Spring is Almost Here -- Time to Schedule Your Dayton-Area Outdoor Structure Clean & Seal

Believe it or not, spring is only 33 days away! Is your existing outdoor living space looking a little worse for wear?

If your answer is Yes, Our Outdoor Living Space Clean and Protection Service is the perfect service to get your backyard spring ready!

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio offers a variety of maintenance services to protect and beautify your investment. These include cleaning, brightening, and protecting wood decks, composite decks, and hardscape surfaces such as paver patios, pool surrounds and driveways.

Our deck clean and seal service is best performed during periods of dry weather when the average daily temperature exceeds 50-degrees. Here is how it works:

  • We begin by cleaning your outdoor structure with our eco-friendly cleaner. Here at Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we use and supply Defy wood cleaning and staining products. This product we use consists of a safe, oxygenated bleach wood deck cleaning solution that effectively removes dirt, grime, mold, algae, and weathered graying from wood surfaces. Unlike most chlorine bleach-based cleaners, our environmentally-friendly product is biodegradable and will not harm wood fibers, pets, turf grass or most plants.

  • Using a chlorine bleach not only harms the wood as well as the vegetation surrounding the deck, but it doesn’t actually clean or remove any stains. It just bleaches them out. Our wooden surface cleaner is a safe, powdered, oxygen bleach concentrate that is mixed with water to safely clean and restore the natural beauty of your exterior wood surface. During the cleaning process, you can actually see it working as it foams up and penetrates down to the pores to give your deck a thorough cleaning that a chlorine bleach cleaner could never hope to accomplish.
  • Our cleaning step is then followed by a thorough power washing using fresh, clean water.

  • The next step is an application of environmentally-friendly, premium quality sealant. Our synthetic resin sealer protects your deck from the elements and resists mold and mildew growth. You may choose a color from our wide array of choices, or leave it natural.
  • Our clean and protect service is perfect for use on pressure treated wood decks and outdoor structures, cedar, mahogany, redwood or any vertical or horizontal exterior wood surface.

Our clean and seal service works for old decks and new decks alike. Even new wood needs to be cleaned in order to remove mill scale to make the surface more porous to easily absorb deck stain. We also carry the full Defy product line here in our showroom so you can also call us and pick up what you need to restore your deck as a weekend warrior project.

Contact us to schedule your maintenance service! Call today to schedule your free clean and seal estimate – (937) 848-7040 (513) 897-2040 or email us.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Dayton and Cincinnati-area homeowners: There’s no need to feel guilty for wanting more outdoor living space and amenities

How is an outdoor living enthusiast like a fitness junkie? No, it’s not a riddle or trick question. At Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we’ve noticed the similarities, and we want to reassure you there’s no reason to feel guilty if you crave a newer or bigger outdoor living space at your home. It’s natural to reach one plateau only to find yourself seeking the next challenge or a deeper sense of completion and accomplishment.

For one thing, you can get caught up in the excitement of it. The results can be amazing, so naturally you want to take it further, if you can.

When you first think about adding a deck, porch, 3-season room or patio, for example, you may not know a lot about what you’re getting into. As you talk with professionals, or other homeowners, and do your own research online, you become more confident. You learn to distinguish what you like and don’t like and what feels right for you. You’ll develop a sense of when you need to follow the path others have taken (don’t reinvent the wheel) and when you need to go your own way.

Let’s say you simply want to add a new deck to your home, so you call Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, premier Dayton and Cincinnati, OH, deck builder. We’ll take you through the planning and design stages as we talk about what kind of deck you want, what shape, what size, one level or more than one level, etc. We also have the ability to prepare 3-D renderings so you can see the proposed design from several angles. We’ll help you select materials by going over the pros and cons of natural wood versus synthetic composites as well as the costs, various color options, different types of railings, stair designs, built-in bench seating, etc.

Before long, your new deck is completed and you’re ready to invite friends and family to come enjoy it with you. Don’t be surprised if you experience some pride or even a thrill of accomplishment. You love how it looks and how it feels to have this new outdoor living space as part of your home. Just having a deck expands how, when and where you enjoy your home – whether you’re relaxing with family or entertaining guests.

Is it enough? Hmmm. Maybe for a while. But eventually you may realize you want more. The deck is great, but … a deck and porch combination would be even better. At this point many homeowners decide to convert that first deck to a covered or screened porch and build a new deck off of that structure, perhaps doubling their outdoor living space. You may like the idea of having a covered area for protection from sun and rain as well as an open deck for days – and evenings – when the weather beckons you outdoors.

The whole design-and-build process will be easier the second time because you know so much more about it. Again you call Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, premier Dayton and Cincinnati, OH, deck and porch builder. Again you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when your new two-part outdoor living project is completed. Maybe even an adrenaline rush. It’s not so much about the compliments you receive from the friends and business associates you entertain in your new space. It’s more about how good you feel as you continue to expand the ways you enjoy your home.

You probably see where this path is leading. If you enjoy entertaining outdoors, grilling out and eating on the porch or deck, you’ll probably start thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen. You’ll seek out photos of combination outdoor living spaces where the porch, deck and outdoor kitchen areas work together to create a continuous stretch of possibilities for relaxing and entertaining outdoors. You’ll also begin to notice patios everywhere you go – those fabulous stone surfaces, the perfect design partnered with a deck.

You’ll also become aware of amenities you might not have considered when you added that first deck. Outdoor lighting for accent and ambiance. A seating wall. An outdoor fireplace or a fire pit made of stone. An awning or canopy for shade, a covered pergola over the new patio for protection from sun and rain, or a decorative pergola as a space-defining design element.

Are you a fitness junkie? Do you enjoy the way your sport or workout regimen makes you feel? Do you feel guilty about that? No!

It has been said that the deck can be a “gateway” leading you down the path to a full-blown combination outdoor living space, and we have seen where that path can lead for hundreds of satisfied homeowners!

Whether you’re interested in adding a new deck – or you’ve already reached the point of wanting a combination outdoor living space – we can help you explore those possibilities. Contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.

Smart Planning for the Future Gives These Oakwood, OH, Homeowners a Renewed Outdoor Living Space

Just as the interiors of our homes should fit our changing needs as we age to allow for convenience and independent living, exterior spaces like patio and decks should be just as accommodating. Smart planning in terms of your outdoor living spaces for the years ahead can provide a safe environment to enjoy and one that can be navigated easily and does not require extensive maintenance.

Smart planning with ease of design is exactly what these homeowners had in mind when they contacted Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to design and build this deck and ramp addition to their Oakwood, OH, home.

The only dilemma Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio faced during the project planning stage is what we often hear across the board; that it is often difficult to envision the finished space during the planning and design stages. For example, for this particular project, the homeowner was concerned about the length the ramp had to be built to achieve the proper pitch. Once the project was finished, she was able to see why the perimeter of the ramp needed to be longer than she had imagined in order to achieve a safe and comfortable pitch.

The deck and ramp are built using high-quality, low-maintenance materials for longevity and minimal cleaning requirements. The decking is TimberTech Terrain in Sandy Birch with a Mt. Hope vinyl rail with aluminum pickets.

The homeowners are elated with the outcome of the finished deck and ramp. Not only were they complimentary of the crews, they were also happy with the way our crews kept the area clean on a day-to-day basis. Part of the design even included a gate to the end of the ramp which allows their dog the freedom to enjoy the new space safely.

