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.
Challenge us! Archadeck of Austin designs a permeable patio to complete the perfect combination outdoor space
Present us with a design challenge, and we will show you a big ol’ knock-your-socks-off solution. Archadeck of Austin was thrilled to work with this Northwest Austin homeowner to design and build a spectacular outdoor living space, a combination screened room, patio and deck with an outdoor kitchen. One of the things that is so special about this project is its unique patio with a hot tub and a dramatic fire wall.
What could be so unique about a patio? Well, that brings us to the challenge presented by this homeowner. We were asked to design a patio that incorporates the proper drainage for water runoff so moisture will be retained and released properly into the natural aquifers in and around the Austin area. A permeable patio, that is. Jim Schallon, Archadeck’s lead designer on this project, managed to meet the technical requirements while creating a beautiful and relaxing oasis for the homeowner, family and friends.
The home had an existing wood deck in good shape and just the right size for an outdoor kitchen. By power-washing the deck and restaining it, we were able to restore the wood’s beauty and establish this area as the centerpiece of the project. On one side of the deck, we added a spacious screened room with a new roof cover that we tied into the existing slope system of the house. On the other side of the deck, we added the patio with hot tub and fire wall.
We placed the outdoor kitchen on the deck by building a wall, counter height, with Concrete Masonry Units (CMU, also called concrete blocks) and finishing it with a facing of beautiful ledgestone. All of the outdoor kitchens designed and built by Archadeck of Austin are built with masonry-cinder block construction. Other builders may use wood for the kitchen structure, since it will be covered with a stone facing and no one will see it. However, our sturdy outdoor kitchen construction won’t deteriorate or degrade over time; it’s permanent.
The 1” hand-installed ledgestone facing helps provide a solid support structure for the kitchen counter and appliances. The homeowner chose brown Lueders stone for the countertops, and we used matching brown Lueders cap to top off all of the walls. A dense limestone known for its durability and low maintenance requirements, Lueders stone is perfect for kitchen countertops.
This kitchen’s built-in grill alone will command your attention! It’s a Memphis wood-pellet BBQ system with Wi-Fi capabilities. The homeowner can monitor and adjust the temperature of the grill from anywhere; the grill can even send an alert to his smartphone if needed. In addition to the Memphis Wood Fire Grill, the new outdoor kitchen includes a refrigerator, drawers, storage and trash receptacle.
With plenty of space on the deck for a dining table and chairs, meals will go from grill to table in an instant. If (or when) insects are a problem, the new adjacent screened room offers a pest-free dining area as well.
This screened room boasts a rich Synergy Wood ceiling with ceiling fansto keep the air moving. A large flat-screen TV is mounted on a stacked stone wall built just for that purpose; we used the same ledgestone here that we used for walls in the kitchen and patio areas. Of course, we built in electricity to power the TV, fans, lamps and the homeowner’s outdoor heater to take the chill off in winter. The floor of the screened room is a textured stamped concrete that will stand up to many years of constant use.
And now for the patio, which had to be permeable. For the base of the patio, we layered gravel and soil. The patio surface is a repeating pattern of large pavers and smooth stones. Together these components allow water to flow naturally through the patio surface while providing a smooth texture on which to walk. Specifically, the patio pavers are 2×2 sawn cream Lueders stone, beautiful and durable.
The spaces between the pavers are filled with smooth Mexican Beach pebbles. Not only is the smoothness easy on bare feet but also the river rock feels cool to the touch as it retains the natural temperature of the ground at all times.
Prominent on the patio is the hot tub, and next to that we built a gas-burning fire wall, which might just be the fire feature of your outdoor living dreams. It is a ledgestone wall lined with fire brick and filled with lava rock. Hidden there are 60 and 72-inch stainless steel linear T-burners.
When lit, flames seem to dance along the top of the wall. The height of the fire wall is about even with the surface of the hot tub, so, as you can imagine, occupants of the hot tub will become a captive audience for this magical feature at night.
If you would like to challenge us to create the patio, porch and outdoor kitchen combination project of your dreams, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com 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 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.
How often do you catch yourself thinking…”if I just had an unlimited budget and all the time in the world”? This is something we often hear during our initial consultation with homeowners, when we ask what they envision as their ideal outdoor living space. It’s a common misconception that the perfect outdoor living space is beyond affordable. Archadeck of Austin wants you to know you don’t have to delay creating your ideal backyard retreat any longer. We offer a phased building program that allows you to construct your outdoor living space combination project in phases as your lifestyle and/or budget permit.
We start by working directly with you to fulfill your vision of the ideal backyard retreat through the design of a “master plan” which details all the structures to be incorporated within your completed design. With this master plan in hand, we can divide the project into phases easier to swallow from a budgetary and lifestyle perspective.
One of our most recent completed projects is the perfect example of a project built in phases. The project is located in beautiful Circle C Ranch in South Austin. The first phase of the project consisted of modifying one end on the rear of the home with a stain & score concrete hardscape extension. The second, and final phase, consisted of adding a patio cover with a cozy corner fireplace. The project timeline spanned three years, and was just recently completed in 2016.
