Archadeck of Austin

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Patio, Pergola, Fire Pit Combination Transforms Liberty Hill, TX, Back Yard

A wise man once asked, When you have a big ol’ back yard, why be satisfied with a teeny-tiny, little patio? We like where he was going with that thought! And we would add, Especially here in Texas!

completed project in Liberty Hill, patio pergola and fire pit

While it’s not entirely true that EVERYTHING’S bigger in Texas, Archadeck of Austin is doing our part to make it so, one patio at a time. The project we’re featuring today is a perfect example. The homeowners had a small patio at their back door. The door to the patio was also small, just a single door. The homeowners had big dreams of a better lifestyle that included a whole lot more patio enjoyment. To remedy the situation, they called Liberty Hill patio designer Archadeck of Austin.

Take a look before we began the project:

Our mission: increase the patio size, build a total shade pergola over most of the new patio area, add a fire pit, and install larger patio doors. Patio enjoyment would be theirs in no time.

Patio Builder Archadeck of Austin Makes Little Patios Bigger

Liberty Hill patio builders

Our first order of business was to increase the patio size.  Hardscapes and patios are some of our specialties! For this project, we built the additional patio areas with concrete, and we added a nice stamped overlay finish. We kept the patio width the same on one side, but on the other side we extended the patio along the length of the house. We extended the middle section of the patio out into the yard, the perfect spot for a fire pit. We ended the middle section with a rounded shape where we nestled the round fire pit. The patio encircles the fire pit beautifully with room for family and guests to pull up chairs all the way around the entire circle.

fire pit detail

The homeowners wanted a custom wood-burning fire pit, and for their fire pit materials, they selected white limestone with nicotine. The stone stands out nicely against the new, textured patio surface. It’s clear that we designed the rounded patio section and the fire pit to complement each other perfectly. The homeowners and their guests will spend many relaxing hours under the stars, mesmerized by the fire in their new fire pit.

under the new cedar pergolaShaded Patios are the Standard in Liberty Hill, TX

The tiny, original concrete slab patio was covered by a roof, completely shaded, and that was the one thing about the original patio the homeowners liked. They definitely wanted the extended patio to be shaded, too – except the end that would be reserved for fire-gazing and star-gazing.

For shade, we designed a custom pergola made of cedar that does more than just provide shade. It transforms the concrete patio from “a place in the sun” into “the place to be.” The big, sturdy pergola, with ornamental cuts on the ends of the support beam and the rafters, makes a statement! It is boldly decorative, and it also provides shelter. The homeowners wanted complete shade as well as protection from inclement weather, so we added a polycarbonate sheet on top of the pergola to make the patio weatherproof.

Patio Windows Can Easily Become Patio Door

Liberty Hill window to slider door

The homeowners wanted bigger patio doors, and they wanted those doors to offer a view of the back yard. Their original patio door gave them a view of a brick wall. Meanwhile, they had two nice-sized windows overlooking the patio and the back yard. Yes, these windows were occupying the space nature had surely intended for the placement of doors. Big doors that were also windows! The solution: remove the windows and install a pair of sliding glass doors.

Archadeck of Austin was up to this challenge. We removed the brick below the windows, removed the windows, and created a new door opening big enough for a set of sliding glass doors. Once we installed the new doors, we rebricked around them so you can’t even tell work has been done there. On the interior, we put in new drywall and headers above the doors. Our standards are high, and we do very good interior finish work when it’s called for. Inside and outside, the area surrounding the new doors looks impeccable and undisturbed. The homeowners have the bigger doors they wanted and a better view of the amazing new patio and the back yard.

Is There Anything Else We Can Do for You?

Clients are accustomed to seeing the “pretty” side of the work we do, but sometimes there’s another side, too. As part of this project, we also installed a drainage system for the yard. The homeowners had found that water running off of the house wasn’t draining well due to the slope and topography of the lot. We used a catch bucket and basin system to distribute any water from left to right to prevent rainwater from flooding the patio.

