Category Archives: Hardwood Decks

The Columbia Backyard Deck is an Outdoor Living Classic

Irmo, SC, deck gets a makeover and a new pergola additionWhat do you think of when you hear the word “timeless”?

The definition of the word is “not affected by the passage of time or changes in fashion” — which means something that is timeless never goes out of style and is not restricted to a particular time or date; its appeal never expires. If you Google ” things that never go out of style” the results range from blue jeans and backyard barbecues to champagne and old books.

When it comes to outdoor living, trends can come and go, but the appeal of the backyard deck never goes out of style.  A professionally designed and built deck will provide years of enjoyment and will remain the center of activity for warm-weather outdoor entertaining and relaxation.

Beautifully detailed deck in NE Columbia, SC.

Beautifully detailed deck in NE Columbia, SC.

The origins of the backyard deck trace back to the height of consumer culture during the 1950’s an 1960’s, when the backyard moved beyond a place to grow food and sustain the household into an area for relaxation and leisure. Having your own little piece of green space behind the house where family and friends could relax and play became the new normal in the post-war period. The backyard was no longer just treated or thought about as a place of practicalities. It became about feelings of accomplishment and status. It became a symbol for The American Dream itself — enter the backyard deck.

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.

Overall, decks started as a means to ensure that leisure and comfort were the guiding principles in a backyard space, just as the porch had done to the front of the house in earlier eras. These same principles of promoting outdoor leisure and comfort are more prevalent in today’s deck designs than ever! Here at Archadeck of Central SC, we specialize in decks built from a wide range of materials including traditional pressure-treated pine, hardwoods and low-maintenance synthetics. Each deck we build is custom designed to blend seamlessly with your home and reflect your personal style. Our deck designs embrace beauty, quality and extended enjoyment where form and function combine as one.

View of Lake Murray from new Trex deck

View of Lake Murray from new Trex deck

We pride ourselves on being able to provide quality outdoor spaces for homeowners with varied budgets and lifestyle needs. All of our decks are designed with a keen eye for the holistic way homeowners now view their backyards with the goal of creating an outdoor escape.

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 for a deck or outdoor living space design consultation. We can ensure a backyard destination that never goes out of style! You can reach us at (803) 603 – 2160 or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net .

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Looking for a quality designed and constructed wooden deck?

This spacious pressure treated deck in Columbia, SC overlooks the tranquil Saluda river.With all the interest in low-maintenance decking materials, the beloved wooden deck we all know and love sometimes falls by the wayside. Archadeck of Central SC knows just how many Columbia area homeowners still want wood when it comes to building a deck. We are not downplaying the benefits or popularity of using low-maintenance composites by any means. We specialize in designing and building decks of various materials, including synthetics, in all shapes and sizes. However, when it comes to wooden decks, it is important to know that not all wooden deck builders and wood decking boards are created equal!

Custom pergola addition by Archadeck of Central SC

The widespread popularity of pressure-treated lumber isn’t surprising; it’s affordable, readily available coast-to-coast, strong and easy to cut and fasten with screws. Most PT decking is milled from southern yellow pine. A pressure-treated deck will require routine maintenance to prolong the life and look of the deck. PT wood is graded according to standards that make certain grades more optimal for deck construction. Keep in mind that the quality of the wood available to the do-it-yourselfer from “big-box” stores may be quite different from the wood quality available through specialty lumber suppliers. Professional deck builders, like Archadeck of Central SC, only obtain wood from selective, high-quality suppliers. This means that the wood we use is free of knots, warps and other inconsistencies evident in lower grade pressure-treated pine. In addition, the PT pine we use has also been treated with an Eco-life treatment that ensures better weathering of the wood itself.

pressure treated wood

Pressure treated wood is still the leader among outdoor structure materials in the US.

The maintenance required for your wooden deck is determined by many factors. An important one is your structure’s exposure to the sun. If your deck is facing South or west, you will have to clean, stain or seal your project more often to prevent sun damage. Decks facing north or east may not get enough sun and may experience moisture problems, requiring maintenance to keep them looking and functioning their best. Moisture will penetrate the wood on an unprotected deck causing it to expand and contract with weather changes. UV rays from direct sunlight will cause aging and deterioration of unprotected wood fibers present in the wood. Over time, mold and mildew can accumulate on your deck, too. Proper deck cleaning and sealing can prevent most of these problems.

Before and after Renew Crew deck cleaning.

Before and after Renew Crew deck cleaning.

As a homeowner, outsourcing  maintenance to make sure your wooden deck or outdoor space is adequately maintained is a viable option. Renew Crew of Central SC is an associate business of Archadeck specializing in outdoor structure maintenance and restoration. Renew Crew uses a 3-step system providing a comprehensive cleaning and protection service that is environmentally friendly and won’t cause any damage to plants, animals or your outdoor surfaces. By combining low-pressure power washing and cleaners to give your deck a heavy-duty clean, and following up with a fresh coat of proprietary sealant, their process protects your deck from water damage and every-day wear and tear. Renew Crew uses a wood-penetrating sealant with a proprietary, UV-blocking polymer mix that penetrates and protects the wood. This delivers a highly effective seal against the elements and shields your deck from the sun’s rotectuveharmful UV rays, which cause wood to turn gray over time. This protective treatment can sometimes help you avoid the expense of resurfacing or building a new deck.

