When working with contractors, you really don’t know the difference between one contractor and another. You might connect better with one contractor or you might like one contractor better. Those are intangibles and they’re very important. You shouldn’t seal the deal without both of those. But are there tangibles that you can count on? Are there tangibles that are put in writing? With Archadeck there are. We call this the Archadeck Difference.
Maintaining your outdoor living structure can be a big headache but it doesn’t have to be. The allure of an outdoor living space is relaxation. But in order to keep your outdoor space running smoothly and looking beautiful it will require some degree of maintenance. Some materials require more intensive maintenance than others. But keeping in time with your maintenance schedule is the difference between keeping your beloved outdoor structure looking like new and allowing it to look tired because of lack of maintenance. In fact, there are many low maintenance products available which maintain their like-new look without all the work.
All maintenance requirements are not created equal
Are you trying to decide between a pressure-treated, Ipe, or composite deck? Each material is characteristically beautiful in its own right, but the level of maintenance required on all three materials is quite different. Standard and premium grade pressure-treated decks require pressure or chemical washing followed by an application of a sealer which will protect the lumber from absorbing water. This is usually required on an annual basis or possibly more depending on the amount of exposure to the sun. Pressure-treated boards have the capacity to soak up a great deal of water. Humidity and moisture mixed together will cause the rapid expansion and contraction of the wood which will cause your deck to weather faster which is why it is so important to seal your pressure-treated deck. Vertical elements of your pressure-treated deck don’t require the level of maintenance that the floor, steps and rail cap will, this is because the water does not sit on the wood but runs off.
With pressure-treated decks maintenance is the key to keeping the deck beautiful and structurally sound. If you miss a year or two it can ultimately cause irreversible damage. On the other hand, if you love the look of natural wood there is another option called Ipe. Ipe is a dense and exotic looking hardwood that requires less maintenance than other wood options for your deck.
Ipe is a Brazilian hardwood that is literally harder than nails. Its density makes it desirable in outdoor structure settings. Ipe is so dense that it needs to be pre-drilled before the pieces can be connected. We recommend sealing an Ipe deck with a good sealer to retain the material’s dark, rich tone. If Ipe is left to weather it will age to a beautiful grey patina over time. The maintenance required for Ipe is not as tedious as that of pressure-treated wood. You can let Ipe go for a few seasons and then seal it and it will then look like new again. Good quality sealers can be found by checking with Consumer Reports, but we also highly recommend Cabot stains and sealers, and Olympic also makes a good quality sealer as well.
The key to successfully sealing any wood deck is to do so when it is dry. Make sure the deck remains dry after application up to 48 hours if possible. You will want to check the forecast before starting your maintenance. A good rule of thumb to check to see if it is time to seal your wood deck is to sprinkle a little water on it, if the water beads up then it is not necessary to apply sealer. When the sprinkle test reveals that the water blends in with the deck within 15-20 seconds of application then it is time to treat your wood deck.
One of the lowest maintenance options is composite decking. Today’s composites come in a wide array of finishes, textures and tones that rival the look of real wood. Composite decks do not require sealing or annual maintenance to keep them looking new but they do need to be cleaned periodically to remove dirt and debris. Most brands only need soap and water cleanup to keep them looking new. Common sense practices come into play when talking about maintaining composites. Materials that stain such as ketchup, grease spillage from the grill and even wet leaves should be cleaned up immediately to avoid damage to the deck’s surface. Compare your reaction time when dealing with composites to that of any surface in the home. If you would rush to clean it up on an indoor hardwood floor, then you should take the same care for any outdoor flooring material. The end result will be a composite deck that stands the test of time and looks new for many years to come.
If you are on the fence about what material to choose for your new deck, take the amount of time you are willing to spend on maintaining that deck to keep it performing and looking like new into consideration. Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to learn more about the material options that would best suit your needs, your wants and most of all your outdoor living lifestyle.
Call for a free consultation: (478) 745 – 2000
It is always good to hear from past customers especially when they are adding on to their project. One of our “in progress” projects we are working on is for a customer we built a beautiful deck for a few years back. They called us to add a portion to his existing deck in order to accommodate a hot tub. Hot tub decks are the ultimate spot for relaxation and comfort.
This customer needed additional space built onto their existing deck for their new hot tub. Adding a hot tub to an existing deck is not as easy as it seems. Hot tubs can hold in excess of 4,000 pounds of water. Water weighs approximately 8.35 pounds per gallon and an average hot tub can hold 600-700 gallons of water. When you add-on the weight associated with using a hot tub that can push the weight up to over 5,000 pounds depending on the number of people your hot tub can accommodate. Adding a hot tub to your deck requires substantial structural reinforcement underneath in order to safely operate the spa and keep your deck structurally sound. We always build the foundation and platform to bear the weight of the hot tub. We also always build the area to easily take on an 8′ x 8′ spa; this way if you change the hot tub out in the future the platform will still work.
