What is the best way to have your deck boards run?

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex Transcends deck and fire pit by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex Transcends deck and fire pit by Archadeck of Charlotte

Customers are wanting their decks to be as much of a fashion statement as they are built well. A common question we get at Archadeck is, “what is the best way to have my deck boards run?”

We typically recommend running the deck boards on a diagonal for three reasons but there are exceptions to this:

1. This will normally allow us to build your deck without splices as most decks are designed wider than the actual projection away from the house.

2. This construction method allows for structural integrity as the boards span multiple floor joists and avoids “racking”

3. The diagonal pattern is pleasing to most of our customers from an aesthetic appeal standpoint.

The exceptions are as follows:

1. When using composite decking, most manufactures recommend spacing the floor joists 12″ on center when using composites due to the weight

2. When you are looking at cutting some cost and the dimensions of the deck are designed for standard lumber sizes to eliminate waste

To see some pretty deck board designs, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

If you want the best education on Trex composite decking, see our Trex page and Trex YouTube Channel

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this Trex Transcends composite deck and rail with architectural steps

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this Trex Transcends composite deck and rail with architectural steps

Archadeck of Charlotte has been designing and building Trex composite decks for over 18 years! We have so much knowledge and experience with the product that we developed an exclusive page just for Trex information and for our Trex YouTube video playlist on our channel!

We have dedicated an entire space in our web site to a photo gallery, design ideas, and learning we share from our 26 years experience with decks in Charlotte, NC. The You Tube channel has a vast array of designs and color choices for Trex Transcends composite decks and rail.

We even utilize Trex for things like outdoor showers, benches, walkways, porch walls, pergolas, and screen porch trim detail.

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

Lake Norman Outdoor Living Growth

Travertine Tile stone deck with iron rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

Travertine Tile stone deck with iron rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

Lake Norman is one of the largest lakes in the Carolina’s. Situated north and west of Charlotte, NC, it is hundreds of miles of shoreline with the perfect blend of privacy and happening areas. There are small coves that are great escapes, active boating and fishing areas, and gorgeous lake front homes that rival any wonderful beach front properties.

With all of the development of these homes on and around the lake, the residents want to enjoy Carolina’s ideal year around weather and be outside more and more. Even those with more modest homes are investing in grand outdoor living spaces. The spaces typically include a deck, a patio, a screen porch, an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, and elaborate outdoor kitchens.

The biggest growth seems to be in shade structures where you and your guests can be outside comfortably with a ceiling fan under the covered porch or patio and protected from the hot sun. The designs are endless and with the expanded growth in demand for outdoor living around Lake Norman, the features continue to push the envelope with all of the amenities we are accustomed to inside being designed and built for the outdoors! Go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com to see great Lake Norman outdoor spaces.

Beautiful Outdoor Living Spaces and Designs at Lake Norman, NC

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this composite deck, rail, and benches at Lake Norman

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this composite deck, rail, and benches at Lake Norman

Double-decker porch with brick and cedar colums and a dry deck system in Matthews, NC

Lake Norman is one of the largest lakes in the southeast. It offers hundreds of miles of shoreline, beautiful greenery and landscape, custom designed homes, all of the watersports and fishing imaginable on a lake, and the best of outdoor living spaces and designs! Some of the most beautiful design ideas and architectural integration comes from Lake Norman homeowners and at Archadeck of Charlotte, we are heavily involved in the design/ build phase of the outdoor spaces.

Most people have trouble visualizing what something might look like or what the possibilities are to enhance their backyards. We start with the homeowner’s wishes and concepts and bring them to life through 3D computer-aided design renderings to scale so that prior to building the structure, the homeowner can actually see how this will look on their exact home. It gives the homeowner the unique opportunity to make major or subtle changes to the design and giving them a great understanding of how this will impact not only the overall look of the project but also the cost.

From Mooresville, Cornelius, to Huntersville, Lake Norman has grown immensely over the past 15 years and more people are finding the outdoor so desirable that they are adding onto their homes rather than moving just to stay in the area. The schools are improved and the choices have improved.

The most common outdoor living spaces are to build a nice composite low-maintenance deck like Trex that allows for great views of the lake. We often design and build shade structures that keep the view available but also keep the sun from rendering the backyard useless. Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces are now as common as patios. To see a wide variety of designs and photos, visit http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

What is the most effective way to restore my deck?

