Category Archives: Outdoor fun

Enjoy your porch well into the Winter thanks to clever ideas from Archadeck of Central SC!

Columbia, SC three season room with rustic beadboard ceiling, ample dining and seating areas complete with a cozy outdoor fireplace.Unlike decks and patios that are usually exposed to the elements, a porch that is screened and/or covered can extend your autumn and winter time outdoors even if it’s a tad chilly outside. There are plenty of ways to keep your Columbia, SC, porch warm and toasty this fall with some clever ideas that will keep your screened porch family-friendly in cold weather.

Adding a fireplace as part of your porch build is a terrific way to inject ambiance and real warmth into the space. Whether it’s wood burning or gas, you can enjoy the cooler weather with the allure of the flicker of flames and the heat it provides. It is possible to add a fireplace to an already existing porch as well, and Archadeck of Central South Carolina can certainly help you do that if your previous builder did not put one in initially. A fireplace brings instant atmosphere to a porch and is the perfect spot to enjoy marshmallows and hot chocolate with the kids or a delightful outdoor dinner with wine for some romantic time with your love. A fireplace turns your porch into a true outdoor room that is an extension of your indoor space and adds lots of value to your home.

Outdoor Patio HeaterIf budgets are tight or space does not allow, gorgeous outdoor space heaters give you the vibe of an outdoor fireplace with a smaller footprint and a modern flair. You can use an electric or gas one to get the job done in an attractive way that adds plenty of interest on a porch. These affordable heaters come in all shapes, sizes and styles—from traditional to modern—to fit any decorating scheme. There are those that are floor standing and others that you can pop on the table. Some are even ingeniously disguised to look like a lamp if you are worried about aesthetics.  The key is to select one that is rated for outdoor use and specially designed to use in a covered area such as a porch.

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

Custom wall/ceiling -mounted infrared heaters.

Infrared electric heaters can be mounted onto the ceiling or even a wall so they are up and out of the way and push heat down into an open space. You may have noticed these in outdoor restaurant patios in colder temps, but these are now available for residential use, too. They work by using light to directly heat people  within the space instead of heating the air itself, so they are the perfect solution for an open air situation. Instead of wasting money heating the entire area, infrared heaters simply warm those sitting near them. When strategically placed, they are economical and fairly efficient as well.

Columbia SC outdoor fireplaces

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

Since a porch is either open all around or screened in to protect from nasty bugs and poor weather, Archadeck of Central South Carolina gives you the option of turning your existing porch into a three or four season room. We can add a special enclosure that allows for a four-track panel window. This area can be heated in many different ways, from an economical space heater to a ductless heating system with a slim streamlined design or we can even integrate an outdoor fireplace into your porch design. If you want to enjoy a breeze on a beautiful day, you simply slide the window panels open and you are back to feel of a porch again. You get the best of both worlds!

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 and budget and keep you loving outdoor living season after season!

Advertisements

Archadeck of Central SC Explores the Popularity of the “She Shed” in Outdoor Living Design

Columbia SC She Shed builder

She shed in Columbia, SC, built by Archadeck of Central SC.

In a specialty design world that has long been governed by the fancies of men’s outdoor activities comes the arrival of a structure in the backyard a woman can call her own — the “she shed.” A “she shed” is the woman’s answer to the “man cave.” This newest addition to the gender-specific outdoor sanctuary is a backyard haven for busy women seeking a quiet reprieve from the world. Whether it is for reading in solace, gardening, indulging in a hobby, or just a place to take an afternoon nap surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, the popularity of the she shed continues to evolve and grow.

Sometimes, A Gal Just Needs A Moment To Herself!

She sheds come in all shapes and sizes but share a few general design characteristics in common.

  • A detached structure away from the home itself, usually tucked into the landscape or garden.
  • Enclosed under a roof in order to protect contents from inclement weather and insects.

