Replacing a deck at your northwest Austin home can be somewhat like getting a new car. Your old one seemed fine; you have a history together and you’ve overlooked its quirks. However, as soon as you step into the new one – wow! The difference is astonishing, and now you can see what you’ve been missing.
That comparison comes to mind when you see the before and after pictures of this large outdoor living project that Archadeck of Austin recently completed in the Cat Mountain North area. The original deck was split into two levels overlooking the back yard and swimming pool. The homeowners had decorated each level attractively with potted plants, and overall the space had a comfortable appeal. The deck was “fine” over the years, but there were three problems with it that we were able to address when we designed the replacement deck.
First, neither of the two deck levels was quite large enough. The two separate spaces were a little cramped and not conducive to entertaining or sitting and visiting with family. The homeowners weren’t able to move furniture around easily or add more chairs for a larger group.
Second, the wooden railing of the original deck actually obscured the view of anyone seated on the deck — and also obscured the view of those looking out through the house’s many windows. The pickets, or balusters, were thick at 2×2″, and there was a 6″ horizontal board along the top of the railing, just at eye level for a seated person.
Third, the homeowners were ready to switch from natural wood decking boards (theirs were cedar) to a synthetic composite material. After years of performing deck maintenance, they welcomed the idea of a low-maintenance deck. The composite materials on the market today are as attractive as wood but require less upkeep; at the time when the existing deck was built, fewer options were available.
Premier deck builder Archadeck of Austin drafted a large, sweeping deck design that combined the two levels into one to achieve a much larger usable deck space – almost 1,400 sq. feet. The angled shape of one side of the deck was designed to clear the root zone of a nearby live oak to ensure the deck will not impact health of the tree’s root system.
Austin has “Critical Root Zone” mandates in place to protect trees of a certain size, called heritage trees. We were required to measure any trees near the deck construction. A tree with a circumference of 60” or more is considered a heritage tree, and as it turned out, the live oak next to this deck is large enough to be considered a heritage tree.
The tree’s Critical Root Zone (CRZ) is calculated by a formula, and the CRZ is indicated on the engineer’s drawing by three concentric circles around the tree. The innermost circle indicates the first quarter of the CRZ. Within that inner circle, the new deck construction cannot impact the soil in any way. Between the first and second circles, called the second quarter zone, the new deck construction can impact the soil up to 4″ deep, but no deeper. Finally, between the second circle and the outermost circle, another formula determines the depth of soil impact allowed. As you can tell from the drawing, every inch of the Critical Root Zone was mapped out in the design of the new deck.
Because the entire deck structure needed to be replaced, including the footings and support beams, we performed a huge amount of demolition before we could install the new materials.
The homeowners selected AZEK, a cellular PVC decking product, for their new decking material. To complement the Autumn Chestnut color deck boards, they selected a Solutions aluminum railing system in bronze. What a difference! The new railings and pickets are darker and thinner, allowing a clean view from the deck and from within the house. The Solutions aluminum railing is an excellent choice for another reason: it will never rust and has a lifetime warranty (as opposed to a 15-year warranty for steel).
This extensive outdoor living project included these elements as well:
- Retaining wall: We removed the original brick retaining wall and added a new wall in white limestone to match the house stone.
- Under-deck storage: Instead of building a typical wood skirting around the deck, we framed out the deck’s underside, built a solid wall from AZEK and installed a door. Now the homeowners have lots of storage adjacent to the pool, and it’s invisible to onlookers – no clutter!
- Poolside hardscape: A concrete overlay was applied by another company to cover the existing concrete surround in order to create a durable and attractive limestone effect.
- Poolside fencing: We replaced the existing wooden privacy fence with a board-on-board design, in cedar, and added custom gates. The board-on-board design keeps pickets from bowing, creates a sturdier fence in case of wind and is more attractive.
- Deck lighting: Twelve LED lighting fixtures were incorporated into the aluminum railing posts along the deck and beside the stairs for ambiance and safety. Each small, teardrop fixture projects light in two directions – up the post and down onto the deck surface – and each LED uses only 1W of power!
