Tag Archives: Central GA decks

Archadeck of Central Georgia urges homeowners to use cooler months to have your deck inspected

Central GA deck safety
Inconsistencies such as rail and post connections can create a safety hazard on your deck.

The cooler months provide the perfect opportunity to run a check on the safety and stability of your outdoor spaces. Since the late fall and winter are times when most of us are staying warm indoors, now is the perfect time to have a licensed professional perform a deck safety inspection. Making certain your deck is safe and in proper working order will mean you will be ready for the outdoor living season that will be here sooner than you think.

Within the last six years there were 179 nationwide reported deck failures that resulted in 33 deaths and 1,122 people being injured. These accidents are unfortunate because when it comes to deck safety, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is the reason we offer a free deck safety inspection. This program not only enables us to catch a problem before it worsens and puts the safety of your family at risk, it also provides peace of mind.

The North American Deck and Railing Association, (NADRA) urges homeowners to have their deck inspected by a licensed professional to ensure deck safety.  “According to NADRA  A professional inspection will examine every inch of your deck, provide information on your deck’s capacity limits, identify any dangerous problem areas and give you a map of what to keep your eye on in the future. If your deck is older, this might include a regular deck inspection schedule.” Some of the crucial areas a deck safety inspection should check for are ledger connections, posts and footings, post-to-beam connections, joists and joist connections, stairs, deck boards, handrail assemblies and guards and other miscellaneous aspects of your deck’s construction. It is also important to inspect structural supports and connections, such as post sizes, fastener types and specific design aspects as well as any visible indications of corrosion or weakness. Any inconsistencies in these areas can cause an unsafe deck that could lead to an accident or in a worst case scenario, a deck collapse.

Archadeck of Central GA is dedicated to deck safety. Even if your deck doesn’t look great that doesn’t mean you’re going to fall through the floor. If your deck is aged, or looking a little worse for wear, it is a good idea to have it checked. In many cases you may actually find that even if your deck is cosmetically lacking it can still be structurally sound. When we inspect it, we will inform you of what needs to be done in order to keep any problems from worsening and we can also make a list of anything that we find that needs to be fixed.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia today to schedule your free deck safety inspection and get the peace of mind in knowing your deck is safe and ready for the outdoor living season ahead. Call today (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

If you do not currently have a deck and are thinking of adding one in advance of the outdoor living season, you can view some of our beautiful deck designs by visiting our composite and vinyl deck gallery, wooden deck gallery and Ipe deck gallery located on our website. All of our outdoor structures are built beyond quality and structural standards.

Top 5 reasons not to be your own contractor by Archadeck of Central GA

Macon GA screened porch with fireplace
It is important to let a professional take the reins and see to it that your outdoor dreams are brought to life in a timely manner with quality workmanship and materials.

When it comes to adding an outdoor living space to your home, there are certain things that should not be undertaken or decided upon without the help of an expert. These things are quality, structural expertise, cost, and safety. These are the aspects that may be lost when deciding to be your own general contractor for your structural outdoor project. I like to compare the pitfalls that homeowners experience when choosing to be their own general contractor to representing yourself in a trial with no prior experience of how the judicial system operates. A novice taking on their own defense would not be familiar with the judge, the district attorneys, or even how to present a case. All good intentions aside in order to represent yourself you need the guidance of an experienced professional with knowledge of the courtroom. The same can be said about an experienced contractor. A seasoned builder or contractor knows the business and how it operates, how to get the best values on the highest quality materials and how to avoid being pushed onto the back burner of the schedule.

5 reasons to not be your own general contractor

Archadeck of Central GA quality sub contractors
Archadeck of Central GA only uses sub-contractors that are experts in the quality and workmanship of their given trade.

1) Risk – if you are acting as your own contractor there will be substantial risks involved. These can range from the design, the construction and the people you hire to work for you. Being a homeowner and taking on these risks means there is no recourse for holding subcontractors accountable if something goes wrong. Since you are not licensed as a contractor you are accepting all the risk. In addition to the liability and danger involved if an accident such as a fire happens, your homeowner’s insurance does not cover the risk associated with deciding to take on the role of a general contractor. Reputable sub-contractors you seek to complete the work will require an up-to-date certificate of insurance showing you are covered in the event of an accident.