Liberty Hill pergola builder

Now these Liberty Hill TX homeowners have a much bigger patio with plenty of shade and room for grilling and dining outdoors. After dinner, they’ll enjoy their new fire pit. They couldn’t be happier with their combination patio-pergola-fire pit outdoor living project.

Are you ready to transform your outdoor living area? We can custom design and build a covered patio, fire pit, or whatever it will take to improve your outdoor living space. Call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

Northwest Austin Homeowners Are Thrilled with Screened Porch Vision Fulfilled!

Planning ahead can be quite rewarding and smart, too, when it comes to adding more than one outdoor living structure to your home. These savvy homeowners in Northwest Austin near Round Rock, TX, knew they would eventually add a screen porch to the back of their home. It was part of their vision for the home.

First, they added a patio outside their back door – a beautiful, half-moon-shaped, flagstone patio. They made certain the patio was designed to meet the structural requirements to support a future screened porch addition.

From Patio to Screened Porch + Patio = Hurray!

When they were ready to add their much-anticipated screened porch, the homeowners called Austin screened porch designer Archadeck of Austin to do the job. They wanted the new porch positioned on the flagstone patio but sized so it wouldn’t take up the entire patio surface.

By reserving some usable patio space outside the screened porch, they’ll still be able to sit out on the patio when conditions are right. When mosquitoes are biting, however, or when they need protection from direct sun or rain showers, they’ll enjoy the screened porch immensely.

Archadeck of Austin designed and built this beautiful screened porch to look completely original to the home – always one of our objectives! The porch features white trim and a white wood ceiling with skylights.

Many clients don’t realize that adding a shade structure onto the back of a home reduces the amount of natural light coming into the home. Most consider this a small sacrifice for the pleasure of having a screened porch! Adding skylights in the porch roof is a way to keep some of the natural light the home would otherwise lose. We designed this porch roof with an open gable at one end, another way to let in more natural light. The open gable also adds a feeling of spaciousness inside the porch.

The Perfect Screened Porch for Each Client: It’s in the Details

The clients requested two screen doors in the porch instead of just one. These custom fiberglass screen doors came from Coppa Woodworking in California. Additional details you may notice here are the ceiling fan and the string of festive lights inside the porch. We include electrical wiring on jobs that feature a roof so clients can enjoy some of their indoor comforts, outdoors. As you can see, no detail was overlooked!

A wise man once said, “the difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.” We agree! Careful craftsmanship and attention to detail are extremely important to us at Archadeck of Austin. These qualities shine through our work, in all the types of outdoor living structures we design and build.

Does your vision for your home include a new, updated or expanded outdoor living space? Is adding a screened porch on your to-do list? Archadeck of Austin can custom design a screened porch, open porch, or patio cover to keep you out of the sun. Call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Under-Deck Project in Georgetown, TX, Demonstrates Dry Storage Space

Do you have an elevated deck with usable space beneath it … going unused? If you don’t need the space, that’s fine, but many Austin-area homeowners find it quite valuable. Some use the space under a deck as a covered porch or patio – and, of course, that depends on the height of your under-deck area. Others, like these Archadeck of Austin clients in Georgetown, TX, use it for outdoor storage. Who doesn’t need more storage space?

Archadeck of Austin designed and built this beautiful deck and covered pergola some time back. You could call this more recent project Phase II – installing an under-deck system to keep everything dry down below. The homeowners had been storing a few items under the deck already. Because rainwater drips down between decking boards, however, they had to be sure their items were covered or sealed up in bins.

An Under-deck Space That Stays Dry and Looks Good, Too

The first order of business was to seal off the under-deck space so it would stay dry. Decks are designed for drainage, which is why there is always a bit of space between decking boards. Without a way for water to drain off, the deck would pool with water whenever it rained. No one wants to slosh around on a wet deck!

