What’s the difference between composite decks and synthetic decks in Columbus?

Archadeck of Columbus explains the difference in composite and synthetic decking materials.

Granville OH TimberTech decks
This Granville, OH deck was built using TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions which is a capped PVC product – beautiful.

The scope of outdoor structure materials has broadened in recent years to reflect a constant evolution of new technology. These products are built with longevity, convenience and beauty in mind. You may have heard the terms “composite” and “synthetic” used when referring to these materials. Many homeowners think these products are one and the same which is not the case. Composites and synthetics do include some of the same characteristics and benefits but are actually quite different. Archadeck of Columbus is here to explain the differences in our quest to help homeowner better understand each product and place a face with the name.

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

What is the difference between composite and synthetic?

Composite is a general term for the original form of low-maintenance decking. Some builders also use the technical term when referring to composites- which is wood plastic composites, or WPC. Composites came onto the scene in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. Composites are made up of wood pulp that is combined with plastic which is often derived from recycled plastic. This combination of wood pulp and plastic is used to create this low-maintenance decking material. The wood plastic composite is a great product but is one that we rarely sell anymore. Even though WPC’s don’t require staining or painting, they do need to be kept clean in order to be keep them looking and functioning their best. A good comparison of what can happen to a wood composite deck is to look at what an ignored leaf can do to a concrete driveway if it is not removed promptly. This is the same thing that can happen with your WPC deck if it is not kept clean. Since we are dealing with products that are outside in the elements on a daily basis, composite needs to be checked for any debris or dirt on a regular basis. WPC is still a great product to use on or in your outdoor structure design, but the growing trend is leaning toward more homeowners choosing synthetic over composite nowadays.

Azek Brownstone
This deck was built with AZEK in brownstone from their harvest color collection.

Synthetic decking materials encompass products that contain PVC. This can be a product that is built using solid PVC or capped (wrapped) with PVC. PVC or (poly vinyl chloride) is a product that is free of any wood. These decking products, known as the second generation of decking materials, came onto the scene about a decade ago. Pro-cell was the original PVC manufactures which was later purchased by AZEK ,which specialized in PVC trim used around homes. PVC products deliver the ultimate in low maintenance characteristics, but are generally at the higher end price point. Cost for synthetics can vary depending on the color, pattern and amount of streaking and undulation present. In general, the formulation of synthetic is very expensive and especially the synthetics that contain emulated natural wood details. Among the leader in solid PVC decking is of course, AZEK, but Fiberon and many other manufacturers are offering solid PVC along with their capstock and WPC lines.

TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Teak with Walnut Border
This deck uses two shades of the Earthwood Evolutions tropical line, Teak and Walnut, to add more visual interest to this stunning deck.

One of the newest synthetics is a composite wrapped in PVC. This product is often referred to as capstock decking. The advantages of both solid PVC and wrapped PVC products include reducing the amount of maintenance required by the homeowner, and more specifically a decrease in the amount of cleaning required to keep the deck looking new. Capped composites, or capstock include Trex Transcends and TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions. Most synthetic manufacturers stand behind their product with a 25 year warranty. Based on Archadeck of Columbus’ experience with these synthetic products, my belief is that many of these products will outlast their warranties by many years. The only downfall we have seen with PVC products is due to the elasticity of the material it will sometimes expand during the hotter days of the summer.

Multi_level_TimberTech_deck_with_outdoor_fireplace_Columbus_Archadeck
This TimberTech deck and outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Columbus is the perfect spot for entertaining.

In terms of price, composites are the least expensive and generally speaking a capped composite will be less expensive than a pure PVC product. TimberTech Twin Finish and Reliaboard are among some of the wood plastic composites that are available, but we recommend using a capped PVC product in most circumstances. The technology behind WPC has gotten better since their debut, but they still require lots of care and cleaning. Most all of the synthetic manufacturers are now in a stage of tweaking their color choices to offer a wider selection for homeowners to choose from. This includes more colors that contain streaking and undulation that mimics the beauty of natural wood. The technology behind making a stronger more resilient board is also improving.

