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

Planning on installing Trex Composite Decking yourself?

Trex Composite dekcing installed by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex Transcends composite deck and fascia in Charlotte, NC

Are you planning on installing Trex Composite decking yourself? There are a few things you should really consider before attempting to do this.

1. How much experience do you have structuring decks?

2. Do you have the appropriate tools to cut and secure with?

3. Are you familiar with the warranty requirements and installation instructions?

4. Are you familiar with the structural support requirements as composite decking is heavier than wood?

Purchasing Trex or any other composite decking is not inexpensive. We have seen many “do-it-yourselfers” really screw up the job and it ends up costing far more than if they had hired a professional in the first place!

Trex requires a 12″ on center joist spacing if you are going to install the deck boards on a diagonal. You also need to make sure you have the appropriate saw blade. In addition, there are various fasteners to choose from, many of which do not work well with Trex. To understand more about composite decking and installation, visit charlotte.archadeck.com

What are the best options for pool decks and spa decks?

wood deck with hot tub and low voltage deck lights

outdoor living room with custom deck and hot tub

Pool decks and spa decks are growing in popularity once again as our economy heats up. At Archadeck of Charlotte we have seen a large increase in demand, in particular for hot tub/ spa decks. 

The options are many but they are easily narrowed down by your particular circumstances and wants. Materials range from natural woods, stone, and concrete to synthetic materials such a “Cool Deck” and composite materials such as Trex Composite Decking and Railing.

If you want your pool or spa deck to be low maintenance, Trex or other synthetic materials are ideal! If you are looking to keep the costs down, a concrete slab or pressure-treated wood deck are going to be viable options. 

What is most helpful if to contact a professional deck builder and deck designer who can walk you through not only the material options but the options for the deck height for the most functional way to design the access in and out of the hot tub or pool. To see great hot tub deck designs and pool deck designs, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com  

How often do I need to seal/stain my deck?

How often should you seal/stain your deck? This question gets answered everyday at Archadeck of Charlotte!

After building over 20,000 decks, we have a good idea. Decks that are exposed to afternoon sunlight will require staining more often than others. Different wood species will also weather differently. The most used decking in Charlotte, NC is by far pressure-treated pine. If it is exposed to direct sunlight, your best bet is to seal it annually. If on the other hand it is not, every 2-3 years is sufficient. Composite decking will never need sealing but still require cleaning (products like Trex decking).

The Brazilian hardwoods like IPE don’t require stain but will silver out rather quickly not keeping their rich initial color. To gather more information, go to http://www.Charlotte.Archadeck.com

Archadeck deck in Charltte with fire pit

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pretty stained deck and fire pit

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

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