Category Archives: design and building process

When is a contract not like a steak?

When is a contract not like a steakDoes this seem like a silly question? Humor us for a moment, because it will drive home the importance of reading and understanding the contract you must sign when a builder undertakes a construction job at your home. This applies to us, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, and to any other reputable builder out there.

When you order a steak in a restaurant, there is an implied agreement between you and the restaurant that the steak will be cooked the way you want it cooked. When the steak is delivered to your table, if it does not meet your expectations, you can send it back, and they will cook another one for you. If you are unhappy with your meal, sometimes the restaurant even throws in a free dessert or gives you the whole meal for free, “just because.”

Dayton OH Sunroom Builder

When you arrange for a contractor to design and build an addition to your home — even an outdoor living addition — you’ll need more than an implied agreement. For the arrangement to work, you and the builder must sign a contract. That way, everyone agrees on the expectations up front. No surprises!

Included within (or along with) your contract is the following information:

  • A description of the work to be done, also known as the scope of the project
  • The total exact price of the project, including materials, labor, permits and taxes
  • A specification sheet listing dimensions, special features and specific materials to be used
  • A detailed, labeled rendering created by an architectural draftsman based on our conversations about what the project will entail
  • Details about client responsibilities
  • A payment schedule
  • A method for dealing with amendments to the work, if needed
  • Details about how we, as the builder, will handle clean-up during and after completion of the job

When is a contract not like a steak You should not sign the contract for your new deck, porch or patio project until you are certain that you agree with and understand every detail in it. It’s important that we address any inconsistencies or concerns you may have before we get started. We never want to find out, later on down the road, that a customer had unrealistic expectations.

As you can see, the contract sets the tone and lays out the expectations for any construction project, no matter how large or how small. We take the contract very seriously. At Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we pride ourselves in following best business practices. Our objective is to consistently produce satisfied customers while continuing to maintain a successful business.

Dayton Award Winning Outdoor Living SpacesWhen we design and build your new outdoor living environment, we are poised to accommodate your needs and desires in every way. Putting everything in writing, up front, is our way of ensuring we fulfill your wishes. We want you to get everything you expect from your design the first time around.

One area for potential misunderstandings is the timing of your outdoor living project. If we run into inclement weather while working at your home, we’ll need to take time away from the site until conditions improve. Also, addendums to your project while construction is underway, or problems obtaining the correct materials, can extend the completion date. Delays to your project will affect other clients in the queue for future start dates. Conversely, if we encounter delays at a project scheduled before yours, then your start date might be affected.

Does this “contract talk” sound boring? It may, but think about it this way: the concept of using a contract for the scope of a building project evolved because somebody somewhere had a misunderstanding about some work to be done. We want to avoid any such misunderstandings! The contract serves to set boundaries. Should we encounter differences of opinion during the course of our work together, the contract would serve to navigate our relationship through to the successful completion of your outdoor living project.

Remember that steak you ordered at the beginning of this article? Obviously, you can’t compare the journey of building an outdoor living space addition to that of ordering a steak at a restaurant. A steak will stay with you for about 24 hours, while a deck, for example, will be with you for 20 years or more. If something isn’t right with your project, or if there is an aspect you aren’t pleased with, we will work with you, within the contract, to make things right, but we can’t throw in a free pergola. Again, we will work with you within the contract; if it is not written in the signed contract, it is not and cannot be an expectation.

If you are contemplating an outdoor living addition at your home, you will not find a more reliable or professional contractor than Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio. We want to work with you to create the backyard of your dreams. Contact us to learn more at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

When it Comes to Choosing an Outdoor Structure Builder, Beware of the “Tail-light Warranty”

hassle-free no textWe have all heard the old sayings of  “you get what you pay for” and “haste makes waste.” These ring true in many situations we encounter including choosing a builder for your new outdoor structure project. It is wise to explore your options and research any prospective builder by looking at their reviews and perusing their portfolio of completed projects, however it is also smart to be cautious about the builder that quickly brings the lowest price to the table and is ready to begin your project on a moment’s notice.

