What are the problems today with Trex decks?

Through out the years of composite decking, there have been numerous problems with quality and customer satisfaction. Trex composite decking is far and away the best known brand in the category and had its share of challenges early on.

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

 

Trex developed a newer version with enhanced technology to address the common issues found with most composite decking.

What problems are there still with today’s Trex? Next to none! We have installed over  a $5mm in Trex decking in the past few years and have not had call backs. The product they refer to as Trex Transcends has a protective cap stock that prevents fading, scratching, and even staining from occurring. They even provide a 25-year warranty against these issues now.

Timber Tech Earthwoods Teak composite deck and Black Radiance Composite Rail

Archadeck of Charlotte custom designed and built this TimberTech Earthwoods Teak Composite deck and Black Radiance Rail

 

At Archadeck of Charlotte, we could not be more please with the product quality and aesthetics of the product. For all of the negative publicity the category has received over the years, the product enhancements are remarkable and dependable. As a Trex Pro Platinum installer, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com for a great photo gallery of outdoor living spaces.

Are people building more wood decks or Trex decks today?

Like everything else in life, people want to know the latest trends. Are people building more with pressure-treated wood or composite decking like Trex?

Each year we are building more and more composite decks here in Charlotte, NC. The drivers remain the same, low-maintenance and long lasting investment. We have people moving here from the north all the time who have already had Trex decks and can’t imagine going back to wood.

The only two reasons people select wood decks are a much lower price point or if they just love the feel of real wood. The older objection from composite decking was that is looked like “fake wood”. With all of the technology enhancements, Trex has been able to replicate a real wood grain with a variety of warm colors that appear to be everything from a stained deck to a real Brazilian Hardwood deck.

We are building about 50% with Trex decking this year. The category is only about 20 years old so the increase has been dramatic. To see the most complete Trex photo gallery, visit our Charlotte Trex decks photo gallery.

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 http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

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

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!

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

What is the price now for Trex decking or composite decking in general?

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

Depending on where you live in the country, the price of Trex decking or composite decking in general varies. It is still expensive versus pressure-treated wood in the southern United States. When you live in the north, the weather tends to be harsher and people generally are not building with Southern Yellow Pine like we do in the south. Up North, there is a fair amount of Brazilian Hardwoods such as IPE or Tigerwood being used and they are even more expensive than a composite deck.

In the south, there is a bundle of Southern Yellow Pine that gets harvested here and there is little transportation cost built in. By the time the product gets on to the back of someone’s deck, pine is about 1/3 of the price of composite if you are simply comparing boards pricing. Once you consider the labor, fasteners, and the wood sub-structure, a Trex or composite deck is only about 40% more than a wood deck.

If you want to see the best of wood, composite, and Brazilian Hardwood decks, check out the photo gallery for decks at www.charlotte.archadeck.com