Category Archives: Deck amenities

To add a new deck or redeck? — That is the question

The new deck complements the Tudor architecture of this home in Cincinnati, OH.When a homeowner comes to us and requests we create a new outdoor living space for them, it is sometimes possible that their existing deck can be re-decked, upgraded and in some cases even expanded upon to achieve their goal. As “America’s Deck and Porch Builder®” Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio has been providing award-winning outdoor living spaces to the Miami Valley since 1990. Among our many specialties is custom designed decks. As a NARI Certified Remodeler we can often expand upon and customize what is already present in your backyard space in order to deliver you the backyard of your dreams!

Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio improved the outdoor living area of this ranch style home

Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio improved the outdoor living area of this ranch style home.

Elaborating upon the design of your existing deck can include redecking the existing decking boards from aged wood to new, top-quality wood again, wood to a low-maintenance synthetic that is easier to care for and will outlast pressure treated wood by a long shot, adding character with a dynamic shape, expanding the size of your existing deck, railing upgrades and even a directional change in the stairs. In some cases these upgrades are possible by utilizing the substructure and footings of your existing deck.

Pressure treated wood multi-level Custom designed deck, Timber Tech Ornamental composite rails with Deckorator pickets and Kichler low voltage deck lights in Butler county West Chester Ohio

Pressure treated wood multi-level Custom designed deck, Timber Tech Ornamental composite rails with Deckorator pickets and Kichler low voltage deck lights in Butler county West Chester Ohio.

New deck or redeck? — that is the question

Ultimately, the first step in determining if your existing deck is a good candidate for redecking is to have it evaluated by a reputable deck builder such as Archadeck. 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 tearing down your old deck and starting from scratch with a new one. The key elements we need to evaluate to determine if your deck is a candidate will include the quality and structural integrity of the original substructure and how it has weathered over time. We will also determine If any applicable building codes have changed since the deck was originally installed, if the deck fits all the criteria required for redecking, we will make sure it complies with those new building codes as well.

Oakwood Ohio rooftop deck

Oakwood,OH, rooftop redecked by Archadeck.

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. Here at Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we have many decking materials to choose from. We can help you decide on a wood or synthetic decking material. 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 are impoervious to insects such as termites. An added benefit to choosing synthetic is that it will never have to be treated or stained. We use only the highest quality synthetics on the market, such as TimberTech, Fiberon and AZEK.

Xenia, OH grill area detail with pergolaSome of our customers also opt to redeck using quality 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 because it is easier to maintain and lasts longer than wood.

In addition to redecking the surface of your existing deck we may also be able to upgrade your existing deck. This is where we expand your smaller deck by redecking the original space and building out from there. This prevents the cost and time associated with installing a whole new foundation, only the incremental extension. This will enable the addition of other structural amenities such as integrated bench seating, replace or upgrade your existing railing, add a pergola or covered area for shade, or even change the direction and flow of the stairs–redecking makes the perfect time to do it all!  We have a huge menu of option to help you to pick the colors, features and design options that best suit your needs. The possibilities and options are truly endless.

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

If you are ready to breath new life into your tired backyard deck and add years of outdoor living enjoyment contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today to see if your existing deck is a candidate for redecking! Contact us today at (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net.

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

 

 

 

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio Explores the History of the Backyard Deck

Kettering, OH dream deck winnerToday’s deck is not your father’s deck.  Not the plain Jane deck by any means. Decks have become the centerpiece of the backyard. Looking into the history of our favorite backyard destination, believe it or not, have much to do with the industrialization and the post-war economy of America.

 

THE HUMBLE BEGINNINGS OF THE DECK

outhouse“It’s another Pleasant Valley Sunday, charcoal burning everywhere…”

The popular Monkee’s song from the 1960’s conjures visions of backyards and barbeques.  Interestingly, until the 1950’s and 1960’s, the backyard was not the focal point of fun and relaxation as it is today.  It served a more practical purpose of being sustainable to support the family.  Families kept cows for milk, chickens for eggs and meat, and pigs as garbage disposals.  A garbage pile was located near the far end of the property many times along with an outhouse, so the backyard was usually filled with malodorous odors that made it less than conducive for relaxing outdoors. Quite a different picture than what the backyard is today — What had once been a place to grow food and sustain families has become a place of leisure and relaxation.

As we evolved so did our backyards. The American culture itself changed.  The evolution of the backyard began when households shifted from being self-contained and supportive to supporting the local economy of shops and stores.  Gone were the animals and odors once indoor plumbing and sanitation became standard practice. Gone too, was the labor of toiling for that night’s dinner.  Now there was actually time for leisure and relaxation.

civil war era photoAfter the Civil War, porches served as a place to relax and converse after a meal.  In the 1920’s, with the invention of the radio, families started to gathering in the living room to listen to the evening’s entertainment.  Because of the fear of automobiles blowing up, garages were placed to the rear of the property, taking up part of the backyard. Starting in the 1950s, the garage was then attached to the house, freeing up space.  The backyard was no longer thought of as a practicality. The idea of having your own little piece of green space behind the house in order to relax and to play was the new vision. The backyard became our haven from life, our refuge.