Hopefully this information will quell any confusion about the differences between composite and synthetic. Our goal here at Archadeck of Columbus is to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision when choosing the material that bests suits your needs and budget for your new outdoor structure.

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

If you are ready to create an outdoor living space that will provide more time for enjoyment and less time focusing on maintaining your space, contact Archadeck of Columbus. We can help you choose the best decking material for you! Contact us today for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730- Email westcolumbus@archadeck.net

You can see more examples of composite and synthetic decks by visiting our decks photo gallery and our  composite and PVC decks photo gallery located on our website.

Don’t underestimate the power of color when designing your Columbus, OH deck.

There is more to choosing the perfect color palette for your new deck or outdoor space than meets the eye. Archadeck of Columbus emphasizes the importance of choosing the right color in order to get the most enjoyment from your space.

Columbus OH Timbertech deck in Sandridge
This deck is built using TimberTech decking in the Sandridge color. Not only does the color choice work with the colors of the home beautifully, it stays cooler because it is a lighter color. This is a good color if your deck faces south or west and receives a good deal of sun.

Color is an amazing thing. Not only does color effect our visual perception of an object or space, it can also affect our mood and even our health. Choosing the right color or combination of colors, for your deck or outdoor space is important. Many times so much thought is put into the shape, size and location of your deck that choosing the color seems like an afterthought. Choosing the right hue can impact not only how you view your outdoor space, it can also impact the amount of enjoyment you get out of your structure as well.

TimberTech River Rock color deck Columbus
River Rock is a TimberTech color which appeals to homeowners looking for a gray or taupe color for their deck.

Once you have chosen a contractor for your outdoor structure, hopefully they have helped provide suggestions on color choices. I know not having the tools and knowledge available to make an informed color choice can become frustrating. My wife and I are in the process of selecting colors for our new interior carpet and the miniscule 1 x 1 samples on carpet boards make it difficult to make a solid choice. Much can be said with other aspects of color selections within the interior and exterior of your home. Who invented those tiny paint chips anyway?

In this business, when it comes to decking materials, synthetics are a great product. Unfortunately, many synthetics offer only a limited number of color choices. Even though the biggest and best names such as AZEK and TimberTech introduce new color selections each year, they are still limited to maybe 8-12 choices at any given time. This makes choosing the right color a little more complicated. In order to get the most out of your outdoor investment we recommend taking certain factors into consideration when making your color selection.

TimberTech Earthwoods deck Columbus, OH
This TimberTech Earthwoods deck combines contrast through the white railings, and the decking color compliments the home but is not an exact match.

Orientation of the sun

Orientation of the sun should play a key role in the material you choose to finish your deck or outdoor space in as well as the color. What direction does your back yard face? If it faces the south or west then you won’t get a lot of shade. Since synthetic decking materials like composites and darker colors retain more heat a lighter hue may make your best choice. This is especially true if you enjoy going barefoot on your deck. Choosing a lighter color composite or choosing to build with a natural wood medium will help keep those toes cooler.

Studies have shown that composites retain more heat than wood because they are denser. Wood is a naturally good insulator and breathes unlike a synthetic. This enables the surface to stay cooler and hold less heat. This may not factor into your color or material choice as a make-or-break issue, but if you live in a warmer part of the country shaving a few degrees off the outdoor temperature can make a big difference.

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.

Compliment or contrast the colors of your house

When it comes to selecting colors, one idea is to bring in the colors that surround your planned outdoor space. What is the color scheme of your house? Even though you likely won’t be able to achieve an exact match to your home’s color, you will be able to get fairly close. Maybe consider choosing a lighter shade with the same base tint as your home’s exterior. Or choose a darker shade for an elegant color scheme. This falls into a complimentary color scheme and can deliver a well-rounded approach to choosing a color. If you want to match your decking color with your home you can do so by picking up the colors on different areas of your deck. For example, if you install a wood rail you may stain it match the color of your home. This would create a scenario where the decking surface differs from the rail and adds contrast which is also good.

