A New Outdoor Living Space From Archadeck is the Gift That Keeps Giving!

When it comes to holiday gift giving, it is the thought that counts, right? So, why not treat yourself and your family to a gift that will keep giving for years to come with a new outdoor living space from Archadeck of Central SC.

A new deck, open or screened porch or sunroom may not classify as a traditional holiday gift, but the timing couldn’t fit more perfectly if you are considering an update to your outdoor living space in the coming months. This is because choosing to move ahead now will ensure you get the most value by locking into 2017’s pricing and the added benefit of our December special.

A Bounty of Benefits!

As is the case with any home improvement project, timing is important. Many homeowners are under the impression that outdoor structures are best to build during the warm-weather months. The truth is that Archadeck of Central SC builds year round, and anytime that best suits your circumstances and budget is the right time to build. However, there are certain advantages to moving ahead with your project during the cooler months…

Save Time — The backlog of work is generally shorter during the cooler months making it the perfect time to build. Required permit applications and HOA approvals have shorter waiting periods now, too, thus saving time in the overall project schedule.

Save Money — Prices for building materials generally increase during the early part of the 1st quarter. Many elements can influence price increases on building materials; these include fuel prices and supply and demand. The new year is the time when many manufacturers set their new pricing modules. Moving ahead with your outdoor living project now instead of waiting will ensure you are locked into this year’s pricing.

Not to mention, for a limited time, Archadeck of Central South Carolina is running a December special. We are offering $500 off any new outdoor living project totaling $10K or more or $1,000 off any new outdoor living space totaling $20K or more. In order to take advantage of this special, your contract must be finalized and signed by December 31st, 2017.

Still on the Fence?

Maybe you are ready to move ahead with a new outdoor structure, but the timing just won’t work for your budget. We understand the financial stress of the holiday season, too, and that is why we offer flexible financing options to help achieve your dream of a new or improved outdoor living space. Archadeck of Central SC offers many hassle-free financing options.

  • Lower Rates
  • Fast, Easy, Paperless Process
  • Secure and Confidential
  • More Programs Means More Choices
  • Loans and Credit Cards For All Credit Grades

The most important timing factor for your new outdoor living project is when you first make the call us to schedule your free design consultation. The sooner you start the process, the sooner your outdoor living space will be completed. Why hold off on the project of your dreams? Call today to learn more about the gift that will keep on giving, season after season, for years to come!

You can reach us by phone at (803) 603-2160, or send us an email.


The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu.

Lake Wateree Deck Builder

Archadeck of Central SC just completed this wonderful redecking project on Lake Wateree. The homeowner is elated with the outcome and we are too!

When we initially consulted on this redecking project, the homeowner’s aging pressure-treated wood deck was showing signs of exposure. Since the deck encompasses the entire rear of the home and is also used as a poolside outdoor living space, they thought it might be time to consider a low-maintenance decking upgrade.

Using the footprint of the existing deck, Archadeck of Central SC redecked the entire area with new AZEK decking. The new decking a capped polymer product engineered to last beautifully from installation throughout all the seasons in the life of your deck. This new deck will stand up to extreme weather conditions, mold and mildew and will resist stains, scratches and fading. In addition, the new decking boards will be a blessing on those in bare feet coming in from the pool because AZEK is known for its superior heat dissipation.

In addition to the redecking, we also installed new railing around the entire perimeter and a low-maintenance pergola. For the railing, we used Westbury white aluminum railing, and the pergola is aluminum as well.

Last but certainly not least, Archadeck of Central SC replaced the flooring within the homeowner’s existing gazebo (not shown) with AZEK as well.

You can see more of our incredible lakeside outdoor living spaces by visiting our Lake Murray Outdoor Living Structures page located on our website.

Learn more about increasing your outdoor living enjoyment lakeside by contacting Archadeck of Central SC today for a free design consultation. You can reach us by phone at (803) 603-2160, or send us an email.

We specialize in waterfront decks, porches, docks and much more!


The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu.

Columbia SC Screened Porch Living

When it comes to outdoor living, much like the other elements that make your home more enjoyable, the difference lies in the details. The details enhance our ability to enjoy the everyday rituals we take for granted. When it comes to porches, there is one detail in particular that can totally transform the way you use, and view, the time you spend outside - the screen.

As modest and transparent as the addition of screens may seem, screening provides a powerhouse of benefits to a porch. Screens will keep the bugs, allergens and outdoor debris at bay, and when paired with the protection of a roof, a screened room becomes an all-weather room. However, there’s more to love about screened porches than just the shelter and versatility they provide. Just imagine the way they can enhance your everyday activities.

