Some contractors don’t disappear

Hiring contractors can be a scary experience. Being a contractor can be a frustrating experience – for the same reason. The bad contractors ruin it for everyone. Bad contractors leave a bad taste and often shoddy work in their trail making homeowners leery of engaging a contractor to do business at their home.  As a reputable contractor doing business here in the Macon/Warner Robins area for over 26 years, we often meet homeowners that have expectations of sub-par value and communication that is even worse.

Deck-Fiberon Protect-Warner Robins GA 750When looking for a builder, there are a couple great litmus tests to apply to a contractor but all of those won’t tell you whether that contractor will be around 5, 10 or more years in the future if something goes wrong.

Recently a past client gave me a call. My team built his deck about 11 years prior. The client was replacing a few “rotten” deck boards himself and had some questions. I remembered the homeowner and set a date to go take a look at the deck. Pressure-treated wood is warrantied against fungal rot and termites for the life of the project or 45 years by the wood manufacturer. Regardless, the Archadeck plate is affixed to that gentleman’s deck and we stand behind our work.

Fiberon Protect-Deck-Warner Robins 750The homeowner noted that some of the deck boards and joist were rotting. Usually when someone says their deck is rotting it is actually not fungal rot, but a loss of structural integrity due to lack of maintenance. The sun and rain are very destructive to pressure treated lumber if it is not maintained properly. However, when I inspected the deck I found some of the joists were actually rotting from fungus! This is something I’ve virtually never seen. I also noticed that Restore paint had been used on the decking boards. We do suspect this contributed to the condition of the deck boards because it does not allow wet boards to dry. But the joist should not have been affected and regardless there should not have been “rot” from fungus. The homeowners did not realize that this was covered by the ArchadeckWarrantyy but I did. So, I explained to our clients that we were going to take care of this issue.

Now that the homeowners knew we were going to replace the joists that were rotting and were going to do this at no charge to them, they decided to upgrade the decking to a composite decking to alleviate annual maintenance in the future. I did this at a discount just to cover the labor in replacing the joists and installing the new decking boards. It’s our busiest time of the year and losing a crew for a week is painful; but our past clients are just as important as our new ones, whether those homeowners have been with us 1 month, 12 months, 11 years or more.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrIf you are considering adding a porch, deck, patio or other space to your Central GA area home, give Archadeck of Central GA a call for a free consultation at (478) 745 – 2000. We look forward to your call.

To see hundreds of great pictures, watch Archadeck of Central GA videos, or read customer reviews and testimonials, visit our Archadeck of Central GA website.

 

When you have a great porch, but also want some sun

These homeowners had a great porch. They could enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors with cover overhead to ensure neither rain nor the sometimes blazing hot Georgia sun forced them indoors. But, there were all too many times they wanted to feel the sun on their backs and enjoy the Georgia sun on the many days it wasn’t too hot outside. Since they had a lot of trees in their backyard, those trees provided a good bit of shade to call for a second outdoor living space for these homeowners.

There was a particular obstacle in adding a deck to their backyard. The porch was in the way! Sometimes the footprint of the yard, setbacks or house connection pose challenges in where and what size the outdoor addition can be.

The logical place to put a new deck would be the back door where the stairs go out from the breakfast nook. However, adding the deck there would obstruct the view from the breakfast nook.

Porch and Deck-TimberTech-MaconTogether with the homeowners, we decided to make the obstacle the solution. By adding a door to the back door of their existing porch, we were able to extend the deck out from the porch area allowing them to easily move from covered to open sun outdoor living.

Like many challenges, just when you thought you had solved one challenge, another appears. Right in the area where the back edge of the deck would go was a favorite tree. To accommodate the beloved tree, we built a bump out to the deck and integrated the tree into the deck. Take a look.

Macon-Tree-TimberTech-Deck 750

For the decking we used low-maintenance TimberTech decking in Caribbean Redwood. The standard pressure-treated railing is topped with a rail cap of the same decking material.

As you can see, there are quite a few benefits to working with a custom outdoor spaces builder. We work to accomplish your outdoor living goals ensuring to create the best solution that works with your home and yard.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrIf you are considering adding a porch, deck, patio or other space to your Central GA area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (478) 745 – 2000. We look forward to your call.