If you plan to build an outdoor living combination such as a deck and patio combination make sure to pick your decking color first. It is easier to match your hardscape or paver colors to the deck than the other way around.

Pickerington, OH white vinyl pergola over TimberTech Cedar composite deck
This white vinyl pergola works in unison with a TimberTech composite deck in Cedar with white vinyl railings, and the home which is stucco.

Do your homework

Many of the synthetic decking websites have valuable color selecting tools that will aid in choosing your perfect color. TimberTech provides a  TimberTech color visualizer on their website that actually enables you to build a virtual custom deck. You have the ability to change the colors on the rails, balusters, posts and many other details to try each hue on for size. On the AZEK website there is a vast AZEK gallery of photos that has a plethora of examples of their colors and how they look in different scenarios and combinations from railing to trim.

We’d love to provide suggestions and guidance from our experience.  We have the knowledge of what is hot in terms of colors on the market, and what is not. Our personal favorite is Pacific Teak from TimberTech’s Earthwood line. Reddish tones are not popular in the Columbus area, and gray is making somewhat of a comeback especially with homeowners who have a gray home.

Columbus Ohio exotics composite deck with vinyl pergola
This color combination is truly a match made in heaven.

We provide many references and we highly encourage people to look at recent jobs we’ve completed to see what the decking looks like in “real-time”. Even if you feel comfortable with your builder, it is always a good idea to go and see real-life examples of their work. Contact Archadeck of Columbus to help you plan, design and build your perfect outdoor space. We can assist you with every aspect of the design and construction of your deck including choosing the hue that best suits you!

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

Call for free consultation today (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

To see more successful  decking color combinations visit our composite and vinyl deck gallery, our wood deck gallery and our decks gallery located on our website.

Composite vs. synthetic decking for your Columbus deck or porch

Archadeck of Columbus explores the world of synthetic decking products, from the original composite to the newer capstock decking.

Upper Arlington Columbus OH screen porch TimberTech
Synthetics are for more than just decks. This screened porch in Upper Arlington was built using a gorgeous TimberTech floor.

The term composite is used to describe a broad spectrum of low maintenance materials. Because of the new introductions to the market, there are other low maintenance products that are actually not composite materials. Many people are familiar with composites or the idea of composites and that has become the Coca-Cola of the low maintenance materials. Because of the new and improved low maintenance materials, we now call this category synthetic decking and composites are just one of the materials in this synthetic category.

Multi_level_TimberTech_deck_with_outdoor_fireplace_Columbus_Archadeck
This TimberTech deck and outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Columbus is the perfect spot for entertaining this spring.

Composites are a mix of materials including wood fiber and plastic.  Product lines such as the TimberTech Twin Finish, and Trex Accents are good examples of traditional  wood/plastic composites. Traditional composite has now become the value oriented decking board because of the new products that have joined the category. Wood particles are still part of the makeup of the product which makes it porous. If you spill coffee, wine, or grease on the deck you will want to clean it up quickly just as you would inside your home. Other environmental factors such as bird droppings can lead to staining if now cleaned properly. We expect that in the next 5-6 years these composite products will fall by the wayside, they will still remain available but will probably not experience any dramatic growth in the popularity of these products with the other newcomers that are making their way into the spotlight.

Azek Brownstone
This deck was built with AZEK in brownstone from their harvest color collection.

Pure PVC products came onto the scene about 5-6 years ago. Lines such as AZEK, and TimberTech’s XLM, and Fiberon are great examples of pure PVC decking materials. They consist of PVC foam and a hard PVC cap that is non-porous. They are non-porous and accordingly will not stain permanently however when they become soiled, they will need to be cleaned with soap and water. Just because it’s low maintenance doesn’t mean it’s self cleaning.  PVC comes in a host of colors and new color introductions are made onto the market almost every year, so the selection is vast. You can get solid colors such as the TimberTech Natural Collection, or the TimberTech Tropical collection which has more streaking to replicate the look of real tropical hardwoods. These PVC products are oil-based so the natural colors are the least expensive, and the tropical collection forges into the higher end of the synthetic cost spectrum.

