Archadeck of Austin

Flagstone Patios

Our Recent Addition in Circle C Ranch Proves That Change is Good!

This week’s featured project story takes us back to Circle C Ranch in South Austin, TX, where we totally transformed an existing backyard poolside patio and increased the aesthetics of the existing pool surround.

South Austin Porch Builders

Transformed outdoor living space in Circle C Ranch, from a cramped hot pergola to a comfortable and spacious covered porch!

When our talented lead outdoor living space designer, Jim Schallon, initially met with these Circle C Ranch residents they expressed their dilemma of not having enough room, or shade, to fully enjoy their existing backyard space. The space consisted of a pergola that was built atop their backyard patio that lacked space or harmony, and offered very little shade value. With these considerations in mind, Archadeck of Austin came up with a new design that transforms the look, feel and function of this South Austin backyard!

  • This image shows the existing pergola, which was cramped and hot, prior to breaking ground on the new design:

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  • This images shows the completed covered porch addition. Notice how the new design expands the functional area out and beyond that of the homeowner’s original outdoor living space:

Covered porch addition in Circle C Ranch

Circle C Ranch patio cover in South Austin, TXThe entire project included removal of the existing pergola, including the original support columns, and building a new patio cover which extends further and wider than the previous outdoor space. The new space adds more outdoor living area, plenty of shade and is easily accessible from three entrances into the home. The original space only provided covered accessibility to two of three interior doors that provide entry onto the patio. In order to build the design according to plan, removal of the entire rear brick facade of the home was necessary. We carefully rebuilt the entire back brick facade paying special attention to match the exterior to the original, we also constructed the new brick support columns using the same masonry color and style. These columns were then topped off with Western red cedar posts to blend with the beautiful cedar tongue & groove ceiling on the inside of the patio cover.

South Austin outdoor bar builderAlong with the rustic beauty of the cedar details, the interior of the new transformed space includes an “eat in” style bar area that serves a myriad of uses; from outdoor dining to entertaining guests poolside. The new addition allows plenty of natural sunlight to reduce the chances of light being lost on the areas inside the home with Velux skylights installed into the ceiling of the new space. We also included plenty of recessed lighting and three ceiling fans to help air circulate on those balmy South Austin afternoons.

The improvements to this backyard did not end with the patio cover. Archadeck of Austin took this project a step further by improving the flow and tranquility of the homeowner’s backyard pool by unifying the addition from the top of the stairs behind the pool. We made sure to match the flagstone we used for this integration to the existing flagstone original to the area. The whole area now flows together as one, fun and relaxing outdoor room!

before:

Before:

 

South Austin flagstone pool surround addition

After:

The completed project has totally changed the way the homeowner’s use and enjoy their backyard. This transformation was certainly a change for the better.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

If you have an existing outdoor space that is no longer functional for your current needs, or if you are ready to build the outdoor living space you have always dreamed of, contact Archadeck of Austin to get started on your outdoor living space project today. You can reach us by phone at (512) 259 – 8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net.


What really goes into building a flagstone patio?

Austin flagstone patio with red rocking chairs

Austin flagstone patio in all it’s splendor.

Flagstone patio in cedar park with built-in benches

Flagstone patio in cedar park with built-in benches

Patios are very popular here in the Austin area and flagstone patios in particular are one of the most requested type of patios among our customers. The rustic elegance they provide compliments our Texas landscape and unique home designs. Installing a flagstone patio requires a lot more steps than it may seem.

Austin flagstone bar outdoor kitchen

The first steps begin once the dimensions are determined during our pre-construction meeting with the homeowners. Following this important meeting  we then have the concrete poured to form up the shape of the patio. Sometimes the homeowner first needs to contact their sprinkler system company and have them re-locate any sprinkler heads that are in the area of the intended patio, if not Archadeck of Austin will cap off the heads. If we are building a “full-on” patio next to a house that is built on a slab our professional concrete contractor will also install rebar every two feet to connect the foundation of the patio to the foundation of the house. This extra step ensures a stable patio foundation. Once this step is completed we then pour the perimeter of the patio. We pour this 1ft. by 1ft. around what will become the perimeter footing, we also add rebar to this area as well for an added measure of strength. Most other companies just don’t take this step; we however feel it very important for the strength and life of your patio.

Flagstone patio with steps and a pergola privacy wall

Flagstone patio with steps and a pergola privacy wall

Depending on the slope of your yard, we may install a fascia. A fascia involves the underpinning which is concrete paint that is trimmed so it doesn’t convey a rough vertical surface. We will then use vertical stones around your step areas. Typically this is not done around the entire perimeter because over time it can flake and break off so we do something that will last over a long period of time.

