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.

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 Living Spaces …ideas for Cornelius, NC and Lake Norman

Cornelius_deck_and_porch_with_travertine_stone

This particular multi-level deck has travertine tile on one level. Travertine Turkish tile is a very popular tile for outdoor projects. Spice up your space with a variety of floor coverings such as a wood space contrasted with a tile or paver space.

In the Carolina’s, Lake Norman and the city of Cornelius are synonymous with outdoor living. The area boasts some of the most beautiful neighborhoods from The Pointe to The Peninsula and many others. There are miles and miles of shoreline and wonderful homes that outline the lake.

Homeowner’s in Cornelius and Mooresville, NC are constantly in search of the latest trends in outdoor living whether it be covered decks, stone patios, trellises, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, or outdoor fireplaces. Most of the projects are being designed with multiple outdoor living spaces that may be multi-tiered and include a variety of materials. Archadeck of Charlotte, a 26-year old design/build company has been designing outdoor spaces around Lake Norman and has extensive design and construction expertise. The company has a wonderful outdoor show room or can direct you to homes in your neighborhood to get great ideas!

Low-maintenance materials are in more demand than ever now. With the humid climate in the area, composite decking such as Trex or TimberTech, are quite popular especially where there is a second story or raised elevation. These decks can cascade down to beautiful stone or paver patios and each space serves separate purposes. The top deck is great to station your grill our outdoor kitchen while the lower patio may have a fire feature and family gathering area. To get more ideas, visit http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

What are the top 3 ways to repair your deck?

Pressure-treated wood deck that is multi-tiered and designed and built by Archadeck of Charlotte

Pressure-treated wood deck that is multi-tiered and designed and built by Archadeck of Charlotte

If you simply need to bring your deck up to speed, there are 3 simple things that can be done to repair your deck or even enhance the deck.

First, make sure your footings are solid as this is the foundation that keeps your deck upright and level. This can be achieved by using a level and then figuring out which of the footings are out of level. You would then dig around the footing and expose it. Make sure it is properly dug to the correct depth per the code in our area and reinforced with concrete.

Secondly, most deck issues are with the hand rail and deck boards as they are exposed to the sun. If the boards are not rotten, take a palm sander, smooth out the splinters then come back and clean and seal the deck boards.

Finally, you may have simple cupping or deck boards lifting off of the joists. Take a screw gun and make sure you hit the floor joist solidly to get a good grip on it.

If you need assistance or want to see great deck examples, go to charlotte.archadeck.com

Can you place a fire pit on a deck?

Archadeck of Charlotte built this Trex Transcends Spice Rum composite deck with a composite bench and stone fire pit that is gas burning

Archadeck of Charlotte built this Trex Transcends Spice Rum composite deck with a composite bench and stone fire pit that is gas burning

Can you really place a fire pit on a deck? The answer technically is yes. Archadeck of Charlotte has been doing it for the past several years and has consulted with local building code officials to do it legally and as safely as possible.

The safest ways to build a fire pit on a deck is to use gas logs as you can then control the flame. If you really want a wood-burning fire pit, you want to keep it at least 10 feet from your home and control the amount of wood you place in the pit. You will also want to think about building the pit a bit taller in order to handle the ashes.

Building a stone fire pit on a deck is more cost effective if your deck is low to the ground as you will need a footing directly under it to handle the weight. The taller the deck, the taller the support structure will need to be to handle it and therefore increase the cost of the project. If you would like to see more ideas on fire pits and decks, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com