Category Archives: Deck engineer and construction

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.

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

 

 

What you need to know about inspecting your Central GA area deck

A few months ago, a deck collapsed in New Albany IN. It was a terrifying incident and 24 people were badly injured. Fortunately, or unfortunately, it was all caught on tape. A family was gathering outside on a commercial deck for a family picture when the deck fell out from under them. Take a look at this terrifying video.

Last year we wrote a blog about deck safety. In our opinion, there are no deck accidents. There may be accidents waiting to happen due to shoddy construction. But, with solid construction from a licensed and professional builder, you can be ensured that the deck will not fail outside of Acts of God. At Archadeck of Central GA, we are part of a national franchise corporation that sets strict engineering requirements that meet or exceed all local code. We are a licensed builder. We always pull permits for our work and all of our work is inspected fully by local inspectors. We even offer 2 warranties because we are certain that you are getting the highest quality workmanship available. (Read more about our Archadeck of Central GA warranties here)

What if you already have a deck that was either built many years ago or even one that came with your house? There are 4 things to check to see if it’s time for a deck safety inspection.

  1. If you stand on the deck, can you make the deck move side-to-side?
  2. If you stand on the stairs, can you make the stairs move from side-to-side or do the stairs depress when stepping on them?
  3. When you look under the deck, can you see fasteners or just nails? If you see just nails, call us right away!
  4. Take a look at the deck footings. Are the deck supports just standing on top of concrete blocks not buried below grade?”

Even better, ask a knowledgeable licensed deck contractor to come out and inspect your deck. At Archadeck of Central GA, we’re happy to come out and look at your deck to see how many years it has left on it. If it’s in great shape and has many years on it, we’ll tell you that. If your deck is in need of repair or is a severe safety hazard, we will tell you that also.

Take a look at the TV interview we did last year about deck safety.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GAGive us a ring to schedule your free deck safety inspection.

(478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net
http://central-georgia.archadeck.com

Do you have that structural pillar that keeps the roof up but brings you down?

Fort Valley GA-deck-steel beamSometimes we look at particular architectural features of a space and wonder just what the designer/architect/builder was thinking. If you’ve ever had a great space with a structural beam stuck right smack dab in the middle of it, you know what we’re talking about. When these Fort Valley GA homeowners originally called us, they had an existing elevated second-story deck. The space under a deck over 8 feet off the ground can potentially become a covered patio. But in their case, their existing structure had a large column standing in the middle of the space. In addition, their deck which was made of pressure-treated wood was in really bad shape.

Archadeck deck beam construction Central GAWe were able to come up with a design plan that utilized the existing structure and accomplished all of their goals. The existing deck was 24′ wide which is why it needed more structural support than standard corner posts could provide. This can be accomplished in one of two ways. The first option is a center support column. This was the direction their builder originally took causing there to be an eyesore in the middle of their patio below. But, the innovative engineering option that Archadeck of Central GA designed had a long steel beam under the deck portion. Archadeck is part of a national franchise organization and employs an engineering/design team that is second to none. Our engineers created a solution utilizing a steel beam to support the wide deck.

In addition to the deck being wide, these homeowners also wanted AZEK on their new deck. We were able to resurface the existing structural components with their choice of AZEK PVC. The steel beam support was also engineered to support the increased weight of the new synthetic decking material which is a good bit heavier than pressure-treated wood.

Fiberon-Fort Valley-GA railing-lightingThe next challenge was aesthetics. The deck resurfacing with AZEK was stunning. But, from below, we didn’t want the steel support beam to be an eyesore. To accomplish this, we wrapped all the beams in low maintenance PVC. This included white PVC on the posts/columns and the trim board. The white color created a beautiful contrast to the dark decking material and dark colored railing spindles. The homeowners had done their research and knew that they wanted a lighting package that would encompass lights both on the posts and integrated into the rail caps. The picture to the right shows the Fiberon lighting package and railing we used on this Fort Valley deck.

One of the things you’ll notice through reading this blog is that our proposed solution is not the one that’s designed to cost the most money. While we could have recommended demolishing this deck and starting from scratch, we were able to re-engineer the fully functional existing structural parts. Our goal is to create the best solution for you, your family, and for how you want to live.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GAIf you are considering creating a great new outdoor living space for your Macon/Warner Robins area back yard, or if you want to give a fresh new look to your existing backyard space, give us a call for a free consultation. Together we will work to identify the best structures and materials to create the perfect outdoor living space just for you.

Call: (478) 745 – 2000
Email: centralgeorgia@archadeck.net
Visit the composite and PVC deck picture and photo gallery on our website for more great design ideas and inspiration