What is the best stain to use on my wood deck? Ask Archadeck!

Archadeck of Charlotte has built over 23,000 projects over the past 29 years in the Charlotte metro area. In addition, there are over 50 Archadeck franchisees around the country that we share best practices.

As we review options to seal and stain decks, we eventually purchased a professional franchise that specialized in deck cleaning and staining called Renew Crew.

We have found for a new deck, a semi-transparent deck stain seems to last the longest and provide the most authentic look allowing the wood grain to show through the stain.

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum balluster by Dekorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum baluster by Deckorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

While many manufacturers have touted restoring decks to new with heavy solid stains, we have found those to be very temporary solutions and unless every application step is followed precisely, there are nightmares to deal with afterward and many callbacks.

Hot tub deck with a privacy fence and outdoor shower by Archadeck of Charlotte

Located in Charlotte, NC this backyard oasis was designed and constructed by Archadeck. It includes a pool deck, screened porch, covered outdoor kitchen and dining area, firepit and raised spa deck.

We have found that Renew Crew offers a proprietary stain with a vast color selection that offers a premium look with maximum protection. If you are looking for a Charlotte deck builder, visit the deck page on our website to learn more or take a look at the Charlotte wood deck photo gallery to seen dozens of wood decks Archadeck has built throughout the Charlotte market over the last 29 years.

 

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Outdoor Fireplace vs. Fire Pit….pro’s and cons

We now know that fire features are all the craze in Charlotte, NC. We have seen year over year growth in the category for 10 straight years!

Stone outdoor fireplace integrated into screen porch with EZE Breeze windows

The common question people ask is should I invest in a fireplace or a fire pit?

 

Here are the key differentiators:

 

  1. Price – a common fireplace is around $8,000 while a common fire pit is around $1,500
  2. Function – a fireplace is wonderful if you are sitting in front of it to project heat while a fire pit everyone can sit around it
  3. Aesthetics –  a fireplace can be a focal point of the backyard due to size and stature while a fire pit a complimentary accessory
  4. Return on Investment – the fireplace is probably a bigger “wow” factor

To see multiple fire feature photos and designs, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

How do I expand my patio?

Expanding your patio seems like a no-brainer, right? Here are a few small tips in this blog that you should consider prior to tackling this project:

What is the current slope of the patio? It is most likely sloped away from the house to allow for proper drainage. If you are expanding your patio further away from the house, you will have to grade appropriately so you do not create an area where water will sit due to a grade change.

How is the edge of your patio finished? Is there a border around it? Are there full pieces or cut edges. There needs to be some thought as to how to properly blend in the extension so it appears to built as part of the original design.

Archadeck of charlotte outdoor show place

Archadeck of Charlotte outdoor show place

How old is the existing patio? Has the color faded or is it stained? Perhaps consider combining a different substrate rather than trying to match! To get wonderful patio design ideas, visit our paver patio photo gallery or our stone patio photo gallery. Are you thinking about adding some amenities to your patio? Take a look at our fire features photo gallery.

 

How to build an outdoor fireplace?

Archadeck of Charlotte has been designing and building outdoor fireplaces for years now.

Can a “do-it-yourselfer” build an outdoor fireplace? There is no doubt that someone skilled in masonry, can build an outdoor fireplace.

The primary challenges are building code knowledge and even more challenging is the “flu design”.

There are specific building codes that have been written in recent years with the growth of outdoor fireplaces from a safety standpoint. It is highly recommended that you get in touch with your local building department prior to your design phase or contact a pro.

In terms of flu design, the trick is the flu architecture to ensure that the smoke goes up and out the chimney as opposed to back at you. For more information, you can call 704-944-1350 or go to archadeckofcharlotte.com. To view more outdoor fireplace photos, visit our Charlotte outdoor fireplace photo gallery.

Do Trex decks stain or mildew? Do Trex decks fade?

There is a lot of bad history and bad press out there on – line. If you don’t know what you are really looking at, it can be very misleading.

Trex is the originator of the composite deck industry and in fact, the original product did have these issues. The product faded relatively quickly. It was easy to stain with the spill of any oil based product. Mildew grew easily due to the porous nature of the design.

Along came the invention of Trex Transcends. This was a vast improvement of the original products that solved the major problems consumers complained about. By engineering a cap stock over the original core of the product, the product now has a 25-year fade warranty in addition to protection from staining. The product is so superior that in the previous 7 years, we literally have no callbacks on Trex. So when you do your research on Trex, make sure you are looking at the Trex Transcends!

Click here to see a complete photo gallery from a Platinum Pro Trex Contractor,

Learn more about Trex decks in Charlotte on our Trex web page.

 

Outdoor Living Space designs in Waxhaw, NC

We have been designing outdoor living spaces in Waxhaw for 30 years now! My how times have changed. We went from designing and building decks and patios, to entire outdoor living spaces with multiple vignettes.

Today’s approach to outdoor living is quite simple. People want all of the comforts of the indoors with the charm and the escape of being outdoors.

It is no longer enough to have a single outdoor space. The demand is for both shade structures like covered patios and screen porches as well as open areas like patios and decks.

It is almost a given when we design outdoor living spaces that they include some type of fire feature. It may be a wonderful outdoor fireplace or a simple fire pit. Some type of outdoor kitchen is going to be standard in the design. The outdoor kitchens range from a simple grill station to a full range of outdoor appliances like a Green Egg smoker, a sink, a wine refrigerator, and more.

To see a wonderful gallery of outdoor living spaces in Waxhaw, NC and the surrounding area, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

 

Top 5 Patio Design Ideas for Charlotte

Here are the top 5 patio design ideas for Charlotte, North Carolina by Archadeck:

  1. A stone fire pit with a matching stone sitting wall that leaves the perfect amount of room for your feet while being close enough to feel the warmth of the fire!
  2. A water feature that provides a soothing sound of moving water and very low-maintenance since the design has no standing water to attract algae and mosquitoes.
  3. A highly functional and beautiful outdoor kitchen with all of the storage area one wants to store utensils and cleaning supplies. The design fits in perfectly with the architectural characteristics of the home.
  4. A walkway designed with the same material as the patio to provide a dry area to commute between the driveway and the backyard.
  5. A wrap around sitting wall constructed with the same paver material as the patio to provide a consistent and functional patio.

To see a wonderful photo gallery of patio design ideas, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com