Archadeck of Columbus ponders the considerations of re-decking your existing wood deck in synthetic

Archadeck of Columbus discusses the benefits of choosing to re-deck your existing wood deck with synthetic decking.

After -Redecking in TimberTech Earthwood by Archadeck of Columbus
We removed the decking and railings on this deck in Powell, OH and resurfaced the existing structure using TimberTech composite decking- stunning!

Being in the business of outdoor structures, Archadeck of Columbus has seen our fair share of maintenance nightmares with pressure treated wood. If you are considering the addition or a new deck, or it has come time to re-deck your existing deck, there are some things you need to know before you make the final material decision. With a growing trend towards longevity and low-maintenance, synthetic decks deliver on both. Out of the approximately 80 synthetic deck projects we do in a year, about 30 of those are re-decks, and the majority of these are re-decking from pressure treated to synthetic.

This is the before image of the same deck pictured above. The original deck was built using cedar.
This is the before image of the same deck pictured above. The original deck was built using cedar.

Keep in mind that all outdoor structures are built with pressure treated pine framing. This is used so the structure does not rot over time, and also so no termites will eat it. There are other natural woods that can be used for framing purposes, such as cedar, but they cost significantly more and deliver the same results as using pressure-treated. Most of the time, when we are inspecting an existing deck as part of the planning process for a re-decking project, the framing members are usually still in great shape. This allows us to re-deck the surface, re-skin and put the new synthetic down. 95% of the cases where we have an existing wood structure, we are able to use the structure for the re-decking. There are times when Archadeck of Columbus may need to add additional framing, replace insufficient framing, or repair the framing before we can proceed. In these cases, it is most often because the framing was not completed correctly when the deck was originally built and it involves getting the deck up to our quality standards before we will proceed.

Before- this old Cedar Deck which was beginning to show some structural deterioration. Note the stairs in particular. They are not level as evidenced by the railings.
Before- this old Cedar Deck which was beginning to show some structural deterioration. Note the stairs in particular. They are not level as evidenced by the railings.

How many of you have seen a wood deck that looks really bad? If you have, then you probably remember the wood on the deck floor may have started to crack and deteriorate. Maybe the nails used to install the deck were popping and protruding from the flooring boards even though the railings were in half decent shape in comparison to the floor. The reason for this is a natural phenomenon that horizontal surfaces tend to get beat up, and suffer from less wear and tear over time than vertical surfaces. On the majority of our re-decks we install new railing, but it is often possible to retain your existing railing and install only a new rail cap, but this is only in certain circumstances.

The design was changed and allowed for better traffic flow, especially with the addition of the paver patio. Timbertech Earthwood Decking was installed with a Cedar Railing including black aluminum pickets.
The design was changed allowing for better traffic flow. TimberTech Earthwood Decking was installed with a Cedar Railing including black aluminum pickets. The trim and railings were stained to match the trim on the home. This beautiful! Project was custom designed and built in Dublin, OH.

The growing trend towards synthetics has become more evident over the past 5 years. In our market where we are building decks, 70-80% of the time the demand is for synthetic versus wood, and the primary being synthetic; rewind five years back, and this data was in reverse with the wood being in higher demand. With re-decking, as with any of our outdoor living structure projects, we are always happy to comply with the homeowners budgetary needs and aesthetics. Most often Archadeck of Columbus recommends re-decking in a synthetic decking such as TimberTech because of the low maintenance and longevity benefits. Being a predominately wood builder, we try to communicate the maintenance needs, care and protection required of choosing to re-deck with wood to the homeowners so they may make the best decision to suit their lifestyle and needs.  If you are considering re-surfacing your tired wood deck with a synthetic, the most popular one is our region is TimberTech. By choosing a synthetic product such as TimberTech, they not only offer an array of up and coming selections such as their XLM , Terrain and Earthwood Evolutions line, you are also eliminating the chore of painting and staining your deck in the future.

