Tag Archives: Columbia SC Composite 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 .

Archadeck of Central SC Celebrates National Home Improvement Month!

As a proud member of NARI, Archadeck of Central SC wants you to know that we specialize in designing and building custom outdoor living structures in and around Columbia SC. May is National Home Improvement Month. At first blush, this doesn’t sound like much fun; in fact, it sounds a lot like work, but it has tremendous potential to change the way you look at and live in your home. What parts of your home do you enjoy the most? What would you like to change? What could you add or improve in your home that would make you want to spend more time in it? Home improvement isn’t just about fixing a sagging door or replacing shrubbery. It’s about reimagining your family’s home as you would love it to be.

This entire month is recognized as National Home Improvement month through the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. In honor of the occasion, NARI is providing chapters and members with valuable information they can use to get homeowners interested in remodeling this season including outdoor living structures!

Archadeck of Central SC completed projects

As a proud member of NARI, Archadeck of Central SC wants you to know that we specialize in designing and building custom outdoor living structures in and around Columbia, SC. Our outdoor living spaces not only increase your enjoyment, they also add value and function to your home and landscape.

After you’ve spent some time thinking about what you’d like and doing a little research about various project options on the internet and elsewhere, don’t forget to take a few minutes to give some thought to what the potential Return on Investment (ROI) for the project is likely to be. Various industry groups do annual surveys that provide numbers on this subject, but I’d like to share a few from my line of business.

Don’t just take our word for it, take a look at the recent numbers available through the 2016 Cost vs. Value report;

According to the report, outdoor living spaces such as composite (low-maintenance) decks and wooden decks show a dramatic return on investment (ROI) in the Columbia region.  A deck addition built of composite reflects a ROI of nearly 116%, with a deck addition built of wood recouping a whopping 117.8%. This is good news for homeowners considering a deck addition in the near future!

When compared to the national averages and those of the South Atlantic region, Columbia comes out on top. The ROI for a composite deck addition in the South Atlantic region is 69.2% and wood is 80.6%. Columbia is far above the most recent national average ROI where a composite deck reflects a 64.4% cost recoup, and a wooden deck reflects a 75% cost recoup.

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. You can reach us at (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.

Archadeck of Central SC can make your old deck new again with quality redecking!

Archadeck of Central SC composite redeckingIf your backyard deck has seen better days then maybe it is time to consider redecking as an option to enhance, extend and beautify its function and livability! 

Does your existing deck look haggard from wear and tear, or has it become splintered or unsafe? If so, then redecking may be the answer to refresh your outdoor space from dull to dazzling. The first step in determining if your aging deck is a good candidate for redecking is to have it evaluated by a reputable deck builder such as Archadeck of Central SC. If the substructure (which is the base that the deck is built on) is in good shape, you may be able to save money and time by redecking instead of demolishing your old deck and starting from scratch. The key elements the builder will include the quality of the original substructure and how it has weathered over time. If any applicable building codes have changed since the deck was originally installed, we will make sure it complies with those as well.

Chapin SC Composite decks

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

Once your existing deck is deemed a good candidate for redecking, we will then work with you to help you choose the material that best fits your needs and budget. Archadeck of Central SC has many decking materials to choose from. We can help you decide on a wood or synthetic decking material. Many homeowners opt to redeck using pressure treated wood or even a hardwood such as Ipe, but, if you are tired of the endless maintenance required to preserve your wood deck, a composite material may be the best answer that is easier to maintain and lasts longer than wood.

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.

Synthetic materials such as composites, capstock and solid PVC are composed of elements that stabilize and protect them from UV damage.  These materials also have several advantages over most species of wood. The synthetic material is much less likely to crack or chip, and there is no evidence that termites will attack it.  Another benefit is a synthetic will never have to be treated or stained. We use only the highest quality synthetics on the market, such as AZEK and Timbertech.

Instead of tearing out your old deck and starting from scratch, redecking will modify your existing structure. If it structurally sound, we can improve the existing footprint of your deck without the hassle of lengthy permitting processes. In most cases, the original structure or “bones” of your deck can be used if the underlying footings and joists are in good shape. If you have chosen to redeck using composites, the joists will require a closer configuration  in order to reduce “bounce” and promote solid footing.

