Category Archives: Wood decks

THIS is the season for decks and redecks — and don’t forget the shade covering, too!

Kettering OH TT dream deck

Dream deck in Kettering, OH, by Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

2017 is shaping up to be “The Year of The Deck” around Cincinnati and Dayton. We get so many calls for decks this time of year! With fall weather around the corner, are you suddenly wishing you had a deck?

Decks are ideal for sitting outside and relaxing. Perfect for sharing time with family and friends. Lovely for evenings under the stars and for grilling and dining al fresco, day or night. Decks are especially great for parties (if you like parties).

When you step out through your back door, do you take a step or two (or more) down before you reach the ground? If so, then you need a deck!

Decks may seem very straightforward, but you’ll have to make some decisions. We can help you with that. Here are some of the decisions many clients are exploring when they call Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio for information about adding a deck to the home:

Do you need a new deck or a redeck?

If you have an older deck and you’re thinking about replacing it, you may have the option of redecking instead of starting from scratch with a new deck. This can save you some money, but before we can commit to redecking we’ll need to examine your current deck. If the underlying structure is still sound and in good condition, we may be able to use it. If so, we’ll replace the surface decking boards along with the steps, railings and pickets.

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 OhioWould you prefer natural wood or one of the composite decking products now available?

Some homeowners prefer real wood, and that’s fine if you’re willing to perform the tasks of regular deck maintenance — or hire someone to do the work for you each year. Without annual cleaning, staining and resealing, a wooden deck will not look its best and can deteriorate more quickly than you’d expect.

Composite decking boards are looking more like natural wood every day. Decks built with composite decking materials such as AZEK or TimberTech will retain their like-new appearance with minimal maintenance on your part. The trade-off is the cost, because these decks are more expensive. Many homeowners decide the cost of composite decking is more than offset by its maintenance-free durability and longevity.

Will you redeck with natural wood or composite?

If you are hoping for redecking rather than tearing down the old deck and building a new one, you will still need to decide whether you want natural wood or composite decking. Even if your original deck was made entirely of natural wood, we can switch to composite decking for the redeck. Many clients choose to redeck purely for this reason. They are no longer willing to perform the upkeep that natural wood requires, so they are ready to make the switch to low-maintenance materials.

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 just for outdoor dining.

How large will your deck be?

You’re not limited to the 10×12-foot builder-grade deck size you may have seen on some new homes. When it comes to deck size, we encourage the homeowner to consider all of the ways you’ll want to use the deck. Will it serve more than one function? Would you like your deck to have several sections for different purposes?

If you’ll be grilling out on the deck, you may want to use an area near the grill for a dining table and chairs. When you’re considering the deck size, you need to allow plenty of room for people to pull their chairs out from the table and for other guests to pass behind them comfortably. When it’s not mealtime, you might prefer to sit on a couch, love seat, or other comfortable outdoor lounge furniture. So already we’re looking at three areas on the deck for grilling, dining and lounging. Be sure you plan enough space for various activities.

Outdoor Living at its best in Clear Creek Township by Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio

Are you considering a deck-and-patio combination?

We can show you many examples of outdoor living space combinations, including hardscapes, we have designed and built for Dayton and Cincinnati area homeowners. The more you use your outdoor space, the more space you may need! Especially if you enjoy entertaining outdoors, the deck-and-patio combination will give you more room for separate dining and seating areas — even room for a fire pit or outdoor fireplace and a seating wall.

Shadetree Canopy retractable awnings installed over a mahogany deck in Butler Township just north of Dayton Ohio

Shadetree Canopy retractable awnings installed over a mahogany deck in Butler Township just north of Dayton,Ohio.

Don’t forget to include a shade covering in your design!

Whether it’s a pergola or retractable canopy, shade covering doesn’t need to be an afterthought. We recommend planning for shade during the initial design of your outdoor living project. Shade may not be a concern going into fall, but when spring and summer roll back around, you’ll be glad you planned ahead for protection from the sun’s brutal UV rays.

Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio is an authorized dealer and installer for several companies that provide shade solutions:

Equinox pergolas

Lumon Natural Light Patio Covers

ShadeTree Retractable Canopy Systems

ShadeFX retractable canopies

Pergolas are attractive and provide visual impact to any outdoor living space, but in some locations they do not provide enough shade. Some of the products listed above can be combined with a pergola for just the right mix of function and beauty, while some offer an alternative to pergolas. Also, some of these shade products can protect you from the rain. Let us help you decide which of these would work best with your deck or deck-and-patio combination.

If you are interested in a new deck or redeck, with or without a patio or shade cover, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

 

Should a homeowner design their own outdoor living space?

