Category Archives: Composite woods

What’s new with AZEK synthetic decking in 2016?

As we’ve written before, synthetic outdoor building materials continue to improve over time. While composite decking brands have come and gone over the years, here in the Kansas City market, we have historically and continue to enjoy success with AZEK. AZEK composite decking not only performs well but it carries a 25-year warranty providing protection from splitting, cupping, splintering, blistering, peeling, flaking, cracking, rotting or structural damage from termites or fungal decay.

AZEK Alloy Armour Kansas City ArchadeckIn 2016, AZEK is rolling out a new technology called Alloy Armour technology. AZEK’s  proprietary alloy blend provides increased performance including better weathering protection, better UV protection and more fade & stain resistance. With the proprietary Alloy Armour technology, AZEK is now adding an additional 30-year warranty which specifically covers fade and stain protection. When evaluating contractors to build your new project, it’s important to look at all the warranties available. With Archadeck, we offer our own additional warranties. We have a guarantee of project completion even if any unfortunate situations should arise with your local crew, a 12-month workmanship warranty and a 60-month structural warranty.

In addition to AZEK’s new technology and warranty, there are introducing some color changes in 2016. Here are the color changes:

  • Sandridge will now be Brownstone
  • River Rock will now be changed to Slate Gray
  • Tahoe will now be changed to Island Oak
  • Sedona will now be changed to Autumn Chestnut
  • Walnut Grove will be changed to Brazilian Walnut
  • Redland Rose will be changed to Mountain Redwood
  • Rustic Bark will be changed to Mahogany
  • Harvest Bronze will be changed to Cypress
Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a new deck, porch or other outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation. We look forward to your call at 913-851-3325. Please also visit our Archadeck of Kansas City website.

Take a look at this large AZEK deck in Shawnee KS

large AZEK deck Shawnee KS by Archadeck lrWhen these Shawnee homeowners called us over a year ago, they had an old 2-level wood deck. They wanted a new space and asked us to consult. We suggested they consider an upper level deck and a lower level patio. They liked that idea and had some landscaping things they wanted to change. When we got started, we had to demolish the old 2-level deck. In its place we built a large deck using AZEK Morado PVC decking. The deck has white TimberTech Radiance railing with lights on the upper level railing.

We are your trusted Kansas City deck builder since 2001!

Shawnee KS Belgard paver patio under deck

Below the deck, we built a paver patio using Belgard paving stone. This outdoor living space is completely re-done in terms of ambiance, increased longevity and durability. In addition, all of the materials are low-maintenance. The deck and railing will not need to be stained or sealed. – ever. AZEK decking comes with a lifetime limited warranty.

Shawnee KS AZEK Morado deck lr

The Morado color is a warm chestnut brown giving the space a welcoming and inviting feel. The white railing provides stark contrast for visual appeal.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering add a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living structure to your Kansas City area home, give us a call at (913) 851 – 3325 for a free consultation or drop us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Composite wood and synthetic wood has come a long way baby – Top 5 key steps in their evolution

If you’re thinking about adding a new deck, porch other other outdoor structure to your yard, any early research may be a dizzying experience. There are so many brands with so many choices. We’d like to share some of the steps we’ve seen in the evolution of these products.

  1. Rot proof and Termite Proof
  2. Synthetics evolve: low-maintenance please!
  3. Design improvement
  4. Synthetics perform
  5. Synthetics perform even better

Rot proof and Termite Proof

Believe it or not, composite woods were developed over 20 years ago. The formula was rather simple back then. Recycled sawdust was blended with recycled plastic. This “composite” was rot proof, termite proof and environmentally friendly. But, there was no choice of color, no fancy pattern, and the product suffered with mold problems because water seeped into the wood portion of the composite, was held there, and molded.

Synthetics evolve: low-maintenance please!

As time went on and the products became more widely known. Consumers were looking for other features that could be added besides being rot proof and termite proof. New composite woods came to market as low-maintenance products. They still needed to be gently cleaned but did not require annual maintenance. The same is still true today with both composites and synthetics. They neither need to be stained nor sealed and can be easily washed by spraying a hose or with some gentle washing.

Design improvement

New things became important to consumers such as look, texture, scratch resistance, colors, and patterns. Synthetics began to come in a variety of colors and include a variety of patterns such as a wood grain pattern. In trying to incorporate these, manufacturers wanted to change the way boards were made. Many went away from recycled plastic to boards they could specify the quality of. For example, some composite manufacturers began using virgin plastic.

Synthetics perform

With continuous improvements composite boards could now tout better performance. This performance included protection against blistering, peeling, flaking, cracking, splitting, cupping, rotting, and other performance characteristics.