As is the case with any handicapable outdoor living design we build the specific design will depend on the amount of space available and the abilities of the person who will be living in the house. On this project, the homeowners were not in a current state of limited mobility but took a proactive approach when planning for the years ahead. When planning a new design or making changes to an existing space, keep in mind that those needs may change in the future. In this Oakwood, OH, project the clients were truly forward-thinking and the design they chose will enhance their lifestyle in the years to come!

If you would like to learn more about our custom outdoor living spaces, or how we can design an structure based on your changing needs, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.

Archadeck's special recipe for total outdoor living satisfaction, Vandalia, OH

While some great recipes are kept secret at any cost, in the holiday spirit we are sharing a delicious recipe so as many people as possible can enjoy it. Use this simple but effective recipe from Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to whip up a combination outdoor living space that can take you to new heights of total outdoor living satisfaction. Our test kitchen for this recipe was the beautiful Dayton, OH, suburb of Vandalia, OH.

Our mission in creating this dish/project was this:
• Take an existing deck that was already great.
• Add a few more ingredients.
• Mix in some technological advances that were not around when it was originally created.
• Turn out a new-and-improved combination outdoor living space right here in the greater Dayton, OH, area.

Before we begin, let’s review the meaning of the term, “combination outdoor living space.” This technical term refers to an outdoor space design that combines two or more outdoor living structures. The design principle at work here is “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Architects and designers know that the right combination of outdoor structures, artfully connected, will create a perfect synergy — to the delight of homeowners who love to relax and entertain outdoors.

For today’s combination recipe, we will work with three simple structures: the deck, the pergola and the patio — which is also known as hardscape. Examples of other likely components of outdoor combination designs include 3-season rooms, 4-season rooms, screened porches, covered porches, sunrooms, outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, seating walls, poolside pavilions, trellises and gazebos. Structural embellishments might include special canopies and awnings.

Recipe: Just-Right Combination Outdoor Living Space
Prep time: 2 weeks
Cooking time: 8-12 weeks
Serves 1-16 comfortably


*Notes about color selection: AZEK and Oberfield each offer a wide selection of colors from which to choose, allowing you to select those that best complement your home. For the patio, we recommend a blended pallete of mixed stone colors and a bold contrasting color for the patio border.


1. Hire a reputable contractor specializing in outdoor living spaces with extensive experience building combination spaces. Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio is the best around, so you should call us. Archadeck offers a free, no-obligation consultation. We have plenty of references and can show you many images of completed projects.

2. Enjoy!

Notes about the Vandalia, OH, project pictured here:

• This project was actually a redeck, which means we replaced the decking boards, railings and lattice panels but used the original substructure (the framing that supports the deck underneath). The homeowner’s father built the original deck 15 years ago, and he built it to be strong. The substructure was so strong and still in good condition so very little had to be done in order to use it again for a new deck. Certainly proof that a job well done stands the test of time!

• These homeowners chose to replace their original wooden deck surface with one of today’s composite decking products. Composites had not been perfected when the deck was originally built 15 years ago, and many homeowners were wary of them at the time. Today’s composite building materials offer high-quality, low-maintenance options for homeowners who don’t want to devote time or money to the annual upkeep recommended to maintain a wooden deck.

• You may notice in the “Before” photo that the railing ends at the top of the steps. Even though this deck has only two or three steps, today’s builders will extend the railing to the bottom step for safety.

— Before

• Archadeck recommends the use of outdoor lighting for ambiance and safety.

We hope this recipe has encouraged you to explore the world of combination outdoor living spaces. If you are ready to take your Dayton or Cincinnati-area backyard from great to spectacular, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio owner featured in Fiberon video, "Who's on Deck?"

Tim Stephens, owner of Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, recently starred in a video featured on the Fiberon national website in their Who’s on Deck? video series. Tim’s episode was “What Are The Advantages Of A ‘Re-Deck’?” Fiberon is one of the leading manufacturers of composite decking materials.

The tagline for Fiberon’s “Who’s on Deck?” video series is, “The show where we ask the decking questions of people who have the decking answers.” That would be Tim!

Appearing in this video gave Tim the perfect opportunity to talk about one of his favorite topics, the option of redecking. Redecking is a money-saving option often overlooked when a homeowner calls a deck builder and asks, “Can you replace my old deck?” To Dayton and Cincinnati-area homeowners, Tim Stephens says, “Yes, we can, and we may be able to save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the process!”

Does saving that much money on a high-quality deck replacement sound too good to be true? Is there a catch? No, not a catch, but a key consideration: What is the condition of your deck’s structural support or framework?

Before we commit to a redeck, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio will come out and inspect your deck, especially the beams and joists underneath. We actually inspect it twice: once to give you an initial estimate, and again after we remove the deck’s surface material — the “floor” of the deck. Once we can completely examine the substructure, the joist layout and how the deck is attached to the house, then we will know for certain if redecking is an option for you.

Why is it possible that the deck substructure may be in better condition than the deck surface? The joists, footers and beams under the deck have been protected from the weather, so they’re usually in pretty good shape.

What is redecking? It’s the process where the surface of a deck is removed and replaced with a new surface. Usually it’s a wood deck that needs to be replaced, having become weather-worn over the years. If you’re going to have it redecked, you must make a big decision: will you replace your old wood deck with more wood, or will you replace it with one of the long-lasting, low-maintenance composite decking products available today?


Cost savings

• Using a pre-existing substructure means you’re paying for less new material overall.
• Reducing man-hours for the building crew to redeck compared to building a new deck from scratch saves on crew time, one of the factors that goes into total project cost.

Time savings

• No building permit needed (usually). For most local building code enforcement offices, a redeck falls into the category of maintenance. If we’re not expanding or changing the shape of the deck, we usually don’t need a building permit.
- We won’t spend time preparing the detailed drawings required for a permit.
- We won’t have to wait for a permitting office to approve building plans.
• The job gets done faster because crew doesn’t spend time building a deck substructure.


• A redeck looks and feels like a brand new deck! You’ll have new flooring, railings and steps. The only materials that won’t be brand new are the posts and beams, and no one will see those unless they go under the deck and look up. Who does that?
• Take this perfect opportunity to update your deck by adding built-in amenities like subtle lighting for nighttime safety at steps and railing posts.

Eliminating traditional deck maintenance

• This advantage applies if you choose one of the low-maintenance composite decking products available today, instead of traditional wood. Are you tired of sanding and staining that wooden deck? Tired of seeing your wooden deck deteriorate as the years go by?

Environmental concerns

• As we point out in the Fiberon video, you can’t burn pressure-treated wood because of the chemicals it’s been treated with; it goes straight to the landfill. So if we can reuse your existing posts and beams, that’s less material we’ll need to dispose of.

We have written about redecking in the past because there are so many good reasons a homeowner may want to consider redecking instead of building a totally brand new deck. The biggest factor, and the one that tips many decision-makers into the redecking camp, is the opportunity to replace a wood deck with a composite deck. We find that more and more homeowners appreciate the promise of a low-maintenance lifestyle. Composite decking materials, including those manufactured by Fiberon, resist fading and staining; they don’t splinter, crack, attract insects or decay, and they resist mold and mildew. The technology for producing composites has improved over the last several years. You can find an incredible array of colors and textures to choose from in composite decking materials.