Ruins of the Fortress Masada in Israel

Ruins of the Fortress Masada in Israel.

While no one knows exactly who invented the concept of the deck, there is evidence to suggest that patios were used in ancient Israel, either on the rooftop or the courtyard as a place of leisure and entertainment.  Decks in America were born out of the desire to entertain outside, becoming a key element to our homes, defining the backyard, part of our lifestyles,  just as the porch did in the front of the house earlier.

It was not until the early 1980’s, however, that decks really started come into their own as homeowners began to think about decks as an extension of their interior living space.  Previously, most decks were a simple 8 x 10 foot platform.  As Americans began having a more active, outdoor lifestyle the inside was brought outside.  Outdoor cooking, “grilling out” became the trend that made the deck an extension of the kitchen.  From the simple grill, the deck is now a fully equipped outdoor kitchen, with cooktops, refrigerators and warming drawers—even the kitchen sink.

cookout

Backyards are now customized to form an individual’s artistic expression and style, just like any other space in one’s home.  Today, decks can be integrated naturally with the house and surrounding property including natural elements of rocks, trees and running water into the design.  Other amenities that can be incorporated into the design are even more elaborate structures such as multiple levels and innovative shapes as well as pergolas, gazebos and roofs.  Because the decks are versatile in their design and entertainment value, they have become the outdoor great room where you can swing in a hammock, curl up with a good book or soak in the hot tub.  As a stand alone structure, or as an element in an entire outdoor living environment, today’s multifunctional deck does it all.

Custom fabricated pergola on Spring Valley OH deck

The custom fabricated pergola adds valuable shade to this deck in Spring Valley, OH.

The one aspect that homeowners often dislike about their deck is the chore of maintenance. During the 1970s decks were solely built from of wood which requires annual maintenance. The last decade has seen an upsurge in wood alternatives such as all-plastic lumber and composites, which mix plastic with wood fibers. Synthetic materials currently account for about 15 percent all decking material sold in this country.

Here at Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio we are continuing the legacy of the backyard deck in the Dayton and Cincinnati region. We specialize in custom deck designs designed from wood, hardwoods and the highest quality synthetics on the market. Let us build the deck of your dreams and let your imagination run wild.  With so many options and amenities available to the homeowner, you can create your own style and have a truly unique outdoor living space customized specifically for you.

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Contact us today to learn more about getting the most out of your outdoor living environment with a deck upgrade, redecking or new deck addition today. You can reach us at (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net.

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

 

These Kettering, OH, homeowners are elated with their “Dream Deck” courtesy of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

TimberTech 2015 product catalogDid you happen to see the new TimberTech synthetic decking catalog for this year? If so, you may have noticed the rich array of images of decks built with TimberTech decking. Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio is proud to have one of our beautiful decks featured within the catalog. One of the featured decks within the catalog, and on the cover, is the second place winner of the Dream Backyard Makeover contest, sponsored through Archadeck, TimberTech decking and Belgard hardscapes, and built by us.

In case you aren’t familiar with the Dream Backyard Makeover contest, Archadeck Outdoor Living (North America‘s largest and most trusted designer and builder of outdoor living spaces),  Belgard Hardscapes (North America‘s leading manufacturer of hardscape paver products) and TimberTech )leading manufacturer of composite decking and railing materials), sponsored a contest via Facebook which ran from February 1, 2013 through April 22, 2013. Contestants could enter to win one of three outdoor living space prizes by submission of a photo along with a two-hundred word description of why they felt their backyard was the most deserving. Archadeck Facebook fans then voiced their opinions on the most deserving backyard and the winners were selected by a panel of judges and Facebook fan votes, being announced in May of that same year. The contest’s second place winner, Stephanie Carll and her family, was chosen from hundreds of entries and is located in Kettering, OH. The Carll’s received a new TimberTech deck designed and built by Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio. Here is the submission that led to being the recipient of the second place award:

Photo submitted with the Carll's entry:

Photo submitted with the Carll’s entry:

“My family and I are fortunate to live in a wonderful neighborhood surrounded by beautiful trees and great neighbors, but our fixer-upper leaves much to be desired. We recently purchased this home with stars in our eyes, creativity in our hearts and a shoestring budget. The first words that came out of my husband’s mouth when we were viewing the backyard with our realtor were: ‘someday this will be the most amazing spot for a deck.’ Our dream is magnificent, but our reality is daunting. The current state of our backyard makes me cringe every day when I open the curtains, or chase down my toddler and tell him ‘no no, you can’t go back there.’ Our dream deck would replace vines, a pile of concrete, construction debris, and other unsightly features that make the space unusable. We envision a tiered outdoor living space where we can grill, unwind, entertain, get to know our neighbors, let our toddler out to play, and enjoy the natural beauty of our neighborhood. We have a blank canvas on an amazing lot that is full of possibilities. We just need help to turn our dreams for this space into reality!”

