Tag Archives: Archadeck of Central SC on Pinterest

The Columbia, SC, Backyard That Pinterest Built

Have you heard about Diane Keaton’s new best-selling book, “The House That Pinterest Built”?  Ms. Keaton’s book serves as a style guide and a how-to manual for creating one’s own home based on the millions of residential home ideas on the world’s largest online pinboard. So we’re thinking, why not take those ideas outside to create the Columbia, SC, backyard that was built using our Pinterest pages?

Whether you are starting fresh with a new deck addition, or are considering redecking an existing deck, our Decks by Archadeck of Central SC Pinterest board is a good starting point! Here you will find a wide range of decks of all shapes and sizes.
Decks By Arcahdeck of Central SC

Our deck board features images from our portfolio of completed deck projects and outdoor living combinations that include decks as one of the key elements in their design. Here at Archadeck of Central SC, we build and resurface decks using wood or low-maintenance synthetics. Each type of material we offer has its advantages, however, pressure-treated pine and composites both remain favorites for Columbia, SC, homeowners.

In our Porches by Archadeck of Central SC Pinterest board, you can see examples of open porches and screened porches. We provide ideas on detached porches as well as designs that are tied into the home. In addition, many of our Pins feature porch finish ideas such as open rafters and railings along with popular porch amenities like outdoor fireplaces!

Porches by Archadeck of Central SC
Outdoor rooms are very popular in home and outdoor living space remodeling right now. Not only does the addition of an outdoor room, such as a sunroom, add valuable living space — it also adds a refuge for outdoor living enjoyment. Take a look at our Sunrooms by Archadeck of Central SC Pinterest board to gain inspiration and help plan for your sunroom or outdoor room addition.Sunrooms by Archadeck of Central SC

Our board gives examples of various types of outdoor rooms to fit any desire and budget as well. We feature ideas from full-on interior room additions to convertible outdoor rooms that can easily be changed from screened to windows for use during colder temperatures.

Even though the thermometer is dipping into the single digits, warmer weather and the seasons for outdoor living will be here before you know it!  Why not make use of your “inside” time planning for the “outside” time to come.  You can look to our Pinterest boards for ideas on an outdoor structure addition you might be planning — or to gain insight on outdoor entertaining, gardening, landscapingoutdoor decorating and much more!

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 also contact Archadeck of Central SC to let our talented outdoor living designers help you plan the perfect addition for your home or landscape. You can reach us by phone at (803) 603 – 2160, or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”

Panel detail on privacy screen in Columbia SC

Panel detail on custom privacy screen in Columbia, SC.

THE SEVEN KEYS TO FINDING A GREAT CONTRACTOR

PART SIX:  ATTENTION TO DETAILS

This is our sixth installment in our series about the Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor. This certainly applies to our 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
Notice the detailed parting board on this AZEK deck in Norheast Columbia ,SC.

Notice the detailed parting board on this AZEK deck in Northeast Columbia, SC.

“It’s the little details that are vital.  Little things make big things happen.” 
– John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach, winner of ten NCAA national championships

This statement is true in life, and it’s true in the construction business.  There are thousands of little details that go into a building project – some that you see, and some that you don’t.  But their sum total makes up the look, feel and underlying quality of the project as a whole.

Deck BlueprintsOne of the little things we do behind the scenes at Archadeck to ensure the details are properly followed is to generate actual blueprints of every deck, porch or sunroom we design.  Our carpenter uses these plans in the field to eliminate questions and to avoid the “personal interpretation” that can occur if the project that the salesman and the customer agreed to is not clearly communicated to the guys actually doing the building. Together with these blueprints, we have a Construction Master File that details exactly how each feature of a project – railings, steps, footings – are to be built.  Without this common reference each carpenter would be left to build in the way that he sees fit, which is not a recipe for consistency or quality.

Beautifully detailed deck in NE Columbia, SC.

Beautifully detailed deck in NE Columbia, SC.

There are many other details – both aesthetic and structural – that come as a result of having built thousands of projects.  For example, on our deck and porch structures, our standard is to run the decking boards diagonal to the framing boards. This gives the deck an interesting and distinctive appearance, but that’s not why we do it. We do it because running the decking on the diagonal gives the structure a bracing effect that exponentially increases the resistance to any horizontal or vertical stress shifting that could occur. This results in a surface that feels much more solid and tight as you walk on it.

Saluda River deck in Columbia SC

Saluda River deck in Columbia, SC.

Other examples of details built into our construction: hiding the board ends with trim to achieve a more finished look, use of stair risers to give stairs the same appearance as you have inside your home, and the use of screws, rather than nails, in the decking.  These features all go towards giving your project a professional, finished look, and also they are what give our projects a distinctive “Archadeck” look that is consistent across the country.

