From hosting an oyster roast, to an outdoor dinner toast, autumn is full of outdoor living opportunities!

Outdoor Fire PitCentral South Carolina’s mild climate allows us to enjoy the outdoors well into the late fall and beyond. Warm winter days, and the occasional “Indian Summer,” extend our chances to soak up the sun on the backyard deck, or enjoy brunch on the screened porch. These are the  times we often love the most; out of the ordinary and flowing against the grain of the typical outdoor living season when we are able to toast marshmallows over the outdoor fire pit in January, or enjoy a glass of wine with friends nestled beside the outdoor fireplace in late November! It almost seems unfair to those who live in less friendly climates, doesn’t it?  Thus is the glory of living in the South!

A few ideas to make fall fabulous:

  • archadeck experienceSit down and stay awhile – You can take full advantage of the cooler season by creating a cozy outdoor space where you can relax and take time to experience the aromas, sounds and colors of autumn. A good way to achieve this feeling is to think about seating. For example, consider a patio with a integrated seating or retaining wall which helps define your space and offers casual seating. Ample outdoor furnishings on your porch or deck are also a crowd pleaser. Comfortable seating is always key to enjoyment in your space and means you and your guests will be more likely to linger. Sofas and chairs with removable cushions made of higher-quality outdoor fabric will hold up to the elements and are a worthwhile investment returning years of enjoyment.

Deck revived by Renew Crew of Central SC

  • A grand entrance from the backyard onto this deck and covered porch combo in Governors Grant Lexington SCGo “under cover” – Having at least a portion of your outdoor living space under cover will allow you to get more use out of the space, even on cool, rainy days. Consider adding a pergola or covered porch to your deck or patio. Unlike summer, when the need for covered areas to provide shade is critical, sunny days in autumn are much more welcome.

Deck detail in Governors Grant with separate area for dining.

  • Backyard bliss by the fire pitHost a gourmet gathering under the stars –  Entertaining friends and family, and especially dining, is more fun outdoors. Today’s wide range of outdoor dining amenities make it effortless. Outdoor kitchens are becoming more and more common paired with patios, porches and decks. Outdoor fire features offer a great way to introduce food into your autumn celebration. From roasting marshmallows over the fire pit, to hosting an oyster roast on the patio and enjoying an after dinner toast, autumn is full of outdoor living opportunities!
Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

Just as Carpe diem is a common aphorism meaning “seize the day,” Archadeck of Central SC invites you to seize the enjoyment of the ever-changing seasons by adding a custom outdoor living space to your backyard! Contact us today to get started at (803) 603 – 2160
centralsc@archadeck.net

Why now may be the best time to begin your journey to outdoor living bliss!

Autumn in the CarolinasAs Central SC’s premier outdoor structure design and build firm we are frequently asked by clients when is the best time to plan and build their outdoor living addition.  In all honesty, our mild climate allows us to build year-round, therefore anytime can be the best time to build. However there are benefits to choosing a fall/winter project timeline. Here’s a list of the reasons why fall and winter is the best time to build your outdoor structure.

Benefits of choosing a fall/winter timeline for your outdoor living project:

  • Irmo, SC,  deck gets a makeover and a new pergola additionWooden outdoor living structures need to cure: When working with wood, fall and winter are the best time to build because just like wine, wood needs to cure. The laws of expansion and contraction come into play when working with wood. All wood is hygroscopic, meaning that when exposed to air, wood will release or retain moisture until it is level with the humidity and temperature of the air. Humid conditions, such as our Columbia, SC, summers, will cause more rapid expansion and contraction of wood that is not yet sealed for protection against the elements. A wooden structure needs to cure for a period of time before the sealer or paint will properly adhere to the wood and lend their beneficial protection qualities. Fall and winter is the period that is the least humid and obviously a great time to consider moving ahead with your wooden outdoor living space addition.
  • Save moneyAvoid “New Year” price increases by locking into this year’s pricing: Not only do wood prices decrease during the fall and winter due to supply and demand, many of the low-maintenance synthetics will increase in price at the start of a new year. Synthetic material pricing can also fluctuate according to fuel prices. Choosing to begin your project now will ensure a better value than waiting until prime outdoor living time in the spring because more homeowners will be starting their projects then and this will increase supply and demand. Locking into this year’s pricing is easy. All we need is your John Hancock on the contract prior to year’s end.
  • Nobody enjoys playing the waiting game!