And, without further ado, here is a look at the “dream” deck we created for these Kettering, OH, homeowners, because a picture is worth a thousand words:

Kettering OH low maintenance deck builder

Kettering OH 2013 dream deck project

Kettering OH TT dream deckThe deck we designed and built for the Carll’s was built with TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Legacy decking in Mocha with a parting board, inlay and picture-framed border built from TimberTech Legacy decking in Pecan. We designed the deck using spacious radius steps to double as additional seating in the space, along with a custom built-in bench seat. The deck railing is beautiful, low-maintenance TimberTech Radiance Rail. The deck is designed with evening enjoyment in mind too with TimberTech post, riser and module deck lighting throughout. We also added AZEK composite pavers to the area just under the hammock for aesthetics and to add dimension to the space.

 

We also want to mention what a “dream” the Carll’s were to work with on the project. They are wonderful, kind people who were truly appreciative of the transformation we were so fortunate to be a part of in their backyard. As part of coming up with this specific design we took the proximity of the existing road in correlation to their home, and providing a “safe” spot for the kids to enjoy the backyard into account. The new space has given them a new outlook on their outdoor living lifestyle and renewed their love for their neighborhood. The entire experience was fulfilling beyond on our wildest dreams!

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

If you are ready to move forward with the outdoor living space of your dreams, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today to learn more. Our outdoor living space designs are built with quality, beauty, value and function in mind every time! Call us today at (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040 or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

 

 

banana split

Our Dayton & Cincinnati outdoor living space creations emphasize the difference is in the details!

banana split

Don’t you agree the details make the finished project more delicious?

Like many other things in life, the details can make a tremendous difference in the outcome, and, in your ultimate satisfaction and happiness. Take for example, a simple banana split; the bananas and triple scoops of ice cream certainly are delicious, but would it be as satisfying if you left out the whipped cream and sweet cherry from the top?  Outdoor living space designs, too, play by the same rules. The details of the design make your experience, and how you view the space more fulfilling. Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio specializes in providing our customers with a detailed customer oriented design while paying attention to the intricate details that provide a true, custom, one-of-a-kind structure.

In progress image showing the installation of this detailed patio border in Bellbrook, Ohio.

In progress image showing the installation of this detailed patio border in Bellbrook, Ohio.

  • The details of our hardscape designs: When we design a hardscape, such as a patio, retaining wall, outdoor fireplace or even a custom fire pit, we include the “little extras” that make the addition aesthetically appealing and cohesive. For example, when designing an outdoor living combination containing a deck and patio combination. Often, the deck is rectangular or square. In order to “soften” the linear feel of the space, we will design the patio with curved, rounded edges. We also like to add a soldier or sailor course to the outer edge of many of our patios to help define the transition from the patio into the landscape. We will often introduce the use of another color into the border as well. This results in a dramatic impact aesthetically and increases the WOW factor!
We used a double solider course border on this patio in Waynesville, OH.

We used a double solider course border on this patio in Waynesville, OH.

Front Porch and custom patio surround by Archadeck of West Central & SW Ohio

Notice the border on this patio surround.

Notice the details of this custom fire pit addtion:

Notice the details of this custom fire pit addition:

Patio, deck and pergola combination in Englewood Ohio

Patio, deck and pergola combination in Englewood Ohio

This stunning walkway in Bellbrook, OH, shows color variance and the use of a soldier course border detail.

This stunning walkway in Bellbrook, OH, shows color variance and the use of a soldier course border detail.

  • How we “cope” with the details: When referring to “coping” with the details, we mean it in the literal sense. A little detail we often include in many of our hardscape designs, including fire places, ledges, and pillars is the use of three-dimensional coping to visually enhance our structures. Take a look at what we mean:
Pergola with three-dimensional coping at base of pillars.

Pergola with three-dimensional coping at base of pillars.

Pillar details, up close.

Pillar details, up close.

We also used this concept on the mantle/ledge of this outdoor fireplace in Bellbrook, OH.

We also used this concept on the mantle/ledge of this outdoor fireplace in Bellbrook, OH.

In progress, detailed view of three-dimensional coping:

In progress, detailed view of three-dimensional coping:

  • More details – Not your traditional deck:  The details don’t end with our hardscape designs. As you can clearly see, our custom deck designs often include curved, radius edging, picture framed borders, integrated seating and plants along with other intricate details you just don’t see everyday!
This deck in Springborough, OH features an interior and exterior curved radius bench.

