Is a Fire Pit Right for You?

Is a fire pit right for youIf you would like to extend the use of your backyard into the colder months, a fire pit may be the answer. When considering having a fire pit installed, here are some thoughts to consider:

Choices – the major decisions you will need to make when designing a fire pit are:

  • Natural stone or manufactured block
  • Designed for wood fire or gas
  • Location as to where to put the fire pit, and what kind of surrounding area do you want
Central SC firepit with retaining wall

Central SC firepit integrated into a patio with retaining/seating wall.

Materials – A natural stone fire pit is beautiful. It can be the landmark of a beautiful outdoor living space and a great place to spend time with your friends and family. The color choices are unlimited, and every custom-made natural stone fire pit is unique. It is also an expensive option – think two to three thousand depending on size and location. Natural stone is likely to crack (or even explode) due to direct contact with heat. If you are going to invest in a natural stone wood-burning fire pit, we recommend using a fire-brick liner to keep the stones from getting excessively hot. If you make this kind of investment you want it done right so that it will last.

Manufactured block makes a nice fire pit at less than half the cost of natural stone. It’s not as artistic, but it is very functional and can be the site of many good times. Also today there are many styles of landscaping block to meet your tastes. These projects range from the do-it-yourself kits from Lowe’s or Home Depot for two hundred dollars to professionally designed and installed projects which can cost between seven hundred and one thousand, five hundred. A block fire pit doesn’t necessarily need a heat liner, though use of a metal ring or fire brick may reduce cracking or excessive drying out and thus extend the life of the block.

Central SC firepit in actionWood or Gas – A wood fire can be enchanting as well as warming. When considering wood for a fire pit the primary driver is the charm of a natural fire. Design considerations include ensuring that the bottom of the pit will drain when it rains, and determining where fire wood is going to be stored.

Gas compared to wood has many pro’s and con’s. Gas is easier to start and quicker to extinguish, has less smoke, takes less effort to tend, and there is no need to buy and store fire wood. Gas fire pits are less costly to design for drainage and have less need for fire brick liners. On the other hand, it may be more expensive to install depending on where gas lines have to be run. Also you will want to design the structure so that if something goes wrong with the lines or the ignition electronics, you can access the parts in need of repair. A wide variety of glass crystals and beads are available for gas fire pits to enhance the look of the finished product.

In the end, the choice between wood or gas comes down to what works best for you.

Columbia SC custom fire pits

If you are ready to ignite your outdoor living enjoyment with a custom fire pit contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about  placement, size, construction, costs and much more. Call us today for free consultation (803) 603 – 2160 or via email at

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

You can see more inspiring photos of outdoor fire pit and outdoor fireplace designs by visiting our outdoor fireplace and fire pit photo gallery located on our website.

Our recent deck and screened porch addition wins the adoration of the homeowners, and their furry friends!

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia SC

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia, SC.

Our most recent deck and screened porch combination in Columbia, SC, has met the rave reviews of more than just the homeowners! The customers’ beloved cats are also enjoying the new outdoor living space. Their excitement was evident in the way they monitored each phase of the project. Here is a look into the progression of the project from start to finish:

The entire project was built with the enjoyment of the entire family in mind. The spacious wood deck provides an area for outdoor entertaining, dining and relaxation while the screened porch invites outdoor living during times of inclement weather. The screened porch also serves as an extension of interior space in warmer months with easy access into the home. With an open gable, exposed rafter ceiling, the porch exudes open airiness.

loving the kitty door

Loving the kitty door that provides access from the screened porch onto the deck.

As part of the charming Victorian-style door that leads into the screened porch, we installed a pet door to offer easy access for the homeowners’ cat to move freely between the two spaces. As an additional safeguard for little paws, we used pet screen to screen the porch. Pet screen is stronger and more resilient than traditional screen and will not warp or rip with pet activity.

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 in search of the perfect outdoor living space for your family, including your furry friends, contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more. Our custom designs are the cat’s meow! You can reach us by phone at (803) 603-2160 or via email at

Your Home is missing something; a sunroom by Archadeck of Central SC can fill the void.

This spacious sunroom in Columbia, SC, delivers versatility within the home!

This spacious sunroom in Columbia, SC, delivers versatility within the home and convenient access to the outdoors and onto the deck.

