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A Fortuitous Custom Outdoor Fireplace and Outdoor Kitchen in Driftwood, TX

How Archadeck of Austin built a custom outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen borne of a neighborly debacle…

Imagine you purchase your dream home in a beautiful community, and in the beginning, you aren’t so much concerned with encumbering yourselves with outdoor upgrades.  Then, imagine your next-door neighbors decide to build an upgrade of their own – a bit closer to your back patio than you are comfortable with.  This is where Archadeck of Austin becomes the lemonade makers in the proverbial, “when life hands you lemons,” plight.  And make lemonade, we did!

Driftwood TX outdoor fireplace builder

Custom outdoor fireplace designs by Archadeck of Austin

We got to work with these Driftwood, Texas homeowners, who soon began to realize that what they at first saw as a neighborly misfortune was turning out to be a very happy accident!  Together, we decided to build a gorgeous free-standing limestone fireplace, to match their existing home and patio.  The outdoor fireplace is positioned to create a buffer between the neighbors’ outdoor entertaining spaces, but it is so much more!  The robust wood burning fireplace will do its intended job, but it will also provide hours upon hours of outdoor enjoyment for these homeowners and their guests.  There is hardly anything better than being able to utilize an outdoor space out-of-season, and this outdoor fireplace will accomplish that for these now very fortunate homeowners.  Sipping wine or coffee or having dinner while sitting in front of dancing flames in crisp weather will no doubt become one of the homeowners’ favorite outdoor pastimes.

Driftwood TX outdoor living alternate view

See custom outdoor kitchen builds by Archadeck of Austin

What better complement to the outdoor fireplace than a very roomy, uber-functional custom outdoor kitchen?  These homeowners decided to go “whole-hog” and upgrade to a complete outdoor entertaining space for cooking, eating, and relaxing.  This beautiful outdoor kitchen has all the amenities of indoor prep spaces!  The limestone kitchen design features a large built-in grill, sink, storage, refrigerator, and tons of food prep and serving space.  These homeowners will be able to host friends and family for dinner parties and cook-outs and enjoy relaxing private patio dinners of their own.  Special occasions are made even better when you have such a unique and accommodating outdoor space to host them in.

Driftwood TX outdoor kitchen builder

As you can see Archadeck of Austin was able to bring resolution to a unique outdoor living situation, where privacy was a must.  When called upon to answer a very specific need, we will always earnestly improvise a custom-tailored solution that won’t just answer the call but go well beyond it.  These homeowners were faced with a situation that might have some folks ready to build a wall or a privacy fence – which solves the problem but takes away the open-air feel of the spacious back yard.  If are looking to put an outdoor living problem to rights, call on Archadeck of Austin for innovative solutions.

If your Austin area home requires an innovative solution to any outdoor living problem, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259 – 8282 or via email us to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

 

 


Homeowners Enjoy Fabulous View Again after Austin TX Redecking and Solar Screen Installation

Steiner Ranch AZEK Deck BuilderArchadeck of Austin is a master of solutions, as these Steiner Ranch, TX, homeowners learned recently. We saved money for them by redecking instead of removing their old composite deck and building a new one from scratch, and we solved their glaring sun issue as well.

Redecking is the Austin TX Deck Resurfacing Option

If you have an older deck and you aren’t familiar with redecking, you will want to look closely at this project in Steiner Ranch, TX. Redecking is an option when you want to replace the deck’s surface boards—the portion that you see and walk on—if the deck’s substructure is still sound. Because the substructure isn’t exposed to the elements, it is usually in much better condition than the surface boards.

In the case of this Steiner Ranch home, the deck substructure was still in good shape, so redecking was possible. That’s always great news for a homeowner! Redecking offers significant cost savings over building an entirely new deck from scratch.

When Archadeck of Austin works on a redecking project, we always have to make certain the existing substructure meets current building codes. If the applicable building codes have changed since the deck was originally built, we need to make whatever modifications are necessary to comply with today’s codes.