Archadeck of Central South Carolina has listened closely to the comments from our screened porch customers, and we have compiled a list of the ways they are enjoying their outdoor rooms:

Good Morning!

A screened porch is a great place to welcome the arrival of a new day. Enjoy your morning coffee or read the newspaper on the porch. You can enjoy the fresh air and the music of songbirds and nature as it wakes all around. Depending on the placement of your screened porch, you may even be able to watch the sun rise.

We had Archadeck build a screened porch for us recently and we couldn’t be happier…Every morning when I sit out on the porch with my morning coffee, I am amazed that we have this beautiful screened porch. It is both beautiful and functional!
- Houzz review from Carol P.

Good Afternoon!

You don’t have to look far to find references of sweet tea sipping in conjunction with porch sitting here in South Carolina. You need only look on the Discover South Carolina website for a delightful example.

Porches and sweet tea—now there’s a match made in South Carolina heaven. From the fanned, ferned and wickered verandas of Southern homes, bargains have long been struck with the devilish heat by sweltering folk seeking a reprieve. In these parts, it’s tradition for such deals to be sealed with sweating glasses of sweet iced tea. Though they hail from different sides of the Mason-Dixon, porches and sweet tea crossed the line a long time ago to officially become a couple. This pairing is now a cultural, time-honored fixture at humble farm houses, majestic manors and every kind of Southern abode in-between.

Screened porches make the perfect spot to enjoy your favored cool beverage on a hot afternoon, or warm beverage when cooler temperatures arrive. Additionally, many of our projects are designed with ceiling fans to nurture the breeze on those balmy summer days and with ample room for dining outdoors — lunch anyone?

Goodnight!

Evenings spent on a screened porch make for mosquito-free outdoor living loaded with ambiance. Outdoor fireplaces are a favorite accompaniment and promise coziness and relaxation. Many of our clients also opt to add televisions to their screened porch space. Imagine being able to dine outdoors or watch movies and sports in the great outdoors!

Screened porches are also a great place to decorate and enjoy during the holidays. Whether it is Halloween, Christmas or the Fourth of July, a screened porch gives you versatile living space and more room for family and friends.

With a screened porch built by Archadeck of Central South Carolina, the joys of outdoor living are endless! Contact us today to learn more at (803) 603-2160 or via Email: centralsc@archadeck.net.


The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu.

What's All the BUZZ About Screened Porches?

Before air conditioning became the “norm,” the screened porch was considered a necessity for many southern households as a respite from sweltering heat and humidity. The screened porch even served as a safe, cool place to rest at night. This is where the term sleeping porch came from. Over time, as different notions of outdoor rooms for all sorts of uses caught on, the screened porch’s popularity waned.

Over the past decade, the popularity of the screened porch has re-emerged. The buzz in outdoor living design is now all about ways to bring the outdoors in — and a screened porch does that perfectly! This time around, however, escaping from the heat is not the only focus. Our focus includes protection from bugs and the serious health issues they bring, especially the mosquito. Mosquitoes are responsible for West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Heartworms in dogs and cats and many more illnesses.

At least 61 different species of mosquitoes exist in South Carolina. Mosquitoes are pests that can cause itchy bites, but they can also cause serious health issues. Mosquitoes can carry harmful viruses and parasites that infect millions of people worldwide each year. Mosquito-borne diseases can cause brain inflammation (or encephalitis), birth defects, internal bleeding, complications from parasites and even death in some cases.

Second on the list of dangerous bugs are ticks. The major tick-borne diseases in the southeastern U.S. include Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness (STARI), Ehrlichiosis and Tularemia. According to TickCheck, South Carolina had 465 confirmed cases of Lyme Disease between 2000 and 2015. However, due to the fact that the CDC’s data only represents confirmed cases, the actual quantity of Lyme Disease cases may be far greater. The site estimates a total of 4,650 true cases of Lyme disease in South Carolina, making tick-borne illness a major concern for residents.

In our endless pursuit of outdoor living enjoyment, while trying to escape the annoyance and dangers of insects, we recommend the screened porch — a functional, attractive outdoor room that allows you to feel like you’re outdoors, while safely indoors. All over the Columbia, SC, area, we are getting more and more requests for screened porches — especially in waterfront areas like Lake Murray and Lake Chapin where mosquitoes are more prevalent due to many properties’ proximity to standing water. Having a screened porch gives homeowners a variety of benefits, and having protection from insects is definitely high on the list!