Synthetics perform even better

While the performance had grown in leaps and bounds, there were still 2 performance characteristics that the products did not provide – stain resistance and fade resistance. It’s important to note that we use the word resistance here and when talking about maintenance, we always state low maintenance instead of no maintenance. Anything can be damaged by neglect such as leaving spilled wine on the surface. These products can still be damaged with very sharp objects.

Then a new material entered the market – PVC. PVC boards such as AZEK don’t have any wood fibers in them at all. They are 100% synthetic. These synthetics provided a host of additional performance characteristics including superior stain and fade resistance. They do perform better. The raw material is more expensive and therefore you will pay more for PVC.

Best of both worlds?

More recently, a new type of product is available that has a composite core and is wrapped or capped with PVC. The consumer can benefit from the lower cost that the composite core provides but can enjoy the superior performance that PVC provides.

By now you may have a sense of what type of material may be right for your new deck or porch. The next question relates to which brand to use. To a great extent, this will simply depend on your preference. We can show you samples that show the grains, patterns, and colors to help you make your decision.

Steve FolsomIf you are considering adding a new deck, porch, or other structure to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325. You can reach us via email at kansascity@archadeck.net.

Your new outdoor living space should be all about putting the pieces together to fit your family

Lenexa KS Porch deck pergola by Archadeck

Looking at the picture above, you’ll notice quite a transformation. What you might not notice at first glance is the large custom garden shed built to fit perfectly under the deck. This was one of the goals of the homeowners and this is one of the benefits of working with a custom design and build contractor.

When we first met with these Lenexa KS homeowners, they had an old deck with a garden storage shed off to side. They wanted a screened porch, a larger deck, a pergola over the deck, and a new garden shed designed to fit under the deck. We completely redesigned in size and footprint to include all these elements.

In addition to knowing which structures they were looking for, these homeowners also knew they wanted low maintenance materials including composite flooring for and metal railings for strength, durability, and low-maintenance. After considerable looking, they selected Fiberon Ipe color as the deck and porch flooring. They selected low-maintenance Fortress iron railings in black for both the deck and porch.

Archadeck porch Lenexa KS Fiberon floor

We built a gable roof screened porch for a light and airy feel. The wall posts are cedar and the T-111 ceiling is stained to match the ceiling. They wanted ceiling fans, outlets, etc. which we built into the porch. We used our standard heavy-duty screen. You’ll notice how nicely the black railings allow for visibility. Not only are they slender, but the dark color also moves your eye past the railing. The outside porch is trimmed with low-maintenance smart trim.

Cedar pergola Fiberon deck Lenexa KS by Archadeck

The deck on the adjacent porch has a cedar pergola over it for shade. Both the deck and stairs are in Fiberon’s Ipe color which has beautiful markings to look like real exotic hardwood.

Garden shed integrated into deck Lenexa KS ArchadeckThe garden shed is fully waterproof. We custom designed the shed out of Hardie siding and trimmed it with low maintenance Smart Trim.

If you are considering adding an outdoor living space, give us a call at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. Our consultation is free. We look forward to your call.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

Wood or composite? Top five questions that will help you decide…

Kansas City composite deck builder Archadeck of Kansas CityOnce you decide on what you want to build for your outdoor living enjoyment, the next round of decisions you need to make are material selection decisions. Choosing whether to use wood or composite for your decking boards is not a simple decision. Both wood and composite have pro’s and con’s. Simply stated, composite will perform better and cost more. Wood still performs well but certainly not as well as composite. Wood costs significantly less. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to aid you in your decision.

1) How long are you going to be in your home?

If you are planning on being in your home for another 10 or 20 years, then a composite wood warranty will still be in effect. Composites cost more but most carry a 20 or 25 year warranty that protects against things like blistering, peeling, flaking, cracking, splitting, cupping, rotting, and decay from bugs or fungus. Each warranty is different but these are the sorts of protections that will be covered in composite warranties. 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, composite is a good investment if it makes sense for your budget.

2) How do you feel about painting, staining and sealing?

Do you get crabby just thinking about staining, painting and sealing? Or, does the annual deck maintenance fall into the category of just another outdoor task for each summer? I’ve found that people generally either don’t mind this at all or or simply won’t invest in materials that require annual maintenance. 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 that includes material and possibly labor if you choose to have someone do this for you.

3) 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 be forever be chasing the real thing – natural wood.

4) What sort of wear and tear do you expect your deck to have?

Some wear and tear will come directly from the environment with the sun being the biggest offender in this category. Other wear and tear issues are general use and  moving objects around on the deck such as chairs and tables. A composite deck will resist wear, tear and environmental degrade better than wood.