    Nobody enjoys playing the waiting game!

    No waiting in long lines: Naturally, when you make the decision to move ahead with your outdoor living project, the excitement builds and you and your family are anxious for it to be completed. Choosing a fall/winter construction means less wait time and fewer scheduling backlogs to delay your project. This equals a happy homeowner and an outdoor living structure that is ready in plenty of time to debut when the weather warms up again!

  • Process plays a key role in the success of your outdoor living project.Begin enjoying your new addition sooner: Our mild SC winters will give you many opportunities to enjoy your new deck, porch or outdoor room addition. If you act now, you may even have your project completed in time for the holidays — who wouldn’t like more “elbow room” during the holidays?

Keep in mind that Archadeck of Central SC can also build your outdoor structure combination in stages. Fall/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, then we can add the patio later into the spring. With our staged building program the choice is yours. Contact us today to learn more. Call us at (803)603–2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

 

 

 

This Irmo, SC, deck gets a makeover and much more!

Shade and ambiance abounds with a custom pergola and landing addition in Irmo, SC.

Welcome to this updated backyard paradise in Irmo, SC.

Our recent project in Irmo, SC, is the perfect example of a successful union of combining the two Outdoor Living Brand franchises we own and operate in Central SC. On this project Archadeck of Central SC and our sister franchise, Renew Crew of Central SC, worked together to breathe new life into this backyard deck. The project was multi-faceted and resulted in an outdoor living space that is pleasing to the eye and a joy for the homeowner to use.

Irmo, SC, deck and pergola builders

When we initially met with the homeowner, she expressed the need to refresh the tired finish of their existing backyard deck. In addition, she also wanted to amend the space in order to enjoy the area overlooking the backyard pool. This portion of the deck receives a great deal of afternoon sun and her wish was to add a shade structure.

Columbia SC deck gets a makeover and a new pergola addition

Deck following Renew Crew’s three-step renewal process.

Archadeck and Renew Crew of Central SC came up with the perfect answer to giving this homeowner exactly what she yearned for. By combining forces we were able to breathe years of life into her existing deck and build the shade structure she had in mind.

The first phase of this backyard makeover was the addition of the charming wooden shade pergola over the existing deck. Archadeck of Central SC carefully designed the new structure, considering the placement of the pergola in correlation with the sun, and  maintaining the integrity of the existing home and surrounding space. The finished project looks original to this Irmo backyard and promises hours of solace from the sun. The new pergola also serves to unify the existing spaces into a spacious backyard paradise. Imagine sitting beneath the pergola on a humid SC afternoon, undaunted by the temperature, with the ceiling fan cooling you off and a tall, icy drink in your hand!

Irmo SC Pergola Builders

Renew Crew then cleaned, stained and sealed the existing deck using our eco-friendly three-step process. This process lifts the years of dirt and grime and safely cleans without the use of harsh chemicals. We then used a non-damaging controlled pressure wash to rinse it away, Our final step sealed in the beauty of the deck and will protect against the elements for continued enjoyment.

If your existing outdoor space is in need of a makeover, consider the results you can achieve in your backyard with Archadeck of Central SC and Renew Crew on your team!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

Contact us today at (803) 603 – 2160, or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net to schedule your free consultation.

