Archadeck of Austin

Austin fire pits

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

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

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

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

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

Before and After in Round Rock TX

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

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

Round Rock Patio with Overlayment

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

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

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

Round Rock TX Outdoor Kitchen Builder

Round Rock TX Fire Pit Builder

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

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

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

If you have a builder-grade patio and want to learn more about the many benefits of expanding it into a more livable outdoor living space, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

 


This Spacious Cedar Park, TX, Patio-Pergola-Fire-Pit Combination Pairs the Natural Beauty of Flagstone and Cedar

austin-patio-builderWhat could be better than a big, beautiful flagstone patio just outside your back door? How about a double flagstone patio with a grand cedar pergola for shade at one end and a stone fire pit for warmth and ambiance at the other end? Archadeck of Austin recently completed such a combination outdoor living addition in Cedar Park, Texas, and the homeowner can’t wait to show it off.

The first two things you notice here are the spacious patio, with its unique curvy shape, and the beauty of the multi-blend Oklahoma flagstone. Equally as impressive is the rustic cedar pergola, and this pairing of natural flagstone and cedar is stunning. In character with its Texas setting, this pergola is stronger and “beefier” than some because it features big, 6″ x 6″ posts, exceeding the normal standards for pergola construction. Since shade is so valuable on sunny Texas days, we designed the pergola with 2″ x 2″ slats across the top spaced every 3″ apart to enhance the structure’s shade benefits. Strings of party lights hanging from the pergola’s rafters turn this section of the patio into the ideal spot for outdoor dining any time, day or night.

cedar-park-tx-custom-stone-fire-pits

On cooler evenings, the family will be drawn to the opposite end of the large patio where a matching stone fire pit will provide warmth as well as cozy ambiance. This is a gas-burning fire pit with a 36″ burner that heats rock and blue glass stones. The result is a highly effective and beautiful fire pit with stones that glow with firelight and put off a lot of heat. Don’t you love the custom-designed Texas star pattern of the blue glass stones in the fire pit?

austin-flagstone-patio-builder

Family and friends will naturally gather around the fire pit to share stories, sing campfire songs or just get lost in the hypnotic glow of the flames. This Texas-size patio is large enough that quite a few people can gather by the fire for warmth and camaraderie. The homeowner chose to add a seating wall on one side of the fire pit while leaving the other side open for patio furniture that can be rearranged depending on the need. The seating wall was built with natural limestone that complements the flagstone patio but doesn’t compete with it for attention.

cedar-park-tx-flagstone-patios

This patio floor is built to exceed the standards for patio builders in the Austin area. Most builders only use a layer of decomposed granite with grout mixed in as the base for their patios. Archadeck of Austin actually poured a solid, full-scale concrete patio to use as the patio’s base. This is because, over time, this patio will not sink, tile chip or joints crack with this method. This gives the patio a longer life with no chance of incurring structural issues due to weather conditions or time.

Archadeck of Austin started this gorgeous project with a “blank slate” because, before we built this addition, the rear of the house simply opened into the backyard. The finished patio makes great use of an area that was once void, so this project can serve as inspiration for anyone presently lacking an outdoor living space!

If you would like to learn more about creating such an inviting outdoor living space right outside your back door, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 


This East Austin Outdoor Living Environment Defines Upscale Urban Elegance

East Austin Deck BuilderHave you ever perused through your favorite home & garden magazine and come across that one outstanding outdoor living space that exemplifies everything you dream about? For these East Austin homeowners, that dream is now a reality thanks to Archadeck of Austin.

This property is located just one mile from the heart of downtown Austin. An area that is alive with renewal, energy and urban vibes. When we initially met with the homeowners they were only looking to design a sunken area to house their hot tub. After exploring this option, and the criteria and costs involved, the conversation broadened as the homeowners expressed their desire to unify the rear area of their home with the detached garage apartment that is just a stones throw from their back door. They were also keen on the idea of having a space that could function as an extension of the home. A place where they could open the doors and the outdoor living area would just naturally flow with no barriers. This is when the design ideas began to come to fruition…

We began perfecting their vision by transforming the area that was previously just a concrete patio. We expanded this area and installed an Ipe hardwood deck to join the backyard of the home with the detached garage/structure as one cohesive space. We then designed and built a versatile outdoor kitchen, gas-burning outdoor fire pit and one-of-a-kind custom vine wall. Each element in the design adds functionality and contemporary styling to the overall project. The vine wall in particular is ingenious as we used 2 x 2 metal tubing and cattle panels welded together, customized and powder coated as the final touch to deter rust.

