Beautiful Built-Ins

build-in-planters-benchesI have a big family… my sister, brothers, sisters-in-laws, nieces and nephews. We all gravitate to my Dad’s house for barbeques over the summer. Living in an over-55 community, he has a small but very functional deck that easily accommodates all of us thanks to custom features. Built-in benches, better than patio furniture, follow the outline of the deck, leaving room for a nice sized table and plenty of open space for everyone to walk around. My step-mom has an eye for decorating and adorned the bench seats with bright colored pillows, giving the deck an indoor cozy feel, while also creating a fun, outdoor atmosphere. She loves flowers and since they have virtually have no yard, built-in flower boxes are in every corner of the deck filled with her favorite annuals and perennials.

Last August my family enjoyed my dad’s 70th birthday party on their deck. A vibrant pink clematis vine clung to a lattice attached to their deck in full bloom. Its flowers peaked through the holes and hung just above your head as you sat on the bench below it. A very beautiful site that I look forward to enjoying again this summer!

The process involved in customizing an outdoor space requires more than just planning a deck, patio or porch design. There is the functionality that encompasses how you choose to utilize the space. A good builder will ask the right questions that go beyond the size or height of your deck… questions that invite you think.

Adding an L-shaped bench in the corner of your deck with the capacity for storage might solve your problem of storing garden tools or your children’s favorite outdoor toys. Adding benches around a set-in hot tub or a fire pit provides a perfect entertainment area, encouraging conversation or just a relaxing environment. Maybe you lack shade in your yard; a pergola will provide shade, add height and dimension to your deck, and you can hang flower baskets from it.

Planter boxes can be custom made for your deck or to stand alone on your patio, softening the appearance of wood or concrete. They can be used as a border to create walkways or to create privacy using the boxes to house larger plants, small trees, vines on a trellis or an expansive lattice that gives the feel of a wall yet allows airflow are all great options

BenchesCustomizing features of your deck with built-in benches or planter boxes sounds like an easy functional addition to your deck, but they can be so much more, enhancing the beauty of your outdoor living space in so many ways. At Archadeck of Bucks/Mont we don’t just build decks; we create outdoor spaces that uniquely fit your taste, style and functional needs. Call us at 215-345- 5130 for a free consultation and see why we are different!

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How do you choose between Wood or Composite decking?

Deck woodIn today’s world consumers are often overwhelmed with the numerous choices available to them.  Trying to decide on the best option for you and your family before making an improvement to your home often requires time and research.   This holds true when it comes to investing in a new deck design.   How do you decide between wood and composite decking?     

Wood

Traditional wood decks offer a beautiful natural appearance that complements the outdoors.  There are three types of wood decking available:  Pressure-treated, mahogany and cedar, and more recently, tropical hardwoods. 

An affordable up-front option, pressure-treated wood, is a common choice for decks.  Cut from pine, pressure-treated wood is coated to preserve the wood.   Every 2 to 3 years it will need a new application of protective stain or clear coating to keep it well maintained.  Over time, the boards may warp or splinter which requires replacing them.  

Many love the natural color and texture of mahogany or cedar.  They are both lightweight wood that hold up well to the weather.  Unless you prefer to let the boards weather naturally, a semi-transparent stain will help maintain the deep beauty of their natural color.  These woods are more costly than the pressure-treated, but require less maintenance and hold up better over time.   

New to the decking world are tropical hardwoods.  Chemical-free, dense, durable and beautiful, tropical woods are uniquely and naturally resistant to insects and rotting.   For tropical wood to maintain its warm color, it requires an oil coating application every one to two years.    The initial investment is more than other decking options, but they create beautiful high-quality, long-lasting decks.

DeckComposites

Manufactured from a mixture of recycled plastic and recycled wood, composite decking is relatively maintenance-free.  Composite deck boards are coated in plastic so they don’t need to be stained or refinished.   There are various color choices including realistic faux wood finishes and fade-resistant options. 

A composite deck will need to be cleaned with a hose to remove dirt and grime.  Stains should be removed as soon as possible so they don’t set.  Consider also that chips and dings can be sanded out of a wood deck, but may be harder to repair with composites requiring fillers. 

Composite decks require a larger up-front financial investment than a wood deck.  The cost advantage of a wood deck, however, lessens over time as there is more maintenance costs required for wood decks.   

Depending on your budget, personal tastes and what you are willing to do in terms of maintenance, there is an option for everyone.   Both materials create beautiful outstanding decks.    Let us at Archadeck of Bucks/Mont help you determine what would work best for you and help you create your ultimate outdoor experience.   We offer a free consultation – call us today!

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Enjoy Beautiful Summer Nights with Accent Lighting

trex deck post lights

Trex deck with post and riser lights

Warm summer nights are the best part of summer.  As dusk approaches, the fragrant air cools down and the stars shine bright, leaving you with more reasons to enjoy the outdoors.   When planning your personal outdoor living area, extend the enjoyment of your deck or patio well into the night by including a customized lighting plan in your design.  Through the use of quality, low-voltage, energy-efficient accent lights, you can create a serene setting and safe environment (without attracting bugs!), and enjoy your outdoor space throughout the evening. 

There are a variety of styles and choices of accent lighting to create your unique setting:

accent-lights-ipe-deck

Accent Lights on IPE deck

Illuminate the stairs with Riser Lights.  Riser Lights are installed flush into the step risers, giving off a soft light so no one misses a step in the dark!

Post Cap Lights give off a soft glow that enhance the beauty of your railings and accentuate the shape of your deck at night. 

Mounted on walls or on posts, Accent Lights generate a down light effect offering extra visibility for stairs, paths or walkways.

Discreetly mounted under the deck railing, Under-Rail Lights add extra light in an area you may need it, such as near a built-in bench or seating area.

Compact In-Deck Lights mount flush to any surface and are ideal for pathways, stairs, doorways, and step-downs.  It is a simple way to add a dramatic effect to your deck. 

When considering your deck or patio design or upgrades evaluate all your lighting options.  The options are limitless.  A customized lighting plan will add ambiance and elegance to your outdoor living, creating an inviting atmosphere for you, your family and guests.  

Contact us at Archadeck at Bucks/Mont for a free design consultation that incorporates more than just a deck or patio design, we specialize in creating beautiful outdoor living sanctuaries that include complete customized lighting solutions.

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