2) Expertise– the sub-contractors hired will have to be supervised and instructed. Questions like “how deep are the footings supposed to be”, and “how many nails should go in the joist” commonly arise. Knowledge of code requirements is also crucial when managing a building project. In order to play the role of a general contractor you must have knowledge and be well-versed in conveying the proper structural requirements to the subs when needed. Without the skill, experience and expertise; you will be left in the dark. This means when the inspections are completed and something doesn’t meet code, or is done incorrectly, you as the general contractor will have to fix it.

Archadeck
Our customers our priority one and we uphold the highest expectations of each contractor, safety and the highest quality materials.

3) Costs– licensed contractors have relationships with their suppliers. They deal with them on a regular basis and are repeat customers. This relationship between the contractor, the supplier and the sub-contractors helps facilitate honesty between the groups. Suppliers want good relationships with their contractors and sub-contractors because they want repeat business. This rapport means that they are more apt to be treated fairly on price and delivery versus doing business with a one-time customer. You are not likely to get the same discounts or prompt delivery as that of one their regular contractors.

4) Timing – suppliers will make sure the deliveries for the contractors they deal with as repeat customers on a regular basis are top priority. Deliveries for one time clients are generally placed last. The same can be said about the scheduling importance of your sub-contractors. Since yours is a one time job they will likely not have the same incentive to get the work completed in a timely manner as the jobs of their repeat contractors. They will prioritize their better relationships over your job of someone they are not familiar with and will likely never work for again. Building is a realm where contractors, subs and suppliers take care of their “own” before any others, much like a family would.

5) Quality – this is especially a concern where sub-contractors are concerned. Many quality subs already have specific contractors which they will only work for. It is difficult to find a good sub that will work for you as a one-time deal. The inability to hire quality sub-contractors will set the stage for inferior or sub-standard work, because all the quality workers are already scheduled on jobs for licensed contractors. This is a major pitfall for homeowners acting as their own general contractor because it can lead to problems in the future as a result of shoddy workmanship.

The best way to avoid these dilemmas is to hire a licensed general contractor to oversee your outdoor structure project. Archadeck of Central Georgia specializes in taking the pressure off of the homeowner and ensuring a safe and trained work environment with skilled sub-contractors, turn-key pricing and quality workmanship in a timely manner. If you are looking for an answer to “all of the above”, we can provide it for a lot less than you may expect. Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to learn more and to discuss how we can bring your outdoor living dreams to life. Call for a free consultation (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

See more of our award-winning outdoor living projects by visiting our deck gallery and  our outdoor living gallery located on our website. Quality you can see and feel in every project we build!

Archadeck of Central Georgia urges buyers beware and don’t fall prey to decks gone bad

bad composite decking
This photo is a good example of GeoDeck composite decking that has gone bad.

The term “decks gone bad” sounds like one of those crazy videos that you see advertised late at night when everyone but you is already asleep. Sadly, being in the business of outdoor living we can attest to the truth behind the term. Shoddy workmanship and inferior products can cause any well-meant deck to go bad. This is even true when it comes to composite decking. Many homeowners think that just because they are getting a composite deck that nothing can go awry. Unfortunately all composites are not created equal.

Manufacturing defects composite decking
In this photo the manufacturer defects and inconsistencies are evident in this piece of composite decking.

Composite decking materials have been evolving since their introduction onto the scene. Since their inception, every few years another composite product will come out that looks better, requires less maintenance, and holds up longer than the last.  However, all composites aren’t the same. Composites as a whole are a manufactured product and there have been issues where the product was not made properly. In some cases the formulation for the composite was composed incorrectly. We have seen this happen with the recycled products in particular. In each instance where we have dealt with a composite deck that has gone bad, it was attributed to incorrect manufacturing and production issues. Although it is easy to identify bad product as soon as it begins to be used in the field, it is difficult to track down the people that have purchased and used the product in order to communicate the problems with the product to the customer.

crumbling composite decking
The GeoDeck composite used on this deck is crumbling.

