TimberTech vs AZEK: Choosing the Best Low Maintenance Materials for Your Deck

Which composite decking is the best? Archadeck brings a comprehensive guide to the low maintenance and composite decking products TimberTech and AZEK offer.

TimberTech vs Azek Composite and Low Maintenance Decking

Are you considering a low maintenance or composite deck?  Low maintenance materials are a great option for those who want a deck but do not want to go through the hassle of sanding and staining frequently.  One quick search on the internet, however, can leave you feeling bombarded with options.  How do you know which companies are the best and which products will be right for your project?   Continue reading “TimberTech vs AZEK: Choosing the Best Low Maintenance Materials for Your Deck”

Do you want composite, capstock or PVC for your Chicagoland area low maintenance deck?

Composite TimberTech deck with Built-in Bench by North Chicago Suburb Deck Builder Archadeck of Chicagoland
Composite TimberTech deck with Built-in Bench

If you’re considering adding a new deck to your Chicagoland area home, you have no doubt considered the amount of maintenance you are willing to do on your new space. Do you want to scrape? Do you want to strip? Stain? Sand? How about splinters? Fading? Insect damage? Believe it or not, all of these maladies that befall natural wood can be eliminated by using low-maintenance materials. You have probably heard the term “composite” as it relates to low-maintenance decking. What you may not realize is there are several different types of composite decking – enough that the material choices are now lumped into the category of “synthetic” because of the number of different materials and compositions. Our goal is to share those with you to help you make your decision.

Composite decking

To provide good information about composite decking, we have to talk a little bit about the history. Believe it or not, synthetic decking has been around for 20+ years. The industry has grown and evolved quite a bit over that period of time. Quality issues sprung up many years ago that were later greatly reduced with product improvements.

TimberTech Twin Finish composite deck
TimberTech Twin Finish composite deck

Composite decking was the first generation of synthetic decking. As the name implies, it consists of a combination of wood fibers and plastic. This combination allows composite to claim protection from material defects, from splinters and damage from termites or rot. Although traditional composite is still available, we work exclusively with the two upper end synthetics because mold issues still exist on traditional composite.


Capstock low-maintenance decking is a composite core surrounded by a stronger polymer shell or cap. Some capstock boards are protected on 3

TimberTech Terrain Capstock decking
TimberTech Terrain Capstock decking

sides and some have the polymer shell on all 4 sides. This shell does provide the additional benefit of stain resistance, scratch resistance and fade resistance. It has all of the same protection as composite in that it resists mold and mildew along with resisting moisture damage. Depending on the board or collection, many include texturing or other custom finishes that emulate natural wood textures or more current textures. One of the best benefits of capstock is that it comes with not only the 25-year limited warranty that composites have but also has a 25- to 30-year fade and stain warranty. TimberTech has a couple lines of capstock decking including the Legacy Collection, Tropical Collection and Terrain collection. Check back for a future post to look at these options in greater detail.

Solid Synthetic

AZEK deck by Archadeck of Chicagoland

At the high end of the synthetic decking options is solid synthetic decking. Solid PVC has the greatest strength because it does not utilize any natural materials. While intuitively, natural materials such as wood may seem desirable, solid PVC eliminates all of the maladies that befall wood or wood fibers.

Solid synthetics come with the longest and typically the most comprehensive warranties. AZEK’s warranty covers your decking boards for 30 years. It’s quite likely that you will have moved to another home before your decking warranty expires.

How in the world do you choose?

Don’t try to choose on your own. Work with a local custom deck builder that’s experienced in working with all of these materials. They will give you the pros and cons as well as provide insight about colors and how those look when they are installed on a large deck vs. on a website or a small color block.

David Berryhill Archadeck of Chicagoland
David Berryhill, Owner Archadeck of Chicagoland

Give us a call for a free consultation at 847.749.2373 or drop us an email at chicagoland@archadeck.net. We look forward to working with you to design your Chicagoland area deck.



Chicagoland Pool Deck Design Ideas

A good pool deck design is functional, enhances your backyard, and transforms your pool into a complementing water feature.

Turn your backyard into the destination spot this summer with a pool and pool deck!  Dip your toes into the water while the children play, do cannonballs into the pool, soak up some sun next to the water, or throw a spectacular outdoor party.  A pool makes a great addition to any backyard, but it’s the pool deck or patio that really pulls it all together into one fantastic outdoor living space.  Here are a few of our favorite pool deck design ideas with options ranging from small to expansive.  When you work with a custom design and build firm like Archadeck of Chicagoland, you have the opportunity to create a deck space that fits your family’s lifestyle.

Designing a deck that leads from your home to the pool is an excellent way to create multiple spaces for seating, dining, and sunbathing.  This allows the adults to steal away to a quieter section of the deck while the kids splash in the pool or the space to throw an outdoor party with plenty of room to entertain.

Composite Pool Deck with TimberTech Brown Oak by Chicago Deck Builder Archadeck of Chicagoland

Continue reading “Chicagoland Pool Deck Design Ideas”

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Gorgonzola Butter

Low carb and gluten free, these delicious steaks are sure to please the whole crowd!

Melissa Sevigney from I Breathe I’m Hungry has once again wowed our taste buds with her recipe for Grilled Ribeye Steak with Gorgonzola Butter. This simple recipe, a blend of butter, Gorgonzola cheese, parsley, and garlic, is bursting with flavor.  Low carb and gluten-free, these delicious steaks are sure to please the whole crowd!  But don’t take our word for it; light up the grill and try them for yourself.