Sometimes adding a porch feels like putting a square peg in a round hole

Screen Porch-Macon GA-before 1400At Archadeck of Central GA, we have been called a few times by homeowners hoping to build a porch but their home configuration makes it very difficult to identify how to attach a roof to their home. Take a look at the back of this home before a porch was added. There are two facades at different depths each with their own gable roof.

The homeowners originally called us about 2 years ago to discuss how to tackle attaching a screened porch. After reviewing a couple design ideas, they were not ready to move forward yet. Fast forward to 2016. They were ready to move forward. We again worked with a couple different design ideas for how to connect a new porch to the complicated back of their home.

Screen Porch-Macon GA-after 1400

As you can see, the design solution complemented the double gable roof lines with a gable style roof on the new porch. The room does not obstruct the view from the bay window section on the center facade. We kept a portion of the existing deck structure but we changed out the decking boards and railings to make it look like new.

Take a look at the new porch from the side of the home.

Macon GA-screen porch-matching soffit 1

In order to build the size porch the homeowners wanted, we extended the porch out past the side of the home. We matched the trim, soffits and roofing to make sure the porch looked original to the home.

Now take a look at the inside of this screened porch below. Even from the image, you can appreciate the view the homeowners now have while enjoying both sun and bug protection. The gable roof creates a vaulted ceiling inside the porch. The gable end is open to let in as much light as possible. The header boards are trimmed for a slightly more elegant look while maintaining the rustic character of the exposed rafter ceiling. We used dark-colored narrow profile pickets to ensure the greatest visibility of the yard.

Macon GA-sceen porch-metal Balusters 1400

We have been called a number of times from homeowners whose home configuration makes it difficult to design how a new porch would attach to their home. We are always able to provide a solution. If other builders tell you it can’t be done, give us a call for a free consultation. As this job demonstrates, we accept these challenges head on and enjoy taking it to the next level of making it look like it was always there.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrGive us a call at (478) 745 – 2000 or send us an email at centralgeorgia@archadeck.net for your free consultation. We look forward to talking to you.

 

How safe is your Macon Warner Robins deck? Here are the top 6 things to inspect to determine the safety of your Central GA deck

In addition to being the beginning of the summer season, May is nation Deck Safety Month. This is a good time to consider whether your deck is safe of whether it may be time to make some updates to make it safer or get your deck up to code.

Here are the top 6 things to inspect to determine whether your Central GA deck is safe for your family and guests as y’all spend a lot of time outdoors this summer.  You’ll remember not too long ago when we posted the blog about the deck you see below. When those homeowners called us to replace their deck, it was obvious that the deck was unsafe since it moved when they stepped foot on it.

Macon deck before and after

If your deck has structural issues, it may not be as apparent so we want to provide some things to inspect on your own.

  1. Does the deck move?
  2. Do the stairs move?
  3. Does the railing move?
  4. Are the support beams cracked or degrading?
  5. Are nails or screws used as fasteners
  6. When looking at the connection to your home, are bolts or nailed used to attach to your home?

The first 3 questions seem obvious. If your deck clearly and easily moves when you step on it, then it obviously is time for a new deck. And, it’s time to do that quickly.  Just because your deck doesn’t easily move or sway when you step on it doesn’t mean that it’s safe. Here are a couple things to try to ensure deck safety.

Pick a couple spots on your deck and jump on those spots. You should not feel movement left to right or even up and down. If there is give in the boards as you jump up and down, the joists may not be close enough to meet code or to support the weight of the deck board. You shouldn’t feel any swaying nor give in the boards.

Then head over to the railing. Grab on with both hands and try to move it left to right as well as forward and back. Does it move? If your railing is attached correctly, it will not move when you push or pull on it. If you have movement, it’s time to call in an expert to diagnose whether there are some minor updates to secure the railing or whether the railing needs major updates to become safe and secure.

Next, move to your stairs. Stand squarely on a stair half way down, grab both railings and try to move from side to side. Neither your railings nor your stairs should have any movement side to side. Then, if you feel comfortably balanced, jump a couple times on an individual step and see if there is spring or give on any of the stairs themselves.