Pressure-treated wood deck with English Lattice and pergola in Huntersville, NC by Archadeck

Pressure-treated wood deck with English Lattice and pergola in Huntersville, NC by Archadeck

Do you have a wooden deck that has seen better days? Are you concerned at all about deck safety and if your deck is going to withstand another season. There are several things to look for and different ways to handle these concerns.

First and foremost, you want to examine the structure of the deck itself. Are the footings solid? Are your columns in good shape holding the deck up? How about the floor joists? What kind of footings were used to originally construct the deck? The rail is another important feature to examine. Has it worked loose of time? Are all of the fasteners still engaged? Give it the old rattle test with you hand.

The most common areas for a deck to go are the actual decking boards themselves and the wood rail cap. When these begin to go bad, you have a few choices. You can sand and stain yourself if it has not rotten, you can call a professional deck restoration company such as Renew Crew of Charlotte and have it done for you, or you can get a professional to simply come out and give you a deck safety inspection such as Archadeck of Charlotte.

Deck safety inspections are often inexpensive and many companies such as Archadeck will deduct the cost of the inspection from the fix itself if they are hired to perform the deck restoration. If your deck is more than 4′ in the air and is over 10 years old, it is an excellent idea to have the deck thoroughly inspected. If the findings are the structure is in good shape, the best way to restore the deck is either to replace the deck boards and rail with a good grade of lumber or composite and this can be done relatively inexpensively! To get some good restoration ideas for your deck, go to our photo gallery at http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Charlotte deck builder discusses deck design and material options

Travertine Tile stone deck with iron rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

Travertine Tile stone deck with iron rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Archadeck of Charlotte designs and builds hundreds of decks every year since 1988. The one constant has been change. The options for a deck are numerous and allow for creativity in function and form.

As the largest Charlotte deck builder, Archadeck sees most every grade, drainage problems, difficult house designs, and space restrictions due to set backs or customer preferences. Loaded with a staff of experienced designers, here are some of the various options when designing a deck:

1. Multi-level decks

These are particularly effective when you are designing a deck that is large. It keeps it from looking like a giant appendage or rectangle and with the right designer, you can create separate meeting spaces and nooks to keep your grill or fire pit. When you have large elevation changes, it also affords for the multi-level design.

2. Material options

While pressure-treated southern yellow pine is still the largest substrate used in residential decking, composite decks like Trex and AZEK have picked up considerable share over the years. Their value is now often outweighing the cost differential for homeowners who do not want the constant maintenance. In addition, stone and tile decks are gaining in popularity as people want a higher end look for the outdoor living spaces. For the real creative tasted, mixing materials such as stone borders with composite in-lays are a great option.

3. Railing

The building code for the Carolina’s insists on have a 3′ rail of some type once your deck structure is more than 30″ off grade. Independent of your decking substrate choice, people have multiple options for railing and mix many times. Once again, pressure-treated wood rail is still the most popular due to price, but wood rail with powder-coated aluminum pickets is a close second now. There are options of vinyl rails, iron rails, composite rails, and even stone and brick posts with metal or composite in between.

To get some great ideas on deck and rail designs, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com and visit the deck photo gallery!

Outdoor TV’S…what do I need?

With evolution in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding market moving even at a faster pace from the inside of their home to outdoor living, there are more and more features that people want to enjoy outdoors. A fast growing one is outdoor TV’s. The leader in the category of outdoor televisions is Sunbrite , they practically own the category.

The question is, do I need an outdoor rated TV or not if I cover the TV with a roof? The answer is…it depends.

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this outdoor living space featuring a Sunbrite outdoor TV and stone outdoor fireplace

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this outdoor living space featuring a Sunbrite outdoor TV and stone outdoor fireplace

The advantages of the outdoor TV is the equipment is literally built to withstand the elements of hot or cold. In addition, the non-reflective screen keeps the glare off and allows you to see a perfect picture even on a bright and sunny day!

If you have a roof over your deck or patio and the TV is completely covered and out of the elements, a standard TV should be fine for years ( I know that personally). Having said that, with an outdoor space and depending on how much you watch, investing in a product like Sunbrite can be well worth the investment! As a Sunbrite dealer, we supply them at our cost when we design and build outdoor living spaces at Archadeck of Charlotte. To find photos of outdoor living designs, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com