So you want more space. A little extra room because the family is growing, children or parents are moving back home, maybe you’ve started a home-based business or you’ve always wanted that conservatory-style room to grow your beloved orchids!  There may be a thousand other reasons why you feel your existing house just isn’t big enough, or is lacking something. So many times we have heard customers remark that they didn’t realize what their home, and lifestyle, was truly missing until they decided to move ahead with their anticipated sunroom addition. Numerous times, we heard them remark “our sunroom addition is the room we use most in our home over any other and we wish we would’ve built it sooner.” If you feel as if there is a “void” within your home, such as a lack of natural sunlight or a spot where creative versatility can flourish, a sunroom may just be the answer!

Stunning sunroom addition in NE Columbia, SC.

Stunning sunroom addition in NE Columbia, SC.

Many people assume you can’t have your cake and eat it too when it comes to outdoor living, but this assumption couldn’t be farther from the truth. A sunroom addition is the perfect example. A sunroom provides a space in your home that allows you to bring the outside inside without the constraints of weather, season or functional limits. A room filled with light and space, a sunroom can let you live outdoors all year round! Though they are considered an interior addition because of their construction requirements, sunrooms give homeowners the most benefit over other outdoor room additions. The aesthetics of a sunroom are very important to its overall worth, but the benefit of extra heated space added to your home’s square footage, along with capability of year round enjoyment, are what really make a sunroom one of the most valuable investments you can make to your home.

Columbia SC smaller scale sunrooms

This Columbia sunroom was built just off the master bedroom and serves as a sitting area

Bring the outdoors in

What makes a sunroom different from other outdoor room additions is that it can be whatever you want it to be. It can play any role, and fulfill any need or desire! Sunrooms make a perfect spot to relax, nap, or read a book. A sunroom can become a spot to observe nature without the impact of the elements, or an extra space in which to entertain. With the holidays just around the corner, extra space is a plus in any home.  Sunrooms add the functionality of a year- round room because they are fully conditioned. The presence of an HVAC system and the “wall of windows” design allows for plenty of natural light and beauty to enhance your decorating choices. Your room can be set to your comfort level and remain there. There is no need for shivering while enjoying your morning coffee or sweltering in the summer during family game night. Though many only consider the extra cost of adding on a sunroom, since it qualifies as an interior addition, requiring a foundation and roof, it will pay for itself over time based on the versatility it adds to your home and lifestyle. When comparing a sunroom to a screened porch and three or four season room it is easy to see the immediate benefits.

Bright sunny room addition

The bright interior of this sunroom is a sunny solution to even the coldest winter day.

A homeowner needs options

While enjoying Mother Nature year round and adding extra square footage to your floor plan are certainly the most important benefits of a sunroom, the ability to design a sunroom however you please is also important. Sunrooms do not force a homeowner to think strictly along the lines of outdoor fabric and furniture when designing because these additions become part of your home. Sunrooms can be finished and painted to match your home’s interior color scheme. This includes the use of flooring already present within your home such as hardwoods or carpeting. The design and finish possibilities are endless when designing a sunroom.

This sunroom addition in Columbia is set against a tranquil, lush landscape.

This sunroom addition in Columbia is set against a tranquil, lush landscape and proves that bigger doesn’t mean better!

Consider the benefits

Consider the way you and your family will use your sunroom addition. The versatility the space provides is key. Imagine a relaxing “family room” atmosphere, a place to enjoy watching sports with the guys or even creating a more formal area to experience dining outdoors without the negative aspects of nature (i.e., insects, and rain!).

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 learn more about filling the void that is missing with a room for all seasons! Call us today to start your project and lock in this year’s pricing before the New Year begins. (803) 603 – 2160

Archadeck of Central SC explores ideas for beating winter’s chill on your porch!

Is this what your screened porch feels like during the winter

Is this what your screened porch feels like during the winter?

It is a common misconception that, much like dealing with the open air space of a deck or patio, porches cannot be weatherized for use during the cooler months. One may assume since the porch (screened or covered) is ventilated with outside air it is not possible to condition it for use in the winter. This assumption may have rung true many years ago, but nowadays there are a host of options when looking to beat the chill and enjoy your porch throughout the cooler months!

Take a peek:

  • Designing your porch from the start with an integrated fireplace: If you are starting from scratch with your porch or screened porch design, know that adding an outdoor fireplace will serve you well in the cooler months as a viable way to make the space warm and cozy. When used in conjunction with a ceiling fan(s),  your porch will be warm enough to enjoy almost year-round. In addition, the fireplace provides ambiance and a focal point of beauty within the space year round. Archadeck of Central SC has designed and constructed many open porch and screened porch additions here in the Columbia area with wood burning and gas fireplaces to the rave reviews of our clients! Keep in mind that adding a custom fire feature is possible for an existing porch, but it is more economical to include as part of your outdoor living design from the start.
Columbia SC outdoor fireplaces

An outdoor fireplace can add rustic appeal to your outdoor room and keep the space warm in the cooler months.