Kettering OH low maintenance deck builderIn a world filled with success stories about the do-it-yourselfer it is only natural that a homeowner feels designing a deck on their own would be a breeze. Understandably, after watching others successfully master deck design and building in a 30-60 minute episode on the home improvement channel makes the task seem like a walk in the park, right?

WRONG. 

As many homeowners look ahead past winter’s chill to the warm season ahead, you may feel compelled to pursue designing your own deck. Here at Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio we have had a handful of homeowners bring their own designs into their consultation over the years only to be met with a pleasant surprise; it’s best to leave the designing and building to a professional. This may sound abrupt. However, based on our experience we know that combining your needs and desires with our professional design expertise can give your new anticipated deck increased functionality, appeal and above all more value for your hard-earned dollars.

We know how to utilize and enhance every inch of your new deck. Whether it is adding versatile seating that doubles as a rail, or a bump-out area to enhance and expand the area where you plan to place your grill. Our decks are customized to speak to your needs, not the needs of the people on the home improvement shows, you need only take a peek into our Greater Dayton & Northern Cincinnati OH Custom Decks gallery, located on our website to see the custom touches we pour into every deck we build — making it one-of-a-kind.

3D rendering of proposed design prepared for Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

3D rendering of proposed design prepared for Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

A deck designed with your comfort and objectives in mind is only the tip of the iceberg. Our outdoor structures are designed and built to the highest quality and safety standards too. Taking all weight loads and connections into consideration, This gives you a space you can feel confident in enjoying for many years ahead.  Just like your home, it’s important to make sure your deck is built right. Most experts agree that the average life expectancy of a wooded deck is 10 to 15 years. Decks built using low-maintenance materials such as composites and PVC can more than double that average. It is crucial when designing a deck to evaluate its construction details to make sure it’s structurally sound and safe using the proper structural connectors and fasteners.

The new deck complements the Tudor architecture of this home in Cincinnati, OH.

There are thousands of little details that go into designing and building a deck– 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. 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

Call us today at (513) 897 – 2040 or (937) 848-7040 to learn more. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net

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

 

This Xenia Township deck gets a new lease on life from Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Xenia OH redeckingOur designs here at Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio are often so impressive that some may think all we cater to is building new large-scale combination outdoor living spaces. Fulfilling the dream of the ultimate backyard is something we cater to, the scale of what one customer imagines as their “dream” backyard can be quite different. That being said, we specialize in designing and building new outdoor living spaces and upgrading existing outdoor living spaces — in all shapes and sizes, big and small.

Remember, custom doesn’t only mean extravagant designs with an unlimited budget, but it always means a design tailored to your personal needs and tastes to fit your budget.

One of our most recent completed projects in Xenia Township, OH,  serves as a testament of how making small changes and upgrades to your existing outdoor structure can increase their aesthetics and function dramatically.

  • Before: The decking boards on this existing Xenia, OH, deck had lost their dazzle. Not only were they faded and beginning to warp, the curves and existing fascia board were also in need of attention.

Xenia OH redeckingXenia OH redecking

The improvements included in this project were performing structural rework around the integrated trees, adding a new TimberTech composite fascia, replacing numerous deck boards, adding the charming paver landing  and sealing the entire deck to tonally match the color used in the new TimberTech fascia. In addition we also created a small but charming paver surround/landing off the main exit of the deck.

Take a look at this amazing before & after image — wow!

xenia-oh-redecking

Our commitment to excellence in outdoor structure design and building ensures your unique project is built with attention to even the smallest details. We are the Dayton and Cincinnati area’s premier custom outdoor living space design and build firm. Contact us today to learn more at (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040 and via email at:
wcohio@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.”

 

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.”

 

 

 

May is National Home Improvement month — and we are celebrating!

Home ImprovementMay is National Home Improvement Month. Improving your home, both inside and out, has tremendous potential to change the way you live and enjoy your home. When considering the area(s) that would gain the most benefit from improvement it is important to consider where you and your family like to spend your time. What parts of your home do you enjoy the most? What would you like to change? What could you add or improve in your home that would make you want to spend more time in it? Home improvement isn’t just about fixing a sagging door, a new roof or replacing shrubberies. It’s about reimagining your family’s home as you would love it to be including changing the way you live outdoors!

This entire month is recognized as National Home Improvement month through the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. In honor of the occasion, NARI is providing National  Industry chapters and members with tools to get homeowners interested in remodeling this season including outdoor living structures!

Nari LogoAs a proud member of NARI, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio wants you to know that we specialize in designing and building custom outdoor living structures in and around the Dayton and Cincinnati areas. Our outdoor living spaces not only increase your enjoyment, they also add value and function to your home and landscape.