East Austin Unique Outdoor Living Designs

The customers are over-the-moon about their new outdoor living environment and are looking forward to many years of enjoyment.

Contact Archadeck of Austin today to learn more about our innovative, unique outdoor living space designs. You can reach us at (515) 259-8282 or via email at  jim.odom@archadeck.net

 

 


A list of the top ten ways to create an outdoor oasis

Tigerwood deck at tree canopy

Tigerwood deck at tree canopy

When you are looking for ways to create the perfect backyard often times we let our dreams of our ideal space be fall to the wayside. Homeowners need to realize that what makes their version of the perfect outdoor living space right for them comes from within. No two people view the idea of outdoor living the same way, that being said we specialize in customizing your dreams to suit your desired function within that space, the area you have available to create your space and your budget.

Austin covered patio, deck and pergola

A covered patio, deck and pergola may fit the bill for your backyard.

We have compiled a list of the top 10 ways to create that outdoor oasis you have been dreaming of. This list will help provide ideas and insight into how you can make your outdoor oasis a reality.

Top 10 ways to create an outdoor oasis

Circular spa with natural privacy barrier

This Circular spa with natural privacy barrier has clean lines and delivers a contemporary feel to the space.

1) Pick you own personal style – create a backyard that flows with style. Create everything from formal by using columns and classic lines, to more modern by using curvilinear edges on your patio or deck edge, sticking to monochromatic color palettes and even introducing metal into the mix. If you can’t decide on just one style, then you can use a combination of well-chosen elements for an eclectic unique look.

2) Embrace textures – this maybe the most crucial design element that is often overlooked when building an outdoor living structure. By mixing wood, composite, stone and other hardscape materials together within your design, you create a feast for the senses.  Combining a hardwood  deck in combination with a flagstone patio will leave you with a space that begs to be lingered in. On a simpler note, even adding a pergola of rough-hewn cedar in conjunction with a hardscape feature will provide the same stunning contrast.

3) Be creative – outdoor living design is not black and white. There are no set rules, so go ahead and think outside the box. Employ the use of unexpected design opportunities to add visual interest. From adding a seating wall around your fire pit to placing deck lighting in an unusual spot to create ambiance, these details make the difference. A little creativity goes a long way.

Flagstone patio with fire pit, bench retaining wall and adjoining deck

This Flagstone patio with fire pit, bench retaining wall and adjoining deck shows how mixing textures can produce a lovely outcome.

4) Work with what you have – take a good look at your backyard and cultivate your outdoor living space with ingenuity. Mature trees, a spectacular view, or the slope of your yard can all be used to your advantage to get the most function and enjoyment out of your outdoor structure design.

5) Live outdoors and still have privacy– by designing your backyard with intimacy in mind; you can still have a highly functional outdoor space that offers privacy. Retaining walls and privacy walls are a great asset to your space and add a way to keep prying eyes away. This can also be achieved through landscaping methods, such as borders that can add color and lush foliage to your space too.

6) Choose your function – in order to get the most from your space, it is important to decide what you want the primary use of your space to be. Entertaining, cooking and dining, relaxing and even a need for a shaded area are viable reasons to choose one structure over another. If you intend to use your space for multiple functions then a design that includes multiple outdoor areas that offers separate designated functions may be your best choice.

Reading nook on Tigerwood multi-level deck at canopy level

This Reading nook on Tigerwood multi-level deck at canopy level provides a place for intimacy and to spend quiet moments.

7) Borrow upon the elements of nature – the 5 elements of nature are water, metal, earth, wood and fire. By using one or more of these elements in your outdoor space you will create an atmosphere that blends with your backyard. An outdoor fireplace or fire pit adds an intoxicating feel to any outdoor design. The flame, the sound and the warmth bring out some primitive instinct that makes us want to be near it. Water plays on our senses in much the same manner. By adding a water feature such as a rock waterfall into your outdoor space, you will hear the soothing sounds of moving water on a regular basis which relax and renew.

8) Decide the amount of maintenance your material choices will require– many times homeowners convey their wishes to use certain materials without realizing the amount of maintenance their structure will require. For example an Ipe  or Tigerwood deck requires annual maintenance, and sometimes more frequent in certain climates, to keep the wood looking new. In order to maintain your structure to get optimum results, it is important to decide the amount of time you are willing to put forth to maintain your investment. Many of the materials we have available require little or no maintenance and will remain looking new for many years to come.