This deck in Springborough, OH features an interior and exterior curved radius, rails and bench.

Curved Planter detail on Colerain Township OH deck

This deck in Colerain Township, OH, is loaded with details. Notice the integrated curved planter and finished opening for tree.

Here is a closer look at the detailed way we treated the tree the homeowners wished to save.

Here is a closer look at the detailed way we treated the tree the homeowners wished to save.

There are thousands of little details that go into designing and building an outdoor living  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. There are many details that are standard in our designs – both aesthetic and structural – that come as a result of having built thousands of projects. As you can clearly see, Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio knows the difference in your satisfaction and happiness for years to come lies within the details.

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project is built with attention to even the smallest details. Contact us today to learn more at (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040 and via email at:
wcohio@archadeck.net

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

See more examples of our award-winning outdoor living spaces by visiting our extensive photo galleries located on our website and featured  on Houzz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A romantic dinner, rooftop, at sunset — need I say more?

rooftop deck courtesy of HGTV

Rooftop deck courtesy of HGTV.

When it comes to placement and design of your anticipated outdoor living space design many homeowners are not thinking out, instead they are thinking up! The size of your yard and lot constraints may sometimes restrict how you can extend your home or the placement of an outdoor living space addition. In these cases a rooftop deck may be the answer you are looking for!  Even if you have no problem with yard space, a rooftop deck can take advantage of your view or just serve as a private space away from ground level. This is why we are seeing a return in the popularity of these classic outdoor oases across West Central and Southwest Ohio.

  • Rooftop deck in Oakwood, OH

    Rooftop deck in Oakwood, OH.

    Will a rooftop deck work for me?

While there are many cutting-edge designs for rooftop decks that have emerged in recent years, there are also those tried-and-tested, old-fashioned rooftop deck designs that have been fixtures on houses and buildings for some time now. We have been asked to refurbish (redeck) many existing rooftop decks for homeowners in the city of Oakwood within Montgomery County, which is close to Dayton. One of the main reasons for the  interest in regards to rooftop decks in this particular area is because many of homes which are dominant there have the structural components necessary to facilitate rooftop deck additions, this is because the configuration of the roofline is conducive to the consideration. Much of the architecture that is present within the Oakwood community is rich in history and reflect styles that make good candidates for the addition of a rooftop deck, these architectural styles include; Prairie ( which is almost synonymous with architect Frank Lloyd Wright ), Victorian, Art Deco/Art Moderne, Federal, Craftsman/Arts & Craft, Jacobean Revival and, of course Bungalow style architecture.

In order for a rooftop deck to flow with the integrity of your existing home there is much more to take into consideration that just the home’s architectural style. Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio recommends mimicking the elements used on your home and carrying them into the rooftop deck design. For example, on a recent rooftop deck addition we used the Asterik pattern used on the facade of an Arts & Craft style home and included it in the design of the railing used in building the rooftop deck. This married the repetition of the pattern into the addition and created a space that looks original to the home, both from the deck itself and looking up at the deck from the street. Even though we used a low-maintenance composite deck with wooden railing, by mimicking this dominant pattern we kept the originality of the home intact. There are many focal elements that can be used to unify the design of your rooftop deck with your home, railing is one way and others may include columns, materials, colors and even trim details. We pride ourselves in creating outdoor spaces that keep the integrity of your home in mind first, and foremost.

Rooftop deck using AZEK porch

Rooftop deck built using AZEK porch.

  • Today’s rooftop decks

Throughout history the rooftop deck has been a symbol of elegance and upscale outdoor living reserved for only the upper echelons to enjoy, but not anymore. A rooftop deck is a wonderful place to escape from the pressures of everyday life. Whether it be for an intimate dinner, or to read a book, or to host a party with friends and family, a rooftop deck is a magical space where all can relax and enjoy life! There are so many ways you can design a rooftop deck and there are many features you may consider to include. Whether your intention is to use it to entertain guests or as more of a private, personal space — it is all up to you.

Rooftop deck courtesy of Southern Living

Rooftop deck courtesy of Southern Living.

Here are a few ideas to enhance your ideal rooftop deck:

  • A built-in fireplace as a charming focal point or for those chilly evenings.
  • A BBQ or Big Green Egg smoker with a dining area for enjoying meals with family and friends.
  • A built-in bar complete with refrigerator.
  • A hot tub to enjoy all year round.
  • A container garden or trellis/arbor that is easy to maintain yet gives the feeling of being close to nature.
  • A private sunbathing area, maybe with a lounge chairs or even a hammock.
  • An outdoor bedroom reminiscent of an open air “sleeping porch”.
  • Integrated low-voltage deck lighting to enhance ambiance

Of course, when you entertain the idea of a rooftop deck, one of the most important benefits is the stunning 360 degree views they provide. Who can resist the temptation of a romantic dinner, rooftop, at sunset — need I say more?