On the top of the poured patio base we add a 4″ deep cap and pour an additional 4″ of concrete strengthened with wire mesh. Depending on the size of your patio, we may also install man-made, control and expansion joints every 10-12′ depending on the width. Once those layers of concrete properly cure, the flagstone will then be delivered by the stone company so our expert masons can lay out the flagstone in a mosaic pattern. Once they are laid out and everything is concise, we then put in the mortar that was chosen by the homeowner. One thing we are proud of is the tight mortar joints we do so well, this gives you a flagstone patio that looks like stone when you look at and not all mortar. After all, our customers are paying for stone, not mortar. After the mortar is done, the next step is to apply a sealer. The sealer is undetectable to the appearance of the patio, but it keeps moisture from penetrating the stone and also keeps mold and mildew out. The sealer also gives the finished patio a cleaner look. After applying the sealer you shouldn’t have to do any further maintenance for 5-10 years.

This flagstone patio in Steiner Ranch incorporates a water feature that can also be used as a fire pit

This flagstone patio in Steiner Ranch incorporates a water feature that can also be used as a fire pit

When the stone selections are made we generally meet our customer at the stone shop to help them with their selection and any questions or concerns they may have about a particular stone. There are actually 10-14 various types of flagstone to choose from. The most popular flagstone choices are Oklahoma, Arizona and Mexico. All the most widely used flagstones come from Oklahoma. Sometimes when we use flagstone we will incorporate beautiful and useful features such as stone benches or even a stone kitchen island if your patio incorporates an outdoor kitchen.

Flagstone patios are not only gorgeous, they are a solid material choice for your patio because with a stained concrete or concrete patio when it cracks, and it is not a question of if it cracks, but a question of when, you will have to live with it. When you use flagstone and the concrete underneath cracks you may get a little separation of mortar joints over time but you won’t see a line in the stone. Making sure your flagstone is installed by a licensed professional ensures the beauty and enjoyment of your patio is treasured for many years to come.

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio adjoining tigerwood deck

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio adjoining tigerwood deck

If you are ready to add a flagstone patio or other outdoor structure to your life this season, contact Archadeck of Austin to make it happen. Our talented design staff can come up with the perfect outdoor oasis to fill your needs. Call for a free consultation ( 512) 259 – 8282 email:Austin@archadeck.net

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

To see more beautiful flagstone patio creations visit our flagstone patio gallery located on our website.


When choosing a hardscape for your Austin outdoor structure stone is a natural

Among the preference of materials used to construct our Austin area homeowners hardscape endeavors, the top choice is undoubtedly natural stone. Natural stone comes in a myriad of colors, textures and  variances in undulation, or waves and bends present in natural stone. Natural stone is derived from a multitude of locations within our earth, and with any material that is derived from nature and the earth, no two pieces of stone are exactly alike. The differences and variations present in natural stone only add to its charm and part of what makes it so popular among the many materials available to create a truly unique hardscape outdoor structure.

Austin_Tigerwood_deck_4

This tigerwood deck by Archadeck of Austin plays host to a stunning backdrop of natural stone ledges and the beautiful hill country terrain Austin is known for

Our signature item is  the flagstone patio. Whether they are built-in unison with a decks, pergolas or one of the other stunning outdoor structures we build for homeowners here in the Austin area, the added essence of flagstone makes the entire project breathtaking. Austin is hill country which not only yields varying grades and steep drop offs which often includes natural stone, but natural stone used as a building material is common because of its natural beauty and the way it complements the natural surroundings and backdrops of Austin’s hill country. Flagstone is quarried from the ground and therefore will not yield a completely even surface. Flagstone patios are set on either concrete or mortar beds. The concrete base is referred to as a 1″ stone, and the mortar base is a 2″ stone. These terms are commonly used but the thickness of the stone itself can vary from 3/4″ to 3″. There can and will be movement on flagstone which is set on a base which is not concrete. Maintaining your flagstone patio, or other outdoor structure involves cleaning, sweeping or pressure washing on a low PSI and a fan tip is also recommended. Our flagstone patios our sealed with a “matte” finish penetrating sealer and are not visible to the naked eye that they are being absorbed. The seal will last from 6-12 months. After the initial sealing, the patio may be resealed again at your discretion. If you are placing a BBQ pit or grill atop your flagstone patio be careful not to let grease or drippings on the surface of the flagstone for they can stain the stone and become permanent.

