2013 Top Home Improvement Trends for Decks and Outdoor Living Space Materials

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We were recently asked what the upcoming top home improvement trends for decks and outdoor living space materials are for 2013. Since we here at Archadeck of Central Maryland work with many clients to create the perfect outdoor spaces, including decks, patios, sunrooms, screen porches, hardscapes, gazebos and more, we were happy to tackle the question. So what materials, techniques and types of projects do we think will dominate 2013?

Short answer: Top materials trends we’re seeing are Cap Stock materials & PVC technology.

And a more thorough answer: Three technologies exist today for producing low maintenance decking: composite, cap stock and PVC.

Composite was first introduced by Trex and is still available from all of the major manufacturers today. However, composite is prone to staining, scratching, fading and is more susceptible to mold and mildew. Many of the composite product do not look very natural. Its only advantage today is cost. As a result of the improved products on the market composite is quickly losing market share. Many of the products have been discontinued and those still in production will likely not be around much longer.

PVC

We’re seeing a trend in PVC Technology using top-notch materials like Azec and Fiberon. The benefits of using these types of materials for decks and outdoor living areas are that it’s stain-, mold- and scratch-resistant. The product can dent, but is a lower price point, and we’re seeing a growing number of decks and outdoor structures constructed from it. PVC is generally the most expensive material compared to the other materials we’ve already described.

Cap Stock

Another top 2013 trend for outdoor structure materials are Cap Stock materials. These are recycled wood and recycled plastic on the inside with an acrylic, high density polypropylene or other propriety formulation shell. This provides extra protection for the boards and helps extend the life of the deck. Cap Stock has all of the stain, mold, mildew resistance as PVC, looks more like natural wood, is almost as scratch resistant, and is lower in cost than PVC. As a result this has been the most popular choice for customers looking for the best value in low maintenance flooring. All of the major manufacturers including Trex, Fiberon, TimberTech (acquired by Azek in August 2012) and some of the other lower profile manufacturers like Rhino Deck all offer this technology.

We’ll be sharing more top home improvements trends and projects right here on our blog, so feel free to email us any related questions and we may feature your query in a future blog post!

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandArchadeck of Central Maryland is a leader in outdoor design & construction for Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County or Prince Georges County MD. Our team has been designing & constructing outdoor living spaces for the past 11 years and has been the recipient of CotY (Contractor of the Year) awards and other distinctions, plus featured in the Washington Post. We’d love to help you with your next home renovation, whether you’re thinking of building a new deck, 3- or 4-season room, sun room, screened porch, patio, trellis, pergola, arbor, fire pit or other project. Our design consultation is free. Give us a call at 301-926-3001 or email us to schedule yours today.

This Screened Porch and Deck in Potomac, MD Spotlights the Exotic Beauty of IPE

You may be thinking about adding a hardwood deck such as mahogany or tigerwood onto your home. There are a number of fabulous and breathtakingly beautiful hardwoods on the scene. Not only do some of this hardwoods take advantage of the natural beauty of the wood, some of them boast durability as well.

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This photo by Archadeck of Maryland shows the clipped corners for a panoramic view

Archadeck of Maryland turns back the clock a little to focus on a project we did a few years back for a customer in Potomac, MD. We changed out an existing house wall and made it into a beautiful stone wall and then added a 3-walled screened porch with clipped corners for a panoramic view. We used Ipe flooring and a beautiful clean cedar ceiling, just a stunning combination. We also added a small deck off the outside edge of the screened porch, on the far wall the deck is just big enough for a BBQ. We used a pair of french doors as the exit doors, this added an air of refinement to the addition. To add character and whimsy we installed a cupola on the roof as well.

The house was roughly a 1960′s home in the french colonial style and it had a mansard style roof. The home had a family room with a picture room with doors on either side, this is where we removed all of that and installed the wide opening to accommodate the screened porch. Along with the mansard style roof the home had cedar shakes, we matched the roof of the new structure with the same cedar shakes. Even though this was expensive and very maintenance prone over time, it was necessary to keep the structural integrity of the home intact.

