Category Archives: Custom pergola 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 We specialize in making your outdoor living dreams come true!

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

Archadeck of Central South Carolina Pergola 101: Shedding light on why the pergola is so hot!


Details of one of two custom aluminum pergolas which grace this wooden deck in West Columbia SC

Details of a custom aluminum pergola that graces this wooden deck in West Columbia, SC.

Turn on any one of a number of home & garden channels and you are destined to see an elegant pergola taking center stage. Pick up any home and garden magazine and you will notice the glossy pages are filled with images of pergolas. Pergolas have risen to the top of the “must have” list for homeowners upgrading or planning a new outdoor living space. Pergolas may seem simple in terms of their construction, but this winning structure can be as simple or as detailed as you wish, from a romantic arched beauty in the backyard to a masculine- influenced feature of an outdoor kitchen or patio. Pergolas serve many aesthetic and functional duties and come in many styles, sizes and materials. We have watched the popularity of the pergola grow over the past few years. Whether used alone in the landscape or garden as a shade structure, or in conjunction with another outdoor living structure, the pergola has become a timeless backyard fixture in its own right.

Deck with kitchen and pergola and ample pull out room for outdoor furnishings

Deck with outdoor kitchen and pergola.

Pergolas can be used to add depth and help define a deck or patio.They can be placed within a landscape with seating or even a swing or hammock to create a special spot where you can read or just relax.  Pergolas also allow creative freedom because there are several kinds of materials you can use for your design.This will help you create an eclectic space that is truly one-of-a-kind.

Here are two examples that demonstrate the pergola’s versatility:

Exploring the pergola’s masculine side – the character you build into your pergola is determined by its size and the type of materials you choose for its construction. Natural cedar beams, or beams wrapped with cedar and stained in natural wooden tones will create a rustic feel to your pergola and the outdoor living space it is a part of.

Beefy details make the difference in this pergola by Archadeck of Austin

The pergola as the true romantic –  pergolas can also be designed to emulate nature and invite relaxation within your landscape. You will often see the pergola portrayed as a romantic centerpiece in the garden. 

Arched Roof Freestanding Pergola- Sitting Area

You may ask what is the secret to designing a romantic pergola? The key is in the details. Arches, Ogee ends, smaller beams, ornate details and even opting to stain or paint your pergola white rather than leaving it natural will help achieve a romantic look and feel if that’s what you want.

Poolside heavy timber pergola offers refuge

This beefy timbered poolside pergola features a top portion of closely positioned rafters, providing maximum shade.

We design and build pergolas to accommodate the various needs of our clients. Aside from the obvious visual appeal they add to your home and landscape, shade is often the primary reason homeowners build pergolas. Pergolas do deliver a measure of shade to a sunny outdoor space. The amount of shade a pergola can provide is dependent on the construction details of the pergola itself. A pergola that is built with wider rafters or cross beams that are placed closer together will provide more shade than one built with these elements spanning farther apart. However, all shade factors are influenced by the  placement of your pergola in correlation to the direction and amount of sunlight your location receives. Keep in mind this can change with the seasons as well.

Be aware, when choosing your pergola design, wood pergolas will require maintenance. This includes staining and painting which can sometimes be a cumbersome task due to the intricacies of some pergolas. Aluminum is a clean, lightweight option that doesn’t need painting. If you want the ambiance and function a pergola provides without the chore of maintenance, these alternative materials will fit the bill.

Wooden deck with Aluminum pergola in West Columbia by Archadeck of Central SC

Wooden deck with aluminum pergola in West Columbia by Archadeck of Central SC.

In addition to designing the pergola to deliver the most shade benefits, homeowners can also add shade canopies, awnings or curtains to their pergola to create even more protection from the sun. Many of these options look quite nice and are treated with additional sunscreen protection to help block the UVA and UVB rays from the sun.

There are many ways a pergola can dress up a backyard. A pergola can be a cost-effective way to add character and style to your oudoor living space while serving as a unique shade structure.