Benefits of choosing composites for your redeck include:

  • Composites give the ultimate flexibility when designing your deck. Are you tired of the same old square deck?  With composites, you can sculpt your re-deck to a rounded shape giving your space a softer appeal.  With this type of malleability you can unleash your imagination and modify your deck to fit your needs and lifestyle.
  • Bare feetWhen building a deck around water such as a pool or spa, some composite materials offer better slip resistance to ensure sure-footing and increase safety around your backyard water feature, thereby making this a top choice to use in place of wood.
  • Speaking of bare feet, with composite material there are no more splinters!

Archadeck-3357

We can also do combination jobs where we expand a smaller deck by redecking the original space and building out from there. Then you don’t have to pay for a whole new foundation, just the incremental extension. From that point the world is your oyster and you can pick the colors, features and design options that best suit your needs. Many of our clients choose composites for their redecking jobs because they have grown tired of routine deck maintenance chores. Redecking with a composite/synthetic can change your Columbia deck from a chore, to a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

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 interested in learning about how our quality built structures can transform the look of your home, contact Archadeck of Central SC. Call us today for a free consultation at  (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Archadeck of Central SC can help you find a long term solution when your deck no longer measures up

Peeling blue paint on wood deck.

Peeling blue paint on wood deck.

In our line of business we have seen many deck owners place their hopes of restoring their aged or worn wooden deck into products that usually only offer false promises. Case in point are the “paint on” plastic deck coatings you may have seen on TV or noticed in the “big box” home improvement stores. Many retailers have been stocking products in the paint section that appear to put a thick coating on deck boards, giving them the appearance of synthetic decking. These products claim to offer superior protection for the wood and to eliminate splinters, nail-holes and minor cracks with ease of application as a homeowner can apply the product over the course of a weekend.

Although each individual case is different, our experience with “fix all” products is anything but positive. These products only serve as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Many are made up of epoxy-style coverings that appear to be smooth, flawless and cool to the touch when exposed to the sun but in reality can come out rough and retain heat on structures that have a southern exposure.

Beautiful redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC

Beautiful redeck on Lake Murray in Lexington, SC.

In addition to the many shortfalls these products have, they also require frequent and costly reapplication in most scenarios. With wooden decking, as with any of the effects of sun and water on horizontal surfaces, application over rotten or damp wood will likely cause failures of the coatings. Other inconsistencies that must also be addressed are tight spacing of existing deck boards and reduced drainage capabilities. The circumference of these coatings will make tight spacing worse, and the area between your decking boards must be cleaned out regularly or face side rot. Flashing issues at the ledger are also a concern as is lack of proper waterproofing over joist tops.

The possibility of success, if any, of using these “paint-on” products lies within the surface preparation itself. Wood needs to be cleaned and free of any debris, oils or grease (this includes barbecue sauce). Prerequisites also include replacement of any loose nails. Manufacturers of the product even recommend your existing deck be screwed down to avoid the chances of any nails working up through the new finish. We are quick to point out these products should not serve as a “fix” for rotting wood or a surface in very bad condition as many deck owners may assume. These products serve as an alternative to conventional sealers or stain, not as a decking repair system.

Composite deck with composite rail and flared stairs.

Let our experienced staff help you achieve the backyard of your dreams.

Archadeck of Central SC is your redecking expert in the Columbia region. Redecking an aging or failing deck through a quality deck contractor is the only real solution for invasive decking problems. Our diverse portfolio of materials includes quality wooden choices as well as the highest quality synthetic options on the market.

Keep in mind, when redecking with a composite, it is critical to replace all joists. When going from wood to composite, you have to add joists. Typically the wood deck has joists that are eighteen inches apart. So some contractors would put new joists in between the old joists, giving you joists every eight inches. However, mixing new joists in between old ones will result in A) waves in the deck when the level new joists shrink and B) loose-fitting boards unless you screw down every single joist every eight inches, which are too many screws to look good. We tear out all of the joists and build as new to get a problem-free deck. In many cases we may still use the old posts and beams if in good shape.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

We have many redecking options available to accommodate your lifestyle and budget. Contact Archadeck of Central SC to help you make an informed decision about which material is the best suited for your outdoor space needs. Our knowledge and experience working with wood and synthetics over the years can ensure an outdoor living space that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Call today for a free design consultation (803) 603- 2160 or email us at
centralsc@archadeck.net.