TimberTech earthwood evolutions new colors 2012 Archadeck Columbus
TimberTech earthwood evolutions new colors 2012

The newest synthetic product came onto the scene 2-3 years ago. This is called capstock. Capstock is a third generation synthetic which is also referred to as capped PVC. This product contains a composite core which has been capped, or wrapped in PVC. TimberTech Evolutions and Trex Escapes are good examples of capstock. In the Columbus market, Fiberon is the most costly because it is not stocked locally. The TimberTech capstocks are popular in this area because they are good products and the close proximity to their national office makes them easily obtainable. TimberTech now has a capstock line called Evolutions that has a realistic look of tropical hardwoods with streaking, and color variations that mimic the real thing. TimberTech also offers a line of natural color capstock as well. The beauty of capstock is the performance and the price point. Capstock is less expensive than pure PVC and performs beautifully.

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

No matter which synthetic is right for your deck and your budget, Archadeck of Columbus can answer any questions you have about any of the decking products we offer. We also build wood decks as well. Whatever your function or  fancy, we can build it. Learn more about all our wonderful deck designs by contacting us today. Call for a free consultation: (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

See more great examples of synthetic decks by visiting our composite and PVC deck photo gallery located on our website.

A custom hot tub or spa deck is a personal place of refuge and relaxation for many homeowners.

Archadeck of Columbus takes the plunge into tranquil spa and hot tub decks that will soothe your aching muscles and your soul with design inspirations that are as beautiful as they are functional.

Monarch deck with vinyl pergola in Columbus, OH
This spa deck in Columbus, OH by Archadeck of Columbus has everything a deck could possibly offer.

More and more homeowners are choosing to invest in making their backyard into a place of refuge rather than splurging on exotic vacations and trips abroad in pursuit of the ultimate place to relax and rewind.  Hot tubs and spas are a popular choice among homeowners seeking to create a tranquil setting to escape to while staying in the comfort of their own back yards. What could be more perfect on a brisk autumn evening than soaking in the hot tub with a glass of Merlot? The steam wafting in the cool air around you and the sounds of the season captured by the sound of crisp leaves blowing in the breeze. This scene is set  and played out with your very own hot tub integrated as the focal point to your custom spa deck.

With the dawn of the personal hot tub or spa comes the custom spa deck to compliment the structure and add valuable outdoor living space as well. A customized  spa deck is perfect for entertaining, dining, grilling and cooking and any other activity you and your family enjoy doing outdoors. Keep in mind the need for easy accessibility from your home because you want to plan on using your spa during the fall and winter months for the utmost in warmth, ambiance and relaxation. Here is a stunning panorama of  spa and hot tub decks that will give you some ideas and inspiration in your own backyard.

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Archadeck of Columbus deck extension for hot tub with retractable awning
This deck extension by Archadeck of Columbus even has a retractable awning for the ultimate in comfort.

Here are some considerations when designing and building your spa or hot tube deck. A spa or hot tub deck is not just a deck with a hot tub placed in it or on it. There are certain areas within the structural criteria of a hot tub deck that must be met in order to accommodate the added weight for safety and to preserve the structural integrity of the deck as a whole. Many homeowners don’t take into consideration the full magnitude of the weight a hot tub or spa , once filled with water will add to the deck. This is why it is crucial to make sure your deck has the appropriate structural supports to accommodate the added weight of a hot tub or spa. When considering adding a hot tub or spa to your existing deck it is important to implement this support system as well. Utilizing the expertise and experience of a  professional licensed deck  builder to design and construct your deck is the best route to take when thinking of adding a hot tub or spa to the structure. In many cases a spa can add an additional weight of up to 2,000 pounds when filled with water and your deck will need to be sturdy enough to carry this weight without any stress. This sturdiness can be achieved by constructing a spa support deck, with either a concrete pad of wood platform.