After you’ve spent some time thinking about what you’d like and doing a little research about various project options on the internet and elsewhere, don’t forget to take a few minutes to give some thought to what the potential Return on Investment (ROI) for the project is likely to be. Various industry groups do annual surveys that provide numbers on this subject, but I’d like to share a few from my line of business.

Mechanicsburg-OH-Staged-project-with-deck-and-pergola-

According to the report, and based on the natural averages gathered during 2015, outdoor living spaces such as composite (low-maintenance) decks and wooden decks show a nice return on investment (ROI). A  midrange deck addition built of composite reflects a ROI of nearly 64.4%, with a deck addition built of wood recouping 75%. If you look closely at the project types listed below, you will notice that the ROI for a deck addition exceeds that of many of the traditional home improvement projects — such as roofing replacement. This is proof that outdoor living structures, such as decks, play a vital role in the value of our home’s design and the way we gauge their importance.

National averages cost vs. value report 2016

If you are contemplating a home improvement project that includes revamping an existing outdoor living space or a new outdoor living space addition, we can help! For over twenty-six years Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio “America’s Deck and Porch Builder®” has been providing award-winning outdoor living spaces to homeowners in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas. We specialize in custom designed decks, screen rooms, sunrooms, gazebos, pergolas, and much more. With our professional staff of trained design consultants and a NARI Certified Remodeler, we can deliver an outdoor living structure and design that will add value to your home, improve your lifestyle and is sure to become the envy of the neighborhood!

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 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.”

 

Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio discusses why plastic deck coatings are not the answer to your decking woes

Deck with plastic laminate coating for article

Deck with plastic laminate coating.

In our line of business we have seen many deck owners place their hopes of restoring their aged or worn wooden deck into products that usually only offer false promises. Case in point are the “paint on” plastic deck coatings you may have seen on TV or noticed in the “big box” home improvement stores. Many retailers have been stocking products in the paint section that appear to put a thick coating on deck boards, giving them the appearance of synthetic decking. These products claim to offer superior protection for the wood and to eliminate splinters, nail-holes and minor cracks with ease of application touting a homeowner can apply the product over the course of a weekend.

details

We experienced the pitfalls of plastic coatings first-hand recently as we met with a homeowner in regards to redecking his backyard deck after having a bad experience with one of these products. During the consultation the homeowner was quick to point out the surface area reached a temperature hot enough to melt the bottoms of his shoes leaving an imprint of the sole itself within the surface. This, along with other factors, led to consideration of redecking the space.

Although each individual case is different, our experience with “fix all” products such as these is anything but positive. These products only serve as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Many are made up of epoxy-style coverings that appear to be smooth, flawless and cool to the touch when exposed to the sun but in reality can come out rough and retain heat on structures that have a southern exposure.

Peeling_Blue_PaintIn addition to the many shortfalls these products have, they also require frequent and costly reapplication in most scenarios. With wooden decking, as with any of the effects of sun and water on horizontal surfaces application over rotten wood, damp wood will likely cause failures of the coatings. Other inconsistencies that must also be addressed are tight spacing of existing deck boards and reduced drainage capabilities. The circumference of these coatings will make tight spacing worse, and the area between your decking boards must be cleaned out regularly or face side rot. Flashing issues at the ledger are also a concern as is lack of proper waterproofing over joist tops.

Old and tired deck

Old and tired deck

The possibility of success, if any, of using these “paint-on” products lies within the surface preparation itself. Wood needs to be cleaned and free of any debris, oils or grease (this includes barbecue sauce). Prerequisites also include replacement of any loose nails. Manufacturers of the product even recommend your existing deck be screwed down to avoid the chances of any nails working up through the new finish. We are quick to point out these products should not serve as a “fix” for rotting wood or a surface in very bad condition as many deck owners may assume. These products serve as an alternative to conventional sealers or stain, not as a decking repair system.

Oakwood Ohio rooftop deck

Oakwood,OH, rooftop redecked by Archadeck.

Redecking an aging or failing deck through a quality deck contractor is the only real solution for invasive decking problems. Our diverse portfolio of decking materials includes quality wooden choices as well as the highest quality synthetic options on the market.

Cumaru tropical hardwood custom designed deck with Deckorator aluminum pickets in an Ipe rail, floating benches, and multi-levels in Centerville Ohio outside Dayton Ohio

Cumaru tropical hardwood custom designed deck an Ipe rail in Centerville, OH.