Keep in mind, that seasoned builders know what it takes structurally to ensure your safety and satisfaction. They also rarely have no pending projects on their backlogs to begin a project at the spur of the moment, securing proper permits and making sure quality materials to complete the project are all on hand takes a little time. Be very wary of those that claim they can start on a dime, chances are they aren’t pulling required permits necessary to even break ground. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a professionally designed and built outdoor living structure shouldn’t be either. The impetus here is to realize that if a builder is ready to break ground immediately on your project chances are their services are not in high demand. This can be a direct reflection of their business practices and quality of work.

The ultimate backyard room

In our 26+ years of service we have seen, and repaired, many projects where the homeowner hastily hired a builder just to get the project completed quickly. Not only where many of these structures dangerous, they usually resulted in the homeowner spending more to make it right than they would have had they hired us initially.

Another aspect to consider before you rush into your project, are the builders credentials… does the builder have a license,  or even insurance? These may seem trivial but are crucial if something goes wrong while the builder, or crew, is injured or has an accident while working on your property because you could be held liable.

contractor-selection-checklist

Last but certainly not least is to beware of the builder that only offers what is referred to as “the tail light warranty” — in essence, this means the warranty extends just as long as the tail lights are visible as he is leaving your project — funny to joke about, but not so much if you are the one watching them fade into the distance. When you choose Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to build your outdoor living structure(s) you will be protected by two separate guarantees, constituting the most expansive customer protection plan in the industry. And local oversight assures your property and privacy are respected as well. We attend to every detail from securing any needed building permits  to final cleanup. And we work very hard to be as unobtrusive as possible during the entire construction phase.

Tail lights in the distance...

Tail lights in the distance…

We always strive to provide you with an outdoor living space that encompasses everything you want in your particular design, now, and with future additions in mind. Our approach to the design and building process is poised to accommodate the customer needs and desires in every way. This means we help fulfill your wishes in getting everything you are expecting from your design the first time around with no surprises, no catches and we stand behind every structure we build.

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 begin planning your anticipated outdoor living project, we can help you get started today on making the backyard of your dreams a reality. Contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio 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.”

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.”

 

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio is a master of versatile design — as we end the cycle of boring outdoor living spaces

  • Is your deck too small to use it the way you really want?
  • Do you avoid using your deck or patio because it lacks functionality?
  • Is your outdoor living space an eyesore that degrades your home’s appearance?
  • Is your outdoor structure a safety hazard?
  • Is your deck or porch capacity less than 3 people at any given time?
  • Does your patio limit the space you have available for grilling, outdoor dining and relaxation?
  • Do you find yourself “creeping” into the lawn to have more room for outdoor activities?
  • Does your outdoor living environment leave you feeling claustrophobic?

cookoutIf you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, then it is time to end the cycle of cramped, boring outdoor living — and Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio is just the company exceed your expectation of what your outdoor living space can be! Our design philosophy involves more than just building a boring 12 x 12 standard size deck with builder grade amenities. We go far beyond the realm of necessity, thinking “outside the box” to give you the most function and aesthetic for the most value.

 why should your outdoor living space(s) deliver any less satisfaction than those within the home?

Interior of playroom within home.

Your home is one of the single biggest investments you will make. Your home is also the place where you can wind down from the stresses of work, school and other household obligations. This concept is responsible for the titles we use to label certain interior areas of a home. For example a “playroom” is called so for that very reason, we use it for “play”. Whether you define play as reading, board games, or enjoying movie night with the kids. Much the same can be said for the “living” room — after all, this is where most families “live, laugh and linger” indoors. Taking all these factors into consideration, why should your outdoor living space(s) deliver any less satisfaction than those within the home?

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.

Curved integrated bench seating on deck in Central Ohio

Just like the details we pointed out in a previous post titled “Our Dayton & Cincinnati outdoor living space creations emphasize the difference is in the details!” The details of the design make your experience, and how you view the space more fulfilling. Archadeck of West Central and Southwest 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. Our custom deck, porch and patio designs often include curved, radius edging, picture framed borders, integrated seating, planters and integrated lighting  along with other intricate details you just don’t get with typical builders.