This discussion has been somewhat internally focused on the way we do things at Archadeck, mainly because that’s what we know. As it relates to the theme of Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor, these same attributes are universal for any construction project. Not so much the details such as running decking boards on the diagonal, but rather the level of thought and effort that have gone in to defining what details will and won’t be followed. Sometimes the only way to determine a contractor’s attention to detail is to look at his work, and compare it to the work of others. If you don’t have an experienced eye for noticing these details, your prospective contractor should be able to easily and proudly point them out to you. But I bet that you can tell by looking at some examples of projects if they display the style and touches that you expect, even if you can’t put your finger on exactly what those touches are.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project is built with attention to even the smallest details. 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 for more examples of our lovely designs.

 

Archadeck of Central SC discussses the importance of customized design

7 keysThis is part two of the fifth installment in our series about the Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor. To review, the seven keys are:

 

  1. Experience
  2. Professionalism
  3. Process
  4. Value
  5. Customized Product
  6. Attention to Details
  7. Warranty & Protection

Custom bench seating on AZEK deck in Norheast Columbia ,SC.As a continuation of part five of our series on “The Seven Keys To Finding a Great Contractor,” we discuss the importance of a customized design in the success of  your outdoor living space.

PART 5, continued — CUSTOMIZED DESIGN The design of a project is perhaps the most important phase of creating an outdoor living space you will enjoy and be proud of.  It’s also an opportunity to see the level of experience, professionalism, and value your builder can bring to the table.  The design should take into account your personal needs and preferences, the use of space regarding furniture, grills, etc., the traffic flow of the space, and your appetite for ongoing maintenance.  And of course your budget.

The salesman should be knowledgeable about materials options and should be willing to take time to educate you. Your job in this process is to do your homework Your job in this process is to do your homework – look at pictures on vendor websites, Pinterest, Houzz and other sites for examples to get a feel for what you like. Ask lots of questions, and make sure that you give the salesman feedback on his design to keep him on track.

There are 5 factors that will determine the cost of your project.  You can work towards managing your budget by managing these factors. These are:

  • Archadeck of Central SC custom fire pit on slate patioThe size of the project – A 400- square-foot deck costs more than a 200-square- foot deck – not double, but significantly more.  This is an important factor that is totally up to you.  However, be careful to ensure that the project you decide on is big enough to do what you intend to do on it.  Some customers opt for a small space due to budget constraints, and then are disappointed when certain furniture won’t fit in the space.  If you know how you want to use the space, line off an area of the yard or house the size of the proposed project and actually put the furniture there to see if it works.  This is a mistake that does happen, and is hard to fix after the fact.
  • Composite deck and open porch in Kings Grant, Lexington SC is rustic and elegant with plent of room for dining and entertainingThe materials you choose – a pressure treated yellow pine deck costs far less than an Azek PVC composite deck.  However, it may not look as impressive, last as long or be as easy to maintain.  In addition, you will need to spend money every 2-3 years to protect the pressure treated wood, and over the life of the deck this may cost more than the up-front investment in maintenance free materials. Your salesman should be able to walk you through your choices.
  • Amenities – features that you add to the project can be what makes it special for you. Items like bench seating, lighting, a fire pit, a water feature, or a built-in outdoor kitchen make a project beautiful and impressive. However, they can be the most expensive part of the project.
  • Spacious elevated deck on Saluda River in West Columbia SC by Archadeck of Central SCEnvironment – The area where your project is built may affect the price – for example it’s easier (and therefore cheaper) to install a patio in a flat yard than in a yard that needs to be backfilled and built up.  It’s also easier to build a deck three feet off the ground than it is 12 feet off the ground.  This is an area that you may not have much control over, but it is a factor to bear in mind.
  • Quality of builder – this is the tricky one.  If you search hard enough, you can find a cheap builder.  But there are reasons why he is cheap. It could be his quality, his reliability, or the stability of his business. If you bet wrong here, you risk having a finished project that you are not happy with, or worse, having an unfinished project that he has abandoned. The highest priced contractor isn’t necessarily the best. If you are paying for a quality builder, you should expect him to have adequate General Liability and Workers Comp insurance, builder’s licenses, permits, stability in terms of years in business and warranties that he will stand behind his work.

Mahogany Hardwood Deck with trellisIn addition to creating an appealing design that fits within your budget, you should be comfortable that the design of your project is structurally sound.This again is an area where you have to rely upon the quality of your builder. Areas he should focus on are the size/strength of the foundation (posts for decks, pillars for sunrooms, and ground preparation for patio structures), proper spacing of beams and joists, and roof tie-ins built properly to avoid leaks. These are all important factors that will ensure you can enjoy your project for years to come. Building codes come into effect here, but these are often minimal standards that should not only be met but exceeded in a quality structure.

PlansAs a side note, every builder who takes the time to create custom designs he is proud of has had the frustrating experience of having an unscrupulous customer take his design and give it to a cheaper builder to do the work. So don’t be offended if/when a builder won’t release the design to you until a contract is signed.  It is an unfortunate necessity of protecting his tradecraft.

In summary, your project will only be as good as its design.  Is it sound?  Is it something you can afford?  Does it suit your personal lifestyle?  And most important, is it something you will be proud of every time you use it?  If you have found a contractor who can provide you with such a design, you have likely found a contractor who is a good fit for you.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

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 for more examples of our lovely designs.