 

 

 

 

 

Archadeck of Central SC discusses what to expect when beginning your anticipated outdoor living space

Ipe Brazilian hardwood deck with metal railing.Most of us begin planning our outdoor living project after weeks or even months of imagining how much we will enjoy it. The planning phase should be an exciting time! We first identify what we need from our deck, porch, sunroom or other outdoor space and how it will meet one or more of our outdoor living needs and aesthetic desires. From there, we begin looking for a builder who will turn our vision into a reality.

Archadeck custom projectMaking the initial call to a builder is sometimes the most daunting task in the construction process for many homeowners. Even if the builder comes highly recommended there is no “manual” of what to expect during your initial communication. Anticipation and venturing into the unknown is responsible for causing stress to many prospective clients even before they send the first email, or pick up the phone to reach out. Archadeck of Central SC aims to change that. We want homeowners to have a good idea of what to expect during planning phases of their outdoor living space addition(s). With this in mind, we have put together an outline of what to expect during the initial, and crucial, first stages towards bringing your dream to life:

  • Archadeck design guideThe inquiry call/email:  This is one of the most daunting tasks for many prospectives clients. However, with Archadeck it doesn’t have to be. Our goal is to put you at ease while we gather the needed information to make future correspondence smooth. During your inquiry call it is not uncommon to be asked what type of space you have in mind. When would you like your project completed? A member of our team will schedule the best time to meet you in your home when all decision makers can be present.

Archadeck offers a valuable tool to help homeowners, and your Archadeck representative, gain ideas about what you want from your outdoor living space. It is called the Archadeck Outdoor Living Design Guide and you can download it free by visiting http://www.archadeck.com/guide/index.html.

  • Finding the right contractorThe in-home consultation: During the initial in-home consultation we will discuss your needs, personal preferences and the function your space will primarily be used for. We will explore any material preferences and features that would best suit your needs and taste. At this time we will discuss your budget for the project and take measurements in order to prepare a design, which will be available during the follow-up consultation.  We will also show you some of our past projects and explain your construction material options.
  • PlansFollow-up consultation: At this time Archadeck of Central SC will present you with a custom design prepared especially for you. During this time, we will discuss any amendments or changes you would like to make to the design. We realize once you make the decision to move ahead with your project, the excitement mounts, and you soon envision utilizing your new space.
  • The next phase: Once you approve the design and sign that contract, you will be protected by two separate guarantees, constituting the most expansive customer protection plan in the industry. Local oversight assures your property and privacy are respected. We attend to every detail from securing any needed building permits to final cleanup. And we work very hard to be as unobtrusive as possible during the entire construction phase.
Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

Seeing your project become a reality can be a time that’s enjoyable from beginning to end. With Archadeck designing  and building your space, you can be a homeowner who is pleased with the outdoor space you purchased instead of one who is simply glad the project is over. We strive to make every phase of the process an enjoyable one! Making sure we are on the same page as the client during each phase will insure your dream outdoor space is a joy and delight from concept to conclusion.

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project will bring enjoyment and pride for many years to come! Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Please visit our extensive outdoor structure galleries located on our website and on Houzz for more design inspiration!

 

In the final installment to our series, “The Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor,” we discuss warranty and protection

7 keysTHE SEVEN KEYS TO FINDING A GREAT CONTRACTOR

  • PART SEVEN:  WARRANTY AND PROTECTION

This is our seventh and final installment in our series about the Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor.  This certainly applies to my business of building premium decks, porches and sunrooms, but really these principles apply to almost any area of work you might have a contractor perform services for you.

To review, the seven keys are:

  1. Experience
  2. Professionalism
  3. Process
  4. Value
  5. Customized Product
  6. Attention to Details
  7. Warranty & Protection

Archadeck custom projectThe warranty serves as the back-up plan for a consumer if things don’t go right with the builder.  This applies to major problems in having the project completed (unscrupulous contractors have been known to walk away from a job when it gets difficult or too expensive to make things right), or may apply to things that come up after the job is done and the contractor has been paid.

Small – and sometimes not-so-small – repairs are often needed after a job is completed.  This is normal in construction as materials can change as they weather, buildings settle, and sometimes things become apparent weeks or months after construction is finished that were not apparent when the job was being performed.