Kettering OH 2013 dream deck project

The first question we ask during your design consultation will be “how do want to use your space.” Along with desired functions and aesthetics, we also inquire about what size and type of outdoor furnishings you intend to use within your space. For example, typically a standard-sized outdoor dining table takes up an area 6 feet long and 42 inches wide, with each standard-size outdoor chair taking up an additional two feet. Factor in ample pull out room for each chair will add another two feet per chair. This adds up to a space that takes up a 12′ x 12′ area. In addition to dining tables, most homeowners want a place for seating as well, which will tack on additional space. Once you add side tables and accompaniment pieces, you are looking at the need for more space than most homeowners had anticipated for their furnishings. This is why discussing details such as furniture choices is also an important part of the design process.

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

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. Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio knows the difference in your satisfaction and happiness for years to come lies within the details.  Call us today 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 and featured  on Houzz.

 

 

Owner Tim Stephens hosts podcast with Jon & Dave of Pro Construction Guide!

pro-construction-guide-iconIt is always an honor to be asked to speak within a forum about the topics we love so much here at Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio. On September 12th, I was fortunate enough to be featured in a live podcast with Jon & Dave of Pro Construction Guide sponsored through the Home Depot.

This podcast is a radio show you can listen to from your computer, phone, tablet, or other device any time you want. You won’t want to miss what thousands of pros across America have already discovered; the Pro Construction Guide podcast brings the magazines and newsletters to life. Listen to the podcast for valuable insights from interviews of construction, remodeling, and maintenance pros. Hosts John and Dave bring decades of experience from the jobsite as they entertain while they educate.

West Central and SW Ohio composite deck builderIn this episode, I discuss why homeowner’s love composite decks and how easy they are to build. Since 1990, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio has been building low maintenance synthetic decks, such as composite in and around the Dayton and Cincinnati area. During this time composites, and the nature of the material, have significantly reduced call backs and warranty claims.

Some of the many benefits of choosing synthetic decking include the lower maintenance aspect over that of traditional wood, it lasts longer, resists staining and scratching, and many come with anti-fade warranties depending on the specific brand. This means your synthetic deck will likely look as good 20 years from now as it does the day it was installed with minimal maintenance.

Kettering, OH dream deck winner

The first low-maintenance board to come out was called “composite” because it contains a combination of synthetic resin combined with wood fibers. As you can imagine, there are many different ways composites can be made. When it first came on the market 20 or so years ago, it had some problems with mold but those problems are long in the past. Today’s companies have identified the right mix of materials to create a great decking board and many come with a 20 -30 year warranty. These warranties may differ slightly from one manufacturer to the next but the protections afforded by the warranties protect against material defects and the aging woes of wood including checking, splitting, splintering, rotting or fungal decay. There is one protection that the high end, all-synthetic boards share which is warranted stain and fade protection. Keep in mind, low maintenance doesn’t mean NO maintenance and if you clean up and wipe away spills and messes, you should not need to worry but for warranted stain and fade protection. Here’s a rundown of the different types of synthetic decking currently available:

Mechanicsburg-OH-Staged-project-with-deck-and-pergola-Traditional Composite Decking

Composite decking material requires a lot less maintenance than its solid wood counterparts – even those treated with preservatives. Composites can be made to emulate the look of real wood, with wood graining that in a quality composite can rival the real thing. A high quality composite can also inhibit the growth of mold and mildew by the addition of mold inhibitors present in the makeup of the composite.

Composites can be cleaned by simple soap and water cleanup. If stains sit for a period of time, they may take a little more effort to clean. There are many good composite cleaners on the market. As with any deck that contains natural derivatives you will still have to contend with fading, scratching and dirt. Composites, even though they do require maintaining, do no compare with the chore of staining and painting on an annual basis that is necessary with a pressure treated or other entirely wooden deck.