Another consideration is having accessibility to the mechanics of the hot tub or spa. If the hot tub is located on top of the deck, access is simple, but with a partially or fully recessed hot tub you may need a trap door or have an access area built around it on 3 sides so as to have access to the control panel. Trap doors such as these are quite easy and can be designed to be hidden from view.

This stunning hot tub deck takes curves to a new level
The curvilinear design of this hot tub deck wraps you in beauty and comfort.

Aside from the structural diversity that is required when building your spa deck, there are many design options available when deciding how to finish out your spa deck. Above all, location of the hot tub itself is an important decision. Archadeck of  Columbus likes to think outside the box in terms of locations for your spa or hot tub. Many times homeowners make the mistake of placing the hot tub in the center of the deck. This can be a major design flaw which will affect the flow and use of your deck. The first rule of thumb is to never place the hot tub in front of a window. This will become a regrettable decision because it will restrict your view and soon become an eyesore. From experience we have found that most popular with homeowners is partially recessing the hot tub within the deck.  Hot tubs are most typically 3 feet high and many times homeowners decide to mount the hot tub flush with the deck so you actually “step into” the hot tub. We also see a great many top mountings as well. The only dangers we see if when the hot tub is partially recessed it can present a challenge when exiting and entering the hot tub, and a tripping hazard in some cases as well.  For example, consider placing the hot tub within a curvilinear corner, or incorporate the spa to be surrounded by bench seating that will make the perfect place to sit down and take off your shoes to dip your fit in the warm bubbling water. If entering and exiting the hot tub seems as though it may present a problem, steps can easily be incorporated into the design to make gaining entry to the hot tub easy and safe. Keep space in mind as well when considering how your hot tub or spa will integrate into your decks design. If you choose a hot tub with a cover that has an arm, for instance, you will need ample space to back it up comfortably.

When your hot tub is in use privacy as well as shading can be important. Many homeowners choose to build privacy walls adjacent to the hot tub, this offers shade from the sun and also keeps prying eyes away. Pergolas look great when paired with hot tubs and spa features as well and can also provide ample shade and privacy.

Selecting the right material for your hot tub or spa deck is also important, after all you don’t want to get splinters in those bare feet. There are many quality composite and PVC decking materials, as well as natural woods on the market that are designed specifically for areas around water. There are many brands that offer slip-resistance and that also keep heat build-up to a minimum so they are easy on your bare feet. TimberTech , AZEK and many others have lines specified for use on pool and spa decks, and some are even formulated for use on docks such as TimberTech’s Docksider decking.

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

Now is the perfect time to consider taking the plunge into a spa or hot tub deck of your own. The chill of Autumn creates a stunning backdrop for the soothing waters of a spa or hot tub.  Archadeck of Columbus can design and build a hot tub or spa deck that will compliment your home and your lifestyle. We can even incorporate other outdoor living structures such as an outdoor fireplace or firepit into your decks design that will enable you to enjoy two of natures most mesmerizing and powerful  elements in unison. To learn more about the magic you can create in your own backyard with a hot tub or spa deck contact us today (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

To experience more serene inspiration visit out pool and spa deck gallery located on our website.

Top 5 Reasons to Build a Composite/Synthetic Deck by Archadeck of Columbus.

Archadeck of Columbus gives you the top 5 reasons to build a composite/synthetic deck.

Composite deck Columbus
This composite/synthetic deck by Archadeck of Columbus says it all.

When considering which type of decking material to construct your new deck from the number of choices, this otherwise easy task can turn into a quite daunting one.  It can seem sometimes like there is a little person on each shoulder, one of which is shouting “wood” and the other is shouting “composite”. Archadeck of Columbus is here to help you silence the shouting. Composite/synthetic is definitely the way to go for many reasons. The low maintenance, the beauty, and the consistency to remain looking like new are just a few reasons to choose composite/synthetic decking for your new deck. We have compiled a list of the top 5 reasons to build your new deck out of synthetics. The list is in no particular order of importance and was compiled to assist homeowners in making the daunting task of choosing their decking material a little easier.

columbus TimberTech Earthwood
TimberTech's Earthwood composites have the look of wood without the headaches.