If the original deck was wood, and the clients have chosen to redeck with a new surface of low-maintenance composite decking, we may have to add more joists to the substructure. When decking with composites, specific joist spacing requirements must be met—beyond the joist spacing requirements for a wood deck.

Steiner Ranch Deck BuildersAdditional Benefits of Redecking

Homeowners who opt for redecking are not always limited to keeping the size and shape of their original deck. Archadeck of Austin may be able to expand the square footage of a deck as part of a redecking project. Also, during the redecking process, you can usually make additional changes or add amenities that your original deck lacked. Examples would be adding built-in bench seating, upgrading or replacing the deck railing, adding a pergola or covered area for shade or even changing the direction and flow of the stairs. The Steiner Ranch project pictured here includes a pergola, which the previous deck did not have.

Steiner Ranch Homeowners Add Beautiful New AZEK Deck Surface and Cedar Pergola

These clients’ new deck surface is made of AZEK decking boards in the mahogany color. AZEK is a low-maintenance synthetic (PVC) decking product that is extremely durable. Projects built with AZEK resist mold, mildew, stains and scratches. You also don’t have to worry about material defects, splinters, or damage from termites or rot with AZEK.

For their deck railing, the homeowners selected a Fortress railing in the sand black color. We built the privacy skirting under the deck with cedar, and we added a new large cedar pergola for partial shade. Because the pergola covers almost the entire deck, it also creates a protected, cozy feeling there.

The Perfect Solution: A Solar Blocking Screen System

Did we mention the clients have an absolutely fabulous view from their deck of the nearby golf course and lush treetops for miles? The problem was, this side of their home gets absolutely blasted by the sun. Archadeck of Austin installed a remote-controlled, solar-blocking retractable screen system. The tracks along the sides of the screen are designed to prevent the screen from blowing around on windy days.

Steiner Ranch Shade Decks

Wow! This solar screen makes all the difference. Instead of staring into the sun in hopes of enjoying the view, the homeowners can simply enjoy the view. The feeling of relief and comfort is amazing when they remember how excruciating that sun could be. Take a look at how the screen works in this video featured on our YouTube channel:

Could redecking be the cost-effective solution for you? For information about redecking as well as solar-blocking retractable screen systems, contact Archadeck of Austin 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.

 

 


1 Average-Sized Home + 1 LARGE Screened Porch = 1 Delightful Home, Just the Right Size in East Central Austin

East Central Austin Screened Porch BuilderThese East Central Austin homeowners proved you don’t have to have a large home to add a large outdoor living space.

After purchasing this home of about 1,400 sq. ft., our clients completely renovated the home’s interior, with absolutely beautiful results. Finally, they were ready to add a multi-purpose outdoor living space. Instead of asking Archadeck of Austin to design a space that was proportional to their small home, they wanted something bigger. Specifically, they wanted a big, open and airy screened porch, so the one we designed for them is over 600 sq. ft. in area. If you’re doing the math, they increased the size of their usable space by almost 50%. Because of Austin’s mild climate, they truly will be able to use all of this space throughout most of the year.

Austin Screened Porch Builder

The homeowners do a lot of work and entertaining at home, so they needed a larger space. They had a second reason for building this large porch: With all of the work they had done on the home’s interior to make it beautiful, they wanted the outside to be beautiful as well.

  1. Increase space
  2. Beautify exterior

Archadeck of Austin designed and built the perfect screened porch for this home. You can see how much room it has, enough for a spacious living area and a separate dining area, which could also serve as a home office when needed. It’s really the equivalent of two additional rooms. On the exterior, we matched the home’s original HardiePlank siding, so the addition blends seamlessly with the home and doesn’t look “added on.”

Austin Screened Porch Builder

On the inside of the porch, we started with a concrete floor and added a textured concrete overlayment in a color called California Smoke, which is a gray blend. For additional contrast, we added a bit more of a darker shade. For the beautiful ceiling we used prefinished tongue-and-groove ceiling planks from Synergy Wood.

Austin Screened Porch Builder

Finally, we installed four skylights to bring in as much natural light as possible. The clients were aware that adding a large porch can diminish the amount of natural light received in the home’s adjoining room, so they used skylights to minimize that impact—in addition to the huge screened window openings around three sides of the porch.

