Ah, the sun, glorious sun! When we feel chilly, sunlight warms the skin and thaws the chilly spots. But when we’re already warm … that big Texas sunshine can be downright uncomfortable. Escape is all we can think of. A sun umbrella? Not big enough. A porch roof? Aha! That’s the ticket. A new porch cover built by Archadeck of Austin? The best!
Archadeck of Austin was able to help these North Austin homeowners reclaim their backyard patio. The family enjoyed using their backyard pool, but the adjoining patio, uncovered, seemed to be a magnet for blistering sunshine that made sitting outside unbearable. They wanted to turn their unusable patio into an area where they could relax outdoors without being driven inside by the hot sun. A new porch roof would provide the comfort they craved.
The homeowners first met with Archadeck of Austin a year ago. In terms of ideas, they were ready to proceed with a covered patio/porch project, but their budget was not. They estimated they would be ready in early 2017. Fortunately, they were able to start a little sooner; they called us back in December 2016, ready to roll.
Our first task was to repair a large crack in the existing concrete patio. We cut out that portion of the concrete and filled it back in, and at the same time we added two more feet to the patio’s depth. The patio is now 24′ x 14′ — more space for outdoor living! While we were working with the concrete, we added a conduit so the homeowner could hook up his gas line with a flex line to grill out beyond the patio. That’s a convenience he will appreciate for years to come. Of course, the concrete cut-out/replacement and the additional square footage blend in seamlessly with the original patio surface.
After repairing and enlarging the patio, we were ready to build the all-important porch roof. The addition of a roof is what changes this area from a simple patio into a porch — and into a new-and-improved outdoor living space. We were able to match the style and color of the home’s existing shingles so it all blends nicely.
Under the roof is a vaulted ceiling made of beautiful Synergy Wood, hand-stained and prefinished wood with warm, rich tones. At the back of the porch, a ridge wall and flat ceiling/soffit, also built with Synergy Wood, provide a handsome transition from the painted porch wall to the vaulted wood ceiling. We added a full electrical package with a ceiling fan and built-in recessed lighting, and the homeowner mounted a flat-screen TV along the back wall. In the soffit area, we made sure to place the recessed lighting behind the TV so the images on the screen are not diluted when lights are on and the television is in use.
While the back of the porch roof is tied into the home, the front rests on Hardie-wrapped beams and columns, which we painted to match the home. We added stone coping at the bottom of the columns to match what had been used around the hot tub and pool.
At the very end of the project, Sundek (the company that originally surfaced the home’s concrete pool surround) applied a cool-coat finish to the concrete. This finish provides a comfortable walking surface for bare feet by reducing heat build-up. It’s cooler than regular concrete, brick or tile, and it’s slip resistant, too!
The homeowners added comfy porch furniture and, voila! They have a comfortable, inviting covered porch enhanced by a ceiling fan, lights and TV. Gone is the blistering heat of the uncovered patio, a place no one wanted to be! They love, love, love their new outdoor living space and look forward to spending many relaxing hours there.
If you would like to learn more about turning your patio into a porch fitted out for relaxing and entertaining, or about combining a porch and patio with other outdoor living structures, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
Replacing a deck at your northwest Austin home can be somewhat like getting a new car. Your old one seemed fine; you have a history together and you’ve overlooked its quirks. However, as soon as you step into the new one – wow! The difference is astonishing, and now you can see what you’ve been missing.
That comparison comes to mind when you see the before and after pictures of this large outdoor living project that Archadeck of Austin recently completed in the Cat Mountain North area. The original deck was split into two levels overlooking the back yard and swimming pool. The homeowners had decorated each level attractively with potted plants, and overall the space had a comfortable appeal. The deck was “fine” over the years, but there were three problems with it that we were able to address when we designed the replacement deck.
First, neither of the two deck levels was quite large enough. The two separate spaces were a little cramped and not conducive to entertaining or sitting and visiting with family. The homeowners weren’t able to move furniture around easily or add more chairs for a larger group.
Second, the wooden railing of the original deck actually obscured the view of anyone seated on the deck — and also obscured the view of those looking out through the house’s many windows. The pickets, or balusters, were thick at 2×2″, and there was a 6″ horizontal board along the top of the railing, just at eye level for a seated person.
