Archadeck of Austin

Patios and Hardscapes

Dog approves of NW Austin total patio makeover by Archadeck of Austin

When we took on this project in the NW Austin area off of 620 and Boulder Ave., we didn’t quite understand that all work had to be dog-approved. Luckily we got along well with the family pet, which loves the new bigger-and-better patio and pergola combination we designed and installed. On sunnier days, this pampered pooch probably make its way over to the side of the patio that’s covered by the pergola. We’re betting on that.

NW Austin Patio and Pergola Builders

These NW Austin homeowners called patio builder Archadeck of Austin because they wanted to overhaul their patio and deck combination. The low-to-grade wood deck was not aging well and needed to be replaced. The covered patio wasn’t functioning as a patio at all, but more as a place to walk through on your way from the yard or deck to get into the house.

Before Archadeck of Austin began the project:

NW Austin Patio and Pergola BuildersThe new outdoor living space we designed for the family called for removing the low deck and extending the patio in its place. We also added a stone retaining wall that can be used for additional seating, and we built a big, beefy pergola to replace the smaller one they had on the deck.

As sometimes happens, when we demo’d the deck we came across hidden conditions the homeowners had not been aware of. The deck had included one wooden step up from the patio to the deck surface, and that step had rotted. The step had been built closely around the original posts holding up the roof over the patio, so the posts had been compromised. They were no longer sound enough to continue supporting the patio cover.

NW Austin Patio and Pergola Builders

To remedy this problem, Archadeck of Austin replaced the four original posts with what are called star posts, technically load-bearing posts that are hollow on the inside. These new posts are specifically designed to carry loads. In this case, the load is the roof over the original portion of the patio. We put a new base around each star post and painted them to match the original color.

NW Austin Patio and Pergola BuildersAnd … there was more. When we removed the deck we found that water had seeped into a gap where the deck met the house, and the house siding had rotted at that connecting point. Fortunately the homeowner had an extra piece of siding tucked away in the garage. We were able to remove the damaged portion of the siding and replace it with the extra piece. With the siding repaired, we painted the replacement piece of siding to match the house color.

So, back to the patio! We extended the patio across the area previously covered by the deck. The homeowners now have a large and truly functional patio. The patio surface is a resilient stained concrete, and we stained the original section of the patio, too, so it would all match. We built a stone retaining wall enclosing three sides of the patio, and that wall has a smooth stone top that also makes it the perfect seating wall if additional seating is needed outdoors.

The homeowners wanted a bigger pergola for more shade, and we accomplished that. The new cedar pergola looks extra beefy because we used 2x10s for the rafter system instead of the traditional 2×8″ boards we usually use for that purpose.

Finally, we installed a ceiling fan under the pergola and placed sconce lights on the pergola posts for safety and ambiance on the patio after dark.

The family dog is truly content with the wonderful new patio, and we believe is fully appreciative of the shade the large pergola will provide once warmer weather sets in.

NW Austin Patio and Pergola Builders

If you would like to talk with us about enlarging your patio or building a combination outdoor living space, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

 

 


3 signs it’s time to kick your Round Rock, TX, builder-grade patio to the curb for something better

  1. You’ve purchased a brand new house — new construction — that came with a builder-grade patio.
  2. You’ve purchased an older home where the prior homeowner kept the original builder-grade patio.
  3. You’ve been living in your home for a while now, and you have it set up pretty much like you want it, except for the builder-grade patio.

Round Rock TX patio builderYou’re probably picking up on our theme here. If one of the above signs describes your situation, then you have a lot in common with our recent clients, who needed a reputable Round Rock patio builder. Wisely, they called Archadeck of Austin for a free design consultation. We have built many, many patios over the years, and each new client benefits from those years of experience.

Today’s featured outdoor living project is a patio extension, but it’s really more than just an increase in the patio’s size. When you increase the size of a patio (or a deck, for that matter) you increase its function exponentially. Suddenly you have a more livable outdoor living space that you can actually do something with. Decorate! Entertain! Cook out, eat out and just sit around relaxing with family and friends.

These homeowners wanted to increase their patio’s livability even more. Their dream project included a fire pit and an outdoor kitchen. At one point they were considering a deck addition instead of a bigger patio. As they explored options with their Archadeck designer, however, it became clear that extending the patio would be less expensive than adding a deck. And a patio would be the ideal setting for a fire pit and outdoor kitchen. That settled it.

