Gravity…awesome to experience on a roller coaster or slide…not so great on you deck!

Roller coasterKnowing that gravity is an unfailing force is comforting, usually. It makes anything not firmly planted beneath the earth’s surface or properly attached to a stable structure eventually tumble to the ground. This thought doesn’t pop into your head until the moment you step onto something that wobbles or moves, even one that does it ever so slightly…such as walking across a swinging bridge in the mountains or while boarding a plane or ship…all of which you know to expect some movement. You should absolutely never experience this is when stepping out onto your deck; the most beloved spot for entertaining and relaxing. A well maintained, routinely inspected deck is one that gives you peace of mind each and every time you step on to it.

Logo - Deck SafetyMay, in the building industry is recognized as National Deck Safety Month and even though Archadeck of Central Maryland and Montgomery County helps to increase deck safety awareness during May, we feel deck maintenance should actually be conducted year-round to ensure safety. With a large portion of the approximately 40 million decks over 20 years old in the US, not being properly maintained or routinely inspected, it isn’t surprising that in a six-year period there were an estimated 179 deck failures resulting in 1,122 injuries and 33 deaths. What is startling, however, is the fact that according to NADRA, The North American Deck and Railing Association, deck failures that result in injury are increasing at an alarming rate and are mostly due to non-maintained, aged decks or just shoddy workmanship of a cut-rate builder.

Maryland_Bethesda_Baltimore_Best_Deck_Builder_Contractor_Outdoor_Living_SpecialistIf a deck is built by a reputable experienced builder, it will be built correctly meeting or exceeding building codes, and give you peace of mind in knowing your deck is safe and structurally sound from the ground up. A well-built deck that is both structurally sound and safe also includes the following components: ledger boards that are either bolted or screwed securely to side of the house; support posts that are mounted to concrete footers; diagonal and/or lateral post braces, proper railing and stairs as well as connectors and fasteners (such as galvanized or stainless steel bolts, screws, nails and joist and post connectors) specially designed for deck construction.

Just as it is with yours or your loved ones’ health (keeping an eye out for potential symptoms or health issues), when it comes to your deck’s safety, YOU are its first line of defense as well. And, since each of your family member’s health is directly affected by the safety of the things you use, you are killing two birds with one stone, so to speak. It’s as simple as doing a visual inspection of the deck each time you use it or are outside near it. If you see any rotten, cracked or damaged wood, or any loose, missing or corroded metal bracing or parts, it is recommended to have a structural engineer or an established, well-respected contractor evaluate your deck before its next use.

hassle-free no textDeck safety is a top priority and we want to ensure you or a member of your family doesn’t become a casualty as a result of an unsafe deck. Archadeck of Central Maryland and Montgomery County offers a thorough, certified deck safety inspection for a modest fee. You’ll receive a detailed checklist that highlights any necessary or suggested repairs or maybe your deck is good for a couple more years; we’ll let you know that too. Here are just a few of the critical areas our deck safety inspection covers: foundation and footings, the attachment to your home, decking boards, connections and fasteners, the posts, beams and joists (if visible) of the structure, any sagging between supports, as well as stairs and rails.

While we’re there to perform the inspection and upon your request we can also provide a free consultation on what would be involved with replacing your deck with an updated design that meets or exceeds all building code requirements and is best suited for your outdoor living needs.


John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandIf you feel it’s time for your deck to be inspected for safety or are considering a new deck, or re-deck in the future, Archadeck of Central Maryland is the right choice for you. Our professional and talented staff members are experts at producing beautiful, quality outdoor living structures which are well designed and structurally sound. Contact us to learn more or to schedule your deck inspection or new project consultation today at (301) 926 – 3001 or email at or


When considering options for your Central MD deck, do you bamboo?

BambooUsed to create everyday objects for over 4000 years, bamboo’s long life makes it a Chinese symbol of longevity. Although most people think of it as a hardwood, it is actually a natural grass. A highly stable material, it is stronger and more durable than nearly all wood. All of these desirable attributes combined with its amazing longevity quite simply make it an ideal building material for outdoor living spaces, such as decks and patios, with a luxurious and exotic flare.

Highly sustainable, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet and can be harvested approximately every four to six years. Even though it is considered to be a very invasive species, a strong, dense and difficult to control plant with the ability to take over an entire lot (acreage) over time from just one sapling, it is environmentally friendly. It doesn’t require pesticides or other harmful chemicals for protection, it captures carbon effectively and doesn’t endanger hardwood forests like other natural materials (pine, hardwoods, etc.)

Tranquil bamboo deck alongside a Zen inspired water feature. Photo courtesy Dasso XTR.

Tranquil bamboo deck alongside a Zen inspired water feature. Photo courtesy Dasso XTR.

