Tag Archives: Columbia SC outdoor structure planning

Archadeck of Central SC Ensures Your Outdoor Living Project is Built Right From the Start

Our attention to detail is impeccable!Have you been left high and dry by a builder who offered you a very good deal on a new deck and then did not complete the project? Perhaps you know someone who has had this experience. When choosing a builder it is always wise to explore your options and research a prospective builder by looking at their reviews and looking at their portfolio of completed projects. It is also wise to be cautious of the builder that quickly brings the lowest price to the table and is ready to begin your project on a moment’s notice.

Columbia SC Deck BuilderKeep in mind that seasoned and reputable builders know what it takes structurally to ensure your safety and satisfaction. Securing proper permits and obtaining quality materials to complete the project takes a little time. Be very wary of builders who claim they can start on a dime because chances are they aren’t obtaining the necessary permits to build your structure. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a professionally designed and built outdoor living structure won’t be either. If a builder is ready to break ground immediately, chances are likely their services are not in high demand. This can be a direct reflection of their business practices and quality of work.

During our 13+ years of service, Archadeck of Central SC has rebuilt many projects where the homeowner hastily hired a builder, sometimes a relative or friend,  just to get the project completed quickly. Not only were many of these structures dangerous, they usually resulted in the homeowner spending more to make it right than they would had they hired us initially.

Have you checked your prospective builder’s credentials?  Does the builder have a license and insurance? Is your structure warrantied? These questions may seem trivial but are crucial if something goes wrong and the builder, or crew, is injured or has an accident while working on your property. A warranty is also crucial in protecting your investment. Keep in mind, all of these safeguards are set in place to protect you and the builder.

When you choose Archadeck of Central SC to build your outdoor living structure(s), you will be protected by two separate guarantees constituting the most expansive customer protection plan in the industry. Local oversight assures your property and privacy are respected as well. We attend to every detail required to complete your project with the highest quality control standards. These details include everything from securing any needed building permits all the way to final cleanup after we complete your project. We work very hard to be as unobtrusive as possible during the entire construction phase.

Columbia SC Deck BuilderArchadeck of Central SC 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. We help fulfill your wishes the first time around with no surprises, no catches all while standing behind every structure we build. We realize your anticipated outdoor structure is part of your home. It is vital to ensure your addition adds value to your property. Anything less could degrade property values and leave you holding the bag.

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project will bring enjoyment and pride for many years to come! Call Archadeck of Central South Carolina today for a free design consultation at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

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

 

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.

 

Need an open but private outdoor living space? No problem, Archadeck of Central South Carolina can do that!

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.Although you don’t want to feel hemmed in while enjoying time in your backyard, when you are relaxing or entertaining, a level of privacy is still very desirable. Often the proximity of a neighbor’s backyard or outdoor living space is just right to provide a clear view into your backyard. Unfortunately, if this is the case for you and your neighbors, your tranquil place to dine, read a book or just unwind after a long day can quickly feel too crowded.

If you are considering an improvement to an existing space or the addition of a new outdoor structure that preserves your privacy but also retains the openness of being outdoors, Archadeck of Central South Carolina is this area’s leading custom designer and builder of outdoor living spaces. We can create a space for you that’s the perfect balance of both open and private, as is evident in many of the custom designs we’ve provided for other South Carolina homeowners.

Louvred privacy wall from the side of deck in Forest Acres Columbia SC

Louvred privacy wall from the side of deck in Forest Acres in Columbia, SC.

We work closely with our clients to design the outdoor living space that best suits their needs while fulfilling their wants as well. When working through the preliminary design stage, it’s also important to consider the correlation between your backyard and that of your neighbors, how the proximity will affect the way you use your new space, and the views looking in and out. An outdoor space addition can bring a change in elevation from the grade of the property. Your view of the surrounding perimeter, and potentially your neighbors’, will change, enabling visibility from several angles where there was none previously.