To keep the space dry, we installed a pan system secured to the underside of the deck frame. The pan channels water as it runs through the deck and funnels it away through gutters. It’s an efficient way to create dry space below without hindering drainage above.

With an effective drainage system in place, we added walls around the under-deck storage area. We purposely designed plain walls that won’t attract attention. The homeowners’ lawn mower and other backyard items are safely tucked out of sight and secured with a padlock on the storage room door. Now they have ample outdoor storage space. With this type of enclosure, you are actually adding dry space to your home.

Two Benefits of an Under-deck Dry Space

Converting the space to dry storage and closing it off with walls serves two purposes for these Georgetown TX homeowners. First, their stored items stay dry. Second, the walls keep everything out of sight so the yard looks tidy regardless of what’s tucked up under the deck.

Notice we didn’t enclose all of the under-deck area. At a certain point each day, the deck provides shade over the area that is not closed off for storage. You don’t need the full trappings of a porch or patio to make good use of it. Just pull up a chair!

If you have usable, dry space under your deck, how would you like to use it?

If under-deck drainage is preventing you from using the space under your deck, let Archadeck of Austin design a dry porch, patio, or storage space under your deck. Call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Soil Amendment Will Ensure New Sun City Deck in Georgetown, TX, Has a Long and Healthy Life

When premium deck builder Archadeck of Austin removes a deck that’s sick and replaces it with a healthy one, we feel satisfaction approaching that of a transplant surgeon. Of course, we don’t have to source our healthy decks from deck donors. We custom design and build each one from the ground up, including this deck replacement project in the Sun City community of Georgetown, Texas.

Sun City deck builder in Georgetown TX

What’s unusual here is that the ground was part of the problem. It’s what made the first deck sick, so it was our job to ensure the new deck wouldn’t meet the same fate: mold, deterioration, and rot.

This Georgetown TX Deck Tells a Story We Don’t Want to Repeat

The clients’ original deck included two pergolas attached to a canopy with built-in benches. We had to remove the deck, benches and pergolas because they were deteriorating. The deck had been built so low-to-grade it had started sinking.

— Before: the existing deck was sinking due to rot.

When we took out the old deck, we found was it was rotting underneath. While pressure-treated pine is rated for ground contact, moisture can intervene and cause severe problems. This deck was in contact with the moist ground, hence our discovery of mold and degradation on the underside. In a case like this, a deck rots from the bottom up because the underside is not stained or sealed.

Design, Prep, Build. And Don’t Forget to Prep …

Georgetown AZEK deck builder

Knowing the ground under this deck stays moist, we took extra precautions to prevent the same damage from recurring. This illustrates one reason Archadeck of Austin has become such a trusted deck builder. We go the extra mile to make sure our projects last and look great as long as possible.

First, we excavated the soil under the deck’s location since we were building the new deck on the same moist spot where the prior deck had stood. Then we applied a 3″ gravel base before erecting the new deck. This system will allow more air flow under the deck and prevent the humidity level from rising enough for rot to occur.

Designing, Building Custom Decks and Pergolas for Austin and Georgetown TX Clients

We custom design every project we build because each client is unique and each home is unique. You could say it goes without saying, but not every deck contractor does this. For this Sun City project, we redesigned the space by installing a proper beam system across the posts supporting the pergolas.

Georgetown custom pergola builder

Another example of the custom work we did here is the spacing of the slats atop the pergola closest to the home. The homeowner had commented that the previous pergola blocked the light coming into the home through the windows. We were able to customize the new pergola to remedy that situation.

Georgetown custom pergola builder

As you may know, adjusting the spacing between slats across the top of a pergola will affect how much shade the structure casts. For this Georgetown TX deck, pergola and bench project, we spaced the slats at the front of the pergola (farthest from the house) 3” apart for adequate shade. Toward the back of the pergola (nearest the windows), we spaced the slats every 6″ apart. The homeowners will enjoy shade on the deck where they want shade and light inside the home where they want more light – thanks to the new customized design.

