Archadeck of Columbus, OH, has three words of advice for you: "Timing, timing, timing"

Everyone has heard that old advice about buying real estate: “Location, location, location.” At Archadeck of Columbus, we have some comparable advice when it comes to scheduling the construction of a new outdoor living space at your home: Timing, timing, timing.

We don’t mean timing in the sense that it depends on luck — for example, the way some people think of timing in the stock market. In the context of a construction project, there are many factors to take into consideration that can affect the timing of your project. Unlike the stock market, the most important of these factors is within your control.

The timing factor you can control

The most important timing factor for your new outdoor living project is when you first make the call to schedule your design consultation. The sooner you start the process, the sooner your new deck, porch, 3-season room or paver patio (or combination of these) will be completed. That’s why you should go ahead and get started now, while summer is winding down and fall is slipping in. Before you know it, spring will be here! If you take steps now to begin setting up the project, you’ll be showing off your new outdoor living space in time for spring.

The first step is to call Archadeck of Columbus to schedule a free design consultation — now, in August, or whenever you are reading this.

The timing factors you cannot control

Scheduling

When you sign a contract with us to build your 3 or 4-season room, porch, deck, patio, outdoor kitchen or some combination of these, we will add your project to our construction schedule. Keep in mind that we have other jobs underway now in the Columbus area. Then we have more projects, with signed contracts, each one scheduled to begin as soon as a current project is completed. Any reputable contractor will have some lead time before they can begin construction on your project.

Before we build anything, we work with you to design the outdoor living space you’ve dreamed of. The design process may take several iterations from rough sketches to polished 3-D renderings. Some clients think of elements they want to add or change each time they see a new version of their design. That’s okay, because it’s your home. It’s your home! But each change must go back through the drafting department to get added to the architectural renderings.

When the design is finalized, we also finalize all of your material choices including the type and color of decking boards; specific stone selections for the patio, walkways, planters, seating walls or fireplace; porch ceilings, railings, pillars and beams, etc. Knowing what materials you want enables us to give you an exact quote for your project. At that point we can sign the contract and schedule the job.

Hint: our lead times for scheduling new projects are usually shorter in the fall and winter than they are in the warmer months. We build during all 12 months of the year.

Permitting

We must submit architectural renderings and specifications to local permitting agencies, either city or county, depending on where you live. Sometimes we encounter delays at these agencies. The permitting process is unpredictable. If zoning issues arise, additional action is required. You may have to meet with a zoning board, and you must get on their calendar a certain number of days in advance of their meeting. If you just miss getting on the agenda, you may have to wait a month until the next zoning board meeting.

HOA approval

Does your community or neighborhood require Homeowners Association approval of your construction plans? How often does this group meet, and how far in advance do you need to notify them of your plans?

Materials delivery

Archadeck of Columbus special orders many of the materials we use from reliable vendors we have worked with for years. Many of the desired materials are not available at your nearby home improvement stores or, in some cases, we can get much better prices through our vendors. While we can usually predict when materials will arrive, every now and then we encounter delays.

Weather

We do work through the winter, but every season has its share of bad-weather days that can set a construction schedule back.

As you have gathered from the details outlined above, you cannot call a contractor in the spring to build a project you plan to start enjoying that same season. With so many factors beyond your — and our — control, the timing works out best if you begin planning farther ahead.

Advantages to scheduling your project before the spring rush

Since fall and winter are fast approaching, here are a few advantages to scheduling your outdoor living construction project during the cooler months:

• If your design includes wood, know that it seasons more quickly in lower humidity, which occurs during the cooler months. Some seasoning time is required before wood is ready to accept stain or paint.

• Work crews are likely to be more productive in the cooler months.

• You can lock in 2017 prices by signing a contract with us before the end of the year. Prices for building materials generally increase in the first quarter of the new year.

• While construction activity may cause some damage to your lawn, damage during the fall or winter is apt to recover by spring. Damage done in spring will not recover as quickly.

Have we convinced you that you should not wait until spring to schedule your new outdoor living project? Your Archadeck of Columbus design consultant is ready to talk with you now about designing a beautiful outdoor living environment that can be ready before spring. Contact us today at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

The infinite potential of an empty Columbus, OH-area back yard: Make it your canvas!

What can you do if your back yard has absolutely no outdoor living structures? Anything you want!

If it’s devoid of any pre-existing elements other than grass? An empty back yard is your blank canvas, as these Sunbury, OH, homeowners found when they met with their Archadeck of Columbus outdoor living design consultant.

To be precise, this family’s home did come with a simple set of builder-grade back stairs leading from their back door into the yard. “Builder-grade” means no frills, just the basics, and certainly not enough to inspire outdoor entertaining or even relaxation. Enter Archadeck of Columbus to the rescue!

As you can see, these Sunbury homeowners chose to add a backyard deck, a large pergola for shade and a beautiful patio that includes a fire pit and seating wall. The colors they selected for these outdoor living additions blend perfectly with the original colors used on their home. The new structures don’t even look like additions at all; you would swear they were designed and built during the original home construction.

