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.
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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
Just when you thought Austin, TX, outdoor kitchens couldn’t get any better! Nothing is more perfect than having a grand vision for your outdoor living space and seeing it brought to life by the skilled hands of Archadeck of Austin. Specifically, we are talking about a full outdoor kitchen, adjacent covered porch and spacious patio in Hudson Bend. When you look at the “Before” and “After” pictures of this project, you may be stunned by the visual impact of this transformation, but you won’t be surprised if you already know us by our reputation as the premier Austin, TX, outdoor kitchen builder. Let the photos tell the story!
The homeowners wanted an outdoor kitchen complete with “the works“: oversized grill, warming drawer, refrigerator, ice bin, storage area, stone countertops, bar seating and more. They wanted to entertain and relax at the same time without running inside for anything. They wanted a covered porch protected from the sun when it was too hot, protection from rain showers, an open patio where they could soak up the sun’s gentle warmth on cooler, sunny days, and a heat source to take the chill off of winter evenings.
When selecting materials for this new outdoor living combination, the homeowners were guided by the home’s neutral stone façade. For the base of the outdoor kitchen, they chose a Ledgestone block system with a dry-stacked look in a mix of silver, white and nicotine colors. For the countertops, they went with a smooth, chocolate Leuders limestone, which will become even more beautiful with age.
With their materials selected, construction could begin — or, destruction. The old flagstone patio had to be demolished and removed. The new concrete slab we poured for their patio also serves as the base for the outdoor kitchen and covered porch area. For added beauty, we stained the concrete surface to match the hues of the various stone elements we would be using.
The covered porch design called for the richness of a sturdy cedar pergola to complement the stone structures. We installed a polygal cover atop the pergola to increase shade and to provide protection from rain.
Installation of the oversized grill presented a challenge, but Archadeck of Austin rose to meet it. While most outdoor kitchen grills are a standard 24″ deep, this grill sits 27″ deep into the stone countertop, so the kitchen had to be planned and measured meticulously. We even hand-chiseled the backsplash of the kitchen counter to ensure the cover (lid) of the grill would operate with ease. And so it does!
These Hudson Bend homeowners have a flair for décor, and it shows in their flawless integration of sconces and pendant lights as graceful accents against the stone and cedar backdrop. Archadeck of Austin installed their selected lighting. Finally, they wanted an immediate heat source, so they have placed infrared heaters in the kitchen and porch areas. This will increase the versatility of their beautiful outdoor kitchen/covered porch/open patio combination space for cooking, dining, relaxing and entertaining.
Outdoor kitchen. Check. Covered porch. Check. Patio. Check. Enjoy! If you would like to learn more about creating the 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.