Raised dining area on Spring Valley OH custom Fiberon DeckSolid PVC Decking

If composite is a great option, PVC is the big daddy. As mentioned above, their warranties often includes protection against material checking, splitting, splintering, rotting, termite attacks, fungal decay and even warranted protection against fading and staining. What’s the drawback? You guessed it – price. Because there are no natural fibers, all of these protections can be afforded and warranted. But the synthetic resin is a good bit more expensive than wood fibers. So, the top of the line product does have pricing at the top end of the synthetic decking price spectrum. It is always important to remember that over time, a PVC deck, like many other synthetics can pay for itself over time in what you would save from wooden deck upkeep, repair or even replacement.

Waynesville OH covered porch and deck pavilionsCapstock Decking

As mentioned during the podcast, capstock decking is the newest of all the synthetics and also a great choice for homeowner’s stuck between traditional composites and solid PVC. Capstock is a composite board capped with PVC so you get the best of both worlds. Capstock is made up of a proprietary PVC polymer shell and contains a composite wood and recycled plastic core. It is considered a composite decking material but boasts a durable PVC shell. It is also known as a composite hybrid, as well as being referred to as capstock decking. These products are being backed by some of the best warranties in the business, therefore we expect good things from Capstock products.The price? As you expected, the price is in the middle but not that much higher than composite.

Please visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/pro-construction-guide-podcast/id1028908337?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 to listen to the podcast in its entirety.

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

If you are considering a deck of composite, PVC or capstock, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to help you decide which material is the best for you and your family.  Call us today 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.”

 

 

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio Explains the Importance of Understanding Project Timelines

Father's Day 2016The prospect of getting a new, or updated, outdoor living space creates excitement.

Once you have made the decision to move ahead with building your new structure(s) or upgrading an existing structure, it is difficult to calm the anticipation looking ahead to the joys it will bring along with it. We totally understand this — after all we are just as excited as you are to know the enjoyment your completed project will bring. We are also humbled and proud to play a part in creating this happiness.

The prospect of getting a new, or updated, outdoor living space also creates impatience.

Impatience, in all its forms is just an extension of anticipation. At Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio we realize it is normal for our clients to want their project completed yesterday. However, it is also important to realize, as one of our valued customers, we want to provide you with the highest-quality structure to the best of our ability. And quality takes time. To ensure your finished outdoor living space brings extended enjoyment for years to come, not just “in the moment”, we have to make sure all the materials and craftsmanship meet our standard of excellence. In addition, when building a new deck, porch, patio or other structure there are mandatory permitting and inspections that must be covered. These are items that are scheduled beyond our control.

hassle-free no textIt is not uncommon here in the Dayton and Cincinnati area(s) to have a substantial wait in regards to permitting, variances, inspections and even engineer letters. It is also important to realize that if a builder is ready to break ground immediately on your project chances are their services are not in high demand or they aren’t obtaining the proper documentation and permits to build your structure. This can be a direct reflection of their business practices and quality of work.

Xenia, OH deck and pergola combination outdoor oasisHere’s what you need to know:

When our client signs a contract,  the project begin dates are established according to the current backlog we have on schedule at the time. During the fall and winter months backlogs and lead times can be less, but during the outdoor living season, when the weather is warm, project beginning dates are usually substantially longer. All timelines are also influenced by forces that are beyond our control such as permitting, inspections and in some cases inclement weather such as snow, heavy rain or ice. Depending on what county or township you reside in, permitting may require a “walk thru” permitting process, or in certain municipalities permitting may require a “drop off” application. Drop off permit applications are granted in the order they are received and could take up to three weeks during the busy season. The turnaround time for permitting situations could add additional wait time for beginning your project but are a necessary element in the building process. If the inspector requests any further documentation beyond the “norm” such as an engineer letter or variance, this also increases the wait times. Rules and regulations are also constantly changing and this too, can influence your project timeline.

Factors that influence a construction timeline:

  • Does there need to be HOA approval? If so does your HOA meet quarterly or monthly?
  • Which county or township are you located in?
  • Is a variance needed?
  • Are the materials you have chosen for your particular design stocked locally or special order?
  • How many different trades are involved (plumbing, electrical, masons, HVAC or only carpentry)?
  • Weather or season, and site conditions?
  • What sort of backlog does the builder have?

