Have you interviewed Austin patio builders—only to be told the project you want cannot be done? That’s a sure sign you need to give Archadeck of Austin a call instead because we don’t talk that way. We figure out how to get your project done. The Northeast Austin patio project featured here is a prime example. These homeowners wanted to add a covered patio at their back door. Logistical issues included the size of their back yard and the 10’ setback requirement, with their back fence already very close to the home.
Archadeck of Austin’s Innovative Solution
As professional builders, we have to take setback requirements seriously to obtain the necessary building permits. In this particular case, the setback requirement prevented our clients from adding a “permanent structure” to their lot. While some Austin patio contractors would have stopped there, Archadeck of Austin got creative and applied some forward-thinking to the situation.
Our solution for these homeowners was to design a hybrid structure that would not be considered “permanent.” To be more specific, we custom-designed a raised permeable patio system. As long as it has a permeable surface, the patio isn’t considered permanent. The only portion of this project that’s considered permanent is the solid concrete footer supporting the walls of the patio. Everything else is built over clean white gravel that filters rainwater and doesn’t encroach on Austin’s regulations about the impervious ground cover.
We built the patio wall with medium nicotine and white limestone, and the smooth slabs across the surface are buff/white Lueders limestone. There’s more to this project than meets the eye, too. As part of the project we installed a drainage system. Rainwater flows through the patio, into the drainage system and into a common area.
Cedar Pergola Adds Style and Cover
Anyone in Northeast Austin wanting to include a pergola with their outdoor living project should take a close look at this pergola. It’s not as large as some we’ve built as Austin’s premier pergola builder, but it’s perfect for this home. It adds a bit of flair as well as protection.
There are two significant things to notice about this pergola. First, it covers a portion of the patio, not the entire area. At night, the homeowners will want to sit out under the stars and enjoy their fire table, a wonderful amenity for any patio. In the daytime, as the weather cools and they seek the sun’s warmth, the homeowners will always have the option to sit in the sunlight.
The second aspect to notice with this pergola is its Topgal polycarbonate cover. It shields the covered area from rainfall, so our clients can enjoy their patio “rain or shine.” While it may look like a simple sheet of plastic, this cover is a four-wall structure that provides thermal insulation. The pergola cover allows light to pass through but blocks UV rays to reduce solar heat gain below. It’s an excellent weatherproofing feature with an unobtrusive appearance.
As a finishing touch, we added a custom cedar privacy screen at one end of the patio to block the noise coming from the clients’ AC unit. The screen adds charm while serving an essential purpose.
Are you ready to add a patio and pergola combination to your back yard? Whether you are replacing a patio or interested in adding one for the first time, call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.
Replacing a deck at your Austin-area home doesn’t mean you have to make a lot of changes. Our clients in The Hills of Lakeway, TX, liked the deck they had. They liked the color, the size, the shape, and the way it hugged the back of their home. The deck was built with cedar, however, and what the homeowners did not like was the way their wood deck was starting to deteriorate. The deck was low to grade, exposed to moisture near the ground, and the wood was beginning to rot. It was time for a deck replacement.
Will a Low-Maintenance Deck Rot Like Wood?
Not likely! One of the reasons many homeowners choose low-maintenance decking today is for its moisture-resistant properties. Composite and synthetic decking is capped with polymers making it extremely resistant to moisture damage. You can tell by these products’ lengthy warranties that they’re made to last a very long time—without rotting. At Archadeck of Austin, we recommend synthetic (PVC) decking if your deck is low to grade.
Like many of our clients, these homeowners in The Hills of Lakeway wanted a new deck that would look great without a lot of upkeep. For their deck replacement, they selected AZEK low-maintenance decking from TimberTech’s Harvest Collection in Slate Gray.
Your Austin Deck Replacement: What to Keep, What to Change?
Since the homeowners liked so much about their original deck, design decisions for their deck replacement were easy! That’s the great thing about replacing a deck—you don’t have to make a lot of changes if you don’t want to. In this case, our clients wanted us to use the same footprint for their new deck’s scale and size. They chose a similar shade of gray, too, and they wanted similar benches along the sides of the new deck.
