Tag Archives: Columbia SC AZEK deck builder

When does low-maintenance decking make the most sense?

Lake Murray Wooden Deck with Vertical Cable Railing

Beautiful Lake Murray, SC, Wooden Deck with Vertical Cable Railing

Here at Archadeck of Central South Carolina, we realize it can be difficult for homeowners to choose which material to use for their new deck or redecking project. With the wide selection of decking materials we offer, selecting one type of material, color or brand can often make you feel like a kid in a candy store. If you are on the fence, so to speak, between choosing a wooden deck versus a composite (low-maintenance) decking material, here are some things you need to know…

Now and Later

Indeed, in most cases, low-maintenance decking is a greater investment up front than traditional pressure-treated wood. Synthetics/composites are typically double the cost of the traditional pressure treated pine deck. When you take into consideration the costs associated with properly maintaining a wooden deck, however, the long-term picture looks quite different.

Deck revived by Renew Crew of Central SC

Though the average cost for a composite deck can range from $25 or more per square foot, the investment when compared to wooden decking is measured according to the up-front costs. You need to factor in that to have your wooden deck professionally maintained at least bi-annually can cost between $800 – $1200 each visit. Adding up these costs over the lifetime of the deck, about 15 years, and you are looking at $12,000 to $18,000. This amount in some cases may equal the difference in wood vs composite from the very start of your project. So the question of investing more now or over time becomes the main concern.

Lexington SC TimberTech Deck Builder

This new TimberTech deck will provide years of low-maintenance enjoyment to these Lexington, SC, homeowners.

The Look of Wood

We know for many wood lovers nothing compares to the “real thing.” Today’s synthetic decking materials are made to look similar to wood. In some cases, it is rather hard to tell the difference until you are in close proximity or even reach down to touch it. The caveat for wood lovers is these  “wood-looking” materials need hardly any maintenance and are extremely durable. Whereas real wood may have been the default decking material in the past, those considering building a deck now should consider low-maintenance composites as an option because they deliver the look without the work!

Warranties

Although a professionally-installed and properly-maintained pressure-treated deck can last in excess of 15 years, what kind of warranty do you receive with the decking itself? Archadeck of Central South Carolina provides two warranties on all the outdoor living structures we build. This includes your deck, sunroom, porch, or other custom outdoor living space, which are backed by Archadeck’s written warranty for workmanship of 1 year and structural integrity of 5 years when Archadeck exerts control as your remodeling contractor. That warranty is further backed by the National Guarantee Corporation, which guarantees that your residential outdoor living project will be completed to the terms of your Archadeck contract and built to the agreed-upon specification and a warranty of performance for up to 2 years. However, many synthetic/composite decking companies provide manufacturers’ warranties to protect you against defects in materials, rot, termites, staining and fading. Many of these manufacturers warranties extend 25 years or more.

Archadeck of Central SC composite redeckingHow Long?

Before you make the decision to build or redeck with a synthetic material, you should take into account the time you plan to live in your home. If you stay in your home 4 or 5 years or longer, you will get your money out of it and you will also create an investment that you and your family can enjoy into the future!

If you are considering a new deck or redeck in the future, contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about the many options we offer. We can help you choose the right decking material that best suits your lifestyle and budget. Call us for a free consultation today 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.

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Why are composite/low-maintenance decks more expensive than wood?

Lexington SC TimberTech Deck Builder

The new TimberTech deck will provide years of low-maintenance enjoyment to these Lexington, SC, homeowners.

Are you thinking about redecking your existing deck or adding a new deck to your Columbia backyard this season?

If so, and depending on what stage of planning you are in, you might have already noticed the wide range of material choices on the market. These include the low-maintenance synthetic materials such as composite, vinyl and PVC. When comparing these to the traditional pressure-treated pine deck, some Central SC homeowners experience sticker shock when they see the difference in material costs for synthetic.

AZEK redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC

These homeowners chose PVC decking in Brownstone, from the Harvest Collection by AZEK.

A common question that arises here at Archadeck of Central SC is, “Why are composite/low-maintenance decks more expensive than wood?” There are many factors that go into fully answering this question, so let us start from the beginning…

The 1st generation of composites:

In 1992, Trex® introduced the first low-maintenance decking. They called the decking “composite,” and it was composed of plastic and wood fibers. Composites began to gain favor in the marketplace because treating a wood deck can easily consume a full day, or more, every year, and we are increasingly jealous of our time. Other companies soon followed the lead and began to introduce more composite options. Over time, manufacturers began to add realistic wood details such as grain and texture to their composites to emulate the look of real wood.