5) Do you prefer to pay more now and less over time or less now and more over time?

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Regardless of all of the features and benefits of composite, it has to make sense for your budget. A well-maintained wood deck can last a good 15-20 years or longer however wood will wear and tear over time. Wood will having some cracking and splintering and other wear and tear issues as time goes on.

The bottom line is the only right decision is the one that’s right for you. Based on your answers to the above questions, you should have a good sense whether wood or composite are the best material selection for your new deck.

An AZEK deck and open porch in Overland Park KS

Before picture

When these Overland Park homeowners called us, they had a nice outdoor area in their back yard but it wasn’t doing what they wanted it to. They had a nice pool they used extensively for grandchildren and family. They had small patio with no shade adjacent to the pool which was next to a gravel landscaping area that wasn’t very attractive.

The outdoor living area had no sun protection so they wanted to have a partially shaded structure for those not swimming to enjoy the pool without as much sun. They didn’t want any screens on the porch, just an open view to enhance the ambiance of their outdoor living. They wanted the porch to match their house and look like an extension of their home.

AZEK pool deck with open porch and bench Overland Park KS

Thinking about the flow from the house to the covered porch, there are a couple of things that are important. One is to have the walk-out from the house at the level of the house. Someone carrying food could easily trip if there’s a big step up or down. Another consideration is whether you want continuous shade or protection from the elements in that transition. To this end, we connected the open porch roof to the house so they can walk directly under the porch from the house.

The patio is well finished. It has ceiling fans, lights, and even heaters attached to the painted beadboard ceiling.

The owners wanted to add an extended outdoor living area with a view of the pool that did not include sun protection. So, continuing from the floor of the open porch is a low elevation deck. The deck and the attached bench are made of AZEK in the brownstone color. This light color also has a cooler surface. The deck is raised slightly so there is air flow under the deck to make the deck even cooler and easier on the feet on hot days.

AZEK brownstone color deck and porch in Overland Park KS

In the design process, our goal is to translate the goals of how you want to live into an area that meets each of those needs whether this includes a light decking color with ventilation for a cool surface temperature or a more elevated roof to a covered porch for a more open an airy feel. Share your outdoor living goals and desires with your contractor so they can truly come up with a custom solution that meets your needs and how you want to live. For a free consultation about creating an outdoor living area or area to compliment your home and outdoor living goals, give us a call (913) 851 – 3325, email us http://kansas-city.archadeck.com/ or visit our website to view more pictures and submit a request for a free consultation.

A Parkville MO Composite Deck with TimberTech Earthwoods

TimberTech earthwoods deck by archadeck of Kansas City,

This TimberTech Earthwoods deck in Parkville, MO by Archadeck of Kansas City has form,function and style

I often get asked about a deck we built a few years ago. It is the one featured in the blog header. We constructed this deck in Parkville, MO for homeowners that were looking to expand their livable space. When considering any type of outdoor structure it is important to look at the use of the structure from a practicality standpoint. For example, what will the structure be used for? Do you want to eat or entertain outside? Once you decided what function the structure will serve , we can then design and build a structure that best suits your needs.

Kansas City large composite multi-level deck

Kansas City large composite multi-level deck

One of the interesting things you will note is the way this deck works around the existing tree. It was important to the homeowners to either work around the tree or integrate the tree into the design.

We expanded the size and changed the shape of the deck area. This redesigned area gave the homeowners more space and accommodated the tree into the new deck design. We used TimberTech Earthwoods composite flooring in Pacific Teak. Along with the TimberTech flooring we used a TimberTech radiance rail posts and added lights onto the rail post themselves. On the railing we used Fortress steel railing.

Composite deck in Kansas City using TimberTech Earthwoods

Composite deck in Kansas City using TimberTech Earthwoods

Composites such as TimberTech are not only aesthetically appealing they are durable and require little maintenance. TimberTech Earthwoods has the natural look and feel of real wood. It never requires any staining or sealing.  This decking composite is virtually impervious to weather and any everyday accidents that can occur with most decks. Hidden fasteners accentuate the clean  lines and appearance of this composite as well.

The finished area holds approximately 400-500 square feet of usable space within this deck. Since the elevation of the yard slopes from about 3 feet to 8 feet Archadeck of Kansas City added a step down to gain entry and to exit the new deck.

The homeowners came away from the project feeling very fulfilled with the beauty and addition of space the new deck provided. They even purchased a new suite of outdoor furniture for the new deck, which only accentuated its beauty.

If you are ready to add function and versatility to your old deck or if you are ready to add a new deck or other outdoor structure to your home and landscape contact Archadeck of Kansas City to get a free estimate today. (913) 851 – 3325
kansascity@archadeck.net