Our deck-to-screened-porch conversions accentuate the positive while eliminating the negative aspects of outdoor living!

screened porch over new composite deck

This lovely screened porch addition is built over a low-maintenance composite deck.

Just like anything else in our lives, our outdoor living needs can change. A beloved deck that was once the center of recreation in the backyard can become a spot rarely visited because of simple changes in the way you now live outdoors. Maybe the kids have grown up or gone away to college, or your preferences for outdoor living have shifted towards a protected space rather than open. No matter what the reason is behind your changing needs, your backyard deck may be the perfect candidate for a screened porch conversion to better accommodate your evolving outdoor living needs.

Elevated deck and screen porch in Lexington SC by Archadeck of Central SC

Elevated deck and screen porch in Lexington, SC, by Archadeck of Central SC.

Charming wooden screened porch in Columbia, SC.

Charming wooden screened porch in Columbia, SC.

Screened porches offer what open air outdoor structures cannot:  shade and protection from harmful UV rays, protection from nuisance insects such as mosquitoes, and an outdoor area that can be utilized during inclement weather. How many times has a spring or summer shower forced your backyard event indoors because of the lack of protection offered by your deck? By converting a deck that has lost its charm into a screened porch, you can have an outdoor living space that delivers the qualities of an outdoor room giving you the best of both worlds!

Screened in Porches That Blend Right Into Your Home

Archadeck of Central SC specializes in outdoor room additions that blend in seamlessly with your home and landscape.

Though a deck-to-screened-porch conversion may seem like a daunting task, in many cases it is not. However, there are certain criteria that must be met to ensure your existing deck can support the added weight of a roof and the additional standards required in making the conversion. In most cases, conversions are possible, but it is crucial to hire an outdoor structure professional who is knowledgeable about decks and outdoor structures.Hiring a professional ensures the safety and success of your intended conversion.  Several factors come into play when you consider a deck- to -screened -porch conversion.

Deciding whether a conversion is possible first begins with an evaluation of the structural components of your existing deck. A good majority of decks are not built to support the weight of a roof, so you will need to first verify yours is built strong enough to withstand a roof addition. Other factors are how the deck was originally built and what kind of foundation does it have. What kind of joists and beams does the deck have?

All these are important questions that have to be addressed before planning can even begin. In many cases we can retrofit the structure by installing new footers to support the new weight of a roof. A foundation strong enough to support a roof needs to reach all the way to the corners of the structure. So, if you wish to expand and add a new roof, the foundation of the structure must be extended and new footers added at the corners to support the weight. What seems like the most simple of questions has to be answered prior to moving forward: can your builder even get underneath the structure to reinforce it?

Lovely interior of screened porch in Columbia, SC

Imagine the extended outdoor living enjoyment possible with a screened porch or outdoor room.

South Carolina, like many areas of the country, requires everything a builder does to be properly permitted and inspected.This means the previous structure you have, if it passed inspection, should be deemed sound as a deck. Even if this is the case, it still may not be strong enough to withstand the weight of a roof because it wasn’t made with a roof in mind. Be aware from the beginning that most builders will only warrant the framed portion of the structure that they build. This means if something goes wrong with the substructure as a result of adding a new roof, you cannot use their warranty anymore.This is why we recommend reinforcing the foundation so it supports the new roofed structure.

Before: this image shows the existing deck before we converted a portion into a lovely screened porch.

Before: this image shows the existing deck before we converted a portion into a lovely screened porch.

Case in point – Converting a little or a lot in Columbia:

By converting a portion of the existing deck for these Columbia, SC, homeowners we were able to accentuate the positive aspects of their outdoor living experience while eliminating the negative.Not only does the new screened porch provide a haven from the hot sun, the screened-in porch also provides a protected, bug-free spot in which to enjoy the outdoors.