In this particular project the deck’s location and the home’s low to grade design gave us no other option than to place the hot tub on the top of the deck. We often build hot tub decks with the hot tub sunken which not only delivers a dramatic look, it is also recommended for homeowners using their spa for therapeutic reasons because it is easier to enter and exit the hot tub when it is sunken. Whether you choose to have the hot tub sunken or at bench height both will help address the individual functional issue of your space.
We often use bench height hot tub installations. When we do this we often build a bench directly next to the hot tub so the homeowner can simply swing over the bench and slide into the hot tub easily. We can also add the bench to the edge of the deck so the control panel is easily accessible when the hot tub needs maintenance. One dilemma with under deck installation is the difficulty in getting to the control panel and often times we construct a trap door to take care of this obstacle.
When our customers ask if they should purchase their hot tub before they have the deck built, it is not a prerequisite. Our main concern is that we are aware of the shape of the hot tub you are intending to purchase, and we can begin building to suit that shape. Another heavily requested item for hot tub decks is the addition of a pergola over the hot tub. Pergolas look great when paired with hot tubs and offer added privacy and shade to the homeowners; a winning combination indeed.
If you are considering the addition of a hot tub to your deck, whether you intend to build a new deck or add a space large enough to place a hot tub, we can help. Our unique deck designs and expert craftsmanship will have you soaking up in style and safety. Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia today.
Call for a free consultation:
(478) 745 – 2000
See more stylish hot tub and pool decks by visiting our decks photo galleries located on our website.
Out of all the materials available nowadays to use in building your outdoor structure, Ipe is among the strongest and most beautiful. Ipe comes from South America and is classified as an exotic hardwood. Ipe’s, rich, dark tone varies from board to board giving it an exotic look. The real advantage to using Ipe is its density and strength which make it a solid material to use on decks, porches and other outdoor structures.
Ipe is dense enough that it sinks in water. Its density requires that it be pre-drilled in order to be fastened. When fastening an Ipe deck we use stainless steel screws called head coat screws, which are brown to blend seamlessly with the decking itself. The ends of the Ipe boards need to be treated when they are cut during installation to avoid cracking. If you are dealing with a contractor that is not familiar with working with ipe then you usually end up with split ends from not treating the ends of the boards. Ipe is so dense that it doesn’t absorb much water which results in a lack of the normal expansion and contraction that are seen with other wooden decks.
Ipe is real wood, so it does require maintenance. It ages at about 1/10th the rate a normal pressure-treated wood deck does. But since it is wood, it can absorb enough moisture to cause cupping, splitting and warping over a long period of time. In order to maintain the beauty and life of your Ipe outdoor structure, we recommend applying an oil or sealer twice during the first year of installation and repeat this on an annual basis to maintain the deep, rich color. If you do skip a few years, you can pressure wash it and apply sealer which will cause it to revert back to its original color. The cost on an Ipe outdoor structure project is comparable to composite, PVC and synthetic materials.
You may have noticed Ipe wood used at commercial venues. It was used by some of the Walt Disney Parks as the primary material for many of their bridges and boardwalk constructions. It is also used at the New Jersey boardwalk. Ipe also works great on docks and outdoor structures in close proximity to water features such as pools and spas for its resiliency near water. Because of the life span, strength, and durability of Ipe, it’s a great choice for commercial as well as residential applications.
When we use Ipe on a deck railing, we will often use pressure-treated wood rails with Ipe caps. The combination works very well when the pressure-treated wood is stained with Cabot’s Jarrah brown stain that perfectly mimic the look of Ipe. On the Ipe itself we use natural Australian timber oil to keep it in tip-top shape from the beginning.
If you are ready to transform your backyard space by adding the tropical beauty of Ipe Brazilian hardwoods, contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to assist you in your outdoor structure choice that best suits your needs and lifestyle. Call for a free consultation: (478) 745 – 2000 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
There have been many advances in composite/synthetic decking since it debuted on the market. For one, the category was previously classified as composite decking when the products within the category were all a “composite” of wood and plastic. Since then, the category was reclassified as “synthetic” products were introduced such as decking boards made of solid PVC. Now, the term “synthetics” captures composite and man made materials as well as the a new hybrid board.
Composite decking was the first synthetic material to hit the scene. It consists of a wood pulp blended with plastic for added strength and durability. Composite is readily used today and still provides a stronger and lower maintenance deck than that of pressure treated, and other woods commonly used in decking.