Archadeck of Central SC specializes in being able to provide quality outdoor spaces for homeowners with varied budgets and lifestyle needs. We offer custom-designed screened porches along with low-maintenance, budget- friendly alternatives to traditional wood-framed screened porches.

Contact us today for a design consultation— the call and the consultation are free, but the benefits you will get from a screened porch addition are priceless! You can reach us by phone at (803) 603 – 2160, or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net.


The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu.

Why Our Wooden Decks are Better

Archadeck of Central SC knows just how many Columbia-area homeowners still want wood when it comes to building a deck. We receive many inquiries each week about wooden decks and low-maintenance composites alike. Despite all the competition, pressure-treated wood is still the number one decking material sold today. Nearly 75% of all new decks are finished with pressure-treated lumber. We specialize in designing and building decks of various materials, including wood and synthetic, in all shapes and sizes. However, when it comes to wooden decks, it is important to know that not all wooden deck builders and wood decking boards are created equal.

We are often asked why our quote to build a wooden deck is higher than others. The answer is as complex as it is simple because there are many factors that set our wooden decks apart from others.

The first factor is the quality of the wood we use for all our wooden outdoor structures. We use lumber that is not readily available to the average handyman, builder or do-it-yourselfer from “big-box” stores. Our pressure-treated pine is quite different and is the highest quality wood available through specialty lumber suppliers. Professional deck builders, like Archadeck of Central SC, only obtain wood from selective, high-quality suppliers. This means that the wood we use is free of knots, warps and other inconsistencies evident in lower-grade pressure-treated pine. In addition, the PT pine we use has been rated for ground contact and has been treated with an Eco-life treatment that ensures better weathering of the wood itself.

Second, we don’t design and build “cookie-cutter” wooden decks. Our customized designs ensure that your deck is truly one-of-a-kind and made just for you. We always tailor your deck to the existing landscape, the character of your home and to address your needs. Each of our decks is designed with professionally-engineered blueprints, not a sketch on the back of a napkin.

Along with the integrity of having professionally-engineered blueprints, we also use building practices that ensure more stability in our deck construction. We use screws instead of nails when installing all our decking boards. This process is more timely and labor-intensive, but it ensures a stronger structure. All of our decks are built using free-standing construction which means the deck doesn’t have to rely on the strength of the tie-in location (the house) for support. Archadeck of Central SC adds extra strength by always installing the decking boards on a diagonal, unlike less-seasoned deck builders who haphazardly install boards without thinking of loads, weight or structural stability.

In addition to using only the finest PT boards and a customized deck design, we also use professional, trained crews to install and build our decks. Our crews are fully insured and covered under general liability. We maintain a minimum of $1 million in liability coverage and full workers compensation insurance (where required by law) to protect you from any possible mishaps. This brings you peace of mind when you choose Archadeck of Central SC to build your wooden deck.

Last but certainly not least, our decks are built the dedicated service of a committed and responsive local business owner/operator combined with the strength and assurances of an established national corporation. Your deck is backed by Archadeck’s written warranty for the workmanship for one year. That warranty is further backed by the National Guarantee Corporation, which guarantees that your residential outdoor living project will be completed to the terms of your Archadeck contract and built to the agreed-upon specification and a warranty of performance for up to two years. Additionally, depending on the building materials you select, manufacturers’ warranties may apply to protect you against defects in materials. And Archadeck’s intensive training and, in many cases, certification as an official installer help reinforce your confidence that those manufacturers’ warranties won’t be adversely affected by installation issues.

Simply put, no other company in the remodeling industry provides this level of client assurance and protection. When when you elect to work with Archadeck of Central SC, you can rest assured that you’ll enjoy quality construction and unmatched protections not available from any other builder in the Columbia, SC, area.


We are the premier builder of custom decks in Columbia, SC, and the surrounding region. Building custom outdoor living environments and structures is all we do, and we do it best. Our consultation is completely free. Call us to discuss your ideas at (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

What's Hot in Outdoor Living Trends in Columbia, SC

Here at Archadeck of Central South Carolina, we stay on our toes with regard to what our customers want. We listen carefully to our clients when they describe the design features they crave in their outdoor living spaces. In 2017, much of what we are hearing from Columbia-area homeowners is shadowing the trend forecast on a national level.

According to a recent article in Nasdaq news, “fun meets functionality” best describes 2017’s hottest outdoor living trends: “If 2016 was about blurring the lines between the indoors and out, 2017 is the year that erases it completely. The newest designs in outdoor living spaces do not simply feature the look of the indoors — but the functionality as well.”

