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Made in the shade with a custom shaped TimberTech deck

At first glance, this two-story deck in Malvern PA looks like the perfect deck. But, what makes the perfect deck?

Raised deck

Above is the “before” deck that was re-architected, replaced and rebuilt by Archadeck of Chester County, PA. Even though this looks like the perfect deck, the owners had two problems and one issue with the deck. The problem with the deck was the damage done by their dog. The first issue was that the deck faces southwest so it is a scorching location in the afternoon and evening. They were simply not able to use the deck until after sunset. The second issue is that the deck had a boring shape. When rebuilding their deck, they wanted to fix not only the sun issue but also make their custom deck truly custom.

Here is the after picture from atop the deck:

Covered deck

Here is the after picture from the back:

Covered deck

The design included both a custom deck structure as well as an octagonal covered porch. The hip roof helped achieve usable area during the afternoon and evening. The octagonal shape of the open porch added dimension to the back of the home as well as a large usable area for entertaining.

Covered deck

You’ll notice that skylights were added to the roof to allow daytime light to flow onto the open porch and into the kitchen. The unique octagonal shape of the open porch created a duplicate octagonal area below on the patio area for extra entertaining and outside living.

With any custom structure, materials are incredibly important. Because of the dog, a more scratch-resistant TimberTech XLM decking material was used using hidden fasteners.

Deck with color swatches TimberTech’s XLM decking is one of their premium decking planks. It is a cellular PVC decking plank that’s built to withstand tough scratches and mildew and it has very strong stain resistance. So, XLM is a wise choice if your deck will be a heavy traffic area, a heavy spill area, a heavy rain and tough weather area, a play area for kids, an area for your pets and an area that might see heavy spills. It’s also very slip resistant.

The TimberTech XLM comes in 5 colors – Mountain Cedar, River Rock, SandRidge, Desert Bronze, and Rustic Bark.

The railing is a combination of TimberTech Builder Board with an XLM cap and aluminum balusters. The columns are round, tapered, 10” Fiberglass. They are paintable so that the owner can match the trim on the house.

Here is another after photo of the job from afar:

The boards on this deck may have great weather proofing characteristics but Juan Cardona, the owner of Archadeck of Chester County wished the weather would have held off while they were building the deck. They started construction about 4 days after the first of the massive snow falls that hit this past winter. So they had to show up with a snow blower to clear away a path down to the yard and a 20’X40’ area near the deck so that the crew could set up their work site. Now the Archadeck crew has a new tool in their toolbox – a snow blower.

As you think about building the structure for your back yard, think about how you want to use your structure.

Here are some questions:

Do you want to entertain a lot? If so, what times of day and how many people?
Do you want a quiet spot to read? Do you want a romantic spot to steal away and enjoy a glass of wine with your spouse after long days at work?
Do you want to have another spot on the deck for the kids to play or roast marshmallows while you are enjoying that glass of wine over on another portion of the deck?
How does your dog or cat like to use the deck? Do they want shade or just the quickest way to chase down a bird in the yard?
Do you want your deck elevated so you can watch the birds in your trees?
Are you one of those people who can’t spend 5 minutes outside without getting an insect bit? If so, something screened might be the best fit.

If you have an idea of what type of structure will enhance your lifestyle, take a look at some of Juan’s projects online.