Is it time for a deck replacement at your house? If you are ready to explore ideas for redesigning your outdoor living space, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
You love your eclectic, urban-chic neighborhood, and you love your charming, vintage home, but maybe your home’s vintage deck has seen better days. Is it time for an upgrade to a better deck? Archadeck of Austin, premier deck builder across many Austin neighborhoods, has the design sensitivity to create a custom deck that will not look out of place for your area.
Take a look at this unique home in the city of Austin near Mopac Expressway and 38th Street. Homes here have character, and the area is undergoing extensive revitalization. The homeowner engaged Archadeck of Austin to replace an existing deck that was aging, nondescript and lacked any shade cover.
This job was actually a redecking and expansion project rather than an entirely new deck. Once we determined that the existing deck’s foundation was strong and had not been compromised over time, we were able to use it again, with reinforcement. We needed to replace the decking boards as well as the wooden skirting that surrounds the deck and shields the underdeck area from view. Oddly, there was a gap between edge of the existing deck and the front porch stoop, so we were able to expand the deck by about two feet. Finally, the client wanted to add a pergola over the deck for much-needed shade.
Since natural wood was the client’s choice for decking material, Archadeck of Austin recommended clear cedar for the deck surface and the skirting. Clear cedar is a select grade of cedar lumber milled from the heart of the tree, and it is higher quality than the wood many other deck builders work with. For even greater quality, we used 5-and-a-quarter-inch boards as opposed to the competition’s nominal 2×6″ knotty pine. The clear cedar boards display a light wood grain with minimal (if any) imperfections such as knot holes.
Archadeck of Austin offers a choice of standard or premium pergolas, and this client selected the premium pergola, our most popular option. For our premium pergolas, we use 4×12″ beams, 6×6″ posts and 2×10″ boards for the rafters with 16” on center spacing. In contrast, our competition uses 2×8″ beams and posts and 2×8″ rafters that are 24” on center, resulting in a pergola that is less sturdy and provides less shade. The Archadeck of Austin premium pergola looks beefier, is stronger and will last longer than those built by our competition. Plus, our 16” on center spacing provides the optimum amount of shade on a hot Texas day.
For the finishing touch on this combination redecking and pergola project, we installed a metal screen on one side of the pergola to establish a privacy barrier. Vines and flowers will climb the screen to naturally obscure the view of the deck from the nearby downtown traffic. This innovative privacy screen was built using Cattle Guard panels.
If you are looking for a creative way to upgrade your existing deck while keeping it in character with the neighborhood, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
You want the very best builder for your Austin-area outdoor living project. You also want a builder who will work with you, no matter how long it takes, to design and build the deck, porch or patio that is perfect for your home. Want more? How about a national award-winning deck designer and builder right here in Austin, TX?
Archadeck of Austin answers “Yes!” to all of the above. We are very proud to have received Archadeck Outdoor Living’s national Design Excellence Award in the deck category. We are also very proud of the award-winning project we designed and built – a unique deck, pergola and outdoor kitchen combination in the Forest Creek neighborhood of Round Rock, TX. Take a look at these photos and a 3-D rendering, and let us tell you why we’re so pleased with this special outdoor living space. The homeowners are pleased, too!
The winning project, completed in January, is an exquisite AZEK PVC deck with stone skirting, outdoor kitchen and oversized, freestanding pergola. The 12-foot kitchen counter accommodates a built-in propane grill, Big Green Egg smoker, in-counter cooler and built-in trash container. The deck also features flush-mounted low-voltage lighting.
The clients first contacted us for this project three years ago. They had a well-lived deck, and we agreed it was past time to replace it. Our initial design featured a concrete patio, roof extension and pergola. The homeowners took their time making a decision while they considered several builders and designs. Later we circled back to propose an alternate design, a deck with an outdoor kitchen and a large, non-conventional pergola that covered the entire deck. Bingo! Archadeck of Austin had the right design at the right time.
Despite this being a relatively low-risk deck, we faced several design challenges. First, the pergola took considerable thought because we wanted to use as few posts as possible. Fewer posts in the traffic areas allow maximum usable space for furniture without crowding. Then, cedar spans would not work with conventional dimensions, so we upsized all the structural elements and used a polycarbonate cover over the pergola to get the shade required.
