When it comes to planning your Columbus outdoor oasis, wood can be good, as long as you are ready and willing to perform maintenance

Archadeck of Columbus explores the pros and cons of wood and whether natural wood is a good choice for you to use on your deck or outdoor space.

Cedar deck in Columbus OH with Pressure Treated Pine Deck features custom Cedar Rail Posts
Cedar deck in Columbus, OH with pressure treated pine rail posts.

Nothing compares to the rich beauty of natural wood. Bear in mind, that beauty comes at a price; wooden outdoor spaces have to be properly maintained in order to keep them looking and functioning their best. If maintenance is not your thing, then choosing natural wood as the main ingredient to your outdoor living space is strongly discouraged. If maintenance is an aspect of having the wooden outdoor space of your dreams which you are willing to conscientiously partake in, then wood is good for you.

Wooden outdoor structures, such as decks can be high maintenance. The amount of maintenance is based on your space’s orientation with the sun, this is especially the case if your home faces south or west. If your home faces directly in correlation with the sun then you will have to clean and stain it more often than if your project faces north or east. Even though many times wood is the least expensive of the outdoor structure building materials available, it will require maintenance to ensure its longevity.

This custom designed deck was constructed in Powell, Ohio Pressure treated pine
Custom designed pressure treated pine deck in Powell, OH.

In climates such as ours in Ohio, we experience freeze and thaw conditions. These temperate conditions can cause wooden outdoor spaces to expand and contract more often than homeowners in the south who experience a milder, more level climate. Pressure treated pine is one of the most commonly used materials for outdoor living space projects and is very susceptible to contraction and expansion. Pressure treated wood is infused with “green” chemicals that preserve it and offer protection from bug infestation and termites, but it will not prevent movement occurrences as a result of our climate.

In order to counteract the damage that can occur with wood, and to prevent degradation, Archadeck of Columbus recommends regular maintenance. This maintenance includes staining and sealing your wooden deck. We do not offer services for staining, we typically outsource it. For new decks, we advise waiting 3-6 months before staining and sealing it. Typically homeowners can expect to have to re-stain their wood deck every 1-2 years depending upon sun exposure. Keep in mind, this will be a requirement with any kind of wood. White cedar for example, doesn’t expand and contract as readily as pressure treated pine but it can still regress when exposed to the continuous stress of the elements.

Pressure treated pine deck features custom cedar rail posts in Columbus, OH.
Pressure Treated Pine Deck features custom Cedar Rail Posts in Columbus OH

Another factor that can lead to the degradation of wooden decks is the wrath of the sun. The sun is your biggest enemy when it comes to wooden structures. We covered many of the key points of wooden degradation in a previous post titled ” Pressure treated pine- a maintenenace nightmare”. 

Archadeck of Columbus vehemently discourages painting a deck, or any other wooden horizontal outdoor living surface. The reason   is because the paint doesn’t actually adhere to the deck’s surface.It just sits on top of it. With staining you are getting deep enough into the wood to alter the pigment and offer protection to the wood. Even though the Columbus area receives an abundant amount of rain and moisture for the better part of the year, in summer it turns dry and hot. The sun will beat up the wood and you will begin to see where the wood fibers separate, raise up and then splinter. You can avoid this by keeping your deck moist during the hot, dry months by taking a hose to it and wetting it down thoroughly every few days. This prevents drying out, because once the wood starts to separate it will never recover. A good rule of thumb is to “water” your deck when you water your plants during the worst summer months.

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Many composites emulate the look of wood beautifully and require very little maintenance.

When you make the decision to use wood as your deck or outdoor space medium, it is never a question of “if” it will  inevitably be affected by the elements, it is a question of “how soon”. If you don’t mind taking care of your deck, then it can be beautiful and serve you well. If a wood deck is really well maintained and has minimal sun exposure it can last 20-25 years. If you aren’t willing to spend the time it takes to own a wooden outdoor space, there is a plethora of low-maintenance choices  available as a beautiful alternative to wood.

Contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn how wood can be good in your outdoor living space design, and to learn about the low-maintenance designs we offer too.  Call us for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730 or email us atwestcolumbus@archadeck.net

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

Please visit our wooden deck photo gallery and our composite, vinyl and PVC deck photo gallery located on our website to experience our large selection of deck design ideas

Choose the right hue for your Columbus deck and create a fabulous outdoor space

Archadeck of Columbus explores the design and color trends in synthetic decking for 2013, what’s hot, what’s not and the importance of choosing the right decking material and color to express your style.