Tap into the exhilarating potential room beneath your 2nd-story deck

The space under your elevated deck is full of possibilities!

The space under your elevated deck is full of possibilities!

Who doesn’t love a bonus room or extra living and storage space? The endless possible uses are exhilarating! Just like the addition of a garage adds a potential bonus room above, an elevated or second-story deck creates additional outdoor living space beneath. This versatile space is more commonly referred to as “dry deck space.” With just a few extra steps it’s easy to make this unfinished space serviceable, thus expanding your outdoor living area for you and your family to enjoy even more. Whether you are considering adding a new elevated or second story deck or if you have an existing one, Archadeck of Central South Carolina can help you take advantage of the space below your deck, making sure you get the most from all your potential outdoor living area.

Screened Porch with Deck and Stone Patios

This elevated screened porch and deck features space underneath finished to serve as a covered patio.

Notice how the area underneath the deck is dry while the rest is wet?

Notice how the area underneath the deck is dry while the rest is wet?

Typically, the water dripping from the upper deck area prevents homeowners from utilizing the ample space below their second-story deck during rain. The spaces between the decking boards are the culprits, but there are several ways to make this space watertight for new and existing raised decks.  Just imagine this bonus room as a paver patio or flagstone hardscape, a fully wired outdoor dining/living room with lighting, ceiling fans and high-tech electronics, a relaxing screened or covered porch, and even a protected hot tub area or much-needed storage space!

This space turns the table of how we think of "dry space" with the screened porch underneath and deck atop -- amazing!

This space turns the table of how we think of “dry space” with the screened porch underneath and deck atop — amazing!

If you are adding a new elevated structure to your home and you know upfront you’ll be utilizing the space beneath, we have the ability to install a rain deck. This entails multiple layers built within the structure with a slope to divert the rain and water away from the deck. The benefits of this component being layered within the deck as it is being constructed include a non-sloping ceiling for the room below and more flexibility for the addition of electrical accoutrements.

Dry storage space under deck

Convenient and spacious dry storage space under the deck.

For an existing deck, retro-fit products are the way to go to create an awesome dry deck space that will make the space watertight. These systems operate by integrating a slope to divert precipitation to a gutter for draining, creating a slightly sloped ceiling for your room underneath. Archadeck of Central South Carolina uses various dry deck systems depending upon the ultimate use of the finished space below your deck. Some of our more popular choices include Drysnap vinyl ceiling panels, which channel the water, and Trex Rain Escape, which is a trough and gutter drainage system; these are just a few of the options available to make the most of the space under your deck.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

We pride ourselves on making the most out of every bit of outdoor living space you have available to create your ultimate backyard retreat. If you’re thinking of adding a second-story deck onto your home, or currently have an existing second-story deck you wish to finish out the dry deck space beneath, Archadeck of Central South Carolina is your builder of choice. Our award-winning outdoor living combinations are unparalleled in design and quality. Contact us to learn more by calling (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

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

Elegant deck, pergola and patio by Archadeck

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your very own backyard deck by Archadeck of Central SC

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, to answer the question “is a bigger deck better,” it all depends on your individual needs and personal tastes. If you are looking for a deck that delivers layers of extended function, or a deck with that outdoor room feel — then, most definitely, bigger is better!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about our unforgettable deck and outdoor room designs today! You may call us at (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net. Our design consultation is free, but what you gain in outdoor living enjoyment is priceless!

Archadeck of Central SC explores the top 5 ways to make 2014 the year to improve your outdoor living space!

New Years resolutionA New Year signifies a time for change and renewal. When you think of the term “resolution,” you usually think of it as following through with an act of self-improvement.  Let’s face it, resolutions are made with the best intentions – some are successful and some wane early on. Why not make this year different by resolving to improve the lifestyle of your entire family and add value to your home at the same time? Why not resolve to improve your outdoor living space? Now is the time to get started if you want your improvements by spring.