The home had an original concrete patio off the back door for which we ripped framing boards for the structure. There was just enough space to get adequate framing down between the deck board and the patio.
Next, we had to completely close off the under-deck space because the clients had previous issues with animals nesting under the old deck. By surrounding the new deck with a stone skirt over concrete footings – nothing will get under this deck. However, the stone skirt itself presented two complications. The stone had to be ground flat to allow for the deck boards to die seamlessly into the stone and not look jagged. And we had to complete all the electrical wiring before we could install the decking.
Finally, the kitchen and the stone column bases also had to be constructed prior to the decking. All have concrete footings, so staging of construction was interesting.
The results are beautiful. The homeowners chose Azek Harvest cellular PVC decking in the new Autumn Chestnut color, and we laid the boards diagonally with a parting board for visual interest. The stone used for the deck skirting and the pergola’s column bases is white limestone, and the caps on the column bases are brown Lueders limestone. The same brown Lueders stone tops the 12-foot kitchen counters, tying it all together visually as one great outdoor room. Finishing off the space are three Aurora Phoenix flush-mount low-voltage sconce lights, the Pyxis Recessed Louvered Step Light and the Mercer transformer/timer. Archadeck of Austin installed electrical connections for two fans, three lights and six outlets for the homeowners’ convenience.
To be recognized for this project by Archadeck Outdoor Living at the national level as an award-winning deck builder means a great deal to the Archadeck of Austin team. The project was very well thought through, and we had a lot of fun building it. The structure itself was not complicated, but we packed in a lot of design considerations and features to make it a wonderful place for entertaining family and guests. We were able to integrate the new structure seamlessly with the existing home, which is what the homeowners were looking for all along.
If you are looking for a creative design for your new outdoor living space, and a hard-working team to bring it to life, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
Rob Roy on the Lake is located north of Bee Cave Road in beautiful West Austin. The neighborhood is known for its stunning homes and spacious picturesque landscapes making it ideal for someone who likes to spend time outdoors. Archadeck of Austin has built many outdoor living structures within this neighborhood, our most recent is this beautiful deck and porch combination:
The homeowners had an existing cedar deck but were looking to not only expand their view into the valley below, but also wanted a space that offered shade to escape their super sunny location. Archadeck of Austin came up with a deck and porch combination design that entailed expanding across the roofline on the back of the home with a hip design roof tie-in to accommodate their project. Take a look at this before & after image:
The project features warm, inviting natural Ipe hardwood decking on the floor of both the deck and covered porch. Ipe is a favorite among Central Texas homeowners as a material for outdoor living. The material is valued for its density, strength, longevity and beauty. Ipe is dense enough that it sinks in water. Its density requires that it be pre-drilled in order to be fastened. When fastening an Ipe deck we use stainless steel screws called head coat screws, which are brown to blend seamlessly with the decking itself. The ends of the Ipe boards need to be treated when they are cut during installation to avoid cracking. If you are dealing with a contractor that is not familiar with working with Ipe then you usually end up with split ends, yes in much the same manner your hair can get split ends, from not treating the ends of the boards. Ipe density is also such that it doesn’t absorb much water resulting in a lack of the normal expansion and contraction evident with other wooden decks.
As you move beyond the flooring used on this combination project, there are many stunning details throughout the space. We used black Fortress vertical cable rail that allows clear views into the valley below. Additionally, the beauty continues as you enter the interior of the covered porch area. The ceiling was built using a Synergy tongue & groove prefinished wood in Auburn Pine. The large king beam that runs the expanse of the porch cover is a focal point but it also serves a valuable purpose of helping to support the weight of the roof cover.
As is the case with all our outdoor living structure projects, none of the creature comforts were overlooked when completing the space. We installed recessed lighting in the ceiling of the porch cover and mounted the elegant sconce lighting the homeowners had purchased for the project. We also installed a pair of Minka 72″ ceiling fans the homeowner’s had chosen, adding an extra layer of cool comfort and air flow to their enjoyment.
Needless to say, the clients are elated with their new outdoor living space. It embodies all the qualities they love about the area, and now they can enjoy it to its full potential! If you would like to learn more about how Archadeck of Austin can transform the way you live outdoors, contact us today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
Is it a tropical beach that seems miles away from reality? Or maybe a lavish all-inclusive spa resort designed to pamper you in luxury? These are all viable candidates for an ultimate outdoor living destination, but did you ever think that maybe you could have all that and more right outside your back door?