Over time, it’s inevitable for weather, sun and moisture to cause wooden boards to warp and twist. Wood will swell as it absorbs water and then shrink as it dries out again. Some types of boards are less likely to be seriously affected by the changes and some are drastically affected. Bamboo has a natural resistance to these elements and in comparison, will not swell or contract with moisture in the air. With its hard exterior and cellular interior, it is both flexible and elastic, making it very resilient without breaking. Bamboo does not have rays or knots the way wood does, so when stress is applied, it is evenly distributed over the surface.

Bamboo deck builder

Knowing all these benefits of bamboo, it’s easy to see why bamboo decking has become so popular in recent years. Versatile in terms of color, bamboo can coordinate with almost any exterior décor of your home, as it can be stained in a wide range of hues from light natural to dark chocolate tones, allowing you to create just the right aesthetic for your particular project. As for maintenance to keep its exotic appeal, it requires no more work than you would need to do for a hardwood deck and the actual maintenance is very similar.

Bamboo decking

This rooftop deck is built using bamboo decking.

Our most current deck project is under construction. We are using bamboo furnished through Dasso XTR bamboo decking. Dasso is the global leader in the development and production of innovative bamboo products and is manufactured with strand woven technology, a patented process that fuses carbonized bamboo to make it suitable for exterior use. These homeowners can rest easy knowing their deck will stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws at it. Be sure to check back with us to see the progress and the final reveal of this stunning outdoor living structure.

Archadeck of Central Maryland is a leader in outdoor design & construction in Montgomery County, Howard County, and the surrounding area. We strive to continue to offer our clients the most current design and most dependable building material options in the industry. Our professional and talented staff are experts at helping homeowners, like you, get the most out of every season. Contact us today to learn more at (301) 926 – 3001 or email at or

John Barrett Archadeck of Maryland


Choosing the decking material that’s best for your outdoor living space is easy with Archadeck of Central MD!

AZEK deck by Archadeck of Maryland

This AZEK deck is accented with a TimberTech Radiance Rail.

You’ve chosen the placement, the type of structure and the size of your new outdoor living space, so now it’s time to select which material to use for its construction. For today’s forward thinking homeowner, synthetic decking, the low maintenance green building material, is consistently a top choice. Contrary to popular belief, not all synthetic decking is the same. In fact, synthetic decking is broken down into three categories based upon its anatomy: composite decking, solid PVC and capstock decking, with manufacturers including TimberTech, Fiberon, AZEK and Trex. Although all three categories possess certain similarities, they also have distinct differences as shown in the detail of each below.

  • Composite decking
Composite deck by Archadeck

This deck by Archadeck shows the beauty that can be yours with a composite deck.

Traditional wood/plastic composite materials are available through many of the top brands we carry, such as TimberTech, Fiberon and Trex. Traditional composites consist of a combination of wood fiber and resin. This pairing of wood and plastic provides an impressive durability (the likes of which wood has never been able to provide), an uncanny resistance to splintering and rotting, never requires staining or painting and is extremely economical. The downside is the potential for discoloring; due to the presence of wood in its formula, wine, oil and grease can stain the deck because of the porous nature of the wood fibers. These high-quality composite decking materials are covered by warranties that exceed those of any wooden deck on the market.

  • Solid PVC decking

Solid PVC decking, such as AZEK, is impervious and offers superior stain, insect, mold/mildew, scratch, fade, and split resistance. Grease, oil, wine or fruit punch will not discolor this decking material and there’s never a worry regarding patio furniture or pet scratches with solid PVC. Disadvantages for this category include a potential for expansion in the heat due to the elasticity of plastic, a lack of a more authentic wood texture and with all of its high-tech resistance, comes with a higher price tag.

AZEK decking in beautiful "Redland Rose".

AZEK decking in beautiful “Redland Rose”.

  • Capstock decking

Fiberon capstock decking.

One of the newest synthetics is a composite wrapped in PVC or other high performance shell, often referred to as capstock decking. The advantages of this combination include reducing the amount of maintenance required by the homeowner, and more specifically a decrease in the amount of cleaning required to keep the deck looking new. Capped composites, or capstock manufacturers include Trex, Fiberon and TimberTech. Capstock decking offers the best of both worlds through superior stain, fade, scratch, and insect resistance while still giving you the beauty of real wood with moderate pricing.  In addition, capstock offers warraties against fading and staining.

When comparing quality and performance of the manufacturers of synthetic decking materials, Archadeck of Central MD offers a diverse lineup of low-maintenance, high-performance wood alternative products which can handle the outdoors without depleting them. The long list of advantages of each brand far outweights any disadvantages, (as if there are any!) and include: high resistance to elements, impervious to mold, mildew and insects, wide spectrum of beautiful colors and grain patterns and affordability.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandNo matter if you are selecting the building material to re-deck your existing structure or for your new deck, you want one packed with versatility and beauty and choosing it shouldn’t be a hassle. Archadeck of Central Maryland is a trusted and respected industry leader. We have the experience to consult effectively with our customers on manufacturer and material selections. We can help you review and choose the right material to suit your needs, your lifestyle and your budget. Contact us today to learn more about synthetic and other outdoor living material options. Call or email for a free consultation: (301) 926 – 3001 or

Not all outdoor living structures are the same, nor is the contractor hired to build them.

