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.

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 are the hottest color trends with Trex Transcends composite deck and rail?

The latest and hottest colors for Trex Transcends decking are Island Mist ( a beautiful gray with a black streaker/ variegated) and continues to be Spiced Rum (featured above with the fire pit on it).

Trex continues to be the market leader in both share and innovation. When Trex launched their Transcends and Tropics line over 7 years ago, it changed the industry once again. The cap stock they added to their product allowed them to put a no fade and no stain warranty on their product and simultaneously improved the aesthetics with a more realistic wood grain and vibrant relevant color selections.

A trend we are seeing really heat up is mixing colors on the deck with borders, intricate in-lays, fascia boards, stair risers, and of course the various rail options.

Archadeck of Charlotte is a Trex Pro Platinum installer (the only one in Charlotte, NC) and we install hundreds of decks annually. We have worked closely with Trex and have a seat on their Advisory Board. The rail choices range from the matching Trex Transcends rail, to adding powder-coated aluminum pickets, to glass rail inserts, to an all aluminum rail, or going to a contrasting rail color like an all white or all black rail. To see a complete photo gallery of Trex products, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com.

 

Deck Design Ideas from Archadeck

Would you like some innovative and current deck design ideas? Archadeck of Charlotte designs thousands of decks each year. We thought we would share how to get started and what to consider when designing your new outdoor space.

Hot tub deck with a privacy fence and outdoor shower by Archadeck of Charlotte

Located in Charlotte, NC this backyard oasis was designed and constructed by Archadeck. It includes a pool deck, screened porch, covered outdoor kitchen and dining area, firepit and raised spa deck.

Where to begin? We suggest with thinking about size. How many people will commonly populate the space? What are your limitations in terms of setbacks according to your individual property survey? What pre-existing obstructions need to be considered such as plantings, trees, irrigation, drainage, vents on the back of the house, gas lines, etc… ?

What materials should you use? Some of these questions should be considered once you have established a realistic budget for the project by doing some research! Pressure-treated wood is a cost effective solution that will not rot. Composite decking such as Trex Transcends is a wonderful low-maintenance alternative that is now available in a variety of wood colors and patterns. Perhaps you are looking for a Brazilian hardwood such as Ipe? There are great masonry options such at Travertine stone decking materials.

Trex Transcends composite deck with a hot tub recessed onto a cement pad and composite beching for the ideal

Trex Transcends composite deck with a hot tub recessed onto a cement pad and composite beching for the ideal relaxing backyard!

If it’s a second story deck, perhaps you may want to utilize a dry deck system below so that it creates 2 distinct outdoor spaces economically and put a patio below?

Designing decks with shape to them has become very popular. Whenever we add shape to the deck, we have to consider the additional square footage that may be required so that we keep enough functional space where we need it. Perhaps we think about a bump out for the grill?

Pressure-treated wood deck stained with pergola and outdoor kitchen by Archadeck of Charlotte

Pressure-treated wood deck stained with pergola and outdoor kitchen by Archadeck of Charlotte

Accessory items on the deck that are popular today include pergolas for shade, solid roof structures for shade and protection from precipitation. In addition, built-in outdoor kitchens are growing in popularity with the simplicity of just a grill with counter top to a full range of appliances.

In addition, we have added outdoor fireplaces built right into the decks as well as fire pits. Deck lighting is quite practical and attractive. To find the best in deck designs, go to charlotte.archadeck.com and www.trex.com

We all know decks can be made of low maintenance decking. Can pergolas and porches be made to have lower maintenance too?

Low-maintenance in outdoor living has been a growing trend over the past two decades. It seems that while the appetite to move outdoors has grown, so the desire to have products that require little to no maintenance.

Decks have led the way in this category. Trex came on the scene 20 years ago and revolutionized the way we think about product attributes. There have been many other providers such as Azek and others that have jumped in and flourished in the low-maintenance category.

Trex Transcends composite deck with a hot tub recessed onto a cement pad and composite beching for the ideal

Trex Transcends composite deck with a hot tub recessed onto a cement pad and composite beching for the ideal relaxing backyard!

So what about screen porches, covered patio’s, pergola’s, and other outdoor products? Here is what we have found over our 27 years in the design/ build outdoor living space.

Pergola’s were one of the first additional products that were tackled and it was achieved using PVC or vinyl as a substrate. While these are still available, they are approximately 3 times more in pricing and are usually made is standard sizes rather than custom. The other knock on the vinyl pergola’s is they are a bit shiny or not natural in appearance.

PVC trim is a category that has flourished as a low-maintenance alternative to wood. The use of trim boards has been expanded to include wrapping posts on porches and pergolas, soffit and fascia, and any type of exterior trim application. While it again is more costly, this is an area that has not met the price resistance of the pergola’s primarily because it is a smaller ticket and so the overall cost does not seem to be a barrier.

To find dozens of low maintenance alternative products, go to charlotte.archadeck.com and the photo gallery!

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

Ideas for placing your hot tub on a deck

Hot Tub in a custom screen room with stone skirting by Archadeck of Charlotte

Hot Tub in a custom screen room with stone skirting by Archadeck of Charlotte

Can a deck hold the weight of a hot tub? How and where should I place my hot tub in my backyard?

Here are some ideas from a pro that will help guide you through the options!

Decks can be structured to hold the weight of a hot tub by using load calculations of the hot tub completely filled with water. It requires closer joist spacing and more footings per square foot. The hot tub can sit on top of the deck, be slightly recessed, or completely recessed. The height in which you decide you want the tub recessed should be thought through as to who are the primary users of the tub and how easy is it for them to climb in versus step down?

Pressure -treated wood decks, composite decks such at Trex, or masonry raised patios can all be used as platforms to house hot tubs. It has been our experience that the closer we place the hot tub or spa to the house, the more use you will actually get out of the tub

Trex Transcends composite deck with a hot tub recessed onto a cement pad and composite beching for the ideal

Trex Transcends composite deck with a hot tub recessed onto a cement pad and composite beching for the ideal relaxing backyard!

Designing privacy screening on the sides of the tub is a good idea if you prefer to keep your affairs private! In addition, designing a structure such as a screen porch around the hot tub is a choice or option for some! To get various design ideas for your outdoor spa, go to http://www.charlotte. archadeck.com

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