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 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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
This Spacious Cedar Park, TX, Patio-Pergola-Fire-Pit Combination Pairs the Natural Beauty of Flagstone and Cedar
What could be better than a big, beautiful flagstone patio just outside your back door? How about a double flagstone patio with a grand cedar pergola for shade at one end and a stone fire pit for warmth and ambiance at the other end? Archadeck of Austin recently completed such a combination outdoor living addition in Cedar Park, Texas, and the homeowner can’t wait to show it off.
The first two things you notice here are the spacious patio, with its unique curvy shape, and the beauty of the multi-blend Oklahoma flagstone. Equally as impressive is the rustic cedar pergola, and this pairing of natural flagstone and cedar is stunning. In character with its Texas setting, this pergola is stronger and “beefier” than some because it features big, 6″ x 6″ posts, exceeding the normal standards for pergola construction. Since shade is so valuable on sunny Texas days, we designed the pergola with 2″ x 2″ slats across the top spaced every 3″ apart to enhance the structure’s shade benefits. Strings of party lights hanging from the pergola’s rafters turn this section of the patio into the ideal spot for outdoor dining any time, day or night.
On cooler evenings, the family will be drawn to the opposite end of the large patio where a matching stone fire pit will provide warmth as well as cozy ambiance. This is a gas-burning fire pit with a 36″ burner that heats rock and blue glass stones. The result is a highly effective and beautiful fire pit with stones that glow with firelight and put off a lot of heat. Don’t you love the custom-designed Texas star pattern of the blue glass stones in the fire pit?
Family and friends will naturally gather around the fire pit to share stories, sing campfire songs or just get lost in the hypnotic glow of the flames. This Texas-size patio is large enough that quite a few people can gather by the fire for warmth and camaraderie. The homeowner chose to add a seating wall on one side of the fire pit while leaving the other side open for patio furniture that can be rearranged depending on the need. The seating wall was built with natural limestone that complements the flagstone patio but doesn’t compete with it for attention.
This patio floor is built to exceed the standards for patio builders in the Austin area. Most builders only use a layer of decomposed granite with grout mixed in as the base for their patios. Archadeck of Austin actually poured a solid, full-scale concrete patio to use as the patio’s base. This is because, over time, this patio will not sink, tile chip or joints crack with this method. This gives the patio a longer life with no chance of incurring structural issues due to weather conditions or time.
Archadeck of Austin started this gorgeous project with a “blank slate” because, before we built this addition, the rear of the house simply opened into the backyard. The finished patio makes great use of an area that was once void, so this project can serve as inspiration for anyone presently lacking an outdoor living space!
If you would like to learn more about creating such an inviting outdoor living space right outside your back door, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This patio cover in Austin, TX, by Archadeck of Austin is a true masterpiece of design. As you can clearly see from the images, the space appears as if it has stepped off the pages and into reality from one of those glossy home & garden magazines. Jim Schallon, our lead designer, came up with the concept on this structure.
Even though some would say this patio cover serves as the ultimate outdoor man cave area, the benefits of the space exceed just enjoying the big game outdoors. This space serves a multitude of uses, it can evolve as your needs evolve. From outdoor entertaining to relaxing by the fire. The presence of the TV provides a space for family movie night, watching home videos and much more! The possibilities are as endless as the imagination.
The floor of the patio features a textured overlay finish, this was present on both the existing (older) patio and the new concrete patio and featured a custom designed Texas Star in the center. Having the advantage of a textural finish for the patio not only increases the aesthetic appeal of the space adding to the rustic nuances present in the natural stone used throughout the project, it also increases traction within the space. This makes the area easy to navigate even when outside weather conditions may be damp.
The focal point of the space is surely the large outdoor fireplace. Archadeck of Austin designed and built this fire feature and custom fire boxes attached using the same all natural stone used on the facade of the existing home. Since the homeowner’s wanted to attached a TV over the mantel of the fireplace, we ingeniously created a built-in space under the hearth that holds the electronic equipment for the TV. By working with the homeowner’s audio-visual professional, conduit was ran to perfect this feature and in addition a speaker system was installed within the ceiling of the space. Not only is the addition of these elements innovative, it also ensures the wiring and cords stay out of view promoting a clean, wireless atmosphere.