The completed conversion leaves a portion of the existing deck for the homeowners to use for grilling and other open air activities while the screened porch opens up a plethora of outdoor living possibilities.These Columbia homeowners now view their outdoor space in a different light since the conversion has been completed.To say converting part of their existing deck into a screened porch was a change for the better would definitely be an understatement.The new space has added function and beauty to their backyard and lifestyle.

During: these images were taken during the conversion process.

During: these images were taken during the conversion process.

The entire project came together beautifully, from start to finish. The homeowners are looking forward to being able to enjoy their backyard in peace without the sunburn and the mosquitoes — another “happily ever after” story courtesy of Archadeck of Central SC.

Completed deck-to- screened porch conversion in Columbia, SC.

Completed deck to screened porch conversion in Columbia, SC.

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 are ready to make an outdoor living change to an existing space or are thinking of an existing outdoor living space upgrade, contact Archadeck of Central SC to help confirm the structural soundness of your existing structure and decide if it is a candidate for an upgrade. Call us for a free design consultation, or to schedule a deck safety inspection today at (803) 603 – 2160 .Email centralsc@archadeck.net

Please visit our screened porch photo gallery and our three and four-season rooms photo gallery located on our website for more deck -to outdoor- room conversion ideas.

Archadeck of Central SC explores getting the most value from your outdoor living space project

“Competing on price alone is a race to the bottom, and it’s a race nobody wins.  For some people, though, price is their only consideration.  That’s a sad thing, because most times, you do get what you pay for. ” – C. E. Young

Archadeck patios and hardscapesAs a contractor building outdoor structures attached to people’s homes, we often get challenged on price. In fact, it is frequently the biggest barrier our salesmen have to overcome.  And that’s easy to understand, since price is easily quantified.  It’s more difficult to quantify or compare value.

Price is one thing that determines value.  But it’s not the only thing.  In addition to price, you have to consider the cost of maintenance, the risk – and related cost – of product failure, and perhaps most important, the intrinsic feeling of worth that you get with the product.  And remember, it’s not just an outdoor living “product.” It’s your home. Your deck, your sunroom, your pergola, your screened porch.

Creating value

Value extends far beyond just the price of a service or product.

An example of price vs. value that we often come across is when customers ask about the cost of a wood deck versus the same deck made of composite/pvc materials. The composite deck costs more – sometimes twice as much – than the same deck in high-quality pressure treated pine – but which choice is the better value? The pine deck will need to be treated every 1-2 years to prevent warping, splintering, etc.  Without this maintenance, the wood deck will deteriorate to the point of needing to be replaced in 5-10 years. The composite material normally has a warranty for 20 to 25 years.  The composite also looks more impressive.  So the intrinsic value of the composite deck could be significant to the homeowner. How much more pride and satisfaction will the homeowner have in the composite deck, both when it is new and over the life of the deck, as compared to the pressure treated deck?  Meanwhile, another homeowner might take more pride in choosing a less expensive product and committing to the regular upkeep necessary to make it last longer.This is a subjective feeling.  Which deck has a higher value?  It depends on the homeowner.

archadeck contractor checklist

Archadeck contractor checklist

This concept of value applies to choosing a contractor as well. Review for a moment the other criteria discussed in this series: experience, professionalism, process, design, details and warranties. Based on these criteria, all contractors are not the same. If price is the only consideration, then one must also factor in the risk of things not going perfectly.

What’s a worst-case scenario? A fly-by-night contractor taking your money and running? Perhaps you face a more likely scenario where the project gets completed but not fully to your liking, or a scenario where the finished structure is fine but the construction process is painful and slower than you would like. Each of these scenarios has a cost associated with it. The problem with determining value is that unlike price, you really don’t know what the overall cost is going to be – there is risk no matter what you do. The best you can do is to minimize this risk.

  Archadeck 2012Are we saying that high price is always better than low price? No! Higher price is only better if it reduces your risk of having to spend more later to get what you want. The costs of providing insurance, of hiring competent skilled (and documented) workers, of reliability, of having assurances in the form of warranties and of simply standing behind one’s work are not free.These are real costs that have to be built into a contractor’s cost structure. If you allow the contractor to shortcut these factors, then your risk goes up. In the long run, your lower price may not really be lower.