We laid the decking boards out in a picture-frame design. Since the decking is monochromatic, the picture-framing is not as noticeable here as it would be on a deck with contrasting board colors. Picture-framing gives the deck a smooth edge, which is especially significant at the location of the step down to the yard.
We also built the new benches with AZEK. We used low maintenance PVC for the deck skirting, too, so the mulch around the deck will never cause rotting in the future. The Hardie stucco-finish board we used on this project is a low maintenance material as well.
And the Rest of the Story …
The scope of this job included a side project in addition to the deck replacement. The clients had a little walkout/stoop at a doorway elsewhere on the home that was built with the same cedar boards as the original deck. Archadeck of Austin removed the cedar stoop and built a new one with concrete.
Has the time come to replace a deck at your home? Whether you are replacing a deck or interested in adding one for the first time, call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.
You could say the world is made better by folks like these homeowners in Bee Cave, TX, whose concern was for their neighbors. They wanted to add a pergola for shade over their patio and one end of their pool. When we talked about design considerations, they wanted to be sure the pergola did not block their neighbors’ view of the valley. It seemed to us like a thoughtful and generous gesture. While providing for their own needs, they took care to be respectful of their neighbors’ needs as well.
Austin Pergola Builder, At Your Service
Their proximity to Texas Hill Country gives these Bee Cave TX homeowners a magnificent view. They make the most of that view each and every day with a backyard pool nestled between their home and the valley below. There was just one problem: No shade.
Our clients wanted to add a shade pergola over the rounded patio at one end of their pool. The pool has little built-in seats at that end, and the patio there includes an outdoor kitchen. The homeowners wanted to swim up to this seating area at the edge of the pool and perhaps enjoy refreshments from the bar. All they needed there was some shade.
When you’re serious about shade, not just any pergola will do. Some pergolas don’t actually provide very much shade! Archadeck of Austin specializes in the art and science of pergola design. We have our ways of coaxing more shade from a pergola! For example, we can angle a pergola’s slats just enough to catch extra shade. We can position a pergola’s orientation in relation to the sun to gain the most shade as the sun travels overhead each day.
When our clients are serious about shade, we recommend a special pergola cover to filter out UV rays and absorb some of the sun’s heat. For this Bee Cave TX pergola design, we added a TopGal polycarbonate cover for maximum protection. TopGal sheets have a four-wall structure that provides thermal insulation, reducing the heat beneath the pergola on a sunny day.
Bee Cave TX Homeowners Value Their View!
Our clients were concerned that adding a vertical structure to this landscape might obscure the view from their home. They did not want to install something that would intrude on their view—or that of their neighbors. We had to design the pergola to clear enough head room and still provide unobstructed views. They tasked us with two objectives: designing a pergola to provide sufficient shade, and designing the structure in a way that was respectful to their neighbors. Archadeck of Austin installed a custom freestanding cedar pergola that accomplishes both objectives, and more!
We should add that one of our pergola design considerations, always, is to create a thing of beauty. Shade was important to the clients here. An unobstructed view was important to the clients and their neighbors. Creating a beautiful pergola was important to the clients and to us!
This pergola features a beautiful all-cedar design and includes a privacy wall at the back. You’ll notice that the back wall lends privacy, but the pergola is still open. The center section of the wall provides the perfect place to mount the clients’ TV. In the photo, you can see the mounting bracket ready there for TV installation.
The homeowners are thrilled with their new pergola. They can swim over to the bar and enjoy plenty of shade. Summer has taken on new possibilities here.
Would you enjoy an outdoor living area with the promise of shade? We can custom design and build a patio, outdoor kitchen or deck including a shady pergola to make your summer more comfortable. Call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.
