How do I justify paying more for a deck?

How do you justify paying more for a deck? I recently heard a great line that went something like this: “if I only had paid more it would have cost me less”.

As a consumer, there has to be a solid reason to pay more for our purchases. In the case of a deck of patio, I will share some that may resonate with you.

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.

  1. Customer assurances and piece of mind (insurance, license, warranties)
  2. Design (does it fit your taste and is it functional for your furniture and needs)
  3. Quality (the materials and labor)
  4. Ease of doing business with ( do they have a physical location, are they easy to reach with questions)
  5. Add value (is the contractor able to add more to the project with ideas and finished look)
Retaining wall with decorative stone and multi-level in Charlotte by Archadeck

Retaining wall with decorative stone and multi-level in Charlotte by Archadeck

As a consumer, it is never wise to pay more unless you can justify why. The attempt here was to help you think through your purchasing decision of a deck or patio and what you may not have considered when you looked at the “apples – to apples” quotes!

Does Archadeck of Charlotte have bad reviews?

Social Media is a trend that is not going away anytime soon. I recently attended a very interesting seminar on the Social Media and its effects on small businesses.

As you might guess, it’s a double-edged sword. For VERY small businesses, they can have 2 – 10 reviews, get all A’s, and grow their business substantially with little to no investment. The other side of that coin, if it’s a very small business and they only have a few reviews and they are not A’s, that could be the last time the phone rings!

Larger small businesses are equally effected but in different ways. These companies have already grown, made investments in people, products, marketing, etc… Today’s consumer looks at online reviews in more than 75% of their purchases. That is a staggering number.

When consumer’s decide they either don’t care for the product or service, did not like a particular company representative, or just felt like they could use social media as a bargaining chip with a contractor, they go right to social media.

Have they really gained? What was in it for them? Is the consumer so altruistic that they really believe they are doing it to help others avoid the bad experience they had? The speaker went on to say that in studies, more often the respondents admitted they did it out of spite and for punishment!

Archadeck of Charlotte is a 27-year old family run local business in Charlotte, North Carolina. We have been fortunate with great employees and vendors over the years and have survived downturns in the economy, health of employee issues, jobs gone wrong, and so forth. We have prided ourselves on ALWAYS doing the fair thing for the employees and customers and have maintained an A+ rating every year since we have been in business with the Better Business Bureau .

This organization ensures that companies respond to consumer complaints and that is exactly what we prefer to do. We are not perfect and when we err, all we ask is for the opportunity to correct the error. Once we do this, we are amazed that people still want to use Angie’s List, Yelp, and other sites to bury us and others?

The speaker claims this would not happen if they really understood the damage this causes to companies…or would they? We only want to serve and serve effectively as Eric Kent Archadeck Charlottewe have over 20,000 customers who would testify! Most do not want to take the time to go on social media to say so though. We have nearly 100 Archadeck of Charlotte testimonials on our website. Click here to read them and then give us a call at (704) 944 – 1350 for a free consultation on your upcoming project.

What is the cost per square foot of Trex composite decking in Charlotte, NC?

Most people have no idea how much a deck should cost when they are planning on either replacing their deck or building a new one. There is a lot of bad information and misunderstandings about what the cost per square foot should be and even if is that is all there is to pricing a composite deck.

Let’s start with common sense. If I called you and asked you how much a square foot you charged to install for example Trex Transcends composite decking and you gave me a straight forward answer like $35 per square foot, I would expect to pay $6,720 for a 12′ x 16′ standard size deck, right? WRONG!

Think about all the variables. How many feet off the ground is the deck going to be, in other-words, how many steps will need to be constructed? What size joists will be required based on the height? What size columns will be required? Am I expecting the deck boards to be laid on a diagonal or parallel to the house? What about rail, does the house project around 1,2, or 3 sides of where deck will be built? This affects the amount of rail necessary! There are so many variations of rails with very different price points. What about fascia or trim around the perimeter of the deck? Is it expected to be composite as well? What about lattice or skirting under the deck?

