Vote for Archadeck of Columbus for the 2016 Consumer's Choice Award!

At Archadeck of Columbus we are proud of all the awards we have received during our time in business. From the esteemed Angie’s List super service awards, to the Archadeck Design Excellence award, none mean more to us than those bestowed upon us by you — our valued customer!

With this in mind, Archadeck of Columbus has been nominated for the 2016 Consumer’s Choice award for deck builders again this year. This will be the 4th year we have been nominated for the award and Archadeck of Columbus has received the award 2012-2015. For over 25 years the “Consumers’ Choice Award”: https://consumerschoiceaward.com/has been considered a business seal of excellence. For recipients, the award not only constitutes the crowning achievement of their efforts, but also represents the knowledge that they have earned the trust and loyalty of consumers.

The Consumer’s Choice Award has developed a selection process with the sole purpose of providing consumers with the most sophisticated consumer-driven selection process results available today.

Each step of their Four-Step Process helps to precisely determine and rank companies that are worthy of your hard earned money. They include multiple sources of research data and complex evaluation processes that enable Consumer Choice Award to understand how well companies meet the needs and satisfy the expectations of consumers like you.

To get you the highest quality results, they rely on a robust methodology and over 28 years of experience in gathering consumer and company data from a multitude of categories. This includes hearing from customers like you!

Please visit votecca.com and vote for Archadeck of Columbus today!


Thanks for all your support,
- The Archadeck of Columbus team

This Hardscape Outdoor Living Space in Lewis Center, OH, Has All the Right Curves!

Our recent hardscape outdoor living space addition in Lewis Center, OH, is a step above your traditional patio. The project features a multi-tiered paver patio with a privacy wall and custom fire pit. True to the title of this focus story, this backyard oasis has all the right curves…

When Archadeck of Columbus initially met with these homeowners for their consultation they were interested in replacing their existing failing PT deck. They were looking for a better use of space and a structure that encompassed low-maintenance materials. Reaching beyond the obvious choice of opting for a synthetic deck addition, these homeowners’ decided to reach for patio perfection instead.

The entire project was built with Unilock hardscapes. In our region, pavers are the most popular choice for homeowners considering a new patio or hardscape. Unilock pavers, in particular, are a favorite because of their quality, beauty and the wide variety of pavers they offer, as their selection affords the perfect paver to fit any project budget.

We used Unilock Stonehenge pavers on the field of the patio. For the privacy/retaining wall we used Unilock Brussels Dimensional stone and for the accent border we used Unilock Il Campo in Mocha. One of the unique aspects of this project was that instead of choosing the main field area paver for this project first, the homeowners chose the accent stone used in the border as the basis to choosing the remainder of the hardscapes. This concept worked out as all the colors and textures flow together perfectly.

Last but not least, the space also includes a custom fire pit also built using Unilock pavers. The fire feature is gas burning with lava rock and adds charm, function and a great place for endless conversation to the design.

The clients are over the moon about the way their project turned out and left us a glowing review on Google in regards to their project:

“We are extremely pleased with our new patio we recently had installed. The sales and design process was extremely professional and our POC was very patient and understanding with all of our requested changes during that design phase. They went above and beyond to make suggestions and recommendations based on the desired end product that we described. We now have the patio we dreamed of that is both inviting and visually stunning. We highly recommend Archadeck. They provided the necessary consultation we needed and delivered on everything they promised.”

Contact us today to learn more about our award-winning outdoor living space designs. You can reach us at Call (740) 879–3730, or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

The Archadeck of Columbus team


Why winter is the time to build your Columbus deck or porch

It will come as no surprise that winter is the “slow” season in the outdoor construction industry. Part of the reason is that many customers are focused on other activities, like the holiday season or shoveling the walk. But the other reason I frequently hear from people who are waiting to pull the trigger on building a deck is that they think of winter as a bad time to build.