Three season room with cedar ceiling and slate floor

Just like not all outdoor living structures are the same, neither are the contractors hired to build them. You may wish to have a custom designed outdoor living space built to enhance and extend your family’s enjoyment of your home, … Continue reading

Switch over to “Island time” with a new pool or spa deck from Archadeck of Maryland


Trex composite deck and railing over spa by Archadeck of Maryland

It’s that time of the year, when the weather is hot and the living is easy. The kids are on summer break, and summer is a time when the whole world moves just a little slower, more relaxed, a time for friends family and the great outdoors. A great way to cool off, slow down and have a little summer fun is to take a dip in the pool, and a great way to add beauty and accessibility to your pool or spa is with a custom pool or spa deck from Archadeck of Central Maryland and Archadeck of Montgomery County.


Pool and spa deck combination in Trex composite by Archadeck of Maryland

Pool and spa decking can play a huge role in the aesthetics and range of uses for your pool or spa. A well planned and executed pool or spa deck can transform your pool area into an extension of your living space. A place you want to spend time on even when you aren’t using your pool or spa. There are a wide variety of shapes and styles available to complement your area and a wide range of quality materials to construct your outdoor oasis from. One such material is composite decking which lends itself to use around a pool or spa because of all the attributes it carries.

Composite pool decks such as this can transform your backyard into a spa-like oasis

Composite pool decks such as this can transform your backyard into a spa-like oasis

Composite decking materials such as Trex, AZEK, TimberTech, and Fiberon are mold and mildew resistant and won’t fade or warp from exposure to the summer sun.  Composites come in a multitude of finishes, some so close to real wood you have to reach down and touch it to know the difference. Many of today’s composites are made with slip resistance in mind, providing a safer decking material to use around pools and spas. Composites won’t retain heat or splinter on those hot summer days, so they are easy on the feet as well as on the eye. Leaders in the composite decking industry have warranted their decking boards for as much as 30 years, proof positive that composites are the real deal.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandIf you are ready to move your clock over to “Island time” with the addition of a luxurious and hassle free pool or spa deck contact Archadeck of Central Maryland and Montgomery County  to find out more. If you live in the areas listed below call us to discuss your next pool, spa or water feature deck or living area ideas call 301-926-3001 or email us at or you can also email us at

Check to see if we cover your area. Here is a list of the locations we cover:

Montgomery County, MD
Ashton, Aspen Hill, Barnesville, Beallsville, Bethesda, Boyds, Brinklow, Brookeville, Burtonsville, Cabin John, Chevy Chase, Clarksburg, Cloverly, Colesville, Comus, Damascus, Darnestown, Derwood, Dickerson, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Glen Echo, Glenmont, Hillandale, Hyattstown, Kensington, Laytonsville, Leisure World, Montgomery Village, Montgomry Vlg, N Bethesda, N Potomac, Norbeck, North Bethesda, North Potomac, Olney, Poolesville, Potomac, Rockville, Sandy Spring, Silver Spring, Somerset, Spencerville, Sunshine, Takoma Park, Takoma Pk, Unity, Westlake, Wheaton

Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince Georges Counties, MD

Annapolis, Annapolis Junction, Aspen Hill, Baltimore, Beltsville, Bowie, Brooklyn, Brunswick, Catonsville, Cheltenham, Clarksville, Clifton East End, Colesville, College Park, Columbia, Crofton, Crownsville, Daniels, Davidsonville, Dayton, Eastport, Edgewater, Edgewater Bch, Elkridge, Ellicott, Ellicott City, Fort Washington, Frederick, Fulton, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Glen Burnie, Glenarden, Glenelg, Glenwood, Glyndon, Granite, Greenbelt, Hagerstown, Hanover, Harmans, Henryton, Highland, Hunt Valley, Ilchester, Jessup, Kettering, Knoxville, Lake Shore, Largo, Laurel, Lineboro, Lisbon, Loch Raven, Lutherville, Lutherville Timonium, Manchester, Millersville, Mitchellville, Montpelier, Oella, Olney, Oxon Hill, Pasadena, Pikesville, Reisterstown, Riviera Beach, Rockville, Savage, Scaggsville, Severn, Severna Park, Sherwood Forest, Silver Spring, Simpsonville, Timonium, Towson, Upper Marlboro, Uppr Marlboro, W Friendship, West Friendship, Westminster, Woodbine, Woodstock