When it comes to identifying trends in our service area, Tony, our lead outdoor living space designer, is the person to talk to. He points out that one of the most requested outdoor living projects is converting an existing wooden deck to composite. The reason for the popularity in redecking with synthetic material is simple. While people are spending more time outdoors on their decks, they are not interested in spending much of that time on deck maintenance.

Here is how the Nasdaq news article describes the trend: “Instead, their desire for comfort with functionality extends to the decking material itself. Wood alternatives, particularly wood-plastic composites, are expected to experience above average annual gains in demand through 2020. As the economy rebounds, analysts predict this segment of the decking industry will grow at a faster rate than traditional wood.”

Tony goes on to point out that outdoor room additions, especially sunrooms, are a close second to low-maintenance decks in popularity. Columbia-area homeowners are requesting open and airy outdoor rooms that serve as a conditioned outdoor escape providing cool comfort in the summer and coziness in the winter. Sunrooms also add tremendous value to your home because they increase the heated square footage of your home.

Other elements our clients find appealing include outdoor lighting for decks; gable end windows and horizontal sliding windows for outdoor room additions; and of course, cathedral ceilings to extend a sunroom’s open feel.

To learn more about choosing the perfect outdoor living space addition that speaks to your needs, tastes and budget, contact Archadeck of Central SC today at (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.

Need more room for the holidays -- A Columbia outdoor room may be the answer

Would an outdoor room addition such as a sunroom, screened porch or 3 or 4-season room satisfy your need for more livable space for the holidays?


When a deck is not enough, consider a Columbia outdoor room addition!

Outdoor rooms provide various levels of comfort while still allowing you to enjoy the beauty and splendor of the outdoors, even during the ever-changing seasons of fall & winter. With the impending arrival of the holidays and the flurry of family and friends coming to call, wouldn’t it be nice to have additional outdoor and indoor living space? We know how “cramped” conditions can get as loved ones converge on your home. Having additional functional room for dining, relaxing or even extended holiday decorating can put your mind, and your patience, at ease.

Our large portfolio of outdoor room designs includes structures that function as additional conditioned indoor space, as well as rooms and porches that can be used for three and even four seasons throughout the year.

A sunroom

A sunroom is a room that functions as an interior room but allows you to take in the vistas of the outdoors year-round. You can enjoy a cup of cocoa from a warm and cozy nook inside your sunroom and watch the snow fall in the winter undaunted by the chill of Mother Nature. A sunroom, in essence, is an interior room with many windows. Sunrooms require the same construction fundamentals that an interior addition requires, such as HVAC systems , meaning they are insulated, heated and cooled.

Choosing a sunroom for your home opens up a greater realm of interior finishing choices than you can get with other outdoor living structures. These materials include ceramic tile, hardwoods, wood trim and moldings, and more. Since the use of Sheetrock comes into play with a sunroom, you can use paint, faux finishes, wainscoting and even wallpaper to show off your personal style. During the holidays, a sunroom or four-season room will allow you extended decorating capabilities and even provide an alternate spot to trim a holiday tree. A sunroom will often have dual entry from the interior of your home as well as the exterior via a deck, patio or porch to deliver convenience for indoor and outdoor entertaining and indoor to outdoor transition.

Screened porches and three-season rooms

The screen porch is a covered porch that has screened openings instead of windows. The screen serves as a barrier from bothersome insects and inclement weather. Having a screen porch will give you the opportunity to have an “outdoor” room without the exposure to the harsh elements. Since screened porches are shade structures because they are built under the cover of a roof, they supply superior protection from the sun, heat and inclement weather as well.

Screened porches can be outfitted with a wide range of amenities much like an interior room. Ceiling fans, recessed lighting and even a place to mount your outdoor TV have become common among homeowners building a screen porch. You can even upgrade your screen porch by adding luxurious amenities such as an outdoor fireplace or a sliding window system.

Aluminum & vinyl outdoor rooms

Aluminum and vinyl outdoor rooms you a luxury living space, are custom-made to order and designed to match your home’s architecture and colors. Unlike other aluminum outdoor rooms that are built using a kit, we custom design your outdoor room according to your spatial needs, your roof pitch and interior amenities desired.

Our convertible outdoor rooms are designed to make your porch or patio more usable year round. We offer custom made-to-order components allowing you to have fun designing an outdoor space that’s just right for you. You can use them to replace existing screened enclosures or to add a new one. These porch enclosure systems deliver the best of both worlds — screen when you want it, or a more enclosed “windowed” room when you want that, too!