When would you not redeck? Obviously, if your deck’s substructure is no longer sound, then redecking is not an option for you. Another consideration is whether you want to extend your deck or change its shape. If you want to expand the design of your outdoor living space beyond the existing deck footprint, you will likely be required to obtain a building permit, eliminating one (but not all!) of the advantages of redecking.

If you are thinking about replacing your deck, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today to learn more about the option of redecking. Call (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or email wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.

A New Outdoor Living Space From Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio 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 West Central & Southwest Ohio.

A new deck, porch patio or versatile outdoor room 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.

Bountiful 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 West Central & Southwest Ohio 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. Getting your contract finalized and signed prior to year’s end will ensure your outdoor living space is up and running for the outdoor living season ahead.

— This Centerville, OH, deck is a pleasure during fall!

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.

— This Miami Township sunroom addition is a cozy place to watch it snow!

Still on the Fence?

At Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we know that most homeowners are looking for ways to save money when it comes to home improvement projects. But what do we mean by getting off the fence? Does this apply to you?

If you have tentative plans to add any kind of outdoor living space to your home, but have not yet decided when to move ahead with the project, then you are on the fence. So many factors play into this decision that it may seem daunting. Indecision leads to delay. You may table the question entirely and then, come spring, wish that you had taken action sooner!

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 offers financing through GreenSky Financing, a quick, hassle-free way to finance your outdoor project.

  • Fixed-interest rates starting as low as 4.29% APR with AutoPay
  • A response within minutes and funds often in your account the same day
  • Secure and Confidential

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!

Our professional and talented staff members are experts at helping homeowners, like you, get the most out of each season with an outdoor structure custom-built by Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio. Contact us today to learn more (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040, Email: wcohio@archadeck.net.

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

Why Timing is Important in Planning Your Outdoor Living Space Project

Naturally, many people think of building outdoor projects in the late spring and summer when the weather is nice and they want to get outside, but sometimes it can be challenging to hire a quality contractor during this time. Choosing to secure your project details during the fall and winter months has many advantages. That is why I am often stumped when a customer has their preliminary plan in place and says we will just wait until spring to sign the contract and confirm moving ahead with their project.

From my experience as an outdoor living space designer and builder, waiting until spring to begin your project can mean waiting longer to enjoy your finished space. Keep in mind that we have other jobs underway in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas. Then we have more projects, with signed contracts, each one scheduled to begin as soon as a current project is completed. Any reputable contractor will have some lead time before they can begin construction on your project.

When is the best time of year to embark on an outdoor living addition you may ask?

The answer may be more surprising than you may think. Many homeowners are under the impression that outdoor structures are best to build during the warm weather months. The truth is that Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio 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…

Late fall and winter is not only a great time to get things in place for next year. Projects like decks, covered areas, pergolas and patios are not weather-sensitive. Like many synthetic, wood and masonry projects, they can be completed in any season, but if you begin now, you’ll reap additional savings that are specific to this season.

Who doesn’t like to save?

Save Time — The backlog of work is generally shortened moving into the cooler months making it the perfect time to build. Required permit applications and HOA approvals have shorter waiting periods, thus saving time in the overall project schedule. Getting on the ball now will ensure being able to reap the benefits of your new structure and in time for warm weather. Your time is valuable, so moving ahead results in less of an interruption to your life, as most people use their yards less during the fall and winter months.

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.

In addition, outdoor furnishings and accessories sometimes reflect deep discounts as retailers make way for holiday merchandise. Outfitting your new space may also mean saving!

Winter weather

Since our average temperatures remain above freezing in the Dayton-area for most of the winter, chances of inclement or freezing weather impacting your project are minimal. The advantages of a late fall/winter construction outweigh any deficiencies brought on by Mother Nature. As with any construction project, there will be damage to the turf caused by foot traffic. In a fall/winter project the turf is more apt to recover quicker because it has the time to overwinter in time for spring taking in valuable nutrients present in precipitation. Some turfs are dormant during the winter and this will aid in quicker recovery as well.

Time to cure

If your design includes wood, know that it seasons more quickly in lower humidity, which occurs during the cooler months. Some seasoning time is required before wood is ready to accept stain or paint.

Success is all about timing!

The most important timing factor for your new outdoor living project is when you first make the call to schedule your design consultation. The sooner you start the process, the sooner your new deck, porch, sunroom or patio (or combination of these) will be completed. That’s why you should go ahead and get started now, while the year is winding down. Before you know it, spring will be here! If you take steps now to begin setting up the project, you’ll be showing off your new outdoor living space in time for warm weather!

Our professional and talented staff members are experts at helping homeowners, like you, get the most out of each season with an outdoor structure custom-built by Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio. Contact us today to learn more (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040, Email: wcohio@archadeck.net.

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

Outdoor living therapy takes hold in the Dayton and Cincinnati area

You may have heard of “retail therapy,” but what about “outdoor living therapy”? Does it work? We think so … based on the many Dayton and Cincinnati-area clients we’ve counseled over the years. They are all leading more satisfying lives now that they have the right outdoor living space(s) to make their homes (and lives) complete.

Here are some signs you may need — and by need, we mean benefit from — outdoor living therapy.

Trouble making that outdoor living space “your own”

Maybe you’ve purchased a home with a deck, patio, porch or some combination of outdoor living spaces, but it doesn’t quite feel like “yours.” Even after decorating and re-decorating, you haven’t found the best way to put your mark on it. Do you sometimes feel like you’re trying to relax in someone else’s personal space? Do you feel like a guest in your own home?

If this describes you, then you must call Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio for a free consultation as soon as possible. We will come out and look at your outdoor living space and ask you lots of open-ended questions, which are the best kind, you know, for getting at the root of an issue. We will listen, and we promise you’ll feel heard!

If you could re-design that deck (or porch, patio, etc.) that came pre-packaged with your home, how would it look? Would it be more spacious, or cozy, divided into different sections for conversation groups or open and expansive? Do you want a space that’s more closed in, with privacy screens, or would you prefer to wave at your neighbors when you see them (and they see you) outdoors?

Maybe the previous homeowners didn’t care for screens, while you cannot abide the idea of flies or mosquitoes visiting your covered porch. Wanting to keep those pests at bay is nothing to feel guilty about! We will validate your concerns about insects and the diseases they carry, not to mention the discomfort of their nasty bites. Adding screens to an open porch is one of several ways to make an outdoor living space your own.

Never satisfied; wanting to change something again and again

Let’s say you have an outdoor living space you specifically designed for your home — not someone else’s hand-me-downs. Maybe you have an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, a deck attached to a screened porch and/or a pergola for shade. Any one of these, or any combination. At first, it seemed perfect. But then something started to change.

Maybe your shy, awkward daughter became a social butterfly and now you need a bigger covered patio for her parties. Maybe your family has grown exponentially in ways you did not expect it to. Maybe you don’t use that outdoor kitchen as much as you thought you would, and you would now prefer to use the space for a fire feature.

