Category Archives: Deck lighting

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



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 

“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 & 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.


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

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.