A warranty is important because it outlines in advance what the builder is and isn’t willing to do to fix problems after the fact.  Without a warranty, the homeowner still has certain protections under the laws regarding implied warranties.  However claims under these laws require the homeowner to file a legal claim, and can be time consuming and expensive, not to mention stressful.

archadeck warranty

For the record, at Archadeck our warranty covers the entire project (meaning that we will fix anything that’s not right) for one year, and further covers structural issues (foundations, integrity of framing, roof leaks, etc.) for a period of 5 years.

House illustration for home showA homeowner’s best protection regarding warranty issues is to use a builder that is stable and has a good reputation. If a contractor goes out of business or moves on to another job or another area, it may be next to impossible to get something fixed after the fact, regardless of the written or implied warranty.  On the other hand, a contractor that is concerned about his company’s reputation is more likely to meet or exceed what is written in his warranty.  Homeowners can check with the Better Business Bureau and check a builder’s references and online reputation to see what his history is regarding honoring warranty claims.  Once again, this is an instance where the cheapest builder may not be the best choice for you if there is a risk he won’t or can’t stand behind his work months or even years down the road.

Archadeck contractor checklist

The other major area of warranty coverage is what happens if the contractor defaults during the construction process.  This is not that unusual, and can be a BIG problem for the homeowner.  This can happen for a multitude of reasons, including illness, financial failure, a job change, or a contractor simply pulling out of a job because he bid it wrong and knows he is going to lose money on it.  Again, legal remedies are available, but they will involve time, money and stress.  And again, this is a case where the more stable and reputable the contractor, the less your chance of running into this kind of problem.

Archadeck actually provides a guaranteed insurance program that covers customers if the local Archadeck office cannot complete a project due to death, illness or going out of business.  In this event, the Archadeck corporate office will pay to have the project completed by another Archadeck location.

Process plays a key role in the success of your outdoor living project.One final word about warranty protection. It may be very difficult to pursue legal action against a contractor if you do not have a signed contract.  This contract should specify the price, the scope of work, the timing of the work, etc.  Without this document you may not be able to prove what work was agreed upon and therefore what implied warranties should cover.  Once again, here’s another reason to use a professional contractor who follows good business practices and not just a carpenter who can build you a cheap deck!

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your project is built with quality and longevity in mind. Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

Please visit our extensive outdoor structure galleries located on our website for more examples of our lovely designs.

 

 

This garden shed in Columbia, SC, gives new meaning to having a place for everything and everything in its place

Custom garden gate by Archadeck of Central SC“Today beyond your garden gate
I felt you there somehow.
Twas then I came, at last to peace.
A place unknown till now.”

– excerpt from “The Garden Gate” by Greenwolfe, 1962Greenwolfe, 1962

We open this article with a beloved poem that refers to a garden gate because this project looks as if it leapt from the pages of a treasured storybook. Our recently completed custom garden shed and garden gate epitomizes charm and romance. Come and take a peek at this one-of-a-kind outdoor space…

When the Columbia, SC, homeowners contacted us they were looking for a quality contractor to bring their vision of a new garden shed to life. Their existing garden shed had seen better days as it was treadworn and rotting and in need of replacing. The key design elements the homeowners requested  were to make the structure strong, but cute at the same time. The intended purpose was to create an outdoor building where they could store garden tools and outdoor craft and garden items.through the garden gate of this Columbia SC backyard

This is the point where the project becomes interesting. The design seemed to spread wings and come to life. As the new shed took shape, the homeowners continued to provide valuable input into finalizing the design. The finished garden shed has a concrete floor with a Hardie Plank exterior and a standing seam roof. A cupola graces the roof topping off the charming exterior. We were able to repurpose some existing windows the homeowners had left from their home, and we even added a charming pergola detail atop the side window of the shed.