One of our most successful projects demonstrating  the balance of openness and privacy within the same design was built for homeowners in Columbia, SC. A couple of years ago we completed a composite deck for them, and although they loved their new deck, after several opportunities to use it, they soon realized they needed a way to separate their view from that of the neighbors. By using innovative framed panels of vertical lattice suspended from a detailed pergola frame, we created a custom privacy fence design for the deck that solved the problem. The finished project not only provided privacy from prying eyes, it also became a stunning design element and created a focal point.

Columbia SC deck and privacy screen by Archadeck of Central SC

Columbia, SC, deck and privacy screen by Archadeck of Central SC.

Screen porches naturally provide privacy while enhancing the aesthetics of your functional spaces tremendously. If a screened porch is the type of structure you prefer, you may find that a traditional screen doesn’t create enough privacy for you. We can install a screening material that restricts the visibility from the outside but still allows ventilation with an unobstructed view of your surrounding property from within the structure. Additionally, a pergola also makes a perfect companion for a spa or poolside and offers a certain degree of privacy by keeping prying eyes from looking directly into your pool or spa space.

NE Columbia AZEK deck and screened porch

Archadeck of Central South Carolina has been helping homeowners find the right privacy solutions for their outdoor living spaces for many years. How you will use your space, and your privacy needs, are something we discuss and build into your design when planning your outdoor space. Keep in mind all yards are different and certain privacy solutions will work well with certain yards, decks, porches and existing features while others will not. We are experts at designing privacy solutions that will not draw attention but blend with the structure or area where they are located.

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 South Carolina today to learn more about our personalized outdoor living spaces today! You may reach us by phone at (803) 603-2160, or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Archadeck of Central South Carolina, a quality builder with a reputation for doing it right the first time

Central SC AZEK deck builderFor more than ten years, we have been in the business of helping central South Carolina homeowners design and build the high quality outdoor living spaces of their dreams to provide them with enjoyment for many years to come. Too often we’ve encountered homeowners with horror stories of shady contractors making them subsequently “gun-shy” when attempting to work with another builder. Their experiences have included previous builders that just walked away from an exterior project before it is completed, leaving the homeowners with an unfinished mess on their property, or unqualified builders who provided them with an outdoor living structure far from adequate or acceptable quality. Fortunately, we are here to help.

This is how we found the deck when we arrived on the project:

This is how we found the deck when we arrived on the project. We had to pull down what was already done by the prior contractor because it was built so poorly.

One of our recent projects involved the completion of a deck from which the previous builder walked away before finishing the job. Unfortunately, as we inspected the structure, we discovered quite a bit of re-work that we had to do to repair the other builder’s less than adequate building practices. Upon our replacement of much of the framing of the structure, we were then able to finish it out in the proper manner and provided the homeowners with a high-quality, stable deck addition to their home.

 

It’s “clean up” projects like this, along with the string of recent newscasts regarding several deck collapses in NC, that just re-affirm the importance of using a quality builder who does it right the first time. While some of the collapses were due to the advanced age of the decks and some were constructed of low-quality materials, too often they’re due to poor design and building standards of an underqualified builder. You don’t have to settle for poor craftsmanship or an underqualified builder.

Deck after Archadeck of Central SC stepped in and took over project:

Deck after Archadeck of Central SC stepped in and took over project:

Allow us to show you that we are a professional contractor that’s knowledgeable, provides high quality work that’s protected by meaningful warranties, follows building codes and requirements, carries the proper insurance and stands behind his work. With just a few short steps, you’ll be able to distinguish between Archadeck, a reputable builder, and those fly-by-night contractors quite easily.

Archadeck of Central SC is awarded a customer satisfaction achievment award

Archadeck of Central SC was awarded the customer satisfaction achievement award this past year.