More and more Austin TX homeowners are realizing that a simple patio is simply not enough of a backyard retreat. Sure, a patio is fine when outdoor conditions are perfect. When you’re facing fierce sunshine, wind-blown debris, flying insects or rain, however, a patio offers no real protection. What you need is a screened porch — and a covered pergola over a portion of your patio.
Just take a look at this beautiful, multifunctional protected space Archadeck of Austin created for these SW Austin clients!
Multifunctional Outdoor Living Space Becomes a Destination!
These homeowners wanted protection from direct sun with its brutal heat and burning UV rays. Now they have two places they can spend time outdoors in the shade: within their new screened porch and under their new covered pergola.
When they want to be outdoors, bug-free, they enjoy their screened porch. When they want to sit outside on the patio, they now have a covered pergola that protects them from rain as well as sun. When they want to bask in the sun on a cool day, they still have a portion of their flagstone patio that’s uncovered. The uncovered patio is also perfect for stargazing at night!
They now have the best of all worlds right here at their Southwest Austin TX home.
Screened Porch Builder Archadeck of Austin Has You Covered
The homeowners’ existing flagstone patio is attractive and in excellent condition, so it provided a perfect floor for their screened porch. We didn’t use the entire patio area for the porch, so there is still an open patio outside of the screened porch. You could say the screened porch has a patio!
Inside the spacious screened porch, the first thing you notice is the beautiful interior ceiling. To build it, we used handcrafted, prefinished tongue-and-groove ceiling boards from Synergy Wood in the burgundy color. We use Synergy Wood ceilings in many of our porches and they always look beautiful.
Archadeck of Austin is Austin’s Pergola Builder
This sturdy wood pergola anchors the opposite end of the flagstone patio. The original patio did not reach across the entire back of the home, but we were able to match the flagstone and we extended it. If you look closely, you can tell there is flat plastic cover atop the wood pergola. It’s not just any plastic sheeting, it’s Polygal, a special multi-wall polycarbonate sheet. Polygal filters out UV rays from the sun, so as a pergola cover it increases the amount of shade the pergola creates. It also provides protection from rain showers.
The pergola-covered patio area offers the homeowners a perfect place to dine outdoors. You can already see that their grill is nearby.
With a new screened porch, striking pergola, covered patio and open patio area, this Southwest Austin home truly has a backyard retreat that neighbors will envy. We designed the space to be more functional and beautiful, a place where the homeowners will enjoy spending plenty of time.
Is it time to expand your Austin patio and add a screened porch and pergola? Call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 email us to schedule your free design consultation.
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!
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
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.
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.
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 …
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.
- 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.
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 email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
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.com. Unfortunately, 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
New and Improved Deck, Outdoor Kitchen Combination in Circle C Ranch, Southwest Austin, TX, Delights Homeowners in So Many Ways
Homeowners in the Circle C Ranch neighborhood of Austin, TX, have a fine appreciation for the design skills and craftsmanship of custom deck and patio builder Archadeck of Austin. We continue to create ultimate outdoor living spaces in this southwest Austin neighborhood, each time designing and building a unique structure that is perfect for the home it graces.
The project we’re looking at today is a deck replacement in Circle C Ranch. Based on the homeowners’ desires for their ideal deck, we needed to design an entirely new structure, so we demolished the old cedar deck and started afresh. The result is a larger deck built with low-maintenance AZEK decking boards and an updated railing system that allows a much clearer view of the pool and yard below.
How do we love this new deck? Let us count the ways:
More outdoor living space. Not only is the new deck larger than the previous one, but we also designed it to meet the patio, so the patio and deck now combine to create a larger, more cohesive space. The earlier deck was not level with the home’s concrete patio. The family had to step down from the patio to the deck and it wasn’t an easy step. By making this simple design change, deck builder Archadeck of Austin improved this family’s daily travels out to their deck, back yard and pool. File this significant improvement under “little things mean a lot.”