In many cases a she shed can be little more than a storage building customized to reflect the owner’s tastes and interests. More elaborate custom she shed designs can include electricity, A/C and heating and even exquisite crystal chandeliers dangling from the rafters! When it comes to design options for creating a one-of-a-kind backyard getaway, “she sheds” know no limits. There are no rules to building a she shed; they can be anything you want them to be, and much more!

take a look at these inspirational She Shed designs courtesy of popsugar.com:

Take a look at these inspirational she shed designs courtesy of popsugar.com.

 It’s Not About He Said/She Shed!

Though termed a “she” shed, these unique outdoor sanctuaries can be enjoyed by the whole family, even the dog! Archadeck of Central SC designed and constructed a custom she shed here in Columbia for a lovely couple, and it was covered in a recent article titled “This garden shed in Columbia, SC, gives new meaning to having a place for everything and everything in its place.” Details of the shed include a concrete floor with a Hardie Plank Siding exterior and a standing seam roof. A cupola graces the roof topping off the charming exterior. Archadeck of Central SC was able to repurpose some existing windows the homeowners had left over from their home, and we even added a charming pergola detail atop the side window of the 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 Columbia homeowners are elated with their she shed, which also includes a custom romantic-inspired fence reminiscent of those seen in English gardens of a by-gone era. The homeowners are looking forward to enjoying hours of birdwatching and gardening in their unique outdoor space.

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 she shed, outdoor man cave or other one-of-a-kind outdoor space contact Archadeck of Central SC today to get started! You can contact us at  (803) 603-2160 or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Fire features fan the flames of socializing and coziness in your outdoor living space

Archadeck 2013 PhotographyWe are less than a month away from the first day of fall, and with it comes so many wonderful things. As fall approaches we say goodbye to warm summer evenings, sunbathing, water sports and all the endless summer fun. Now is the time to welcome the glory that is autumn, and the addition of a fire feature — such as a fireplace or fire pit — to your outdoor living space is the perfect way to do it.

Not only does a fire feature offer several benefits,  it also helps to bring a nice conclusion to almost any day of every season! Being a leading designer and builder of custom outdoor living spaces in this area, Archadeck of Central SC has helped hundreds of homeowners add outdoor living spaces, including custom fire features, increasing the curb appeal of their homes.

One of the best things about a fireplace or fire pit is that it can be used year round. Your outside parties will be enhanced with marshmallow toasting, hot dog roasting, cocktails, warm cider and s’mores galore! The benefits of capitalizing on the fire element’s appeal are many. An outdoor fire feature with year-round functionality extends South Carolina’s outdoor season, as well as your home’s physical capacity for accommodating social gatherings.

Is a fire pit right for you

Our custom designs encourage quality time outdoors!

When the autumn nights begin to settle in, even though it may be a little chilly, a fire element can warm you right up and give you an excuse to be outside. Whether it’s down time with the family, intimate get-togethers with friends, or a full-blown party, having a fireplace or fire pit adds another dimension to entertaining. Inevitably, it becomes the focal point, and as most who have spent time staring into a blaze will attest, it encourages friendly conversation and warm feelings. Even while relaxing at home in your hot tub or sauna, a fire feature offers a healthy means of de-stressing.

Much like any outdoor living structure or element, a fire feature can be customized to match your tastes and needs. Even with a smaller yard, you can still create an intimate space for gatherings. From the furniture to the actual fire pit itself, there are plenty of ways you can customize your outdoor space and still reap all of these benefits:

  • Entertainment – nothing says gather a group of friends and family together like a fire pit or fireplace, as it’s a great way to extend your party space to the outdoors.
  • Smores over fireCooking – although, not as precise as a grill or bar-b-que, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces can provide a flame over which you can create a multitude of culinary creations.
  • Heat – you can extend your entertaining seasons a bit by staying warm on those chilly evenings practically year round.
  • Ambiance – even if you aren’t into throwing parties or entertaining, the ambiance a fire feature brings is worth the investment alone, especially if you are into star gazing with a loved one while sitting next to one of nature’s most captivating elements.
  • Added home value – an attractive fire feature creates an enthralling focal point that can  help make your home stand apart from others.
Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