On the other hand, there are also contractors out there who use high-pressure sales tactics to pressure customers into paying high prices that are not related to reducing risk and ensuring quality. Some companies in the home improvement business are known for quoting a very high price, then using high-pressure tactics of closing the sale at that sales visit, up to the point of almost refusing to leave unless the customer signs.Then, upon threat of being kicked out, they offer a one-time only discount of 30%.These tactics are aimed at getting the customer to sign without allowing the time to become educated on what the real price/value proposition should be.  Sales tactics like these make it difficult for the consumer to trust any contractor (which is unfair to those of us who are trying to provide a fair product at a fair price).

outdoor-living-room-pergola A final comment on value: We always ask customers what their budget for a project is. Sometimes they seem reluctant to tell us, as if they fear we might raise our price up to their budget target.The reason we want to know the budget is two-fold. First, if it is unreasonably low, we can avoid wasting their time and ours talking about a project that is not going to happen at that price level.  Second, if we know the budget (and if it is realistic), we can design the project to fit into that range.There are four components of any outdoor living project that affect the price: size, materials choices, features, and environment. The cost of your project can increase or decrease dramatically simply by varying those components. A reputable contractor, with your best interests in mind, can provide you the value that you need at the price point you want – if you work with them on the choices available.

cheap shirtWe are all looking for a deal – it’s human nature. If you are buying a $35 shirt and you think you can get it for $25, go for it. The worst that can happen is you may be out $25 if it doesn’t hold up.  But if you are considering using a contractor to build something for you, then you are likely talking about a meaningful amount of money – more than you would be willing to waste. This is not the time to be trying to get a super sweet deal – it may cost you much more in the long run. As the old adage says, the bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is gone.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your project is brimming with value. Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation (803) 603-2160.centralsc@archadeck.net

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

A redecking in Lexington, SC, worthy of the beautiful views on Lake Murray

Our recent redecking project on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC.

Our recent redecking project on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC.

One of our recently completed projects takes us to lovely Lake Murray in Lexington, SC. These homeowners not only have a stunning home, they also have the view to go along with it. Their large deck and covered porch spans almost the entire rear of their home and offers views of the lake. These homeowners contacted Archadeck of Central SC to upgrade their aging wooden deck with a low-maintenance decking material. Their goal was to have an outdoor living space that not only looked elegant but could afford them more time for enjoyment rather than the chore of maintaining it.

Lexington before

Before: This image shows the tired wooden deck prior to beginning the redecking.

The homeowners chose beautiful AZEK PVC decking in Brownstone for the redecking project. AZEK decking boards are engineered to withstand the everyday accidents that can happen on a deck.This material resists spilled wine, fruit punch and hamburger grease and is ultra stain resistant. AZEK decking boards are scratch resistant so there is no worry about marks from patio furniture or pets. In addition, this material is impervious to mold, mildew and insects providing the perfect setting for carefree outdoor living.

AZEK redeck in Lexington SC

After: Here is an image of that same area after we completed redecking with AZEK.

In order to accommodate the change from a pressure treated wood surface to synthetic, Archadeck of Central SC added supports to handle characterisics of the new decking. Often, low-maintenance decking boards are installed using hidden fasteners, as well, which requires additional amendments be made to the structure of the deck to ensure there is ample structural reinforcement for proper installation.

Beautiful redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC

Beautiful redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC.

This project also included making some changes to the footprint of the existing deck and covered porch for both cosmetic and functional reasons. Since the home’s facade is stucco, our redecking experts carefully cut around the areas of the new deck that make contact with the home. We did this to ensure the integrity of the stucco as well as that of the decking boards. Instead of installing the new decking boards in a traditional pattern, we installed them on a diagonal with a parting board to create visual interest.The final touch to the project was the addition of low-voltage deck lighting on the risers to enhance safety and promote ambiance when the homeowners are enjoying the deck in the evening.