When material is ordered it is not improbable to receive material coming from different lots. When this happens sometimes just a few boards out of a particular order can be deemed bad. When this happens it can become a nightmare.  The good thing about working with Archadeck of Central Georgia is if the unfortunate happens, we not only warranty our product, we are going to replace it. Although the manufacturer will not reimburse the contractor for the labor involved in replacement, we will always make things right. A good contractor will always stand behind their products and their work and will make whatever goes wrong on your project right as rain at all costs.

defective synthetic decking
This photo illustrates defective Epoch synthetic decking by Tamco.

The vast majority of inferior composite materials come from smaller, lesser known and new composite companies. A good rule of thumb is to talk with your contractor about which companies he/she has found to be the most reputable from their experience. We have worked with many composite companies and will only do business with those that have a long track record of positive results. Archadeck also has a good relationship with all the reputable composite companies which is very important in delivering peace of mind to our customers through the products we offer.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

If you are planning a new composite deck addition, or maybe you are thinking of refurbishing an existing deck, contact Archadeck of Central Georgia. We can ensure a quality composite and the quality ethics and workmanship that go beyond your everyday contractor. We go the extra mile, for your safety, satisfaction and to protect your outdoor living investment. Call us today for a free consultation (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Visit our composite and PVC deck gallery located on our website to see examples of quality composite paired with quality design and workmanship.

This well-rounded deck in Hawkinsville, GA is curved for all the right reasons

There are many factors that go into choosing the best design for your new deck.  The design of your home, slope of your landscape and any natural assets that are present within your yard should inform the design you choose. One of the most important aspects of your deck will be its shape and how it serves to unify your backyard. Our featured project this week is a rounded deck in Hawkinsville, GA that takes its cues from the unique features of this historical property. We showed you the design rendering for this Hawkinsville rounded deck in a previous blog post. Now it’s time to see it completed.

round deck design drawing - hawkinsville - georgia
This artist rendering shows the beautiful curves of this rounded deck in Hawkinsville, GA.

This home was built in the 1800’s and has a unique area near the back door where an old well is located. The old well is now filled with soil and serves as a flower bed but still conveys a unique characteristic that is a distinct feature of the backyard. The well keeps the history of this home intact as a constant reminder of the home’s past. We came up with a rounded deck design to compliment the shape of the old well. The terrain also allowed us to make the deck low-to-grade which helps emphasize the curves of the deck. The deck sits less than 30″ off the ground and the low height means no railings were required. This feature also aids in opening up the view that would otherwise be obstructed by railing. The minimal use of rails allows maximum aesthetic appeal and also saves money on the deck. When you build a curved or rounded deck, the expense comes from putting the rails on it. Curved railing is quite expensive but is a necessity because you can’t bend wood or rail caps and make it look right when building a rounded deck.

Hawkinsville-GA round deck Archadeck
Notice the outdoor curtain on the trellis which can be closed for desired privacy.

A versatile trellis was also added to the deck to serve as the perfect spot to plant vines and plants. The trellis will also provide privacy blocking the view from neighbors and even while using the existing attached screened porch. The deck was also designed with ease of maintenance in mind with the use of composite materials. The TimberTech pacific walnut composite decking we used in the design will only require soap and water cleanup from time to time to stay looking like new. The new deck will never have to be stained or painted. TimberTech composite decking also resists mildew, insects, and warping which means never worrying about replacing decking boards due to rotting wood.

For this particular deck we specifically designed it so it would not have any splices in it. There are no boards butting into each other. It is not always possible to do this on each deck we build, but in the case of this deck we were able to. We finished out the deck with minimal railing interference. The railing is located right off the screened porch and leads down into the stairway. The railing is built using pressure treated pine with a TimberTech rail cap and features a convenient built-in bench seat for convenient added seating.

These Hawkinsville, GA homeowners are ecstatic with their new rounded deck. The new outdoor space has added more function to their backyard, and has even increased the time they spend on their screened porch. By choosing a well- rounded (no pun intended) design they were able to keep the integrity of the features that make their home one-of-a-kind intact.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

If you are looking for an outdoor space that will enhance the distinct features of your home and still provide plenty of  outdoor enjoyment, contact Archadeck of Central Georgia today. Call for your free consultation (478) 745 – 2000 or email centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Visit our composite and vinyl (PVC) deck gallery located on our website to see more beautiful low-maintenance decks

Now is the time to invest in your Central Georgia outdoor space

Forsyth GA screen porch design rendering Archadeck
Forsyth GA screen porch design rendering Archadeck

If there is any point in the year where a homeowner can reap the most benefit from building their outdoor structure, it is now. Choosing to go ahead in the fall or winter with the outdoor living project you’ve been dreaming of ensures you can enjoy it on those “Indian Summer Days” during the cooler months as well as the very minute that spring begins. Whether early or late, your outdoor room will not only be enjoyable during the winter but it will also be ready to enjoy the Spring whenever it arrives.