Deck revived by Renew Crew of Central SC

Deck revived by Renew Crew of Central SC.

Remember, when you make the decision to use wood as your deck or outdoor space material, it is never a question of “if” it will be affected by the elements; it is a question of “how soon.” If you are willing to care for your deck, then it will remain beautiful and serve you well. If a wood deck is well maintained and doesn’t have excessive sun exposure it can last upwards of 20-25 years.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Traditional wood decks offer a beautiful natural appearance that complements the outdoors. Archadeck of Central SC can help explore all your decking options while keeping budget and personal tastes in mind. Please contact us today to help create your ultimate outdoor experience with a new deck! You can reach us by phone at (803) 603 – 2160 or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net

 

Archadeck of Central SC discusses the “beauty and the beast” of decking materials: Ipe Brazilian Hardwood

Ipe Brazilian hardwood deck with metal railing.

Ipe Brazilian hardwood deck with metal railing.

The phone is ringing here at Archadeck of Central SC and many of the inquiries we are receiving are from homeowners wanting to learn more about Brazilian hardwoods, especially Ipe. As this beautiful material gets more exposure from home & garden magazines, TV and image media sites such as Houzz, we, too, are seeing an increased interest from homeowners wanting to use it for their own outdoor structure projects.

This screened porch features an Ipe floor.

This screened porch features an Ipe floor.

What is Ipe?

Ipe (pronounced EE-pay) is one of the finest quality wood decking materials available. A Brazilian hardwood, also commonly referred to as “ironwood” because of its natural resistance to rot and decay, Ipe comes from a group of trees from the species Tabebuia. These trees are primarily found in Central and South America but primarily grow in Brazil. All the Ipe we use on our projects comes from responsibly-harvested and well-managed forests to provide you with a truly renewable resource.

Ipe-Swatches-300x550Strong & Beautiful

Ipe is also considered by many to be “the beauty and the beast” of decking materials because of its tough, resilient properties and unique, exotic look.  Along with being incredibly durable, it’s also naturally resistant to rot, decay, wet conditions, and infestation by termites and borers. Additionally, it has a Class A fire rating — the same rating given to concrete and steel. This material is so strong, in fact,  that installation may require pre-drilling holes prior to assembly to keep the integrity of the boards intact. Even though Ipe is a natural hardwood, it has properties that make it one of the toughest and longest-lasting decking materials available. The famous Atlantic City Boardwalk is even built from Ipe because it also holds up beautifully under extreme traffic and heavy use. Ipe is generally sealed or stained to retain its rich amber hue. If left untreated, Ipe will still retain its longevity and many of its benefits but will fade to an elegant dove gray over time. Keep in mind the surface of an Ipe outdoor structure, if open to the elements,  must be treated every year to maintain its beautiful, rich appearance.

IPE poolside deck.

Ipe poolside deck.

Perfect by the Pool 

This material is perfectly suited for use near water where other materials fall short. Ipe is so dense that it doesn’t rot or decay making it an obvious material choice for docks, pool decks and waterside decks.

 The use of Ipe is not new to the realm of outdoor living structures. Disney parks have frequently use Ipe as an outdoor space building material, and parts of the iconic Coney Island boardwalk are built from Ipe wood. 

Ipe deck with outdoor kitchen

Ipe pool deck with outdoor kitchen.An Ipe deck will last a minimum of 25 ye

Hardwood decks offer a beautiful natural appearance that complements the outdoors. Archadeck of Central SC can help explore all your decking options while keeping your budget and personal tastes in mind. Contact us today to help create your ultimate outdoor experience with a new deck! (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 wooden decks photo gallery, hardwood decks photo gallery and Ipe decks photo gallery located on our website for more examples of the natural beauty of our wooden decks.

Wood decking options – Archadeck of Central SC provides the ultimate guide to material choices used in creating your dream deck

This deck and pergola prove a winning combination for these Irmo, SC residents

This deck and pergola prove a winning combination for these Irmo, SC, residents

From a homeowner’s perspective, choosing the right material for your deck compared to other outdoor living spaces may seem simple. However, we are living in a time when making the decision to build a deck can also come with a mountain of abundant choices. Decking material options have grown exponentially over the past several years. It wasn’t so long ago that the only choice you had for a deck was wood, which came in perhaps two or three species. Nowadays thanks to an explosion of material choices from woods to synthetics, homeowners have a myriad of considerations in choosing the right decking material to fit their lifestyle and budget. Archadeck of Central SC has put together a two-part series on decking material considerations. Today, in part one of this series, we focus on wooden decking choices in an effort to make the task of choosing the best material for your dream deck a little less daunting.

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 within the landscape into the design of the deck.