Archadeck of Central SC composite redeckingThe 2nd generation:

AZEK® enters the picture, then called Procell.  This new synthetic material abandoned the wood fiber makeup of composite in favor of all PVC plastic. In addition to the improved appearance, AZEK’s best features were stain, scratch and mold resistance. Progress continued and soon other major players such as TimberTech and Fiberon came onto the scene.

In 2009, some of the synthetic decking manufacturers combined the benefits of traditional composites and solid PVC by engineering an attractive, hard PVC plastic cap over a composite core.  This low-maintenance decking material is called capstock, which offers the benefits of solid plastic decking at a lower cost.

Beautifully detailed deck in NE Columbia, SC.

Beautifully detailed low-maintenance deck in NE Columbia, SC.

With new advances, heightened technology and more realistic wood-like elements (like the addition of streaking that mimics wood graining), synthetic decking just keeps improving. Today’s synthetics offer a wealth of benefits over traditional wooden decking. These include increased longevity (25+ years), no need to stain or paint and minimal maintenance to keep the deck clean and looking good. In contrast, a professionally-built, well-maintained pressure-treated wooden deck can last 10-15 years tops. The frequency of the maintenance it requires may vary slightly based primarily on how much wear and direct sunlight the deck receives but it will require annual maintenance surpassing a soap-and-water cleanup.

Chapin SC Composite decks

Beautiful, low maintenance composite deck addition in Chapin, SC.

All these improvements and benefits explain why composite, vinyl and PVC decks are significantly more expensive than traditional wood decks. If you are on the fence about choosing a low-maintenance deck, sometimes a good litmus test is to evaluate this purchase decision based on how long you are going to be in your home. If you plan on being in your home for the next 20 years and like the idea of minimal maintenance, then any upfront increase in cost pays off fairly quickly. But, if you know you will only be in your home for another 5 years, you may want to choose a wood deck with the corresponding cons of annual maintenance.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Which is right for you? Let us help you decide. Our job is to walk you through the options not just for decking boards but for all the other options and considerations required in planning your new deck or porch. Give us a call for a free consultation to discuss planning and building a new outdoor space for your Columbia, SC, home.  You can reach us by phone at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

 

 

 

Take a look at our recent sunroom and deck project in Northeast Columbia, SC.

AZEK deck in NE Columbia, SC.

Beautiful views and a deck to match in NE Columbia.

One of our most recently completed outdoor living space projects is this deck and sunroom combination in NE Columbia. By combining the best of both worlds, an open air space perfect for grilling and soaking in the sun and a protected space delivering panoramic views of the outdoors with constant climate control, these homeowners can have it all!

Custom bench seating on AZEK deck in Norheast Columbia ,SC.

Custom integrated bench seating provides an unobstructed view into the beautifully-landscaped backyard.

The spacious deck is built with AZEK composite decking and features custom integrated bench seating for added convenience and open views. The space where the deck is built originally encompassed an existing patio. The homeowners wished for an outdoor living space that better suited their outdoor living needs, and this low-maintenance beauty fits the bill! AZEK decking boards are engineered to withstand the everyday things that happen on a deck. Even spilled wine, fruit punch, and hamburger grease are no match for AZEK Deck’s stain resistance. And, since AZEK Decks are scratch resistant, you won’t have to worry about marks from patio furniture or pets. This material is also split, mold and mildew resistant as well as impervious to insects — meaning a durable, long-lasting deck that will be enjoyed for years to come.

NE Columbia deck and sunroom builder

Exterior view of deck and sunroom.

The airy design of the adjoining sunroom, which opens out onto the new deck, features an open-end gable abundant with windows, transoms and a vaulted ceiling. The placement of the windows and roof pitch allows for not only an open and airy atmosphere within the space, it also allows more light to flow naturally into the home’s interior. Loss of light when designing outdoor rooms such as screened porches, 3 & 4 season rooms and sunrooms is a concern for many homeowners. The use of abundant windows within the space alleviates any light concerns for these Northeast Columbia homeowners.