Natural stone patio and outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Austin

Natural stone patio and outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Austin

Flagstone is not the only natural stone that is coveted among Austin homeowners for its beauty and unique characteristics. We also use sandstone in many of our projects. Sandstone is created when  sand and an alkaline settling is formed under pressure and joined at the uppermost surface of the earth. Slate as well is a rich, deeply undulated natural stone that is popular in building outdoor hardscape structures. Slate and sandstone are very similar in the manner formation of the stone itself occurs. Slate is formed when wide ranges  of minerals are compressed in layers near the earths’ surface over time. Slate is however prone to what is called “cleft plane spalling” which is a process where layers separate from the main stone body. Combined with the soft character of slate, these layers can be separated by walking on the surface, dropping or moving items over the surface or an  excessive presence of  moisture.  Due to its’ soft nature, slate is also prone to scratching.

Austin flagstone patio with red rocking chairs

Austin flagstone patio

Running only second to flagstones popularity here in the Austin area is Leuders stone, also known as limestone. Limestone is formed when sea  beds dry up in layers over time which results in the decay of aquatic organisms.  This sedimentation process over time and intense pressure yields limestone.  Limestone is basically calcium carbonate which is a  pure form of a very soft alkali. Not unlike the other natural stones we have listed, limestone also can be stained or damaged by outside forces. When exposed to acidic properties which are present in wines, sodas, coffees and other beverages it can result in a condition referred to as an  “etch mark”  which  needs to be polished to be removed. Repeated acid or high moisture attack can result in permanent and irreversible stone damage and color change.  This stone class can scratch easily under normal wear. Despite the fragile nature limestone has under certain circumstances, it is one of the most beautiful stones we use and as long as it is properly sealed and taken care of can prove to provide years of outdoor enjoyment.

Covered patio with custom outdoor limestone fireplace in Austin

Covered patio with custom outdoor limestone fireplace in Austin

All of these types of stone are excellent choices for masonry projects. They can all be sealed to help prevent staining. These stone make ups are available in a chopped block, patio stone or cap stone. Combining various styles can add more texture and depth to a project. All are extremely durable and will outlast us all as we know since it has already existed for thousands of years. Within these stone types there are an extremely large number of colors and hues. So when choosing your hardscape material for your patio or other outdoor structure, natural stone is a natural indeed.

Wes Vann, Archadeck of Austin

Wes Vann, Archadeck of Austin

Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more about creating a breathtaking hardscape outdoor masterpiece for yourself. (512) 259 – 8282
Austin@archadeck.net

See more photos of our natural stone patios and hardscapes by visiting our patio and hardscape photo gallery located on our website.


We don’t just build structures to fit the way you want to live, we build structures that support the big moments in your life.

Austin multi-level deck with pergola

Outdoor kitchen appliances

The addition of an outdoor kitchen can make your holiday, or special event hassle free with the convenience of a secondary food preparation area.

When you think about what motivates homeowners to make the decision to add an outdoor living area to their home and backyard, in many cases the motivating factor that drives them to act upon their decision is a holiday, party or event they have planned for the near future. Let’s say for instance with the holiday season just around the corner, a homeowner may decide to go ahead and add on that new deckcovered porch, or outdoor fireplace with a custom stone patio surround in anticipation of family and friends that are planning to visit and having the structure up and running will create a great place to relax and spend time with family and friends within a unique outdoor setting to make new memories together. It’s almost as though you have the indulgence of an extra “family room” with a unique outdoor setting. Could you imagine having an outdoor kitchen incorporated into your deck or patio that could serve as a secondary food preparation area on Thanksgiving? The hubby can fry the turkey in the outdoor kitchen, and be out of the way, while the lady of the house prepares all the sumptuous side dishes in the house. Having the function of an outdoor kitchen to take some of the stress out of the kitchen, especially if you prepare Thanksgiving dinner for a large crowd, can make “Turkey day” run as smooth as a french silk pie.

Wreath on privacy cattle wall

A spa deck such as this one by Archadeck of Austin can make your holiday party merry and bright

The beauty of our business is when a homeowner  approaches us and needs their outdoor endeavor completed within a specific time frame most of the time we are able to accommodate their request. We do absolutely everything we can to accommodate it. We always quote a lead time to begin and give an expected completion date and 90% of the time we meet it with 2 or 3 days.  Just this month we had a deck that was needed for a wedding, a restaurant deck for an opening last week, and a cabana finished for a party. This week we engaged on a job for a Christmas party mid December. In most cases, if you need it, Archadeck of Austin can have it ready for you within the time frame you need it.

covered patio cabana with outdoor fireplace austin

This cabana style patio cover makes the perfect spot for entertaining with an outdoor fireplace, and outdoor kitchen built right in.