First, verify licenses, insurance and warranties up front. A reputable contractor wants to show you these because he knows they set him apart from the crowd. The second step is tougher – judging the character and reliability of the contractor.  You can tell some things by his conduct in the sales process.  Was he on time, did he follow up like he said he would and did he explain things well? And the final thing you can and should do is get references from him and call them. You have the right to ask for references, and a professional contractor will happily give them to you because he knows his past customers will be his best sales force.

When selecting a professional contractor for your outdoor living project, please keep in mind that this is one area where you truly get what you pay for. If a contractor is properly licensed, carries proper insurance, offers a meaningful warranty, uses reputable subcontractors and gives the kind of reliable and competent service that keeps customers singing his praises, he is not going to be the low-price option. But if you want a high-quality, finished space that will provide you with enjoyment every day and a pain-free construction project, you should be thinking about maximum value, not low price.

As a Columbia-area homeowner, if you find yourself in an outdoor living conundrum, we can help! Seeing your project become a reality can be enjoyable from beginning to end. With Archadeck designing and building your space, you can be a homeowner who is pleased with the outdoor space you purchased instead of one who is simply glad the project is over. We strive to make every phase of the process an enjoyable one! Making sure we are on the same page as the client during each phase will insure your dream outdoor space is a joy and delight from concept to conclusion.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project will bring enjoyment and pride for many years to come! Call Archadeck of Central South Carolina today for a free design consultation at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

When considering an outdoor living space addition, a little planning can go a long way!

Central SC custom deck designsMost big decisions are accompanied by a big investment, and as such, proper planning goes a long way in giving you confidence in your choices. As a homeowner, this rings especially true with renovations or additions to your home and its environment. When choosing to add or enhance an outdoor living space, many factors are considered during the planning stage to make sure it meets your needs as well as blends into the architectural style and layout of your home and property. We here at Archadeck of Central South Carolina use our planning and design process with a single goal in mind…designing and building custom outdoor living spaces to bring enjoyment and pride for many years to come!

Archadeck design guideTo assist in the preliminary phase, Archadeck has created a simple yet valuable tool to help homeowners ignite their imaginations and define their preferences and function needs for the perfect outdoor living space. It is called the Archadeck Outdoor Living Design Guide, and you can download it free by visiting the Archadeck of Central SC website.

Three basic pieces of information form the foundation of a successful project:  the function, type and style of outdoor living space addition or renovation you have in mind, the anticipated completion date desired and your estimated budget goal for the project. It has been our experience, having this information organized and in hand not only helps you clarify your outdoor living space needs and wants, but it also helps our team to better translate your desired goal into a finished project.

To create the best design and structure for you and the way you live outdoors, we ask a lot of questions, including:

  • For what activities will this space be used? The best outdoor living structures are designed with perfect union of form and function. Do you wish to have a technology-free zone, just right for rest and relaxation? Or will your space need an outdoor kitchen area to be used for family barbecues and larger dinner parties? Do you want an open, exposed area where you can bask in the sun, or do you prefer a covered area with protection from the elements? Better yet, how about a combination space for all of the above?
  • What is the contour of your property? Is it flat or does it have slopes? The contour must be taken into consideration when selecting the structure and type of outdoor living space, but it doesn’t necessarily limit your options.

Central SC design guide

Additional aspects we consider when creating your custom space are the situation of your property in regard to sun exposure, favorite views you may have and the proximity of neighboring properties…all of which should be kept in mind when selecting the style and design of your sunroom, porch, pergola, deck or combination.

Now is the perfect time to plan your backyard retreat, so it can be ready for you to enjoy when the weather gets warm. Having a clear understanding of your tastes and design choices helps you receive the perfect outdoor living environment. That’s where our FREE Design Guide comes in handy.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

When considering an outdoor room addition such as a screened porch, choosing the best fit for your home’s architecture, your desired function and your budget is important. Archadeck of Central South Carolina is the premier outdoor structure builder serving Columbia, SC, and the surrounding area. We can help you choose the perfect custom outdoor living space addition for you with our expert design team and experience in building. Contact us to learn more by calling (803) 603-2160 or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net. We specialize in making your outdoor living dreams come true!