Trex Transcends Spiced Rum photo at Lake Norman in North Carolina with Trex Transcends black rail and a custom bench

Trex Transcends Spiced Rum photo at Lake Norman in North Carolina with Trex Transcends black rail and a custom bench

When people ask how much a square foot do you charge and someone answers with a number, that is when you should be very suspect. As you can see from the above scenario, you have little idea what you are going to get based on that question alone. Think through what you really want or consult with a deck expert to get advice to help you better understand what you need and don’t need. The real question is what is the total investment you will need to make in order to get the features and benefits that you desire in a deck. The only way to truly determine that is to ask the appropriate questions. For more advice, go to

Trex Transcends deck and rail with vertical deck skirting and an outdoor kitchen by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex Transcends deck and rail with vertical deck skirting and an outdoor kitchen by Archadeck of Charlotte

Need a pool pavillion design?

Since 2012, there has been a dramatic rebound in the new pool building business here in Charlotte, NC for single family homes. This is a great sign the economy is rebounding and people are investing in outdoor living with disposable income. They are not stopping with just the pool itself though.

With the explosion of outdoor living concepts and the expanded movement of people moving from the inside to the outdoors for the home relaxation, everything from outdoor kitchens to fire features are part of the design.

Pool pavilions are being built now fairly regularly and people are not even waiting until the next season after the pool is built. They want what the want and they want it now! Pool pavilions are often a combination of a shade structure, restroom, changing room, grilling area, and outdoor home theater.

Archadeck of Charlotte gets asked to design and build pool cabana-like structures all over the greater Charlotte market. The considerations are roof design, column style and material, ceiling materials, and of course the above mentioned features. If you are in the market for a pool cabana or pool pavilion, check out the designs at or go to HOUZZ and see various design ideas for the outdoors!

Pool pavilion with a stone box for a Green Egg and outdoor living space built by Archadeck of Charlotte

Pool pavilion with a stone box for a Big Green Egg and outdoor living space built by Archadeck of Charlotte

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this covered outdoor kitchen with a cabana and all of the outdoor appliances including a Fire Magic AOG Grill

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this covered outdoor kitchen with a cabana and all of the outdoor appliances including a Fire Magic AOG Grill



Why would I build an outdoor fireplace versus a fire pit?

Should you add a fire pit or fireplace as a feature on an outdoor living space? One thing is for certain, fire features are hot (no pun intended)!

Archadeck deck in Charlotte with fire pit

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pretty stained deck and fire pit

So…why would you build an outdoor fireplace versus building a fire pit? Here are some important considerations:

1. Function

Do you want this to be part of a room enclosure like a screen porch or sun room? If so, it will by default have to be a fireplace for venting purposes. If you want to have a large group most of the time, a fire pit actually allows for a large group to sit on all sides and allows for more people to enjoy the warmth of the fire than a fireplace.

2. Aestheitcs

An outdoor fireplace is a focal feature of an outdoor space. By it’ sheer size and design, when build right and placed appropriately, the outdoor fireplace is a most attractive addition. On the other hand, if you have incredible views of water or woods, you may want something much lower profile like the fire pit. Both fire features can be additive to the overall landscape design but placement of the feature is critical.

wood burning stone outdoor fireplace with fieldstone on a flagstone patio in Charlotte

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this flagstone patio and fieldstone outdoor fireplace

3. Price

A stone outdoor fireplace can be as low as $8,000 and go up to $15,000 depending on size and additional features. The stone outdoor fire pit is more like $1,000 and go upwards depending on size and features.

There is a significant price difference as you can see. If budget will not allow for the fireplace, a fire pit will still serve as a great place to entertain friends and family. The one thing you will forgo is the focal point of the space. To see a complete photo gallery of outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, go to

How does Archadeck of Charlotte come up with its pricing?

Why is it when a consumer gets proposals for “the exact same scope of work” are the prices so varied between contractors? It is hard for consumers to reconcile!

TimberTech RosewoodHow does Archadeck of Charlotte come up with its pricing? It’s a simple formula that has been developed and refined over the 26 years in business. With experience and understanding for example of all of the material costs, labor costs, permits, insurance, material taxes, and warranty coverage, we then add our profit that allows us not only to stay in business and pay all of our bills but also remain competitive in the local market.

The challenge is there is a low barrier to entry in the remodeling space so many inexperienced contractors jump in and simply want some business at any price without the wisdom of what it takes to survive long term. Even if you hear of a contractor that has done jobs for 3 of your neighbors, there are no guarantees that he will be around to fulfill contracts and warranties. When you are investing in a big ticket item like an outdoor living space, please do your homework more than just comparing scopes of work. All you are generally comparing is material not thinking about the larger piece which is the labor. To learn more, go to