Archadeck of Central SC can help you choose the perfect outdoor room addition with our helpful design team. Contact us today to learn more, and begin planning your home for holidays that can be enjoyed for years to come! You can reach us by phone at (803) 603 – 2160 or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net.

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu.



How does your Columbia outdoor living space rate when it comes to sheer enjoyment

Many homeowners initially—and often hastily—invest in an outdoor living space without thinking about what elements will bring them the most enjoyment. In essence, this means they don’t factor in the benefits they would like to gain from adding or enhancing an outdoor living space. This may be due to various reasons. The rationale of “putting the cart before the horse” and not considering how your outdoor space should function or flow may be due to the eagerness and excitement of first-time homeownership and finally having your own “custom” space to call your own. However…

There comes a point for all homeowners when they are ready to take their outdoor living space design to the next level. For some, that time comes when they realize they want to settle into a home and make it livable for years to come. Others reach that decision after children have grown a bit and family entertaining becomes more focused on “quality time” rather than running about. And still for others, an outdoor living structure investment comes later in life when homeowners desire to mold the home and landscape of their dreams, a refuge for relaxation and spending time with the ones they love.

Whenever this time comes for you, and you are ready to improve your outdoor space, it is important to carefully consider what you want to achieve from your investment.

The first step to enhancing your existing outdoor living space or starting anew is to use your imagination. We encourage our clients to DREAM. It may sound corny, but pretend your backyard is a canvas and your imagination is the brush. What do you want to create? Ask yourself what activities you wish to enjoy within your outdoor living space. Such as, would you like to cook and dine on the deck or patio under the stars instead of going out for date night? Do you invision spending fall evenings with the kids making s’mores or singing songs around an outdoor fire pit? If this method doesn’t help, we then suggest going indoors and look out the windows to envision what you’d like to see when you look outside. Initially, we encourage dreaming without constraints. There will be plenty of time to prioritize and set practical, workable goals, but your long-term vision will help identify the necessary steps to achieve your outdoor living dreams.

The next step is to compartmentalize. If you find it overwhelming to look at your backyard as one big void to be developed, we can help! Through our experience we have found that with many clients it may be easier to imagine your outdoor living space as several different “rooms” in the same way your indoor space is broken up. For instance, as we take notes during your initial consultation, we might document an area where you might like to have an outdoor fire pit or a built-in seating or retaining wall. Compartmentalizing the wants for your outdoor living space will prevent planning overload and make your vision more attainable. You and your outdoor living space builder can then develop a plan to bring each area to life all at once, if possible, or in stages over time as your lifestyle and budget permit.

The final step is to prioritize. If you choose to create your ideal outdoor living space over time, know that our goal is to give you the best value so as to save you money while providing the greatest lifestyle impact in the long run. For instance, if you eventually wish to add an outdoor kitchen but want to install a simple patio first, it is helpful to know where plumbing, electric and gas lines should be installed before the patio is built. “Archadeck of Central SC”: http://central-south-carolina.archadeck.com/can help you prioritize the projects in a way that will stay within your budget parameters and still give you the most immediate satisfaction.

If you are having trouble prioritizing, we can be the trusted advisor you turn to for help. We can sit down with you and help identify the key components you want out of your outdoor living space addition that will bring you the most enjoyment now and in the future!

Contact Archadeck of Central SC today to get started at (803) 603 – 2160, or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net.



Screened Porch Considerations

Making the decision to add a screened porch is loaded with many considerations. It can be a daunting task deciding the appropriate location, placement and tie-in that will best suit your desired function. Function also plays a huge role when deciding which type of enclosure system to use on your porch. Archadeck of Central South Carolina has been servicing the Columbia, SC, and surrounding areas for over 10 years. We specialize in creating outdoor spaces that heighten the beauty and function of your backyard. Screened porches and three-season rooms are among the most popular outdoor room additions clients request.

Screened porch considerations

The popularity of screened porches spans decades and continues to increase as homeowners realize just how much benefit they add to a home, outdoor living space and lifestyle. Screened porches have also evolved past the days of flimsy screen and wooden framing with very little character. As their popularity increases, their design and the elements that go into building a screened porch have become lower-maintenance and higher-aesthetic! Traditional screen porches consist of fixed screened openings and provide protection from both insects and inclement weather. They also provide cross ventilation on those humid Carolina afternoons. Here in the Columbia area, we take these elements a step further by using a four-track enclosure system on many of our screened porch additions.