AZEK redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC

The homeowners chose PVC decking in Brownstone, from the Harvest Collection by AZEK.

The homeowners couldn’t be more pleased with the redecking project.They are looking forward to enjoying the benefits of outdoor living for many years to come with less focus on maintenance and more on enjoying the lovely view from their deck and covered porch.

Whether you are considering a new deck or redecking an existing deck, Archadeck of Central SC can answer any questions you have about outdoor living stuctures.Contact us for a free consultation at (803) 603-2160. 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 decks photo gallery and our composite and vinyl (PVC) deck photo gallery located on our website for more examples of lovely low-maintenance redecking and new deck designs by Archadeck of Central SC.

 

Have you considered the safety of your backyard deck?

Central SC deck and pergola with seating wall

Spring is almost here. Let the outdoor living season begin!

Warmer days and milder evenings are just around the corner.The official first day of spring is less than two short weeks away, and with it will come the opening of the outdoor living season.To many homeowners, the backyard deck is the epicenter of outdoor living. It is the base from which many outdoor recreational activities stem, and the refuge to which we retreat for relaxation when outdoors.With this in mind, have you considered how safe your backyard deck really is?

Classic pressure treated backyard deck in Lexington SC

Classic pressure treated backyard deck in Lexington, SC.

It’s important to ensure your deck is structurally sound in order to take advantage of all the ways it can benefit your home and allow you to safely enjoy the outdoor lifestyle, especially with Spring so close at hand! Archadeck of Central SC takes deck safety very seriously. As the area’s premier outdoor structure designer and builder we realize the value of a well-built deck and well-maintained deck and have seen the results from the opposite. Here in the US within a six-year period there were an estimated 179 deck failures resulting in 1,122 injuries and 33 deaths.These grim statistics may come as a surprise to many homeowners, but deck safety is no accident. If you are one of the 40 million homeowners in the United States still using a deck that is over 20 years old, it is time to take a step back and assess the general safety of your deck. According to The North American Deck and Railing Association (NADRA), deck failures that result in injury are increasing at an alarming rate. Most of the reason for this is the number of decks still standing that are over 20 years old and in dire need of replacement.

Just a few weeks ago, a video showing a deck collapse in Indiana went viral on YouTube. It is true this video depicts a worst-case scenario of what can occur when a deck is poorly constructed or not properly maintained. Since few specifics — other than the injuries resulting from the collapse — have been determined, we cannot point out specifically what went awry in this particular circumstance. However, deck failures happen more often than you may think, and that is the reason regular inspections and maintenance are so crucial to ensuring your deck is structurally sound and safe. Below is the video from the Indiana deck collapse:

Here at Archadeck of Central SC we offer homeowners a thorough deck safety inspection for a modest fee. We can also provide a free consultation on what would be involved with replacing your deck with an updated design that meets or exceeds all building code requirements and complements your outdoor living objectives. Here is a list of the critical areas our deck safety inspection covers:

  • Over time results of unprotected wood

    We check the deck boards as part of our inspection.

    We check the decking boards – over time most wood decks will show some cracks and splits,and the main concern with the decking boards is splintering and rotting. A deck that is not safe to walk on is a safety hazard.

  • We check the connections – a properly constructed deck is built with fasteners and other metal hardware connectors to make your deck stable from the bottom up. We check the fasteners to see if they are in good working order, or are in need of replacement. We also check to ensure the fasteners are properly installed and that there are a sufficient number to meet codes.
  • We check the structure –  we check the posts, beams and joists, if visible, for inconsistencies We determine if there is any noticeable sagging between any of the supports. We check to ensure span load requirements are met.

    Low maintenance composite deck builder in Lexington SC

    We check the structure, as a whole, including beams and joists, as part of our deck safety inspection.