This had been the 1st job we had ever finished a ceiling out with clean cedar, we used a satin finish, which looks even more elegant than a high gloss finish. The choice to use Ipe for the flooring was in part for the beauty and the other would be the extreme durability. Ipe is nicknamed “ironwood” by the industry. It is so hard and resilient you need to use titanium drill bits to drill through it. It will not float in fresh water because of its dense nature. In places where water and long-lasting are used in the same sentence such as floating docks and even the Annapolis yacht club, we have seen it used with much success. We have even heard that the New Jersey boardwalk is not made of Ipe because of its quality.

Ipe is a clean wood as well, it has a dark chocolate palette with variations from board to board. Much is the look of the Brazilian hardwoods. All you need to do to keep that dark beautiful finish is seal it. It will turn a silver-gray, the sealing is only to maintain the color, because even if you choose not to seal Ipe it will not degrade .

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandThis is just one of the many happy customers we have built structures for of hardwood decking. We have many more options, as well as Ipe. Give Archadeck of Maryland a call today to find out more at (301) 926 – 3001 or email us at centralmaryland@archadeck.net.

Rockville MD Screen Porch and Ipe Deck with Floating Benches – Stunning!

Rockville MD custom upscale screened porch builder

Vaulted ceilings and Velux skylights open up this gorgeous bright and airy screened porch in Rockville MD

This beautiful and uniquely designed deck and screened in porch was a real design challenge that paid off big for these homeowners in Rockville, MD. These customers had a home under construction when they contacted us about adding the screened porch and deck to this new home. Their goal was to make sure it harmonized perfectly with the house itself.

The challenge was in the size of the lot the home was built on. This particular lot was in a refined neighborhood which had small building lots. We met with the homeowner while the house was still in its construction phase. We wanted to design a structure that didn’t make the size of the lot even more constricting than it already was and maximize the feel of the living space.

Open Ipe deck with floating benches in Rockville MD

Open Ipe deck with floating benches in Rockville MD

The elevation of the home was such that we decided to lower the main living area. We also decided not to add railing into the design to open up the flow into the back yard. We used Cantilevers over the edge of the deck to pick up space beyond the edge of the deck. The bench was built as a floating bench. This allowed it to serve as a gentle barrier, maximize space, and maximize seating. In addition, the homeowners can also use this as a buffet during cookouts or family get-togethers or use it as a decorative area by placing potted plants or other decorative items on the bench. Another efficient use of the space was the gate under the porch which contains a storage area. We pride ourselves in creating designs that add character to our structures and add efficient usable space in places you least expect. For an elegant touch we used picture framing underneath the bench and also carried on that same elegance by using it under the screened porch.

Octagonal IPE deck and custom-built screen porch in Rockville MD

Octagonal IPE deck and custom-built screen porch in Rockville MD

In order to maintain fluidity of the home’s details, we used the roof tiles on the screened porch to match the house. The homeowners’ intent was to use the screened porch to lounge and relax and wind down from the day. The details and beautiful touches make this screened porch a tranquil oasis. The door is an Anderson storm door which lets in full light and has screen on the door itself. The screened porch has a cathedral ceiling with gorgeous knotty pine. We installed Velux skylights on both sides of the screened porch and it has recessed can lighting throughout. The floor on the screened porch extends out to give color reveal. We even installed a ceiling fan on this screened porch that not only keeps you cool on those warm summer days, it is equipped with a heating element which will keep you warm on those chilly autumn nights. The addition of such a fixture will dramatically extend the time the homeowners can actually enjoy the screened porch.

Custom screen porch sunroom builder Rockville

See the custom details that were added to this custom screened porch

The beautiful design and details do not end when you leave the screened porch. The same careful attention was paid to every detail of the deck too. The octagon in the middle of the porch creates a unique focal point from a design element standpoint and also provides transition. All the decking material used was IPE. We used AZEK for all the exterior trim materials which is maintenance free and also matches the exterior of the house. The deck balusters are Deckorator balusters and we used black-colored balusters to provide a more open look.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandNot only will this deck and screened porch give these homeowners years of enjoyment, it is so beautifully designed and built it is a true extension of their already beautiful new home. It has it all- character, craftsmanship, flowing design and beauty all in one place. We can make your backyard a work of art too. We can plan, design and build you the structure of your dreams to enjoy for years to come. Give us a call today to begin your transformation.