A new product called capstock is composite that is wrapped with a durable layer of vinyl PVC around a composite core. Many in the industry refer to it as a “composite hybrid”.
Synthetic decking has the highest level or performance. While composite provides protection from splitting, splintering, rotting, termites or fungal decay, synthetic PVC decking provides all of these protections and also provides protection from stains and fading.
At the top of the solid PVC list is AZEK decking. AZEK is a solid PVC which is stain and scratch resistant. This includes resistance to scratches made from patio furniture and pets. It will also stand up to the all-American cook out better than any synthetic on the market because it is resistant to spills like grease, ketchup and even red wine. AZEK is highly recommended for use around pools, spas and even on piers and docks because it is impervious to moisture as well as insects because it is constructed of solid PVC. This material is also split resistant and mold and mildew resistant as well. A deck built with AZEK is truly the deck that keeps on giving year after year.
Synthetic decking is not the perfect choice for everyone. One major objection is the initial cost vs. the cost of pressure treated southern yellow pine decking. However, if you are going to live with the deck or porch for more than 5 to 7 years the cost of paying someone to maintain the decking will be recouped. And afterwards you are saving money!
Once upon a time, synthetic decking had limited color choice options which was a drawback for homeowners. That is not the case with modern synthetics. In our area the two most popular colors are Acacia and Morado, which are both part of AZEK’s Arbor Collection. Each one of the AZEK colors has graining and undulation that mimics the look of real hardwoods beautifully. Acacia is a stunning, rich dark brown and Morado is a mid-tone that is similar to the look of antique walnut. We are also starting to see their new color Cobre come into the spotlight with its tan-brown appearance that we anticipate will be the next most requested AZEK color.
Choose a beautiful deck with longevity to give you more time to enjoy outdoor living at its best. Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to learn more about AZEK, and the many other high-quality synthetic decking choices we offer. We can ensure you will be enjoying your new deck rather than maintaining it.
Call for a free consultation: (478) 745 – 2000 email@example.com
Nowadays, it seems that anything to do with improving your home or landscape can be done by being a do-it-yourselfer. Home improvement projects are idealized all over the media to make projects look easy, even for a novice. The truth is there are certain projects that need to be done by a professional in order to get the best result. One of those projects that are best left to a pro is installing a paver patio. To an amateur, at first glance, it may appear to be a simple task laying out pavers right? Properly installing a paver or hardscape patio is much more complicated than it seems. There is a great deal more to building one than laying some sand and pushing pavers into the ground.
Taking on a task of this magnitude requires knowledge and experience because each patio requires different measures to ensure it lasts and lives up to your expectations. The area you are considering for placement of your patio may need amending to build it up, or in some cases even removing a portion of the soil to make certain the patio is positioned and constructed properly. One common misconception about installing pavers is all you have to do is lay the pavers down on the ground and tamp them down and all is fine. The reality is it may be fine for a short period of time but the ground will move and shift causing the pavers to sink and rise resulting in uneven spaces, trip hazards, and a giant mess. Paver patios require a solid foundation just like building a home or other building requires.
There is an art of precision in properly installing pavers. The Dutch perfected and modernized the art in the 1940 s with the Holland Stone Paver. If pavers are installed properly then they can last a lifetime. Take for example the renowned hardscape expertise and craftsmanship used in creating the Great Wall of China. Archadeck of Central Georgia uses the same process and principles used in one of the greatest wonders of the world, in our paver patio construction today.
Our first step is to begin with a solid base, or foundation, to work from. We achieve this by applying a 4 inch aggregate base with an additional inch of sand for the pavers to sit in on top of our foundation. These are compacted with a sled tamper to ensure no movement or settlement in the future. The solid base will ensure the patio will remain flat indefinitely and will keep it from being subjected to freezing, thawing and other soil conditions caused by the rain. The ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) sets the standards by which paver patios and walkways are constructed. Normally paver patios include a slight slope in order for water to run off. We can also use permeable pavers which allow the water to travel through the pavers. Many times permeable pavers are the perfect answer for yards that cannot be covered in concrete for rainwater runoff by building codes of that area. If you have an area where drainage is not possible, such as a pool or close proximity to a neighbor then these pavers are the perfect answer.
See our paver patio construction pictures below for what is involved in building a professional patio.
With all the important basics and nuances that go into constructing a paver patio that will stand the test of time and deliver you years of outdoor living enjoyment, it makes sense to hire a professional paver builder to handle this type of project. Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to take care of the hard stuff, all you have to consider is the many different ways you will be able to enjoy your structure upon completion.