Many outdoor structure builders hesitate to make these kind of promises to homeowners because they lack the project management that is necessary to make sure every aspect of your outdoor structure is run in a professional, timely manner. We make certain on all of our jobs that each specific layer of the building process is set up in the order it needs to be accomplished to avoid delays, and have wiggle room if a problem arises. The keys to being able to deliver what we promise are superior project management, frequent and effective communication with the homeowner, a solid design, and good weather.

Austin covered patio, deck and pergola

Ring in the New Year in style with a covered patio, deck and pergola by Archadeck of Austin

Wouldn’t the thought of having your New Year’s Eve bash under the cover of the warm Texas evening on your new deck sound enticing this year? If you dream it, we can build it. The bottom line is that if you need to get a job done to fit your individual schedule we can do it. Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more and remember, we take care of everything but the weather. (512) 259 – 8282
Austin@archadeck.net

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

To see more awe-inspiring images of decks that are perfect for your next big outdoor event visit our deck photo gallery located on our website.

You can also see more of our delicious outdoor kitchen designs be visiting our outdoor kitchen photo gallery also located on our website as well.


Archadeck of Austin Takes us on a Tour of Flagstone

Austin_flagstone_outdoor_fireplace

Beautiful flagstone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of austin

Here in the Austin area flagstone is quite popular. We have been using it in a variance of structures, from patios to pathways, flagstone has a rustic elegance about it that can’t be found in any other medium. Here at Archadeck of Austin each of  our clients get their own design rendering. These design renderings are never used again, so the structure you get from us, is yours and yours alone. Since flagstone is 100% natural since it is cut from the earth, every piece of flagstone is different as well. No two flagstone projects will be the alike because no two pieces of flagstone are identical.

Austin_flagstone_used_on_a_bar_side_and_top

This outdoor bar has a unique design that looks great in flagstone

Deciding which flagstone to use can be a difficult decision because of all the different types, colors and patterns of flagstone there are to choose from. We want this daunting task of selecting the type and color to be a little easier for you and hopefully after you have reviewed this blog, you will have a little better idea of the basics of flagstone selections. When talking about natural stone such as flagstone there are words that are used to describe certain attributes of the stone itself such as undulation which are natural wavelike bends, curves and elevation differences you can see and feel throughout the stone. Veining refers to a pattern or natural markings that are visible in the stone. Swirling means any curving, twisting line or shape visible naturally within the stone.

The Oklahoma family of Flagstone

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio in Austin TX

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio in Austin TX

Oklahoma buff peach is a very popular color. Customers choose this color frequently with its subtle pleasing tones. The variation in the tones of Oklahoma buff peach can vary from peach tones, taupe tones and even gray tones.The surface tends to be smoother and not have as much undulation as some of the other Oklahoma’s.

Austin_flagstone_oklahoma-chocolate-gold

Oklahoma chocolate gold flagstone, notice the undulation in this photo

Other Oklahoma flagstones include the dazzling Chocolate gold, which has quite a bit of undulation and veining. The veining of this flagstone gives it a rich, robust feel. Variances in Oklahoma Chocolate gold can be deep browns, to gray and of course the gold hues as well.

Oklahoma taupe is another favorite of ours. It has a fair amount of undulation but a more neutral feel. It conveys variation of taupe, light gray and earthy browns. This color works well with a lot of different mediums.

oklahoma_silver_mist_flagstone

Oklahoma silver mist

Then you have Oklahoma Silver mist. The name itself gives it away. It has a silvery-misty sort of look to it. Color varies from darker grays to light silver, and slight blue undertones.

The Arizona family of flagstone

The Arizona flagstones tend to be more of a sandstone type of stone.  They have a Smoother surfacing with less undulation. Not as bumpy as your Oklahoma’s. They have a sandier , flatter look to them.

arizona_buckskin_flagstone

Arizona buckskin flagstone

Arizona buckskin is a good neutral flagstone. Neutral does not mean boring in the case of this flagstone though. When I look at this color I am reminded of a buckskin horse. This color can only be achieved through mother nature. It is rustic, yet elegant, tough yet soft. The natural pigment of the earth is apparent in the hue. It works well with many mediums.

arizona_rose_flagstone

Arizona rose flagstone

Then there is the beautiful Arizona Rose flagstone. Here in Texas and beyond this is a much coveted color. Arizona Rose is best described as a light brick-red, with natural pink variations and gray undertones. It reminds me of ethnic pottery or the color of the sky right before it disappears into the horizon on a hot Texas night. Even with the entwining of rose and pink variations, this is a great neutral color that will work well with gray all the way to dark brown. Any color where you have gray or brown undertones will only enhance the beauty of Arizona Rose flagstone.