Low-maintenance lifestyle. The new deck will require less maintenance than the cedar deck it replaced. The clients chose the weathered teak color from AZEK’s Vintage Collection. It has a more realistic wood-like appearance than some synthetic or composite decking materials. AZEK provides a 30-year fade and stain warranty and a lifetime warranty covering splitting, cupping, splintering, blistering, peeling, flaking, cracking, rotting or structural damage from termites or fungal decay.
More interesting deck layout. The larger deck design here allowed us to be especially creative with our layout of the deck boards. This design features a 4-way diagonal deck surface with picture framing, parting boards and ribbon ends. While this design is more elaborate than some we have created, we pride ourselves in deck design and workmanship and never leave board ends visible in the midst of a deck. We make sure that in all of our decks, the board ends meet a parting board or picture framing for a neat, finished appearance.
Striking, more modern railings. The old cedar railings represented the style of their day, but since that time railing designs have moved toward thinner pickets (also called balusters) for much-improved visibility. For this new deck, the homeowners chose powder-coated steel Fortress railings in the black sand color and matching decorative caps on the posts. Like the decking boards, the railing is virtually maintenance free.
An upgrade from a patio grill to an outdoor kitchen. The covered patio adjoining the deck offered plenty of space for an outdoor kitchen. In addition to a grill, refrigerator and storage, the outdoor kitchen provides counter space for food prep, which the clients did not have before. Behind the counter is a higher ledge that the homeowners can use for plants or other décor. In addition to adding the outdoor kitchen, we stained the concrete patio to refresh its appearance.
Better access to the pool and yard. We designed the deck with two stairways, giving the homeowners direct access to the pool and also to a part of the yard on the other side of the deck. They will get more usage out of that side of the yard now.
Hot tub closer to the pool. With the previous configuration, the family’s hot tub was accessible from the patio and deck but not from the pool. We relocated the spa closer to the pool for a more convenient location.
Regardless of how great your Austin deck is, at some point, it will need to be refreshed, redesigned and replaced. The amazing selection of deck materials available today promises you will love your new deck and wonder why you waited so long to replace it.
Is your deck due for an upgrade with new materials and a larger design? For a new deck and outdoor kitchen, or any other outdoor living solution, call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Archadeck 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
1 Average-Sized Home + 1 LARGE Screened Porch = 1 Delightful Home, Just the Right Size in East Central Austin
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.
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.
- Increase space
- 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.”
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.
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.
The clients love their expanded home! With all of the work completed now, all they have to do is enjoy it.
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 email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
And … 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
Archadeck of Austin rescues Hayes County, TX, homeowners from unfortunate outdoor living space design
In 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
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.
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.
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.
To 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
- You’ve purchased a brand new house — new construction — that came with a builder-grade patio.
- You’ve purchased an older home where the prior homeowner kept the original builder-grade patio.
- 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.
You’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.
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.
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.
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!
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 email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
This might be one of the strangest ways we’ve heard of to get a new deck. When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? This North Cat Mountain/Greenbelt area homeowner certainly made that statement true recently when his deck was destroyed in an accident.
This home featured a second-story wooden deck that wrapped around two sides of the house in an ‘L’ shape. The views from the deck are glorious. The home in North Cat Mountain, TX, overlooks the Greenbelt, a beautiful, wild, undeveloped area near Austin that didn’t get its name by accident.
One end of this large deck was supported by stone pillars at the edge of the home’s driveway. Maybe you can see where we’re going here, but we’ll finish the story. A neighbor’s car ran into one of the pillars, destroying not just the stone pillar itself but the deck it was supporting.
The structural integrity of the entire deck was compromised. If this looks like a whole bag of lemons, our client soon found out he was getting lemonade. Although the homeowner didn’t have insurance pay for the entire project. They were able to achieve the upgrades and repairs needed by working with insurance and their own funds, which made it possible to improve the entire structure.