A heaping helping of value

Avoiding any price increases in the new calendar year is an important consideration when thinking about the timing of your project. Labor prices are really low in this economy and are only predicted to go up as the economy improves. The same is true of raw materials that are used in building such as wood, concrete and even sand. Typically the market experiences an increase in the price of materials in the spring. This increase is driven up by the simple theory of supply and demand at the lumber yard. A good example of this is evident with the use of pressure treated lumber. The majority of outdoor living structures are built using pressure treated lumber and it is kept in inventory at the lumber yards only enough to meet demand. Lumber prices fluctuate and the price of pressure treated wood  products won’t go down because they simply don’t make as much.

ipe deck - macon GA by Archadeck
Fall and winter is a time when prices for raw materials, such as wood are at their lowest prices of the year.

Crews that work in the cooler months are often more productive as well. The blistering temperatures of the Central Georgia summers can be dangerous and require more hydration breaks for carpenters and contractors. If you ask a carpenter which season he or she prefers to build in, they will always tell you the winter simply because of the milder temperatures and lack of humidity. There are no restrictions in our area from working in the cold because it never really gets too cold here in Georgia.

Another plus to fall and winter construction is it causes less trauma to your turf and landscape. It is actually better for your yard to build during the cooler months. This is in part due to turf grass and plant dormancy that naturally occurs in the winter. Although we take a lot of precautions to not cause damage to the yard while digging footings, delivery and foot traffic, a certain amount of damage is inevitable. Having the luxury of time to let your landscape heal over the winter will help it bounce back in the spring good as new.

round deck design drawing - hawkinsville - georgia
This Archadeck design rendering shows our Hawkinsville GA clients exactly what their project is going to look like at their home

Out of all the projects Archadeck of Central Georgia has built over the years not one single customer has ever said “I wish I had waited to build my outdoor structure”. A recent study conducted by Harvard Business School indicates the median waiting period of a homeowner thinking about building and actually getting started on a project is generally two years. The study also indicates that there is no advantage to waiting for two years to break ground on your project. The factor to remember is that a professionally built outdoor space adds value to your home. It is not like a car which depreciates significantly the minute you drive it off the lot. Outdoor living projects are an honest and tangible investment to your home which is like moving money from the bank to your backyard. And how often do you get to enjoy that money in the bank. Would you not rather be enjoying the sunset with your spouse while sitting on your new Archadeck outdoor living room. You can put your money back in the bank after you sell the house.

If uncertainty about how long you are planning on staying in your home is holding you back, don’t let that factor enter into your decision. If you are going to be in your house for at least two years, you will reap the return on your investment. This means that you will get your money back out of your investment and get the luxury of enjoying the space while you are still in your home. It is a win/win situation.

Now lets say your current deck or porch is in disrepair. Are you going to be able to sell your house without addressing the issue or discounting the price of your home? Why not upgrade or repair now and enjoy the space until you sell?

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

If you are ready to ensure your outdoor space is ready right on time for the outdoor living season, contact Archadeck of Central Georgia today. You will be glad you did. Call us for a free consultation (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Don’t forget an outdoor structure also makes the perfect way to make that special someone’s holiday dreams come true. A gift that keeps giving year after year! Check out our outdoor fireplace and fire pit gallery, or our screened porch gallery located on our website for inspiration.

AZEK vs. Fiberon, who will come out the winner?

fiberon-deck-river north-macon GA Warner Robins
This Fiberon deck in River North mimics the color of Ipe without the maintenance and it is easier to clean than other composites.

This Fiberon deck in River North mimics the color of Ipe without the maintenance and it is easier to clean than other composites. As an outdoor structure builder I use many synthetic decking brands. My customers always ask me which brand is best.  Each brand has its pro’s and con’s. Below is some information about 2 of the top brands we use.