Wood — the allure of “the real thing” 

  •  Pressure Treated Wood – Despite all the competition, pressure treated wood is still the number one decking material sold today. In fact, according to a recent article in Popular Mechanics, approximately 75% of all new decks are finished with pressure-treated (PT) lumber. The widespread popularity of PT lumber isn’t surprising: it’s affordable, readily available coast-to-coast, structurally strong and easy to cut and fasten with screws. Most PT decking is milled from southern yellow pine, and then chemically treated to resist rot, fungus and wood-boring bugs. The downside of PT lumber is that it’s not dimensionally stable, so it has a tendency to crack, split and warp. Also, routine maintenance is necessary to prolong the life and look of the deck. PT wood is graded according to standards that make certain grades more optimal for deck construction. Keep in mind that the quality of the wood available to the do-it-yourselfer from “big-box” stores maybe quite different from the wood quality available through reputable lumber suppliers. Professional deck builders, like Archadeck of Central SC, only obtain wood from high-quality suppliers. Prices for PT deck materials can range from $.50 linear ft. for #2 lumber to $2.00 linear ft. and higher for select and clear grade lumber. PT wood decking boards come in two different sizes, these are classified as 2 x 6’s, which are actually 1 1/2 x 5 1/2, and 5/4 x 6, which are actually 1 x 5 1/2.

Lumber grade is typically determined by the surface of the wood and the number of knots present.The following grading standards via Decks.com give insight in to the various classifications of PT wood:

Clear – Clear lumber has a “clear” surface, meaning there are no knots it also means it has been milled a second time. This type if lumber is rarely used for decks.

Premium – Highest grade for 5/4 radius edge decking. This has a uniform surface and no knots.

pressure treated wood Select – One of the highest grades available, contains very few detects. It must meet a minimum 1/12 grain slope and have all knots encased. It has a high consistency and the appearance is very good. Archadeck of Central SC’s standard is Select PT from a reputable supplier.

 #1 – Will contain no splits larger than the width of the board. Knots may not be larger than 2 ¾”. One hole is permitted every 3 ft.

 #Standard – Midrange grade.

#2 – Must meet minimum 1/8 grain slope. Boards will contain no splits larger than 1.5 times width of board. Knots may not be larger than 3 1/2″. One hole is permitted every 2 ft. Wane corners.

#3 – The lowest quality grade. Not suitable for deck construction.

  •  Hardwoods – When it comes to wood, a homeowner’s choices are not limited to PT. There are many other wood decking choices available. Of course, the old favorites like redwood and cedar come to mind. Both redwood and cedar will rot and degrade over time. These classics are not used as often since the advent of composites. Wood decking options have expanded to include exotic woods whose names alone are enticing. Massaranduba, Garapa, Cumaru, Tigerwood, Ipe and Mahogany are just some of the tropical hardwoods available for decking. Tropical hardwoods are relatively expensive, especially when compared with PT lumber, but boast rich graining and are extremely hard, very durable and naturally resistant to rot and insects.
  • Multi-level Ipe deck with pergola

    Multi-level Ipe deck with pergola.

    The beauty and the beast of hardwoods is Ipe – Here at Archadeck of Central SC, Ipe (pronounced e-pay) is among the most requested material by homeowners wishing to build their deck with hardwood. Ipe is a Brazilian hardwood that is coveted for its strength and density. Ipe is so strong that installation may require pre-drilling holes prior to assembly to keep the integrity of the boards intact. Even though Ipe is a natural hardwood it has properties that make it one of the toughest and longest lasting decking materials available. Ipe gives composites a run for their money in terms of the many benefits it provides as a superior decking product. Ipe is insect resistant, mold, fungus and mildew resistant. Ipe also resists scratches and slivers and wood rot and decay. It also holds up beautifully under extreme traffic and heavy use.  Ipe is generally sealed or stained to retain its rich amber hue, but when left untreated, will weather to a driftwood gray over time. Beware of fly-by-night suppliers of Ipe casting off substandard materials as high-grade Ipe. There are many different types of Brazilian hardwoods, which generally range in price from $4.00 linear ft. for Garapa, to upwards of $6.50 linear ft. for Ipe. Archadeck of Central SC has a great deal of knowledge and experience in working with hardwoods, which can also be very difficult to work with because of their density and high-maintenance to keep them looking good.

  • IPE deck with curve makes a statement and creates a great area, out of traffic pattern, to enjoy the great view. Powder coated black rail minimizes the intrusion on the view.

    IPE deck with curve makes a design statement .

    Mixed media –  If you are having trouble choosing the right wood for your deck or outdoor structure, it is possible to mix the use of two, or even more, woods into your outdoor living space. A good example of successfully mixing medias is using Ipe hardwood as your deck flooring, and using an alternate complimentary wood on your deck rail and posts. The density of Ipe often makes it difficult for use on areas that require pliability. Cedar and even stained or painted PT wood can be used alongside more exotic hardwoods and deliver a breathtaking finished deck!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Traditional wood decks offer a beautiful natural appearance that complements the outdoors. Archadeck of Central SC can help explore all your decking options while keeping budget and personal tastes in mind. Please contact us today to help create your ultimate outdoor experience with a new deck! (803) 603 – 2160
centralsc@archadeck.net

Please visit our wooden decks photo gallery, hardwood decks photo gallery and Ipe decks photo gallery located on our website for more examples of the natural beauty of our wooden decks.