Au contraire! Winter is the best time for you to start your Columbus deck project. First of all, it’s much easier to get an appointment to meet with Archadeck or another reputable builder. At the height of the spring/summer season, we often are booking two months or more in advance. When you make your first appointment in the winter, you get on the schedule much earlier. Second, winter projects are less disruptive to our client’s lives. You, your kids and your pets are likely in the yard less often this time of year and building crews won’t be a bother. Also, your grass is dormant and we will be less likely to disturb it too.

Just as builders tend to be less busy in the winter, building materials experience lower demand at this time of year. It’s often easier and faster to get custom orders in stock before the spring season gets into full swing. We regularly see price increases in the industry early each year too. When we are able to lock in orders before that happens, you reap the benefit of lower material costs.

You may know that regardless of the material you choose to top your deck, the underlying structure will be built out of pressure-treated pine. Pine is less temperamental during the winter. The moisture in the “green” wood won’t “give and take” as much as it will in the hot and humid spring and summer months. Take advantage of the superior environmental conditions by building when it’s cooler. Your deck will thank you!

Remember, our consultations are free and no obligation, so you have nothing to lose and lots to gain by calling now to inquire about your deck or other outdoor living project. See how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.

Making your Columbus screened porch fabulous: 9 easy steps!

When you do something often, you learn lots of valuable tips and tricks that help you refine your technique, allowing you to get top-quality results time after time. Whether or not you decide to work with Archadeck of Columbus, we want to share some of our professional “secrets” for building a screened porch that will be the new relaxation center of your home for years to come.

1) Think about the flow you want to have- Usually this begins with the door(s) from the house and ends with the stairs opening up to your yard. If you are going to have large pieces of furniture, they need to be part of the planning process so that you have easy, comfortable movement between each area.

2) Screens- It’s no surprise that in a room with the word “screen” in the name, the qualities of the screen you choose will have a big impact. Talk to your builder about what options are available, focusing on elements like material and color. We encourage clients to select fiberglass over aluminum because it’s durable, does not crease, and is much easier to replace, as necessary. We like screens in the “gray” color family because they serve the dual purpose of minimizing glare and diffusing sunlight.

3) Let the sunshine in- You don’t want your new porch to darken the interior of your home. You also want to have plenty of light inside your porch. These principles will drive discussions about amenities such as skylights, lighting fixtures, and roof designs, including whether an open gable would be appropriate.

4) The electrician’s to-do list- Obviously you’ll need power for any lights or fans you install inside, but you may want lighting on the exterior of your porch as well. Built-ins on the exterior steps are a nice touch. Don’t forget to make allowances for any TVs, speakers, or other entertainment features you want to include.

5) Zoning and HOA requirements- The rules are the rules. And it’s always easier and less expensive if you include them in the planning up front. It will save you headaches down the road. Consult an expert as needed to secure any necessary permits.

6) Look up, look out, look back, look down- What kind of view do you want to have in each direction you look? Most people spend more time thinking about the floor than they do the ceiling and that’s a mistake. Your builder can make suggestions about ceiling styles and attractive materials that suit your home’s architecture.

7) What’s holding it up?- Literally. You will need load-bearing walls, columns or posts for your screened porch. This piece demands professional input. It can also be a good discussion to have while you are thinking about whether or not to include a fireplace. Both wood-burning and gas-burning fireplaces have code demands associated with them.

8) Are you a swinger? Or maybe a slider?- Most of our clients choose a swinging door and we recommend aluminum because it is lightweight and stays swinging true on its hinges for longer than wood. Wood shrinks, swells, and sags: all problems for a porch door. Sliding and French doors have their own space requirements to make them work. Both can be terrific additions to your new space.

9) Not bricks, sticks or straw- The preferred materials for screened porches in this area are pressure-treated pine, synthetics like TimberTech, cedar, and vinyl. There are others available as well. We would be happy to discuss the different price points and advantages of each with you.