Call for a free consultation: (478) 745 – 2000
Using composite or engineered wood for decks is becoming more and more popular. Composites, unlike many wood mediums used in deck and outdoor structure construction, is impervious to many of the hazards that befall decks due to weather, wear, and tear. Composite decking is manufactured by many companies, and many offer a superior product. The front-runners of the industry include TimberTech, AZEK and Fiberon.
Today’s focus is on Fiberon composite decking. The Fiberon Horizon line of decking offers a 25-year stain and fade warranty. Fiberon decking boards use the newest technology called Perma-tech which means the composite is wrapped all the way around each board to make it impenetrable for insects including termites, mold and issues caused by inclement weather.
A deck built with Fiberon means less maintenance with only the need for soap and water cleanup. You’ll also never have to worry about staining or painting your Fiberon deck because the color will stay fresh and vivid.
Not only will Fiberon composites look new for years to come, they come in five beautiful colors which have natural wood grain patterns that mimic the real thing. The boards are available in 12-, 16- and 20-foot lengths and come in Ipe, Rosewood, Tudor Brown, Castle Gray and Greystone colors. The most popular among Central Georgia homeowners are Ipe and Rosewood. Another popular color choice is Tudor Brown, but is not currently stocked by our supplier but can possibly be special ordered.
No matter what color you choose for you composite deck you will get peace of mind knowing you have a quality product that uses the most cutting-edge technology to add to your outdoor living enjoyment. Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to learn more about Fiberon composite decking and the many other brands we offer to make your backyard the favorite room in the house.
Call for a free consultation:(478) 745 – 2000 or email us at:firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever been thumbing through one of those dreamy home and garden magazines and found that perfect picture that represents exactly what you are looking for in your dream backyard? These residents in the Quail Run community of Warner Robins, Georgia had a great backyard pool with a concrete apron surround but it didn’t have the character and outdoor living appeal they were looking for. Archadeck of Central Georgia took their cues from the homeowner’s desires to turn their backyard into a haven of style and function that looks like it rolled right off the pages of Southern Living magazine.
The existing area around the homeowner’s pool was a concrete apron with no special features. It only served the purpose of having somewhere solid to enter and exit the pool, and a level place to put outdoor furniture. They wanted an area for entertaining with lots of open space, which would also have close access to the pool especially since the homeowners really enjoy entertaining friends and family. The home also had an existing porch which overlooked the pool and the porch had some drainage issues. To solve the drainage issue, we installed a drain between the pool area and the porch/kitchen area. The drain is very subtle aesthetically and completely does the job functionally.
They wanted to complete the perfectly picturesque project in stages, the first of which was to improve upon the area around their pool and add a new drain for the porch. They also wanted a fire pit and an outdoor kitchen. The outdoor kitchen was to be part of the second stage of the project, but we were able to modify the plan to better accommodate their needs and include during the first stage.
The area around the pool was transformed with a custom hardscape patio using Belgard Holland Stone in the spice blend color and installed using a dramatic herringbone pattern. We then used an alternate Belgard patterned stone called Urbana stone that incorporates a special paver that goes around the pool that has an eased edge. We also drilled anchor holes into this edge for the pool cover. We worked around the pool’s diving board because the pavers changed the elevation of the pool surround.
We carried the elegant hardscape design into the outdoor kitchen area as well using Belgard’s Weston stone wall pavers. We used soldier course on the light posts and within the kitchen between the cabinets and the top of the kitchen island. The outdoor kitchen has many amenities for the homeowner’s convenience including a burner, grill, Kegerator and a Primo Grill egg shaped smoker. Any guests’ fortunate enough to be invited to this Warner Robins residence will benefit from the tasty treasures cooked up in this complete outdoor kitchen area.
The custom fire pit area contains a wood burning fire pit with a drain which is important to keep moisture out and away from the pit to prevent rain from damaging the fire pit components. We finished out the design with four light posts on the corners which match the fire pit and kitchen. All wiring is hidden from view under the hardscape pavers. For added convenience we also installed mosquito curtains on the porch that overlooks the pool to keep the homeowners and their guests concentrating on their menu and not worrying about being on the mosquitoes’ menu on those wonderful evenings when they entertain.
This finished project exudes elegance, function and harmony as one area flows effortlessly into another. In the case of this project the basics were already here, the design of this backyard just needed direction and expert design to bring it to life.
Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to learn how we can take your everyday backyard area into something beyond the usual, something extraordinary. We can take the potential your outdoor living area already has and improve upon it, or even build your dream backyard starting from scratch.