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

If you are ready to embark on an adventure in creative and unique outdoor living designs perfect for enhancing your lifestyle, such as a rooftop deck or other outdoor structure addition contact Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio today to learn more at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040 and by email at wcohio@archadeck.net

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

See more examples of our award-winning outdoor living spaces by visiting our extensive photo galleries located on our website.

 

Curves are in when it comes to synthetic decks in the Dayton & Cincinnati area!

Our award winning deck in Spring Valley, OH features a curved, raised area for dining.

Our award-winning deck in Spring Valley, OH features a curved, raised area for dining.

When Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio began building decks and other custom outdoor spaces here in Miami Valley back in 1990, curved detailing was pretty uncommon. Over the years, however, we have watched decking materials and consumer tastes evolve. Part of this evolution includes more clients requesting rounded features on their decks—from radius edging and rounded corners to sweeping borders with matching railing — all of which is focused towards gaining a more elegant backyard setting.

There are a number of reasons why curved deck details are so popular; the first of which is they just look great in almost any setting by adding a unique element to a backyard space. Curved details also serve to break lines since there are no 90-degree angles, no sharp edges, no corners, and of course they flow beautifully, much better than standard square edged decks! (CIrcles obviously flow smoother than squares)

Composite deck builder Cincinnatti and Dayton OH

Beautiful curved composite deck by Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio.

In order to successfully accommodate “curves” in your deck design is dependent on the nature of the beast, so to speak. This is because the success of decking curves is dependent on the type of material you are using to construct your deck. Although wooden decks which are “bent” to achieve curves may look nice for the 1st year or so after completion, the laws of natures (contraction & expansion) will take its toll. After a “bent” wooden deck is exposed to the elements, over time, it doesn’t react well and will begin to work against the bend. This may seem like a contradiction in terms for many because of the prevalence of curved wood used in furniture. Keep in mind, that curved furniture undergoes a steam compression process in order to successfully accept curve, whereas wooden decking material does not.

Curved integrated bench seating on deck in Central Ohio

Curved integrated bench seating on deck in Central Ohio.

Synthetic decking allows Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio to create the big sweeping curves in our unique deck designs more easily than other materials. In addition, the nature of composites and other synthetic decking material will not expand or contract over time which means your curved deck will remain beautiful for the duration. The material is not conducive to tight curving, but delivering large, graceful curved details are one of synthetic’s specialties. Other areas of the deck can also accommodate curved detailing which will aid in complimenting the footprint of your curved deck. These include composite and vinyl railing, aluminum railing, rolled and custom iron railing and even curved integrated bench seating to mimic the lines of your deck!

Curved Timber Tech composite deck with style! Located in Washington Twp outside Dayton Ohio

Curved Timber Tech composite deck with style! Located in Washington Twp. outside Dayton, OH.

Keep in mind that a curved deck is not your average deck, not only does a curved deck design require more labor, it also requires more detailing on a structural level too. Typically, the curved portion of a deck is a segment, or arc, of a circle. After making a drawing of the design—easily done on graph paper as well as with CAD—I extend the arc to create a complete circle. There are a number of ways of determining the circle’s diameter mathematically, but my CAD program does that work for me. Once I know the location of the circle’s center and the length of its radius (the distance from the circle’s center to any point on its circumference), I can recreate the arc in full-scale as I frame the deck — and that is just the beginning!

Multi-Level Timber Tech Earthwood composite deck with curved decking and deck lighting Warren County Springboro Ohio.

Multi-Level Timber Tech Earthwood composite deck with curved decking and deck lighting Warren County,Springboro, Ohio.

A curved deck may cost a little more up front in design, labor and materials but in the long run it will pay for itself over time in the enjoyment you will gain from being able to enjoy a true work of art each time you venture outdoors. Quality and great workmanship never go out of style!

Sirach 20:11 “A man may buy much for little, but pay for it seven times over.”

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Contact Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio today to learn more about our unique outdoor living space designs, including our curvaceous deck designs! Call us at (513) 897 – 2040 or (937) 848-7040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

See more examples of our award-winning outdoor living spaces by visiting our extensive photo galleries located on our website.

 

When it comes to the size of your deck is bigger really better?

This deck in Cincinnati  is full of all the comforts of home.

This deck in Cincinnati, OH is filled with all the comforts of home!

You are probably familiar with the old saying “bigger is better”, right? As Americans, we generally assume this old saying rings true — hence our affinity for bigger cars, houses and yes, super size fries. One of the biggest trends in deck design is their increase in size over recent years. However, this increase is not for some of the reasons that may first come to mind: for example to show social status or to facilitate a larger family unit. The reasoning behind building bigger decks is simple. It is because homeowners crave a transference of the comforts and function they have in their interior living space, outdoors.