If we have fanned the flames of your desire to add a fire feature to your existing outdoor living space, or have sparked your interest in custom designing and building of a new outdoor living space with a fire feature, Archadeck of Central South Carolina is your builder of choice. We can help you custom design and build the outdoor living space of your dreams with a fire feature that will keep you cozy outdoors and optimize the use of your back yard for almost year-round enjoyment. We’re a professional contractor with the answers to all your questions about fire features or any other outdoor living structure. Contact Archadeck of Central South Carolina today to learn more about the placement, size, construction and cost of a fire feature and much more at (803) 603-2160  or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Archadeck of Central SC is Proud to Help Americans Celebrate July 4th in Their Own Backyard

Archadeck of Central SC celebrates July 4thOur staff is getting ready to celebrate Independence Day with our families here at Archadeck of Central SC. We hope all our customers are busy planning their outdoor festivities on their backyard decks with barbeques with friends and family. At Archadeck, it’s an honor for us to know that we are an integral part of your summer holiday celebrations. It’s with great pride that we know our design and building expertise leads to your outdoor all-American fun.

We are fortunate to live in a country where freedom and a strong dose of patriotism are plentiful, and we hope you have a great Independence Day enjoying not only your backyard, but also the fun happening around the Columbia, SC, region.  Here are a few events happening in our community for you to check out for family fun:

Happy 4th of July from ArchadeckWe know how to celebrate the Fourth in Columbia, SC, so one day just isn’t enough to pack in all the fun. We start the festivities on July 3rd at historic Fort Jackson with an entire day of festivities. It all begins at 8 AM with a run/walk and a twelve mile bike ride at Hilton Field, plus a whole host of other activities that are family friendly. At 4 PM the kids will have a blast on rides and games; and if great music is a must on your list then enjoy Eric Mayweather and the Finesse Band and Fort Jackson’s 282nd “Rock Band” kicking off the musical entertainment at 6:30 PM. At 9 PM a cannon salute to each state in America and a 30-minute fireworks display cap off the evening.

Also on July 3rd, Saluda Shoals Park will feature the Lake Murray Symphony Orchestra from 6-9 PM. This is an all American outdoor celebration of family fun, so bring a blanket and your lawn chair and enjoy games for the kids, fabulous food, and a rousing dose of patriotic music.

On July 4th from 12 noon-3 PM, you must check out the Patriotic Boat Parade at Lake Murray. Water vessels of all kinds are festooned in patriotic glory with flags waving and people cheering. This year the event hopes to enter the Guinness Book of World Records by hosting over 150 boats. Be sure to be part of this historic moment!

Of course no Independence Day evening is complete without a bold fireworks display, and we sure know how do to it big in Columbia. Beginning at dusk (9PM), we host South Carolina’s largest fireworks display on beautiful Lake Murray from two locations: Spence Island and Dreher Island State Park. Watch fireworks timed to patriotic tunes that truly get your love of America stirring.

If staying at home on July 4th is more your speed, then we know that you’ll likely be enjoying it in your backyard. If you are not exactly happy with your current backyard decking design, do give us a shout so we can help you design an outdoor extension to your home that will add value to the way your family truly lives. We can build a deck and accompanying outdoor structures that fit your lifestyle and your budget.

Archadeck of Central SC outdoor kitchensThere are so many benefits to a beautiful and practical outdoor living space—whether it’s a hard-working entertainment space with a built-in kitchen or fireplace, a place for your family to get healthy fresh air and get closer to nature, or a quiet spot for stress-free relaxation. Most of our customers simply want a great area for dining and hanging out with friends, surrounded by the trees, and we can accommodate that easily with a custom table and built-in seating. If you have a storage issue, we can design a space to stow all your tools and yard gear. Should privacy be of concern to you, we can create a quiet oasis that keeps neighbors away from your serene setting. Don’t be deterred if your yard has a steep grade, we can also help design a deck with landings or stairs that attractively and safely take advantage of a sloping property and makes it more usable. A great pergola or porch is a fantastic way to provide shade on a deck without the use of pesky umbrellas or ugly awnings. There isn’t a problem that we can’t solve with a well-designed deck.