We have many redecking options available to accommodate your lifestyle and budget. Archadeck of West Central and Soutwest Ohio is here to help you make an informed decision about which material is the best suited for your outdoor space needs. Our knowledge and experience working with wood and synthetics over the years can ensure an outdoor living space that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Contact us today to learn more (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040, Email:wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Not only are we in the business of designing and building phenomenal outdoor living spaces, we’re experts in cleaning and protecting them as well!

Details of combination outdoor living project in Clear Creek Township, Waynesville OHNo matter if it’s your car, your home or a fine leather wallet, the key to getting the most out of your investment is proper cleaning and routine maintenance. Your outdoor living space is an investment you’ve made which ensures not only the increase in the value and curb appeal of your home, but your family’s enjoyment of leisure and entertainment activities for many years to come.  Just like washing and waxing your car protects its exterior or the use of a soft cloth with mink oil preserves the supple surface of your leather goods, annual cleaning and sealing of your outdoor living structures protects their surfaces. As this area’s leading source for all things outdoors, Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio not only custom designs and builds the finest structures, we also offer annual cleaning and maintenance programs to ensure their longevity.

We provide the ultimate in protecting your investment with a variety of maintenance services including cleaning, brightening, and protecting wood decks, composite decks, and hardscape surfaces such as paver patios, pool surrounds and driveways. And after a winter full of exposure to the harsh elements, the potential of mold, mildew and grime build up as well as damage caused by snow shovels is very likely and should absolutely be addressed before the outdoor living season gets into full swing.

  • Renew the Look of Your Deck

This gracious multi-level pressure treated southern yellow pine wood deck in Butler County West Chester Ohio features a fan pergola to break up the setting sun over the dining area.Bring your wooden deck back to life with our power washing and cleaning process, followed by an application of environmentally friendly, premium quality sealant in your choice of an array of colors, or just leave it natural. The synthetic resin sealer protects the deck from the elements, plus resists mold and mildew growth, making your deck look like new for the outdoor living season ahead. Our clean and protect service is perfect for use on pressure treated wood decks and outdoor structures, cedar, mahogany, redwood or any vertical or horizontal exterior wood surface.

West Central and SW Ohio composite deck builderBy definition, low maintenance decking materials require little work to keep in good condition, (much less upkeep than wood), but still need a little TLC to keep them in tip-top shape. Our composite deck cleaning service uses a safe, oxygenated cleaner that’s highly effective at removing black stains caused by algae, dirt, grime and weathered graying common on composite wood surfaces. Unlike chlorine bleach, our environmentally friendly deck cleaner is biodegradable and will not harm composite wood fibers, pets, grass or most plants.

  • Hardscape cleaning and sealing
Pavers need to be cleaned and maintained to keep that like new beauty

Pavers need to be cleaned and maintained to keep that like new beauty.

We recommend cleaning and sealing your hardscape every three to seven years, depending on environmental aspects and traffic of the area. Both of these conditions can be particularly harsh on natural stone patios, often causing staining or corrosion on the surface. You can protect your hardscape with a sealant which not only defends against those elements, but enhances the stone’s appearance at the same time. Additionally, with the use of an innovative, “breathable” product which can be applied as soon as pavers are installed without trapping efflorescence (the whitish powder that naturally rises to the surface of a hardscape following installation) “cure times” are eliminated.

Splintered deck

An aging wooden deck that has not been properly maintained.

If your patio has been in service for several years, any grease, dirt, paints, waxes and other surface contaminants must be thoroughly removed prior to the application of stain or sealer. Once the stain or sealer has been applied and allowed to dry completely, the surface will again need to be washed to remove any residue left over from the staining process. We do this using a neutral cleaner as to not damage the surface.

 

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio is committed to helping you get the most out of your outdoor living space season after season! A freshly cleaned and protected deck and hardscape is the best way to do just that! Contact us to schedule your maintenance service! Call today to schedule your free clean and seal estimate – (937) 848-7040 (513) 897-2040 or email us at westcentralohio@archadeck.net.

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 & Southwest Ohio answers the million-dollar question of “when is the best time to plan and build my outdoor structure”

This stunning deck in Colerain Township, OH is the 2012 NARI award winner

Choosing a winter construction timeline for your outdoor living project will have you sitting pretty in time to enjoy the debut of the outdoor living season!

Here at Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio homeowners often ask us when is the best time to move forward in pursuing their outdoor living structure project. While there is never really a wrong time to begin your outdoor living space project, there are advantages to designing and even building during the winter months.

A smart reason to build your outdoor structure in winter months is there is less wait time to begin construction. Gaining approval through HOA’s and permitting will take less time because there is less backlog and this makes the wait-time minimal in most cases. Making the decision to build now will ensure being able to enjoy the benefits of your new structure sooner and in plenty of time for the arrival of the warm season ahead. Keep in mind, when dealing with a quality builder wait times can be longer, especially during the outdoor living season. Deciding on a fall/ winter project can reduce those wait times by half or more.

