When this NW Austin homeowner hired Archadeck of Austin to replace her existing wood deck, she didn’t know that her porch cover was in need of shoring up. In the process of removing the old deck, we discovered that the porch cover was no longer structurally sound. The beam that was holding it up was not strong enough to support the roof load it was carrying. See a picture of the deck and porch cover before we began the project below:
Since being advised prior to ordering the materials that she should fix the porch at the same time as the deck we included the materials needed as part of the total work order.
We conferred with the homeowner about this issue because replacing that beam and adding new support posts were tasks not included in the scope of our project. The homeowner agreed that replacing the porch roof’s support structure — while we were already in the same spot building a new deck — was a good idea. This was definitely a safety issue.
Now the homeowner has a sweet new deck with a sturdy and well-supported porch cover. For the new deck construction, she selected low-maintenance AZEK composite decking in Mahogany. Notice the deck board at the end, the way it runs perpendicular to the other boards. This is called picture framing, a method Archadeck of Austin uses now on most of our composite and PVC decks.
Picture framing allows us to provide a nice, clean, finished edge around the deck perimeter. It creates an even edge for the fascia and deck boards so debris and dirt won’t accumulate between those components. That kind of debris accumulation can rot the substructure.
We had room to expand the depth of the deck by about four feet, which may not sound like a lot, but it does make the deck feel much more spacious. While a portion of the deck is covered for protection from sun and rain, a significant portion remains uncovered for those beautiful days when nothing will do but to sit out in the open.
To support the porch cover, we added a new Glulam beam along its front edge. If you’re not familiar with Glulam beams, let’s just say this beam is a workhorse. Technically, Glulam is glued laminated timber. It’s “pound for pound” stronger than steel and much stronger than regular, comparably-sized lumber. And the adhesives used in the lamination process are moisture resistant.
We supported the new overhead beam with pressure-treated wood framing, and we wrapped the new support posts with cedar. Instead of using lattice screen under the deck, we used Hardie skirt board for a cleaner, more streamlined appearance. We shifted the stairs away from the building to improve traffic flow to and from the deck.
The homeowner selected the Fortress rail system in the black sand color with 2″ posts because they allow more of the view of the sloping back yard. She plans to fill the hillside with landscaping, using only plant material native to Austin.
Are you thinking of replacing your aging deck or other outdoor living structures? If you want the job done professionally, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
Sometimes, fixing one thing gives you the opportunity to fix a few others as well, taking you from good to GREAT! For example, take this deck in the Hudson Bend area on Lake Travis. The aging cedar deck was worn, weathered and due for replacement. Meanwhile … hmmm … how about eliminating those troublesome steps down from the breezeway to the deck. And … hmmm … what if the new deck could hold a hot tub … and what about those old railings …?
Archadeck of Austin addressed several issues by designing a new-and-improved outdoor living space for these Hudson Bend homeowners:
- Because we replaced the wood deck with AZEK composite decking, the new deck won’t fade and weather like the old one did.
- The deck is on the same level with the breezeway now, as well as the doors to the house and garage, so several inconvenient steps have been eliminated.
- The deck was extended to include an alcove for — yes! — a hot tub.
- The updated railings are sleek and allow a better view.
In the new deck design, we were able to match the deck’s elevation with that of the breezeway, not only eliminating the awkward “step down” but also making the space more open and functional. To bring the two surfaces to the same level, we raised the new deck up to the level of the breezeway. This adjustment makes the whole deck area look bigger because the breezeway and deck blend together now, creating one larger space. Also, the new deck design, level with the doors on the back of the house and level with the garage door, works much better for the homeowners.
Ready for the low-maintenance lifestyle, the homeowners chose AZEK composite decking in the mahogany color. We installed a triple parting board in the deck pattern, which is fairly unusual, because the client didn’t want any deck boards visibly meeting end-to-end. We engineered the design to use as many full pieces of the decking boards as possible. That’s the kind of challenge we enjoy tackling.
To make the deck sturdy enough to support a spa, we installed additional cross bracing and substructure underneath to accommodate the weight of it. No one will need to worry about the support there!
Finally, the sleek, new railing runs horizontally, giving the deck an urban edge. The homeowners wanted a low-profile railing in order to have full access to the spectacular view.
The new deck is beautiful and much more functional now that the breezeway and deck are on one level. The homeowners are quite pleased with the results and are asking, “Why did we wait so long to do this?”
