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.
Have you wondered what it would be like to have an outdoor living space that was designed to cater to your every outdoor living need? For instance, having the perfect spot for outdoor dining, a respite where the views exceed your expectations on a daily basis or an oasis that is as functional as it is beautiful, day or night? This is exactly what these Austin, TX, homeowner’s got when they hired Archadeck of Austin to design and build their elevated deck and porch.
This spacious outdoor living space consists of an elevated, 2nd story low-maintenance deck and covered porch area with all the trimmings! The deck was built using Fiberon Horizons decking in Tudor Brown. Horizon decking is capped (or covered) on all four sides with a patent-pending PermaTech® surface material. Four-side capping increases durability, enhances stain and fade resistance, and ensures a more polished appearance all around. Plus, Horizon decking features two different wood grain patterns on the top and bottom to add more character to your deck design with less on-the-job waste. In addition, Fiberon decking requires no sanding, staining or sealing , ever. This means less worry over maintenance and more time to enjoy the finer things in life!
The beautiful deck is accented with custom-designed and constructed horizontal tubular railing that has been powder-coated black. Atop the railing, and expanding the entire perimeter of the space, Archadeck of Austin installed a double composite cap offset within with a super strong fabricated steel plate to prevent climbing on the railing. In addition to the safety factor, the double cap also serves as a luxurious bar area to use as a drink ledge measuring out to 11″, and is even large enough, standing at 42″, to pull up a bar stool and double as a impromptu spot for dining, conversation or enjoying a beverage while taking in breathtaking views of Austin proper.
We took the abundance of custom features a step further by designing and building integrated bistro-style seating out of the same composite used on the deck around the cedar posts of the covered porch portion of the space. We even designed a built-in bench for additional seating when entertaining friends and family. Last cut certainly not least, this outdoor living space picks up where other designs leave as an afterthought — evening enjoyment! The entire space is loaded with romantic LED outdoor lighting to aid in utilizing the space to its fullest potential in the evening, and creating ambiance.
These Austin homeowners are elated with their new space. They view it as an all-inclusive escape that is close as just a few steps out the door! With everlasting views of the beautiful Cat Mountain, the backdrop to outdoor living enjoyment knows no end — literally.
If you are interested in learning more about creating a slice of Heaven in your backyard too, contact Archadeck of Austin to schedule a consultation today at (512) 259 – 8282 or via email at email@example.com.
You can see more images of this project and many more of our stunning outdoor living designs by visiting our extensive galleries on Houzz.
Each year a nationwide group of Archadeck offices come together to share their best practices, ideas, new products and to review outstanding leadership in design. This year, like others, the locally owned and operated Austin location performed very well. We are very proud to have scooped up on four of twelve design awards, plus a distinguished Customer Satisfaction Award which reconfirmed Austin’s place as the 2nd best producing Archadeck location in North America.
Archadeck of Austin prides itself in being “all about design and customer experience”. Here are some of the ‘Best of Show’.
Austin won second place for this project outside the Craig O’s restaurant in Lakeway, TX. This deck uses TimberTech Earthwoods Evolutions composite decking in walnut designed in quadrants of diagonal board placement converging to the center. The deck is designed for 100 lb/sf commercial loads and has a massive concrete footing hidden behind an attractive cedar skirt. A powder coated Fortress railing system surrounds the deck and is capped in the same composite. Stairs descend down to the parking lot and play area. Patrons will enjoy many meals overlooking the serene hills East of Lakeway atop this deck.
If you are curious, the following deck from outside Boston won 1st place…
First place went to our friends at Archadeck of Ft. Worth for a fabulous pool-side cabana. The Austin entry took third place, under some tight competition, with our pool-side cabana constructed in Round Rock, TX. Both of these projects are indicative of a growing trend to move the living room outside complete with integrated kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, television; everything you need to entertain outdoors.