Wooden decks such as this PT deck in Centreville, OH have time to cure properly it built during the cooler months

Wooden decks such as this PT deck in Centreville, OH have time to cure properly it built during the cooler months

If you are considering a structure built from wood, a winter project will provide many benefits, here is why–Like the many positive attributes that go along with aging a bottle of fine wine, wood also requires a time period of acclimation. The laws of expansion and contraction all apply when it comes to working with wood. All wood is hygroscopic, meaning that when exposed to air, it will release or pick up moisture until it is level with the humidity and temperature of the air. Humid conditions, such as those typical to our summers, will cause more rapid expansion and contraction of wood that is not yet sealed for protection against the elements. A structure built from wood needs to cure for a period of time before the sealer or paint will properly adhere to the wood and promote beneficial protection qualities. By choosing to build during the least humid time of year, your wooden structure will have ample time to cure in preparation to accept the sealer or paint you choose.

A fall or winter project will ensure springtime fun for the whole family Archadeck of Central  and SW Ohio

Moving forward with your project during the winter will ensure springtime fun for the whole family!

Another key consideration when planning a project timeline for your outdoor structure that is often an afterthought with less-seasoned builders is how the project may affect your lifestyle and surrounding landscape. Choosing to build during the cooler months will impact your lawn and landscape less than if you chose to build during the spring and summer months. Wet turf damages more easily, as does turf that is under stress from temperatures and higher humidity. Building in the fall and winter will ensure you avoid both of these obstacles. It is also important to note that along with perennial grasses, most shrubs and plants are in their dormant stages during the fall and winter. During dormancy, these plantings are less likely to experience permanent damage from having to be trimmed, pruned or altered to accommodate the addition of a backyard space. Aside from the landscape, construction during the winter will cause less of an interruption in your life since most people use their yards less during these months. This means the noises and materials will be less of an annoyance than they would be when you are using the yard a lot during the spring and summer months. Like the old saying goes, “out of sight means out of mind”.

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

A stunning outdoor space among autumn’s splendor – Curved Timber Tech composite deck with in Washington Twp outside Dayton Ohio.

 

Large composite deck with pergolas and gazebo

Get more bang for your buck with deep discounts on furniture and accessories during a fall/winter project.

Deciding upon a  winter construction timeline can also mean you will have the opportunity to take advantage of decorator discounts when furnishing your new space!  Furnishings and accessories are an important part of creating the outdoor oasis feel within your new outdoor space. With the end of peak building season comes deep discounts. Many outdoor and patio furniture retailers slash prices more than half to make room for next year’s inventory. If you are building or in the planning phases of your outdoor structure during the winter, you will be able to take advantage of these deep discounts, get more for your money and be able to afford higher quality furniture at major reduced prices.

Last but certainly not least, choosing to have your outdoor structure designed, scheduled and constructed during the cooler months can save you money for many reasons. In some cases building your structure in the later quarters of the year can help you out when it comes tax time. In addition, if you intend to finance your new outdoor structure, the interest rates are still extremely low. The current standing in the economy can mean a lower payment each month on your new structure as well. Lower interest rates can save you a tremendous amount over the long haul. Another aspect of the savings you can incur is because material prices typically rise during the first part of a new year, especially when dealing with synthetic materials.Prices on synthetic/composite materials are predicted to increase by as much as 10% in 2014! By deciding to move ahead with your intended outdoor space and have it designed, planned  and scheduled before the new year arrives will ensure, you can lock into this year’s pricing for materials.

Fiberon composite deck with vinyl pergolas and vinyl gazebo located in Greene county outside Xenia Ohio

Can’t decide? We can build your backyard dream in phases as part of our staged building program.

Keep in mind that Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio designs and  builds year-round and because there are few freeze-line concerns, anytime can actually be the best time to build your project!  We can also design and build your dream backyard in stages as part of our staged building program. With this in mind, fall and winter is the perfect time to start the first stage of your desired outdoor living project. If you are considering a deck and patio combination for example, you can take advantage of our staged building option and build the deck this winter and then we can add the patio later into the spring, or as your lifestyle and budget sees fit. With our staged building program the choice is yours.

Tim Stephens owner of  Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

If you are on the fence about beginning your outdoor project, moving forward in designing and scheduling your project now will ensure proper timing, less wait time and it will put less strain on your wallet. Contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today to learn more (513) 897 – 2040, our consultation is free but the benefits are priceless!
wcohio@archadeck.net