The exterior sunshades directly behind the outdoor fireplace were installed by a local company here in Austin. Austintatious Blinds that specializes in a diverse array of blind and shutter solutions. From custom wood shutters to polyscreens and other shade materials for exterior and interior residential and commercial use. These retractable shades allow the homeowners to block out the late afternoon sun.
The ceiling of the patio cover is simply stunning! We used Synergy Cypress E-Peck tongue and groove to get this amazing rustic look. Synergy products require no staining or sanding and come with an exterior grade protective polyurethane finish. You can also see a continuation of the rustic nuances evident in the ceiling are carried through the entire design including the cedar-wrapped posts. The railing we used is also cedar with aluminum balusters.
Take a look at this amazing project through the video we created for our Archadeck of Austin YouTube channel:
The homeowners are elated with the design, the process and of course, the finished patio cover!
If you would like to learn more about creating the ultimate outdoor room for your home, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com.
Our outdoor living space addition in South Austin is a good example of the way Archadeck of Austin is changing the way homeowners are able to utilize, and enjoy their backyards. We are able to deliver these kind of results in two ways; #1 we can transform the vision of your ideal backyard and bring it to life from the ground up, an #2 we can convert an existing outdoor living structure into the backyard of your dreams. The possibilities are truly endless!
In the case of these South Austin homeowners, they had an existing outdoor space consisting of an aging backyard pond and an exposed aggregate concrete patio. The pond had become a chore to maintain as it had become a nursery for mosquitoes making spending time in the backyard a challenge to avoid being bitten, especially after dusk.
Archadeck of Austin consulted with the homeowners and listened to their vision of what they wanted their backyard to be. They wanted a spot that was versatile in that they could find a respite from the hot Texas afternoons and relax in mosquito-free comfort. They still wanted to be able to take in the ambiance an open fire provided too, so the new design had to incorporate a fire pit. With these ideas in mind, we set out to bring their anticipated outdoor space to life.
There were some obstacles to overcome in order to give these South Austin homeowners the environment they wanted. One of which was having to finalize a design that would pass the impervious cover requirements needed for their localities. Once this was confirmed it was smooth sailing! The project also needed to be mindful of some drainage issues and maintain some space outside the covered porch to accommodate their outdoor grill.
The completed project is multi-faceted and included transforming the concrete patio by way of installing flagstone atop the existing patio and covering a portion to give the homeowners the needed shade they desired. In addition to the extensive upgrades just off the rear of their ranch style home, we also created a detached space that includes a custom stone fire pit encircled with a hardscape retaining wall, which can also double as seating. The fire pit is just a stone’s throw away (no pun intended) from the covered patio which allows the spaces to be enjoyed simultaneously. To the side of the porch and connecting all the way to the driveway we constructed a patio/walkway using an Oklahoma variety flagstone on a bed of decomposed granite and pea gravel. This allowed for a good solid surface but allowed any water to absorb into the soil.
The covered patio is finished a rustic ceiling, with exposed cedar rafters and T1-11 ceiling, which was stained to make it pop against the painted hardi wrapped posts/beams atop stone pillars. The covered patio also includes a ceiling fan to circulate the air on hot summer days and deters any insects from invading the space, plus some post sconces to light up the evening
The clients are elated with their new backyard — which is far more than just an outdoor living space, it is a completely new outdoor living environment! If you are ready to change the way you and your family live outdoors, contact Archadeck of Austin today to begin the process today — you can reach us by phone at 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.
Archadeck of Austin recently completed the final stage of this dual-phased outdoor living combination project in Lago Vista, TX. The completed masterpiece includes a patio cover which serves as an outdoor living room for these homeowners complete with a custom natural stone fireplace and hearth. Within the covered patio we also created a well-stocked outdoor kitchen which houses an egg smoker, grill and refrigerator among other amenities.
Just a stones throw away from the covered patio is the pergola-style protected shade structure designed to house the family’s beloved smoker that has been handed down generation to generation. The area includes an integrated park-bench inspired seating wall perfect for teaching the subtle innuendos of perfecting the art of smoking meats. The addition of the separate smoker space came about after the homeowner moved the existing perimeter fence out to accommodate the anticipated design in 2014.
