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.
Archadeck of Austin rescues Hayes County, TX, homeowners from unfortunate outdoor living space design
In these pictures you see an outdoor living project gone awry and the results after we accepted the task of making it right. Archadeck of Austin designs and builds porches, patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, pergolas and more — and we can design any combination of those structures. Sometimes we start from scratch. Sometimes we take what another builder did before us, like a patio, and make it bigger and better (much better). Or we take something old like a worn out deck, tear it down, and build a new deck-patio-outdoor-kitchen combination in its place.
And then there are times like this. To set the scene, we are in Hayes County, TX, southwest of Austin, outside the Travis County limits. Our clients purchased a new home with an outdoor living space that was nothing like they wanted. It was a brand new home, and obviously it suited them in many ways or they wouldn’t have purchased it. But the outdoor living space at this home was getting a negative approval rating from the homeowners starting on Day 1.
The home’s original outdoor living space consisted of a covered concrete porch/patio with a small cedar deck attached. It was all very plain and unappealing. The homeowners knew someone could do a better job of designing and building a more functional and enjoyable space for them. Enter Archadeck of Austin to the rescue.
Then, they wanted the small cedar deck extended to cover a larger expanse across the back of the house, and they needed a stairway directly from the deck down to the children’s play area in the yard.
It sounds simple enough, but it was actually a complex project. We took out the Hardie Board ceiling over the porch and replaced it with a beautiful tongue-and-groove ceiling by Synergy Wood. We removed part of the roof on one side and built a new roof extension that came out deeper toward the yard. Of course, you can’t tell a difference where we extended the roof; it all blends in and looks original, as it should.
We also had to demo some brick off the wall on the outside of the house in order to attach some of the new work directly to the original concrete substructure. Finally, we built soffits to match the original construction so that everything tied together. Once we had finished, framed and painted, we were able to install a wall of screen. Now the original porch/patio is a screened porch with a TV and seating area, and on the other side of that screen the family has a bigger deck with sheets of cedar lattice along the underside.
It feels like all is now right with the world, at least in this corner of Hayes County, TX. Our work is done here, and we have the Before and After pictures to prove it.
If you’re interested in reconfiguring your outdoor living space without having to tear it out and start over, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
Let’s start with the hard question. Do you feel like your budget might stand in the way of you having a new and/or improved outdoor living space? Almost everyone is budget-conscious these days, and we understand that may mean different things to different people. But if you feel your budget is keeping you from having the outdoor living project you really want, Archadeck of Austin will work with you “every which way” to try to make it a reality.
Before we look at today’s combination-outdoor-living-project-on-a-budget, let’s talk about the process we go through to arrive at a quote for a job. First, after we listen to what elements a client wants included in their project, and we offer our suggestions, we have to be able to tell them how much it will cost. If the number is too high, we’ll look at choices the client can make — maybe different materials, maybe scaling it back a little bit — to bring the price down. We don’t expect the client to sign a contract until we quote them a price they are comfortable with.
The price we quote is the actual price the client will pay. Does that surprise you? It should not. But we’ve heard about other contractors (not Archadeck) who quickly low-ball a quote just to get the contract signed. They may not take the time to do the necessary research about materials costs, etc., to give a semi-accurate quote. The client doesn’t realize some costs have been left out of the conversation. Oh, yes, they find out eventually, when the job is half-completed. What choice do they have at that point? They approve the additional costs and end up paying more than they would have if they’d gone with a higher (accurate) quote from a professional builder like Archadeck of Austin.
Today’s featured project is in Austin, TX, and it’s a sweet combination outdoor living project that includes a patio, pergola, outdoor fireplace and privacy screen. The homeowners were upfront about their budget. Their Archadeck of Austin designer sat down with them to go over all of the specs, materials and costs for the project. Together, they worked out a cost-effective plan that addressed the homeowners’ needs and wants — within budget.