The Mexican family of flagstone

Austin_flagstone-rose_rosa

Flagstone patio done in Mexican rosewood

Last but certainly not least we have the Mexican flagstones. This flagstone has a lot of variation in color and movement throughout the stone such as veining and swirling. It is a work of art in itself. As with any flagstone each piece is different, but the beautiful degree of variation in Mexican flagstone makes it a joy to look at.

Mexican Rosewood is probably the finest example of the Mexican flagstones. This color has the hints of terra-cotta you would expect from Mexican pottery, but with variations and swirls of peaches, reds and pinks. Truly original and truly lovely.

Whether you are ready to build your flagstone patio or  are just in the decision stages, Archadeck of Austin can help plan, design and build the flagstone structure you’ve been yearning for. We have years of experience building with flagstone and our design staff can help you decide on the flagstone that is right for you. Contact us today to find out more. Call (512) 259-8282 or email us at austin@archadeck.net


Oklahoma flagstone patios in Austin TX

Oklahoma Chocolate Gold Flagstone

Oklahoma Chocolate Gold Flagstone

If you live in the Austin area, you’ll see flagstone patios everywhere. They’re tremendously popular in this area for several reasons. First, they’re very attractive and have a very natural look which compliments that Austin landscape. The stone has a nice rustic feel and also adds subtle depth and texture to your patio.

Cement patios are also very popular right now with stain & stamp and stain & score. All of these concrete styles are very nice but just have a different feel. The feel of the stained concrete will depend largely on the stain color. Darker colors may often look more formal. There are hundreds of patterns and textures you can achieve with stain and stamp. In this scenario, the concrete is stamped to add a pattern that’s either just attractive to look at or a pattern designed to mimic a more natural look – perhaps the look of natural stone.

When looking at flagstone, it’s a great way to finish an existing cement patio or a great finish for a new patio you’re building. With our Archadeck customers, it’s always a popular request. We mainly work with flagstone from Oklahoma, Arizona and Mexico. The Oklahoma Buff Peach is one of our favorite flagstones to work with. The flagstone surface tends to be a smoother and flatter finish than some of the other Oklahomas – not as much undulation. The colors tend to blend with pretty much anything. The top surface tends to also be more consistent. This is important when looking at flagstone. Some of the other colors or varieties can have a more undulating surface which looks beautiful and natural but can be tougher to put your furniture on. Of, if you use it for the top of your bar, it may be tougher to place table settings on.

Some of the other Oklahoma flagstone colors we work with are Arizona Taupe which is similar to Oklahoma Buff Peach but is a little more subtle with all the shades leaning more toward the taupe hues. We also work with Oklahoma Silver Mist flagstone. It also is more subtle because the hues of the various stones all lean more toward gray. But in both the Oklahoma Silver Mist and Oklahoma taupe, you still have that nice unique variety of colors that complement each other and make your patio interesting and one-of-a-kind.

Your one-of-a-kind patio

We like to think that all of our project are one-of-a-kind from a design perspective. And, in reality they are. We never use the same project design twice. Every single customer gets their own rendering, their own architectural plans, and more. Every back yard is different and every family is different in terms of how they want to live in their back yard. What’s nice about flagstone is that every patio is one-of-a-kind. Flagstone is 100% natural and cut from the earth. It is not manufactured so no two stones are completely alike. So not only will the design of your project be one-of-a-kind, but your patio colors and stones are also.

The many colors of Oklahoma Buff Peach

Oklahoma Buff Peach is tremendously popular as I said above. We probably use this more than the other colors. The colors in this group are very subtle and pleasing but they also have enough variety to be interesting and unique. The hues include subtle peach tones, subtle taupe tones and even some subtle gray tones. Here are some pictures from our actual patios to show you the interesting color variations of the natural stone.

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio adjoining tigerwood deck

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio adjoining tigerwood deck

Perhaps it’s because this patio above adjoins a richly colored Tigerwood deck, the variation from this stone lot looks more subtle than the next two pictures.

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio in Austin TX

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio in Austin TX

This patio above uses the same flagstone color and you can see a more chocolate shade and darker taupes in addition to a lighter, whiter shade.

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio in Austin, TX

Oklahoma Buff Peach flagstone patio in Austin, TX

In this picture above, there are a bunch of more shades toward the taupe end of the spectrum as well as some darker peach hues.

Here’s another Oklahoma Chocolate Gold patio that’s screened in with some detail about flagstone finishes.

Wes Vann, Archadeck of Austin

Wes Vann, Archadeck of Austin

You can tell I am passionate about building with flagstone. Let me know if you have any questions about flagstone. Either use the comments section here, give me a call (512) 259 – 8282 or drop me an email wvann@archadeck.net.