Multi-level pressure treated wood custom designed deck with a dedicated dining area in Greene county Bellbrook Ohio

Multi-level pressure treated wood custom designed deck with a dedicated dining area in Bellbrook, Ohio.

A better way to gauge the benefits of choosing to go larger when designing your ideal deck space is to look at it this way: ” in most cases, inside your home, you have a dining room, kitchen, living room and family room. Homeowners are requesting these same spaces be designed into their deck, with areas for dining, a sitting or socializing area, and of course a cooking area. “A recent article published by Remodeling Magazine featuring input from owner of Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio Tim Stephens, points out that “the 200-square foot deck in increasingly looking like a relic of the past as more homeowners push for more outdoor living space, and remodelers and builders are lining up to accommodate them.”

Designated dining area on this deck in Cincinnati, OH.

Designated dining area on this deck in Cincinnati, OH.

A large-scale deck design that encompasses the feel of an “outdoor living room” does take longer to plan, design and build as compared to the “typical” decks of the past. However, the benefits and extended function a larger, well-planned deck provide are worth the additional time they take to complete. Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio custom designs each portion of our decks to cater to the individual function our customers seek. We have built several decks right here in the Dayton and Cincinnati area that measure 1,500 square foot of outdoor living space, or more.  In comparison, spatially, these decks speak to the size of what could encompass the space of a small home! To get the most out of your deck, no matter what size you have in mind, efficient and even clever use of space is very important.

Here are 10 ideas courtesy of Remodeling Magazine to ensure the best use of space when planning for your dream deck:

#1) Think in layers – Not so long ago, decks both large and small used to be flat, square, single-surface spaces. But the larger the deck, the more it calls for curves, multiple levels, staircases, built-in seating, and railings.

#2) Capture the curves –  Flexible composite decking allows for accentuation of the curves within a deck design and is a favorite among deck builders who are partial to curved surfaces, sidewalks, and staircases, which can create an eye-catching segue between two levels of the deck.

This deck in Springborough, OH features an interior and exterior curved radius bench.

This deck in Springborough, OH features an interior and exterior curved radius bench.

#3) Move the eye along – Add a focal point or two to a large, empty span of deck by building a planter or fire pit in the middle and lining the perimeter with built-in seating.

#4) Create drama – Accentuate curves, railings and fascia boards with a contrasting color to create a frame around the deck floor. Incorporate inset designs, like diamond shapes in alternate colors, to create something unique for each homeowner. And don’t be shy about mixing materials on a big deck: faux stone columns, a metal roof, or a granite countertop on a built-in food preparation area will make the outdoor room look more upscale and custom-designed.

Curved Timber Tech composite deck with style! Located in Washington Twp outside Dayton Ohio

This deck replaces an aging wood deck with a low maintenance TimberTech deck with graceful eased radius corners, floating benches with Deckorators faux stone columns and contrasting deck inset.

#5) Proportions matter – An 1,800-square-foot deck on the back of a 2,000-square-foot home is probably too big to “go” with that house. Size up within reason.

#6) Add some shade – A homeowner who springs for a 600-square-foot-plus deck is going to want to use it as often as possible. A pergola, awning, canopy, or roof over the deck will allow the client to cook, entertain, or relax outdoors even on hot, sunny days or during rain showers. Any shade structure should be as low-maintenance as the deck itself.

Custom vinyl pergola in Springvalley OH with fixed louvers and interlocking slats

Custom vinyl pergola in Springvalley, OH with fixed louvers and interlocking slats for optimum shade.

#7) Prepare homeowner/clients for a possible long wait –  It takes a long time to build a big deck. Especially if the outdoor room will be home to electric and gas appliances, the job will include an electrician, a plumber, and the local building inspector. If the deck includes multiple tiers, the builder might need to consult with an engineer or architect.

#8) Consider the view –  If the upper tier of a two-story deck is right over the lower one, take care with the placement of the posts so they’re not too close to doors and windows, where they can block the homeowner’s view and path to the yard. Also, build in an under-deck gutter to catch rain that falls on the upper deck so it won’t soak the deck’s lower level and its inhabitants.

 #9) Leave enough room –  Even a big deck can run out of room if the design includes a hot tub. A typical 7-by-7-foot spa takes up at least a 10-by-10-foot space so there’s enough room around it for a railing, a privacy screen or a path for bathers and maintenance techs to walk around it.

Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio

Let us design and build a custom deck you can enjoy day into night!

#10) Make it useful –  Include heat and light so the owners can use their deck after dark and during at least three seasons. Popular options: built-in fireplaces and fire pits and ceiling-mounted heaters. You’ll have plenty of room for them.

