Category Archives: St. Patrick's Day

Green Beer and Spiced Rum Decking Still Cool in Des Moines Outdoor Spaces

Luck of the ISU Cyclones

Luck of the ISU Cyclones

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Weekend!  With the green beer and all the Irish festivities falling on a Monday, it can only mean its going to be a party all weekend long.  Unfortunately, our weekend weather isn’t all that conducive to celebrating the luck of the Irish (and the Iowa State Cyclones – Big 12 Tournament Champs!) outdoors on your decks, patios and porches around Des Moines.   A cold nip in that wind today.  Rain and snow tomorrow.  No problem for those of you with fireplaces in your Central Iowa porches.  But even for the rest of you, with the winter we’re coming off of, I’m sure it will hardly stall the flow of green beer wherever you celebrate.   Have fun.  Be safe.  Then call us about that fireplace in your porch for next year!

Multi-Colored Trex Transcends Deck and Rail

Multi-Colored Trex Transcends Deck and Rail

St. Patrick’s Day also means that parties of all kinds will soon be moving outdoors (really, spring and summer are coming).  With that, folks will start considering improvements to their outdoor spaces in earnest.  Four years ago, I kicked that theme off here with a post about decking and railing color combinations and tied that to St. Patrick’s Day because of the green colors associated with all things Irish…shamrocks, leprechauns, four-leaf clovers and, of course, beer.  That post and a couple of follow-ups are linked below.  I really try not to recycle content here.  But in this case, you don’t seem to mind – its one of the most-read topics here…probably as much because of the reference to green beer as to Trex’s Spiced Rum decking color.  But, we like both, right?

For 2014, the updates are focused on the product consolidation and integration activities associated with Azek’s holding company purchase of TimberTech a couple of years ago.

Azek Silver Oak Decking

Azek Silver Oak Decking

As part of that effort, TimberTech’s PVC-based decking products have been re-branded as Azek XLM such that all PVC-based decking under the CPG umbrella is now branded as Azek.  With this, there are now 17 different styles/colors of Azek PVC-based decking boards now available.

TimberTech’s wood-plastic composite (Twin Finish (3 colors), ReliaBoard (2 colors)) and PVC capped-composite (Earthwood Eviolutions) products have remained as TimberTech-branded boards.  The Earthwood Evolutions product has been expanded to include a Legacy line of boards designed around a hand-scraped hardwood look; these new boards are stunning both in coloring and look.

TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Legacy @ Archadeck Showroom

TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Legacy @ Archadeck Showroom

We’ve had these new boards laid in our Urbandale showroom for just a couple of weeks now, but they are quickly gaining rave reviews.  Overall there are 12 different styles/colors of TimberTech’s Eathwood Evolutions line of PVC capped-composite decking.

If you’re trying to keep score at home…the Azek/TimberTech score for 2014 is:  34 different styles and colors of deck boards.  In addition, TimberTech offers 4 different rail styles in a 9-color spectrum, while Azek offers 3 styles across a similar color palette.

Now…are you ready for Trex Transcends and Belgard pavers and wall stones…and colored and stamped  concrete colors?

Belgard Wall Stone, Concrete Patio, Outdoor Kitchen,  Cedar Pergola

Belgard Wall Stone, Concrete Patio, Outdoor Kitchen, Cedar Pergola

The good news (from a simplicity perspective) is that new product and coloring offerings here are minimal – if any – compared to last year.  So, I will refer you back to last year’s posting, particularly for the Belgard and concrete information.  Last year, though, Trex started offering their Trex Pergola product in all the sold colors of Trex decking.  With that, low-maintenance pergolas no longer are confined to white or beige color options.  We’ve yet to do a colored Trex Pergola in the Des Moines area, but my counterpart at our Archadeck of Ft Wayne office did a very nice project that exemplifies the new aesthetics offered with the Trex Pergola product.