Covered patio with custom outdoor limestone fireplace in Austin

Covered patio with custom outdoor limestone fireplace in Austin

9) Create an outdoor room – screen porches, covered patios and 3 season rooms can now be treated as an outdoor room with all the functionality and creature comforts that an interior living room can provide. Outdoor kitchens, fireplaces, ceiling fans, outdoor televisions, recessed lighting and plenty of electrical outlets are some of the many options available in outdoor structure design. The hardest part is deciding what you want to include in your space.

10) The details make the difference– an outdoor structure without decorative accents or outdoor furnishings that individualize it  is just an empty shell without character or personalization. By choosing furnishings that offer comfort and style to your space you will want to use it more often, and so will others. A comfy outdoor sofa with overstuffed cushions will create a place that you will never want to leave. The small touches that put the icing on the cake are the decorative touches like planters placed on your new deck stuffed with beautiful foliage and blooms, or maybe a reclaimed architectural piece placed as a focal point; these things are the glue that binds the perfect outdoor oasis together.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Whether you are ready for a new deck, yearning for a quiet spot to keep the sun off of you so you can read in the garden, or are ready to transform your entire backyard with an outdoor living combination structure, we can make it happen. Outdoor living is all about fun, friends and family; to us outdoor living is personal. Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn what the stuff of dreams are made of.
Call for a free consultation: (512) 259 – 8282
Email:Austin@archadeck.net

See more inspiring images of other outdoor living areas by visiting our shade gallery, outdoor living gallery and patio and hardscapes gallery located on our website.


An outdoor fireplace or fire pit by Archadeck of Austin is the crown jewel of outdoor structures

When you close your eyes at night to dream does your mind take you to a place where you can hear the crackle and feel the warmth of the fire amid comforting images of roasting marshmallows and relaxing with family and friends? Then chances are you are dreaming of your own outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Homeowners are taking their backyards to a new level by adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Owning one of these glorious feast for the eyes and the senses has become the crown jewel of outdoor structures. Being able to entertain, or just “hang out” with the element of fire close at hand takes being outdoors to a place where all your senses come into play, and the result is as unforgettable as some of the outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs that come to us in our dreams.

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Deciding to add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to your backyard, or in addition to your existing outdoor structure can be a big step for many homeowners. Archadeck of Austin has been in the business of creating award-winning outdoor fireplaces and fire pits for our customers here in Austin, TX for many years now, and we know a thing or two about the correct way to ignite quality and style into the construction of your outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Here are some of the important considerations to think about when deciding to add one of these stunning structures to your life.

This deck and patio combination features an open fire pit to set the stage for the perfect evening

This deck and patio combination by Archadeck of Austin features an open fire pit to set the stage for the perfect evening

Light my Fire?

There is more than one method to obtaining fire in your outdoor fireplace or fire pit. There is of course, the traditional wood-burning structure that we are all familiar with. When considering a wood burning structure the dimensions of the fireplace itself are important. The smallest capable wood burning fireplace can be built no smaller than 5×8 and has to be at least 2-3 feet deep in order to function properly.

Outdoor fire structures can also be lit by gas through a gas started system or full burning gas log kits. In either case the “draw” needs to be correct on a fireplace or fire pit, and this can only be achieved by having a professional outdoor fireplace contractor build the structure for you. Improper drawing on a structure such as this can be dangerous and cause a safety hazard, so the chimney itself has to be designed and constructed properly to achieve an appropriate draw.

This patio and custom fireplace by Archadeck of Austin make the perfect pairing of style and beauty.

This patio and custom fireplace by Archadeck of Austin make the perfect pairing of style and beauty.

Designs a’plenty

When considering the design mediums that outdoor fireplaces and fire pits can be built with, typically the wood burning structures are either masonry or stone. Archadeck of Austin uses a great deal of flagstone for our outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs, it looks the part and is a high quality stone that functions well with the fireplace itself. The main aspect when looking at material choices is that they are acceptable for use on a fire structure and that they hold up well under the conditions. Flagstone is strong, beautiful,  and can take the heat well and will look gorgeous for many years to come.

Another design consideration is whether to embellish or add anything to the structure. Some homeowners add mantles which can serve as a focal point for your structure. We place the mantle 12″-18″ above so it is not flush with the grade therefore the heat can radiate at a similar level. Mantles provide more aesthetic appeal in form than in function and aren’t really used much. However,  fireboxes are a useful addition to your structure. You don’t want the firebox area to be too large, but large enough to hold wood or other essentials. If you are thinking of integrating the firebox into the structure itself, it will have to comply to building codes and be built within certain dimensions.

