinyl risers on the stairs. The skirting was done out of vinyl lattice. All of which are also structurally appealing and very low maintenance.

The boards for the deck were run on a diagonal . We also used parting boards in the middle of this uniquely shaped deck. This is a design element within decking that not only looks great it also eliminates having to splice decking boards together. Hidden fasteners were used throughout so there would be no signs of screws anywhere.

Archadeck’s Design Rendering of Re-deck

The addition of the outdoor lighting made a dramatic impact with the homeowner on this deck. All the stair risers have recessed lighting for safety and for a tranquil, soothing effect in the evenings. We also used lights on the posts. The post lights were done out of low voltage TimberTech accent lights, these lights give you capability of hiding the wiring inside the posts themselves. Larger rail posts were chosen by the homeowner to compliment the lighting. By using a 6×6 post as opposed to the normal 4×4 used on decks such as this, we were able to accentuate the post lights so they weren’t as snug.

TimberTech in Desert Bronze w/ Bronze Post Lights

The colors on this deck harmonized together beautifully. It was important to the customer to use contrasting colors so we used desert bronze by TimberTech on the rail cap  and used bronze colored riser lights that really brought out the color of the desert bronze decking.

This particular job came together beautifully. The worry-free, low-maintenance materials, the deck lighting and all the details made a big impact on the finished project. If a new deck is in your sights, or you are considering re-decking your existing deck give Archadeck of Columbus a call. From the planning stages all the way to the finished project, we are there to make your visions a reality.

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

Give us a call for a free consultation or to discuss your next outdoor project. (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

We look forward to talking to you.

Archadeck Enhances Services with Landscape Design and Installation

Archadeck Welcomes Rob Mitchell!!

Archadeck of Columbus is constantly striving to improve our business, as well as diversify the type of projects we offer.

Through the years we have worked with several quality landscape companies to assist us with hardscapes, such as paver patios, seating walls, outdoor fireplaces and firepits.  Starting in 2011, we are taking the information we have learned over the years and will be providing those hardscape services right here at Archadeck!

We would like to introduce Rob Mitchell, our Outdoor Living Design Consultant.  Rob has a 16 year background in landscape/hardscape design and installation.  Archadeck of Columbus has had the pleasure of working with Rob on numerous projects over the last 10 years.  Impressed with his attention to detail, ability to listen to client’s needs, customer service skills and knowledge, his services are just what we need to assist us in our continued growth.

Rob has been involved in the design, installation and management of projects such as paver patios, retaining walls, seating walls, firepits, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, natural stone patios, natural stone retaining walls, boulder accents, masonry applications, low voltage outdoor lighting, bed formations and plant installations.  His product knowledge and vast experience will be a tremendous benefit to our clients.

We would like to welcome Rob to our team and urge you to consider Archadeck of Columbus for “All Your Outdoor Living Needs”.

Archadeck of Columbus

 

Synthetic Deck with Hot Tub and Paver Patio

(740) 879-3730

Web:  www.columbus.archadeck.com

Email:  westcolumbus@archadeck.net

Top 10 Reasons for Building a Screen Porch

Here are top reasons why consumers add screen porches to their homes.

  1. Shade
  2. No Bug Spray
  3. Darkened Screens reduce UV exposure
  4. Enjoy the outdoors with a “bit” of privacy
  5. No Bug Spray
  6. Increase the Value of your Home
  7. Enjoy a thunderstorm without getting wet
  8. Create the look of a rustic cabin in your own backyard
  9. Significant reduction in wood maintenance with a roof
  10. No Bug Spray

    

Screen Porch, Columbus, Ohio

   

What is it about Screen Porches?  I dont know anyone I’ve ever met whom didn’t enjoy the setting and atmosphere of a porch.   

Screen Porch, Columbus, Ohio

   

For me it was indoctrination.  We have a cabin in Canada that my grandfather built in the late 1930’s.  There is no better place than sitting on that Screen Porch.  The view is spectacular, but the fun part is watching all the bugs fighting to get in from outside.  If you have ever ventured up north, they are more mosquitos than maple leafs!   

I always ask folks why they are interested in adding a screen porch.  Most of the responses are similar to my story and the main reasons are listed above but many more exist.  Give us a call should you wish to explore the options!   

Cheers!

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 http://www.cabotstain.com More expensive than most yet remember, you get what you pay for! I have seen success with Sherwin-Williams products as well. http://www.sherwin-williams.com 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

http://www.dispatchevents.com/home_garden.php

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

Michael

Decks Add to Home Equity

Decks and Outdoor Living Projects are still a good investment!

Outdoor living has been the investment homeowners have persued over the past 5-10 years.  Studies over this period have shown outdoor living projects have matched or exceeded kitchen and bath improvements in returns on investment. 

With the recent decline in our economy, we are all re-aligning our portfolios, saving more and spending less.   My wife and I have adjusted our lifestyles as well.  We are eating out a lot less, circumvented vacations with “staycations”,  and overall, are much more conscious on how we spend our income.

The economy has certainly affected our business as well.  Although we are in construction, I am most thankful that we are not homebuilders or operate a lumber yard.  With the plethera of home inventories, this segment has sufferred significantly.  Remodelers however,  have not sufferred as extensively.  Lately, we are beginning to see an increase in interest in homeowners whom have no plans in moving and want to find a way to secure thier home investments.

The 2009-2010 Cost vs. Value report published by Remodeling Magazine evaluates returns on investments for various home improvement projects based on regions of the country.  Specifically decks, like other home improvements sufferred in 2007-2008, but indicators are improving.  Feel free to review the article.

http://www.remodeling.hw.net/2009/costvsvalue/national.aspx

In order to assist you with this analysis, keep in mind the percentage listed on the return is the amount of money you would potentially get back if you sold your home within the 1st year after completing the project.    For example, in the East North Central Region (which includes Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin), if you spent $15,620 on a composite deck, you would potentially get back 62%, or approximately $10,000 back if you sold your home within a year.  Naturally the longer you stay in your home, the percentage should rise accordingly each year.

Feel free to contact us should you need assitance.

Cheers!

Michael