TimberTech XLM Harvest Bronze deck with TimberTech Radiance Rail Columbus
Choosing the right color for your new synthetic deck can be a daunting task, we can help.

Choosing the right color for your new synthetic deck can be a daunting task. Colors in general are a very personal detail of any project. In most cases homeowners will make their color selections based on complimenting the deck color to that of  their home or contrasting with their home. Each of these approaches to choosing a color for your deck can be quite powerful, but therein is where the problem can lie; choosing the right hue even when dealing with neutrals can open up a wide spectrum of choices. Too many choices can lead to confusion and uncertainty. Nowadays, brown is more than just a singular shade. There are a wide range of browns that start from light to dark and everything in between. With synthetic decking, there may be a dozen natural tone options.

If you can’t match the color of your new deck perfectly to the color of your home, don’t fret. Most houses have basic colorations of brown, gray or white, whether these colors are part of the hues in your masonry or whether they are the colors of your siding or trim. If your home has white siding for example, white is the perfect companion to any color you choose for your synthetic decking.

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This deck was completed in Walnut from the TimberTech Earthwoods Evolution line of decking.

Even though the New Year has just begun, we have already seen new color trends emerge from some of the top synthetic decking manufacturers. We work closely with these companies to keep homeowners “in the know” about what is new, what is popular and what we foresee as being hot for 2013. Some of the up and coming colors are brown hues, which also include streaked colors that give the decking a more exotic feel closer to the look of natural hardwoods. With brownish tones, there are numerous choices such as light browns and dark browns that mimic the look of Walnut which is really popular right now. Walnut in the TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions line is highly requested among our customers, as well as Walnut Grove which is a TimberTech XLM color. The only drawback to using a dark brown is that they indeed show dirt more easily than a lighter brown, much like a dark colored car seems to get dusty more often. Dark colors also retain more heat and are hotter to the touch. If the orientation of your deck receives a great deal of sun, this is an important consideration. Along with the many browns, there are also a lot of grays, and even reddish hues that resemble rust or terra-cotta tones. These hues are not requested as often as earth tones.

Azek Brownstone colored multi-level deck with Gazebo and Vinyl Rails, Reynoldsburg, OH, Columbus, OH
This multi-level deck and gazebo finished in AZEK Brownstone with vinyl rails.

AZEK synthetic decking also has a myriad of beautiful hues to choose from when considering color selections. One of their most popular colors is Acacia which is part of their beautiful Brownstone collection. Acacia is a darker brown with all the undulation and streaking that closely matches natural wood. Another great color by AZEK is Brownstone from their Harvest collection. Brownstone incorporates the best of both worlds by covering the realm of both gray and brown in this color. It makes a fabulous choice for contrast and complimentary color selections.

If you really are set on exactly matching your deck to the color of your home, you may consider choosing an all wood product as opposed to a synthetic deck. With wood, you can match it easily to any color by simply applying stain. Wood is also a less expensive investment to make when compared to synthetics. If you do however choose an exotic hardwood such as Ipe, then it is likely the price point will be about the same as synthetic. Exotic hardwoods have a lot of character including wood graining which resembles the graining and details of an interior walnut hardwood floor. These woods are dense and require more labor, which can be more expensive, because the holes have to be pre-drilled prior to installation.

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Ipe exotic hardwood deck in Columbus, OH.

All wood has to be stained or sealed. It’s never a good idea to paint a deck. Painting a deck can result in bubbling and it will also peel off very quickly, just imagine what our interior walls would look like if we walked on them?!  We urge you to have your outdoor living structure professional steer you in the right direction to make the most informed decision on choosing your deck’s color. Remember, if you find a color you like there are always ways to bring your home’s color into your space. Whether you apply your home’s color to vertical accessories or by matching your house or house trim, there is always a fabulous way to pull it all together.

If you are ready to turn your backyard into a design masterpiece this year, contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn how.We can turn your outdoor space into a thing of beauty and joy. Call for a free consultation today (740) 879 – 3730 westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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

You can see great examples of the magic of color by visiting our composite and PVC deck gallery, and our wood deck gallery, located on our website.