So, to answer the question “is a bigger deck better”, it all depends on your individual needs and personal tastes. If you are looking for a deck that delivers layers of extended function, or a deck with that outdoor room feel — then, most definitely bigger is better!

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

If you have an existing deck that begs for elaboration, or are poised to pursue your outdoor living vision from scratch, we can help! Our award-wining custom deck designs make the outdoors truly worth loving, and living! Contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today to learn more at (513) 897 – 2040 or (937) 848-7040. You can also email us at westcentralohio@archadeck.net 

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

Please peruse our deck photo galleries located on our website, including our composite and PVC deck photo gallery and our hardwood deck photo gallery for more ideas.

 

 

Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio discusses the endless benefits of utilizing an under-deck guttering system

Spring Valley OH CoTY award nominee for specialty deck

Our beautiful deck in Spring Valley, OH features an Under deck guttering system.

The ideal outdoor living space for most homeowners is not only beautiful, but is also loaded with functional and versatility. One of the most commonly ignored areas of an outdoor living space on projects that include an elevated or 2nd story deck is the space under the deck. Here at Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio, we take the area under your deck into consideration as viable outdoor living space each time we design a new elevated or 2nd story deck, or re-decking project. By using an under-deck guttering system, we are able to provide an outdoor living space that allows you to “have your cake and eat it too”… so to speak!

Whether you have an existing 2nd story deck or are considering adding a new one from scratch, taking advantage of the area below your deck can be a great way to create two outdoor living spaces out of one. Normally, the spaces between the deck boards will cause water to drip down below which can keep you from enjoying the space under your deck in wet weather. We are able to add an under decking system to your deck that prevents any water from dripping down through the decking boards. This is critical when creating an under-deck outdoor living area, but also when building a porch under a deck.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio used Dry Snap on this under deck space in Springvalley OH

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio used DrySnap on this under deck space in Springvalley, OH.

Utilizing the space under your deck can also provide outdoor living space at a fraction of the cost of constructing a porch or screened porch from scratch. Here at Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio, there are three types of under-deck systems we prefer to use. These are DrySnap under deck rain carrying systems, TimberTech’s DrySpace under deck drainage system and the Trex RainEscape deck drainage system. Though each of these systems operate in much the same way in helping to deliver an under-deck space you and your family can use as a versatile, protected, shade structure, their installation requirements vary.

DrySpace System

DrySpace under decking System.

Both DrySpace and DrySnap Attaches to your new or existing deck joists. Both systems effectively turn lower level patio space into extra leisure and storage space by creating a usable dry space under your deck. The DrySnap system is made up of vinyl ceiling panels that collect and drain water away from your deck space. It also provides a maintenance-free ceiling that covers any unsightly underside areas of your deck resulting in a clean, dry outdoor space you can utilize for a myriad of functions. This system delivers a look similar to that of a charming beadboard finished ceiling. DrySpace is made from solid extruded vinyl which also provides a maintenance free ceiling. The aesthetic differs slightly from that of DrySnap because it resembles the more rustic look of an exposed rafter porch ceiling, which exudes charm and beauty with this finished look.

Trex RainEscape

Trex RainEscape

Trex Rain Escape is similar in that it allows you to also expand your outdoor living space options by allowing rain to flow through the system and onto the ground or into a rain storage system. The only difference is with this system, you will incur additional expense in having to finish the interior ceiling of your space. Where other under deck systems we use are considered “all-inclusive” at the time of installation, this system doesn’t include a finished ceiling. This can be viewed as either a positive or a negative according to what type of ceiling you have in mind for your space.

Installation of DrySnap system.

Installation of DrySnap system.

Your under deck space can be designed to suit many functions. From an open porch or patio setting to a finished screened room that delivers protection from nuisance insects, or maybe a private covered patio off of a walkout basement — the possibilities are endless. Some homeowners are even installing TVs, speakers, ceiling fans and lights to complement their under deck outdoor living areas. Once the space is protected from interference from rain with one of these systems, it may be outfitted with all the same amenities and accoutrements of any other outdoor living space.

If you’ve dreamed of having a protected outdoor living space that is functional during inclement weather and offers shade from the hot afternoon sun in addition to your elevated or 2nd story deck, we can make that dream a reality. This outdoor living combination will make all other “two for one” deals in your life pale by comparison. Contact Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio today to learn more at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040
westcentralohio@archadeck.net

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

See more examples of our versatile outdoor living spaces by visiting our decks photo gallery, and our patio and hardscapes photo gallery, located on our website.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio explores the top 5 ways to breathe new life into your deck space for the New Year!

 

This deck in Springvalley OH utilizes the space under the deck

Could 2014 be the year for a new you by upgrading your existing deck space?