For their new deck, the homeowners selected low-maintenance TimberTech composite decking in the Antigua gold color, part of TimberTech’s Tropical Collection designed to emulate exotic wood grains. The white vinyl railings have black aluminum pickets, and the rail cap is made of the same TimberTech Antigua gold decking as the deck floor. To conceal the underside of the deck, we added deck skirting made of HardiePlank ColorPlus siding to match the house.

A white vinyl pergola was the perfect choice for creating shade over the deck, adding to the deck’s comfort quotient on the sunniest of days. A low-maintenance material, the white vinyl of the pergola matches the deck railings as well as the white outline of the home’s many windows.

The deck stairs lead down to an elegant patio featuring one area for outdoor grilling and another for a marvelous round fire pit and circular seating wall. Archadeck of Columbus built all of the hardscape elements with Unilock hardscapes in a color scheme matching that of the deck and the home itself. We used Unilock’s Beacon Hill pavers in walnut for the patio surface. The striking double border around the patio features Il Campo stone in mocha for the darker inner border and Brussels Block in sandstone for the wide outer border.

You’ll notice we used those same contrasting border stones to outline part of the patio as a special circle holding the gas-burning fire pit in its center. We built the circular wall of the fire pit with Unilock’s Brussels Dimensional stone in the sierra color, and we capped the fire pit with a rounded-edge Brussels double bullnose stone in the sandstone color.

The curved seating wall was built with the same selection of stones: Brussels Dimensional stone in sierra for the wall itself and Brussels double bullnose stone in sandstone for the capping on the wall. The smooth, rounded edge of the bullnose stones is perfect for seating. Finally, each end of the seating wall is accented with a pillar of the Sierra Brussels Dimensional stone, and the pillars are topped off with Unilock’s Ledgestone Coping in buff.

Now these homeowners have a back yard that’s as inviting as those of their neighbors. We love how the back yards in this Sunbury, OH, neighborhood run together without borders or fencing, giving the whole area a feeling of community. Socializing is part of this community’s fabric, and our client’s new outdoor living project — a pleasing combination of deck, pergola, patio and fire feature — fits right in.

Your Archadeck of Columbus design consultant is ready to help you explore options for making your outdoor living dreams come true. Whether you’re starting with a blank slate or want to add on to your current outdoor living space, contact us today at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

Could your new deck and patio combination be a work of art?

When does an outdoor living project cross over into the realm of art? Come along with us, Archadeck of Columbus, as we reveal the answer in the photos of this elegant Westerville, OH, deck and patio combination. With the exquisite details of this project, from the gentle curves and fleur-de-lis angle of the patio to the mesmerizing stone choices, the deck’s striking color palette and homeowner-commissioned privacy screen — this is art.

The dramatic curve of the patio seems to embrace the surrounding landscape. Come nighttime, the landscape will drop away and all eyes will be on the flames dancing in the wood-burning fire pit at the patio’s center. Archadeck of Columbus is proud to have worked with these Westerville homeowners to design and build this splendid deck and patio combination outdoor living environment.

We built the unique patio using a rich variety of Unilock hardscapes. The field of the patio features Unilock Richcliff pavers in a mix of neutral colors from dawn mist to pebble taupe. For contrast, the darker pavers that define the inner border of the patio are Unilock Copthorne, and the color chosen for the inner boarder is Basalt. Then, for additional contrast, we used lighter pavers for the patio’s outer border; these are Unilock Brussels bullnose in the sandstone color.

One great quality of the bullnose pavers is their smooth, rounded exposed edge. These smooth-edged pavers also make up the top ledge of the seating wall because of the comfort they provide for seating. The seating wall itself was built using Unilock Brussels Dimensional Stone in the sierra color. Finally, we built the wood-burning fire pit with Unilock Brussels Dimensional Stone, too, in the lighter color.

If you look closely, you’ll see an entirely different stone stepping down to the back gate and also on the landing at the base of the steps leading up to the deck. These natural stone slab steps are made of Olentangy flagstone, native to the Olentangy River that runs through Columbus. The flagstone was used here because the area was hilly and the homeowners needed steps for access to reach the back gate.

Now let’s move up to the deck. Like the patio, the deck is a pleasing contrast of hues with dark powder-coated aluminum railings and balusters, brown decking boards, cedar posts and lighter-colored heavy-duty cedar lap siding for the underdeck skirting.

The homeowners selected synthetic decking in the pecan color from the Legacy Collection by TimberTech. These durable boards (a composite core surrounded on all sides by a protective polymer shell) were chosen for their low-maintenance qualities as well as the way they emulate the texture of natural wood grain. We used the TimberTech decking for the surface of the deck, the deck stairs and a walkway leading from the deck to the driveway, which is around the corner of the home.

You will notice an almost delicate strip of lattice work covering part of the underdeck area between the siding and the deck itself. There is a very practical storage area under the deck, and we wanted to promote air flow here (in a decorative way), rather than enclose it tightly.