The Details: Materials Used for This Deck and Pergola Project

For the deck’s surface and benches, the clients selected low-maintenance capped PVC decking from TimberTech AZEK’s Vintage collection in their weathered teak color. We rebuilt the twin pergolas – including posts, beams, slats and trusses – with cedar and applied a solid-color custom stain on all of the wood surfaces. We were able to retain the original deck railings, and we didn’t need to modify the roof structure for this project.

Georgetown AZEK deck builder

Not only was the new deck prepped thoroughly, it’s also solid, sound, more useful and beautiful! Can you make out the triangle dinner bell hanging from the pergola’s beam? These Sun City homeowners can enjoy dining on their deck safely once again.

Whether you want a new deck, replacement deck, custom pergola or more, Archadeck of Austin is ready to design and build the outdoor living space that will make your home complete. Contact us today at 512-259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

Covered Porch Addition in Pflugerville, TX, Shows Archadeck of Austin Does Whatever it Takes to Make Your Outdoor Living Dreams Come True

Looks can be deceiving, we all know that, and the saying certainly applies to this sweet covered porch addition we built for our clients in Pflugerville, Texas. The results are delightful and offer the homeowners a relaxing place to sit, lounge and dine outdoors. Their new porch gives them a space that’s protected from sun and rain and is illuminated for nighttime enjoyment. To say we made it look easy would be an understatement.

pflugerville tx porch builder

In a nutshell, this covered porch addition had a very complicated roof tie-in. To the uninitiated, it may not look like a big deal. Builders and remodelers, however, will immediately notice this was a complex job. The offset of the rooflines was the primary issue. We needed to tie together the new roof (the porch cover) with three connection points on the original roof to facilitate the addition of a roofed outdoor structure. Porch builder Archadeck of Austin was up to the task. We love a challenge!

Out With The Old …

  • We demolished the home’s small, concrete patio.
  • We removed the overhang above the back door.
  • We removed the soffit to allow for the installation of the roof rafters.
  • We removed the existing single back door and window into the dining area.
  • We removed a portion of the siding around the back door.

before and after in pflugervilleIn With The New …

We poured a new, larger concrete patio.

  • In place of the original overhang, we used 8 x 8 support posts and heavy beams that we could tie into the existing wall.
  • We built ridge walls up so they would extend into the ceiling.
  • For the roof tie-in, we built up the wall to carry the load of the beam that would tie into the roof.
  • We installed the new roof in a way that gave us enough room for a high ceiling area over the porch.
  • We built a new overhang and used the same type of shingles that are on the existing roof.
  • We installed a new header over the back door and a new Therma-Tru double door system featuring energy-efficient Low-E glass.
  • Once the new door was in, we replaced the siding with Hardieplank siding to seal the wall.
  • We installed Hardieboard siding on the interior of the covered porch.
  • We used Hardie wrap for the new beams, support posts, soffit and fascia.
  • We installed a beautiful beadboard ceiling and painted it blue!
  • We painted the support posts white to match the house and painted everything else to make it all look brand new.
  • We installed electrical wiring in the new porch roof for a ceiling fan and outdoor lighting.
  • We scored the new concrete patio in a 24″ tile pattern with a walnut-colored border and outside edge for contrast.
  • We installed a ceiling fan and four can lights in the porch’s beadboard ceiling.
  • We installed sconce light fixtures on the outside of the two support posts.

About That Beautiful, New Double Door System …

interior and exterior from double doors of view of pflugerville tx covered patio addition

The new double door makes better use of the space than the original back door and dining room window did. Haven’t we all had situations where we needed to bring something larger than a single door into or out of the house? The new door also updates the look of the back of the house. In that regard, the design impact of this door replacement is huge!

The Therma-Tru double door system features Low-E glass and a low-rise threshold. The door’s energy-efficient Low-E glass helps reduce the loss of heat in cold weather by reflecting heat back into the home. In warm weather, the sun’s rays reflect off of the Low-E glass, helping to keep the home cool inside.