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 our various pergola styles and materials to create your own one-of-a-kind pergola.(803) 603-2160


Archadeck of Central SC explores the top 5 ways to make 2014 the year to improve your outdoor living space!

New Years resolutionA New Year signifies a time for change and renewal. When you think of the term “resolution,” you usually think of it as following through with an act of self-improvement.  Let’s face it, resolutions are made with the best intentions – some are successful and some wane early on. Why not make this year different by resolving to improve the lifestyle of your entire family and add value to your home at the same time? Why not resolve to improve your outdoor living space? Now is the time to get started if you want your improvements by spring.

There are many benefits associated with choosing to move ahead with your intended project rather than waiting until the outdoor living season has begun. These include shorter wait times, saving money on materials, less interruption to your lawn, landscape and lifestyle. The largest benefit, inevitably, is being able to have your outdoor space operational in time for the warmer months ahead!

While many people realize that there are benefits to having a great outdoor living space, they may not be sure how to take what they have and transform it into their ideal  space. Archadeck of Central SC has put together a list of the five best ways to improve your outdoor living space for 2014.

This composite deck in Lexington is a true gem!

This composite deck in Lexington, SC, is a true gem!

#1) Transform your deck space – Decks still remain the epicenter of outdoor living for the backyard. If you have an existing deck in need of an upgrade or your backyard is a blank canvas yearning for inspiration, now is the time to act to ensure your space is warm-weather ready for the outdoor living season ahead! Maybe you are seeking a way to turn your aging low-aesthetic, high-maintenance wooden deck into a high-aesthetic, low-maintenance deck by re-decking with one of the many quality composites on the market. Maybe you are ready to expand an existing deck. Whatever the reason, now is the season to change.

Sunroom Sitting Area

This sunroom sitting area functions as a secondary living room.

#2) A room with a view –  Savvy homeowners are looking for a space that allows for extended dining, relaxing, entertaining, recreation and all of the above. Outdoor room additions such as sunrooms, three and four-season rooms, and screened porches give homeowners a place to enjoy the outdoors beyond the seasonal limitations of a deck or patio. Outdoor rooms can be enjoyed throughout the cooler seasons and beyond, and all in an insect-free protected space,

#3) Turn up the heat by adding an outdoor fire feature – Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are very popular in outdoor living design. They have proven to be more than a trend. Not only do serve as a focal point of beauty, they will also add hours of enjoyment to your backyard. Outdoor fire features work great in conjunction with patios, porches, and outdoor room additions such as sunrooms, and 3 & 4 season rooms.  An outdoor fire feature exudes ambiance and is worth the investment.

Archadeck of Central SC custom fire pit on slate patio

Our most recent fire pit addition is this stunning stone fire pit integrated into an existing patio in Columbia,SC.

Deck with kitchen and pergola and ample pull out room for outdoor furnishings

Deck with outdoor kitchen and pergola.

#4) Outdoor Kitchens – Who doesn’t enjoy dining outdoors? We dine outdoors and throw dinner parties on the deck, and so why not kick it up a notch this year? Outdoor kitchens are becoming more commonplace in outdoor design. What was once a space for backyard grilling has evolved into a whole outdoor, gourmet kitchen. Outdoor kitchens can be designed to include ovens, warming drawers, smokers, refrigerators, ice machines and even the kitchen sink! No more running in and out from the grill to the fridge. No more lugging a cooler out and back in. The great outdoors with all the convenience of a modern kitchen!

Central SC deck and pergola with seating wall

This Central SC custom deck features a pergola and built-in seating.

#5) Top it off with a pergola – Pergolas simply look good in any setting. They can be used to flank a spa or outdoor kitchen, provide shade to a sunny space, add privacy or    depth and help define a deck or patio. Pergola additions come with many benefits other than just the obvious aesthetic value they provide.

