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.

The grand finale to this Arlington, OH includes an outdoor fireplace and plenty of Zen

Archadeck of Columbus delivers an update on this project in Arlington that mimics the feel of an urban oasis complete with an outdoor fireplace and spiral stairway to breathe in the spectacular views.

outdoor fireplace on screen porch columbus oh
The stunning outdoor fireplace within the screen porch uses mixed medias for a breathtaking design.

Not too long ago, we highlighted this project as a “coming soon” story while the screen porch was still under construction. Take a look.

We have since completed this stunning multifunctional outdoor structure and we want to share the grand finale with you. This new screened porch is in Arlington, OH. We removed a deck that was built in 2002 to accommodate the homeowner’s wish for a larger area that includes a screen porch to better suit their lifestyle.

The screened porch boasts an abundant 16 x 22 feet of useful space which includes a shed porch as well.  The homeowners used their own home’s unique blend of contemporary Frank Lloyd Wright  inspired design that includes large soffits with flat rubber roofs to pave the way for the outdoor room’s distinctive flair. The flooring is TimberTech’s XLM Walnut Grove flooring. We also used Screen Eze for the porch screen which is a durable and tough screen and can be used for extremely wide openings.  The finished ceiling is done in Paulownia tongue and groove and we also used the same roof columns to make it look 12″ x 12″ . To add to the zen effect that the structure and the house provide, we also added a spiral staircase exiting down to the existing deck that is on the docket for replacement by us for later this year. Since the rear of the house is situated on a ravine, the spiral staircase provides a dramatic effect.

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Last but certainly not least, we also constructed a beautiful custom outdoor  fireplace to the screened porch to finish out this outdoor masterpiece. The fireplace is built with split stack style cultured stone on the veneer and topped off with a limestone mantle. The design includes a Rumford style firebox which is 36″ and is a taller firebox which projects more heat.

circular staircase off screen porch in Arlington Columbus OH
This image shows the grandeur of this screened porch in Arlington from the exterior.

The design’s  coup de grâce is the exterior wall  finished in tile and the Feeney aluminum railing system with  Feeney cable rails. The clean lines, paired with the contemporary furnishings the homeowners chose makes this outdoor structure the very definition of zen in outdoor design.

Find out more about our specialized outdoor room designs by contacting Archadeck of Columbus. We can design a screened porch, or outdoor oasis that reflects your personal style, and function in every inch.

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

Call for a free consultation: (740) 879 – 3730 westcolumbus@archadeck.net  or visit our website to view more stunning images of screened porches, and outdoor rooms, sure to leave you inspired.

Archadeck of Columbus scores a triple-play on this screen porch, patio and deck combination

Archadeck of Columbus is able to create three seperate outdoor structures that work as one. This double deck, patio and screen porch have the harmony and fluidity that many single structures lack, covering all the bases of style, design, quality workmanship and function with this winning triple-play.

Columbus_OH_large_double_deck_over_screen_porch
This large double-deck sits directly over the gorgeous screen porch and patio.

It is not often that you have a combination of structures that work together effortlessly to create not just a grouping of spaces but an entire outdoor living area. These Columbus, OH homeowners definitely scored a triple play with this stunning second story double-deck, rustic screen porch and beautiful paver patio. Every inch of these structures are built with quality and style and they also create the feeling of one large, multi-functional outdoor structure despite the fact that they are actually three separate structures. These structures work together with harmony and fluidity as they flow effortlessly into one another, making it perfect for intimate get togethers and entertaining on a grand scale as well. Here is a video to experience to experience this entire outdoor living space.

Columbus_OH_large_paver_patio_with_screen_porch_and_deck
This photo shows how each of the structures by Archadeck of Columbus work together as one.

Archadeck of Columbus used composite, low-maintenance TimberTech XLM decking in Sandridge to cover the second story double-deck and accented it with black aluminum railings. On the lower level, a rustic screen porch welcomes you with its breathtaking and aromatic cedar walls and trim. The floor of the screen porch is finished with large concrete slab pavers that resemble tile to carry on the rustic theme, we also used Unilock pavers around the porch itself.  The screen porch spills out onto a beautifully designed patio . As always, Archadeck of Columbus paid close attention to every important detail of this outdoor oasis by making sure the roof between the deck and screened porch below is a dry roof to keep out moisture that could cause damage to the structures. For the final touch we added small flush mounted low voltage lighting for safety and ambiance.