Trex Transcends Deck Railing West

Trex Transcends Deck Railing West

From other Trex perspectives, we really like – and therefore, focus on – Trex’s Transcends line of PVC capped-composite decking and railing products.  So much so that we became Central Iowa’s first TrexPro installer last year.  Trex has maintained their Transcends product and color offerings from 2013 into 2014 – 8 colors of deck boards, 7 colors of railing (and Spiced Rum is still my favorite name and color).  What excites us about Trex is their innovation around the decking and railing spectrum.  Their Elevations steel framing system is the future of deck framing and ultimate structural performance…if you consider the future now; we did two deck projects here in the Des Moines area last year using Trex’s Elevations steel framing system.

Trex Elevations Project - Des Moines

Trex Elevations Project – Des Moines

Additionally, Trex’s new offerings of spiral staircases, Trex furniture, Trex deck and landscape lighting and aluminum railing solidify their commitment to offering the best in outdoor living products.  We are proud to be associated with their products and innovations thru our TrexPro relationship and we’re excited to bring more of those into Des Moines and Central Iowa backyards.  We’ll feature more of our Des Moines-area Trex projects and our TrexPro relationship in future posts here.

Colors galore.  Options galore.  It really does take more than the luck of the Irish to put these together nicely in an outdoor living space design.  With preferred supplier relationships with TimberTech/Azek and Belgard and now our TrexPro relationship with Trex, Archadeck of Central Iowa is uniquely positioned to design and build your outdoor dream spaces.  All backed by the strongest warranty and guarantee programs through a proven 34-year franchise system.  When it makes sense for you to pursue your outdoor dreams, contact us for a complimentary design consultation.

Better Building by Design.   The Archadeck Difference.

Profile with Sig - Final 3X

Green Beer Means Spring, Outdoor Living and More (Colors) Coming to Des Moines

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  Lots of reasons to celebrate…the Luck of the Irish (but what about those Notre Dame basketball uniforms?), Spring Break, the NCAA Basketball Tournament and much more.  And, lets not forget, the NCAA Wrestling Championships – huge here in Des Moines, being hosted at our own Wells Fargo Arena this week.  March Madness, I believe its called.

Move It Outdoors!

Move It Outdoors!

All this can mean only one thing:  Spring is just around the corner!  Just like the green beer we’re going to drink today (and/or we drank yesterday), our outdoor landscape will soon be turning green, too.  And with that, lets move it outdoors!  More time on our Des Moines-area decks, patios and porches.   More time around our outdoor kitchens and dining areas enjoying cool drinks and grilled food with family, friends and neighbors.  More late late-night relaxation by the firepit or fireplace.  The phrase “less is more” does not apply to outdoor living.  I was first reminded of that several years ago, early in my Archadeck career, when a client whom I was working with on a deck/porch project design said to me “Think Big, Harold.”  Beth’s comments still ring in my head, today – it is a big outdoors!

Here are two topics that underscore that:

  • The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently published results of their survey of the top outdoor living trends for 2013.  All the elements, features and amenities they’ve associated with outdoor living spaces epitomize how “big” outdoor living has become.  But, more importantly than “big,” it also highlights how critical enjoyable outdoor living areas are to homeowners’ (current and future) satisfaction with their homes.   “In this uncertain economy, homeowners want to get more enjoyment out of their yards,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “They want attractive outdoor spaces that are both easy to take care of and sustainable.”
  • Three years ago, St. Patricks Day, 2010, I wrote what then became the most popular posting on this blog.  Its popularity wasn’t just the insightful information about the decks, porches, patios, pergolas and outdoor living spaces, rooms and accessories we do around the Des Moines area.  What put it over the top was its reference to “green beer.”  I followed up on that in 2011 with an update on the color choices available in decking and railing colors.  Those two blog posts combine for the now second-most popular all-time blog topic here.  That colorful trend continues unabated since, and now even expands to the hardscaping and patio surface options; just a few examples follow:
TimberTech Deck with Colored Concrete Patio, Urbandale

TimberTech Deck with Colored Concrete Patio, Urbandale

Enough color choices to match the “big-ness” of the great outdoors.  Enough to make your head spin…like green beer the day after St. Patrick’s Day.  But also, enough to make your neighbors green with envy when they see your stunning outdoor living space by Archadeck of Central Iowa.   We are uniquely positioned and qualified in the Des Moines market to help you thru all the design decisions related to your deck, patio and porch projects – from function, size, layout, colors and value.  Our design process can show your outdoor spaces and structures as they look on your home thru near-photo-realistic 3D renderings.  In our Urbandale showroom, we’ve got a wide assortment of decking, railing and patio products and colors in various display forms to see, touch and even walk on.   Our design process eases you through the selection process and gives you the security of knowing what you’re going to get before you get it.  And then we make it happen.  And guarantee it will happen.