Lake Chapin SC outdoor living environment

Archadeck of Central SC is proud to be part of the Columbia market, and we’ve been thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with our residential customers to help them realize their backyard deck dreams. We are truly grateful to the community for embracing us and relying on our backyard building capability, and for helping us become the top deck builder in Columbia, SC.

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 considering a deck addition for you and your family in the near future, we can provide valuable insight on getting started with a design that meets and exceeds all your expectations of what a custom outdoor space should be. There is no charge for a consultation, so contact us Archadeck of Central SC today at (803) 603-2160, or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Did your outdoor living space seem lacking this Memorial Day?

Memorial Day in Columbia SCCan you believe Memorial Day has already come and gone? This national holiday is also most commonly thought of as the official kickoff weekend for the outdoor living season. As such, thousands of backyard decks and patios were filled with celebrations among family and friends. How did your outdoor living space measure up? While you were trying to have a good time, did you find yourself wishing you had more deck space, or a screened porch with protection from the direct sun or pesky insects? Maybe you were looking at your grill area, while daydreaming of an outdoor kitchen.

Archadeck of Central SC outdoor kitchensWith more holidays and family outdoor events like Independence Day and Labor Day on the horizon, wouldn’t it be great to have the space of your dreams? You can add the space, shade or special amenities you want in time for your next big celebration. Archadeck of Central South Carolina, the area’s leading outdoor living space builder, can help you update and improve your backyard space so at future events your time will be spent fully enjoying yourself instead of feeling frustrated.

We specialize creating in outdoor living spaces, including updating an existing space for additional functionality or to enhance beauty. Designing and building one-of-a-kind custom-made decks, patios, porches and outdoor rooms for homeowners in Columbia, SC, and the surrounding area has been our passion for over twelve years. Our professional design team stays up to date on the newest and most popular outdoor living space trends to ensure our highly trained and experienced construction team can build the structures that fulfill your needs and exceed your desires for your extended living areas.

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia, SC.

Deck and screened porch combination in Columbia, SC.

Outdoor living spaces are increasingly becoming the most utilized areas of a home. Structures built ten years ago or longer weren’t designed for the way we live and entertain outdoors today. A simple deck or patio can be greatly enhanced with additional space or  another structure to extend the living and entertaining space of a home year round. Outdoor dining, relaxation and entertaining thrive on a deck or patio, while a screened porch provides an area for family members or guests who need some protection from the sun. As added benefits, screened porches keep nuisance insects at bay and protect during inclement weather, allowing you the freedom to move the fun inside your protected porch. A deck or patio paired with a screened porch can provide double the enjoyment as these two spaces become one in your backyard setting!

This covered patio space features an outdoor kitchen with bar seating along with a wall mounted TV

This covered patio space features an outdoor kitchen with bar seating along with a wall mounted TV.

The tastes and aromas of summer are engrained in our memories and are part of what make the outdoor living season so much fun! Today’s outdoor living spaces can provide a wide variety of food preparation areas and outdoor dining spaces to suit any budget and taste! Gone are the days of simply relying on the surface of a small deck and lone charcoal grill. Outdoor refrigerators, pizza ovens and rotisseries are just some of today’s innovative outdoor appliances used to create your ideal outdoor gourmet kitchen design. These proper amenities, providing ample space to prepare food while socializing with your guests, are what make an outdoor kitchen indispensable.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Whether you are custom designing a whole new outdoor living space or renovating your existing deck or patio to gain the most enjoyment of your Central South Carolina backyard, we can help you bring forth a change for the better in your outdoor living space. 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 South Carolina at (803) 603 – 2160  today for a free design consultation at or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Settle in for a long, cozy night by the fire pit this season — Archadeck can make it happen!