1) No staining or painting, ever– with any wood deck you’re going to need to take care of it. Wood is also a natural material therefore, eventually, with any wood, it will rot. Depending on the deck’s location in relation to the sun, you might have to maintain a wood deck more readily if it is facing west with the sun’s rays beating down onto it constantly. Wood needs to be treated at a minimum of once per year. Wood decks also require power-washing to remove staining prior to sanding. It is also recommended to pre-treat a wood deck to ensure cleanliness before you apply any stain or paint. An average 300 sq. foot deck can cost between $500 to $900 per year to maintain properly. If your wood deck has a lot of details such as railings it can take a tremendous amount of time to stain or paint as well.

2) No more tweezer torture– Okay, we can all relate to this one. You or the kids get a splinter by simply walking barefoot across your wooden deck or one of the kids inevitably picks up a splinter every time they chase each other around the deck. You’re yelling stop running but it’s not because you’re scared of a fall. It’s because you dread putting your kids through tweezer torture to get splinters out. If your wood deck is not kept up to par, splinters will become an issue. Wood will move and expand with heat, and when it expands, it will not always shrink back and this causes splinters. Splinters can be a real headache, especially when you have to get out the tweezers to painfully remove the splinter and put yourself or your child through an instant replay of pain. Splinters hurt as much coming out as they do going in. Who wants a deck you can’t enjoy in your bare feet anyway?

TimberTech Earthwoods with Aluminum railings Columbus
This composite/synthetic deck by Archadeck of Columbus will retain its beauty for many years to come.

3) What you see is what you get– Synthetics retain that “like new” color and feel , so what you see is what you will still have years from now. Synthetics won’t fade like wood. Wood can fade gradually and over time you no longer get what you paid for, sort of like that expensive pair of designer jeans that fade out in the wash over time, one day you look down and think “wow” what happened?

4) 15 year warranty for wood VS 25+ year warranty on composite/synthetic– This one is really a “no brainer”. Usually the 15-year warranty on wood has a clause about “normal wear and tear”, which includes the pains of naturally aging wood like splintering, twisting, cupping, checking not to mention the other aches and pains of naturally weathering wood like fading among others. Today’s composite/synthetic decking has a 25+ year warranty, and they’ve only been around for close to 20 years, so the product could exceed the warranty by years beyond that.

Azek Harvest Series - Brownstone
This AZEK deck entails quality, beauty and a warranty to match.

5) A smart investment– If you’re making an investment in your home, it should be a smart investment. You wouldn’t buy a brand new car only to anticipate the transmission falling out after only  1,000 miles would you? Of course not, then why invest in a deck that is going to decay and fade over time when you can invest in a deck that will be like driving it off the showroom floor in 10 years?

With so many positive attributes in composite/synthetic decking nowadays, it is easy to make an informed and smart decision. Another great choice is pure PVC decking products such as  AZEK, TimberTech XLM and TimberTech Earthwood Essentials. These pure PVC products are non-porous , so stains won’t happen at all. You can also learn more about composite/synthetic decking materials by reading a wonderful story written last year on the subject https://columbus-decks.com/2010/02/11/wood-plastic-composites-vs-pvc-decking/

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

To learn more about the joys of  owning a composite/synthetic deck contact Archadeck of Columbus (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net We can create a deck that is made to enjoy, not to constantly worry about maintaining.

You can also see photos of other stunning composite/synthetic decks in our photo gallery at http://columbus.archadeck.com/pickYourProject/composite-and-vinyl.html

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

Wood Plastic Composites vs. PVC Decking

What are the differences between composites and pvc decking and how to keep composites clean?

Timbertech XLM Desert Bronze, Columbus, Ohio

When we began designing and building decks and screen porches, the majority of customers were interested in wood with a small percentage intrigued about composites, or low maintenance decking.  In the last 10 years, we have seen exponential growth in the low maintenance decking class in brands, color choices and styles.