About that Blue Porch Ceiling …

Blue porch ceilings have an interesting history. The practice of painting a porch ceiling blue seems to have begun in the South, but these days you can find them in all regions of the country. Folklore mixes with facts when it comes to explanations for this phenomenon.

pflugerville tx patio cover with blue interi

  • In the Low Country of South Carolina, “haint blue” porch ceilings mimicking the color of water were used to keep out “haints” – meaning ghosts, apparitions or lost souls – because these spirits were unable to cross water.
  • In Oregon, porch ceilings painted a shade called Aurora blue were associated with the Aurora Colony, a Christian communal society founded by emigrants, primarily German and Swiss, in the 1850s.
  • In New England, the color of a blue sky was used on Victorian porch ceilings to reflect colors found in nature. On gray days, a blue ceiling reminded residents that they would see brighter days ahead.
  • Finally, in some areas homeowners believed a blue porch ceiling would trick birds and insects into believing they had reached the sky, thereby discouraging them from building nests in the ceiling. In reality, these early blue paints were often made with milk and lye, and lye does repel insects. The milk paint faded and needed to be repainted each year, or every few years. A new coat of lye probably did keep insects away.

pflugerville tx patio covers

This is what we know: blue is considered a calming color and is associated with peace and relaxation. What better color to frame your new covered porch where you plan to spend countless hours relaxing and basking in nature’s glory?

Put Archadeck of Austin to the Test. No Challenge is Too Big!

Whether you want a covered patio or a big open patio with an outdoor kitchen – or some combination of these and more,  Archadeck of Austin is here for you. We are ready to design and build the outdoor living space that will make your home complete. Contact us today at 512-259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

Archadeck of Austin Saves the Day on this Southwest Austin Outdoor Kitchen Project

Beautiful patio cover and outdoor kitchen in SW Austin by Archadeck of Austin

Beautiful patio cover and outdoor kitchen in SW Austin by Archadeck of Austin.

Good Job Gone Bad – And Then Made Great!

On a recent outdoor kitchen project in Southwest Austin, we found ourselves in an unusual situation and the basis of a cautionary tale to consumers.  We gave an opportunity to a new, highly recommended, stone mason we found through Nextdoor.comUnfortunately, the workmanship fell way short of our standards …well anyone’s standards.  There is no need to go into details here.  Suffice it to say, we released the mason and completed the job correctly – at considerable expense to us. We made it right – completely!

Austin Outdoor Kitchens

Archadeck of Austin has worked 20 years developing the outstanding reputation we maintain.  In this specific case, we were recommended by partner BBQ Outfitters.  Substandard quality would have reflected poorly us and them, and the homeowners would not have received the value that they deserve.  We took a problem and turned it into a success.  As built initially it was completely functional but a long way from right.  Now it’s stunning.

before and after

When we met with the homeowners for the project’s design phase, they chose white limestone for the base of the kitchen, matching their home’s exterior. For the countertops, they selected buff Lueders limestone, which is sourced in Texas and always beautiful, especially for countertops.  The project entailed a 24ft long outdoor kitchen with Artesian Grill, Kamado Joe smoker, Perlick ice maker and refrigerator, Blaze PRO power burner, sink, doors, drawers, trash chute, and storage access behind the kitchen – that’s a mouthful and needless to say a big investment.  We think you will agree the kitchen is now beautiful and an excellent addition to the poolside retreat for the whole family.

Austin Outdoor Kitchen

Despite a rough patch in the building process, this Southwest Austin project turned out exceptionally well. It’s one we’ll show off when prospective clients want to know what kind of work we do. We do great work and stand behind it.

Taking a Leap of Faith – Cautionary Tale!

Consider this nightmare of a possibility … Suppose instead of finding a referral for Archadeck, they had seen one for these other guys and had hired them instead. Their outdoor kitchen would have been a mess and they would have been left out in the cold.