The finished space is beautifully decorated to reflect the homeowners personal style.

The finished space is beautifully decorated to reflect the homeowners’ personal style.

The homeowners’ main objective of having an open-air outdoor space together with a room that could be heated and cooled and still offer scenic outdoor views has been met. These homeowners are elated with their new space and the endless outdoor living possibilities that lie ahead!

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 today to learn more about transforming your existing backyard into an area that better suits your needs and taste. Call us today for a free consultation. (803) 603 – 2160 Email: centralsc@archadeck.net

Please visit our decks photo gallery and our sunroom photo gallery located on our website for more inspiring sunroom and deck combination ideas.

 

 

A redecking in Lexington, SC, worthy of the beautiful views on Lake Murray

Our recent redecking project on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC.

Our recent redecking project on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC.

One of our recently completed projects takes us to lovely Lake Murray in Lexington, SC. These homeowners not only have a stunning home, they also have the view to go along with it. Their large deck and covered porch spans almost the entire rear of their home and offers views of the lake. These homeowners contacted Archadeck of Central SC to upgrade their aging wooden deck with a low-maintenance decking material. Their goal was to have an outdoor living space that not only looked elegant but could afford them more time for enjoyment rather than the chore of maintaining it.

Lexington before

Before: This image shows the tired wooden deck prior to beginning the redecking.

The homeowners chose beautiful AZEK PVC decking in Brownstone for the redecking project. AZEK decking boards are engineered to withstand the everyday accidents that can happen on a deck.This material resists spilled wine, fruit punch and hamburger grease and is ultra stain resistant. AZEK decking boards are scratch resistant so there is no worry about marks from patio furniture or pets. In addition, this material is impervious to mold, mildew and insects providing the perfect setting for carefree outdoor living.

AZEK redeck in Lexington SC

After: Here is an image of that same area after we completed redecking with AZEK.

In order to accommodate the change from a pressure treated wood surface to synthetic, Archadeck of Central SC added supports to handle characterisics of the new decking. Often, low-maintenance decking boards are installed using hidden fasteners, as well, which requires additional amendments be made to the structure of the deck to ensure there is ample structural reinforcement for proper installation.

Beautiful redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC

Beautiful redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC.

This project also included making some changes to the footprint of the existing deck and covered porch for both cosmetic and functional reasons. Since the home’s facade is stucco, our redecking experts carefully cut around the areas of the new deck that make contact with the home. We did this to ensure the integrity of the stucco as well as that of the decking boards. Instead of installing the new decking boards in a traditional pattern, we installed them on a diagonal with a parting board to create visual interest.The final touch to the project was the addition of low-voltage deck lighting on the risers to enhance safety and promote ambiance when the homeowners are enjoying the deck in the evening.

AZEK redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC

The homeowners chose PVC decking in Brownstone, from the Harvest Collection by AZEK.

The homeowners couldn’t be more pleased with the redecking project.They are looking forward to enjoying the benefits of outdoor living for many years to come with less focus on maintenance and more on enjoying the lovely view from their deck and covered porch.

Whether you are considering a new deck or redecking an existing deck, Archadeck of Central SC can answer any questions you have about outdoor living stuctures.Contact us for a free consultation at (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 decks photo gallery and our composite and vinyl (PVC) deck photo gallery located on our website for more examples of lovely low-maintenance redecking and new deck designs by Archadeck of Central SC.

 

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

This composite deck in Lexington is a true gem!

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

In the final installment of our two-part series on decking material considerations, Archadeck of Central SC discusses the often confusing realm of low-maintenance decking choices on the market today. Low-maintenance decking is what is commonly referred to in the business as “synthetic decking”. Synthetic decking includes composites, capstock and solid PVC. These materials represent the fastest-growing segment of decking materials sold today. When you begin to examine the abundant choices available when choosing the material for your new deck, it can get confusing keeping up with each “type” of synthetic offers what — Synthetic decks have evolved over the past several years to encompass beauty in a wonderful array of hues, undulation and wood graining that rival the look of natural wood minus the maintenance!

Composite spa deck by Archadeck of Central SC

Composite spa deck by Archadeck of Central SC.

