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

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Not your grandmother’s porch and deck railings!

Screen porches and decks have traditional thinkers seeing wood rail with either white painted pickets or stained to match the deck or porch. The south has always been a huge wood market due to the low cost since we grow the southern yellow pine and the freight is negligible.

Today’s deck & porch railings come in many different substrates, colors, and styles. The traditional wood railings are still around and we believe always will be. What we are finding to be more and more common are the use of powder-coated aluminum pickets like one from a brand called Deckorator railings.

The advantage of the metal pickets are that they are low-maintenance, attractive, open up the view into the backyard since they are thinner than the wood pickets, and come in a variety of shapes!

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum balluster by Dekorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum baluster by Deckorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

Composite Railing is also gaining a lot of market share. The advantages to composite are similar to the metal pickets in that they are very low maintenance. They also come in larger color variety and shapes. Some of the leading brands include Trex and Timber Tech composite railings.

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this Trex Tropics Spiced Rum composite deck

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this Trex Tropics Spiced Rum composite deck

Vinyl railing is primarily white but again is very low-maintenance and like the others, cannot rot out! To view all of the different porch and railing options, try our photo gallery at http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Zen Deck design for outdoor relaxation

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this deck and pergola

Composite deck and pergola in Charlotte

Why is that the outdoors brings us an inner peace? Isn’t it ironic that we live indoors but are happiest and at the most peace outdoors?

A few years ago customers approached us at Archadeck of Charlotte and wanted an outdoor platform to practice Yoga, meditation, and various other spiritual rituals and stretching. The simple idea of a “Zen Deck” was born by creating and outdoor platform right outside the door of the home where you can grab a mat or rug and enjoy the outdoors in a very convenient way!

We can design and size, shape, or height with the natural materials such as this photo or with low-maintenance composite materials! To get great design ideas and information, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.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

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

Considerations for deck designs by a Charlotte Deck Builder…Archadeck

There are thousands of homeowner’s who attempt to build their own decks each and every year with varying degrees of success. At Archadeck of Charlotte, we often get called by these people as they want to see if we can build the deck as cheaply as they can. The answer is probably not.

While there a some very talented consumers that have the capability of digging holes and screwing boards together, very few actually can build the deck safely or up to building code requirements. Fewer still have any ideas on how to actually design the deck to maximize functionality and provide great aesthetics.

Archadeck of Charlotte custom designed Trex deck

Charlotte Deck Builder (Archadeck) custom designed composite deck

Here are some considerations from a Charlotte deck builder that has designed and constructed well over 20,000 projects in the past 23 years, Archadeck of Charlotte:

1. Look at the grade of your yard to determine how many steps will be needed to bring you down to grade.

2. Determine the best area to design and build the stairway based on which side of the deck you want to exit to get to areas of the backyard, which way people are likely to come around from the front yard, what obstacles are going to be in the way of your new stairway, consider to stairways…

3. Level changes on decks can add great aesthetic value and character, a major consideration however is where do you make the level change and how much functional space does that leave each level

4. Rail materials and design are what your neighbors can see when they look across your backyard. There are multiple options here and aside for aesthetics, consider what rail designs may or may not obstruct view.

For more deck design ideas, check out our YouTube site as well as our photo gallery at 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