Archadeck of Austin

Austin decks

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

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

Sun City deck builder in Georgetown TX

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

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

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

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

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

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

Georgetown AZEK deck builder

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

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

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

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

Georgetown custom pergola builder

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

Georgetown custom pergola builder

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

The Details: Materials Used for This Deck and Pergola Project

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

Georgetown AZEK deck builder

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

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

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 


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

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

Before

Before — aging deck in need of a refresh!

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

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

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

After Archadeck of Austin redecked and refreshed this space.

After Archadeck of Austin redecked and refreshed this space.

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

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

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

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

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

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

before and after Gazebo updates

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

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

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

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

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

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

 

 


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.

Circle C Ranch Deck Builders

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.”

Circle C Ranch Deck Builders

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.

Before

Circle C Ranch Deck Builders

After

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.

Circle C Ranch Deck Builders

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.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 


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

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

Redecking is the Austin TX Deck Resurfacing Option

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

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

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

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

Steiner Ranch Deck BuildersAdditional Benefits of Redecking

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

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

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

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

The Perfect Solution: A Solar Blocking Screen System

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

Steiner Ranch Shade Decks

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

Could redecking be the cost-effective solution for you? For information about redecking as well as solar-blocking retractable screen systems, contact Archadeck of Austin at (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

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

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

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

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

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

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

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

Are you thinking of replacing your aging deck or other outdoor living structures? If you want the job done professionally, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

 

 


Spiral staircase is a winner for this just-right Steiner Ranch combo deck-patio-pergola affair

Steiner Ranch Second Story Deck and Pergola Combo with Spiral StaircaseCan 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.

Steiner Ranch 2nd story deck with elegant spiral staircase 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.

Archadeck of Austin Custom Built AZEK Bench in Steiner Ranch

 

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.

Steiner Ranch Deck and Pergola

 

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.

Steiner Ranch Composite Deck Builders

 

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 jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

 

 


Hudson Bend homeowners find deck satisfaction — and more! — with a new deck design

Hudson Bend AZEK Deck BuilderSometimes, 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.

Here is a look at the deck before Archadeck of Austin began the project:

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.

Hudson Bend TX AZEK deck overlooking Lake Travis

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!

Austin AZEK Deck Builders

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.

Archadeck of Austin redecking project in Hudson Bend TX

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?”

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

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 jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.