Third, the homeowners were ready to switch from natural wood decking boards (theirs were cedar) to a synthetic composite material. After years of performing deck maintenance, they welcomed the idea of a low-maintenance deck. The composite materials on the market today are as attractive as wood but require less upkeep; at the time when the existing deck was built, fewer options were available.
Premier deck builder Archadeck of Austin drafted a large, sweeping deck design that combined the two levels into one to achieve a much larger usable deck space – almost 1,400 sq. feet. The angled shape of one side of the deck was designed to clear the root zone of a nearby live oak to ensure the deck will not impact health of the tree’s root system.
Austin has “Critical Root Zone” mandates in place to protect trees of a certain size, called heritage trees. We were required to measure any trees near the deck construction. A tree with a circumference of 60” or more is considered a heritage tree, and as it turned out, the live oak next to this deck is large enough to be considered a heritage tree.
The tree’s Critical Root Zone (CRZ) is calculated by a formula, and the CRZ is indicated on the engineer’s drawing by three concentric circles around the tree. The innermost circle indicates the first quarter of the CRZ. Within that inner circle, the new deck construction cannot impact the soil in any way. Between the first and second circles, called the second quarter zone, the new deck construction can impact the soil up to 4″ deep, but no deeper. Finally, between the second circle and the outermost circle, another formula determines the depth of soil impact allowed. As you can tell from the drawing, every inch of the Critical Root Zone was mapped out in the design of the new deck.
Because the entire deck structure needed to be replaced, including the footings and support beams, we performed a huge amount of demolition before we could install the new materials.
The homeowners selected AZEK, a cellular PVC decking product, for their new decking material. To complement the Autumn Chestnut color deck boards, they selected a Solutions aluminum railing system in bronze. What a difference! The new railings and pickets are darker and thinner, allowing a clean view from the deck and from within the house. The Solutions aluminum railing is an excellent choice for another reason: it will never rust and has a lifetime warranty (as opposed to a 15-year warranty for steel).
This extensive outdoor living project included these elements as well:
- Retaining wall: We removed the original brick retaining wall and added a new wall in white limestone to match the house stone.
- Under-deck storage: Instead of building a typical wood skirting around the deck, we framed out the deck’s underside, built a solid wall from AZEK and installed a door. Now the homeowners have lots of storage adjacent to the pool, and it’s invisible to onlookers – no clutter!
- Poolside hardscape: A concrete overlay was applied by another company to cover the existing concrete surround in order to create a durable and attractive limestone effect.
- Poolside fencing: We replaced the existing wooden privacy fence with a board-on-board design, in cedar, and added custom gates. The board-on-board design keeps pickets from bowing, creates a sturdier fence in case of wind and is more attractive.
- Deck lighting: Twelve LED lighting fixtures were incorporated into the aluminum railing posts along the deck and beside the stairs for ambiance and safety. Each small, teardrop fixture projects light in two directions – up the post and down onto the deck surface – and each LED uses only 1W of power!
Is it time for a deck replacement at your house? If you are ready to explore ideas for redesigning your outdoor living space, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
Challenge us! Archadeck of Austin designs a permeable patio to complete the perfect combination outdoor space
Present us with a design challenge, and we will show you a big ol’ knock-your-socks-off solution. Archadeck of Austin was thrilled to work with this Northwest Austin homeowner to design and build a spectacular outdoor living space, a combination screened room, patio and deck with an outdoor kitchen. One of the things that is so special about this project is its unique patio with a hot tub and a dramatic fire wall.
What could be so unique about a patio? Well, that brings us to the challenge presented by this homeowner. We were asked to design a patio that incorporates the proper drainage for water runoff so moisture will be retained and released properly into the natural aquifers in and around the Austin area. A permeable patio, that is. Jim Schallon, Archadeck’s lead designer on this project, managed to meet the technical requirements while creating a beautiful and relaxing oasis for the homeowner, family and friends.
