Category Archives: Deck engineer and construction

This Vintage Outdoor Space in Shirley Hills Gets A New Lease on Life

Macon-Fiberon-deckIt is not very often that Archadeck of Central GA is asked to consult on a structure built as far back as the 50’s. One of our most recent outdoor living transformations took us on a blast from the past.

This project took place in Shirley Hills, which is located in Macon, Ga.  The homeowner had a poured slab concrete deck they were using as a carport. The structure was beginning to fail and had become dangerous. The original structure had been built using special  2 x 14 joists that spanned 16′.  Other materials used as part of the original carport/deck included plywood, wire and concrete. Over time the footing had begun to give away and the outside walls had started to lean.  In turn, this opened up a way for water to penetrate the integrity and the wood then began to rot. The homeowner said that the wood had been mushy for over a year.

concrete deck - rotting framing
Before; concrete deck – rotting framing.

Upon inspection, Archadeck of Central Georgia deemed the structure was no longer repairable nor salvageable due to the damage caused by Father Time and Mother Nature. We were able to use the existing steel and beam. We filled it back in with concrete and additional posts to make it structurally sound. We also repaired the old wall and stood it back up.

Deck-Macon-Fiberon

The new deck is built from Fiberon ProTect Advantage decking in gray birch. Not only does this decking look like premium hardwoods. The boards feature a three-sided PermaTech® cap layer for exceptional stain and fade resistance. The solid composite core also resists splintering, cracking and decay. In addition, the decking is backed by a 25-year warranty providing added peace of mind.

Take a look at this amazing before and after image:

Macon Fiberon Deck before and after

We used standard wooden railing with a composite rail cap to finish off the beautiful new deck.  Archadeck of Central GA also tore out all the old screen on the porch and installed new inserts and screening.  We were able to salvage the existing doors and we rescreened these as well.

Sceen Inserts-Porch-Macon

The clients are over the moon about how their project turned out. With the quality and low maintenance materials used in building the space, they are looking forward to many years of enjoyment.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lr
Stephen Denton, owner Archadeck of Central GA.

Let Archadeck of Central Georgia walk you through the design options for a new or replacement deck at your Macon or Warner Robins area home.  Contact us today at (478) 745 – 2000 or via email at centralgeorgia@archadeck.net.

This Barrington Hall Deck Sets the Standard for Poolside Transition and Function

Timber Tech-deck-Macon GAThis project took Archadeck of Central GA back to beautiful Barrington Hall in North Macon. We have been in completing many outdoor living projects in this neighborhood over the years for both new and repeat customers.

When the homeowners called us they were interested in improving the traffic flow and function of the concrete walkway area adjacent to their pool.  The homeowners had been using the area as an impromptu seating and dining area, which just wasn’t working for them anymore — they wanted to rework this space to better speak to their outdoor living needs.

The area before Archadeck of Central GA began the project.
Since the stairs were inset, removing them was not an option. We started with a design in mind and then considered if a deck or paver patio was the best option for what the homeowners had in mind.  After we decided on long steps, we realized that building with pavers would be quite costly.  Instead, making the decision to move ahead with a composite deck made more sense from a budget standpoint.

Deck-composite-TimberTech-Macon GA

After carefully looking at all the composite decking choices we offer, the homeowners chose TimberTech Terrain in Silver Maple.  Terrain is wrapped on all 4 sides which makes it perfect for this low-to-grade deck design. It also resists mold, mildew, and moisture damage making it a great material for poolside use!

Archadeck of Central GA topped off the smooth, streamlined look of the deck by adding a black Fortress metal handrail and all-composite trim.

Macon GA-deck-metal railing

Gone are the days when the homeowners have to sacrifice transition and style in order to facilitate function. The new deck delivers the freedom of a clean, open space where they can indulge in all things outdoor living.

If you would like to learn more about making your backyard all that it can be contact us today at (478) 745 – 2000 or via email at centralgeorgia@archadeck.net. We can design a space where form and function combine providing all the benefits you crave!

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lr
Stephen Denton, owner Archadeck of Central GA.

Central Georgia deck designs can boggle the mind. Let us help you navigate the choices!

Fiberon-Fort Valley-GA railing-lightingLooking for great ideas in deck designs? What’s new? What are the current trends? Here at Archadeck of Central Georgia, we keep up with innovations in deck design. We want to show our clients in the Macon and Warner Robins area the most attractive and well-constructed deck ideas. Clients are often amazed by the number of options available for decks today.

