Jim's Blog

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I like Pinterest Users

I am humbled and grateful that we are well over 1000 when repins and likes are added together. We are also flattered that our followers are edging close to 100.  I know that in the grand scheme of the Pinterest world these are very modest numbers, but it’s a real milestone for us. 

Our most popular boards have been Decks with Pergolas Trellis, Screened Rooms, Wood Decks, Composite Decks, Patio Rooms Sunrooms, Windows and Doors, and Awnings.  In addition to those boards we have Deck Blogs, Patio Rooms Sunrooms Blogs, Awning Blogs, and Window Blogs.

We would like to give a sincere “thank you” to those of you who have deemed our projects and photos worthy of liking, repining and following. 

To any future visitors, we hope you will find our photos and blogs worthy of your time.



Keywords: awnings  patio rooms  decks  windows  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 28th, 2014    0 comments
The Boring Stuff About Decks You Need to Know


A small trellis on a composite deck

The fun stuff about decks is how it’s going to look, the amenities and choosing the right decking materials.

The boring stuff is how the deck is constructed. It’s what holds up the fun stuff.  It’s true that this boring stuff is critical.  If it doesn’t hold up the fun stuff, you will have no deck or worse, you could be injured. 

There are some horrible deck builders out there.  But the horrible deck builders don’t usually make the fun stuff look good either.  In my experience, decks that look great are usually built great.  It is important that you know how your deck is being built.  However, if your deck builder has been at it for a while, and they can provide you with beautiful photos, your deck is very likely to be well built.


Keywords: decks  composite  rails  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 27th, 2014    0 comments
How much does a deck cost?


The only answer to this question that makes any sense is, “It depends”.   

Obviously size is a key. A recent survey on decks showed that they ranged from $891 on the lower end to $54,444 for the top 5%.  Why such a huge difference?  There are a ton of options available.  A good deck builder will discuss all this with you and come up with the perfect deck for you. 

If you choose composite decking, the investment skyrockets.  In some cases the price can be as much as three times the cost of wood. or more.  Of course all composites are not created equal.  In the past composites have failed and the company has gone out of business.  So, selecting a composite that will look good for years to come, and choosing a company with a proven track record can be a challenge.

A wise man once said, “It is better to pay too much than too little”.  What did he mean by that?  By paying too little you can lose everything, as in the case of bad decking with the manufacturer going out of business.  If you paid too much you lose the small difference between what you paid and what you could have gotten another competent builder to put up your project.

A well built deck designed for your lifestyle will be an enjoyment for many years.  Get the advice you need to make a wise selection.


Should I Chose Composite or Wood Decking?

What is the best time of year to install my project?

Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

How we create the perfect deck for you


Free Deck Inspection


Keywords: decks  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on March 1st, 2013    0 comments
Material Things I Appreciate

A fun look at stuff we don't always think about.

These are in no particular order.                                             

                  A composite deck

1   My recliner- I enjoy relaxing with my feet up.


2   My electric blanket-Crawling into a warm bed on a cold night is a luxury I would hate to live without.


3   My EdenPURE Heaters-I don’t like to be cold.  We use three of these heaters in our home.  The furnace usually doesn’t kick on until the temperature drops to the teens.


4   Today’s transportation system.-I can remember when President Eisenhower first proposed the interstate highway system (Yes I’m that old).  It certainly makes it easier to get from point A to point B.  Automobiles have come a long way too.  I enjoy both the comfort and convenience of my Caravan and pickup.

I am glad to be able to use air travel.  I’m sure that it has improved.  What a hassle it is to go through the airport!


5   Today’s technology-I enjoy watching hi-def widescreen TV.  I remember my dad carrying our very first TV up to the house.  We kids had no idea he was getting one.  What a change!

Of course I remember getting our 1st computer.  I was assured if we got the 20 megabyte model that we would never need anything more!


6    Indoor plumbing-I know this was invented millenniums ago but I would not like to be without it.  As a kid we always had it, but I’ve been in many homes that didn’t.


 7   My deck-What a great place to relax.


  8   An attached garage-When I was a kid our garage was down the hill about 300 feet and across the road and from our house.  You can imagine the “fun” it was to carry groceries up to the house through the snow drifts.

That’s my list.  I hope you had fun reading it.  What’s on your list?  I would love to here from you.  Let me know at arch@zoominternet.net

Related: When do you most enjoy your deck?


Keywords: edenpure heater  product  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on February 4th, 2013    0 comments
When Do You Most Enjoy Your Deck?