The home had an existing wood deck in good shape and just the right size for an outdoor kitchen. By power-washing the deck and restaining it, we were able to restore the wood’s beauty and establish this area as the centerpiece of the project. On one side of the deck, we added a spacious screened room with a new roof cover that we tied into the existing slope system of the house. On the other side of the deck, we added the patio with hot tub and fire wall.
We placed the outdoor kitchen on the deck by building a wall, counter height, with Concrete Masonry Units (CMU, also called concrete blocks) and finishing it with a facing of beautiful ledgestone. All of the outdoor kitchens designed and built by Archadeck of Austin are built with masonry-cinder block construction. Other builders may use wood for the kitchen structure, since it will be covered with a stone facing and no one will see it. However, our sturdy outdoor kitchen construction won’t deteriorate or degrade over time; it’s permanent.
The 1” hand-installed ledgestone facing helps provide a solid support structure for the kitchen counter and appliances. The homeowner chose brown Lueders stone for the countertops, and we used matching brown Lueders cap to top off all of the walls. A dense limestone known for its durability and low maintenance requirements, Lueders stone is perfect for kitchen countertops.
This kitchen’s built-in grill alone will command your attention! It’s a Memphis wood-pellet BBQ system with Wi-Fi capabilities. The homeowner can monitor and adjust the temperature of the grill from anywhere; the grill can even send an alert to his smartphone if needed. In addition to the Memphis Wood Fire Grill, the new outdoor kitchen includes a refrigerator, drawers, storage and trash receptacle.
With plenty of space on the deck for a dining table and chairs, meals will go from grill to table in an instant. If (or when) insects are a problem, the new adjacent screened room offers a pest-free dining area as well.
This screened room boasts a rich Synergy Wood ceiling with ceiling fansto keep the air moving. A large flat-screen TV is mounted on a stacked stone wall built just for that purpose; we used the same ledgestone here that we used for walls in the kitchen and patio areas. Of course, we built in electricity to power the TV, fans, lamps and the homeowner’s outdoor heater to take the chill off in winter. The floor of the screened room is a textured stamped concrete that will stand up to many years of constant use.
And now for the patio, which had to be permeable. For the base of the patio, we layered gravel and soil. The patio surface is a repeating pattern of large pavers and smooth stones. Together these components allow water to flow naturally through the patio surface while providing a smooth texture on which to walk. Specifically, the patio pavers are 2×2 sawn cream Lueders stone, beautiful and durable.
The spaces between the pavers are filled with smooth Mexican Beach pebbles. Not only is the smoothness easy on bare feet but also the river rock feels cool to the touch as it retains the natural temperature of the ground at all times.
Prominent on the patio is the hot tub, and next to that we built a gas-burning fire wall, which might just be the fire feature of your outdoor living dreams. It is a ledgestone wall lined with fire brick and filled with lava rock. Hidden there are 60 and 72-inch stainless steel linear T-burners.
When lit, flames seem to dance along the top of the wall. The height of the fire wall is about even with the surface of the hot tub, so, as you can imagine, occupants of the hot tub will become a captive audience for this magical feature at night.
If you would like to challenge us to create the patio, porch and outdoor kitchen combination project of your dreams, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
You love your eclectic, urban-chic neighborhood, and you love your charming, vintage home, but maybe your home’s vintage deck has seen better days. Is it time for an upgrade to a better deck? Archadeck of Austin, premier deck builder across many Austin neighborhoods, has the design sensitivity to create a custom deck that will not look out of place for your area.
Take a look at this unique home in the city of Austin near Mopac Expressway and 38th Street. Homes here have character, and the area is undergoing extensive revitalization. The homeowner engaged Archadeck of Austin to replace an existing deck that was aging, nondescript and lacked any shade cover.
This job was actually a redecking and expansion project rather than an entirely new deck. Once we determined that the existing deck’s foundation was strong and had not been compromised over time, we were able to use it again, with reinforcement. We needed to replace the decking boards as well as the wooden skirting that surrounds the deck and shields the underdeck area from view. Oddly, there was a gap between edge of the existing deck and the front porch stoop, so we were able to expand the deck by about two feet. Finally, the client wanted to add a pergola over the deck for much-needed shade.