Archadeck | Outdoor Living.  Better Building by Design.

Dream Backyard MakeoverPS – Our Dream Backyard Makeover Contest runs thru April 22nd.  If you haven’t checked that out yet – or submitted your backyard entry – you’ve still got time.  Visit our Facebook page for details.  Good Luck!


I’ll Have Another Green Beer and a Spiced Rum Trex Deck Chaser

One year ago, St. Patricks Day, 2010, I wrote what turned out to be the most popular posting to date, in terms of reads and search terms “hits”, on this “An Outdoor Living Space” blog site.  What put that one over the top in terms of popularity wasn’t just the insightful information about the decks, porches, patios, pergolas and outdoor living spaces, rooms and accessories we do around the Des Moines area.  What put it over the top was…its reference to “green beer.”

What does “green beer” have to do with Des Moines-area decking, railings, 3- and 4-season rooms, brick paver patios or outdoor kitchens?  Well, the premise of that posting was “color” and the title said it all:  “Green Beer and Decking / Railing Color Combinations” (click that to read it).  St. Patricks Day, with its “green” color theme, seemed an excellent opportunity to talk about the multitude of color choices in the various decking and railing systems that can be used in your outdoor living project.  While I try hard not to recycle themes here, this one seems worthy.  Plus, the theme has continued unabated over the past year.  For some examples…

  • I bet many of us will be drinking a little green beer again this St. Patricks Day (in fact, I learned that many folks drink – or look for – green beer year round…and, therefore, the high hit count on that search term).  And, if the Des Moines area weather holds with these temperatures, maybe even some of you will be doing that on your own decks or in your own porches.
  • TimberTech tweaked their XLM line of PVC decking and now offers 6 colors of decking in that line, two of which are modified or new from last year:  Harvest Bronze (formerly Desert Bronze) and HarborStone (a new, grey-streaked board).
  • TimberTech reformulated their Earthwoods line of wood-plastic composite (WPC) decking, now called Earthwood Evolutions and now the hybrid, WPC/PVC-capped technology introduced by Trex in their Transcends line last year.  This resulted in 3 modified Earthwood colors as well:  Pacific Teak, Pacific Rosewood and a very nice (one of my favorites) Pacific Walnut.
  • TimberTech also now has out 2 new colors of their Radiance Rail system to better compliment their new decking colors.  And, TimberTech also offers more mix-and-match coloring options in their Radiance Rail line.
  • Azek’s PVC-based Arbor line now also includes 2 new colors of decking:  Cobre and Silver Oak.  No new railing colors for Azek; apparently they think the 6 colors they already have are sufficient.  But, with TimberTech now having 7 colors in their Radiance Rail line, I’m sure Azek is looking for 2 more colors.
  • Trex expanded their Transcends line of hybrid, WPC/PVC-capped decking to include colors/styles called Lava Rock and (my personal favorite name of a decking color) Spiced Rum.

Archadeck Design 3D Rendering of an Urbandale Outdoor Living Space

As I said, its continued unabated.  The choices can make your head spin as much as green beer might.  Fortunately, the hangover from color options in decking and railing combination decisions (as well as others related to your new outdoor living space project) can be avoided.  Our design process can show you the impact of the various color combinations you like as they look on your home thru near-photo-realistic 3D renderings.  In our showroom in Urbandale, we’ve got many of these new products and colors in various display forms to see, touch and even walk on.   Our design process eases you through the selection process and gives you the security of knowing what you’re going to get before you get it.  And then we make it happen.  And we go so far as to guarantee it will happen. 

Archadeck | Outdoor Living.  All the fun and enjoyment of green beer on St. Patricks Day, without the hangover.