With an outdoor living combination space from Archadeck of Austin, you can!
One of our recent projects in Austin, TX, encompasses almost every element of beauty, relaxation and convenience possible through an outdoor living environment. The design includes a spacious low maintenance elevated deck, covered porch and versatile poolside pergola. These Austin homeowners sure don’t have to travel far to enjoy all the benefits either!
This particular project began with the removal of an existing cedar deck and hot tub area that provided little to no privacy and shade for the homeowners. Their desire was to have a space that spoke to their desire for more space, more shade and more opportunity for enjoyment. The multi-faceted space we designed has not just met, but exceeded their expectations in this regard. Here’s a detailed look at each layer of this project:
The elevated deck and covered porch was built using AZEK low maintenance decking in Cypress and includes integrated low voltage deck lighting. By choosing to go with a composite deck, the homeowners can enjoy very little maintenance as AZEK only requires soap and water cleanup on occasion and a quick rinse from the garden hose. This decking is engineered to last beautifully and unlike wood, AZEK decking resists scratches, stains, insects, moisture, mold, and mildew, and protection from cupping, cracking, and more with a 30-year limited fade and stain and lifetime limited warranties.
The covered porch also features an open end gable with all the porch beams wrapped in cedar. The interior of the covered porch features a stunning Synergy prefinished wood ceiling with recessed can lighting so the space can be enjoyed day or night. The homeowners supplied the amazing and super-efficient Haiku ceiling fan which came from BigAssFans.com.
As we move beyond the deck and porch combination space, Archadeck of Austin also designed and built the freestanding poolside cabana/pergola. Also finished with rustic cedar to mimic the look and feel of the other components of the project. having the benefit of a roofed structure poolside serves as a respite from the sun and a ceiling fan encourages air circulation increasing the cooling power of this spot.
You can see more images of this amazing outdoor living space by visiting our Houzz galleries.
If you would like to learn more about creating the ultimate outdoor living destination in your backyard, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have 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.
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 email@example.com
Recently, while in route from returning from a consultation with a client in the Lost Pines region I came upon the Mansion backing up to the Colovista golf course. The gracious two-story Georgian estate sparked a fond memories as some time back Archadeck of Austin completed the upgrade and redecking project to bring the wraparound deck to the standards in keeping with this eloquent home. Feeling nostalgic and a little hungry, I decided to stop in and visit for lunch knowing the location was now operating as The View at The Mansion restaurant and special event venue.
As I sat outside on the deck and enjoyed one of the best burgers I have ever had, I pondered the images in my mind of the condition of the deck when we were contracted to complete the renovations. When we began the project the home had sat for 10 years and the existing deck was covered in plywood with posts created from timber collected from the property.
Archadeck of Austin totally revamped the spacious deck with low-maintenance Timbertech Terrain decking and finished it off with Fortress black iron railing in black sand. The Terrain Decking Collection’s earthy, adaptable tones embody the spirit of the outdoors — making it the perfect accompaniment to such venue with scenic views of the Colorado river and rolling landscape. The new deck, which is now used as dining, event space is even featured on The View’s website and on the cover of their brochures. This in itself, speaks volumes about how the current owners regard the space and we are humbled and proud.
I also reminisced about the adversity the property has overcome over the years, from being spared from the wrath of the 2011 Bastrop County Complex Fire which engulfed Bastrop, Texas and destroyed 1,645 homes, burned 34,068 acres, and killed two people. The fire is regarded as the most catastrophic wildfire in Texas history.
Overlooking the Colovista Golf Course, The View at The Mansion serves gourmet flatbread pizzas, steaks, salads, burgers and alcoholic beverages. It’s the perfect spot for lunch or brunch with friends or for catching a sunset dinner with a fairway view, the restaurant has a country club feel in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. The property also serves as an event facility for weddings and special events.
If you have an existing deck or outdoor structure that is in need of a makeover. Contact Archadeck of Austin to make your commercial or residential outdoor space all it can be! You can reach us at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.