Austin Screened Porch Builder

The clients love their expanded home! With all of the work completed now, all they have to do is enjoy it.

Austin Screened Porch Builder

If you would like to learn more about expanding your home by creating the screened porch of dreams, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

 


Dog approves of NW Austin total patio makeover by Archadeck of Austin

When we took on this project in the NW Austin area off of 620 and Boulder Ave., we didn’t quite understand that all work had to be dog-approved. Luckily we got along well with the family pet, which loves the new bigger-and-better patio and pergola combination we designed and installed. On sunnier days, this pampered pooch probably make its way over to the side of the patio that’s covered by the pergola. We’re betting on that.

NW Austin Patio and Pergola Builders

These NW Austin homeowners called patio builder Archadeck of Austin because they wanted to overhaul their patio and deck combination. The low-to-grade wood deck was not aging well and needed to be replaced. The covered patio wasn’t functioning as a patio at all, but more as a place to walk through on your way from the yard or deck to get into the house.

Before Archadeck of Austin began the project:

NW Austin Patio and Pergola BuildersThe new outdoor living space we designed for the family called for removing the low deck and extending the patio in its place. We also added a stone retaining wall that can be used for additional seating, and we built a big, beefy pergola to replace the smaller one they had on the deck.

As sometimes happens, when we demo’d the deck we came across hidden conditions the homeowners had not been aware of. The deck had included one wooden step up from the patio to the deck surface, and that step had rotted. The step had been built closely around the original posts holding up the roof over the patio, so the posts had been compromised. They were no longer sound enough to continue supporting the patio cover.

NW Austin Patio and Pergola Builders

To remedy this problem, Archadeck of Austin replaced the four original posts with what are called star posts, technically load-bearing posts that are hollow on the inside. These new posts are specifically designed to carry loads. In this case, the load is the roof over the original portion of the patio. We put a new base around each star post and painted them to match the original color.

NW Austin Patio and Pergola BuildersAnd … there was more. When we removed the deck we found that water had seeped into a gap where the deck met the house, and the house siding had rotted at that connecting point. Fortunately the homeowner had an extra piece of siding tucked away in the garage. We were able to remove the damaged portion of the siding and replace it with the extra piece. With the siding repaired, we painted the replacement piece of siding to match the house color.

So, back to the patio! We extended the patio across the area previously covered by the deck. The homeowners now have a large and truly functional patio. The patio surface is a resilient stained concrete, and we stained the original section of the patio, too, so it would all match. We built a stone retaining wall enclosing three sides of the patio, and that wall has a smooth stone top that also makes it the perfect seating wall if additional seating is needed outdoors.

The homeowners wanted a bigger pergola for more shade, and we accomplished that. The new cedar pergola looks extra beefy because we used 2x10s for the rafter system instead of the traditional 2×8″ boards we usually use for that purpose.

Finally, we installed a ceiling fan under the pergola and placed sconce lights on the pergola posts for safety and ambiance on the patio after dark.

The family dog is truly content with the wonderful new patio, and we believe is fully appreciative of the shade the large pergola will provide once warmer weather sets in.

NW Austin Patio and Pergola Builders

If you would like to talk with us about enlarging your patio or building a combination outdoor living space, contact Archadeck of Austin 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 rescues Hayes County, TX, homeowners from unfortunate outdoor living space design

Hayes County TX Outdoor Living Space BuilderIn these pictures you see an outdoor living project gone awry and the results after we accepted the task of making it right. Archadeck of Austin designs and builds porches, patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, pergolas and more — and we can design any combination of those structures. Sometimes we start from scratch. Sometimes we take what another builder did before us, like a patio, and make it bigger and better (much better). Or we take something old like a worn out deck, tear it down, and build a new deck-patio-outdoor-kitchen combination in its place.