AZEK vs. Fiberon

I drew a comparison on these brands because they’re both strong high-performance, low-maintenance brands that are attractive to boot. Here are some of the differences. Fiberon is a composite with a PVC wrap which means the thermal density is higher so it may retain more heat than AZEK does. In the hottest part of the day, both brands will retain heat, but AZEK cools off faster. AZEK is a full PVC product that does not contain any wood fibers. Wood fibers can cause a product to retain moisture and swell causing expansion and contraction. A good example of a structure that would be best suited to build from AZEK is a dock. Since Fiberon is a capped product it has exposed ends where the water from a dock or other structure can penetrate the ends and cause the decking boards to expand. This is only a concern if the material is going to be submerged or will be heavily exposed to water for long periods of time.

macon-azek-morado-acacia Archadeck Central GA
This deck was built using the beautiful Morado and Acacia colors in the Arbor collection by AZEK, just two of the many stunning colors they offer.

Each manufacturer has a wide variety of colors and patterns. Our local distributor carries the most popular color options. Fiberon popular colors include Ipe, Rosewood and Gray Birch. Among the most popular AZEK colors are Morado, Acacia, Cobre, and Tahoe (which is a gray). AZEK also comes in a white that is often used on rail caps.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

All of today’s composites simulate the undulation, streaking and graining of natural wood to some degree. The methodology behind achieving this true-to-life look of wood is different with each brand. The wood grain pattern apparent on AZEK is indented. The Fiberon pattern uses a raised pattern to achieve undulation and graining. Fiberon contains more streaking, which mimics the look of tropical hardwoods such as Ipe.

Though both AZEK and Fiberon are low-maintenance and stain resistant, Fiberon is often easier to keep clean. Cleaning AZEK requires more work to get down into the grooves where the dirt can gather. Fiberon also offers an economy-grade composite that is PVC on only one side and offers some of the same benefits of traditional Fiberon. This makes a great alternative to homeowners that are on a set budget but still want a quality low-maintenance decking product.

AZEK Morado deck
This deck was built using the Morado color in the Arbor collection by AZEK.

In closing, keep in mind there is no perfect decking that will be all things to all homeowners. Individual opinions and needs will determine which decking choice is right for you. Since most of the low-maintenance brands have very similar features and benefits, aesthetics are often the determining factor.

Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to learn more about Fiberon and AZEK and which choice is right for your new outdoor living structure. We offer many other decking choices such as hardwood and traditional pressure treated wood as well. Call us for a free consultation today (478) 745 – 2000 or email us at
centralgeorgia@archadeck.netStephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA.

See more examples of low-maintenance decks by visiting our composite, vinyl and PVC deck gallery located on our website.

This project in Macon, GA proves that a few changes can make a huge impact for homeowners facing mobility challenges

As an outdoor structure builder I meet with homeowners that are searching for outdoor spaces to fit their individual needs. These needs may encompass adding more space to a patio for dining, or making changes to their existing space to accommodate lifestyle and health changes. Many times I meet homeowners that have more specific needs, such as mobility challenges. My goal is to create the solution that provides the best for each individual customer. Many builders look at projects that involve accommodating mobility challenges as architectural or technical challenges. Archadeck of Central Georgia looks at finding solutions from a caring point of view in order make the form fit the function instead of the other way around.

macon - deck stairs
Design rendering for upcoming deck stair project in Macon, GA.

This particular project in Macon, GA initially began as a ramp construction. The codes regarding ramp construction are very strict when it comes to the required length and elevation changes. After discussing the options with the homeowner we came up with a plan that was a nicer alternative to a ramp. A gentle set of stairs that gently ascend and descend turned out to be the perfect option for this homeowner. We were able to achieve the three key aspects that were crucial to this project. The design functions just as it needs to, looks the way the homeowners want it to and is in the right price range.

abaco decking - macon GA
Abaco decking features a grooved side which is perfect for added stability and traction.