The homeowners are elated with their new space, which also includes a custom fence reminiscent of those seen in English gardens of a by-gone era. Their new garden shed does provide “a place for everything and everything in its place,” but it is so much more than just a shed. The open rafter interior boasts an elegant chandelier, an air conditioner cools the space and multiple shelves serve many purposes. It is a workshop for painting, a protected storage space, a studio and a playhouse all rolled into one!

A place for everything and everything in it's place Garden shed in Columbia SC 2

The homeowners are so fond of spending time in the shed that they have purchased a new set of binoculars for the man of the house to use for birdwatching as the lady of the house prepares fall seedlings to sprout from the sunlight that pours in through the large front window.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

If you want to learn more about creating your own one-of-a-kind outdoor space, contact Archadeck of Central SC today at (803) 603 – 2160
centralsc@archadeck.net. We specialize in making your outdoor living dreams come true!

You can see more images of this beautiful project in our Houzz galleries.

At Archadeck, we specialize in creating “outdoor environments” that exceed your expectations.

Process plays a key role in the success of your outdoor living project.

Welcome autumn with a relaxing outdoor living environment customized to fit your needs!

The arrival and departure of Labor Day marks the end of summer. This time of year is often bittersweet as the kids are back to their school routines, football season is underway, and fall is beginning to make its debut. However, just because summer is over doesn’t mean the outdoor living season has ended. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the changing season ahead within your own custom outdoor living space!

Keep in mind that not all outdoor structures are created equal. Just because you have an outdoor structure doesn’t mean you have an outdoor living space. Here at Archadeck of Central SC, we specialize in creating “outdoor environments” that exceed your expectations of enjoying the outdoors. An outdoor living space is place where you, your family and friends go to spend quality time, a place to relax, a place where you can enjoy nature and a place where you can truly be yourself.

The attributes that define the differences between  an outdoor structure and an outdoor living space are expertly outlined in a recent post from Archadeck Outdoor Living. As this article points out, in order for a structure to qualify as a living space it must be designed to cater to at least one, or more, of the following :

  • Deck detail in Governors Grant with separate area for dining.

    Deck detail in Governors Grant with separate area for dining.

    Function – Much like the worth that is poured into the design of interior living spaces, outdoor living spaces need to be designed with function and purpose in mind. Homeowners are all different and want to use their outdoor spaces for different purposes. What is an ideal living space for you can be quite different from that of your neighbor. Maybe you want a space where you can prepare food and dine outdoors, or a place to relax and read on Sunday afternoons? We can take the variables that you want for your space and translate these into a design, or combination, that will serve the ideal purpose for you and your family.

  • NE Columbia deck and sunroom builder

    Exterior view of deck and sunroom. Notice how the patio and deck flow effortlessly into the sunroom.

    Ease of Design – Once the function of your outdoor living space has been determined, it is time to concentrate on the ease of your design. When the perfect outdoor space is created, it will invite the owners, friends and family outside. A great design will create a nice flow and define all the areas of your structure.

  • Furnishings and Accoutrements –  This attribute seems simple, but you would be surprised at how integrating the right furnishings and accessories can increase your enjoyment of your outdoor space. Without furniture, all a deck, patio or porch would be is a blank space.  Keep in mind, people will only go out and stand in an empty space for so long before looking for a place to sit — it’s human nature, and you want to facilitate their desire to relax while in the space. The furniture you choose should always reflect the function and design of your outdoor space.
Archadeck of Central SC custom fire pit on slate patio

The right furnishings are an important part of enjoying the time spent within your space.

We realize your outdoor space is where you and your family go to relax and entertain. Archadeck of Central SC delivers uncompromising attention to detail with a high level of quality and craftsmanship. You can relax in knowing your family will have an enjoyable design and build experience, , more important, will enjoy your new custom outdoor living space for many years to come!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

To learn more about enhancing your outdoor lifestyle call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Please visit our extensive outdoor structure galleries located on our website to see our custom structures, or visit our stunning galleries on Houzz.