Here are a few more reasons you may need to modify your previously-perfect outdoor living space:

• You need a bigger deck now
• Your wood deck requires too much maintenance and you’d like to switch to composite decking
• Your railings block the view and you’ve seen some that you like better on a website
• Now that you’ve added on a sunroom, you need the patio to wrap around to meet it
• You need stairs leading down from both ends of the deck, not just one

• You need bench seating on the landing part-way up the stairs to the deck
• You want to add a seating wall along the edge of the patio
• You need to add a ramp to your patio and also make the steps wider
• You would like your patio better if the cement surface were covered with flagstone
• You want to add a pergola for shade or aesthetics

These are just a few examples. We could go on and on, but you get the idea. You may have noticed we used the word “need” several times in the above list. Whether it’s something you need, or want, don’t be embarrassed to ask for help! We’re professionals. We’ve heard it all before, and we don’t judge.

Regardless of what decision you are contemplating with regard to your outdoor living space, we can help you work through it. Change happens. The question now is … what are you going to do about it? Adapt! Meet change head-on.

If you are ready to consult with a professional about how your outdoor living space can meet your family’s changing needs, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Fall in Love with these savory recipes for the Big Green Egg this season

Autumn has arrived in West Central & Southwest Ohio — Tis the season for soft sweaters, warm throws and cozy boots. Many of the elements we love most about the season center around comfort. Whether it is the indulgent fabrics of cool-weather attire or the sense of home we get from the aroma of our favorite comfort foods cooking nearby, fall is all about comfort.

As you may already know, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio is not only the area’s premier outdoor living space designer and builder; we are also your local Big Green Egg dealer.

When you think about all the things you can prepare on a Big Green Egg, you probably don’t think of comfort foods. But, the capabilities of the Egg will exceed your expectation in the range of savory foods possible. Take a look at a few of our comfort food favorites:

Roasted Hatch Chile Mac N Cheese


  • 1 16-ounce box cavatappi or macaroni pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ cup)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup crema or crème fraîche
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar-Jack cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika, divided
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 fresh Hatch Chile peppers, charred, peeled, stems and seeds removed, finely diced
  • ¾ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)


Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon oil to keep pasta from sticking.

Set EGG for indirect cooking (with convEGGtor) at 350°F/177°C.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat; whisk in flour until a smooth paste is formed, about 3 minutes. Whisk in milk, crema, and nutmeg until smooth; whisk in cheeses until completely melted. Whisk in 1 teaspoon paprika; whisk in salt and white pepper to taste. Remove from heat.

Add pasta and Hatch Chile to cheese mixture; toss together. Pour evenly a Rectangular Drip Pan.

In a bowl, combine remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining ½ teaspoon paprika, and breadcrumbs; stir in salt to taste.

Sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.

Bake in EGG until bubbly and lightly browned, about 25 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve.

  • Serves: 12 (1¼ cups)

Blueberry French Toast Casserole

The Big Green Egg is a truly versatile and fun piece of cooking equipment. Your friends and family will be amazed when you fire it up in the morning to make a great make-ahead breakfast. In this recipe, we used blueberries, however, if strawberries, bananas or even peaches or apples are more your taste you may use these as a substitute. Just be sure the casserole gets cooked in the middle and it will be great.


  • 15 slices Texas toast-style white bread
  • 1 pound breakfast sausage, cooked, crumbled, and cooled
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 ounces fresh blueberries
  • Maple syrup, warmed, for serving


The night before you plan to cook, tear each bread slice into 9 pieces and put the pieces in a large bowl. Add the sausage and toss to mix. In another large bowl, beat the eggs until frothy and blended. Add the butter and whisk until blended. Pour the egg mixture over the bread mixture. Using a large spoon, gently fold them together until the bread is evenly soaked.

Spray a 9 by 13-inch EGG-safe pan with vegetable cooking spray. Pour the bread mixture into the pan and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the blueberries over the top, distributing them evenly, and then push them down into the bread mixture just to hold them in place. Cover the casserole and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

In the morning, take the casserole out of the refrigerator to warm at room temperature for 1 hour. Prepare the EGG to cook indirectly with the convEGGtor at 350°F/177°C. Uncover the casserole, place it on the EGG cooking grid, and cook for 30 minutes. Spin the casserole 180 degrees to ensure even cooking and continue cooking for another 25 to 30 minutes, until the casserole is firm and set in the middle.

Remove from the EGG and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with maple syrup on the side.

  • Makes about 8 Servings

This Vandalia, OH, deck gets a makeover thanks to an updated design

When Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio initially met with these Vandalia, OH, homeowners, they had an aging wooden deck. The wooden decking boards had seen better days as Mother Nature and Father Time had taken its toll on the deck’s integrity and appearance. This is the case with many of the redecking projects we evaluate, and in many redecking with a quality, low-maintenance decking material will solve these issues and reduce maintenance requirements.

In addition to the appearance of the wooden decking boards, the homeowner was also frustrated with the design of the deck itself. The first area of concern was the footprint of the existing deck, it was too narrow for a table and chair ensemble at only 12’ at its widest point. The second item of displeasure was the current design featured no access to their backyard gazebo, or the backyard itself. After a thorough inspection and listening attentively to the areas the homeowner wish to improve, we were able to come up with a redeck and redesign that left this homeowner elated!

First on the agenda was making the deck more spacious. Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio expanded the deck from 12’ to 15’. This allowed the homeowner to easily fit an outdoor table and chair ensemble leaving plenty of pull out room. Then, we added two additional sets of stairs off the deck and redecked the existing steps and added new rail. The homeowners can now easily access their backyard, gazebo, hose pipe area and the seating and fire pit area on the decks lower level.

We redecked the entire structure using Fiberon Horizon decking in the beautiful Ipe color. The newly surfaced deck was followed by replacement of all the existing rails using Keylink railing. Last but not least, we added the planter box flanking the transition area from the upper and lower deck so the homeowner could use it store firewood for the fire pit located just steps away.

If you are ready to breathe new life into your tired backyard deck and add years of outdoor living enjoyment, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today. You can reach us at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

4 ways Dayton and Cincinnati homeowners can save money by getting off the fence to build outdoor living projects now

At Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we know that most homeowners are looking for ways to save money when it comes to home improvement projects. But what do we mean by “getting off the fence”? Does this apply to you?

If you have tentative plans to add any kind of outdoor living space to your home, but have not yet decided when to move ahead with the project, then you are on the fence. So many factors play into this decision that it may seem daunting. Indecision leads to delay. You may table the question entirely and then, come spring, wish that you had taken action sooner!

Ah, spring. The sun is a little warmer, and the sweet, fresh air invites you to enjoy the outdoors again. If you call Archadeck in the fall or winter to schedule your outdoor living project, then you can enjoy your new deck, patio, porch or 3-season room earlier in the spring.

To help you down off of that fence, we offer 4 ways you can save money by building now instead of waiting for spring.

1. Lower prices for materials

In the building industry, price increases are typical after the first of the year. It’s safe to say that the cost of these items will increase early in 2018:

• Decking materials
• Patio paving stones
• Porch and deck canopies
• Screened porch roofing
• Stacked stone for the outdoor fireplace
• Appliances for that new outdoor kitchen

This season’s hurricanes, the uncertain political climate and the supply and demand for building materials are all factors that can cause prices to go up.

The price of composite decking materials is especially vulnerable because these materials are directly related to fuel prices. Even during the recession, composite decking prices increased. If you’ve got your eye on the newer, low-maintenance composite decking materials, you have the most to gain by moving ahead with your outdoor living project now. Waiting until the first of the year to proceed will cost you.

If you sign a contract for a construction project with us prior to year-end, we guarantee that you’ll only pay 2017 prices for the materials to build your outdoor living project. Way to save!