Last but certainly not least, one of the most important considerations is replacing the cost associated with re-decking your existing wood deck with synthetic. Synthetics are typically double the cost of the traditional pressure treated pine deck. Before you make the decision to re-deck in synthetic you should take into account the time you plan to live in your home. If you stay in your home 4 or 5 years or longer, you will get your money out of it and you will also create an investment that you and your family can enjoy into the future!

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

If you are considering a new deck, or re-deck in the future, contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn more about the many options we offer. We can help you choose the right decking material that best suits your lifestyle and budget. Call us for a free consultation today (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

You can see more examples of wood to synthetic redecking, and backyard makeovers by visiting our composite and PVC deck photo gallery and our before and after 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.

Help! Where do I put my grill?

Archadeck of Columbus welcomes the season for grilling with designs especially suited for grilling out on your deck, porch or patio.

TimberTech deck with grill area under cover
This TimberTech deck has a special covered area perfect for grilling out when summer showers arrive to keep the cook dry.

With the season of outdoor living in full swing many of us look forward to the smell of delicious food cooking on the grill and the camaraderie that so often comes along with it. If you want your grill to be part of your new outdoor living area, you need to take some serious considerations into account when designing your new area. You want the location of your grill to be extremely convenient. You can either allocate space on your deck, porch or patio for a grill. Another viable option is to actually add space by extending an area for your grill on your deck, porch or patio such as a deck bump-out or a grill rack.

A few helpful hints to remember if you are planning on incorporating your grill into your deck or patio is that sizes of various grills can differ. A typical gill is 4.5′ wide, but larger models can span from 5′ to 5.5′. With this in mind you want to consider the amount of space the grill will take up and allowing enough space for walking room and maneuverability around the grill. If you have a smoker, or are planning on getting one you will also need to allocate enough space for it as well. You will also want to leave a 2 x 6′ area for the grill and additional room for any accompaniment pieces, such as a smoker.

Low to grade deck and patio with built-in bend seating next to grill
This low-to-grade deck and patio has built-in bench seating near the grill area to add comfort and convenience for the cook!

Deciding what functionality you want your grill area to serve is important to confirm when planning your deck, patio or porch addition. Decisions such as whether or not you are intent on “hanging out” around your grill while entertaining, or whether you will need or want a seating area next to the grill will help determine what type of space you need. If serving food right from the grill is something you  like to be able to do, then a nice sized rail could be the perfect place to put serving platters or rest dinnerware while you and your guests are filling your plates. If you entertain often, you might consider a buffet table in close proximity to your grill that can also hold serving platters.

Open porch with deck tucked aways on one end
The design of this open porch allows the grill to be “tucked away” and out of the flow of traffic.

Key considerations include having the grill out-of-the-way so it doesn’t inhibit traffic flow, or maybe you want the grill area close to the kitchen to make bringing stuff back and forth more convenient. You don’t want to design a grill area that is too close to the house because the heat is a safety concern and can also discolor your siding or home’s exterior materials. But you do want to design it close enough that you aren’t “running your legs off” when you grill or entertain. If you entertain often then maybe an outdoor kitchen would fit your needs better than a grill area. Outdoor kitchens can be outfitted with anything from grills and food preparation areas to refrigerators, food warming drawers and much more.

Outdoor kitchen
Maybe an outdoor kitchen is the best choice for your deck, porch or patio?

If grilling during inclement weather is a concern you might consider creating an outdoor structure that would allow for you to grill regardless of rain or snow such as an open porch. A key consideration for grilling out when weather is an issue is the location of your grill in relation to the prevailing winds. If the prevailing winds are West then you would want your grill to be located in the opposite direction. Food stains are also a key point to consider. Many decking materials will stain from food grease spills such as barbecue sauce or wine so it’s important to try to clean them at the time of the stain just as you would inside your home.

No matter what your pleasure, Archadeck of Columbus can make the grilling experience a more enjoyable and convenient one by designing your outdoor structure to best suit your lifestyle. Grill on, and contact us to make the most out of your deck, patio or porch this grilling season. Bon Appetit!

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

Double the enjoyment by adding a patio to your deck or porch

Archadeck of Columbus delivers the forecast in what is hot in outdoor living trends for this Spring. Deck and patio combinations, as well as porch and patio combinations seem to be at the top of the list.

