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A smart and common question among St. Louis homeowners interested in a deck: “Which is better, wood or composite (or vinyl)?”  We hear this on a daily basis!

The answer?  Both are absolutely, positively terrific options.  And when it comes to looks, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference.

Cedar Deck with Vinyl Rails, Chesterfield Mo by Archadeck

Cedar Deck with Vinyl Rails, Chesterfield Mo by Archadeck

Composite Deck with Vinyl Rails by Archadeck - St. Louis Mo

Composite Deck with Vinyl Rails by Archadeck St. Louis Mo

At first glance, wood and composite seem pretty darn close in appearance, however, there ARE differences.

Distinctive features and variations are found in: the manufacturing process; overall price and return-on-investment; material maintenance and warranties.

So today, let’s look at your choices when it comes to ‘real wood’ vs. decking that looks like wood. Read the rest of this entry »

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When it comes to home improvement trends in 2015, outdoor spaces are simply not optional.  They are expected!

A backyard addition — such as a deck, screened porch, or patio pergola — is a must-have home feature and outdoor living is no longer a ‘fad’.

Size doesn’t seem to matter either.   Modest, minimalist designs with clean lines are really popular but so are weightier structures.  And of course, award-winning projects chock-full of fashionable flair are OK too!

Contemporary Screened Porch by Archadeck

Contemporary Screened Porch by Archadeck

In either scenario, ‘wasted space’ is a huge ‘no-no’.  Smart and efficient architecture is in demand with an emphasis on proportional form and tasteful decor to blend with your home — both inside and out.

Patio Pergola by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Patio Pergola by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

So let’s look more closely at the ‘how, why and what’ of outdoor living in 2015.
Read the rest of this entry »

In our last two articles, we discussed deck railing and deck stairs — their function, architecture and style possibilities.

So in this week’s post, let’s drill down to the nitty-gritty details and write specifically about the railing balusters — the infill pieces between the rail posts that are mounted from top-to-bottom and side-by-side.

Gray Decking, White Rails, Black Metal Balusters, St. Louis Mo Project by Archadeck

Gray Decking, White Rails, Black Metal Balusters, St. Louis Mo, Project by Archadeck

The primary purpose and consideration for choosing a baluster is always safety.

Local safety and buildings codes — which vary by city and sometimes by neighborhood — will dictate the spacing between each picket, their exact height from the deck’s surface and other installation requirements.

So if you’re tackling deck construction on your own, know your codes!

If, however, you’re using an experienced local deck contractor, no worries.  They’ll be knowledgeable about the permit process and ordinances from town-to-town.

Elevated, Two Story Deck Designed For Safety and Style, by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Elevated, Two Story Deck Designed For Safety and Style, by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

The secondary purpose for choosing a baluster is architectural impact. Rails and balusters dramatically influence the entire look and feel of your outdoor space.  So give them some thought.

And what are the style options?  Boy-oh-boy, today’s consumers are given A LOT of baluster choices — wood to wrought iron, aluminum to steel, and tempered glass to cable or tubing.  Whether simple or lavish, balusters provide infinite possibilities when it comes to your rail design. Read the rest of this entry »

The third deck design discussed in our recent post, The 5 Most Popular Deck Designs Explained, is the multilevel deck.

Let’s dive a little deeper into the details.

Multilevel Decks by Archadeck

Multilevel Decks by Archadeck

Multilevel decks are a fan favorite for their good-looks and affordability.

Versatile, useful and oh-so-attractive, the multilevel deck is ideal for overcoming slight dips or steep slopes in your yard.  With a distinct advantage over patios, deck contractors use framing and steps for a design that flows seamlessly with the natural landscape.

Spacious Deck with Levels by Archadeck

Spacious Deck with Levels by Archadeck

Yes.  This can be accomplished with a patio too.  But patios built on sloping land require retaining walls.  And retaining walls can become cost-prohibitive or visually unappealing for many homeowners.  A beautiful deck constructed with levels, easily conquers uneven terrain in an attractive and budget-friendly way. Read the rest of this entry »

Just like the interior of your home, you have choices when it comes to each-and-every component of your outdoor space.

And it’s those collection of elements which will ultimately determine the overall style, maintenance needs and bottom-line costs of an outdoor living project.

Screened Porch with Knee Wall Railing by Archadeck

Screened Porch with Knee Wall Railing by Archadeck

Railing is no exception.  Rails will properly ‘frame’ your outdoor space, reflecting aesthetics while providing plenty of character. Read the rest of this entry »

Are you thinking about adding a new deck or replacing an old one?  If so, are you wondering which type of deck design is practical, functional, attractive and most befitting your home and property?

Well, let’s begin by explaining the five most popular deck designs, from simple-to-elaborate and everything-in-between.

Platform Deck

A platform deck — also referred to as a low deck, grade-level deck, ground-level deck, patio deck or floating deck — is designed and built a few inches off the ground.  Simply put, it’s a (slightly!) elevated space to enjoy your backyard.

Detached Platform Deck with Pergola by Archadeck

Detached Platform Deck with Pergola by Archadeck

Low level decks are often attached to your home; however, a detached structure might work well too.  Some have railings.  Some don’t have rails.  And some use a bench in lieu of rails to help define the deck’s perimeter and provide seating as well. Read the rest of this entry »

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