2. Lower interest rates

If you plan to finance your outdoor living project, you will be wise to lock in at today’s rates rather than take your chances and face a rate increase. While we do not have a crystal ball to predict interest rates 4-6 months from now, we all know that rates will not drop. Given the current low rates and the fact that the Fed keeps hinting at raising rates, they will only go up (or remain unchanged). To wait is to gamble; locking in a low rate now is the prudent decision.

3. Lower prices for outdoor furniture ensembles and décor

Have you seen the merchandise changing in the stores, now that fall is creeping in? Retailers will be looking to clear out the 2017 lines of outdoor and patio furniture so they can make room for 2018 merchandise. The time of year for finding deep discounts on outdoor furniture and décor is coming up quickly. If you wait until after the first of the year to order or purchase new patio furniture, you will pay more. And here’s an interesting way to look at it: with end-of-season discounts, your money will go further, so you can consider purchasing higher quality furniture.

4. Less damage to your landscaping

When your home becomes a construction site, even for a short time, you will run the risk of some damage to your lawn and shrubs. The potential damage is greater in the spring and summer — and less during the fall and winter. Why? Wet turf is damaged more easily, as is turf that’s under stress from high temperatures and higher humidity. We know that perennial grasses, most shrubs and plants are in their dormant stages during fall and winter. When dormant, these grasses and plants are less likely to experience permanent damage from being trimmed or pruned. Overall, if you wait and build your outdoor living space in the spring or summer, you’ll be more likely to incur extra landscaping costs resulting from the building project.

Don’t just save money — save time, too!

While we have focused on saving money by starting to plan and build your outdoor living project now, we can save you time as well. By scheduling your project before the end of the year, you will probably be able to enjoy the finished project sooner. The whole process, from start to finish, will be faster.

• Quality builders, like Archadeck, have longer wait times during spring and summer because that’s when so many people want their project built. If they had put their projects into motion sooner — say, back during the fall or winter (like now!) — they would be ready by spring.

• It might be surprising to learn that our wait times for a fall/winter building project can be half as long as during the spring and summer. We build throughout the entire year. For us, this is not a seasonal business. If you are the client who chooses to build when it’s not our busiest season, your project will be completed in less time.

• Securing the necessary building permits can contribute to construction delays during the busiest times, too. Will you need to obtain your HOA approval before proceeding? If your project is one of many that the HOA is reviewing at the same time, you may be part of their backlog during the busiest time for building.

• Finally, if you are building with wood, you need to factor in a period of time for new wood to acclimate. You can’t stain or paint it right away. Building now means the wood can cure and then be painted and stained before you host that early spring barbeque on your new deck.

Bottom line, the sooner you call Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to begin designing and building the outdoor living project of your dreams — and by this we mean any project, large or small — the sooner it will be completed and you can begin to enjoy it. Get out on that deck or patio on time to enjoy this spring!

If you want to save money and time by moving ahead now with your outdoor living project, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Advice from Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio: Talk to the Boss

Congratulations! Now that you’ve selected Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to build the outdoor living project of your dreams, you and I both want everything about your construction project to go smoothly. Let’s talk about how to ensure that happens! Basically, things go better if you talk to the boss.

Maybe you are finally getting the outdoor living addition — the new porch, deck, patio or 3-season room —you’ve wanted for a very long time. Or maybe you’ve just purchased a home in the Dayton or Cincinnati area and knew before you even made an offer that you would be adding to, or changing, your new home’s outdoor living environment.

Regardless of why you’ve embarked on a construction project at this time, you’re probably excited about getting started and eager to be done. The fewer snags we hit, the sooner you’ll be enjoying your new outdoor living space. Or as we say in the trade, “the sooner we’ll be out of your hair.”

You may be surprised to hear that you and I, the client and the project manager, share responsibility for a great outcome. If you and I are not enrolled together in this project as a team, we are more likely to encounter delays or misunderstandings. That’s why it’s important to be very clear about this from the beginning.

Talk to the boss

Your first line of communication is always me, Tim Stephens. I own this business, and I am the project manager for the job of building your new deck, porch, screened porch, patio or some combination of outdoor living structures.

You’ll work with me a lot at the beginning of the process as we talk about what features you want and consider various design options. I’ll visit your home and make recommendations based on the topography of your property and how the new structure will tie into your home, if that’s applicable. I’ll show you all kinds of materials we can use for the project, and I’ll help you make decisions based on your stylistic preferences, lifestyle and budget.

Once we have a signed contract and talk about the construction schedule, you will not see me as often. Nevertheless, if you have any concerns or questions, please call me or send me an email, or both, as soon as you can articulate your concerns. The earlier in the process, the better.

Who will you see instead of me? Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio employs a first-rate construction crew, and we also use specialized subcontractors. Some of these people have worked with me for years, and all are proven professionals in their trade.

They’re a bunch of nice folks! Some are naturally more likely to chat than others, but they will all be polite if you speak to them.

The pitfall of politeness

Politeness is a double-edged sword. If you see something on the job site — after all, it’s your home! — that does not look right, you may be tempted to ask the crew about it. You see them daily; you say “Hello;” you start to feel comfortable with them; you want to ask a question.

Being polite individuals, crew members will reflexively want to help you out if they can. They may find it awkward to say, “You’ll need to call Tim about that.” But here is where we may start to go down the road of miscommunication.

• Crew members are not necessarily aware of every facet of your project. A crew member may inadvertently give you an incorrect answer or may promise something that is not realistic or within the scope of your contract.

• If a crew member says he will relay your question or concern to me, he may forget to do that. Each person on the job has specific responsibilities. Relaying messages is not the crew’s responsibility, as much as they would like to be polite and helpful.

Who you gonna call? Tim Stephens!

Call me. Email me. I’ll respond as soon as I can. If you call after business hours, you may reach my answering service. I will get your message. I’m the only representative of Archadeck authorized to make any changes or additions to your project.

In a prior article about contracts, we talked about the fact that changes or additions to your outdoor living project can create delays. Miscommunication can also create delays. So please keep in mind that the clearest and most effective avenue of communication is directly between you, the client, and me, the project manager. That’s the best way to make sure your concerns are taken care of in the proper manner.

If you are ready to get started on bringing your ideal outdoor living space to life, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Stop by our showroom this weekend during the Second Saturday Street Fair

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio will be open during the 2nd Saturday Street Fair this weekend — Saturday from 11-2 our showroom will be open for perusing our extensive portfolio of all things outdoor living. As America’s Deck and Porch Builder®” we have been providing award-winning outdoor living spaces to the Miami Valley since 1990. Specializing in custom designed decks, porches, patios, screened rooms, sunrooms, gazebos and pergolas. We are also your local dealer for the Big Green Egg, Lumon Natural Light Patio Covers, Equinox Louvered Roof Pergolas and much more!

Stop by our showroom at 237 South Main Street in Waynesville during the Second Saturday Street Fair event to learn how to heighten your outdoor living experience. Our Big Green “Egg-spert” will be on hand and our talented design team will be available to answer any and all questions if you are considering the addition of a custom outdoor living space! The day promises to be fun and fulfilling!

Contact us at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040 or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net, or come see us this weekend so you don’t miss this opportunity.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Finishing your Dayton, OH, outdoor living project: Love 'em or hate 'em, a punch list gets the job done!