When you first start thinking about adding a deck onto your home, or replacing an older deck, you may think a deck is a deck is a deck. Seen one, seen them all? That’s certainly not true anymore. Among the variety of decks being built these days are different sizes, shapes, colors, materials, railing styles, stairway designs and more. By the time you complete your selections within each of these options, you will have designed a deck that reflects your personal style like no other.

Hawkinsville-GA round deck Archadeck

Archadeck of Central Georgia will not leave you to make these decisions on your own. During our design consultation, we can talk about trends and show you pictures of past projects we have completed. More important though, are your personal preferences. In the end, your own preferences will determine the look of your deck.

The 3 most popular deck design features today in the Macon and Warner Robins, GA, area:

Archadeck Deck-for-future-porch-in-St.-Croix-Macon-GA

Diagonal decking

Decking boards laid in a diagonal pattern serve two purposes. This design not only looks good, it creates a stronger deck.

  • Visually, diagonal decking adds a distinct character to your deck and can be directed intentionally to emphasize a specific view or to affect how people move through the space. The visual appeal of the diagonal pattern is more noticeable on a lower deck.

Fiberon Protect-Deck-Warner Robins 750

  • Technically, in terms of physics, the diagonal pattern creates triangles (which are stronger) as opposed to squares (which are weaker). Triangles help to brace the structure, so diagonal decking increases the strength of the frame by making the entire deck more rigid. This is especially desirable on taller decks.

Garapa and Ipe Brazilian hardwood deck Forsyth GA by Archadeck lrParting boards

If you’re looking for a deck design with even more visual interest, you’ll want to see some designs that incorporate parting boards. A parting board separates sections of a deck where the decking boards are running in different directions. We most often use this device when a deck is large enough to be sectioned off into different functional areas. Perhaps you want to have a lounge area on one part of the deck and a dining area on another section. The best way to visually define these different sections is to change the direction of the decking boards. A parting board serves as a meeting point for the two sections.

Ipe deck in Fortsyth GA with wooden rail and metal pickets with basket motif and Ipe capMetal pickets on railings

There was a time when all deck railings looked alike. If the deck was made of wood, the railings were, too. Wooden deck railings and pickets were somewhat thick and could easily block the view. Today we have a variety of materials available to use for deck railings and pickets. Most of the newer designs are thinner and made of metal. These new railings and pickets, or balusters, are much more stylish and almost seem to disappear when you look through them. Archadeck of Central Georgia uses Fortress™ Railing Products. The black square baluster design is the most popular with our clients, while second in popularity is the basket design (pictured).

Additional design features for today’s decks

There are many, many more elements that make up the infinite array of deck designs. Briefly, here are some of the other choices we will guide you through in the design process:

Macon GA-deck-fiberon-timbertech 750Colors and materials

Do you like bold colors, contrasts, or understated tones? Do you want to build with natural wood or composite decking materials? Wooden decks can be stained or painted, and a lot of the newer composite decking boards come in a variety of colors. If you are willing to perform — or pay for — annual deck maintenance, you can consider building with wood. However, if regular maintenance chores do not fit into your lifestyle, you will probably want to select one of the composite decking options. These new materials are evolving to look more and more like natural wood.

Shapes and levels

Composite deck in Warner Robins

Do you want a simple deck that follows the horizontal line of your home? Maybe you’re thinking about an octagonal deck or one that starts at the house and ventures out into the yard. A multi-level deck has a certain “wow” factor, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. What if you’re not really going to use more than one main level? Finally, if your deck is high off the ground, will you want to use the space under it as a covered patio or as a storage area?

Bottom line: the design decisions are your own

Fiberon ProTect deck in Warner Robins, GA.
Fiberon ProTect deck in Warner Robins, GA.

You may think it will be hard to choose from all of the available designs, materials and accessories, but you’d be surprised. Once you start looking at the many options, certain elements will resonate with you pretty quickly. As you look at examples and sketches, your own preferences will solidify in your mind.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lr
Stephen Denton, owner Archadeck of Central GA.

Let Archadeck of Central Georgia walk you through the design options for a new or replacement deck at your Macon or Warner Robins area home. Contact us to schedule a design consultation by phone at (478) 745 – 2000 or via email 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.

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