Since natural wood was the client’s choice for decking material, Archadeck of Austin recommended clear cedar for the deck surface and the skirting. Clear cedar is a select grade of cedar lumber milled from the heart of the tree, and it is higher quality than the wood many other deck builders work with. For even greater quality, we used 5-and-a-quarter-inch boards as opposed to the competition’s nominal 2×6″ knotty pine. The clear cedar boards display a light wood grain with minimal (if any) imperfections such as knot holes.
Archadeck of Austin offers a choice of standard or premium pergolas, and this client selected the premium pergola, our most popular option. For our premium pergolas, we use 4×12″ beams, 6×6″ posts and 2×10″ boards for the rafters with 16” on center spacing. In contrast, our competition uses 2×8″ beams and posts and 2×8″ rafters that are 24” on center, resulting in a pergola that is less sturdy and provides less shade. The Archadeck of Austin premium pergola looks beefier, is stronger and will last longer than those built by our competition. Plus, our 16” on center spacing provides the optimum amount of shade on a hot Texas day.
For the finishing touch on this combination redecking and pergola project, we installed a metal screen on one side of the pergola to establish a privacy barrier. Vines and flowers will climb the screen to naturally obscure the view of the deck from the nearby downtown traffic. This innovative privacy screen was built using Cattle Guard panels.
If you are looking for a creative way to upgrade your existing deck while keeping it in character with the neighborhood, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
You want the very best builder for your Austin-area outdoor living project. You also want a builder who will work with you, no matter how long it takes, to design and build the deck, porch or patio that is perfect for your home. Want more? How about a national award-winning deck designer and builder right here in Austin, TX?
Archadeck of Austin answers “Yes!” to all of the above. We are very proud to have received Archadeck Outdoor Living’s national Design Excellence Award in the deck category. We are also very proud of the award-winning project we designed and built – a unique deck, pergola and outdoor kitchen combination in the Forest Creek neighborhood of Round Rock, TX. Take a look at these photos and a 3-D rendering, and let us tell you why we’re so pleased with this special outdoor living space. The homeowners are pleased, too!
The winning project, completed in January, is an exquisite AZEK PVC deck with stone skirting, outdoor kitchen and oversized, freestanding pergola. The 12-foot kitchen counter accommodates a built-in propane grill, Big Green Egg smoker, in-counter cooler and built-in trash container. The deck also features flush-mounted low-voltage lighting.
The clients first contacted us for this project three years ago. They had a well-lived deck, and we agreed it was past time to replace it. Our initial design featured a concrete patio, roof extension and pergola. The homeowners took their time making a decision while they considered several builders and designs. Later we circled back to propose an alternate design, a deck with an outdoor kitchen and a large, non-conventional pergola that covered the entire deck. Bingo! Archadeck of Austin had the right design at the right time.
Despite this being a relatively low-risk deck, we faced several design challenges. First, the pergola took considerable thought because we wanted to use as few posts as possible. Fewer posts in the traffic areas allow maximum usable space for furniture without crowding. Then, cedar spans would not work with conventional dimensions, so we upsized all the structural elements and used a polycarbonate cover over the pergola to get the shade required.
The home had an original concrete patio off the back door for which we ripped framing boards for the structure. There was just enough space to get adequate framing down between the deck board and the patio.
Next, we had to completely close off the under-deck space because the clients had previous issues with animals nesting under the old deck. By surrounding the new deck with a stone skirt over concrete footings – nothing will get under this deck. However, the stone skirt itself presented two complications. The stone had to be ground flat to allow for the deck boards to die seamlessly into the stone and not look jagged. And we had to complete all the electrical wiring before we could install the decking.
Finally, the kitchen and the stone column bases also had to be constructed prior to the decking. All have concrete footings, so staging of construction was interesting.
The results are beautiful. The homeowners chose Azek Harvest cellular PVC decking in the new Autumn Chestnut color, and we laid the boards diagonally with a parting board for visual interest. The stone used for the deck skirting and the pergola’s column bases is white limestone, and the caps on the column bases are brown Lueders limestone. The same brown Lueders stone tops the 12-foot kitchen counters, tying it all together visually as one great outdoor room. Finishing off the space are three Aurora Phoenix flush-mount low-voltage sconce lights, the Pyxis Recessed Louvered Step Light and the Mercer transformer/timer. Archadeck of Austin installed electrical connections for two fans, three lights and six outlets for the homeowners’ convenience.
