Tag Archives: Columbia SC 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.

 

 

 

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 .

When it comes to choosing the right builder for your outdoor living project— quality is worth the wait

Archadeck of Central SC Screened Porch AdditionOnce you have made the decision to move ahead with your outdoor living structure addition, it is only natural to want it completed quickly, even if you finalized the design and signed the contract today. Anticipation and patience aren’t generally the closest of friends. However, it is important to remember that quality craftsmanship takes time. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a professionally-designed and built outdoor living structure won’t be either. The important thing  to realize is that if a builder is ready to break ground immediately on your project, especially during the outdoor living season, chances are their services are not in high demand, or they aren’t intent on building your structure with quality and longevity in mind.

Deck BlueprintsHow our scheduling works:

When our client signs a contract,  the project start date is established according to the current backlog we have on schedule at the time. During the fall and winter months, backlogs and lead times are usually less, but during the outdoor living season, when the weather is warmer, project beginning dates are usually substantially farther out. Our timelines are also influenced by forces beyond our control such as permitting, inspections and in some cases inclement weather. Depending on what county or town you reside in, permitting may require a “walk-thru” permitting process, or may require a “drop-off” application. Drop-off permit applications are granted in the order they are received and could take up to three weeks during the busy season. The turnaround time for permitting could add wait time to your project, but permits are a necessary element in the building process.

AZEK deck in NE Columbia, SC.

Beautiful view and a deck to match in NE Columbia.

Making changes to your project once it has begun can often extend completion dates, especially in circumstances where additional permitting and inspections are necessary. Keep in mind, there are many influences that can affect your project timeline and scheduling. These include but are not limited to:

  • Does there need to be HOA approval? If so does your HOA meet quarterly or monthly?
  • Which county or town are you located in?
  • Is a variance needed?
  • Are the materials you have chosen for your particular design stocked locally or special order?
  • How many different trades are involved (plumbing, electrical, masons, HVAC or only carpentry)?
  • Weather or season, and site conditions?
  • What sort of backlog does the builder have?

Archadeck of Central South Carolina strives to provide you with an outdoor living space that encompasses everything you want in your particular design, now, and with future additions in mind. Our approach to the design and building process is to accommodate the customer’s needs and desires in every way. This means we help fulfill your wishes in getting everything you are expecting from your design, from the aesthetics you want to a space that serves the functions you desire. We understand the excitement you feel when you look ahead to using your new addition. Patience, as they always say, is only a virtue.

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 ready to begin planning your anticipated outdoor living project, we can help you get started today on making the backyard of your dreams a reality. Contact Archadeck of Central SC today at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net

 

Looking for a quality designed and constructed wooden deck?

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

Custom pergola addition by Archadeck of Central SC

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

pressure treated wood

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

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

Before and after Renew Crew deck cleaning.

Before and after Renew Crew deck cleaning.

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

Deck revived by Renew Crew of Central SC

Deck revived by Renew Crew of Central SC.

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

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

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

 

Archadeck of Central SC 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.

When it comes to building your outdoor living structure, the early bird gets the worm!

When it comes to building your outdoor living structure, the early bird gets the worm!Spring is a time of renewal, rebirth and fresh ideas.  With spring nearly upon us, now is the time to start planning your new outdoor living space addition to enjoy the season’s warmer weather.  While the warm weather may feel far off in the distant future, there are many benefits to scheduling  your new outdoor living project now while we are still in the cool season.

The early bird gets the worm!

A driving factor to moving ahead with your project is that the demand for a professional builder is not as high during the cooler months.  By being an early bird and having your design finalized, contract signed and schedule in place for the construction of your new space, you will be assured  your new project will be completed in time to maximize on your enjoyment during the warm season.  If you wait for the warm weather to arrive before contacting us, you’ll be competing with scheduling with everyone else who wants to have their outdoor living space completed this summer. Waiting could significantly delay your structure being completed when you want it.

Chapin SC Composite decks

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

Getting ahead of the game and moving forward will also minimize time lost due to any “bumps in the road” that may come up during the permitting and approval phase of your project. In some cases, there may be unexpected delays, such as securing HOA approval, special order materials and permits.  While we are in the slower, cooler season, these may actually take less time to accomplish as there is less backlog now.

Custom pergola addition by Archadeck of Central SCGet the outdoor living space you want now, and later!

If you are concerned about your budget, we offer a phased building program that allows you to design and construct your outdoor living space project in phases to be completed as your lifestyle and budget allows.  We will work with you to incorporate your design into a “master plan” that will allow us to engineer and design your complete outdoor space in phases, permitting us to work more efficiently on future additions. The advance planning of your backyard design saves you time and money as it enables us to work closely with any supplemental contractors you may need for this project. Many homeowners appreciate the freedom to build their ideal backyard project in stages, making it easier on their budget and lifestyle.

Archadeck of Central SC outdoor kitchensReady to live the outdoor lifestyle you have always wanted?

If so, get a jump on the season now by scheduling an appointment to have your ideal structure(s) designed and finalized.  By reserving your place on the schedule now, you are ensuring that you will be able to get the most out of your new outdoor living structure in the warmer months ahead.  While others are waiting to have their new structures built, you and your family will be enjoying outdoor entertaining,  grilling  and relaxing on your new patio or deck!

If you are on the fence about moving forward with the outdoor living space of your dreams, now is the perfect time to get your project on our schedule! Contact Archadeck of Central SC today to learn more. Our consultation is free but the benefits are priceless! You can reach us by phone 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.