Choosing a four-track screened porch enclosure makes it possible to keep the screens and maintain the comfort. A four-track screened porch enclosure consists of windows and screens that can be used separately or together. This system allows you to open up to 75% of the window area for added ventilation and to indulge in better backyard views. This system also enables homeowners to get more use out of their screened porch for longer intervals through the changing seasons. Pollen is a constant headache here in the Central South Carolina area. Pollen not only makes you sneeze, it also leaves a yellowish-green film on all your unprotected outdoor spaces. Cleaning off the pollen in order to use your outdoor space during the spring and early summer can be quite overwhelming. A four-track enclosure will keep your outdoor room cleaner because it keeps dust and pollen outside where it belongs, and not inside your screen porch area. A four-track system still gives you protection from insects and debris, adjusts in just seconds and allows more use of your porch.

The four-track panel windows will allow you to keep the screened porch feeling. If you want to transform your screen porch into a room that you can also use year round, your porch can be completely converted to an all-season sunroom. A four-track enclosure enhances the livability of your screened room. When the window panels are closed, they provide shelter from the summer heat and inclement weather. Our four-track enclosure system is also weather-resistant and shatterproof and opens the door to endless outdoor living possibilities.

If you are interested in learning more about our screened porches, three and four season rooms including our four-track enclosures, contact Archadeck of Central South Carolina today. Call us for a free consultation (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net


The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

When it Comes to Outdoor Living, Size Does Matter

More often than not, when homeowners are planning a deck addition for their central South Carolina home, one of the most important preliminary decisions they need to make is just how big their deck design should be. Of course the size of the structure is contingent upon a few factors, such as the budget, the amount of available space in which to build it and the anticipated uses for the deck. However, for homeowners for whom available space is not an issue, we here at Archadeck of Central South Carolina are seeing an increase in requests for larger, multi-level structures that provide more of an “outdoor room feel” than the plain, 10 × 12 builder-grade decks.

The outdoor room has grown in popularity in conjunction with the increased trend of families opting for staycations. The creature comforts of home beckon us to spend as much time enjoying our homes and property as possible, and a spacious outdoor living structure with zones similar to those inside a house will provide ample opportunities to do so. Besides, exactly how much living can we really do outside without areas for dining, sitting or socializing and of course preparing and cooking food?

According to Remodeling Magazine “the 200-square-foot deck is increasingly looking like a relic of the past as more homeowners push for more outdoor living space, and remodelers and builders are lining up to accommodate them.” Archadeck of Central South Carolina understands the desire of homeowners throughout Columbia and the surrounding areas to gain more value from their homes and property. That’s why we custom design each detail of our decks to cater to the individual functions our customers seek.

Here are 10 ideas courtesy of Remodeling Magazine to ensure the best use of space when planning your dream deck:

1) Think in layers – For the most style and versatility, a simple, flat platform just won’t do. A larger deck is more functional and aesthetically pleasing when it has curves, multiple levels, staircases, built-in seating and railings.

2) Capture the curves – Flexible composite decking allows for accentuation of the curves within a deck design and is a favorite among deck builders who are partial to curved surfaces, sidewalks and staircases, which can create an eye-catching segue between two levels of the deck.

3) Move the eye along – Built in planter boxes, fire pits or integrated seating along the perimeter will create a focal point that draws your eye. For drawing the eye upwards and extending functionality, consider adding a pergola to your deck.

4) Create drama – Accentuate curves, railings and fascia boards with a contrasting color to create a frame around the deck floor, often referred to as “picture framing.” You may also incorporate inset designs, like diamond shapes in alternate colors, to create something unique for each homeowner; these methods are often seen with composite deck designs… And don’t be shy about mixing materials on your deck: faux stone columns, a metal roof or a granite countertop within a built-in food preparation area will make the outdoor room look more upscale and custom-designed.

5) Proportions matter – Plan your outdoor space to seamlessly blend with the size as well as the style of your home. A 1,800-square-foot deck on the back of a 2,000-square-foot home is probably too big to “go” with that house.

6) Add some shade – Adding low-maintenance elements to help you get more out of your new space, like a pergola, awning, canopy or roof over the deck will allow cooking, entertaining or relaxing outdoors to continue on hot, sunny days or even when a rain shower pops up.

7) Be prepared to wait a little longer– A larger deck is typically a project that takes a little more time to complete. This is especially true if the outdoor room is full of custom features or will be home to electric or gas appliances; the job will include an electrician, a plumber and the local building inspector. If the deck includes multiple tiers, the builder might need to consult with an engineer or architect.

8) Consider the view – If the upper tier of a two-story deck is right over the lower one, take special care with the placement of the posts so they’re not too close to doors and windows, where they can block the homeowner’s view and path to the yard. Also, build in an under-deck gutter to catch rain that falls on the upper deck so it won’t soak the deck’s lower level and its inhabitants.