If you would like to learn more about updating your deck and gaining an outdoor living space that’s functionally better in the process, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
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 (512) 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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
Our recent project in Travis Country West subdivision in SW Austin tells a story that is worth reading for those actively searching for a builder for their outdoor living space project…
In our business we meet many wonderful people from all walks of life, different tastes and varied ideas about what they want from their outdoor living space addition. It gives us great pride and speaks volumes to have the opportunity to work with a client not just once, but twice. As is the case with many of our clients that become “repeat” customers our recent project in SW Austin was completed for homeowners who moved and brought us, their builder, with them.
We originally met with these homeowners some five years back when we built a beautiful deck on their previous home. Their satisfaction in the deck we built for them led them to contact Archadeck of Austin again, upon moving to a new home, when they were ready to enhance their outdoor living space.
Their new deck was built in beautiful, low maintenance PVC AZEK decking in Kona from the Harvest Collection with a custom horizontal railing system. Whereas the norm in deck railing is often the use of vertical railing, Archadeck of Austin turned up the urban appeal of the space and opened up the views by utilizing a horizontal railing design.
The new deck also features a custom cedar freestanding pergola adding a shady spot and loads of charm to the space! To the farthest left side of the deck we also designed and installed a cedar privacy wall that helps subdue the neighbors view into the backyard and vice versa. All the framework of the pergola, and the deck posts are finished in rustic cedar adding warmth and richness to the entire space. Deck lighting by TimberTech and HardiePlank siding skirting finish off the perfection of this backyard space to a “T” and much to the happiness of the homeowner.
We are elated to have the opportunity to work with repeat customers and look forward to evolving with our customers as their lifestyles and outdoor living needs change.
Contact Archadeck of Austin today to learn more about why we are the outdoor living structure company you keep. You can reach us at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Being in the business of designing and building one-of-a-kind outdoor living spaces keeps us “in the know” about the best decking materials on the market. Our goal is to create a space that brings our clients the most enjoyment outdoors with the least amount of maintenance on their end. Archadeck of Austin is able to deliver almost maintenance-free outdoor living spaces through the use of many high-quality synthetic decking and porch material choices we offer to our clients. At the top of this list is AZEK decking.
Unlike other synthetic decking materials, that are wood/plastic composites or synthetics that contain a wooden core, AZEK is constructed of a cellular PVC material with a polymer cap for superior stain and scratch resistance. This material is solid and durable with a density similar to wood, but unlike wood, AZEK allows for maximum enjoyment with low maintenance. AZEK is impervious to insects and rot and stays 15 -30% cooler than typical wood or composite decks, making it the perfect choice for pool and spa decks, and welcome news for those bare feet! AZEK’s decking warranty is also something to smile about. Unlike other synthetics that come with a 25 year, pro-rated warranty, this decking product comes with a lifetime, limited warranty.
One of our most recent projects takes us to Leander, TX, where our senior designer, Jim Schallon, has created a stunning low-maintenance dream deck for homeowners in the new Travisso neighborhood. Jim’s background in outdoor living space design and building, and all facets of exterior residential building spans more than 30 years. He is a huge asset to our team and his talent shines through on each of his stunning projects!
The deck is built of AZEK decking in Hazelwood and the trim is built using Morado, both from AZEK’s Arbor Collection. The railing is beautiful black gloss Fortress iron railing which compliments and contrasts the neutral tones of the decking perfectly. The skirting on the perimeter of the deck was completed in Hardie board and painted to match the colors of the existing home. We took the design a step further by adding concrete pads at the base of the stairs to avoid a slippery surface and to reduce the debris that is tracked onto the deck from the backyard. The homeowners’ plan to install a retractable sunscreen to shade the area from the mid-afternoon sun.
Here is a look at the before and after images of this beautiful deck addition in Leander, TX:
As you can see from the before & after images, the new addition literally “opens up” the entire rear of the home. The new deck better accentuates the architectural lines of the existing home along with increasing the homeowners’ outdoor living enjoyment.
If you are ready to learn more about enhancing the way you view, and utilize, your outdoors contact Archadeck of Austin today! We would love to meet with you and your family to discuss bringing your backyard dreams to life through one of our custom, upscale outdoor living space designs. You can reach us at (512) 259 – 8282 or via email at email@example.com.