There are many benefits associated with choosing to move ahead with your intended project rather than waiting until the outdoor living season has begun. These include shorter wait times, saving money on materials, less interruption to your lawn, landscape and lifestyle. The largest benefit, inevitably, is being able to have your outdoor space operational in time for the warmer months ahead!

While many people realize that there are benefits to having a great outdoor living space, they may not be sure how to take what they have and transform it into their ideal  space. Archadeck of Central SC has put together a list of the five best ways to improve your outdoor living space for 2014.

This composite deck in Lexington is a true gem!

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

#1) Transform your deck space – Decks still remain the epicenter of outdoor living for the backyard. If you have an existing deck in need of an upgrade or your backyard is a blank canvas yearning for inspiration, now is the time to act to ensure your space is warm-weather ready for the outdoor living season ahead! Maybe you are seeking a way to turn your aging low-aesthetic, high-maintenance wooden deck into a high-aesthetic, low-maintenance deck by re-decking with one of the many quality composites on the market. Maybe you are ready to expand an existing deck. Whatever the reason, now is the season to change.

Sunroom Sitting Area

This sunroom sitting area functions as a secondary living room.

#2) A room with a view –  Savvy homeowners are looking for a space that allows for extended dining, relaxing, entertaining, recreation and all of the above. Outdoor room additions such as sunrooms, three and four-season rooms, and screened porches give homeowners a place to enjoy the outdoors beyond the seasonal limitations of a deck or patio. Outdoor rooms can be enjoyed throughout the cooler seasons and beyond, and all in an insect-free protected space,

#3) Turn up the heat by adding an outdoor fire feature – Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are very popular in outdoor living design. They have proven to be more than a trend. Not only do serve as a focal point of beauty, they will also add hours of enjoyment to your backyard. Outdoor fire features work great in conjunction with patios, porches, and outdoor room additions such as sunrooms, and 3 & 4 season rooms.  An outdoor fire feature exudes ambiance and is worth the investment.

Archadeck of Central SC custom fire pit on slate patio

Our most recent fire pit addition is this stunning stone fire pit integrated into an existing patio in Columbia,SC.

Deck with kitchen and pergola and ample pull out room for outdoor furnishings

Deck with outdoor kitchen and pergola.

#4) Outdoor Kitchens – Who doesn’t enjoy dining outdoors? We dine outdoors and throw dinner parties on the deck, and so why not kick it up a notch this year? Outdoor kitchens are becoming more commonplace in outdoor design. What was once a space for backyard grilling has evolved into a whole outdoor, gourmet kitchen. Outdoor kitchens can be designed to include ovens, warming drawers, smokers, refrigerators, ice machines and even the kitchen sink! No more running in and out from the grill to the fridge. No more lugging a cooler out and back in. The great outdoors with all the convenience of a modern kitchen!

Central SC deck and pergola with seating wall

This Central SC custom deck features a pergola and built-in seating.

#5) Top it off with a pergola – Pergolas simply look good in any setting. They can be used to flank a spa or outdoor kitchen, provide shade to a sunny space, add privacy or    depth and help define a deck or patio. Pergola additions come with many benefits other than just the obvious aesthetic value they provide.

No matter which outdoor living space best suits your needs, Archadeck of Central SC can plan, design and build a structure, or combination of structures, that is sure to make 2014 the best year ever. Our outdoor spaces are designed with a keen eye for the holistic way you view your backyard with the goal of creating an outdoor escape. We strive to bring a modern approach to outdoor structures steeped in the quality craftsmanship of a by-gone era. We specialize in creating unforgettable outdoor structures with attention to the smallest details and quality you can see and feel!

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Call us today for a free consultation at  (803) 603 – 2160 or you may email us at
centralsc@archadeck.net

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.

How to get the most out of your Central S.C. backyard with a deck or patio addition, or maybe both

Central SC deck and pergola with seating wall

This Central SC custom deck features a pergola and built-in seating for the ultimate outdoor room.