In the final installment to our series, “The Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor,” we discuss warranty and protection

7 keysTHE SEVEN KEYS TO FINDING A GREAT CONTRACTOR

  • PART SEVEN:  WARRANTY AND PROTECTION

This is our seventh and final installment in our series about the Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor.  This certainly applies to my business of building premium decks, porches and sunrooms, but really these principles apply to almost any area of work you might have a contractor perform services for you.

To review, the seven keys are:

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

Archadeck custom projectThe warranty serves as the back-up plan for a consumer if things don’t go right with the builder.  This applies to major problems in having the project completed (unscrupulous contractors have been known to walk away from a job when it gets difficult or too expensive to make things right), or may apply to things that come up after the job is done and the contractor has been paid.

Small – and sometimes not-so-small – repairs are often needed after a job is completed.  This is normal in construction as materials can change as they weather, buildings settle, and sometimes things become apparent weeks or months after construction is finished that were not apparent when the job was being performed.

A warranty is important because it outlines in advance what the builder is and isn’t willing to do to fix problems after the fact.  Without a warranty, the homeowner still has certain protections under the laws regarding implied warranties.  However claims under these laws require the homeowner to file a legal claim, and can be time consuming and expensive, not to mention stressful.

archadeck warranty

For the record, at Archadeck our warranty covers the entire project (meaning that we will fix anything that’s not right) for one year, and further covers structural issues (foundations, integrity of framing, roof leaks, etc.) for a period of 5 years.

House illustration for home showA homeowner’s best protection regarding warranty issues is to use a builder that is stable and has a good reputation. If a contractor goes out of business or moves on to another job or another area, it may be next to impossible to get something fixed after the fact, regardless of the written or implied warranty.  On the other hand, a contractor that is concerned about his company’s reputation is more likely to meet or exceed what is written in his warranty.  Homeowners can check with the Better Business Bureau and check a builder’s references and online reputation to see what his history is regarding honoring warranty claims.  Once again, this is an instance where the cheapest builder may not be the best choice for you if there is a risk he won’t or can’t stand behind his work months or even years down the road.

Archadeck contractor checklist

The other major area of warranty coverage is what happens if the contractor defaults during the construction process.  This is not that unusual, and can be a BIG problem for the homeowner.  This can happen for a multitude of reasons, including illness, financial failure, a job change, or a contractor simply pulling out of a job because he bid it wrong and knows he is going to lose money on it.  Again, legal remedies are available, but they will involve time, money and stress.  And again, this is a case where the more stable and reputable the contractor, the less your chance of running into this kind of problem.

Archadeck actually provides a guaranteed insurance program that covers customers if the local Archadeck office cannot complete a project due to death, illness or going out of business.  In this event, the Archadeck corporate office will pay to have the project completed by another Archadeck location.

Process plays a key role in the success of your outdoor living project.One final word about warranty protection. It may be very difficult to pursue legal action against a contractor if you do not have a signed contract.  This contract should specify the price, the scope of work, the timing of the work, etc.  Without this document you may not be able to prove what work was agreed upon and therefore what implied warranties should cover.  Once again, here’s another reason to use a professional contractor who follows good business practices and not just a carpenter who can build you a cheap deck!

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your project is built with quality and longevity in mind. Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Please visit our extensive outdoor structure galleries located on our website for more examples of our lovely designs.

 

 

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

Panel detail on privacy screen in Columbia SC

Panel detail on custom privacy screen in Columbia, SC.

THE SEVEN KEYS TO FINDING A GREAT CONTRACTOR

PART SIX:  ATTENTION TO DETAILS

This is our sixth installment in our series about the Seven Keys to Finding a Great Contractor. This certainly applies to our business of building premium decks, porches and sunrooms, but really these principles apply to almost any area of work you might have a contractor perform services for you.

