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
centralsc@archadeck.net. 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 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 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
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.