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!

Decking Trends

A review of decking and composite trends for 2010 outdoor living spaces

Carol and I are excited about contributing to the information age by assisting homeowners with their questions, concerns and product choices pertaining to outdoor living.

As winter nears its end (hopefully!), we are eager to begin another season of designing and constructing decks, screen porches, pergolas, gazebos and patios in the Columbus area.  We would like to take a quick moment to reflect on our accomplishments of 2009 and then share upcoming trends.

I just returned from Archadeck’s National Workshop and we were honored to receive three awards, the Customer Service Achievement Award, the Archadeck Design Award for one of our projects completed last year and the Performance Profile Award.  It’s certainly nice to be a recipient of any award, but we were especially grateful to receive the service award for the 5th consecutive year as this is the staple any business should strive for.  Too bad most forget this simple value. 

During the course of the workshop, I was again reminded how lucky I am to be part of such a professional community of outdoor living entrepreneurs.  The opportunity to interact and learn from each other is energizing and further re-enforces Archadeck’s commitment to each and every client.

On to trends, we continue to witness the growth of low maintenance decking options and color selections continue to evolve.  In addition, low maintenance pergolas and fencing options are available. Hidden fasteners are becoming more prevalent for those who prefer a cleaner appearance.    Composite (low maintenance) decking still remains our most requested product on our decks.  We highly recommend Timbertech http://timbertech.com and Azek http://azek.com decking as our most trusted products.  More on low maintenance products in future posts.

We also have seen an increase in deck and patio combinations. Normally this would consist of a deck design stepping down to a patio area.  Depending on materials, one can achieve this look without necessarily spending more money.  Instead of one large deck or patio, split the difference.  Now you can enjoy two distinct entertaining areas with different appearances!

Outdoor kitchens are continuing to grow.  We will be offering modular or custom designed kitchens through our new partner Outdoor Kitchen Creations.  Check out their website should you wish to consider:  http://outdoorkitchencreations.net

We are eagerly preparing for the “season”.  Should you wish, feel free to peruse our website, contact us or visit us over the next month at two upcoming home shows:

Home Improvement Show, Franklin County Veterans Memorial, Friday, February 19-21

Central Ohio Home and Garden Show, Ohio Expo Center, February 27- March 7

Thanks for visiting and we look forward to further postings.  Enjoy!