The project scope for the initial phase included excavation and repouring the tiered concrete patios and surround(s), this also allowed us to proactively pour the foundation for the upcoming open porch cover. Also during the second phase, changes were made to ensure the covered porch roof tucked into the soffit on an angle as to not obstruct the view coming from theback door of the home, as elevation was a specific concern in this area. We engineered and implemented the perfect solution through the use of a unique shed/hip roof design, which also mimics the rooflines found on of the existing home.
The finished patio cover includes a corner fireplace and serves as a versatile addition as it includes a special niche designed to house the homeowner’s TV. The fireplace is beautifully wrapped in stone complimenting the Cedar tongue and groove ceiling of the porch and enhancing the rustic vibe. We finished the space off with elegant sconce lighting.
Working closely with the homeowners and abiding by the projects master plan allowed Archadeck of Austin to work out engineering, designing and building specifics allowing for efficient future additions and amendments. To ensure a unified outdoor environment, the structural integrity, traffic flow and ultimate function of each portion of the project scope were priority considerations during each phase of building.
If you have a vision of your dream backyard but you’re not ready to complete it all at one time, our phased building program is the perfect answer. We can bring the backyard of your dreams to life one beautiful stage at a time. Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more about our innovative approach to outdoor structure building. You can reach us at ( 512) 259 – 8282 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where do you search when you are in the market for updating and improving your home, landscape and outdoor spaces? Naturally, most of us turn to the worldwide web. The internet is overflowing with websites, forums, imagery and hubs offering new ideas and inspiration for planning your home improvement or outdoor living project. One of the most admired and frequented of all these is Houzz.
Archadeck of Austin was just awarded the “Best of Houzz 2016” award in the category of Customer Service. As the leading platform for home remodeling and design, bringing monthly users of more than 25 million homeowners and home professionals together, Houzz utilizes their annual survey and analysis to compile their “Best of Houzz” list of home professionals. In the category of Customer Service, award recipients are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2015. That means the 25 million+ monthly users that comprise the Houzz community recognized Archadeck of Austin’s commitment to excellence…wow, what an honor!
Who is Houzz?
Gone are the days of clipping pictures from home and garden magazines. Houzz is an interactive platform for home remodeling and design that is bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community. Here at Archadeck of Austin, we realize when homeowners are in the market for any kind remodel or addition to their home, they do a lot of research, look at hundreds of photos and reviews and get quotes from several professional companies. Adding an outdoor living structure is no different. That’s why we are thrilled to be part of the largest go-to site for remodeling, design ideas and imagery.
What better way to let our potential clients view an extensive portfolio of our completed outdoor living space designs first hand? Even though every project we design is created specifically for our clients’ individual needs and desires, our galleries within Houzz can spark ideas on how we can create a truly custom outdoor living space for you, too!
Houzz is easily accessible from any computer, smart phone or tablet. Once inside, you can view Archadeck of Austin’s extensive Houzz galleries of beautiful outdoor living spaces. You can find and save photos from our galleries to ideabooks you create and name yourself and reference back to them anytime you like! These saved images will also help us put together a design that is exactly what you want for your outdoor living environment. We are constantly adding new images to our galleries, too — so there is always a new source for inspiration!
If you are ready to enjoy your backyard again with a custom designed and built outdoor living space, contact Archadeck of Austin today. We build decks, porches, patios, outdoor rooms, pergolas, outdoor kitchens and fire features, and complete outdoor living environments, with the finest materials to suit your individual and unique tastes. Call us or email us for a free consultation at ( 512) 259 – 8282 or email us at email@example.com.
One of our recent projects in the Steiner Ranch area of Austin, TX, takes outdoor living enjoyment and beauty to a whole new level. The project incorporates an elevated deck and porch cover we designed to become one with the surrounding landscape while still looking original to the home.
In this era of synthetic materials, it is refreshing to design a space that incorporates the rustic benefits of natural wood. Archadeck of Austin uses a diverse selection of materials including composite, PVC, metal and many natural woods as well as stone native to the Austin area. For this project, we used aromatic cedar almost solely, including cedar flooring and a flat cedar ceiling within the covered porch space of the project.
Along with the aesthetic appeal of Cedar, it also resists moisture and insect infestation. Even if it is left untreated, it weathers to a silvery gray over time. Cedar also has remarkable dimensional stability. This means the wood has minimal change in size or dimension despite weather, humidity or temperature conditions. Many types of wood will warp when subjected to moisture, but cedar stays straight and flat which makes it perfect as a decking material.
The covered porch portion of outdoor living combination is easily accessible from the interior of the home and adds valuable living space perfect for outdoor dining and entertaining.The Cedar hip roof over the porch extends out further than most traditional roofed designs in order to add an extra layer of protection from wind and rain. This allows the homeowners to utilize the space in almost any weather. The outdoor space then extends via a stepped-down area into a spacious all cedar deck perfect for grilling, conversation and star-gazing into the open Austin sky. The design as a whole really is the epitome of having the best of both worlds for these Steiner Ranch homeowners to use at their leisure!
As is evident from the pictures above, the entire outdoor living space melds into the landscape as if it has always belonged there. This ingenious design takes native to a whole new level by the subtle integration of the beautiful trees on this wooded lot too!
If you would like to learn more about creating a one-of-a-kind outdoor living space in your backyard, contact Archadeck of Austin. We specialize in custom outdoor living structures designed with your lifestyle and individuality in mind. You can reach us at (512) 259 – 8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.