Demonstrating the diversity of Archadeck’s designs, the Austin hardscape project took the 3rd place award vs. a really unique and innovative project outside Denver that took home 1st place. The Austin hardscape project is located in the Steiner Ranch community of Austin and includes a covered tile patio up top for visiting, lunch or even coffee. The project includes stone steps that lead down to a stained concrete lower patio perfect for every facet of entertaining. The project also includes integrated lighting so it looks spectacular day and night.
This new award category reflects the fact that great projects are rarely one-dimensional. Every year the very best projects combine multiple elements into a cohesive design that may include a shade structure, decking. masonry, and other elements to provide the homeowners with a complete backyard with multiple uses and gain the maximum added value to their home. We are excited that our project constructed in Riverplace took the spotlight for #1. The project was designed by our own Mark Mommsen, whom was also the winner of #1 design representative. The project brings together a very unique stand-alone roof structure with Permacast columns which are mounted on an elevated Tigerwood deck beside the pool and outdoor fireplace with stone benches on the opposite side of the pool. All this is designed to face the canyon/green belt and golf course located behind the residence.
If the customer isn’t happy, nobody’s happy!
As the owner of Archadeck of Austin, I’m very pleased to say we won the coveted Customer Satisfaction Award. To win this award there can be no, and I mean ‘zero’ negative responses in post-construction surveys. Last year we built 133 residential projects. We are not perfect and are always improving, but to have absolutely no negative responses is a testament to our desire for excellence in customer service. We were also recently added to the Angie’s List Honor Roll and we strongly encourage people to submit reviews to Angie’s list.
We are looking forward to a great 2012 season, with more great work in Austin,TX. If you’re on the fence, the time is really good to remodel your outdoor space the way you’ve always wanted. It is a great investment.
(512) 259 – 8282
I have been in the business of outdoor structures for many years and there’s a reason why I keep doing it. I love building outdoor structures and seeing the positive effect they have on my customers lives. I LOVE designing decks. I have also learned a lot over the years by not only working with my customers but by keeping in contact with them as well.
There are two things I really push for when my clients are making their decision. The first one is size. By this I don’t mean convincing someone who wants a 500 square foot deck to go to a 1,000 square feet. What I mean is measuring their furniture and seeing how much depth they really need so that the furniture can still be comfortable in the “pulled out” position, much like it will be after dinner and when your guests linger over coffee. People will pull out their chairs from the table and extend and cross their legs to enjoy the leg room that’s often needed after a wonderful and very filling dinner. You would be absolutely amazed at the difference that can be achieved by adding one or two feet of depth to a deck of patio.
The second thing I am passionate about is the view. Here in Austin we have beautiful hilly terrains, mature trees in many places and other beautiful structures and details within our yards. You may just want a good view of the backyard to watch the kids play. So often, people think that the only railing choice is one with thick and closely spaced pickets. This simply is not the case. Metal railings are very popular these days because they have very narrow pickets that not only dramatically improve the view, but they also require less maintenance.
One such job where Archadeck of Austin was able to frame the view and offer plenty of linger and leg room was a deck we recently completed for homeowners in River Place, which is inside Austin. These homeowner’s residence overlooks a beautiful view of a canyon, unfortunately, a good portion of this stunning view was obscured. This was in part by the old deck having too many benches and the railing. Literally, when you were inside the home looking out, all you could see were benches. We aimed to change that for the better in our design and re-decking plan. We aimed to open up that view so the homeowners could relish the view. Since their home is so elevated on one side they also yearned for a little privacy on the deck as well. We were able to incorporate both with this new re-decking. Since the existing frame of the old deck was in such good condition we were able to immediately move forward with the re-decking.
An older contractor had built a seat that incorporated the beautiful tree that was in the middle of the large part of the deck. We wanted to keep this in the design of the re-decking, because it gave the deck a personality and uniqueness all its own.
