Popular deck flooring options in Charlotte

What are the most popular deck flooring options in the Charlotte, NC market? For years it was good old pressure-treated southern yellow pine decking. Today, there are many alternatives and some are taking serious market share.

Above you will see Brazilian hardwood deck called Ipe. This product is known for its durability and beauty and is referred to often as “Ironwood”. The deck next to it has travertine stone tile overlooking Lake Wylie in South Carolina. This provides a very finished look with very low maintenance. Travertine comes in a variety of colors and sizes as well.

Composite decking such as Trex or Azek has grown substantially in popularity primarily for their low-maintenance characteristics. In addition, the manufacturers have done a great job making them appear more like real wood! To see an extensive gallery of deck options, go to arhcadeckofcharlotte.com

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 www.charlotte.archadeck.com

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:  www.charlotte.archadeck.com

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 www.charlotte.archadeck.com

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

Deck designs for outdoor living spaces in Charlotte and drainage implications

What should be considered when looking for a deck design for your outdoor living space? Most people think of the type of material first or look at ideas in magazines. We at Archadeck of Charlotte recommend you first look at two things; the architecture your home and the functionality you envision. The outdoor living space is increasingly important to people in terms of quality of life and resale value. Decks make a lot of sense if your home is built off grade or has a slope to it as it will not be harmed or disrupt drainage issues. We feel that it is so important to look at the outside and back of your home first to insure the design of your deck is incorporated into the whole look so it does not feel like an addition but is an extension of your home that flows seamlessly. Making your deck have mutliple levels, angles, and patterns all add to the beauty of the project. Materials can be mixed and matched to meet low-maintenance preferences, aesthetics, and of course, budget. To get some free ideas, check out both our web site at http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com and our Archadeck of Charlotte YouTube videos.

TimberTech Earthwoods Rosewood Composite deck and rail
Multi-level and pattern composite deck design by Archadeck with composite rail

Composite Decks the latest technology and the best bets!

Consumers really have a difficult time getting through all of the information on the various brands, technology, and styles of low-maintenance composite decks that are available. This blog will help you the consumer make some sense out of all of this and share with you the best bets from a nationally recognized custom deck builders perspective!

Trex invented the category of composite decking over 15 years ago. The category started with a combination of reclaimed wood and low-density polyethelene that was produced as a “no maintenance” deck board. Shortly thereafter, the demand grew and so did the competition with brands like Choice Deck, Smart Deck, Timber Tech, and so on. By 2003, there were over 40 different composite manufacturers all competing for shelf space at the local levels. Like any other high growth category, there needed to be a “weeding out” of competition and let the strong survive. In addition, there were inherit problems with the technology and what the consumer wanted. The deck board while “low-maintenance” certainly was not “no-maintenance”. Most of the boards had a propensity to scratch easily, stain, and fade.  A smaill company called Procell came along with no wood in their formulation at all and quickly started to make a name for themselves as they could promote even lower maintenace as the board did not scratch or stain. Most of the major players jumped into this “ultra-low maintenance” category by removing all wood from their product and mostly PVC. There are still some flaws with the value proposition as it looks a little too fake and the price was even higher than the original composite materials.

    Last year (2009) Trex introduced an “ultra-low maintenance” board called Transcends that put them back in the leadership role in the industry. This product combined the value proposition of an all pvc board and the original composite through taking the original technology as the main part of the board and putting a pvc and acrylic cap stock around it to provide protection from staining, fading, and scratching. In addition, the board has an attractive wood grain with great colors that meet today’s consumers tastes. TimberTech is now introducing Earthwoods Evolutions that also is a capped product with a great color pallet. Both the Trex Transcends and the TimberTech Evolutions feature the latest technology with a strong value proposition without the exorbitant price of an all PVC board! Archadeck of Charlotte is one of the nations largest custom deck builders. We can use any of the boards available but only want to feature products that are produced by well financed companies that can back up their claims. Check out our photo galleries to see these products and many complimentary outdoor living products.  http://charlotte.archadeck.com  or http://archadeckofcharlotte.com

TimberTech Earthwoods Composite Deck boards are the most authentic appearing in Charlotte!

As one of the largest deck builders in the country, we get a chance to see every composite deck board that comes along. We actively install Trex, TimberTech, and a few others as they are long standing well backed companies that take care of customer issues. We started installing TimberTech Earthwoods composite decking about 3 years ago and it is beautiful. It really replicates hardwood boards and comes in 3 great colors that match virtually and exterior. We have a video on Youtube http://bit.ly/deoSiw and great photo galleries at http://www.archadeckofcharlotte.com or http://charlotte.archadeck.com where you can see the TimberTech Earthwoods deck boards and composite railing.