Take a look at the deck boards and how they are attached to each other and to the joists. Are nails or screws used to attach the decking boards? If you see evidence of nails being used instead of screws, there may be some vulnerability.

Below deck!

After checking out what can be seen from the deck, step around and under your deck. Take a look at the support beams. Are any of them cracked or twisted? Do you notice any evidence of infestation from termites? Are the supports solid and immovable? If you try to move a support post, do you see any give in the area where the post connects to the footing?

Finally, if you can walk under your deck to the area where the deck is attached to the house, take a look at the attachment. What hardware is used? Heavy duty bolts must be used to attach the deck to your home. If you see nails or even screws, your deck may be unsafe.

A few years ago, we were interviewed about deck safety by a local radio station. Here is some great information about evaluating the safety of your deck.

We encourage you to give us a call to discuss any concerns you may have with your deck’s structure and safety. We have not only built hundreds of decks throughout the Central GA area but we have also repaired and re-decked many decks.

Re-decking is a popular option. This allows you to replace the decking boards. Many Central GA homeowners want to upgrade to low maintenance decking or railing. Most often we can upgrade the decking or railing utilizing the existing sub-structure. If there are some stability issues, we should be able to fix those issues at that time ensuring to bring your deck up to code.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrIf you are ready to learn more about how we can enhance your outdoor living at your home, contact Archadeck of Central GA today (478) 745 – 2000 or visit our website at  centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

You really won’t believe the transformation of this Macon GA deck

Voila!

Macon deck before and after

Although this picture is worth a thousand words, it’s fitting to tell the story anyway because it isn’t exactly what it seems. Looking at the old deck, you would think we demolished the entire deck, heaved it in the dumpster and quickly  started building the new deck. But, that’s not exactly how this story goes.

The original deck was at the home of a fellow contractor’s parents. The deck was in such bad shape that nobody would even walk on it which also presented problems in getting out to the back yard. The contractor wanted us to build a new deck for his parents.

At Archadeck, we treat our clients like they are our family members and one thing we feel strongly about is utilizing still functional parts of the decks substructure. Often the substructure is in good enough shape to utilize as the substructure on the new deck. In this case, the deck, stairs and posts could not be used. But, the joists were in suitable shape to be used. We utilized those joists and added some additional joists to get the deck up to code.

Making the old deck new again

redeck Macon GA

We added new posts, a new beam, added new decking, a new railing, a new set of steps in a better position and a new landing for the steps. Utilizing the old joists saved the client over $1,000 which he appreciated immensely especially since the deck was for his parents.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrIf you have an older deck that you want to bring back to life, give us a call and have us take a look at it. There are a number of techniques we can utilize to either reface, or in this case rebuild, your existing deck. When we enhance or reface an existing deck, we are not just limited to the existing size and shape. We often make changes adding only the necessary additional substructure to increase the size or make other desired enhancements. Give us a ring at (478) 745 – 2000. You might also want to take a look at the decks photo gallery on our Archadeck of Central GA website.

What a different a porch makes – A new porch and deck in historic Macon GA

You’ve head the saying “what a difference a day makes”. At this Macon home, what a difference a porch makes.

Macon historic district porch

As you can imagine, this took longer than a day but, wow, look at the difference. When these Macon homeowners called us, they had a small deck in quite a state of disrepair.

We extended the deck space to include a new porch on the side of the house and a new deck at the corner of the home. The screened porch has a shed roof which slopes downward from the home. Some people have concerns about whether a shed roof will provide enough light.

macon ga-screen porch-historic district 650

As you can see, the space is beautifully light and airy. The elevated open rafter ceiling opens the space up for a very roomy and airy feel.

Take a look at the porch from another view. You can see the adjoining deck that complements the porch in aesthetics and materials.

historic district-macon ga-screen porch 650

At Archadeck of Central GA, we’ve build quite a few projects in the historic district and we’re glad to work with the local building inspectors to ensure you get the best project possible while still maintaining the historic charm and feel of your beloved home.

If you are ready to learn more about how we can enhance your outdoor living at your home, contact Archadeck of Central GA today (478) 745 – 2000 or visit our website at  centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

 

Reinforcing art at the cabin in the woods

Before we begin telling this story, we have to show you the finished project.