To be recognized for this project by Archadeck Outdoor Living at the national level as an award-winning deck builder means a great deal to the Archadeck of Austin team. The project was very well thought through, and we had a lot of fun building it. The structure itself was not complicated, but we packed in a lot of design considerations and features to make it a wonderful place for entertaining family and guests. We were able to integrate the new structure seamlessly with the existing home, which is what the homeowners were looking for all along.
If you are looking for a creative design for your new outdoor living space, and a hard-working team to bring it to life, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
When Archadeck of Austin began work on this project it was a diamond in the rough…
The homeowners had an existing porch that was nearly void of space to extend outdoor living activities. Their goal was to not only extend the existing space to enhance versatility but to also create an area that was more conducive to use alongside their newly installed backyard pool.
The project posed some difficult roofline obstacles due to the pitch of the roof of the existing home. Archadeck of Austin was able to come up with a final design that flows perfectly as if the new porch was original to the home.
The space is finished with HardiePlank siding matching the home on the exterior, along with a seamless gutter system. For aesthetics, the post system utilizes larger than normal posts which we wrapped in Cedar. We also created a wall that features a Touchstone drop down TV lift for easy access. The interior of the covered porch glows with beautiful details such as the Synergywood ceiling in Pine in Auburn. Take a look at the beautiful transformation in our project focus video from our YouTube channel:
These homeowners are beyond satisfied with their final project. Now they can enjoy their new backyard pool along with the covered porch simultaneously. If you are ready to make the most out of the time you spend outdoors, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
When is the last time you were told “satisfaction is not guaranteed“? Probably never! However, if you are looking at Austin patio ideas and are thinking about getting your existing patio stained, we ask you to give some more thought to that before you proceed. Archadeck of Austin can offer a better solution.
Perhaps you have wanted to give your old patio new life and considered staining to be like a face lift for concrete. You may have seen a neighbor’s patio that was stained, and maybe they were thrilled with it. We want to caution you about expecting the same results at your home. There is just no way of knowing how staining will turn out. Here is the truth: Staining concrete is so unpredictable that we ask our clients to sign a disclaimer before we will stain their concrete surfaces.
The best thing about staining is the price. It is the most affordable option if you simply want a new look for your patio. But is it worth the risk? We have stained patios with mixed results — and it’s not just us. We don’t want to get too technical here, but the most important factor is the condition of the concrete. How porous is the surface? And is that porosity uniform across the entire surface? Does the patio show any (unintentional) stains, maybe from fruit punch spilled during a long-ago birthday party?
Keep in mind that while stain adds color to concrete, it does not cover up markings already there. Stain does not cover a surface the way paint does; it permeates the concrete. If a concrete sealer was applied to your patio in years past, that sealer will affect the results of staining today. How well was the concrete cured, originally, and was it cured uniformly? Was a curing membrane applied to the concrete? There may be a lot you don’t know about that patio you see every day. Inconsistent sealing or curing, no matter how long ago, will lead to inconsistent results when the patio is stained.
Archadeck of Austin recommends resurfacing, also called concrete overlay, instead of staining a patio to give it new life. We can show you exactly how it will turn out. If its surface is even and has no large cracks, your patio is a good candidate for resurfacing. We will apply a concrete overlay, a cement-like material that we spray or spread over your patio to give it a new surface.
Even better, you can select a decorative finish for your patio such as the look and texture of stone. We can achieve the look of stone by stenciling or stamping the overlay after it’s applied. We can show you a wide range of textures and colors for your “new” patio. You can even request a slip-resistant surface if that feature is important to you! What’s more, we recommend installing the concrete overlay near a pool, if you have one, because the new surface is less likely to be damaged by pool chemicals or exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
In a hurry? Many concrete overlay products dry quickly. Don’t wait to call us! If you would like to learn more about updating your patio without having to remove it and start over, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.