Another layer of outdoor living artistry awaits you on the deck. The elegant privacy panels were custom-commissioned by the homeowners and installed by Archadeck of Columbus. You must take a closer look! You can glimpse a backdrop of trees behind the screen, peeking through the swirling design, art and nature intertwined. Like the deck’s railings, the privacy panels are made of powder-coated aluminum and will not rust.

This deck and patio design holds mystery at every turn, and one more surprise awaits you. Covering the walkway from the deck to the driveway is a cedar pergola that we carefully nestled into the landscape along the side of the house. Tree branches gently nudge the pergola, and the effect mimics the feeling that you are entering the gateway to a secret garden.

Is it an outdoor living environment, or is it art? Why can’t it be both? If you are ready to discover what artistry Archadeck of Columbus can design for your outdoor living space, contact us today to learn more at (740) 879-3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.


The Archadeck of Columbus team.

See how these Ballantrae homeowners make the most of their Dublin OH backyard

Is your outdoor living space everything it can be? Or could you raise your game a notch with a bigger, more comfortable deck and patio, all the better for entertaining friends and family outdoors?


View from Dublin, OH, recent covered porch addition.

That’s exactly what these homeowners did at their elegant home in the Ballantrae neighborhood of Dublin, OH. They had a small deck and patio, and while the two areas were connected by stairs, the deck and patio felt more like two separate small spaces. They consulted Archadeck of Columbus to talk about expanding their outdoor living space to make full use of the property spanning the entire back of the house.

The Before and After photos tell the story, as does this video from our YouTube channel showing what a sweeping transformation it was. Archadeck worked with the homeowners to design a beautiful outdoor living environment that met their need for a much larger space in which to relax and entertain comfortably.

The larger deck and patio more than doubled their outdoor living space, and they added amenities such as a covered porch, a fire pit and a seating wall around the new patio. To accomplish this stunning transformation, the Archadeck team of deck builders started with a blank slate by removing the existing deck and patio completely.

For the new deck construction, the homeowners selected TimberTech composite decking for its beauty, durability and low-maintenance features. The main floor of the deck was built with TimberTech Terrain in Silver Maple, and for contrast the parting board, picture framing and stair accents were completed using TimberTech Terrain in Brown Oak.

Surrounding the new deck is a cedar railing with Stainless Steel Cable, which practically disappears as you look “through” it – a nice touch, given the view from this deck overlooking the neighborhood pond. Capping the rail along the length of the deck is the same TimberTech Terrain in Brown Oak that was used for the parting board, picture framing and stair accents. Again, it contrasts richly with the cedar railing itself.

The new deck was completed with TimberTech skirting around the deck and covered porch. Did we mention the porch? By adding a roof over a portion of the deck, we created a whole new focal point, a dramatic open porch with a ceiling fan to stir up a pleasant breeze on summer evenings. The porch roof features a gable end with a steep slope. It also features an attractive enclosed rafter interior ceiling with cedar tongue and groove boards.

Pillars supporting the porch are cedar framed with stone and include a pillar cap from beautiful Brentwood stone from Semco Outdoor. Seen up close, the veining of the stone caps looks like wood grain – just stunning.

A deck and porch combination as beautiful as this deserves a patio to match. Archadeck of Columbus designed and built a grand patio that is especially inviting at night when everyone wants to gather around the new stone fire pit. The patio was built with pavers from the Unilock Camelot series, like cobblestone with a modern twist. The homeowners selected the Riverbend color for the patio with a stone border of Unilock Series 300 in Charcoal.

A retaining wall provides plenty of seating for all who want to enjoy the magic of the fire pit. The seating wall was built with Unilock Brussels Dimensional Stone in the River color, and the coping atop the wall is Brussels Fullnose in Sandstone. The coping provides a rounded edge that makes the wall comfortable to sit upon. No rough edges here! Guests will enjoy the gas-burning fire pit, which features crushed glass inside to emit a hypnotizing glow. The fire pit was built with the same Unilock Brussels Dimensional Stone as the retaining wall, visually tying the components of the patio together.

Finally, the Archadeck team installed gutters for the porch cover and added TimberTech deck lighting for the steps. Low-voltage lighting illuminates the patio’s seating wall. This subtle but effective lighting increases the safety of the outdoor living space at night while creating a pleasing ambiance for family and friends to enjoy.

If you are ready to kick it up a level and make your outdoor living space everything it can be, Archadeck of Columbus can design the deck, patio and porch you’ve dreamed about. Contact us today to learn more at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.


The Archadeck of Columbus team.

Archadeck of Columbus wins 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 was recently awarded a 2016 Consumer’s Choice award for deck builders again this year. This is the 5th year we have been nominated and received this award. Archadeck of Columbus has received the award 2012-2016. For over 25 years the Consumers’ Choice Award 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, and we are proud and humbled for this acknowledgment.

The award is based on the results of a customer-driven nomination. Each part of this 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!


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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