Porch-cypress-macon-cabin-after lr

If the charming look of this countryside cabin isn’t enough, the story that goes behind it is even better. Before this was a cabin in Central GA, it was a barn in Ohio. The family reclaimed the barn wood to make this beautiful cabin. It is used as an art studio not only for the owners but also for other local area artists.

Now, here’s the before picture. We typically like to build up to the after picture but you’ll see why when you see the before picture below.

Archadeck Central GA cabin-before sm

The entire art cottage is so charming that you may not have noticed the prominence of the front porch or the state of disrepair facing both the front porch and the steps. The owner was adamant about one thing. She did not want to lose any of the rustic character.

For the front porch flooring, while pressure-treated wood is a natural material, you can tell by its color and cut that it has been cleaned and treated and is therefore a few steps removed from the aged and storied quality of untreated or heartier wood.  For the decking boards we sourced 2″ thick by 8″ wide cypress beams. We kept the under-structure for the front deck but replaced the rotted decking boards with the cypress boards. To make sure that the cypress beams did the job we were looking for, we took extra effort to use toenail screws from the sides of the boards so you couldn’t see them from the top.

On to the posts. The porch roof is held up by old tree trunks that were from the family’s property. The owner wanted to preserve them but they had some rotting at the bottom. We took them off, cut of the rotted areas and then increased the sizes of the header a little since the posts were then shorter. We stained the underside of the deck boards before construction to further protect the lumber. The owners are going to distress and seal the boards in the coming weeks.

As you can see, there is a bit of difference in the 2 sets of stairs. While the old set did the job, they were a little tough to navigation and were not up to code. Re replaced the stairs with a new set that were up to code.

Our goal is to build your outdoor space for how you want to live outside. We know that aesthetics are a huge part. Whether you are hoping to make your space rustic or authentic or shiny and new, we will work with you to determine the best materials and design to suit your own personal needs.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrIf you are ready to learn more about how we can enhance your outdoor living experience and stay within your budget, contact Archadeck of Central GA today (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

 

 

The second time is a charm for this Macon GA screened porch and deck

When these homeowners on Ashford Park in Macon called us, they were very familiar with having an Archadeck screened porch. Back int he 90’s their home had a porch built by Archadeck. At this home, they had a large deck but they always wanted a screened porch. We’re glad they gave us a call for a few reasons.

First, we always love working with happy Archadeck customers. These homeowners knew what to expect with the Archadeck process and knew the high building standards we require.

We’re happy they called Archadeck of Central GA because we pride ourselves in doing the best thing for our customers. When converting an existing deck to a porch or other roof structure, sometimes the deck substructure will suffice for adding a new roof with a few reinforcements. That was exactly the case here. We did add reinforcements around the exterior but we were otherwise able to utilize the existing structure. We replaced the flooring with new flooring and made sure to add screening underneath the boards to keep bugs from crawling up through the floor.

Archadeck screen porch beam-macon gaWe were very happy that we have the support of our national Archadeck drafting team. Here’s why. Roofs can either be attached to another roof or to a house wall. This porch required a side wall connection however we were not able to add posts  to the wall because they would cover windows. Instead, our architectural team designed the long span roof to be supported by a large structural ridge beam.

Another point of pride we maintain at Archadeck of Central GA is the level of care we take with the homeowners’ properties. It rained quite a bit while we were building. We took particular care to keep pine straw in the yard for minimal disruption to their grass.

Archadeck screened porch Macon GAAdjacent to their porch is a new deck large enough to host a grill as well as a table and chairs. The deck materials are complimentary to those of the screened porch making a unified look and feel to this combination structure.

If you live in the Central GA are and are thinking about adding on or converting your outdoor living space to a porch, give us a call for a free consultation. If you choose to work with us, you will benefit from our extensive knowledge of local building trends and Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrtraditions, as well as our rock-solid relationships with other local tradesmen. Check out our reviews and reputation in the community. We are happy to provide you with references for any kind of job you are considering. Call: (478) 745 – 2000. Email: centralgeorgia@archadeck.net. Or visit our website http://central-georgia.archadeck.com/

Could there be anything better than a wrap around porch for your Central GA area home?

