Tag Archives: Columbia SC synthetic decks

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.

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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.

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.