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.

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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 centralmaryland@archadeck.net or montgomeryco@archadeck.net.

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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.