The deck is a massive 1,000 square feet and 5′ off the ground and in some places 11′ off the ground as well. The homeowners decided to replace the old deck with composite decking . They chose the very desirable Fiberon Horizon decking in Ipe. Today’s composites have evolved to being spectacular and are virtually maintenance free. They have no open pores so there is nowhere for mold to grow, and plastic capped composites such as this can be cleaned with simple soap and water they pay for themselves in no time because of the lack of maintenance required on a deck like this. These materials have a 25 year manufacturers warranty as well. The difference in composites today as opposed to ten years ago is the difference between night and day. People still love the tranquility and natural look of a wood deck and this can now be captured with today’s composites.
We finished out the new deck with a Radiant rail post with stunning Fortress iron railing. We still wanted to achieve a decorative effect so we used composite post sleeves, this allows the homeowners to “picture frame” the deck but doesn’t obscure any of the breathtaking view. We removed the backs from the existing benches and used the iron rails to open up the deck so the homeowners can see the canyon as well as their lovely pool.
These Homeowners in River Place, TX now have the deck and view of their dreams, built out of hassle free, worry free composites. They have plenty of room for entertaining and quaint evenings overlooking the canyon for many years to come.
Please visit our Austin composite deck photo gallery to see more beautiful decks built with this wonderful and innovative material
It is clearly evident that style and elegance can be contagious. Within the Falcon Head West community of Bee Cave, TX nearly all the residents that live in the same cul-de-sac came down with the same symptoms, a yearning for the simple, elegant and classic sensibility which entails the desire to have a deck made of Tigerwood.
These homeowners in Bee Cave, TX contacted Archadeck of Austin when they initially built their home and once they closed on the house we began work right away on the deck when they moved in. It is always nice to have your entire home ready and waiting when it is time to move into your new house, including any outdoor structures. The Falcon Head West community is an upscale neighborhood in Bee Cave, TX and has a very hilly terrain. These homeowners decided upon a tigerwood deck because of its classic beauty and sensibility. We built a two-story deck and decked over an existing patio with sleeper framing. The final dimensions in length on this new deck came to a substantial 48′ long.
We installed the decking in a stunning diagonal pattern and alternated 4″ and 6″ boards for even more of a custom look to accommodate the varying widths. The railing is a tigerwood Deckorator panel rail which we constructed on site with black aluminum pickets. We finished up the structure with lattice skirting because this is a requirement within the neighborhoods HOA (Home Owners Association) guidelines. The homeowner opted to stain the new deck himself.
Upon completion of the new deck, four of this homeowners neighbors decided to add a tigerwood deck to their home as well. What is it they say about first impressions? Choosing a tigerwood deck not only adds beauty to your home with the woods natural rich and exotic hues, tigerwood is an example of classic fine wood at it’s best.
If you are considering a new deck or a re-deck, tigerwood is a stunning option. It is durable, resilient and has rich hues that exude elegance and refinement. Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more about decks and other outdoor living structures. Call us at (512) 259-8282 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can see more or our breathtaking tigerwood deck designs by visiting our photo gallery at http://www.archadeck-austin.com/gallery.asp?selpics=Decks&subcat=Tigerwood
Old man Webster defines a tiger as a large, carnivorous, tawny-colored and black-striped feline. The definition of wood is the hard, fibrous substance composing the stem and branches of a tree or shrub. Now what do you think you get when you mix the two together? The result is Tigerwood, astronium lecointel, one of the finest quality hardwoods available.
Tigerwood is an exotic and extremely durable Brazilian hardwood. One of the most striking features of this wood is the unique golden-brown to reddish-brown coloring with exotic black and brown streaks, as fiercely beautiful as it’s namesake. Over time these hues will deepen adding warmth and more depth to the coloring.
Not only coveted for it’s beauty, Tigerwood is naturally resistant to rot and decay. It also will not attract mold or fungus. This wonderfully resilient wood has a lifespan of over 25 years without preservatives. Archadeck of Austin is proud to be able to offer this product to you for your decking and outdoor structure needs. We have been working with this wonderful Brazilian hardwood for sometime now, with great results. We only see close similarities in working with Tigerwood as we do when we use Ipe. We are also excited about this product because of the “green” aspect of the harvesting.
Tigerwood is only harvested from responsibly managed forests so we can offer a truly renewable resource to you, the consumer.