Do you consider a punch list to be a good thing or a bad thing? It may stir up positive feelings of progress, signaling that we’re on track and almost finished with an outdoor living project at your home. Just a few loose ends to tidy up and we’ll be done and “out of your hair.” Or, it may instill dread if you see it as a list of problems that stand between you and the time when you can begin to enjoy your new deck, porch or patio.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio sees a punch list as a positive thing, but we can understand if you don’t, perhaps based on your experience with other contractors. With that possibility in mind, we’ll look at what makes a good punch list, the client’s responsibilities with regard to a punch list, and the contractor’s responsibilities.

What makes a good punch list?

A good punch list specifies all items that need to be addressed before the project is deemed complete and usable by the homeowner, and it will include a plan for completion. Examples of items to be addressed on a punch list include minor repairs to finishes, cleanup and any outstanding installations specified in the contract. With a complete and accurate punch list, the entire construction team and the homeowner will have a clear understanding of the work to be completed. When that work is done, everyone will leave happy.

When we near completion of your outdoor living project, your Archadeck contractor will set up a meeting with you for a punch list walk-through. We literally walk through the final project together and compile the punch list from there.

In some cases, a punch list may also include final additions to the scope of the project with new last-minute details. Ideally, this will not happen when you work with us. We believe strongly that the complete scope of the project should be detailed in the contract that we both sign at the beginning of the job. That’s why we go over all details of the project at the pre-construction meeting and when we sign the contract just as we outlined in our blog story When is a contract not like a steak?


• Be present near the end of the project
• Inspect the work
• Ask questions

As the client, you can prepare for the walk-through by inspecting the project the site before our meeting. It helps if you come to the meeting with a good understanding of what work has taken place and what is left to be done. This approach is more productive than if you use the walk-through with the contractor as your discovery session. With some prior preparation, you can ask better questions of the contractor (and in some cases of the tradesmen who will be completing the work).

At this time, it is critical that your expectations are clearly communicated and that everyone knows what you want to see done. Construction is a long process, and by the time we get to the “punch out,” it’s almost complete!


• Consult
• Have an eye for detail
• Be prepared and helpful

Your Archadeck contractor should be prepared to walk through the site with you during our meeting and point out any remaining items on our to-do-list. At this time we truly enjoy the chance to show off our work and point out details you might not notice. We should be able to show you most of the items that need to go on the punch list, if not all.

It is our practice to keep a good eye on quality control during the construction process as a way to minimize the number of items that need to be included on the punch list. Meanwhile, if you see something that doesn’t look right during your project’s construction, please point it out to us as soon as you notice — don’t wait. If the crew is on site when you see something you’re concerned about, you can point it out to them before they leave that day. In a case like that, we may be able to take care of your concerns prior to the creation of the “official” punch list.

Addendums happen. If you need to make changes or additions to the scope of the work detailed in the contract, it’s best to bring these up as early as possible in the process — ideally prior to the beginning of construction. You definitely don’t want to wait until the walk-through. Additions add time to the schedule and change your completion date, even more so if they require additional permitting or materials.

The term “punch list” probably dates back to a time when a contractor physically punched holes in a piece of paper listing items to be completed. As a way of marking off items on the list, the contractor held up his copy and the client’s copy together and punched a hole through both copies, line by line, until every last bit of work was done. While we may not use a hole-puncher any more, we still work through the final list of tasks to be completed until everyone is satisfied. Our goal is to create the outdoor living environment you want, and the punch list is one of the ways we get the job done.

If you are ready to talk about creating the outdoor living environment you’ve been dreaming of, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.


Maybe your deck or patio is just what you desired, a soothing and carefree place where you can relax, dine al fresco and entertain friends. Maybe you’ve had this outdoor living space for a few years or a few months. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted in a deck or patio, but … it could be better!

When it’s scorching hot on your deck in summer, do you wish for a bit of shade? When the air outside is still, do you wish for a fan? When you plan an outdoor party on the patio and you’re hit with a downpour, do you wish for a covered porch?

Don’t feel bad about wanting more. Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio believes if your outdoor living space doesn’t fill all of your needs, you’ll never be satisfied until it does. Lucky for you, we have two solutions you will love, and the cost is not prohibitive.

In addition to being the Dayton and Cincinnati area’s premier deck, porch and patio builder, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio is also your local distributor and authorized installer for Lumon Natural Light Patio Covers as well as Equinox Louvered Roof pergolas. Both systems are attractive and unobtrusive. Either of these systems will solve your issues of sun/shade and rain, and either one can be added to your patio or deck without a lot of fuss and bother for you, the homeowner. Let us help you decide which one would be right for your home.

Lumon Natural Light Patio Cover

The Lumon Natural Light Patio Cover is amazing, and we highly recommend it. With a patio cover, you never have to worry again about being driven indoors by the scorching sun or soaking rain. This patio cover is made with sheets of acrylic polymer, not plastic. It will not turn yellow or become brittle. And although Lumon Natural Light Patio Covers block up to 75% of the sun’s heat, they still let in the natural light, as their name suggests!

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio can attach one of these patio covers to your home’s brick, siding, stucco wall or fascia — using rooftop attachments if needed. We can also erect a free-standing patio cover to shelter your hot tub, pool, boat, RV or vehicles. While the basic patio cover is flat, there is also a cathedral design available, bringing additional height to your outdoor living space. Lumon Natural Light Patio Covers come in a wide range of sizes, and the shatter-resistant acrylic sheets are backed by a 10-year hail warranty as well as a 30-year non-yellowing warranty.

Equinox Louvered Roof Pergola

The Equinox Louvered Roof Pergola is also amazing, and we highly recommend it. The louvered roof features motorized overhead slats with a 160-degree range of motion. You adjust the louvers depending on whether you want sun or shade, a little more sun or a little more shade. As the sun moves, you can continue to adjust the louvers easily with a remote control. No need to get up! And if it rains, no problem; you are covered. Just use the remote control to close the louvered roof completely. The systems runs off of a solar-powered battery pack, so it will not increase your energy bills.

Made of extruded aluminum, the Equinox Louvered Roof is durable and comes with a 10-year limited warranty. It conforms to nearly all wind and snow load requirements. This louvered roof system features an integrated, hidden gutter system that manages rainwater runoff, keeping you and your outdoor furniture dry and comfortable. It comes in your choice of three colors — white, sandstone and clay — but we can apply virtually any finish to the frame to match, coordinate with or contrast the color of your home. Also, Equinox offers several column styles including round, tapered, square and fluted columns.

As you may have realized, the Equinox Louvered Roof offers the advantages of a pergola, when you want a pergola, and a porch, when you want a solid roof cover. With the louvers open, you even have enough ventilation for grilling. The company offers several optional upgrades: radiant heat, fans and lighting. Radiant heat uses invisible electromagnetic infrared waves to heat objects in its path, rather than heating the air, so it’s a great option for enjoying an outdoor setting during cooler weather.

Both the Lumon Natural Light Patio Cover and the Equinox Louvered Roof Pergola can add versatility to your outdoor living space. With either one of these systems, we can virtually turn your deck or patio into a covered porch. Either one can protect your outdoor furniture from the elements and lower your home’s energy costs.

Here’s some more good news: If you don’t already have a deck or patio, we can design a new outdoor living space to incorporate either the Natural Light Patio Cover or the Equinox Louvered Roof Pergola in your initial building plan. Why wait?