The clients were fortunate (or just very smart) to have hired a professional and reliable company like Archadeck of Austin. We took full responsibility for making sure the work was done correctly. When there was a problem, it was Archadeck that took the hit instead of the homeowners.

life is hard, get a hard hat

Archadeck of Austin will do that for you. As Dave Ramsey said, Life is hard. Get a hard hat. We wear the hard hat, and we deal with the hard stuff, so you don’t have to.

The moral of this story is that regardless of where you get a referral for work to be done at your home, you must still do your research. Look that company up online, check their reputation and their references. Having a referral doesn’t always mean you have a company that will take care of you. Choosing Archadeck does. If you’re interested in adding a custom outdoor living space to your home and want to work with a company that takes care of its customers, give us a call. If you want to add a patio, deck, outdoor fireplace or any other outdoor living structure, call 512-259-8282 or email us.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

 

 

 

 

Sierra Arbor Estates Redecking Project Saves Clients’ Deck and Gazebo, Too!

Here’s a tip: if you don’t have your aging deck replaced, you may never know your gazebo is in danger of collapsing. In North Austin, TX, the Sierra Arbor Estates deck project you see pictured here illustrates that point.

Before

Before — aging deck in need of a refresh!

After Archadeck of Austin redecked this space with AZEK low-maintenance decking.

After Archadeck of Austin redecked this space with AZEK low-maintenance decking.

You’ve heard the expression, “One thing leads to another,” right? Sometimes homeowners are very, very glad one thing led to another when Archadeck of Austin comes around to create (or recreate) an outdoor living space.

After Archadeck of Austin redecked and refreshed this space.

After Archadeck of Austin redecked and refreshed this space.

These clients wanted to replace their small deck that wraps around the side and back of their house, bordered by a charming stone wall. Made of wood, the deck had decayed. Time for a replacement.

Good fortune was on their side; the deck was a good candidate for redecking. Not all homeowners are aware that redecking is an option – and one that can save them money. Until we inspect your deck, we won’t know if redecking will work for your project, though.

Why is redecking possible? The sun’s UV rays cause a wooden deck’s surface to deteriorate over the years. Meanwhile, the deck’s substructure is protected from the sun and doesn’t suffer the same damage.

Before committing to redecking, Austin deck builder Archadeck of Austin will examine the support structure under your deck. If that structure is not compromised – if it’s still in good shape and can support a new deck surface for a good many years – we can use it again. That saves you some of the cost of materials and labor to build your new deck.

For their new deck surface, these homeowners chose AZEK synthetic decking boards in the popular weathered teak color from their Vintage Collection. With an AZEK deck, these homeowners will not have to worry about deterioration. These decking boards will resist splitting, cupping, splintering, blistering, peeling, flaking, cracking, rotting and structural damage from termites or fungal decay, and they are covered by an excellent manufacturer’s warranty.

So … about that gazebo we mentioned earlier. One end of this deck extends out to a gazebo in the back yard. We found that the gazebo hadn’t been built correctly. It was actually bowing, its support piers sinking into the ground because the concrete footers could not carry the weight of the gazebo. Honestly, this might have been a disaster in the making.

before and after Gazebo updates

Archadeck of Austin to the rescue! We removed all the skirting and were able to pull out the original support posts and install a proper footing system under the gazebo. In that process we leveled the surface, so everything is level now.

Finally, we wrapped up this project by replacing about 15-20 feet of the clients’ wood fence, gates and hardware because the original fencing that bordered the yard had also seen better days.

we wrapped up this project by replacing about 15-20 feet of the clients’ wood fence, gates and hardware

These North Austin homeowners are happy now that peace and safety have been restored to their pleasant getaway-at-home.

Could you save money by having your older deck redecked instead of replaced completely? Let Archadeck of Austin take a look at your deck to determine if it is a candidate for redecking. Call us today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.