The outdoor living season is in full swing. With this in mind, you may be considering the addition of an outdoor living space that will increase the enjoyment of the time you are now spending outdoors. Archadeck of Central SC specializes in delivering backyard bliss with the many high quality outdoor living structures we build. At the top of this list of outdoor spaces are decks, and running a close second is the patio. Decks and patios are a staple of backyard enjoyment but when left with the choice of which space works best for your needs there are many considerations.

Low maintenance composite deck builder in Lexington SC

Beautiful low maintenance composite deck in Lexington, SC

Deck and patio considerations

The first thing to consider is the grade of the area where your anticipated deck or patio is to go. Both decks and patios will work well in low areas, but in higher grade areas a patio may not be the best choice. There are high decks and low decks, but rarely is there ever a high patio. Sure, a high patio is possible, but the amendments needed to facilitate a high fill area to position the patio would be rather costly. A deck works with all elevations.

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.

The next consideration in choosing a deck or patio is deciding the function you want to utilize within your outdoor space. Decks are among the most all-American of all the outdoor structures and are the most common as well. The concept of the “backyard deck” spans many decades and many homeowners feel a deck is the base used to build upon when adding additional outdoor structures. A deck can be used for grilling out, entertaining, or just relaxing on a beautiful South Carolina afternoon. The materials that go into building a deck, whether they are wood or low- maintenance synthetic, sit on an elevated floor. Decks, just like homes, also contain a supporting structure underneath, even in low to grade situations. A deck addition can become part of your home by serving as an extended living room. By adding a pergola to your deck for example, you can create the atmosphere of a room where the pergola would serve as the ceiling and your deck railing would serve as the walls. Outdoor furnishings, or even built-in amenities, will complete the “outdoor room” feel of your deck and serve the chosen function you wish to enjoy within your deck space.

Central SC patio

This Central SC lakefront patio is placed to enjoy inspiring waterfront views.

Patios are in essence an extension of the landscape. Patio construction is composed of either natural stone, concrete, or manmade hardscape materials that are built upon a base of crushed stone or sand. Patios do not need a supportive structure underneath and patios are rarely ever attached to the home itself. Building a patio just off the back of your home with a low grade will deliver the feel of stepping from the home onto the patio but, the patio is actually part of the landcape. Often patios are designed at the grade level of your yard and rarely require a step down for access. Patios can be used for many of the same things as decks including outdoor living, dining and entertaining. Patios also add a rustic appeal to the backyard setting. If the dimensions of your lot are low then a patio may be the best choice for your backyard, and you can emulate the same feel of an “outdoor room” in a patio addition through the use of seating or retaining walls.

This deck in Irmo SC overlooks a serene hardscape patio with outdoor fireplace

This deck in Irmo, SC overlooks a serene hardscape patio with outdoor fireplace.

Why not have your cake and eat it too?

If you are still on the fence about whether a deck or patio best suits your needs and caters to your individual style, why not have both? Outdoor living combinations are very popular. A combination outdoor living space can be composed of a deck and patio combination, deck and porch combination and every other outdoor living space combination you can imagine. There are many benefits to having a dual outdoor living area which include more room for entertaining and outdoor recreation.This is especially the case where large families gather or for homeowners who entertain frequently. Decks and patios work together beautifully – the combination of rustic stone in unison with wood or low-maintenance decking that mimics the look of wood marry together perfectly. Nothing is more beautiful than a deck that gently descends down into a hardscape patio, and this combination is sure to become the focal point of your landscape as well as your favorite room(s) in the house!

Composite deck and patio combination

Notice how the spacious composite deck descends into the patio below…

If you are ready to add function and beauty to your backyard this season, contact Archadeck of Central SC. Our elegant outdoor living designs are sure to please even the most discriminating taste. Contact us today for a free design consultation and let us show you a glimpse of all your backyard can be (803) 603 – 2160 centralsc@archadeck.net

Mike Reu owner Archadeck of Central SC

Mike Reu owner Archadeck of Central SC

You can see more inspiring images of decks and patios by visiting our deck photo gallery and our patio and hardscape photo gallery located on our website.