  • We check the attachment to your home – the area where the deck attaches to your home is called the house band, and this is where most deck failures can occur. We inspect this portion of the deck to make sure all screws and bolts are present; nails should never be the only fasteners used in the house band. Upon inspection we also make sure the area is flashed properly to aid in protection from water at this important connection site.
  • We check the foundation and footings with a visual inspection  – foundations and footings are important because they support the weight of the deck. A sinking footing can cause a dangerous separation of a column from a beam and must be addressed immediately.
  • We check the exits – we check the stairs that are used as exits from your deck, making sure they are in good working order and structurally sound. It is very possible to have a deck that is sound only to have a rotting staircase that could endanger you and your guests upon entry or exit.

    Saluda River deck in Columbia SC

    We check all exits and stairs as part of our deck safety inspection.

  • We check the rails- we always make sure the railing is secure and that the pickets and balusters are fastened properly. Keep in mind current codes dictate that rails should be spaced no more than four inches apart. A deck with non-conforming railing is a danger because small children and even pets can fall through the railing and get hurt.

In addition to our menu of re-decking and custom deck designs we also offer a eco-friendly deck cleaning and maintenance service through Renew Crew of Central SC to help keep your deck looking great and functioning at optimum performance. This is just another way we are improving outdoor living quality for homeowners in Columbia, SC, for the better!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Contact Archadeck of Central SC to schedule your deck safety inspection today. Calling on the expertise of one of our deck experts will give you peace of mind in knowing you can enjoy your deck this season without worry! (803) 603-2160
centralsc@archadeck.net

Come see us at the Carolina Classic Home and Garden Show this weekend at the SC Fairgrounds!

14_HomeShow_logo1aWe want to invite you to visit us at the 48th annual Carolina Classic Home and Garden Show this weekend at the SC State Fairgrounds. There will be over 250 home and garden exhibits, various seminars to attend and a chance to register to win door prizes all weekend long.

The show runs March 14-16. Archadeck of Central SC and Renew Crew of Central SC will be located in the Cantey Building at booths C205-C207.Tickets are $6/person at the gate during hours of operation.Kids 14 and under enter free every day. Ages 62 and older enter free on Friday, March 14. Military Discount (with valid I.D.) every day. Make sure to stop by and say hello while at the show and enjoy this free ticket for the show on us!

Show hours are as follows:

  • Friday 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Sunday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Process plays a key role in the success of your outdoor living project.

Gain ideas and insight about living the outdoor lifestyle in your own outdoor oasis.

Where:

All five buildings and outdoor areas of the SC State Fairgrounds in Columbia, SC. Vehicles enter through Gate 6 located on George Rogers Blvd., near Williams-Brice Stadium. Parking is $2/vehicle and is separate from admission fees.

For more information, see the Carolina Classic Home & Garden Show website.

Spring is right around the corner and now is the time to start planning for your outdoor living space addition! With that in mind, The Carolina Classic Home and Garden Show is an event designed for homeowners in all stages of remodeling, landscaping and decorating their homes.If you’re thinking of adding onto or amending your outdoor living space this is the home show you can’t afford to miss. No matter what you have in mind for home improvements, you’ll find the right products and the best companies.Talk to the experts and find just the right designs at just the right price for your home improvement budget.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Don’t let this chance pass you by. We look forward to meeting you at the Carolina Classic Home and Garden Show this weekend. You can also contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about our fabulous outdoor living space designs anytime at (803) 603-2160 or email us at
centralsc@archadeck.net.

At Archadeck of Central SC, our careful attention to process is one of the factors that sets us apart from other builders

THE PROCESSThe third part in our series “The Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor” is about the importance of processes.

In any business requiring handoffs with multiple people and multiple variables (weather, materials, environment, etc.) it can be difficult to get consistently good results.  In fact, many businesses that worked fine when they were very small (one man builders, for example) struggle as they grow to achieve the same consistent, high-quality results.  This has been the downfall of many a contractor – and why success can be their own worst enemy.