9) Leave enough room – Even a big deck can run out of room if the design includes a hot tub. A typical 7-by-7-foot spa takes up at least a 10-by-10-foot space so there’s enough room around it for a railing, a privacy screen or a path for bathers and maintenance technicians to walk around it in order to gain access in the event of scheduled maintenance or repairs on your spa or hot tub.

10) Make it useful – Don’t let cooler weather or darkness limit the time you spend using your deck. Include warmth and light so you can use your deck after dark and during at least three seasons. Popular options: built-in fireplaces and fire pits and ceiling-mounted heaters. You’ll have plenty of room for them.

So, as you can see, when it comes to designing the right outdoor living space, “size does matter” and your wants, needs and personal tastes play a large role in figuring out just how big your deck should be. If you are looking for a deck that delivers layers of extended function, or a deck with that outdoor room feel — then, most definitely, bigger is better!

Contact Archadeck of Central SC to learn more about our unforgettable deck and outdoor room designs today! You may call us at (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net Our design consultation is free, but what you gain in outdoor living enjoyment is priceless!


The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

The Right Contractor

Find a great contractor to design and build your dream outdoor living space in 7 easy steps

If you are like most homeowners, when it’s time to add a new outdoor living space or renovate your home’s existing one, you want to hire a professional you can rely on to get it done right. But exactly how do you go about finding a qualified and experienced contractor without just relying on the luck of the draw? As a leader in the outdoor living space design and construction industry, we here at Archadeck of Central South Carolina believe luck has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Your home is probably one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. Spending extra time to find a great contractor who specializes in outdoor living structures to work on your home will pay off in the long run. Much like there are hundreds of doctors available in our area, there are just as many contractors. However, scheduling an appointment with a veterinarian for your annual physical exam just won’t get the job done quite right. Although a veterinarian can perform physical exams, they’re qualified to perform them on animals, not humans.

There are seven basic qualities or aspects you should consider when selecting a contractor that’s just right for the job:

• Experience
• Professionalism
• Process
• Value
• Ability to Offer a Customized Product
• Attention to Detail
• Warranty & Protection

Experience

A contractor’s experience in his field directly affects your overall experience as a client. It’s essential that an outdoor living structure contractor possess the skills to manage a project and the many details involved from start to finish. Many of these skills, such as initial property assessment and designs that include structural integrity, come from years of hands-on experience working in the field of outdoor living space design and construction. A lack of experience can lead to a structure that doesn’t blend seamlessly with your home’s architectural style, isn’t structurally sound and will probably not last longer than a few years.

Be sure to ask some probing and investigative questions regarding a potential contractor’s experience, like: How many projects like yours has the contractor done? And not just the business owner, but what about the organization behind him? What experience does the supervisor and the tradesmen have? Is there a support organization behind them providing engineering and technical guidance if they get in over their heads?

Pay attention to how they answer these questions to get a good picture of their customer service skills. The answers to these questions go a long way toward determining the outcome of a project, even before it begins. In addition, a good contractor should be more than willing to give you a list of the last five projects he did so you can verify their knowledge and experience as well as their past clients’experiences.

Finally, experience means not only good technical experience and commitment to good customer service, it also means staying power. Is this their full-time career or a part-time…on the side…weekend job? A true indicator of a contractor’s future longevity is actually how long they have been in business and their true commitment to the trade.

Professionalism

By definition, professionalism means possessing the skill, good judgment and business-like behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well. No matter what service is being performed, every homeowner deserves and should demand professionalism.

Even though it’s clear what being professional means, sometimes it’s hard to determine a professional outdoor living space contractor from a builder. Don’t forget, you can stand a veterinarian and a medical doctor side by side and not know the difference without checking a few things like their licensing/credentials and insurance. Likewise, a professional outdoor living space contractor should have a high standard of knowledge and should carry proper insurance. He and his tradesmen should be properly licensed with a solid knowledge of building codes. A residential contractor’s license in S.C. takes a minimum of two years of working experience plus passing an extensive exam regarding building codes and best practices. Ask for proof of these items up front, so you can verify them.

A professional should be reliable in not only their technical commitments for the project but in communication with you as well, right from the beginning with the initial consultation. They should be competent in the construction field, following building codes and requirements and stand behind their work with the appropriate warranties. A professional will provide a finished product that you will live with every day, a pain-free construction project and the maximum value at a fair price. You can easily check for these qualities from the references a potential contractor should provide.