Archadeck of Central SC would like to elaborate on the characteristics of each type of synthetic so that you may make a well-informed decision in choosing the best material for your new deck or redecking needs…

  • Composites – Composite is a general term for the original form of low-maintenance decking. Some builders also use the technical term when referring to composites- which is wood plastic composites, or WPC. Composites are a mix of materials including wood fiber and plastic.  Product lines such as the TimberTech Twin Finish or Reliaboard are good examples of traditional wood/plastic composites. Traditional composite has now become the value-oriented decking board among synthetics because of the new products that have joined the category. Wood particles are still part of the makeup of the product, which makes it porous. Because this product is porous, it does have limited capacity to grow mold. If you spill coffee, wine, or grease (or even sunscreen) on the deck you will want to clean it up quickly just as you would inside your home. Other environmental factors such as bird droppings can lead to staining if not removed and cleaned properly. Even though WPC’s don’t require staining or painting, they do need to be kept clean in order to keep them looking and functioning their best.

    AZEk Deck with seating area

    AZEK Deck with seating area.

  • Solid PVC decking – Pure PVC decking products have become more desirable over the past few years. Lines such as AZEK and TimberTech’s XLM are great examples of pure PVC decking materials. They consist of PVC foam and a hard PVC cap that is non-porous. They are non-porous and, based on this solidity. These will not stain permanently, however when they become soiled, they will need to be cleaned with soap and water. Keep in mind that just because a material is low-maintenance doesn’t mean it’s self-cleaning. PVC comes in a host of colors and new color introductions are made onto the market almost every year, so the selection is vast. You can get solid colors such as the TimberTech Natural Collection, or the TimberTech Tropical collection , which has more streaking to replicate the look of real tropical hardwoods. These PVC products are oil-based so the natural colors are the least expensive, and the tropical collection forges into the higher end of the synthetic cost spectrum. Cost for synthetics can vary depending on the color, pattern and amount of streaking and undulation present. In general, the formulation of synthetic can be pricey, especially the products that contain emulated natural wood details.

    Composite deck and open porch in Kings Grant, Lexington SC is rustic and elegant with plent of room for dining and entertaining

    This Composite deck in Lexington offers plenty of room for dining and entertaining.

  • Capstock –  Capstock is the newest of the three synthetic decking materials to come onto the scene. It is a third generation synthetic which is also referred to as capped PVC. This product contains a composite core which has been capped, or wrapped in PVC. The material’s makeup delivers a product that is impervious to the elements and everyday accidents endured by most decks. TimberTech Evolutions and Fiberon are both good examples of capstock decking. The benefit of capstock is the performance and the price point. Capstock is less expensive than pure PVC and performs quite well.
Low maintenance composite deck builder in Lexington SC

Low maintenance composite deck in Lexington, SC.

From a price perspective, wood plastic composites are the least expensive, capped composite will generally be less expensive than a pure PVC product. Synthetics can range in price from $2.50 linear ft.  for WPC to $6.50 linear ft. for a solid PVC material. Though synthetics may appear to be the same, know that no two are created equal. There is a wide range of quality, colors and textures within each category  and often the deciding factor for a customer is their personal preference of the look and feel of a particular product.

Comparatively, synthetics are not as structurally sound as wood. In order to properly support composite decking, the joists will usually need to be closer together than when building with PT lumber to prevent sagging. For example, on diagonal decking comprised of composite, this may require 12″ spacing vs. 16″ for PT. The advantages of both solid PVC and wrapped PVC products include reducing the amount of maintenance required by the homeowner, and more specifically a decrease in the amount of cleaning required to keep the deck looking new. Wood Plastic Composites are still a good product but require more effort on the part of the homeowner. It is important to know that “low-maintenance” does not mean “no-maintenance” and as with any structure, a synthetic deck will need to be kept clean in order to remain looking and functioning at its best.

No matter which synthetic is right for your needs or your budget, Archadeck of Central SC can answer any questions you have about all of the decking products we offer. We also build wooden decks as well. Learn more about all our wonderful deck designs by contacting us today. Contact us for a free consultation at (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 decks photo gallery and our composite and vinyl (PVC) deck photo gallery located on our website for more examples of lovely low-maintenance deck designs by Archadeck of Central SC.

Archadeck of Central SC explores the realm of synthetic decking and why it is important to hire a professional when considering a new low-maintenance deck or re-deck for your backyard

Composite deck with composite rail and flared stairs.