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

If you are ready to turn your backyard into an extension of functional beauty and style, contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn how to create an outdoor oasis of your own. (740) 879 – 3730
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

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

Archadeck of Columbus adds curves of distinction to custom decks in Dublin, OH

Archadeck of Columbus talks about previewing an upcoming deck in the Muirfield Village community in Dublin, OH. We also show you the innovative process of achieving radius edging when installing a deck.

Columbus Dublin custom TimberTech deck
Custom TimberTech deck with radius edging by Archadeck of Columbus

Homes within this Columbus suburb of Dublin, OH include a multitude of beautiful custom-built homes with the widest array of custom features inside and out. Archadeck of Columbus will be profiling one such residence in Muirfield Village later this month where we are installing a stunning new deck.  With custom-built homes of this quality and stature it is important to hire a custom deck builder to install your decking as well. Custom deck builders, just like custom home builders have the experience, knowledge and capability to ensure your new deck has quality materials and workmanship poured into the structure. Custom deck builders also stay “in the know” when it comes to unique custom features that become popular.

The world of decks is constantly changing to include many new features and innovative design concepts. One of the custom deck features that have become quite popular recently include a custom radius edging. At Archadeck of Columbus, we really enjoy using radius edge decking. This story details the whole innovative process from beginning to end.

We mold the decking boards into a curvilinear radius edging by heating the boards to a certain temperature in order to make them pliable. This process is fascinating to watch and we actually have video footage detailing the entire process. In this video, we show you how we heat the boards themselves. 

Once the boards are heated to the accurate temperature they are then carefully remove

Then, while the boards are still hot, we install the boards within pre-determined curved framing to achieve the  distinct curvilinear design that is tops among custom decks today. This video shows the installation in real-time

This entire process is fascinating to witness from start to finish, and ends with breathtaking results. With custom deck design, gone are the days of being confined to  straight lines and edges in landscaping, patio designs, and deck designs. Flower beds now take on wondrous edging, and curving paths. Retaining walls even enjoy meandering curved paths down the sides of patios and landscape showcases. There are so many more options available to homeowners now.

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

If you are ready to add a deck worthy of distinction to your home contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn more. (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

You can also visit our photo galleries to view many more innovative and beautiful deck designs at  http://columbus.archadeck.com/pickYourProject/Decks.html

A Deck/Patio Combo in Columbus turns out to be just what the Doctor Ordered

Archadeck of Columbus pairs together a deck and patio combination that suits these Columbus, Ohio homeowners to a “T”.

Columbus paver patio deck and landscaping
Columbus paver patio deck and landscaping

Here at Archadeck of Columbus, we recently completed a deck for this homeowner in Gahanna which is located in Columbus, Ohio. This customer decided to install a deck and patio combination because they liked the idea of having two different living areas and having adjoining seating areas to enjoy throughout the season.

Patios can be installed in the Columbus area from about March 15th until the first freeze which is usually around mid-December. The ideal is to wait to begin a patio until March or early April to make sure the ground is not frozen, or in some cases muddy from melting snow or ice.

We constructed the deck using TimberTech XLM in beautiful “river rock” gray and used a cedar rail for a wonderful contrast. We completed the deck prior to the stairs because we wanted to make sure the stairs are all the same height.

Design rendering in detail

The upcoming patio will be oval on one corner and the other corner will be a straight rectangle to accommodate a small retaining wall. Due to the excavation that is necessary for the patio’s installation there will be excess soil that needs to be removed. In most cases we can use excavated soil as topsoil to create planting beds or an upgrade at a later date around the perimeter of a structure such as this patio. In the case of this customer, they wanted to add planting beds that they could go ahead and plant in now. This worked out perfectly for this customer. We will also be adding a spading edge to the planting beds and mulch.

Umbriano "Winter marvel"
Archadeck Columbus paver patio architectural Rendering
Archadeck Columbus paver patio architectural Rendering

The patio itself will be finished using Uni-lock Umbriano pavers. These are concrete pavers but are made to look contemporary, the end effect resembles slabs with a larger pattern. This type of paver has been quite popular in the Columbus area. The color these homeowners chose is “winter marvel” for the field area and the soldier course ( perimeter/border) is “midnight sky”. We anticipate this combination will be breathtaking when completed.

The choice to include a patio with the deck area is clearly a design that can be integrated into any landscape whether it is single or multi-level. Having multiple living areas is a growing trend. The two structures harmonize together beautifully.

If you are considering a deck, a patio or both, give Archadeck of Columbus a call and we can meet with you to discuss placement, design and materials. We can give your backyard that same harmony. Give us a ring for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730
or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

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