Call for a free consultation: (478) 745 – 2000
Here in Central Georgia we are fortunate enough to have some of the most beautiful natural settings in the south. Adding to that beauty is the large number of Lakes we have access to in the area. Several lake communities call Central GA home including Eagle Springs Lake, Lake Oconee, Lake Sinclair, Lake Houston and Lake Tobesofkee. Many residents opt to make one of the lakes their home, whether as a primary residence or a weekend home. We have been commissioned to build several docks at lake-home communities here in Central GA.
Right now Archadeck of Central GA is building a dock for some Eagle Springs residents in Warner Robins, GA. By building a number of docks in the area we are familiar with the codes and requirements for constructing a dock in Georgia. The most important aspect of building a dock is the fact that in order to properly set the posts the water level of the lake needs to be down. This fluctuates with the varying amounts of rainfall. Since most lakes in the area are governed by Georgia Power, the amount of water that passes through the dam needed for the generation of electricity also influences the water levels. During certain times the water levels may be lowered when drawdowns are scheduled for maintenance of the dams and government mandated flow limits. You can find out the lake levels for those governed by GP by visiting http://lakes.southernco.com/. We also monitor the lake levels so that we can find an opportune time to begin construction on your dock, and schedule your project accordingly.
When homeowners decide they want a dock we try to work the construction around fluctuating lake levels, this is important in order to properly set the footings on a new dock. We typically use pressure treated framing materials and posts to build the dock, but you can use a composite material or Ipe as well. PVC is the composite we would recommend if considering using one because it withstands exposure to the water really well. Pressure treated wood will take a beating with the constant exposure to water and will need to be treated annually. Ipe is beautiful but is prone to cup, warp and split even though it ages 10 times slower than pressure treated pine. Inevitably in 10 years the Ipe will look the same as pressure treated does after one year. If you use wood in this close proximity to the water, it will require maintenance more frequently than a normal deck or porch would. When we build a dock we often build stairs descending down to the dock and we also make sure your dock is set at the right point off the water.
If time is of the essence and the lake levels are not where they need to be to ensure proper post installation you may choose to build a floating dock. These are constructed atop plastic pontoons which float on the water’s surface and are always at the same height. This would also make an easy project that you could enjoy while awaiting proper water levels to build a full-on dock. No matter what type of dock you choose to build, lakes that are controlled by Georgia Power have code requirements for building docks, boathouses, or any structure that is built on the lake itself. It is important to know what your county or individual governing body allows. If you know that GA power governs the lake you are on, you can consult your Shoreline Management Guidelines provided by Georgia Power Lakes to view the rules and regulations that could affect your dock construction. All docks require a permit, and we take care of that for you as part of your building package.
If you have a lakefront or lakeside home that would benefit from a dock , contact Archadeck of Central Georgia. We can plan, design, build and schedule your dock in accordance with water level shifts and give you a dock that is sound, and beautiful. What better way to enjoy living by one of Georgia’s most relaxing and beautiful assets. We can make everyday like a vacation for you and your family with a dock.
Call for a free consultation: (478) 745 – 2000
There are many reasons why an open porch is a great choice as an outdoor living structure, but with all of its benefits, the open porch has one significant drawback – it does not offer insect protection. The level of insect protection you are seeking on your porch may end up being your deciding factor as to whether to go with an open porch or screened porch. However, if your heart is set on an open porch and your porch will be elevated at the second story level, the height serves as insect protection and that may be enough protection for you.
Companies are coming up with new and existing mosquito curtains to give open porch lovers more options. Mosquito Curtains of Atlanta is fairly new company that our customers seem to really like. Each curtain is custom-made to your specifications and Mosquito curtains are highly effective in controlling mosquitoes. Another way to discourage insects on your open porch is by installing ceiling fans, the circulation of air that the fans provide prevent the insect the ability to land, and if they cannot land-they cannot bite.
Here in Georgia we are known for our beautiful trees and plants. Unfortunately, those trees and plants produce an inordinate amount of pollen which ends up covering every surface around. Our cars, windows, and yes, outdoor areas are covered with a film of yellowish-green at intervals throughout the spring and summer. Cleaning up the pollen can be a real headache. Open porches are one of the easiest outdoor structures to have when you are dealing with pollen because there are no screens to worry about cleaning and you can just use a leaf blower or hose to clean it off.
The aesthetics of an open porch offer a more formal look to your backyard because of the open columns that are readily used in their design. Architecturally, screen porches look more rustic while open porches look more elegant. Design elements such as bead board ceilings, open rafters and exposed beams look great in open porches. You can also still take advantage of features like recessed canned lighting, ceiling fans and electrical outlets on your covered porch.