Making the decision to build a new deck, or re-deck an existing deck is a great way to kick off the New Year. Not only will you gain all the aesthetic benefits of adding to or upgrading your outdoor living space, you will also increase the degree of function you can enjoy in your backyard. While the addition of a new deck is often the only course available to homeowners who have a deck that is not a candidate for re-decking, or in cases where there isn’t an existing deck, re-decking or upgrading your deck is a viable consideration for many homeowners.

Breathing new life into your tired deck doesn’t have to entail extensive upgrades. Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio has many decking options available to make your deck look, and function, like new again. We have put together a list of the top 5 ways you can make your existing deck new again in honor of the New Year!

New railing can make a huge difference

New railing can make a huge difference!

Top 5 Ways to Make Your Deck New Again

#1) Replacing the rail – The rail is an area that is often overlooked and underestimated when using a less-experienced deck builder. The rail is the top place to upgrade for the most obvious reason; it is the area of the deck you see the most. Your rail is visible looking at the deck from your window, as you look out of the deck into your landscape, and most importantly the rail is the first thing you see approaching your deck. In some cases we even replace the decking band along with replacement of the rails because the deck band is also an area that is highly visible from all angles. Replacing your deck railing is a great way to add curb appeal and dress up your deck with minimal effort and cost involved.

West Central and SW Ohio composite deck builder

With a growing trend towards longevity and low-maintenance, composite decks deliver on both.

#2) Re-decking with composite

With a growing trend towards longevity and low-maintenance, composite decks deliver on both. Re-decking involves replacement of the existing deck boards while adhering to the existing footprint of the deck. Making the decision to re-deck your low-aesthetic, high maintenance wooden deck into a low-maintenance, high-aesthetic deck is really a no-brainer. Re-decking with composite eliminates the chore of painting and staining your deck in the future. Composites are also as easy on bare feet as they are on the eye because they don’t splinter or retain heat the way wood does. They are also impervious to insects, fungus, and mold and will not deteriorate with exposure to the elements like some wood decks. Composite re-decking is a wise investment in the future of your outdoor living space.

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Multi level deck in Colerain Township

Expanding your deck will add additional outdoor living space for you to enjoy throughout the year.

#3) Re-decking with expansion

Re-decking with expansion involves building onto, and expanding the outdoor living space and re-decking the existing and expanded portion as a whole. The best way to define re-decking with expansion is a “new and improved” space. Expanding your deck will add additional outdoor living space for you to enjoy throughout the year. Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio can design a new and improved deck with your individual needs in mind; these may include the need for additional seating, grilling and dining or even an extended area to place a hot tub or spa.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio used Dry Snap on this under deck space in Springvalley OH

Archadeck of West Central Southwest Ohio used Dry Snap to utilize the under deck space on this Springvalley, OH, deck.

#4) Installing an under deck guttering system – This applies to homeowners considering a second-story deck addition or those considering re-decking an existing 2 story deck. By utilizing an under deck system in the design of your new or re-decking project, you can have your cake and eat it too! The benefits of adding an under deck system (also known as a rain deck or dry deck ), into your two-story deck project are immeasurable when it comes to enhancing your outdoor living. Taking advantage of the area below your deck can be a great way to get two outdoor living spaces out of one. The benefits of adding an under deck system (also known as a rain deck or dry deck), into your two-story deck project are immeasurable when it comes to enhancing your outdoor living. Taking advantage of the area below your deck can be a great way to get two outdoor living spaces out of one.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio uses Dry Snap and TimberTech’s Dry Space under decking systems. DrySnap is made of vinyl ceiling panels that collect and drain water away from your new dry space. It provides a maintenance free ceiling that covers the unsightly underside of your deck, turning it into a clean, bright, dry outdoor space. TimberTech’s Dry Space under deck drainage system collects and channels moisture from the spaces between your planks. Attaching easily to your new or existing deck joists, Dry Space effectively turns lower level patios into extra leisure and storage space by creating a usable dry space under your deck.

Multi-Level Timber Tech Earthwood composite deck with curved decking and deck lighting Warren County Springboro Ohio.

Lighting adds safety and ambiance to your deck.

#5) Deck lighting – Let there be light! Lighting adds safety and ambiance to your deck. We install a huge amount of Kichler deck lighting and TimberTech deck lighting, including Decklites into risers, posts, rail posts and even integrate lighting into the floor of the deck. Deck lighting extends the function of your deck into the evening hours and give your space a romantic feel that invites you to linger a while longer.

If you are ready to ring in the New Year with a resolution that is easy to keep, why not consider upgrading your deck? By expanding, upgrading or re-decking your existing deck you can make 2014 a year to remember, and for all to enjoy! Contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to learn more about our many deck revitalization options today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040. You can also email us at westcentralohio@archadeck.net

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

See more examples of backyard deck transformation ideas by visiting our composite and PVC deck photo gallery, and our decks photo gallery located on our website.