To review, the seven keys are:

  1. Experience
  2. Professionalism
  3. Process
  4. Value
  5. Customized Product
  6. Attention to Details
  7. Warranty & Protection
Notice the detailed parting board on this AZEK deck in Norheast Columbia ,SC.

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

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

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

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

Beautifully detailed deck in NE Columbia, SC.

Beautifully detailed deck in NE Columbia, SC.

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

Saluda River deck in Columbia SC

Saluda River deck in Columbia, SC.

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

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

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project is built with attention to even the smallest details. Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Please visit our extensive outdoor structure galleries located on our website for more examples of our lovely designs.

 

Can I please get a little privacy out here? The perfect privacy solution for this Columbia, SC, deck.

Fabulous privacy screen options for decks in Columbia SC

Custom privacy screen recently added to composite deck in Columbia, SC, built last year by Archadeck of Central SC.

Is privacy important to you in your outdoor living space? How close is your neighbor’s backyard or outdoor living space? For example, when they use their deck or patio does it give a clear view into your backyard? Can you see into your backyard from the street? How busy is the street you live on?

Many homeowners come to us with a desire to use their backyard for relaxation, entertaining,or a tranquil place to dine or read after a long day. When trying to enjoy these leisure activities, they have told us that they often look up and suddenly realize they’re not alone; the neighbors have a clear view of their backyard from their own deck or patio. Perhaps you have looked up, too, only to see your neighbor outside enjoying the day and staring back. Privacy is often a top priority for homeowners looking to improve or establish an outdoor structure of their own, but most want a space that also retains the openness of being outdoors. Creating a space that provides both requires balance, as is evident in many of our custom designs.

Columbia SC privacy decks

One of our recent projects in Columbia, SC, demonstrates a successful balance of openness and privacy within the same design. Last year we completed a composite deck for these Columbia homeowners. While the homeowners were elated with their new deck they soon realized they needed a way to separate their view from that of the neighbors.This is often the case once the homeowner uses their new space. An outdoor space addition can bring a change in elevation from the grade of the property; your view of the surrounding perimeter will change enabling you to see, and others to see you, in places you did not have a clear view of prior to the addition.

Panel detail on privacy screen in Columbia SC

Archadeck of Central SC came up with a custom privacy fence design for these Columbia homeowners’ new deck that adds privacy and abundant beauty to the space. We used innovative framed panels of vertical lattice suspended from a detailed pergola frame.The finished project not only provides privacy from prying eyes, it also becomes a stunning design element creating a focal point. The custom privacy fence is built from wood painted white for a clean, bright backdrop to accentuate the homeowners’ beautiful plantings and outdoor furnishings.

Columbia SC deck and privacy screen by Archadeck of Central SC

Notice the close proximity of the house next door.

It may sound trivial, but deciding what functions you want your outdoor space to provide will make it easier to design a space that best suits  your family’s needs. In outdoor living design it is often easy to overlook our own preferences — for instance, some folks love being out in the elements, while others are sensitive to wind and sun; some love entertaining, while others want to enjoy a solo retreat. In addition, always consider the correlation between your backyard and that of your neighbors, how it will affect the way you use your new space, and the views looking in and out.

Archadeck of Central SC has been helping homeowners find the right privacy solution for their outdoor living spaces for many years. How you will use your space, and your privacy needs, are something we discuss and build into your design when planning your outdoor space. Keep in mind all yards are different and certain privacy solutions will work well with certain yards, decks, porches and existing features while others will not. We are experts at designing privacy solutions that will not draw attention but blend with the structure or area where they are located.

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 our personalized outdoor living spaces today! You may reach us by phone at (803) 603-2160, or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net

See more example of quality-built decks and porches by visiting our decks photo gallery and our porches photo gallery located on our website.

 

Archadeck of Central SC discussses the importance of customized design

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

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

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project will bring enjoyment and pride for many years to come! Call Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation at (803) 603-2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Please visit our extensive outdoor structure galleries located on our website for more examples of our lovely designs.