Northgate Floor Heater that looks like a lamp

Northgate Floor Heater that looks like a lamp!

  • More than just your traditional electric space heater: Today’s space heaters provide the same function as those of the past, but are designed to look the part inside your porch or screened porch setting. There is a wide selection of electric “plug-in” space heaters available varying in price range to make “cozy” affordable to all porch owners.
  • Gas tabletop heaters

    Gas tabletop heaters.

    Gas heaters: Smaller gas patio heaters are available, including ones that sit on a tabletop. They use campstove-type fuel canisters and can prove useful for warming guests seated around a table. We do want to point out, when dealing with any type of fuel-powered heater it is vital to make sure the model you choose is approved for use in a covered area, such as a porch or screened porch, and the proper clearance is provided to ensure the unit is safely operable.

  • Custom-Wall-Mounted-Infrared-Patio-Heaters-Ideas

    Custom wall/ceiling -mounted infrared heaters.

    Wall or ceiling-mounted electric heaters: While Infrared electric heaters have been used primarily in commercial settings in the past, smaller ones designed for residential use on patios have been making their way into outdoor living spaces in recent years. These heaters use either infrared elements or halogen bulbs as the heating source. Infrared heating technology produces invisible rays of light that only heat objects and people, not the air. These heaters serve well in situations where it would otherwise be difficult to heat because of the constant opening of doors — much like the setting of a porch. The fact that infrared rays don’t heat air, little of which can be contained on a screened-in porch, makes such a heater a sound, economical choice in these settings. All the heat you’ll pay for goes directly to heating what you want to warm, rather than to heat air that is quickly blown off the porch!

  • This vinyl fourtrack aluminum three season room with brick exterior blends seamlessly with home

    Three-season room in Columbia, SC.

    The option of  turning your porch into a three or four season room: Traditional screen porches consist of fixed screened openings and provide protection from both insects and inclement weather. Here in the Columbia area, we take this design a step further by utilizing a four-track enclosure system on many of our screened porch additions. The four- track panel windows will allow you to keep the screened porch feeling.  If you want to transform your screen porch into a room that you can also use year round, your porch can be completely converted to an all-season sunroom. A four-track enclosure enhances the livability of your screened room, including during the winter months by adding a viable source of heat. When the panels are closed, they provide shelter from the summer sun and changeable weather. Our four-track enclosure system is also weather-resistant and shatterproof and opens the door to endless outdoor living possibilities.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

For more ideas on utilizing your porch and  screened porch year-round, contact Archadeck of Central South Carolina today at (803) 603 – 2160 or via email at We have many options available to suit your needs, budget and keep you loving outdoor living season after season!






Is there a magic number associated with outdoor living enjoyment? We certainly think so…

Good things come in 3'sMaybe you have heard the old adage that “good things come in threes.” In writing, the rule of three suggests things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, and more effective than other numbers of things. This may be true in other areas, too, but when it comes to creating the perfect outdoor living space, we feel two can be just as satisfying.

Elevated screened porch with deck and stairs - Columbia, SCDesigning beautiful, functional, quality outdoor living spaces is what we do best. In our experience we have discovered that one of our most requested pairings to enhance outdoor living is a deck and screened porch combination. This combination is wildly popular because it delivers the best of both worlds: an open air space for soaking up the sun, entertaining, and grilling outdoors and a protected space. The options available in our custom deck designs are as endless as the imagination, from integrated seating, planters, lighting and pergolas to outdoor kitchens and fire pits.

Screened Porch with Deck and Stone Patios

When the weather is less favorable, having the luxury of a screened porch will allow you the freedom to move the fun inside your protected porch. Screened porches keep you dry during times of inclement weather and protect you and your guests from annoying insects and the dangers associated with the sun. Having both structures will allow unparalleled enjoyment as these two spaces become one in your backyard setting!

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia SC

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia, SC.

One of our most recent deck and screened porch combinations was completed right here in Columbia. Here is a look at the finished project:

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia, SC.

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia, SC.

The homeowners are elated with their new outdoor living space. It is loaded with versatility and function and is designed for the way they want to live outdoors!

Contact Archadeck of Central SC today to help you make the most out of your outdoors too! Call us to schedule a free consultation at (803) 603 – 2160
or email us at

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 website and Houzz gallery for more examples of outdoor living combinations designed with YOU in mind!

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

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

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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