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!

How much sun comes through a pergola versus a porch roof?

Trex deck with pergola and composite rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex deck with pergola and composite rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

The famous question….how much sun protection will a pergola provide? What are the advantages of a pergola versus a porch roof?

At Archadeck of Charlotte we get asked this question almost daily! The answer lies in how the pergola is constructed. For example, the closer you space your rafters and perlins, the more sun protection you will receive. This is not to say it will stop all of the sun, but then again, neither will a roof. If you think about it, the sun moves all day long and your roof and or pergola of course are stationery. At any given time, the sun may peak under the roof as well. What both the pergola and the roof provide are some protection. The primary difference comes when you have rain, then the roof is the better protection by a long shot.

One solution to provide rain protection on a pergola is to cover it with either a canvas or metal pan system. There are some very nice products on the market now to cover a pergola with and you can get many design ideas at http://www.charlotte.archadeck. com

In the end, pergola’s can provide quite a bit of protection depending on how they are designed and the additional features you may choose to add to them. Talk to a professional who can guide you through the various options and prices!

Today’s decks are anything but square…deck design ideas

Unique deck with multiple levels and an outdoor fireplace in South Charlotte by Archadeck

Unique deck with multiple levels and an outdoor fireplace in South Charlotte by Archadeck

Trex Composite dekcing installed by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex Transcends composite deck and fascia in Charlotte, NC

Like most outdoor living spaces, decks have gone through an evolutionary change. Gone are the days of square and rectangular decks. At a minimum, people want corners that are on a 45 degree cut. That’s just the beginning! As people have moved from inside the home to outdoors, they want unique deck design features.

At Archadeck of Charlotte, we began seeing this evolution about 7 years ago and it has accelerated. People are looking at multi-level decks as creating areas of interest, even if it’s just one-step down or elevated. There are wonderful spaces being designed into the deck that create family or small group gatherings with comfortable benches and furniture. Deck boards are being installed in multiple directions to create more visual interest. Deck boards are being installed as a picture frame around the entire deck and stained in a different color much like a beautiful photograph.

Trex, the leading manufacturer of composite decking sends out wonderful design ideas from their multitude of professional installers that is a frequent reference guide.We are seeing outdoor fireplaces being installed on and next to decks, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and even Green Eggs in built-ins.

Deck designs are so unique that movie sets are looking for ways to glamorize their scenes with unique outdoor spaces. In many ways, living outdoors has become the vogue. For great deck designs, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Ideas for your outdoor living space (What haven’t I thought of for the porch/ patio?)

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this outdoor fireplace on a flagstone patio with dual sitting walls

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this outdoor fireplace on a flagstone patio with dual sitting walls

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 Green Egg and outdoor living space built by Archadeck of Charlotte

A very common question we get is “what haven’t I thought of for my porch/ patio? Can you give me some additional ideas of trends whether they are functional or simply aesthetic value?

Archadeck of Charlotte designs and builds outdoor living spaces in the Carolinas and has done so for over the past 25 years. There are several newer trends and ideas we can share for your outdoor space.

Water features are a very hot trend right now. You can do something simple like a small waterfall that has a soothing noise and adds beauty or design and build a pond with a waterfall.

Fire features to extend your outdoor living to year around include fire pits and fire places. We design them incorporated with structures like covered patios and porches or free standing on patios and decks.

Outdoor lighting is the perfect accent for evening functionality, safety and ambiance.

Outdoor heaters can be very effective again on a covered porch or open patio.

Shade structures are a must in the Carolina’s as the hot sun can make it uncomfortable without them!

There is an extensive photo gallery available to get outdoor living design ideas at http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Winterizing your outdoor living space (winterizing your porch)

Screen Porch with EZ Breeze windows and stone outdoor fireplace

Stone outdoor fireplace with Eze Breeze windows in screen porch

stone patio with stone outdoor fireplace

Outdoor fireplace and patio in Charlotte

Screen Porch with wood burning stone fireplace

Archadeck of Charlotte design and built this screen porch and stone outdoor fireplace

What are the best ways to winterize your outdoor living space or porch? There are several ways to extend the time you are able to spend outdoors, specifically in the Carolinas!

The most popular way to winterize your outdoor living space is by adding a fire feature. This could mean something as simple as a fire pit or a real focal feature like an outdoor fireplace.  If you have a covered patio or screen porch, you can even have the outdoor fireplace integrated into the structure.

PGT Industries has been manufacturing its Eze Breeze window porch enclosure product for years now. In the greater Charlotte area, these are a wonderful to enclose your porch and with the aid of an outdoor fireplace or space heater, you can be outside year around.

To see a tremendous photo gallery of design ideas or more information on these products, go to charlotte.archadeck.com