Columbus_OH_large_paver_patio_with_screen_porch_and_deck
This photo shows how each of the structures,the custom deck, screened porch and patio by Archadeck of Columbus work together as one.

We are really excited about the outdoor living season this year. We recently took part in two fantastic home shows in the area and got tons of ideas on the outdoor living trends for this Spring. While at the show we had a great deal of interest in not only decks, but also adding a patio to your deck.  The trend we see is that Columbus area homeowners are requesting the addition of a patio to go with their new AND existing decks and porches. It stands to reason that even when it comes to outdoor living structures the hot new idea is to double the fun.

The great part about adding a hardscape, such as a patio, to your deck or porch is that it is the perfect add-on to give you those multiple outdoor living areas that you really want. A patio can be added with a new, or existing, deck or porch at anytime. Adding a patio to your deck is a great way to spice it up and put that spark back into your outdoor entertaining as well enhance the beauty in your backyard.

Wouldn’t it be great to have your deck serve as your outdoor cooking or gathering location and have a beautiful patio adjacent to use for dining and conversation?  Or even a deck that leads into a covered hardscape patio with a fully functional outdoor kitchen? The entertaining opportunities that open up to you when you think about a dual structure such as a deck and patio combination are endless. Having multiple living areas within your outdoor design can offer more room and expand the functionality of your design.  We can design a project for you that will turn your backyard until the ultimate backyard oasis.

Synthetic Deck with Hot Tub and Paver Patio

Archadeck of Columbus also offers “phased building”. This means we can plan upgrades or additions to your current project to accommodate for later additions or enhancements. For instance, if you really want a deck for this season, but foresee the future facilitating a patio and deck combination, we can make all the necessary adjustments in advance so when your budget allows you to add the patio a little later the structural necessities needed to make the transition run smoothly are already put into place.

Contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn more about our deck/patio and porch/patio combinations, and to learn more about our phased building program. We are now scheduling projects for the Spring season to have the backyard of your dreams in time for warmer weather, don’t delay. (740) 879 – 3730 westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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

New TimberTech colors – you heard it here first!

Archadeck of Columbus is ringing in 2012 with the addition of a trio of TimberTech heavyweights. Radiance Rail Express and two new color collections for the Earthwoods Evolution line of composite decking. Welcome the Tropical collection and the Natural collection, both packed with quality, longevity, durability and beauty.

Archadeck of Columbus composite deck builders
Here you can see the exotic beauty and realistic details of the new Pacific Walnut color selection from the TimberTech tropical collection

The world of composite/synthetic decking just got a little more interesting.  Not so long ago you may remember the minimal choices in colors and textures that were available to homeowners who chose to use composite/synthetic decking. This is no longer the case. Composite decking now comes in a wide array of colors and finishes. The realistic look of synthetics make even a seasoned expert have to walk a little closer and lean in a little further to tell the difference between composites and wood. TimberTech synthetic decking is a frontrunner in the composite industry and has introduced some stunning new additions to its palette in the Earthwood Evolutions line for this year.

TimberTech introduced the “Tropical collection” which includes Pacific Teak, Pacific Walnut and Pacific Rosewood in 2011. What makes this collection a real showstopper is the realistic graining, streaking and undulation that mimics real wood so beautifully. This collection takes all the positive attributes of exotic hardwood decking and makes it a decking material that will truly endure the tests of time and mother nature.

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

New in 2012 is the debut of TimberTech’s “Natural collection”. This collection is made with same top quality ingredients that go into the TimberTech winning recipe but offers a more even toned, non-streaked composite. The new color introductions include Brick, Brownstone and Slate. The absence of streaking makes the Natural collection a little easier on the wallet than the choices in the Tropical collection, but with the same quality, value and beauty that TimberTech is known for.

Both the Natural and Tropical collections are part of the Earthwood Evolutions line from TimberTech. The resiliency and durability of this line of decking is among the best in the business. The construction includes a wrapped PVC composite board made with a proprietary composite core. This evolutionary approach boasts a product with superior scratch, stain and fade resistance backed by a 25-year fade and stain warranty. Just a little soap and water cleanup will keep your deck looking like new year after year.