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.

Read our other Archadeck of Columbus blog, enjoy our Houzz site, peruse our Pinterest, and more.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of different ways to interact with people and businesses through social media and industry websites. Even I can’t keep up with all of them and I like to consider myself pretty young and reasonably hip (although my sons may disagree). While we hope you can find us in the places you like to spend your online time, we know it would be impossible to be fully engaged on every platform. We’ve chosen a few of the more popular hang outs that will allow us to share the story of our business in a visual and engaging way and communicate with you most effectively. If you’d like to join us, we would be honored. Each site offers a different experience and we encourage you to check us out at any of the following locations:

Archadeck of Columbus Blog

We love to share stories about our projects, answer customer questions and offer tips related to all things outdoor living. Our blog is the best method of sharing the vast knowledge we have to offer our clients and the general public. Click here to read our blog or you can always access it by clicking the W within the circle, near my picture on our home page. (See diagram below for easy access to all of our offsite engagements). If you keep up with our blog you’ll get the latest and greatest in deck and patio trends, information about new products offered by our wonderful vendors, tips & tricks for extending the life of your porch, deck, patio or pergola and design inspiration for your upcoming outdoor living project.

We have recently been given the ability to post blog stories to our Archadeck website, the blog you are reading now. We plan to fill this space with great advice and information, same as our previously mentioned blog. Given our other blog has many years of reader loyalty, we will continue to add great information to both blog locations. Please be sure to check them both out for the best information & inspiration on outdoor living in Columbus.

Archadeck of Columbus Pinterest

Pinterest is a fun social website where users are able to post pictures of great ideas, products and information. These images lead back to websites where there might be a recipe, a design story or the ability to purchase the item pictured. Pinterest is well known for crafts and cooking, but is also wonderful for home projects, driven by inspiring photos. One of Pinterest’s best features is users can organize images they find inspiring. For example, if you are dreaming about building a gazebo or paver patio around your pool, you might want to check out our Pinterest page and save photos that have one or more features that strike your fancy. Then when the time comes to start your project you’ll have a digital design board with all of the materials and design features you want for your outdoor living project. We will continue to post tons of inspiring outdoor living projects on Pinterest for you to collect & share.

Archadeck of Columbus on YouTube

Just about everyone who has been on the internet has seen a YouTube video at one time or another. Archadeck of Columbus has a YouTube channel where we demonstrate products and techniques we use and give tours of our completed projects. One of our most popular videos features my sons putting some TimberTech Evolutions boards through their paces to show how resilient they are.

Archadeck of Columbus on Houzz

Houzz is one of the newer social media sites on which we have a presence. Houzz is like a Pinterest + Angie’s List hybrid. It is driven by images and allows you to create idea boards like Pinterest, but is geared towards home design & decorating ideas and their related service providers. Houzz allows users to share and read reviews for any given service provider and they also let users ask the professionals questions – which we answer as quickly as we can. The site is a perfect place to see the projects created by the contractor, builder or designer you are considering hiring for your next home improvement project.

Archadeck of Columbus on Twitter, Facebook & Google+

Of course, we are also active on Twitter @ColumbusDecks, Facebook, and Google Plus. With so many ways to connect with us you can justpPick your favorite and jump in. Regardless of which platform you choose. As always we look forward to communicating with you in any way you choose, even if you just want to call (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net

You can find us from our home page by following the links shown:

A heaving Columbus area Gahanna OH concrete patio becomes a beautiful new synthetic low maintenance deck

Transformed!

When it comes to cement and your property, one word you don’t want to hear is “heaving.” Frost heaving is when a concrete structure is displaced, and sometimes cracked or broken, by the action of water in the soil beneath it freezing and thawing. One of our customers had a Gahanna patio that suffered from heaving so severe that it pitched the cement at an odd angle and it needed to be replaced.