Spring Valley OH custom outdoor living designs

We always strive to provide you with an outdoor living space that encompasses everything you want in your particular design, now, and with future additions in mind. Our approach to the design and building process is poised to accommodate the customer needs and desires in every way. This means we help fulfill your wishes in getting everything you are expecting from your design the first time around. From providing the aesthetics you want, to a space allows you to carry out the functions you desire within the space. We even take into consideration any future plans or additions you may have in mind for the future.

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 begin planning your anticipated outdoor living project, we can help you get started today on making the backyard of your dreams a reality. Contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to learn more at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net.

 

 

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio wants to help make your outdoor living project easy and hassle-free!

Kettering OH 2013 dream deck projectA customer’s first concern is generally when their project will be completed, and this is completely understandable, you’re excited and ready to spend time in your outdoor living space. It is only natural to anticipate the enjoyment a new outdoor living space provides! But for Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, our first concern is getting the project done correctly, in a timely manner and with the safety of you and your family in mind.

Ensuring a smooth, timely project depends heavily on having all the “bases covered” in terms of planning. Most of the homework required to begin your outdoor living space is covered as part of our planning process. However,  there are items that the customer is responsible for and it is always best to have these prepared and in-hand prior to beginning your project, these include but are not limited to:

  • Gaining the approval from your HOA (Home Owners Association)?
  • Are there restrictive covenants that will not allow the build of your structure on that property of land? What about Green Space covenants?
  • Can you be prepared to pay for a stamped engineer letter on the plans if the need arises?
  • Do you have a plot plan that includes proper setbacks for building?
  • Have you received zoning approval from the city for the proposed use of land?
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.

These are only a few of the factors that can affect the build timeline. It’s important to get the HOA’s approval to build since they have the final say on how the property will be altered. An HOA isn’t the only thing that can hold beginning and completion of your proposed addition back, there could also be restrictive covenants which can deny the build from happening on the property to preserve the value of adjoining land. These are all things we will ask you. It is your responsibility as the homeowner to research and provide information to ensure the build timeline is on schedule.

Dayton outdoor living with petsOnce the planning prerequisites have been addressed, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio also asks each of our clients to go over a “to do” checklist prior to our crews arriving to begin your project. These are in place to ensure not only a timely project timeline, but also as safety precautions for you, your family, your pets and our team members. These include but are not limited to:

  • Clearing the yard of any debris, including trash, animal feces, etc. and making sure the area is clean of any toys, or outdoor furniture.
  • In addition to cleaning up the yard where workers will be, make sure there is a designated area that materials can be dropped off, Archadeck wants to ensure the materials are being delivered properly and in a timely manner.
  • To ensure the safety of both furry family members and the Archadeck crew, we ask that you keep pets out of the area and put them in a safer environment during that period of building.

Our utmost concern is to ensure you receive the best experience you can with us, and we believe that we can achieve this by working together and overcoming any obstacles that might stand in our way!

Archadeck of West Central and SW Ohio customer service award 2014

Our commitment to pleasing our customers is part of the reason we have received numerous custom service awards!

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 begin the process of transforming your outdoors into a beloved outdoor destination, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio Is here to help you begin. Contact us today to discover how smooth your outdoor living space addition can be! 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.”

 

 

Our recent screened room addition in Washington Township makes outdoor living easy

Washington Township OH Screened Porch builderOne of our most recent screened porch additions took place in Washington Township, in Dayton, OH. When we initially met the homeowners for the design consultation they expressed the need for a better space to utilize their time outdoors. Their only outdoor space consisted of a concrete pad which they were using as a patio, but the sun and insects prevented them from enjoying it during the afternoon and around dusk. The homeowners were adament about making the most out of their spacious backyard and natural views — Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio began the design process to transform their unprotected space into a versatile protected space.

before

Existing backyard before we began the transformation.

The design we created includes a screened room built over the backyard’s existing pad. To further the functionality of the backyard we also built an open-air paver patio off the porch. We used SCREENEZE® screen for the room as it is more durable and maintains the integrity of the screen better than traditional screening methods. Part of the beauty of using this innovative porch screening  system lies within the clarity of the screen itself. As these Washington Township homeowners’ peer out of their new addition, the screen is nearly opaque which sets the stage to enjoy spectacular views in their backyard!