The clients were looking to add a shade structure to the back of the home and wanted to include an outdoor fireplace. Their home had an existing covered porch at the back door. The property was not right for a deck because there’s no change in elevation behind the house. Decking “at grade” is not a good idea. So they wanted a patio to extend outward from the existing porch and serve as the base for their new shade structure (pergola) and outdoor fireplace.
Starting with the custom patio, we always dig trenches about 12″ deep and lay a beam system within the perimeter of the patio before we pour concrete. These steel beams reinforce and stabilize the patio to prevent the concrete from settling over time (or in response to ground movement). This way we know we’re providing a strong and stable pad for the concrete patio. Keep in mind, concrete will always crack, no matter what. The added perimeter and internal beams provide more stability to help reduce the eventual outcome of any concrete deck or patio.
For this patio, we added a textured and stained concrete overlay to the surface for visual appeal.
For utilities, we ran conduit and a gas line from the main meter to the rear of fireplace for service, and we ran wiring for electrical access at the fireplace and at several other points around the patio as well.
We built the gas-burning custom outdoor fireplace with a combination of Nicotine and white flagstone. The Nicotine color is white with deposits of yellow and gold running through it, and the interplay of these colors mimics the variations in the patio’s textured-concrete surface in an interesting way.
Extending from the fireplace, on both sides, is a low stone wall that is extremely practical in two ways. First, it creates a visual boundary for the patio, and second, it provides seating. The bench surface on the wall is made of smooth Lueders stone, one of our favorites.
The freestanding pergola is stained cedar, and over the top of the pergola we added a Polygal cover to deliver maximum shade benefits. This durable covering is an affordable way to add protection from rain as well as from the sun’s rays. It’s waterproof and it blocks UV rays, making the patio enjoyable regardless of the weather.
Beside the pergola, we installed a privacy screen, also made of stained cedar, because the homeowners plan to add a hot tub to their outdoor living space in the future.
Finally, we installed a flat-screen TV above the mantel for the homeowners. Their outdoor living space comes complete with a remote control for the ceiling fan and to dim/control the lights: the comforts of the indoors brought outdoors.
If you would like to learn more about how we can help you create an outdoor living project on a budget, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com 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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
Our recent covered patio and pergola addition in Leander, TX, proves that a space doesn’t have to be large to have a BIG impact
I think, often times, when a client looks to us to improve their outdoor living space or establish a new one, the assumption is the project has to be large in order to be effective. This is certainly not the case. A good outdoor living space design should not only speak to the scale of your existing home and landscape, it should also speak to the function you wish to carry out within the space as well as your budget.
Here at Archadeck of Austin our goal is to provide you with the most value through an outdoor living space that is customized to fit your specific needs. Not a cookie-cutter duplication or design. One of our most recent projects in Leander, TX, serves as the perfect example of an outdoor space that delivers based on functionality and keeping in scale with the architecture of the existing home rather than sheer size.
When we first met with the homeowners to discuss their anticipated design, their only outdoor living space consisted of a small concrete builder-grade concrete patio. The homeowners wanted a space that was more conducive to the way they wanted to live outdoors. The patio has also been plumbed for the addition of a sink which influenced their desire to make sure their new space would include an outdoor sink.
Our completed design enhances the entire aesthetic and function of the backyard of this home. The new outdoor living space includes a gable roofed patio cover and freestanding pergola. To accommodate the needs of the client, Archadeck of Austin extended the existing patio with a curved orientation and added brick columns to match the masonry of the existing home. Cedar posts were used to support the roofed structures in unison with the brick columns. The pergola is supported by the roof extension of the covered patio portion of the design.
The interior ceiling of the patio cover features beautiful T1-11 with exposed rafters stained to add rustic flair to the area. An outdoor sink was installed, much to the owners pleasure, and this area includes a serving island and counterspace. Take a look at the before and after images of the transformation of this backyard beyond builder grade:
If you are ready to learn more about transforming your outdoor living space into the perfect backyard destination for you and your family, contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.