Not surprisingly, this bad experience with a concrete slab encouraged them to seek out better, more durable options for their new Gahanna deck. Ultimately, they decided that they wanted to install a low-maintenance synthetic deck that would likely last for as long as they own their home. They chose TimberTech decking in Brown Oak which beautifully matches the trim color on their home. We were then able to color match the stucco on the home’s exterior with a tan vinyl rail. Sometimes you get lucky with color availability and this was one of those times. The match is just perfect.

The concrete patio had a step down from the rear of the home. The new deck is flush with the back of the house. It seems like a small detail, but it really makes a difference when it comes to everyday use. In order to keep the water and utilities mounted on the back wall of the home accessible, we left a small open space and installed a gate with a lock and clasp. You may notice that the gate has no rail cap, that was done intentionally to lighten the gate’s load and keep it solid on its hinges.

The transformation of this yard is almost miraculous for a relatively small project. The stained, heaving concrete patio is gone. In its place is a larger, beautiful, far more functional deck. It has plenty of room for a grill, table and chairs. Everything from the railings and gate to the parting board down the middle looks like it was custom-designed for the home. Of course, they were. And that makes all the difference.

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to connecting with you.

The pros and cons of pressure treated pine: outstanding value or maintenance nightmare?

Pressure treated pine (PTP) is the #1 choice in America for outdoor structures. A variety of factors account for its perennial popularity. The two top reasons are that it is inexpensive and that it is easy to work with. At Archadeck, the substructures for all of our decks and porches are made from pressure treated pine, even on the projects where the floors and railings are built of something else. Pressure treated pine has an added benefit. It boasts a classic look that many people enjoy: natural wood grain. Nothing, except for real wood, looks like real natural authentic wood.

What are the drawbacks of building with PTP? The main problem is that it’s very reactive to the sun. If you are not diligent about the care and maintenance of pressure-treated pine, it will change color, crack, warp, and cup. Depending on the weather and environment where you live, it may also be susceptible to mold, rot, and insect damage. Note that I said, “if”. PTP decks and porches can have very long, beautiful, and useful lives if you treat them right. No product will last forever.

The first rule in PTP deck care is to wet it down regularly. If your deck spends many hours each day in direct sunlight, you may want to hose it down several times a week. If you happen to have an irrigation system in your yard, this may be as easy as including in your timer’s cycle. You want to get in the habit of doing this before it cracks. You can’t reverse cracking once it starts.

Stripping, cleaning, and staining with a UV protective exterior wood product will also go a long way toward protecting your investment. For a deck with average sun exposure, once a year should be an adequate frequency to go through this process. You can choose to apply a transparent sealer, a semi-transparent or opaque stain, or even use exterior paint. My favorite of these is semi-transparent stain. It provides good protection with a slight color enhancement. The opaque stains offer the same protection, but wear and tear from normal foot traffic will be more noticeable.

Transparent sealers have no stain in them and are the easiest to “strip” when the time comes. If you don’t mind the inevitable gray cast your deck will acquire as a result of those powerful UV rays, this may be a good choice for you. I listed painting as an option, but it really is a poor choice for horizontal surfaces, including decking, bench seats, and rail caps. It will wear and it will be very noticeable. If you want to use paint, I recommend reserving it for vertical components like rail posts and pickets.

When it comes to specific product recommendations, I have gotten the best feedback on the deck stains from Cabot Stain and Sherwin-Williams. Neither is inexpensive, but both have very solid reputations. Both can be applied by a homeowner with a free weekend or you can use a local painter. Think of it like getting your teeth cleaned. You know you need to do it, so just do it.

But what if you really don’t want to do it? If you are not up to the PTP challenge, Archadeck can recommend many other options for decking materials that require less daily and annual upkeep. If you have more questions about PTP vs. composites or other products for your deck or porch product, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you make the choice that’s right for you.

Are you ready to discuss the project you’ve been thinking about? Give us a call for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730. We look forward to your call.

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