When Archadeck of Austin consulted with the homeowner about the design for the replacement deck, he didn’t want to make many changes. The layout of the original deck was pretty much just right. We built the new deck using cedar decking boards and applying a custom stain to the wood. We did change the configuration of the stairs leading up to the deck, and we updated the overall look of the deck by using a newer railing design. While the original deck railing was made entirely of wood, the new Fortress railing system features 3″ steel posts and railing with 2×6″ cedar railing caps stained the same color as the deck. The thinner metal pickets of the new railing system allow deck-sitters to see more of the incredible view of the Greenbelt.
Additionally, Archadeck of Austin also rebuilt the masonry columns and replaced the supports within because they did not meet building code. Fortunately, this was within our project realm, as we are not just a deck builder, and have the ability to do things that competitors can not. The finishing touch to the project was staining the underside of the deck which serve as a covered patio.
Has life handed you lemons lately? If your outdoor living structure needs to be replaced — for whatever reason! — contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
Let’s start with the hard question. Do you feel like your budget might stand in the way of you having a new and/or improved outdoor living space? Almost everyone is budget-conscious these days, and we understand that may mean different things to different people. But if you feel your budget is keeping you from having the outdoor living project you really want, Archadeck of Austin will work with you “every which way” to try to make it a reality.
Before we look at today’s combination-outdoor-living-project-on-a-budget, let’s talk about the process we go through to arrive at a quote for a job. First, after we listen to what elements a client wants included in their project, and we offer our suggestions, we have to be able to tell them how much it will cost. If the number is too high, we’ll look at choices the client can make — maybe different materials, maybe scaling it back a little bit — to bring the price down. We don’t expect the client to sign a contract until we quote them a price they are comfortable with.
The price we quote is the actual price the client will pay. Does that surprise you? It should not. But we’ve heard about other contractors (not Archadeck) who quickly low-ball a quote just to get the contract signed. They may not take the time to do the necessary research about materials costs, etc., to give a semi-accurate quote. The client doesn’t realize some costs have been left out of the conversation. Oh, yes, they find out eventually, when the job is half-completed. What choice do they have at that point? They approve the additional costs and end up paying more than they would have if they’d gone with a higher (accurate) quote from a professional builder like Archadeck of Austin.
Today’s featured project is in Austin, TX, and it’s a sweet combination outdoor living project that includes a patio, pergola, outdoor fireplace and privacy screen. The homeowners were upfront about their budget. Their Archadeck of Austin designer sat down with them to go over all of the specs, materials and costs for the project. Together, they worked out a cost-effective plan that addressed the homeowners’ needs and wants — within budget.
The clients were looking to add a shade structure to the back of the home and wanted to include an outdoor fireplace. Their home had an existing covered porch at the back door. The property was not right for a deck because there’s no change in elevation behind the house. Decking “at grade” is not a good idea. So they wanted a patio to extend outward from the existing porch and serve as the base for their new shade structure (pergola) and outdoor fireplace.
Starting with the custom patio, we always dig trenches about 12″ deep and lay a beam system within the perimeter of the patio before we pour concrete. These steel beams reinforce and stabilize the patio to prevent the concrete from settling over time (or in response to ground movement). This way we know we’re providing a strong and stable pad for the concrete patio. Keep in mind, concrete will always crack, no matter what. The added perimeter and internal beams provide more stability to help reduce the eventual outcome of any concrete deck or patio.
For this patio, we added a textured and stained concrete overlay to the surface for visual appeal.
For utilities, we ran conduit and a gas line from the main meter to the rear of fireplace for service, and we ran wiring for electrical access at the fireplace and at several other points around the patio as well.
We built the gas-burning custom outdoor fireplace with a combination of Nicotine and white flagstone. The Nicotine color is white with deposits of yellow and gold running through it, and the interplay of these colors mimics the variations in the patio’s textured-concrete surface in an interesting way.
Extending from the fireplace, on both sides, is a low stone wall that is extremely practical in two ways. First, it creates a visual boundary for the patio, and second, it provides seating. The bench surface on the wall is made of smooth Lueders stone, one of our favorites.