No matter which outdoor living space best suits your needs, Archadeck of Central SC can plan, design and build a structure, or combination of structures, that is sure to make 2014 the best year ever. Our outdoor spaces are designed with a keen eye for the holistic way you view your backyard with the goal of creating an outdoor escape. We strive to bring a modern approach to outdoor structures steeped in the quality craftsmanship of a by-gone era. We specialize in creating unforgettable outdoor structures with attention to the smallest details and quality you can see and feel!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Call us today for a free consultation at  (803) 603 – 2160 or you may email us at

Archadeck of Central SC explores the endless options for using a pergola within your backyard deck addition

Wooden deck with Aluminum pergola in West Columbia by Archadeck of Central SC

Wooden deck with Aluminum pergola in West Columbia by Archadeck of Central SC

Nowadays, it almost doesn’t seem natural to see a deck without a pergola. A pergola has become a welcome companion to the backyard deck. It serves not only as a focal point of interest and beauty, but can also add valuable shade to that sunny spot on a deck that receives a great deal of afternoon sun. Pergolas also make a great way to flank the addition of other backyard amenities such as an outdoor kitchen addition, or to add privacy to a hot tub deck.

The popularity of the pergola is nothing new, and is evident throughout history. The word pergola is derived from the Latin word “pergula,” which means a “projecting eave,” commonly found as an extended roof or arbor. The first known use of the term pergola dates back to the 1640s during the late medieval period. It was used by John Evelyn at the cloister of Trinita dei Monti in Rome. During this same time, Eastern Asia was creating their own pergola structures featuring curved beams that emulated the arched characteristics of their pagodas.

Large deck with with white vinyl pergola

Large deck with white vinyl pergola.

Though you can see traces of the pergola’s origins in some of today’s modern pergola designs, the range of materials used to construct pergolas is now much more vast. Low-maintenance materials like vinyl and fiberglass offer homeowners a pergola that will stand the test of time. In addition to low-maintenance pergolas, Archadeck of Central SC also offers pergolas built from a wide range of wood mediums as well as resilient aluminum.

Double pergolas on West Columbia SC wooden deck by Archadeck of Central SC

Archadeck of Central SC is currently wrapping up a project that features two stunning custom pergolas as part of a deck and pergola combination in West Columbia, SC.

Attached wood pergola follows shape of deck

Attached wood pergola follows shape of deck.

Our pergola designs can be as simplistic or ornate as our customers see fit, from two-beam, or four-beam, wall mount or detached designs, the choices are endless. When it comes to using the pergola as a shade structure, the construction of the pergola is key to making the pergola more conducive for adding shade. This is achieved through the spacing between the cross beams located atop the pergola and by using wider rafters in the pergola design. The closer the beams are set, or the wider the rafters, the more sun protection your pergola will offer. All of these factors are influenced by the intended placement of your pergola in correlation to the direction and amount of sunlight your location receives. Archadeck of Central SC offers many ways a pergola owner can increase the sun protection while keeping the original design of the pergola intact. We have many options available that can be customized to deliver the most shade and comfort to your pergola and deck addition.

Details of one of two custom aluminum pergolas which grace this wooden deck in West Columbia SC

Details of one of two custom aluminum pergolas which grace this wooden deck in West Columbia, SC.

Pergolas provide a huge benefit for homeowners in search of a shade structure that will still allow sunlight to penetrate their interior living spaces. Loss of light is a concern for homeowners when considering a covered porch or outdoor room addition. Roofed structures don’t allow as much sunshine into your interior living spaces as does a deck and pergola addition, which can enhance the mood and flow within your home. A deck and pergola addition will to allow sun to flow freely into your home and will also influence your heating and cooling costs throughout the season and especially in the winter. This is an often overlooked benefit of choosing a pergola and deck combination!

To learn more about our how our unique and functional deck and pergola designs can make beautiful music together in your backyard, contact Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation (803) 603 – 2160

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 examples of pergola and deck combinations by visiting our deck photo galleries and our pergola and trellis photo gallery located on our website.