The Winter Solstice has come and if you’re a stargazer, you know exactly what that means…that’s right the longest night of the year! On that date, the sun is above the horizon roughly nine hours and if you subtract twilight, the night is fully dark for almost twelve hours. Combine this lengthy darkness with a clear sky and the southern position of the sun, and a very large part of the constellation-filled night sky can be seen in just one night. What better place to enjoy Mother Nature’s complete holiday “twinkling light” display than in your own backyard while sitting around the warming flames of your custom fire feature?

stargazingOne of our favorite aspects of winter is the stillness of the outdoors during this season. It almost beckons us to slow down and drink in our surroundings. With all of the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping, decorating and other preparations during the day, our festively-adorned home becomes the evening rest stop in which to recuperate.  At times, it can be a sensory overload with so many lights and the hum of technology from the TV, the stereo or the computer. Your outdoor living space is the perfect place to escape, and with the addition of an outdoor fire feature such as a fireplace or fire pit, you are sure to enjoy your Central South Carolina backyard even during the winter months. The flames of a fire feature are almost hypnotizing while sparking conversations for those gathered closely around it.

FirePit-UrbanaHighlandWall by BelgardWhether you are custom designing a whole new outdoor living space or renovating your existing deck or patio, choosing between a fire pit and fireplace is an important decision. You should consider these two questions alongside the desired budget or investment you wish to maintain: What will be the main function of your fire feature and how many people do you wish to accommodate? As strong design focal points, both types of fire features generate an abundance of ambiance as well as light and warmth, but which is the higher priority for you…a design element to anchor your oudoor room with seating close by or a heat source in the round where many can gather and enjoy more of an open space? While an outdoor fireplace is a design feature as much as a heat source, a fire pit is more of a function feature choice; more people can fit around the fire pit at the same time than in front of a fireplace. In fact, a fire pit gives you more value, as it typically costs about half the price of an outdoor fireplace depending upon the materials, size and burning medium you select.

Central SC firepit in actionHeat resistant, waterproof material choices such as stone, concrete and brick may be combined in your custom-designed and built outdoor fire pit. Each of these materials has the capability of safely burning wood, gas or charcoal, making the fire pit suitable for cooking as well as heating. Unlike the “fire pit in a box” options at your local lawn and garden retail centers, your custom fire pit is essentially a permanent structure that is more durable and custom designed to complement your home’s architectural design without obstructing your views.

Is a fire pit right for youImagine it’s the evening of the winter solstice, just after supper…the whole family heads outside for the best stargazing event of the year, each snuggled up in their own blanket with a mug of coffee or hot cocoa, ready to make family time memories. There’s nothing like the crackling of a fire of an outdoor fire pit for everyone to gather around to stay warm and cozy, while having the best seats in the “house” to view the constellations and maybe even wish upon a star. Or perhaps you’d like to skip the crowds of party goers or the heavy traffic this New Year’s Eve, and would prefer to ring in the New Year with your friends and family discussing the good times of the past year with hot toddies or cocktails around the fire. A friend of ours has a New Year’s Eve tradition in her family where each person makes a list of their top three New Year’s resolutions and their top three “negatives” of the past year. A few minutes before they ring in the New Year, everyone throws their “negatives” lists into the fire pit and then they each silently read their resolutions to themselves before they make their toasts and share hugs and kisses. She described this as a cleansing of the poor memories of the old year and a personal affirmation of their goals for the New Year.

Columbia SC custom fire pits

No matter how you plan to utilize your fire pit or in which season, you can be confident in your investment in the enhancement of your outdoor living space. Extending the use of your backyard with a fire element, so you and your family can enjoy it year round, adds value and style not only to your property, but to your quality family time as well. Shared moments making s’mores, drinking coffee, telling ghost stories, reminiscing about good times, stargazing or just enjoying the stillness of winter and the mesmerizing flicker of the flames in your fire pit are all memories in the making, just waiting for you to begin.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

If we have fanned the flames of your desire to add a fire feature to your existing outdoor living space or have sparked your interest for more information regarding the custom designing and building of a new outdoor living space with a fire feature for year-round enjoyment at your home, contact Archadeck of Central South Carolina to learn more about placement, size, construction, costs and much more. Contact us today for your free consultation at (803) 603-2160
or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net

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
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

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.