When you are building with the specific needs of mobility challenges in mind, often times functional doesn’t mean it will look the part or be affordable. We were able to do use stairs with a shallower rise, longer tread and wider pass to take care of this homeowner’s needs. Seven to 7-1/2 inches is the standard vertical distance on the rise of most stairs. We were able to move that down to 4 inches to make the step easier for a homeowner to travel. By adding an additional board for the tread area of the stair you can increase the depth of the area from a traditional tread length of 10 inches up to 15.5 inches to add a roomier and safer tread. Our standard 4 foot wide stairs allow for easy traffic flow and are also a great benefit for mobility. With a nice 4 foot stair if you stumble you can still easily reach both sides of the rail. We can also add a grab rail on the railing that is specifically designed to steady you. This inclusion is required by code on commercial projects, but not on residential projects in our area.

Another added safeguard to our stair design is the area where the landing begins. This is typically 4 feet which allows space at the top of the stairs to be able to open and close the door. In many projects this is not always possible, but in special circumstances it can make a huge impact on the design. If a smaller landing presents issues, we can sometimes reverse the door swing to swing in rather than out to compensate for the lack of space available at the landing area.

When keeping mobility in mind, we always use decking which meets or exceeds the code for slip resistance. Some materials work better than others when choosing a stair that will aid in mobility. For this project we chose Abaco hardwood decking which is grooved on one side for less slippage and better traction. Abaco is a beautiful tropical hardwood decking that resists splintering, twisting and cracking. It is not only readily used for added traction is also a natural hardwood that requires less maintenance than standard pressure treated pine.

Our caring and personalized solutions to the homeowner’s needs are one of the things that makes Archadeck of Central GA unique. These Macon, GA homeowners are looking forward to their completed stairs and the way in which they will add greater freedom to their outdoor lifestyle and safety as well.Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

If you or someone in your family is facing special circumstances or mobility issues we can help. Archadeck of Central Georgia can design an outdoor space with their special needs in mind that will enable continued outdoor enjoyment for everyone in the family. Contact for a free consultation (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

To see more examples of outdoor spaces that utilize specific needs and function visit our Wooden deck gallery and composite and vinyl deck gallery located on our website, many of our designs use slip resistant decking that can aid in improving traction and safety in your outdoor space.

 

Archadeck of Central GA explores the differences in maintaining a pressure-treated deck with that of Ipe and composites

We cleaned and sealed this deck and railing in River North. Notice the solid white sealer on the railing.

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.

Georgia on my mind with this Central GA composite deck
These Central GA homeowners have Georgia on their mind when using this stunning composite deck.

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 pool deck in Warner Robins GA
Ipe is perfect for use around water features because of it;s density and resistant to water that would cause other wood mediums to degrade rapidly.

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.

We replaced and sealed the flooring only on this deck. The railing is original with the original sealer

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.

Forsyth GA Ipe deck
Ipe delivers beauty and strength ; the beauty and the beast of decking material.

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
Email:centralgeorgia@archadeck.netStephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

To see more inspiring images of decks built with various medias, visit our wood deck gallery, our Ipe deck gallery and our composite deck gallery located on our website.

Bring home an exotic beauty right here in Central Georgia with an outdoor structure built from stunning Ipe Brazilian hardwoods

Central Georgia Ipe Decks
This deck in Forsyth, GA was built using Ipe and features an elegant black metal custom rail.

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 pool deck in Macon GA by Archadeck of Central GA
See the beautiful rich dark shades in an Ipe deck.

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.

ipe-deck-warner robins GA by Archadeck of Central GA
Ipe pool deck in Warner Robins GA

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.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

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: centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

See more beautiful hardwood decks, including Ipe decks by visiting our wooden deck gallery located on our website.

An AZEK synthetic deck is low maintenance and nice looking to boot

macon-azek-morado-acacia Archadeck Central GA
This deck was built using the beautiful Morado and Acacia colors in the Arbor collection by AZEK, just two of the many stunning colors they offer.

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”.

Chippendale patterned deck in Midgeville, GA
Intricately detailed features such as this Chippendale patterned deck in Milledgeville, GA respond beautifully with the use of capstock synthetic decking.

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.

AZEK Acacia from the Arbor Collection
AZEK Acacia from the Arbor Collection

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.

AZEK deck with white railing
AZEK deck with white railing

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
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

 

See more stunning synthetic decks and view the many options we have available to suit your lifestyle and your wallet by visiting our composite and Vinyl (PVC) deck photo gallery located on our website.