Green Beer and Decking / Railing Color Combinations

What color do you think of for St. Patrick’s Day?  Green, right?  Green Beer.  Green Eggs and Ham.  Notre Dame Irish green…and gold.  Which happens to be the same color of a lot of beers, come to think of it.  There will be plenty of these served around Des Moines’ Irish pubs today…Cooney’s, AK O’Connor’s, Flanagan’s, Mickey’s…and right around the corner from our office and showroom in Urbandale, Murphy’s.  Might have to drop in at Murphy’s for one myself sometime today.  A toast to the Irish, a celebration of the luck of the green.  I’m not Irish, but that doesn’t really matter, right?  However, I recently learned that there is a section of Dublin called Harold’s Cross.  Its over 900 years old and is named after a gallows and was used as an execution ground in a prior era.  Hmmmm.  Another green beer, bartender. 

What color do you think of for decking and railing?  Brown?  (Faded-) Grey?  White, maybe?  Those are the “standards”…what you see on most decks.  But, today, with the improved coloring techniques in wood-alternative decking and railing products, the color choices you have in the wood-alternative world are much broader.  Mostly earth tones, still (although CorrectDeck used to have a log cabin green color), but the hues are all over the “earth tone” pallet.

Azek Deck, strictly a PVC-based decking product, now offers 11 different deck board colors across 3 collections of style lines (Arbor, Terra, Harvest).  Azek’s Premier Rail product comes in 6 different colors, most of which complement, if not match, most of the 11 deck boards… interchangeably…across all styles.  If you’re doing the math, that’s 66 possible combinations of a deck/rail configuration…and that’s assuming you’re just going with one color of decking.  I think I would throw out a few of those for all but those of you who have had too much green beer.

TimberTech, too, has 3 primary lines of decking boards – both wood-plastic composite and PVC – and has 10 color / style options across those boards.  TimberTech offers railing products in 8 different colors but segregates their railing offerings to align with each of the 3 lines of decking (XLM, Earthwood, TwinFinish). That alignment effectively reduces the total combination of TimberTech’s decking/railing combinations to 44.  But, TimberTech also offers their railings on a “mix-and-match” basis, so that number can rise quickly…exponentially, almost.  Again, though, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend all of those combinations. 

Azek and TimberTech are just 2 of dozens – though our preferred options – of wood-alternative decking and railing vendors in the market.  Trex can offer combinations approaching the numbers of Azek.  Evergrain’s combination options approach the numbers of TimberTech. 

As you can see, there are literally hundreds of color and product options available for your new low-maintenance, wood-alternative deck.  Hmmmm.  Another green beer bartender.

 How to decide?  That is the question.

  • Azek offers an interactive Color Selector on their web site.  It provides a very basic, but representative, view of their decking and railing combinations.
  • TimberTech offers an interactive Color Visualizer on their web site.  It provides a basic and representative view of how some their product color combinations can be paired.
  • Archadeck of Central Iowa takes color visualization two steps further during our custom design process. 
    • We use Softplan Architectural Software which allows us much more flexibility in the color and material selections in its 3D renderings of our designs.  Unlike TimberTech’s and Azek’s tools, we can:
      • for example, show balusters yet a different color than the other railing components (if applicable)

        Actual Project Design - SoftPlan 3D Rendering

      • show it to you in Azek and TimberTech (and Evergrain and…and…) colors all on the same design
      • show this on the actual project design we’re going to build for you 
    • We have an office and showroom in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines, where many of these deck boards and railing styles can be viewed in display settings.  Don’t expect a Homemaker’s-sized showroom with hundreds of these combinations shown on larger, multi-level decks, but…I think you’ll like what you see…and see what you like.

Our preferred vendors, with their products and support, combined with our industry relationships and our custom design services can bring you a low-maintenance deck as distinctive or simple as your tastes, lifestyle and personality commands.  Brown on Brown works.  White on Grey works.  So does Kona on Fawn…Mountain Cedar on Tropical Teak…Brownstone on Morado…

…Green in Beer…on St. Patrick’s Day.