Over the past 5 years, we have built approximately 70% of our projects in composites or with the newest technological advancement….PVC decking.  If you are not familiar with wood/plastic composites or PVC decking options, here are some differences to consider including a couple recommendations on products and cleaning solutions.

Wood/Plastic Composites

Composite decking is nothing more than wood flour mixed with plastics and extruded into a “low maintenance” decking board.  Please note I did not say “no maintenance”.    Most composites contain 50% wood and 50% plastic.  Natural products such as wood are affected by the elements.  This equates to fading, scratching and contending with dirt, snow, rain, etc. which necessitates some cleaning.  This may sound somewhat counterproductive, but it surely is easier than stripping and staining a wood deck every year.

My wife and I have 2 young boys, so we are constantly in man to man defense and they still spill drinks all the time!  The simple answer is when it gets dirty, or you or someone else spills something, hose it off.   Most soap and water solutions will remove the grime.  You can use a power washer, but it is not recommended (have you seen what a power washer can do to concrete?).  Should a “stain” go unclean for a longer period, it may need more “elbow grease”.    Some recommended cleaners are:

  • CorteClean
  • OxiClean
  • Cabot’s Composite Deck Cleaner
  • Jomax

Mold and mildew is a different issue.  Mold can grow on anything.  The quality composites contain mold inhibitors which hinder mold spores from feeding.   For more information on mold and how to remove it refer to this article written by the North American Deck and Railing Association. http://www.nadra.org/consumers/understanding_mold.html

Our most requested wood plastic composite is Timbertech.  We have used many composites around the country and by far Timbertech is the top of the class in the category of wood/plastic composites.  Their three products in this series are:

  • Reliaboard is their newest product to enter the market.  Colors are Cedar and Grey.
  • Twinfinish is the standard and comes in 3 colors, Cedar, Gray and Redwood. 
  • Earthwood series is beautiful and includes black streaking within the product to give a look of exotic hardwoods.  Colors include Teak, Walnut and Rosewood. 
Timbertech Twinfinish - Cedar
Timbertech Deck Columbus, Ohio
Timbertech Earthwood Deck Columbus, Ohio

The products are listed according to price point, Reliaboard being the least expensive.  Feel free to read their user-friendly website (link above).

PVC Decking

This category of decking entered the market about 5 years ago and has grown in popularity.  The main difference is there is no wood mix.  They are solid core cellular pvc, or in other words, pure plastic.  The advantages of this is they are more stain and scratch resistant than wood/plastic composites.  With the lack of wood in the products, they are denser and less porous which means lower maintenance; simply clean periodically with a soap and water solution.  Another advantage is they will fade less compared to composites (no wood in them).

The disadvantages of this type of decking is cost and, to some, appearance.  They do have the look and feel of plastic.  In addition, color choices are limited but lately we have seen additional darker colors choices including streaking to enhance the appearance.

Timbertech XLM (extreme low maintenance) entered the market 3 years ago.  They have the most beautiful board, Desert Bronze (streaking included) but it is the most expensive.  Other colors available in XLM are Sand Ridge, Mountain Cedar, and River Rock.

Timbertech XLM Deck, Powell, Ohio

   Azek is another option to consider.  The Harvest Collection series offers basic colors, but in my opinion, are a little bland.  They introduced two new series, the Terra Collection (2009) and the new Arbor Collection (2010) with darker colors.  The least expensive is the Harvest Collection up to the Arbor series.  Check out their website for more information.

Azek Brownstone
Azek Brownstone with White Vinyl Rail, Columbus, Ohio
Azek Brownstone with Cedar Rail, Powell, Ohio

There are many more choices to consider, such as Evergrain, Fiberon and Trex.  We at Archadeck are the largest conglomerate of design and build services in the Decking and Screen Porch industry.  The recommendations of Timbertech and Azek are Archadeck’s definitive favorites, especially Timbertech.  Feel free to contact us should you have any questions!

Michael