Before and After in Round Rock TX

When Archadeck of Austin builds patios, we dig trenches. Seeing the finished project, you wouldn’t know we’ve done that, but we add these trenches to give homeowners some extra peace of mind. We use a beam system under all of our concrete patios. First, we dig trenches about 12″ deep along the perimeter and some within the interior of the patio area. The perimeter and internal beams are reinforced with steel rebar to stabilize the patio. Having this reinforced beam system within the base of the concrete structure prevents the patio from moving and settling over time. While it’s still possible that the concrete will crack, as it often does, having that extra stability means ground movement will not cause structural damage to the patio.

We also dug a trench to run conduit for gas lines that would be needed for the fire pit and the outdoor kitchen. The trench specifically for this purpose must be 18″ deep.

Round Rock Patio with Overlayment

For this patio, we used an overlayment process to create the beautifully textured surface you see here.

Once the trenches are dug and steel are in place, then we can pour concrete. For this patio, we used an overlayment process to create the beautifully textured surface you see here. We also added two sets of stairs, one by the kitchen leading to the side yard and the pictured stairs running to the rear yard. We also added two gates to the top of each , as they have grandchildren and pets to contain.

Now we come to this project’s special added features, which are very popular in Round Rock: the fire pit and the outdoor kitchen. These structures are made of white limestone. The outdoor kitchen includes a gas grill and a pedestal for the homeowners’ Big Green Egg style smoker. The 4′ fire pit has a regulator and starter. Notice how the back wall of the fire pit is built up so we didn’t need to run any railing across the backside of the fire pit. While practical, the stone wall also adds character to the project.

Round Rock TX Outdoor Kitchen Builder

Round Rock TX Fire Pit Builder

The finishing touch for this patio is a black metal railing system, by Fortress, that borders the patio’s edge. The railing helps define the area visually while also providing safety.

As you can see from the before and after pictures, these homeowners gained more than just a bigger space when they extended their builder-grade patio. They gained a multi-functional outdoor living area, with an emphasis on living. These clients are so pleased with the finished project that they have already referred Archadeck of Austin to two neighbors looking for a Round Rock patio builder specializing in outdoor kitchens and custom outdoor fire features. We love referrals!

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

If you have a builder-grade patio and want to learn more about the many benefits of expanding it into a more livable outdoor living space, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

 


New porch, patio and outdoor kitchen combo has Steiner Ranch family ready for Labor Day!

Steiner Ranch Combo ProjectMake yours a combo! This combination screened porch, extended patio and outdoor kitchen project in the Steiner Ranch community of Austin, TX, has oodles of great features. Where do we begin?

These Steiner Ranch homeowners hired Archadeck of Austin to convert a covered patio into a screened porch with a patio extension. We extended the original patio outward from the home’s back door and also extended it across the back of the house, creating an “L” shape.

The new patio is made of poured concrete with a textured concrete overlay, and the textured surface is absolutely beautiful. To enhance it even more, we added a score pattern so that the surface actually looks like tile. Really! Then we added a flagstone patio two steps down for additional seating.

Steiner Ranch Patio Covers

The lower patio is noteworthy because of the way we designed and built it for durability and longevity. Many contractors would simply build a wall around the defined patio area and fill it with decomposed granite for the patio base. Archadeck of Austin has seen too many of these patios gone bad. Using decomposed granite this way can cause cracking and sinking of the patio due to natural settling over time. Instead, we poured a solid concrete patio base and then installed the flagstone over it. This reduces the chances of the flagstone patio dropping, cracking, settling, etc.

Steiner Ranch Stone Patio

Now, on to the screened porch. We built a 12×14-foot screened enclosure over the shorter part of the “L” shape on the upper patio extension. Remember, this is the part of the patio extension that looks like a tile floor. The porch has a stick-built gabled roof with a 2-inch screen system in clay to match the home’s existing windows. The ceiling of the porch is our favorite — the Synergy tongue-and-groove wood ceiling with rich, warm tones. We recommend this pre-finished wood ceiling for its beauty, and we use it whenever we can.

Steiner Ranch Screened PorchThe new screened porch also included the installation of a full electrical package with ceiling fans and outlets for lighting or electronics. To make the space cozy when needed, we installed two heating units, one on either side of the porch.

For the grill-master/chef we installed an outdoor kitchen on the longer “L”-portion of the upper deck that was not screened in. The kitchen includes a good-size counter space complete with electrical outlets, barbeque grill, cooktop, and storage areas. While these stainless steel components seem very practical, the presentation is also quite attractive.