And then there are times like this. To set the scene, we are in Hayes County, TX, southwest of Austin, outside the Travis County limits. Our clients purchased a new home with an outdoor living space that was nothing like they wanted. It was a brand new home, and obviously it suited them in many ways or they wouldn’t have purchased it. But the outdoor living space at this home was getting a negative approval rating from the homeowners starting on Day 1.Before

The home’s original outdoor living space consisted of a covered concrete porch/patio with a small cedar deck attached. It was all very plain and unappealing. The homeowners knew someone could do a better job of designing and building a more functional and enjoyable space for them. Enter Archadeck of Austin to the rescue.

The first problem was the covered porch/patio needed to be screened in. Insects were driving this young family crazy and they needed a no-bug zone.Hayes County TX Outdoor Living Space Builder

Then, they wanted the small cedar deck extended to cover a larger expanse across the back of the house, and they needed a stairway directly from the deck down to the children’s play area in the yard.

It sounds simple enough, but it was actually a complex project. We took out the Hardie Board ceiling over the porch and replaced it with a beautiful tongue-and-groove ceiling by Synergy Wood. We removed part of the roof on one side and built a new roof extension that came out deeper toward the yard. Of course, you can’t tell a difference where we extended the roof; it all blends in and looks original, as it should.Hayes County TX Outdoor Living Space Builder

We also had to demo some brick off the wall on the outside of the house in order to attach some of the new work directly to the original concrete substructure. Finally, we built soffits to match the original construction so that everything tied together. Once we had finished, framed and painted, we were able to install a wall of screen. Now the original porch/patio is a screened porch with a TV and seating area, and on the other side of that screen the family has a bigger deck with sheets of cedar lattice along the underside.

Hayes County TX Outdoor Living Space Builder

 

It feels like all is now right with the world, at least in this corner of Hayes County, TX. Our work is done here, and we have the Before and After pictures to prove it.

If you’re interested in reconfiguring your outdoor living space without having to tear it out and start over, contact Archadeck of Austin 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.

 

 


New deck in NW Austin gives new life to porch cover, thanks to Archadeck of Austin

Box of chocolatesTo borrow from Forrest Gump, a deck replacement can be “like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

When this NW Austin homeowner hired Archadeck of Austin to replace her existing wood deck, she didn’t know that her porch cover was in need of shoring up. In the process of removing the old deck, we discovered that the porch cover was no longer structurally sound. The beam that was holding it up was not strong enough to support the roof load it was carrying. See a picture of the deck and porch cover before we began the project below:

Since being advised prior to ordering the materials that she should fix the porch at the same time as the deck we included the materials needed as part of the total work order.

We conferred with the homeowner about this issue because replacing that beam and adding new support posts were tasks not included in the scope of our project. The homeowner agreed that replacing the porch roof’s support structure — while we were already in the same spot building a new deck — was a good idea. This was definitely a safety issue.

Now the homeowner has a sweet new deck with a sturdy and well-supported porch cover. For the new deck construction, she selected low-maintenance AZEK composite decking in Mahogany. Notice the deck board at the end, the way it runs perpendicular to the other boards. This is called picture framing, a method Archadeck of Austin uses now on most of our composite and PVC decks.

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

Picture framing allows us to provide a nice, clean, finished edge around the deck perimeter. It creates an even edge for the fascia and deck boards so debris and dirt won’t accumulate between those components. That kind of debris accumulation can rot the substructure.

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

We had room to expand the depth of the deck by about four feet, which may not sound like a lot, but it does make the deck feel much more spacious. While a portion of the deck is covered for protection from sun and rain, a significant portion remains uncovered for those beautiful days when nothing will do but to sit out in the open.

West Austin AZEK Deck BuilderTo support the porch cover, we added a new Glulam beam along its front edge. If you’re not familiar with Glulam beams, let’s just say this beam is a workhorse. Technically, Glulam is glued laminated timber. It’s “pound for pound” stronger than steel and much stronger than regular, comparably-sized lumber. And the adhesives used in the lamination process are moisture resistant.

We supported the new overhead beam with pressure-treated wood framing, and we wrapped the new support posts with cedar.  Instead of using lattice screen under the deck, we used Hardie skirt board for a cleaner, more streamlined appearance. We shifted the stairs away from the building to improve traffic flow to and from the deck.