This stunning stone fire pit by Archadeck of Austin doubles as a planter and water feature as well.

This stunning stone fire pit by Archadeck of Austin doubles as a planter and water feature as well.

Fireplaces and fire pits match to a T

As any seasoned outdoor fireplace designer can tell you, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are the perfect companion to other outdoor structures. They look great built with and alongside covered or uncovered patios, covered porches, pergolas, and even screened porches. It is not just about beauty though, functionality plays a key role in the attraction. Being able to enjoy an outdoor fireplace or fire pit in conjunction with your outdoor structure adds ambiance and fun beyond comparison. There are certain codes and rules associated with building a fireplace in and around another structure that require the chimney and flue stack be a certain elevation higher and a certain distance from surrounding walls, especially where a wood structure is concerned for the risk of heat build-up. In these cases wood will have to be a certain distance away from the structures internal flue. Each state and county has certain criteria to follow for safety reasons and your outdoor fireplace contractor will see that these guideline are met accordingly.

Archadeck of Austin can make your dreams of fireplaces and fire pits come true.  We construct dozens of these structures a year. They are not only stunning, but they are a structure the whole family can enjoy. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits can add value to your home and your life. Here is a video that showcases some of our fireplace and fire pit creations…

Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more about our custom outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs and set your course ablaze with a structure to enjoy for years to come.

P (512) 259-8282
F (512) 259-8286 austin@archadeck.net


An Austin Two-Level Concrete Patio Becomes a Dance Floor Complete with Outdoor Grill and Fire Pit

Austin_-_only_just_begun

Archadeck of Austin begins the construction on this one of a kind patio.

Do you remember the dance scene in the Sound of Music where Georg and Maria dance on the outdoor patio to the folk tune? There are so many enchanting elements of that scene and one of them is certainly the fact that they are outside on a private patio.

These Austin owners commissioned a large double concrete patio for just that purpose – dancing. They love to entertain and both they and their friends love to dance. What better than an outdoor entertaining area made for both dancing and socializing?

Pouring_concrete_over_a_long_line

This image shows the concrete beginning to be poured over a long line.

From a logistical perspective, there were some challenges. The homeowners have a utility easement that restricts them from building a normal structure and are limited to a low profile patio. With this in mind we were able to create a huge patio and then a second patio three feet higher which is closer to the home itself. This gives the patio a tiered effect, which enables the homeowners to create a grand entrance when leaving the back of the house by descending onto the semi-circle patio and then down to the lower patio to reach the dance floor and fire pit area.

Austin_before

This is the home before construction began on the multi-level, tiered patio.

The structure will also include a nine foot outdoor kitchen on one end, a custom fire pit and  custom built-in bench seating to take a breather after dancing the night away. The fire pit can also inspire romantic evenings with a slow dance or two by the light of the fire.  Archadeck of Austin was able to weave the customers personality and tastes into this design to give them an outdoor structure, that against all the odds and structural confines, will give them exactly what they wanted-a place to dance, and much, much more. The structure should be completed in about a month, and we can’t wait to share photos of the finished structure with you. These homeowners look forward to taking center stage for their first dance on this one-of-a-kind patio.

Austin_double_patio_with_fire_pit_and_retaining_wall_design_plan

This design rendering by Archadeck of Austin shows the upcoming patio in all it's glory, with dance floor, retaining wall, kitchen area and fire pit.

If you are interested in building an outdoor structure that speaks to your unique needs and wants, contact Archadeck of Austin. We specialize in quality, classic structures that include features within the design that make them as individual as you are, to ensure years of enjoyment for you and your family. Call us at  (512) 259-8282 or email us at austin@archadeck.net

You can also see more beautiful and unique patios by visiting our photo galleries on our web site.


In Austin, outdoor fireplaces are hot, hot, hot!

In Austin, outdoor fireplaces are hot. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor fireplace, a fire pit, or adding these to your covered patio or deck, Archadeck of Austin can design the most beautiful and custom design to fit your needs and your lifestyle.

To see a lot more Austin outdoor fireplace, fire pit and outdoor kitchen pictures, click here

Give us a call or send us an email to get a free quote for your next project. (512) 259 – 8282 Austin@archadeck.net

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

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