RadianceRail-Express-Walnut
Radiance Rail Express gives homeowners an upscale, clean railing system at a lower cost than traditional Radiance Rail

Archadeck of Columbus is proud to offer our customers the new arrivals to this exquisite TimberTech line of products. To add to our arsenal of aesthetically pleasing and durable composite products we also offer the newest addition to the Radiance Rail collection to compliment your TimberTech deck perfectly. Radiance Rail Express was introduced in mid-2011 in white. New colors to the line include Walnut and black. Radiance Rail Express is less expensive than the original Radiance Rail, PVC, vinyl or composite rails that have a PVC cap. Even though synthetic rails are still more expensive than wooden railings, the benefits outweigh the costs in the long run. The Radiance Rail Express has a routed baluster receiver for clean and easy installation and also comes backed by a limited 25-year warranty on residential applications. With a wide array of shapes and colors to choose from,  Radiance Rail offers you a high quality clean finished railing system that coordinates perfectly with all TimberTech decking colors. This rail offers you an upscale, finished look that is durable and will outlast and outshine wood each and every year.

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

To learn more about composite decking, including the new introductions from TimberTech, contact Archadeck of Columbus. We can design and construct the deck of your dreams that will endure the test of time. Call us at (740) 879 – 3730 or send us an email at westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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.

Large_Columbus_deck_with_hot_tub_pergola_and_planter
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 westcolumbus@archadeck.net

A product as good as its warranty is worth using.

Archadeck of Columbus is a premier TimberTech contractor. TimberTech stands behind it’s product when it comes to quality beauty and warranties that far exceed your expectations.

Hopefully even though you are reading this you haven’t had to experience the process of filing a warranty claim when a product didn’t perform as anticipated. If you have had to file a warranty claim, you probably realize that most warranties cover product replacement only and not labor. Archadeck of Columbus urges homeowners to be cautious and become familiar with the warranty of a prospective product before you make the investment. Many times, the fine print reveals the truth. When it comes to above average warranties in the world of composite and PVC decking, TimberTech has some of the longest and best warranties in the business. Archadeck is a premier contractor of TimberTech and we enjoy their warranty which includes product replacement with labor included.

Dublin_OH_TimberTech_deck_Columbus_golf_course_deck
TimberTech deck built by Archadeck of Columbus.

Being a premier contractor has it’s advantages. TimberTech and Archadeck have an exclusive agreement where the cost of replacement is not passed onto the customer. In today’s rough economic climate this breathes fresh air and confidence into the minds of consumers straddling the fence as to what decking material to choose for their new deck, and what contractor to use to build it. The answer is clear, Archadeck of Columbus and TimberTech.

The reason TimberTech offers this agreement and some of the longest and best warranties in the business is because they offer a quality product that they have the utmost confidence in offering to consumers. With any manufacturing, there can always be defects, or the chance thereof. With building products such as composite or PVC decking manufacturers they will replace the material, but the vast majority will not include the labor. Have you ever had a problem with the warranty on a product? Warranties can be a big headache and companies usually make you jump through hoops in order to receive what you deserve. TimberTech is a horse of a different color, they stand behind their product every step of the way.

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

Case in Point, we have a really large job we are working on. We had a batch of decking that was off-color. Color inconsistencies can  sometimes vary from batch to batch, just like carpet and dye lot numbers. The stickler was that most of the decking was already completed.  No problem , TimberTech came out and replaced the boards already down and paid labor. They actually had their quality control manager drive 1 and 1/2 hours to our job site to take care of the problem, not only was this an example of curb service customer care at it’s best, it kept the homeowner from being put into an uncomfortable and troubling situation.

Remember folks, a product is only as good as it’s warranty. Who are you gonna turn to when you hired a professional contractor to do your work in the instance a problem arises? You are going to call the contractor. In this case you can call us and we can take care of the rest. Archadeck of Columbus has been in the business for 10 years and we have built over 600 projects in the Columbus market. Call us to learn more about the quality products we use and about our quality workmanship. (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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