Many people enjoy having their first morning cup of coffee on their deck.  Some relish sitting or lying in the sun.  Others love relaxing after a hard days’ work on their deck. 


I enjoy meditating on the deck late at night.  After the cares of the day are done and the phone has stopped ringing, this time is incredibly peaceful.  As one observes the star filled sky, a certain feeling of calmness sets in.  Even the sound of an occasional jet streaking across the night sky enhances the serenity of evening.  Folks on the plane are hurrying to some important commitment while you are enjoying your deck.  And now the crickets chime in to serenade you.


The peacefulness of sitting on the deck melts away the last traces of insomnia.  It’s off to dreamland.


When do you enjoy your deck the most?  I’d love to hear from you!


Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

How we create the perfect deck for you


Free Deck Inspection






Keywords: decks  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on August 16th, 2012
Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck


I’ve seen some very bad looking new decks recently.  It got me to thinking, “Why would someone want a deck like that on their beautiful home?”


One answer might be that the homeowner just didn’t know any better.  I don’t know any other reason for going with a “cheaper” contractor on a nice home.


One example of a bad looking deck was on a home that we may have looked at.  This makes me especially sad.  We obviously didn’t do a good enough job of explaining the differences.


Perhaps another reason is more people have jumped into the deck building business with a slower economy.  One homeowner told me that this was the guys first deck job.  It sure looked like it.


What is the solution? 


You deserve to know what you’re getting.  How can this be accomplished?  Here are three ways.  (1) Homeowners can visit a showroom with a display deck built in it.  (2) A 3-D rendering of their deck has helped many folks visualize their deck ahead of time. (3) Looking at many deck photos of other projects can be of great help.


We hope your deck project turns out perfect!


If we can help, let us know.




Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

How we create the perfect deck for you


Free Deck Inspection


Keywords: decks  deck 
Posted by Jim Brown on April 5th, 2012    0 comments

Deck Building Mistakes Could Cost Lives  



1.  Improper Support

All that’s holding this deck to the posts are three nails.  If they give way due to rust or stress, injury could occur.

2.  Faulty Attachment

This deck does not have any joist hangers.  If the joist is only attached with nails, the connection could fail, resulting in deck collapse.

3.  Incorrect Post Spacing

These posts are spaced much too far apart to safely support this structure.

Why do projects like this get built?

In most cases it’s not because the builder tried to do a bad job. Normally it’s simply because they don’t have the knowledge or skill to do a good job.  We’ve recently heard of builders that have been using the wrong fasteners with the new type of pressure treated wood.  They simply didn’t know any better. 

Arch Home Improvements specializes in building custom quality decks.

Our installers are knowledgeable professionals with years of experience. Our consultants will show you many photos of our past projects. This will ensure that you make the perfect choice, uniquely designed for your home. We will explain how your deck is built and why we build it the way we do.  See "How We Create the Perfect Deck for You".   We think you’ll be impressed!

 Ask for your FREE guide, “Seven Little Known Secrets for Successfully Remodeling Your Home".


Free Deck Inspection

How we create the perfect deck for you

Composite Decks

Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?


Avoid Being Stuck with a Bad Looking Deck




Posted by Jim Brown on January 28th, 2011    0 comments
Should I Add a Patio Room or a Deck?

For more and more people the simple answer to that question is both.  In our climate you can enjoy a patio room for many more days a year than a deck.  However for grilling, sunning, or just enjoying the fresh air nothing can beat a deck.

We recently completed a patio room project that included a small deck.

The patio room above will add many hours of "outdoor living" when the elements are harsh.  Even in relatively mild weather many folks enjoy being "bug-free" in their "outdoor living room."

What would you enjoy doing in your patio room?  Some people like it for watching T.V., enjoying their morning coffee, or just relaxing.  A patio room is also a great place for young ones.  As you can see from the picture gallery, patio rooms can range from basic to stunning.

I have been asked, "What is the difference between a patio room, a sun room and a Florida room?"   There is none.  You can call your room whatever you want.


This maintaince free composite deck will be enjoyed for years to come.

The above deck blends in with the new patio room.  The bench not only adds seating area, but it also creates a great perimeter border.  This composite deck comes with a twenty-five year warranty on the material.  It will be enjoyed for many years.

For some folks the answer to the question in our title is both.  We are always delighted to visit your home and discuss the solutions that best fit your situation.

Posted by Jim Brown on August 25th, 2008    0 comments
Arch Home Improvements: Because Quality Still Matters
Arch Home Improvements: Because Quality Still Matters
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