Category Archives: Deck and pergola combinations

Outdoor Living on Lake Murray Never Looked So Good!

Lake Murray SC Deck Builders

This project simply takes your breath away! It is as if it leaped right off the pages of one of those glossy home & garden magazines and right into the backyard of this Lake Murray residence. Take a look at the amazing structure in this video we created for the Archadeck of Central SC YouTube channel:

This gorgeous deck is built from pressure-treated pine that has been stained. The flowing multi-level design features a centerpiece of twin staircases leading from the landing to the upper-level deck. The deck encompasses the entire back of the home with ample area for rocking chair relaxation, outdoor dining and entertaining and 360-degree views of tranquil Lake Murray from every angle.

Lake Murray SC Deck Builders

An eclectic custom-built pergola is also part of this spacious design. It delivers the charm of a gazebo in an open-air setting with a unique, out-of-the-box take on how creative a pergola design can be. As you can see in the photos, these Lake Murray homeowners are avid bird watchers. This deck is flanked by bird feeders allowing a “bird’s eye view” of the abundant wildlife they will enjoy when using their fabulous new space!

Lake Murray Wooden Deck with Vertical Cable Railing

In order to minimize obstruction of the view, Archadeck of Central SC installed a vertical aluminum cable rail, giving the deck an air of contemporary elegance. Last but not least, the skirting of the deck was built to match the home’s existing siding perfectly, giving the sense that the deck was original to the home. An added bonus is the ample storage space that is hidden below the deck, keeping lawn and garden supplies out of sight.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Learn more about increasing your outdoor living enjoyment lakeside by contacting Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at

You can see more of our completed projects on Lake Murray by visiting our Just Add Water page located on our website.




Archadeck of Central SC explores the benefits of choosing a large deck design

Elegant deck, pergola and patio by Archadeck

Is an elegant deck and pergola your idea of a dream backyard? If so, we can make it a reality.

Here at Archadeck of Central SC homeowners often ask us how big we feel their deck design should be. The answer to this question is solely dependent on what you and your family want to use the space for, your budget and how the dynamics of the space will correlate with your existing home, lot and other outdoor structures. However, when size constraints are not an option, we are seeing an increase in the popularity of larger decks that function more like “outdoor rooms” than the traditional 10 x 12 decks of yesteryear, and here’s why…

You are probably familiar with the old saying “bigger is better,” right? As Americans, we generally assume this old saying rings true — hence our affinity for bigger cars, houses and yes, super-size fries. One of the biggest trends in deck design is their increase in size over recent years. However, this increase is not for some of the reasons that may first come to mind: for example, to show social status or to accommodate a larger family. The reasoning behind building larger decks is simple. It is because homeowners crave the same comforts and function outdoors that they have in their interior living space.

This lakeside pressure treated deck includes built in bench seating, and unique privacy railing. We also integrated the existing trees within the landscape into the design of the deck- stunning.

This lakeside pressure- treated deck includes built -in bench seating and unique privacy railing. We also integrated the existing trees into the design of the deck.

To gauge the benefits of choosing to go larger when designing your ideal deck space, look at it this way: ”in most cases, inside your home, you have a dining room, kitchen, living room and family room. Homeowners are requesting these same spaces be designed into their deck, with areas for dining, a sitting or socializing area, and of course a cooking area.” A recent article published by Remodeling Magazine points out that “the 200-square-foot deck is increasingly looking like a relic of the past as more homeowners push for more outdoor living space, and remodelers and builders are lining up to accommodate them.”

Your very own backyard deck by Archadeck of Central SC

Imagine your next family barbecue on your very own backyard deck by Archadeck of Central SC.

A large-scale deck design that encompasses the feel of an “outdoor living room” does take longer to plan, design and build as compared to the “typical” decks of the past. However, the benefits and extended function a larger, well-planned deck can provide are worth the additional time it takes to complete. Archadeck of Central SC custom designs each detail of our decks to cater to the individual function our customers seek. To get the most out of your deck, no matter how large, efficient and clever use of space is very important.


  • Here are 10 ideas courtesy of Remodeling Magazine to ensure the best use of space when planning your dream deck:

#1) Process plays a key role in the success of your outdoor living project.Think in layers – Not so long ago, decks both large and small used to be flat, square, single-surface spaces. But the larger the deck, the more it calls for curves, multiple levels, staircases, built-in seating, and railings.

#2) Capture the curves – Flexible composite decking allows for accentuation of the curves within a deck design and is a favorite among deck builders who are partial to curved surfaces, sidewalks and staircases, which can create an eye-catching segue between two levels of the deck.

#3)archadeck experience Move the eye along – Add a focal point or two to a large, empty span of deck by building a planter or fire pit in the middle or lining the perimeter with built-in seating. Adding a pergola to your deck is also a great way to create a focal point that will extend functionality.

#4) Create drama – Accentuate curves, railings and fascia boards with a contrasting color to create a frame around the deck floor, often referred to as “picture framing.” You may also incorporate inset designs, like diamond shapes in alternate colors, to create something unique for each homeowner; these methods are often seen with composite deck designs… And don’t be shy about mixing materials on your deck: faux stone columns, a metal roof or a granite countertop within a built-in food preparation area will make the outdoor room look more upscale and custom-designed.

#5)Deck with kitchen and pergola and ample pull out room for outdoor furnishings Proportions matter – A 1,800-square-foot deck on the back of a 2,000-square-foot home is probably too big to “go” with that house. Size up within reason.

#6) Add some shade – A homeowner who springs for a 600-square-foot-plus deck is going to want to use it as often as possible. A pergola, awning, canopy or roof over the deck will allow the client to cook, entertain or relax outdoors even on hot, sunny days or during rain showers. Keep in mind any shade structure should be as low-maintenance as the deck itself.

#7) Be prepared to wait a little longer– It takes a while to build a big deck. Especially if the outdoor room is full of custom features or will be home to electric or gas appliances, the job will include an electrician, a plumber and the local building inspector. If the deck includes multiple tiers, the builder might need to consult with an engineer or architect.

This spacious pressure treated deck in Columbia, SC overlooks the tranquil Saluda river.

This spacious pressure-treated deck in Columbia, SC, overlooks the tranquil Saluda River.

#8) Consider the view –  If the upper tier of a two-story deck is right over the lower one, take special care with the placement of the posts so they’re not too close to doors and windows, where they can block the homeowner’s view and path to the yard. Also, build in an under-deck gutter to catch rain that falls on the upper deck so it won’t soak the deck’s lower level and its inhabitants.

#9) Leave enough room – Even a big deck can run out of room if the design includes a hot tub. A typical 7-by-7-foot spa takes up at least a 10-by-10-foot space so there’s enough room around it for a railing, a privacy screen or a path for bathers and maintenance technicians to walk around it in order to gain access in the event of scheduled maintenance or repairs on your spa or hot tub.

#10) Outdoor Fire PitMake it useful – Include warmth and light so you can use your deck after dark and during at least three seasons. Popular options: built-in fireplaces and fire pits and ceiling-mounted heaters. You’ll have plenty of room for them.

So, to answer the question “is a bigger deck better,” it all depends on your individual needs and personal tastes. If you are looking for a deck that delivers layers of extended function, or a deck with that outdoor room feel — then, most definitely, bigger is 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 learn more about our unforgettable deck and outdoor room designs today! You may call us at (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at Our design consultation is free, but what you gain in outdoor living enjoyment is priceless!

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 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.