These Byron GA homeowners had a lovely home with a beautiful wrap-around porch. What could be better than spending hot GA afternoons under cover or enjoying the day fading into night with a couple of rockers outside your own front door?

In many cases, an open porch is all you need. But, depending on how you want to live outside, you may want the sort of protection that an enclosed space provides. An enclosed space can provide some additional sun protection but can also provide protection from strong wind, rain, and more extreme temperatures. While screened porches are very popular, here in Central GA, many customers are opting for Eze-Breeze windows on their screened porch. The Eze-Breeze window system is the best of both having a screened porch and having a porch enclosed with vinyl windows. The 4-track window system allows you to open your vinyl windows up to 75% allowing your 3-season room to function as a screened porch. However, this family opted for insulated sliding glass windows for more protection from the elements. These horizontal sliding windows provide the same option to open up to 75% and function as a  screened porch but they also are insulated. When they are closed the temperature inside the room can be heated or cooled just like your interior spaces. This particular family wanted to not only provide a little protection from the elements for themselves but also for their plants.

Can you convert part of a sun porch into a 3-season room?

Take a look!

wrap around Sunroom-Byron GA lr

Utilizing the existing room, we enclosed a portion of the covered wrap-around porch converting it to a sunroom. Take a look at the large window areas ensuring the family still gets a sunny space. But, when the mosquitoes come out or the temperature becomes more severe, this family can head for the comfort and protection of their enclosed porch area.

Porch-Sunroom-Byron lr

In order to enclose this portion of the porch, we had to remove the columns and railing and then re-install them inside the porch. We worked to find siding to compliment the existing home’s siding since that one is no longer available. The family will soon paint this siding for a great match to the home.

Byron GA-wrap around Sunroom lr

When searching for a solution to enclose this porch area, the family spoke with a contractor who suggested using aluminum. For the same price, we were able to custom build the space using matching high-quality materials.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrIf you are considering adding a deck, porch, pergola or other outdoor living space to your home give Archadeck of Central GA a call for a free consultation. If you choose to work with us, you will benefit from our extensive knowledge of local building trends and traditions, as well as our rock-solid relationships with other local tradesmen. Check out our reviews and reputation in the community. We are happy to provide you with references for any kind of job you are considering. Call: (478) 745 – 2000. Email: centralgeorgia@archadeck.net. Or visit our website http://central-georgia.archadeck.com/

 

Blissful Macon outdoor living

Outdoor kitchen-pavilion-macon GA lrTake a look at this incredible custom pool pavilion in Macon. This custom built pavilion was designed specifically for how this Macon family wanted to live outside.

The family had a lovely pool and patio but knew they wanted to do a lot more living outside. They wanted to cook outside, prepare food in a smoker, watch TV, and lounge in style. They also had a specific need for storage. This Macon pool pavilion was built to suit all their needs and wants.

Outdoor Kitchen-Macon GA lrIn the picture above, you likely noticed the beautiful hip roof. From within the porch, the roof creates a cathedral ceiling. This provides cover for the space but still creates a very bright and airy feel. The ceiling is finished with recessed can lights and large ceiling fans to keep air circulating within the space.

pavilion-kitchen-macon GA lrInside the pavilion you’ll see tons of counter top area creating space for everything from grilling to food prep to using the smoker, and more.

The 2 bar areas also house food storage areas and an outdoor refrigerator.

One important part of this project that you won’t notice by looking at the space is the approval we needed to secure from the Architectural Review Board in this lovely Madison community in Macon. While we always take care of all permitting, we also meet with other review boards as necessary before beginning our projects.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrIf you are considering adding a deck, porch, pergola or other outdoor living space to your home give Archadeck of Central GA a call for a free consultation. If you choose to work with us, you will benefit from our extensive knowledge of local building trends and traditions, as well as our rock-solid relationships with other local tradesmen. Check out our reviews and reputation in the community. We are happy to provide you with references for any kind of job you are considering. Call: (478) 745 – 2000. Email: centralgeorgia@archadeck.net. Or visit our website http://central-georgia.archadeck.com/

 

Macon Warner Robins Decks, Patios, Porches, Pergolas, Gazebos and more