We have installed both of these systems for clients and received only good feedback about them. How will you choose? To learn more about which system we may recommend for your home, contact us today at (937) 848–7040 or (513) 897–2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, Owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

Two ways to know when the time is right for a combination outdoor living project at your Dayton - area home

You’ve heard the saying, “Less is more.” Sometimes, that’s true. But sometimes less is less, and you may need (or want) more.

Custom paver patio with open porch and fire pit.

Maybe you’ve already chosen Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to be your outdoor living space builder, based on our excellent reputation in the Dayton area, and you’re trying to decide what kind of structure you want. There are so many options! Your friends love their decks; covered porches are great when it rains; patios and hardscapes are perfect for a fire pit or for star gazing. Don’t forget the appeal of screened porches, where you can enjoy the outdoors without having to fight the insects.

Outdoor living combination in Waynesville, OH.

First of all, be assured you will not have to make this decision alone. Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio has designed and built all kinds of outdoor living spaces from simple to complex, so we can help you decide what structure(s) will best complement your home. We don’t just want to “add on” to your home. We want to help you extend the joy of living there by bringing some of the comforts of the indoors outside.

As we meet with you, study your home and hear your ideas, we’ll gather an understanding of what you need from an outdoor living space and how you want to use it. To achieve your goals, we may suggest a combination project that includes more than one of these elements: deck, covered porch, screened porch, open patio, covered patio or pergola. You can mix and match. You can choose more than one. Combine!

Deck with Equinox Louvered Roof Pergola.

Just because a deck would embrace your home perfectly doesn’t mean you don’t have any use for a hardscape patio, too. As your Dayton and Cincinnati deck, porch and patio builder, we know that a well-designed combination of two (or three) types of outdoor living structures can serve you better than any one structure ever could. This is the situation (and yes, we know it’s a cliché) where the whole can truly be greater than the sum of its parts. A combination of structures can create a synergy of design and materials that work together in a way that is very pleasing and inviting as well as functional.

Here are two ways to know when the time is right for a combination outdoor living project at your home:

Scenario 1

You love entertaining at home almost as much as you enjoy relaxing there. If you have existing outdoor structures, they may be inadequate and need to be replaced. (We may need to remove them and start from scratch to build what you want.) As you talk with your Archadeck design consultant about your ideas for the perfect outdoor living space, it becomes clear that you and your family will not be satisfied with only a deck or only a porch or patio. For specific reasons, you need to combine two or three of these structures to meet your needs.

Xenia, OH, outdoor living combination by Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

We’ll sketch out some design ideas and talk about the selection of materials because these factors will affect the cost of the project. As we talk about the costs of the various elements of your design, whether they include deck and porch, deck and patio, porch and patio, etc., the discussion comes around to this: is a combination outdoor living project in your budget? If the answer is yes, then the time is right for a combination outdoor living project at your home.

Scenario 2

You have an easy lifestyle and enjoy relaxing outside at home, gazing up at the stars. You like to have a few friends over to cook out on the grill once in a while. Maybe you don’t have children, or maybe they’re still too young to appreciate the difference between a deck and a patio. But whether you’re a parent, uncle, aunt or friend, you know the day will come when you’ll want your outdoor space to be suitable for hosting birthday parties, graduation parties, a friend’s wedding shower or a co-worker’s send-off. What’s more, while you enjoy basking in moonlight, you don’t want to be driven indoors when it rains … if only you could add a covered patio or screened porch on to the deck you hope to build …

As we talk about the specific outdoor living structures and designs that might be right for your home, we’ll look at the costs of the different materials you may want to use for your project. By necessity we’ll get around to talking about your budget. Can your budget handle a combination outdoor living project at this time? If the answer is no, you may be interested in our phased building program.

Sunroom and deck combination space in Miami Township, OH.

It’s possible that we can design and build your combination project in phases so we can complete a portion of it now and future additions or amendments later, when your budget allows. If we design your project with future additions in mind, we can tie in the next phase without having to undo and redo connecting elements. We can avoid wasting time, money and materials by planning for latter stages from the beginning during the engineering phase. If this phased building program sounds right for you and your budget, then the time is right to begin planning and building a combination outdoor living project at your home.

Whether you see yourself in Scenario 1 or Scenario 2, or somewhere in between, know that Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio is the right builder to bring your combination outdoor living space to life. Many builders cannot do it all – we can.

If you are ready to talk about what kind of outdoor living project you’ve been dreaming of, we can help you get started today. We want to make the backyard of your dreams a reality whether we do it all at once or in stages. Contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio to learn more at (937) 848 – 7040 or (513) 897 – 2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio.

Wood vs. composite -- which is the best choice for my Dayton deck?

Once you have decided upon the type of outdoor living structure you want to add to your home and landscape, the decisions won’t end there. Once the placement and design have been confirmed, the next round of decisions you will need to make are material selections.

When it comes to decks there are generally two choices, these are wood or composite (synthetic). Choosing whether to use wood or composite for your decking boards is not a simple decision. Both wood and composite have pros and cons. Simply put, a composite deck will perform better and cost more. A wooden deck will cost significantly less and still perform well. Wood, however, will certainly not last as long as composite and will require regular maintenance.

Answering these questions will aid in making the decision of wood or composite:

  • How long are you going to be in your home?

This is the deal breaker for many homeowners, but out of all the questions you need to ask yourself, this may be the most important. If you are planning on being in your home for another 10 or 20 years, then a composite/synthetic warranty will still be in effect. Some of the benefits of choosing composite/synthetic decking include the lower maintenance aspect over that of traditional wood, it lasts longer, resists staining and scratching, and many come with anti-fade warranties depending on the specific brand. This means your synthetic deck will likely look as good 20 years from now as it does the day it was installed with minimal maintenance.

Natural wood may have no warranty or a limited lifetime warranty. But, this does not mean that a wood deck will suffer from all the maladies covered by a composite warranty. Wood decks can still last 15 or 20 years and still look good if properly maintained. Because composites are low maintenance, carry such a long warranty, and will look the same in 10 years as it does today, a composite deck is a good investment if it makes sense for your budget.

  • How do you feel about maintenance?

Do you get crabby just thinking about cleaning, staining or sealing a wooden deck? Or, does the annual deck maintenance fall into the category of just another outdoor task that has to be conquered? I’ve found that people generally either don’t mind this at all or simply won’t invest in materials that require annual maintenance — there is no gray area here (no pun intended). In order for wood to look good from year to year, it will require annual maintenance. In addition, this annual maintenance will have a cost involved that includes material and possibly labor if you choose to have someone do this for you.

  • How authentic do you want your decking to look?

Nothing looks more like wood than wood itself. Composites have come a long way and they’re looking better all the time. They are adding more streaking and ridges but this is one category where they will forever be chasing the real thing – natural wood.

  • Would you rather pay more now and less over time or less now and more over time?

This may sound like a riddle, but regardless of all of the features and benefits of composite, it still needs to make sense for your budget. A well-maintained wood deck can last a good 15-20 years, or even longer, however, any wood will inevitably wear and tear over time. True wood lovers will always prefer the genuine original, and most are more-than- willing to pay the costs associated with maintenance.

It would be easy if the physical characteristics and warranty were the only factors to consider when choosing a decking material. But, after making an intellectual decision, we then need to make the aesthetic decision.