The freestanding pergola is stained cedar, and over the top of the pergola we added a Polygal cover to deliver maximum shade benefits. This durable covering is an affordable way to add protection from rain as well as from the sun’s rays. It’s waterproof and it blocks UV rays, making the patio enjoyable regardless of the weather.
Beside the pergola, we installed a privacy screen, also made of stained cedar, because the homeowners plan to add a hot tub to their outdoor living space in the future.
Finally, we installed a flat-screen TV above the mantel for the homeowners. Their outdoor living space comes complete with a remote control for the ceiling fan and to dim/control the lights: the comforts of the indoors brought outdoors.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you create an outdoor living project on a budget, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
Can an outdoor living space be small in scale and still be GRAND? You’d better believe it! Today’s project, located in the Steiner Ranch community of Austin, TX, drives that point home with certainty. This may not be the largest outdoor living space we have designed, but it’s unique — and one of our favorites.
This Steiner Ranch homeowner was referred to Archadeck of Austin by a previous client of ours who was thrilled with the project we designed and built at their home. And you know we love it when new clients find us through word of mouth. (If we have completed a project for you, don’t forget to tell your friends about it!)
To start, a basic concrete patio was the only outdoor living space existing at the home. Standing in the back yard, facing the patio and the back of the house, the homeowner looked up … and knew she wanted to add a pergola over the patio and a deck off of the second-floor bedroom. She also knew she didn’t want a typical deck staircase extending from the deck out into the yard. Whether a straight staircase or one that turned at a landing, either kind would be too prominent, visually, and would take up way too much space. It would stick out.
A spiral staircase was what she wanted. OK! Archadeck of Austin is all in favor of spiral staircases, but they can be expensive. We did some research online and finally located an affordable spiral staircase by Salter Spiral Stairs. We were hesitant to order it, though, because it comes as a kit. First you go through Salter’s design consultation process, giving them the measurements of your space. Then Salter creates your staircase and ships it to you in pieces — along with installation instructions. If you have any trouble with it, they provide customer service reps who can answer your questions by phone.
Based on our experience in the world of DIY, some kits are good and some are not. We decided to take a gamble that this spiral stair kit would be satisfactory. It was GREAT! The staircase installation was seamless, and we are all pleased with the staircase quality. We even got an upgrade to include welded stair treads, which add a great deal of character to the stairs.
We built the second-story deck with AZEK low-maintenance composite decking in a dark hickory color. The deck railing is a black metal railing from Fortress, and it goes perfectly with the black metal spiral staircase. Finally, we custom-made a bench using AZEK dark hickory composite decking to provide additional seating along one end of the patio.
Altogether, this combination outdoor living space now includes the original patio plus a new cedar pergola and composite deck — topped off with a spiral staircase, which is like eye candy! To support the pergola and deck, we built sturdy cedar posts matching the cedar pergola. We also added a Polygal cover on top of the pergola to protect patio sitters from sun and rain. The scene is complete with ceiling fans over the patio and light fixtures for nighttime use.
Taking it all in at once, you can see we packed a lot of outdoor living design into a relatively small space! It all works together well without crowding or giving you that penned-in feeling. This Steiner Ranch combination deck and pergola project, with patio, demonstrates that an outdoor living project doesn’t have to be massive in scale to be effective.
Let us show you how to make the most of the outdoor space you have. And if you want a spiral staircase for your deck, we know just the one! Contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
Sometimes, fixing one thing gives you the opportunity to fix a few others as well, taking you from good to GREAT! For example, take this deck in the Hudson Bend area on Lake Travis. The aging cedar deck was worn, weathered and due for replacement. Meanwhile … hmmm … how about eliminating those troublesome steps down from the breezeway to the deck. And … hmmm … what if the new deck could hold a hot tub … and what about those old railings …?
Archadeck of Austin addressed several issues by designing a new-and-improved outdoor living space for these Hudson Bend homeowners:
- Because we replaced the wood deck with AZEK composite decking, the new deck won’t fade and weather like the old one did.
- The deck is on the same level with the breezeway now, as well as the doors to the house and garage, so several inconvenient steps have been eliminated.
