How do I choose the correct paint or stain color for my screen porch or covered patio?

Screen Porch by Archadeck of Charlotte with outdoor fireplace and pergola

Screen Porch by Archadeck of Charlotte with outdoor fireplace and pergola

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this gazebo style screen porch with Cabot Stain

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this gazebo style screen porch with Cabot Stain

How would I go about choosing the appropriate paint and/or stain color for my screen porch? We have 25 years experience at Archadeck of Charlotte designing and building screen porches and covered patios.

The first thing we look at is the existing trim color of the home. Is this a color you are going to stay with? If so, it makes sense to paint the porch columns the same color and the house trim to make it appear as if the porch came with the house and was not an after thought!

Secondly, what look are you going for in your outdoor living space? Do you prefer a more rustic porch? Are you looking to have a soothing or uplifting ceiling? Dark stains are quite in vogue today and give a deep and rich feeling to the room.

Finally, think about maintenance considerations. Generally speaking, stain is going to be lower maintenance than paint and does not show dirt as readily! To get great color ideas for your screen porch, go to



How do I know if I have to replace my deck or I can use the existing structure and simply replace the boards?

How do you know when your deck needs to be replaced completely versus simply replacing the deck boards and rail? Experience tells us the life expectancy of the wood structure is somewhere betweeen 20 – 30 years depending on how it was constructed and maintained.

Once your deck hits the 20 year mark, it would be a good time to have a professional come out and assess the wood itself, the method in which it was fastened, and the supports that carry the load. There are certain conditions that can determine the longevity of the deck such as the soil and the grade of the land. Soil and erode over time and the footings can be exposed which makes the integrity of the structure weaken considerably.

Wood decks need to be sealed either with paint or stain to keep it from the harsh weathering of the sun. In addition, building codes change every 2 – 4 years on how decks are to be constructed and fastened. There are times that simple enhancements can be made to your existing deck to bring it up to the current building codes for safety concerns.

To gather more information, go to  or call 704-944-1350 and ask about a free deck safety inspection.


Archadeck of Charlotte wins all of the major awards at the 2012 Annual Awards Banquet!

Top deck and outdoor living builder, Archadeck of Charlotte won all of the major awards at the 2012 awards banquet held in Charleston, SC. Like most every year since it’s inception (1988), Archadeck of Charlotte was the largest franchise amongst all of the national Archadeck franchises.

Archadeck of Charlotte was also recognized for Outstanding Customer Service award based on surveys from its large customer base. In addition, both Mark Norton and Mike Luick were honored as the two top individual sales people in the country. Mark Norton and Eric Kent won the best design awards for hardscapes and porch and patio categories.

Archadeck of Charlotte is celebrating its 25th year in business and has amazingly completed over 22,000 projects and sold close to $100mm in projects. They are also a growing Charlotte based employer. For more information, go to


What is the proper depth for deck footings and material to use?

For those of you that wonder what is the proper depth to dig footings for your deck columns and the best material to use, this blog by Archadeck of Charlotte will give you the answers!

Depending on where you live geographically, will help determine the answer. Up north where the frost line is deeper, it is common to have to dig your footers 3 – 4 ft deep and pour concrete. Down in the Charlotte, NC market it is only necessary to go 12 – 18″. It is common to use 2 – 16×16 cinder blocks stacked to provide a solid footing for the 6×6 columns to sit on. It is not necessary to add concrete on top of that unless you cannot find solid soil or the deck is unusually high off grade.

Finding solid soil can sometimes be a challenge. In rare cases we run across what is called “bull tallow” soil. This feels like quick sand in that you can take a prod and it will go straight through the soil. In this event,  a soil engineer will be required to design a footing that will be structurally sound and safe for the deck to be built on. Deck building in Charlotte does have its own codes.

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

To gain more perspective and get hundred of deck and outdoor living photos, go to

Looking to build a deck in Charlotte?

Are you looking to build a deck in Charlotte? Here are some tips from the largest single deck builder in the Carolinas?Image

First, do your research! Go and look at at least 3 – 4 decks that the deck builder has done NEAR your home. This will insure he knows the local building codes, the landscape of the area, and you can find out how the experience was with the homeowner’s. Secondly, think about materials you may want to use on the deck. Whether you want the authentic look of a real wood deck, the low-maintenance of a composite deck like Trex, or the exquisite beauty of a Brazilian hardwood material such as Ipe.

Charlotte deck building continues to expand into alternative designs and elevations. It is now common to see multi-level decks, decks with built in outdoor kitchens and fire features, and deck lighting is more popular than ever! When you look to build a deck in Charlotte, check out the following web site for great deck photo’s:

What is the price difference between wood decks and composite decks?

As a Charlotte deck builder that builds over 400 decks each and every year, we want to share our answer to one of the most common questions we get asked. What is the price difference between a wood deck and a composite deck?

Pressure-treated wood deck with wood rail and Deckorator Baroque pickets in Charlotte, NC

Custom built pressure-treated wood deck and rail with Deckorator Baroque style pickets with low-voltage deck lights and a paver patio

If a consumer were to price the difference at Home Depot or Lowes, they would see the price per board would be almost triple in North Carolina and South Carolina. However, when you purchase from a professional deck builder that has significant purchasing power, you should expect to pay approximately 40% more for a brand new composite deck versus and brand new wood deck. Additional factors include that the labor rate is the same and the sub-structure is going to be wood either way. So, the only additional cost is of the deck boards themselves. Railing is an entirely different issue because people tend to mix and match rails out of wood, metal, composite, vinyl, and stone. To get additional information, go to

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

Free hour of Handyman Service Facebook Promotion!

Value Remodelers (, an Archadeck of Charlotte company (, is giving away 1-free hour of its handyman service simply for signing up 5 friends to “like” Archadeck’s facebook page ( This is a wonderful way to get an amazing value and help out Archadeck with building their Facebook presence.

Value Remodelers does everything from gutter cleaning, rotten wood replacement, roof repair, window replacement to cleaning and sealing decks! This is a wonderful offer by simply clicking through the link above to Archadeck’s Facebook page and getting 5 friends to “like” the page. Then you will be entitled to 1-free hour of work (value at $50/hour).