Here at Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we have many decking materials to choose from. We can help you decide on a wood or synthetic decking material. This includes synthetic materials such as composites, capstock and solid PVC that are composed of elements that stabilize and protect them from UV damage.

Contact us today to learn more at (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net.

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true."

Plastic Deck Coatings Offer False Promises

Have you seen the commercials about the products that promise to transform your timeworn wooden deck to a like new condition?

In our line of business, we have seen many deck owners place their hopes of restoring their aged or worn wooden deck into products that usually only offer false promises. A great example is the paint-on, do-it-in-a-day plastic deck coatings that are prevalent in the home improvement stores. Many retailers have been stocking products in the paint section that appear to put a thick coating on deck boards, giving them the appearance of synthetic decking. These products claim to offer superior protection to the wood itself and to eliminate splinters, nail holes and minor cracks. These products also boast about their ease of application claiming a homeowner can apply the product over the course of a weekend.

At Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio, we have experienced the truth about plastic coatings first-hand. And all is not what it seems. We recently we met with a homeowner in regards to redecking his backyard deck after having a bad experience with one of these products. During our consult, the homeowner was quick to point out that during application of the coating, the surface area reached a temperature hot enough to melt the bottoms of his shoes leaving an imprint on the surface. This, along with other factors, led to his consideration of redecking the space.

We realize that each individual case is different, however, our experience with “fix all” products such as these has proven to be anything but positive. These products only serve as a short-term solution to a long-term problem. Many are made up of epoxy-style coverings that appear to be smooth, flawless and cool to the touch when exposed to the sun but in reality, can come out rough and retain heat on structures that have a southern exposure.

And that’s not all, the nature of the product is to form a coating over your existing wood deck. Bear in mind, that if moisture or any rot is already underway, using these products only lock the problem in, they do not address it. Application over rotten wood, damp wood, etc, will likely cause failures of the coatings.

Other inconsistencies that must also be addressed are tight spacing of existing deck boards and reduced drainage capabilities. The circumference of these coatings will make tight spacing worse, and the area between your decking boards must be cleaned out regularly or face side rot. Flashing issues at the ledger are also a concern as is a lack of proper waterproofing over joist tops.

The prospect of success, if any, of using these “paint-on” products lies within the surface preparation itself. Wood needs to be cleaned and free of any debris, oils or grease (this includes barbecue sauce). Prerequisites also include replacement of any loose nails. Manufacturers of the product even recommend your existing deck be screwed down to avoid the chances of any nails working up through the new finish. We are quick to point out these products should not serve as a “fix” for rotting wood or a surface in very bad condition as many deck owners may assume. These products serve as an alternative to conventional sealers or stain, not as a decking repair system.

Redecking an aging or failing deck through a quality deck contractor is the only real solution for invasive decking problems. Our diverse portfolio of decking materials includes quality wooden choices as well as the highest quality synthetic options on the market.

Archadeck of West Central and Southwest Ohio is here to help you make an informed decision about which material is the best suited for your outdoor space needs. We have many redecking options available to accommodate your lifestyle and budget. Our knowledge and experience working with wood and synthetics over the years can ensure an outdoor living space that not only meets but exceeds your expectations. Contact us today to learn more (937) 848-7040 or (513) 897-2040. You can also email us at wcohio@archadeck.net.

This deck addition in Liberty Township, OH, transformed this backyard from basic to beautiful

One of the perks of running and operating Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio is having the opportunity to shape an expert living space design into an area void of any outdoor living space. It is much like the feeling an artist gets when he is staring at a blank canvas. As your outdoor living structure builder, I get just as excited working on our clients’ projects as they are anticipating its completion!

Such is the case with one of our most recent projects in Liberty Township, OH. The project is located in The Meadows of Aspen Trail subdivision. When I initially arrived at for the design consultation, the backyard had no existing outdoor living space. The backyard consisted of a 3′ × 3′ landing with no steps. You could simply open the back door of the home and walk (or fall), straight into the yard. The homeowners expressed their desire to have a deck built that could be accentuated later with a paver patio.

As you may already know, Archadeck can build your outdoor living combination project in stages as your budget and lifestyle afford. This is what we refer to as staged or phased building, and it is exactly what these homeowners had in mind. As you can see from the photo above, we designed the deck using a wide, wrap-around stairway in order to make access to the upcoming patio addition easier — the deck will flow effortlessly into the anticipated paver patio.

Before we could officially begin the project, a zoning variance had to be obtained along with a sediment and erosion control permit as the setback from the house to the back of the property was .96’. After securing all the necessary permits and documentation we then began the project by first tearing off the small landing, Archadeck built a stunning pressure-treated pine deck on the East side of the home. Their property allowed this configuration which helps with exposure because the deck will not receive heavy sun.

The design of the deck features a multi-level, step-up to an octagonal area that is spacious enough for lawn chairs. We used Deckorators railing in a smaller profile to open up space and help the deck appear bigger. Since this particular neighborhood has strict ordinances in place in regards to the visibility of on-site storage, we also installed a solid board skirting to the deck to enable out-of-sight storage underneath.

The homeowners are elated with their new deck and are looking forward to the upcoming patio. Take a look at the before and after project image below - amazing!

If you are ready to take your backyard from boring to beautiful, contact Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio today at (937) 848 – 7040 or
(513) 897 – 2040, or via email at wcohio@archadeck.net.

Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.

Tim Stephens, owner, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

A simple verse that speaks volumes about the value of using a professional

“There is that buyeth much for a little, and repayeth it sevenfold.”
— Apocrypha: Sirach chapter 20, verse 12

I recently met with a wonderful homeowner here in our showroom earlier this week. Her neighbor had given her our contact information because she had a deck built 6 years ago by a less-than-professional local buiilder in the area and after the atrocious quality of the project, Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio repaired and redecked the entire deck for her.

In addition to addressing the many negative the issues left behind from the other builder, many of the deck posts were out of line, and boards were installed at various lengths, the structure itself was evidence of what can happen when you choose to go the cheapest route. The homeowner I met with was quick to quote the verse from the Apocrypha “There is that buyeth much for a little, and repayeth it sevenfold” because she realized that often you feel as though you’re getting more for a small amount, but without quality and value you will pay much more in the long run.

Nowadays people want the lowest price more that ever. They seem to forget the old adage you get what you pay for. It might seem like a great idea for your budget to accept the lowest contracting bid or quote for your new outdoor project, or let the builder who can start the job the soonest, but that can be like shopping for exquisite china at a discount store. Yes, you might find something that works temporarily, but you will ultimately end up saving money in the long run by spending for quality now.

Quality outdoor living structures builders companies want to stay in business and work hard to please their customers, like Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio. We are the company that will still be around years down the road and this is because we don’t skimp. We offer quality products, strong warranties and use highly skilled carpenters and craftsman. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to know that usually the lowest bids on an outdoor structure project often involve cheap materials and unskilled or poorly trained workers.

Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio has operated in the Dayton & Cincinnati area since 1990. We are a custom design and custom build firm and we have the strongest warranties in the business. We maintain an office in historic downtown Waynesville, OH, so when you are ready to have that new outdoor structure designed and built remember to contact us.

Tim Stephens, Owner Archadeck of West Central & Southwest Ohio

“Let this be the year that Archadeck makes your outdoor living dreams come true.”

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