See the full recipe…

Steak Recipe - Grilled Ribyes with Gorgonzola Butter

Archadeck of Chicagoland Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

“It is an honor to receive this award as it represents our true commitment to providing our clients with the best quality, care, and customer service in the industry,” said David Berryhill, president of Archadeck of Chicagoland.

The Angie’s List Super Service Award reflects Archadeck of Chicagoland’s consistently high level of customer service.

Archadeck of Chicagoland has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015.

Archadeck of Chicagoland Angies List Super Service Award 2015

With showrooms in Rolling Meadows and Naperville, Archadeck of Chicagoland is a local Design & Build firm that sets itself apart from competitors by considering customer service a top priority. Continue reading “Archadeck of Chicagoland Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award”

How to Create a Unique Deck Design

Looking for a unique deck design? From colors to materials to amenities, explore creative design elements with your local deck builder, Archadeck of Chicagoland.

Mother Nature offers the best design inspiration, so look no further than your backyard when planning your outdoor living space.  Bold colors beautifully accent blended neutral tones while countless textures tease your senses. Pulling design ideas from these earthy elements helps you create a natural looking space that complements both your home and yard. We did just that with this unique deck design.

Deck Design with Picture Frame by Chicagoland Deck Builder ArchadeckBy incorporating both wood and composite materials we were able to create a stunning multi-colored deck design.  The main deck areas are constructed with natural wood, beautifully stained to pull in accenting colors from the yard.  The surrounding border you see is a double picture frame. Continue reading “How to Create a Unique Deck Design”

Chicago Area Outdoor Living Trends for 2016

Archadeck brings you 2016’s top 4 outdoor living trends for the Chicago area.

As Jack Frost starts painting Chicagoland with his frosty charm and outdoor building begins to slow, we at Archadeck take a moment to reflect on the great year we had, favorite projects we built, and the trends we see coming for 2016.

Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchens

Designed for climates that cycle through seasons, these outdoor kitchens are durable enough to withstand cold Chicago winters so you can enjoy your kitchen summer after summer.  Completely customizable, Archadeck’s Chicagoland outdoor kitchens are designed to only include amenities you want and plan to use.

Belgard patio with stone grill surround and outdoor bar by North Chicago suburb patio builder Archadeck of Chicagoland

Built-In Fire Pits

Easily incorporated into your outdoor space, a built-in fire pit comes with plenty of design options, including the choice of wood burning or a gas line and ceramic logs or fire beads. Continue reading “Chicago Area Outdoor Living Trends for 2016”

Chicagoland Patio Design with Outdoor Kitchen & Fire Pit

Explore Chicago area patio design, featuring a classic Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchen and built-in Gas Fire Pit.

When Kildeer, IL homeowners decided they were ready to replace their tired and worn deck, they called local Chicago area patio builder, Archadeck of Chicagoland.  With their grand plans for a larger space to entertain, along with an outdoor kitchen and fire pit, we knew Senior Design Consultant, Kristen Berryhill, would be the perfect designer for the project.  She didn’t disappoint!

Chicagoland Multi-Level Patio with Outdoor Kitchen and Fire Pit

Because our clients wanted a space for food prep, cooking, and dining, Kristen included a classic Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchen.  These durable outdoor kitchens are designed to be an affordable investment, withstand the harsh Chicago winters, and most importantly, provide an attractive space for cooking and dining. Continue reading “Chicagoland Patio Design with Outdoor Kitchen & Fire Pit”

Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchens

Chicagoland outdoor kitchens that withstand cold winters while suiting your needs and budget.

One of the hottest outdoor living trends is the outdoor kitchen.  We’ve seen them for years in the warmer climates, but now the trend is moving even to areas like our own.  With cold Chicago winters, one might wonder if adding an outdoor kitchen to their backyard is even possible.  The answer is yes!

Probably the most popular and well-known outdoor kitchen design is the California Outdoor Kitchen.  These kitchens are truly stunning and often include everything you would expect to find in an indoor kitchen.  Designed for climates with warm temperatures year round, certain aspects or amenities, unfortunately, are not suitable for cold weather.  For instance, you wouldn’t want a polished granite countertop around a sink as Chicago weather has a very distinct freeze and thaw cycle.  The expanding and contracting could cause your beautiful countertop to crack.

Outdoor Kitchen Bar in Palatine IL

The good news is, outdoor kitchens are completely customizable.  Archadeck can design your outdoor kitchen to be as elaborate or as modest as you wish.  Continue reading “Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchens”

4 Reasons to Plan Your Outdoor Living Project in the Fall

Make your backyard alive with fun and laughter, plan your 2016 outdoor living project now!

Summer is winding down and the crisp fall weather is moving in, bringing with it the brightly colored leaves, bonfires and hoodies, and pumpkin spice everything. Though you may be packing up your outdoor furniture and cutting back your perennials, now is the perfect time to start thinking about next year’s projects. Plan your 2016 outdoor living project now and make your backyard alive with fun and laughter!

TimberTech composite deck with paver patio by Chicago Suburb deck builder Archadeck of Chicagoland

Continue reading “4 Reasons to Plan Your Outdoor Living Project in the Fall”

Fire Pit Safety Tips from Archadeck of Chicagoland

Learn how to keep your family and pets safe with these important fire pit safety tips.

Backyard fire pits are a rising trend among outdoor living spaces.  Fire pits conveniently provide a way to enjoy the backyard during cooler weather and are perfect for homeowners who enjoy entertaining or spending time outside with their family. A warm fire creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere, whether you’re curling up quietly under the stars or laughing with a group of friends.  Ensure everyone has a good time and stays safe by implementing these important safety tools.

Built-In Patio Fire Pit Design in Chicago Suburbs

Continue reading “Fire Pit Safety Tips from Archadeck of Chicagoland”