- The deck was extended to include an alcove for — yes! — a hot tub.
- The updated railings are sleek and allow a better view.
In the new deck design, we were able to match the deck’s elevation with that of the breezeway, not only eliminating the awkward “step down” but also making the space more open and functional. To bring the two surfaces to the same level, we raised the new deck up to the level of the breezeway. This adjustment makes the whole deck area look bigger because the breezeway and deck blend together now, creating one larger space. Also, the new deck design, level with the doors on the back of the house and level with the garage door, works much better for the homeowners.
Ready for the low-maintenance lifestyle, the homeowners chose AZEK composite decking in the mahogany color. We installed a triple parting board in the deck pattern, which is fairly unusual, because the client didn’t want any deck boards visibly meeting end-to-end. We engineered the design to use as many full pieces of the decking boards as possible. That’s the kind of challenge we enjoy tackling.
To make the deck sturdy enough to support a spa, we installed additional cross bracing and substructure underneath to accommodate the weight of it. No one will need to worry about the support there!
Finally, the sleek, new railing runs horizontally, giving the deck an urban edge. The homeowners wanted a low-profile railing in order to have full access to the spectacular view.
The new deck is beautiful and much more functional now that the breezeway and deck are on one level. The homeowners are quite pleased with the results and are asking, “Why did we wait so long to do this?”
If you would like to learn more about updating your deck and gaining an outdoor living space that’s functionally better in the process, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
These Steiner Ranch homeowners hired Archadeck of Austin to convert a covered patio into a screened porch with a patio extension. We extended the original patio outward from the home’s back door and also extended it across the back of the house, creating an “L” shape.
The new patio is made of poured concrete with a textured concrete overlay, and the textured surface is absolutely beautiful. To enhance it even more, we added a score pattern so that the surface actually looks like tile. Really! Then we added a flagstone patio two steps down for additional seating.
The lower patio is noteworthy because of the way we designed and built it for durability and longevity. Many contractors would simply build a wall around the defined patio area and fill it with decomposed granite for the patio base. Archadeck of Austin has seen too many of these patios gone bad. Using decomposed granite this way can cause cracking and sinking of the patio due to natural settling over time. Instead, we poured a solid concrete patio base and then installed the flagstone over it. This reduces the chances of the flagstone patio dropping, cracking, settling, etc.
Now, on to the screened porch. We built a 12×14-foot screened enclosure over the shorter part of the “L” shape on the upper patio extension. Remember, this is the part of the patio extension that looks like a tile floor. The porch has a stick-built gabled roof with a 2-inch screen system in clay to match the home’s existing windows. The ceiling of the porch is our favorite — the Synergy tongue-and-groove wood ceiling with rich, warm tones. We recommend this pre-finished wood ceiling for its beauty, and we use it whenever we can.
The new screened porch also included the installation of a full electrical package with ceiling fans and outlets for lighting or electronics. To make the space cozy when needed, we installed two heating units, one on either side of the porch.
For the grill-master/chef we installed an outdoor kitchen on the longer “L”-portion of the upper deck that was not screened in. The kitchen includes a good-sized counter space complete with electrical outlets, barbeque grill, cooktop, and storage areas. While these stainless steel components seem very practical, the presentation is also quite attractive.
The base of the kitchen area (also called the kitchen surround) is built with 4-, 6- and 8-inch chop block stone in the Santa Fe color. The countertop is made from smooth slabs of brown Lueders stone, a beautiful and durable stone. You can already picture the bartender standing here slicing limes while the family grill-master preps steaks and veggies for the grill.
We have this Steiner Ranch family ready to enjoy their cookouts, just in time for Labor Day! There’s a large dining table next to the kitchen area and room for additional diners to sit on the screened porch and out on the lower flagstone patio. Dining al fresco will become this family’s new favorite pastime.
Where will you cook out? If you would like to learn more about creating a porch, patio and/or outdoor kitchen combination project of your dreams, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.