Composite deck with composite rail and flared stairs.

As you thumb through the pages of your favorite home and garden magazine, you may notice the large number of synthetic decks taking center stage. Synthetic decks have evolved over the past several years to encompass beauty in a wonderful array of hues, undulation and wood graining that rival the look of natural wood. Natural wood has met its match when compared to today’s composite decking. No other decking material requires as little maintenance asnsynthetic, nor can natural wood promise the longevity synthetic provides.

There are different genres of synthetic decking materials to choose from in today’s market. Each comes with its own low-maintenance benefits. Sometimes it is difficult to make a distinction from one type of synthetic to another. Archadeck of Central SC has prepared a breakdown of the three classifications of synthetic decking material  making it easier for homeowners to make an informed choice as to which synthetic will best suit their lifestyle and their budget.

Composite deck accented w gray trim & white rail

Composite deck accented with gray trim and white rail- a stunning contrast.

  • Composites – Low-maintenance composites and other man-made materials are a bit more costly than wood upfront, but once you factor in annual deck-care costs, composites will save you money in the long run. Composites are the most well-known of all synthetic products because they have been around the longest. Composites are now made to emulate the look of real wood, with wood graining and streaking that in a quality composite can rival the real thing. High quality composites will also deter the growth of mold and mildew by the addition of mold inhibitors present in the makeup of the composite, adding to the material’s ultimate charm. Archadeck of Central SC has had great success with TimberTech, one of the leaders in composite decking.

    Artful incorporation of stonework with a composite deck

    Artful incorporation of stonework with a composite deck.

  • Solid PVC Decking– Cellular PVC decking is a high- performance product made of solid cellular plastic. PVC decking, such as those in the AZEK line, come with both fade and stain warranty protection. PVC decking only requires minimal maintenance. It will not fade, warp, crack, splinter or stain. PVC is also moisture friendly and is used heavily around pools, spas and marinas.

    Waterside Deck

    Waterside Deck

  • Capstock – Capstock decking is referred to as the hybrid of decking materials because it contains a composite core  wrapped on 3 sides or in some cases all 4 sides in solid PVC. Many capstock brands, such as Fiberon, come with extensive stain and fade warranties. Like all synthetics, it requires no painting, staining or sealing. General soap and water cleanup is all that is asked of you.  The key to choosing the right capstock lies within the setting you wish to use it in. We recommend choosing a capstock product that is covered on all sides when used in humid and moist environments to avoid the risk of potential damage such as expansion and warping over time.
Composite spa deck by Archadeck of Central SC

Composite spa deck by Archadeck of Central SC.

Quality man-made synthetics were once only available to builders and contractors,  but now composites are readily available to homeowners at home improvement stores and building material outlets. Even though these materials are easily accessible to homeowners and do-it-yourselfers doesn’t mean that choosing to become a weekend warrior and install your own synthetic deck is the wisest decision. Unlike natural wood, synthetic’s makeup entails a product that is denser than natural wood. This density is part of what gives synthetics their low-maintenance qualities that make them so desirable. To avoid compromising the characteristics of the material it is important that it be installed properly. In order to get the most out of your low-maintenance deck we recommend having it installed by a licensed professional to ensure you get all the benefits out of your investment. Many synthetics need to be installed with pre-drilled holes to keep the integrity of the material intact. Some synthetics also require the use of a hidden fastener system to deliver that seamless look that synthetic decks are famous for. Archadeck of Central SC warns buyers to also beware of inferior grade synthetics sold at home improvement stores, because the price you pay for a synthetic in one of these retail outlets doesn’t always mean you get what you pay for. We get our materials directly from the manufacturer, which ensures all quality control standards are met with every synthetic board that comes through our doors.

Composite deck with spa deck by Archadeck

Try this composite deck and luscious spa deck on for size in your backyard.

If you are considering the addition of one of the many branded quality synthetic decks on the market today, or are considering redecking an existing deck, we urge you to contact Archadeck of Central SC to help you make an informed decision about which material is the best suited for your outdoor space needs, your budget and your lifestyle. Our knowledge and experience working with synthetics over the years can ensure a space that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Call today for a free design consultation (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 decks photo gallery and our composite and vinyl (PVC) deck photo gallery located on our website for more examples of lovely low-maintenance deck designs by Archadeck of Central SC.