Although, outdoor food preparation and outdoor dining is high on the homeowners list of favorite things, they also have a soft spot for natural and native materials. This is evident throughout the space in their choice of materials. Archadeck of Austin perfected the design of both outdoor living additions to compliment the rustic wood used in conjunction with natural stone.
The materials used within the patio cover consists of a tongue and groove cedar ceiling with posts and beams, including engineered beams, wrapped in cedar and stone. The spacious fireplace within the space is crafted from a combination of sandstone, limestone and Leuders stone. In the outdoor kitchen area we continued the use of Leuders stone and topped the kitchen area off with a beautiful natural granite countertop.
We continued the materials used in the covered patio, (phase one of the project), into the pergola-style covered space designed for the homeowner’s smoker. Here, we also used cedar and natural stone throughout.
The finished outdoor living combination is a raving success with these Lago Vista homeowners. They now have a backyard retreat that is overflowing with possibilities. From relaxing by the fireplace after a long day to turning up the heat and enjoying a feast from one of two food preparation locales within the space.
If you are ready to learn more about creating a space with endless outdoor living potential too, contact Archadeck of Austin to schedule a consultation today. You can reach us at (512) 259 – 8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At first glance, when you look at this recently completed addition in Austin, TX you will assume it to be a typical covered patio under a roof that mimics the look of a large gazebo, but indeed it is so much more than that. At closer inspection you will see the covered patio has all the amenities that make an outdoor structure great. The space contains an outdoor kitchen, abundant dining and seating space and an outdoor fireplace. The materials used in this construction are some of the finest used in outdoor structure designs.
On the outdoor fireplace we used a combination of brick that was chosen to match the brick used on the existing home and stunning white limestone. We used the limestone on the hearth and firebox that surround the fireplace and also added a decorative key made of limestone into the area right above the hearth. We also carried the use of limestone into the outdoor kitchen area where we used it to finish out the area on the side of the bar. Limestone is a solid choice for use in outdoor structures such as these, not only for its beauty but also for its density. Limestone is a dense sedimentary rock that is very hard. On this project we used white limestone, but limestone is available in a wide range of colors such as vanilla, beige, tan and darker hues like taupe and dark wood tones. Using limestone can also help bridge the gap between two separate design styles. Limestone is a transitional material and adding it in small touches or in a wide spectrum can help you mix two styles such as traditional and modern more easily.
Along with using limestone around the side of the bar/serving area in the patio cover’s outdoor kitchen area, we also brought in granite for the counter-tops in a complimentary neutral color. Granite is another natural stone. Granite is quarried from natural granite beds in large deposits beneath the earth’s surface. It comes in a wide arrange of hues from pink to black and is perfect for use in kitchens because of its resistant to man-made mishaps that are common in a kitchen setting. Granite is alkali and acid resistant, boiling water, oils, and wines will not affect the granite and granite is easy to clean. The material also offers resiliency to cuts and scratches as well.
The floor of the patio cover is finished in beautiful 12 x 12 ceramic tiles which carry the theme of natural stone influence used in the entire design of the space. Tile is easy to clean and will withstand the test of time better than wood, and it also stays cooler in the warm Texas weather and helps keep the space cooler by a few degrees. The use of stone, combined with the ceiling fans we installed in the covered patio will equal more enjoyment on the patio on those sultry days.
As you descend off of the covered patio into the beautifully landscaped backyard you will also notice the clever use of high-quality composite decking on the steps. This will make for easy upkeep and low-maintenance in keeping this stairway looking like new for many years to come. We paired the rich hues used in the steps alongside a custom iron railing for added elegance.
The entire completed project exudes an elegance that ties in all the uses of various materials into an eclectic style. The Austin homeowners are ecstatic about all the outdoor living opportunities their space has opened up for them. They view the covered patio as an extension of living space, and look forward to enjoying all it has to offer in the years to come.
If you are envisioning a covered patio in your near future, contact Archadeck of Austin. We can plan, design and build an outdoor space for you that will not only improve your outdoor experience but, we can create an area for you that make a design statement as well. Call for a free consultation : ( 512) 259 – 8282 email:Austin@archadeck.net
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more about creating a breathtaking hardscape outdoor masterpiece for yourself. (512) 259 – 8282
See more photos of our natural stone patios and hardscapes by visiting our patio and hardscape photo gallery located on our website.