Washington Township OH Screened room and patio

After: completed screened room and patio.

Screened rooms, like this one, are a great way to add sheltered outdoor living area that also extend the hours of leisure at home. Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio believes outdoor living spaces built to offer the protection of a roof, and screens, add functionality while they define the room’s parameters and add architectural character. Often homes lack much architectural character, especially in the back. Adding a porch and roof adds that needed character with all the outdoor living benefits. Roofs can also be constructed over existing patios making them part of a combination outdoor living spaces.

Interior of Washington Township screened roomOne of the elements that make this outdoor living space combination so endearing include the beautiful hardscape floor within the room that leads into a continuation of the same material outside. In addition, the warm tones of the cedar trimmed used throughout the space , including the knee-wall and posts, collaborate beautifully with the cobbled look of the hardscape. The ceiling is finished with a pine, tongue & groove ceiling too. This screened room exudes with rustic romanticism and makes the perfect spot during any kind of weather.

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Tim Stephens owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

If you are considering a covered outdoor living space addition in your backyard, we can provide one that meets and exceeds all your expectations of what a custom outdoor structure should be. Our professional and talented staff members are experts at helping homeowners, like you, get the most out of each season with an outdoor structure custom designed and built for your enjoyment. ContactArchadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio today to learn more, our consultation is free but the benefits are priceless! Call us at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040 or via email 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.”

 

Is Redecking Right for You?

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

Fiberon composite deck with vinyl pergolas and vinyl gazebo located in Greene County outside Xenia, OH.

Is your deck aged from wear and tear, or become structurally compromised and unsafe? If so, redecking may be the answer to refresh your outdoor space from dull to dazzling.  Instead of tearing out that deck and starting from scratch, redecking can modify your existing structure. If your decks’ substructure is structurally sound we can improve the existing footprint of your deck without the hassle of lengthy permitting processes.  In most cases, the original structure, or “bones” of the structure can be used if the underlying footings and joists are in good shape.  This can save you hundreds, or even thousands, making redecking both pleasing to the eye and the pocketbook.

Once your existing deck is deemed a good candidate for redecking, we will then work with you to help your choose the material that best fits your needs and budget. Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio has many decking choices to choose from. We can help you decide on a wood or synthetic decking material.  Many homeowners; opt to redeck using PT (pressure treated wood) or even a hardwood such as Ipe, but, if you are tired of the endless maintenance required to preserve your deck, a composite material may be the  best answer as they are easier to maintain and last longer than wood.  Synthetic materials, such as composites, capstock and solid PVC are composed of materials that stabilize and protect it from UV damage.  This combination of materials also has several advantages over most species of wood. The synthetic material is much less likely to crack or chip, and there is no evidence that termites will attack it.  Another benefit is a synthetic will never have to be treated or stained. We use only the highest quality synthetics on the market, such as AZEK, Timbertech and Envisions.

Our deck addition in Kettering, OH, is featured on the cover of this year's Timbertech catalog!

Our deck addition in Kettering, OH, is featured on the cover of this year’s Timbertech catalog!

girl-in-pool-deckOther benefits to using synthetic materials for your anticipated redeck are:

  • Composites give the ultimate flexibility when designing your deck. Are you tired of the same old square deck?  With composites, you can sculpt your re-deck to a rounded shape giving your space a softer appeal.  With this type of malleability you can unleash your imagination and modify your deck to fit your needs and lifestyle.
  • When building a deck around water such as a pool or spa, some composite materials offer better slip resistance to ensure sure-footing and increase safety around your backyard water feature, thereby making this a top choice to use in place of wood.
  • Unlike wood, composites do not retain heat, so in the summer they make a “cool” addition for those bare feet!
  • Speaking of bare feet, with composite material there are no more splinters!
Oakwood OH AZEK deck builder

AZEK roof deck in Oakwood, OH.

In many cases redecking gives you the option to extend your outdoor living area, so you may want to add other structural amenities such as integrated bench seating, upgrade or replace 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! 

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! 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.”