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

The homeowner selected the Fortress rail system in the black sand color with 2″ posts because they allow more of the view of the sloping back yard. She plans to fill the hillside with landscaping, using only plant material native to Austin.

Are you thinking of replacing your aging deck or other outdoor living structures? If you want the job done professionally, contact Archadeck of Austin 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.

 

 

 


3 signs it’s time to kick your Round Rock, TX, builder-grade patio to the curb for something better

  1. You’ve purchased a brand new house — new construction — that came with a builder-grade patio.
  2. You’ve purchased an older home where the prior homeowner kept the original builder-grade patio.
  3. You’ve been living in your home for a while now, and you have it set up pretty much like you want it, except for the builder-grade patio.

Round Rock TX patio builderYou’re probably picking up on our theme here. If one of the above signs describes your situation, then you have a lot in common with our recent clients, who needed a reputable Round Rock patio builder. Wisely, they called Archadeck of Austin for a free design consultation. We have built many, many patios over the years, and each new client benefits from those years of experience.

Today’s featured outdoor living project is a patio extension, but it’s really more than just an increase in the patio’s size. When you increase the size of a patio (or a deck, for that matter) you increase its function exponentially. Suddenly you have a more livable outdoor living space that you can actually do something with. Decorate! Entertain! Cook out, eat out and just sit around relaxing with family and friends.

These homeowners wanted to increase their patio’s livability even more. Their dream project included a fire pit and an outdoor kitchen. At one point they were considering a deck addition instead of a bigger patio. As they explored options with their Archadeck designer, however, it became clear that extending the patio would be less expensive than adding a deck. And a patio would be the ideal setting for a fire pit and outdoor kitchen. That settled it.

Before and After in Round Rock TX

When Archadeck of Austin builds patios, we dig trenches. Seeing the finished project, you wouldn’t know we’ve done that, but we add these trenches to give homeowners some extra peace of mind. We use a beam system under all of our concrete patios. First, we dig trenches about 12″ deep along the perimeter and some within the interior of the patio area. The perimeter and internal beams are reinforced with steel rebar to stabilize the patio. Having this reinforced beam system within the base of the concrete structure prevents the patio from moving and settling over time. While it’s still possible that the concrete will crack, as it often does, having that extra stability means ground movement will not cause structural damage to the patio.

We also dug a trench to run conduit for gas lines that would be needed for the fire pit and the outdoor kitchen. The trench specifically for this purpose must be 18″ deep.

Round Rock Patio with Overlayment

For this patio, we used an overlayment process to create the beautifully textured surface you see here.

Once the trenches are dug and steel are in place, then we can pour concrete. For this patio, we used an overlayment process to create the beautifully textured surface you see here. We also added two sets of stairs, one by the kitchen leading to the side yard and the pictured stairs running to the rear yard. We also added two gates to the top of each , as they have grandchildren and pets to contain.

Now we come to this project’s special added features, which are very popular in Round Rock: the fire pit and the outdoor kitchen. These structures are made of white limestone. The outdoor kitchen includes a gas grill and a pedestal for the homeowners’ Big Green Egg style smoker. The 4′ fire pit has a regulator and starter. Notice how the back wall of the fire pit is built up so we didn’t need to run any railing across the backside of the fire pit. While practical, the stone wall also adds character to the project.

Round Rock TX Outdoor Kitchen Builder

Round Rock TX Fire Pit Builder

The finishing touch for this patio is a black metal railing system, by Fortress, that borders the patio’s edge. The railing helps define the area visually while also providing safety.

As you can see from the before and after pictures, these homeowners gained more than just a bigger space when they extended their builder-grade patio. They gained a multi-functional outdoor living area, with an emphasis on living. These clients are so pleased with the finished project that they have already referred Archadeck of Austin to two neighbors looking for a Round Rock patio builder specializing in outdoor kitchens and custom outdoor fire features. We love referrals!

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

If you have a builder-grade patio and want to learn more about the many benefits of expanding it into a more livable outdoor living space, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.