The base of the kitchen area (also called the kitchen surround) is built with 4-, 6- and 8-inch chopblock stone in the Santa Fe color. The countertop is made from smooth slabs of brown Lueders stone, a beautiful and durable stone. You can already picture the bartender standing here slicing limes while the family grill-master preps steaks and veggies for the grill.

Steiner Ranch Outdoor Kitchens

We have this Steiner Ranch family ready to enjoy their cookouts, just in time for Labor Day! There’s a large dining table next to the kitchen area and room for additional diners to sit on the screened porch and out on the lower flagstone patio. Dining al fresco will become this family’s new favorite pastime.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Where will you cook out? If you would like to learn more about creating a porch, patio and/or outdoor kitchen combination project of your dreams, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net  to schedule a free design consultation.


Challenge us! Archadeck of Austin designs a permeable patio to complete the perfect combination outdoor space

Northwest Austin Custom Outdoor Living Space BuilderPresent 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.

Image of backyard before we began the project:

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.

Northwest Austin Outdoor Fireplace Builder

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.Northwest Austin Screened Rooms

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.

Northwest Austin Permeable Patio Builder

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.Northwest Austin Patio with Custom Fire Wall Feature

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 jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 


Archadeck of Austin Recommends Resurfacing Rather Than Staining Concrete

Austin Patio BuilderWhen is the last time you were told “satisfaction is not guaranteed“? Probably never! However, if you are looking at Austin patio ideas and are thinking about getting your existing patio stained, we ask you to give some more thought to that before you proceed. Archadeck of Austin can offer a better solution.

Perhaps you have wanted to give your old patio new life and considered staining to be like a face lift for concrete. You may have seen a neighbor’s patio that was stained, and maybe they were thrilled with it. We want to caution you about expecting the same results at your home. There is just no way of knowing how staining will turn out. Here is the truth: Staining concrete is so unpredictable that we ask our clients to sign a disclaimer before we will stain their concrete surfaces.

The best thing about staining is the price. It is the most affordable option if you simply want a new look for your patio. But is it worth the risk? We have stained patios with mixed results — and it’s not just us.  We don’t want to get too technical here, but the most important factor is the condition of the concrete. How porous is the surface? And is that porosity uniform across the entire surface? Does the patio show any (unintentional) stains, maybe from fruit punch spilled during a long-ago birthday party?

Brushy Creek TX Screened Patio Builder

Keep in mind that while stain adds color to concrete, it does not cover up markings already there. Stain does not cover a surface the way paint does; it permeates the concrete. If a concrete sealer was applied to your patio in years past, that sealer will affect the results of staining today. How well was the concrete cured, originally, and was it cured uniformly? Was a curing membrane applied to the concrete? There may be a lot you don’t know about that patio you see every day. Inconsistent sealing or curing, no matter how long ago, will lead to inconsistent results when the patio is stained.

Austing Patio Covers

Austin covered patio with custom overlayment.

Archadeck of Austin recommends resurfacing, also called concrete overlay, instead of staining a patio to give it new life. We can show you exactly how it will turn out. If its surface is even and has no large cracks, your patio is a good candidate for resurfacing.  We will apply a concrete overlay, a cement-like material that we spray or spread over your patio to give it a new surface.

Even better, you can select a decorative finish for your patio such as the look and texture of stone. We can achieve the look of stone by stenciling or stamping the overlay after it’s applied. We can show you a wide range of textures and colors for your “new” patio. You can even request a slip-resistant surface if that feature is important to you!  What’s more, we recommend installing the concrete overlay near a pool, if you have one, because the new surface is less likely to be damaged by pool chemicals or exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

In a hurry? Many concrete overlay products dry quickly. Don’t wait to call us! If you would like to learn more about updating your patio without having to remove it and start over, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.


This Spacious Cedar Park, TX, Patio-Pergola-Fire-Pit Combination Pairs the Natural Beauty of Flagstone and Cedar

austin-patio-builderWhat 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.

cedar-park-tx-custom-stone-fire-pits

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?

austin-flagstone-patio-builder

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.

cedar-park-tx-flagstone-patios

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 (515) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 


This Austin Covered Patio Serves as the Perfect Outdoor Man Cave and Much More!

Austing Patio CoversThis 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.

Austin Covered Patio Interiors

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  jim.odom@archadeck.net.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.