Processes

Adhering to a process, or series of steps in which to do something, garners consistent results, improved efficiency and higher quality work. Using checklists and procedures combined with proper planning reduces the opportunities for overlooked items and delays.

How do you know if your contractor effectively uses good processes? Start by checking their sales process and then ask during your vetting process. Find out what your contractor’s method for planning and monitoring construction will be. Do they actually use written checklists for ensuring that all steps get addressed before, during and after construction? Is there a supervisor or manager holding the crews responsible for following these processes?

At Archadeck of Central South Carolina, our careful attention to process is one of the factors that sets us apart from other builders:

• Our process begins with a free design consultation
• We then conduct a comprehensive needs analysis uncovering what you’re looking for in an outdoor living space
• Our in-depth site survey buttons down the particulars
• Our detailed photo gallery and portfolio of completed projects will stimulate your imagination
• We work with you to refine or streamline your design
• Rather than an estimate, you’re given a precise price quote
• Our quality-focused Job Process Methodology (JPM) is put into play
• Archadeck of Central SC obtains all necessary permits necessary for your project
• Once your project is started, progress almost always proceeds without lags
• Our workers respect your property
• Construction debris is removed regularly and project site is kept clean and orderly
• You approve the final structure and enjoy!

Based upon your needs and the specifics of your site, you can choose to move forward in one of two ways. With a project retainer, Archadeck of Central SC will draw up custom plans using three-dimensional drawings to illustrate your proposed structure from a variety of angles. Or, instead of developing a custom plan, you can choose to move forward in stages as part of our staged, or phased, building program. This will allow you to complete your ideal outdoor living space in stages as your lifestyle and budget afford.

Value

Providing clients with more bang for their buck makes a contractor more valuable. What types of additional services can they provide and still maintain quality? As part of the Archadeck franchise system, North America’s largest deck and porch builder, Archadeck of Central South Carolina is backed by a national network of experts. We have an established national relationship with several preferred material vendors and gladly share our expertise in form and function to create the perfect outdoor living environment just for you.

Ability to Offer Customized Product

You should expect that a full-service contractor will add value in helping you design your own unique outdoor living project. You should be able to see him in action during the design phase, before you make a decision to commit to a contractor to build your project. He should point out smaller features you may not be aware of that will enhance the project without adding major costs. If you don’t have a warm, fuzzy feeling that he is thoughtful, considerate of your ideas and responsive, then now is the time to move on to someone else. But if he takes care of you during the early stages of the project, then odds are good that you will be able to work well with him to bring the job to completion and that you’ll have the custom-built outdoor living space of your dreams.

Attention to Detail

A high-quality contractor increases their level of thought and effort for defining the details of a project to help make it unique. Sometimes the only way to determine a contractor’s attention to detail is to look at his work and compare it to the work of others. If you don’t have an experienced eye for noticing these details, your prospective contractor should be able to easily and proudly point them out to you. But I bet that you can tell by looking at some examples of projects if they display the style and touches that you expect, even if you can’t put your finger on exactly what those touches are.

Warranty and Protection

The warranty serves as the back-up plan for a consumer if things don’t go right with the builder. This applies to major problems in having the project completed (unscrupulous contractors have been known to walk away from a job when it gets difficult or too expensive to make things right), or may apply to things that come up after the job is done and the contractor has been paid.

A warranty is important because it outlines in advance what the builder is and isn’t willing to do to fix problems after the fact. Without a warranty, the homeowner still has certain protections under the laws regarding implied warranties. However claims under these laws require the homeowner to file a legal claim, and can be time consuming and expensive, not to mention stressful. A homeowner’s best protection regarding warranty issues is to use a builder that is stable and has a good reputation.

Archadeck of Central South Carolina is backed by a warranty that covers the entire project (meaning that we will fix anything that’s not right) for one year, and further covers structural issues (foundations, integrity of framing, roof leaks, etc.) for a period of five years. In addition, Archadeck actually provides a guaranteed insurance program that covers customers if the local Archadeck office cannot complete a project due to death, illness or going out of business. In this event, the Archadeck corporate office will pay to have the project completed by another Archadeck location.

The Proven Choice

Although checking these seven aspects of a contractor doesn’t guarantee that you will find the perfect contractor, they do help you narrow down the playing field in order for you to more easily identify a top-notch contractor, like Archadeck of Central South Carolina. We can help you create the outdoor living space of your dreams that seamlessly blends with your home’s existing architectural style. Contact Archadeck of Central South Carolina today at (803) 603-2160 or via email at centralsc@archadeck.net


The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

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