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

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

Processes – or the lack thereof – can be the biggest differentiator between a contractor who delivers good results on time and on budget, and one that is constantly battling chaos at your expense.  There are thousands of variables that a contractor faces on every project – it is a rare project that goes without something unexpected happening. However, experienced contractors that have learned from past mistakes will incorporate processes into their workflow to avoid making the same mistake again.

For example, taking the time to have utility lines identified and marked before construction begins is often an overlooked step, and 9 out of 10 times, nothing bad will occur. But every once in a while a gas or power line or fiber optic cable is cut, costing the contractor money, interrupting the customer’s service and causing an unforeseen delay in the project. If a contractor has to “remember” to do this every time, it will often get overlooked. However, if his processes require him to check the item off for every job, it should not get overlooked.

Deming said, If you can’t define what you are doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.”

Archadeck patios and hardscapesThere is a huge contrast between using well-thought-out processes and procedures to control the construction process versus jumping into a job without proper planning and processes. Amazingly, many contractors go from job to job thinking that because they “know what they are doing,”  they don’t need to waste time planning. And they wonder why they are continually hit by “bad surprises.”

How do you know if your contractor effectively uses good processes?  The easiest way is simply to ask during the vetting process. Find out what your contractor’s method for planning and monitoring construction will be. Do they actually use written check lists for ensuring that all steps get addressed before, during and after construction? Is there a supervisor or manager holding the crews responsible for following these processes?

ProcessYou can also tell a lot about how effectively a contractor uses processes by watching the sales process. Is it well-coordinated, clear and purposeful?  Or is it more chaotic? Does the contractor proactively address key concerns in advance, setting your expectations, or does he seem to want to get in and get out without helping you to understand the process you will be going through together in building your project? If the sales process has not been well thought out and executed, you can be pretty sure that the construction process will be the same.

At Archadeck of Central SC, our careful attention to process is one of the factors that sets us apart from other builders:

  • Our process begins with a free design consultation.
  • We then conduct a comprehensive needs analysis uncovering what you’re looking for in an outdoor living space.
  • Our in-depth site survey buttons down the particulars.
  • Our detailed photo gallery and portfolio of completed projects will stimulate your imagination.
  • We work with you to refine or streamline your design.
  • Rather than an estimate, you’re given a precise price quote.
  • Our quality-focused Job Process Methodology (JPM) is put into play.
  • Archadeck of Central SC obtains all necessary permits necessary for your project.
  • Once your project is started, progress almost always proceeds without lags.
  • Our workers respect your property.
  • Construction debris is removed regularly and project site is kept clean and orderly.
  • You approve the final structure and enjoy!
Archadeck pool deck dining area

The success of a project can be measured by not only the end result, but the way the project itself takes place – beginning to end.

After we determine your needs and the specifics of your site, you can choose to move forward in one of two ways. With a project retainer, Archadeck of Central SC will draw up custom plans using three-dimensional drawings to illustrate your proposed structure from a variety of angles. You can work with us to refine that plan to your satisfaction. Or, instead of developing a custom plan, you can choose to move forward in stages as part of our staged, or phased, building program. This will allow you to complete your ideal outdoor living space in stages as your lifestyle and budget affords.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Our knowledge and experience in outdoor structure design and building over the years can ensure a space that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation (803) 603-2160.
centralsc@archadeck.net

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

A trend steeped in superstition began in SC and is still popular today — blue porch ceilings

Central SC blue porch ceiling

Why so blue? The origins of the blue porch ceiling is based in much fact and folklore.

You might have noticed the distinct use of the color blue on porch ceilings as you flip through the spring issue of your favorite home and garden magazine. Blue porch ceilings can range in tone from the palest of powder blue to shades of periwinkle and wedgewood. The trend of painting the porch ceiling blue  was once considered only a Southern tradition but is now prevalent all over the country. The practice is based on much more than just the creative use of color. In truth it lends a romantic charm to the interior of the porch, but there is much mystery as to why and how the practice first originated.

The basis of painting porch ceilings blue may have begun with regional influences. Aurora blue is a popular shade of blue used on porch ceilings in the Northwest. The color’s origins are closely associated with the Christian communal society called the Aurora Colony, which became popular in the 1850′s. Among the blues used on porches along the East coast, we look to the popularity of Victorian and Colonial architectural styles that were popular and can still be seen today in historic cities like Boston.

Victorian home with terra cotta exterior

This vintage Victorian uses many colors associated with nature, including terra-cotta.

Pale blue tones that mimic the blues of the sky have always been popular for Victorian style homes. Victorian period homes have long been associated with integrating the colors of nature within their exterior color schemes. These include earthy tones such as ochre and terra-cotta along with blue reserved for the porch ceiling to remind them of the blue sky even when the days were overcast and gray.The use of these colors serves as a  constant reminder that brighter days lie ahead.

Along with regional influences, the desire of many homeowners to paint their porch ceiling blue is based on enjoying a bug-free porch experience. Some believe that painting the ceiling of your porch in this cool hue discourages birds and bees from building their nests in the ceiling. It is believed the color tricks the intruding insects or birds into thinking they have actually reached the sky. According to Sherwin Williams, most credible sources discredit this belief. However, this belief could be seated in historical truths.

Beautiful porch with blue ceiling.

Beautiful porch with blue ceiling.

When blue paints were first used on ceilings, they were usually milk paints, which often had lye mixed into the composition. Lye is a known insect repellent, which would explain why insects would avoid nesting on a painted porch ceiling. As milk paint has a tendency to fade over time, giving it a rustic look, homeowners would usually need to repaint their home every year or few years, covering the existing coat with a new coat of paint, and therefore a fresh coat of lye as well.

There are many theories on how blue porch ceilings became a tradition that has endured for generations in the South. One of the most widely believed theories arises from within South Carolina. Here folklore suggests that blue porch ceilings originated out of the fear of haints. Southerners, especially in and around the Low Country region of South Carolina, have a name for the color of ceiling paint used on porches – the soft bluish-green tint is referred to as “Haint Blue.” Just the name itself sounds spooky, huh?

The term “haint” is a Southern colloquialism defined as a ghost, apparition or lost soul — also defined as the spirit of a dead person or animal that can appear, in visible form or other manifestation, to the living.

Haint Blue, which was also used on door and window frames as well as porch ceilings, was believed to protect the residents from being “taken” or influenced by haints.The superstition evolved from the inability of the spirit to cross water since the lighter shades of blue mimic the color of water. Others believe that Haint Blue will protect the house and its occupants from evil spirits.

Open porch and sunroom combination in Elgin, S.C.

This open porch and sunroom combination in Elgin, SC, is timeless in its design.

Deciding what you believe in regard to the practice of painting porch ceilings blue is left for you, the reader, to ponder. However, one fact does stand out: blue is a calming color that promotes relaxation and peace. It also mimics the natural tranquility and beauty of sunny days and clear skies — with this in mind, is it any wonder why a homeowner would choose blue to beautify their outdoor space?

Many homeowners choose to paint their porch ceilings blue simply because of the way it makes a room look and feel. We even see the trend carrying into the modern screened porch and 3-season rooms of today. Blue is a calming color, so using it to paint an area of the house that’s intended for relaxation makes sense — leaving superstitions and insects by the wayside!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

No matter what style or color reflects your own personal tastes, Archadeck of Central SC can plan, design and build a custom porch that speaks to your individuality. If this includes translating your vision of the ideal porch through custom colors or trim, we embrace designs that think “outside the box.” Contact us for a free design consultation today to learn more about our exquisite custom porch designs. (803) 603-2160
centralsc@archadeck.net

Visit our front porch and portico photo gallery and our covered porch photo gallery located on our website to see more of our quality porch designs.