Archadeck of Austin

Pergolas

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.

 

 

 


Austin patio-pergola-outdoor fireplace proves outdoor living projects can be budget-friendly

Austin patio covers with outdoor fireplaces

Austin patio covers with outdoor fireplacesLet’s start with the hard question. Do you feel like your budget might stand in the way of you having a new and/or improved outdoor living space? Almost everyone is budget-conscious these days, and we understand that may mean different things to different people. But if you feel your budget is keeping you from having the outdoor living project you really want, Archadeck of Austin will work with you “every which way” to try to make it a reality.

Before we look at today’s combination-outdoor-living-project-on-a-budget, let’s talk about the process we go through to arrive at a quote for a job. First, after we listen to what elements a client wants included in their project, and we offer our suggestions, we have to be able to tell them how much it will cost. If the number is too high, we’ll look at choices the client can make — maybe different materials, maybe scaling it back a little bit — to bring the price down. We don’t expect the client to sign a contract until we quote them a price they are comfortable with.

The price we quote is the actual price the client will pay. Does that surprise you? It should not. But we’ve heard about other contractors (not Archadeck) who quickly low-ball a quote just to get the contract signed. They may not take the time to do the necessary research about materials costs, etc., to give a semi-accurate quote. The client doesn’t realize some costs have been left out of the conversation. Oh, yes, they find out eventually, when the job is half-completed. What choice do they have at that point? They approve the additional costs and end up paying more than they would have if they’d gone with a higher (accurate) quote from a professional builder like Archadeck of Austin.

Today’s featured project is in Austin, TX, and it’s a sweet combination outdoor living project that includes a patio, pergola, outdoor fireplace and privacy screen. The homeowners were upfront about their budget. Their Archadeck of Austin designer sat down with them to go over all of the specs, materials and costs for the project. Together, they worked out a cost-effective plan that addressed the homeowners’ needs and wants — within budget.

Backyard before Archadeck of Austin began project:

Backyard before Archadeck of Austin began the project:

The clients were looking to add a shade structure to the back of the home and wanted to include an outdoor fireplace. Their home had an existing covered porch at the back door. The property was not right for a deck because there’s no change in elevation behind the house. Decking “at grade” is not a good idea. So they wanted a patio to extend outward from the existing porch and serve as the base for their new shade structure (pergola) and outdoor fireplace.

patio constructionStarting with the custom patio, we always dig trenches about 12″ deep and lay a beam system within the perimeter of the patio before we pour concrete. These steel beams reinforce and stabilize the patio to prevent the concrete from settling over time (or in response to ground movement). This way we know we’re providing a strong and stable pad for the concrete patio. Keep in mind, concrete will always crack, no matter what. The added perimeter and internal beams provide more stability to help reduce the eventual outcome of any concrete deck or patio.

For this patio, we added a textured and stained concrete overlay to the surface for visual appeal.

Austin patio cover with outdoor fireplace and privacy screen

For utilities, we ran conduit and a gas line from the main meter to the rear of fireplace for service, and we ran wiring for electrical access at the fireplace and at several other points around the patio as well.

Austin covered patios

We built the gas-burning custom outdoor fireplace with a combination of Nicotine and white flagstone. The Nicotine color is white with deposits of yellow and gold running through it, and the interplay of these colors mimics the variations in the patio’s textured-concrete surface in an interesting way.Austin limestone outdoor fireplaces

Extending from the fireplace, on both sides, is a low stone wall that is extremely practical in two ways. First, it creates a visual boundary for the patio, and second, it provides seating. The bench surface on the wall is made of smooth Lueders stone, one of our favorites.

The freestanding pergola is stained cedar, and over the top of the pergola we added a Polygal cover to deliver maximum shade benefits. This durable covering is an affordable way to add protection from rain as well as from the sun’s rays. It’s waterproof and it blocks UV rays, making the patio enjoyable regardless of the weather.Austin covered patio builders

Beside the pergola, we installed a privacy screen, also made of stained cedar, because the homeowners plan to add a hot tub to their outdoor living space in the future.

Finally, we installed a flat-screen TV above the mantel for the homeowners. Their outdoor living space comes complete with a remote control for the ceiling fan and to dim/control the lights: the comforts of the indoors brought outdoors.

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you create an outdoor living project on a budget, 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.

 


Can a new deck really preserve the charm of an Austin vintage home?

Austin Urban Deck and Pergola DesignsYou love your eclectic, urban-chic neighborhood, and you love your charming, vintage home, but maybe your home’s vintage deck has seen better days. Is it time for an upgrade to a better deck? Archadeck of Austin, premier deck builder across many Austin neighborhoods, has the design sensitivity to create a custom deck that will not look out of place for your area.

Take a look at this unique home in the city of Austin near Mopac Expressway and 38th Street. Homes here have character, and the area is undergoing extensive revitalization. The homeowner engaged Archadeck of Austin to replace an existing deck that was aging, nondescript and lacked any shade cover.

Before we began the project:

This job was actually a redecking and expansion project rather than an entirely new deck. Once we determined that the existing deck’s foundation was strong and had not been compromised over time, we were able to use it again, with reinforcement. We needed to replace the decking boards as well as the wooden skirting that surrounds the deck and shields the underdeck area from view. Oddly, there was a gap between edge of the existing deck and the front porch stoop, so we were able to expand the deck by about two feet. Finally, the client wanted to add a pergola over the deck for much-needed shade.

Austin Clear Cedar Deck FlooringSince natural wood was the client’s choice for decking material, Archadeck of Austin recommended clear cedar for the deck surface and the skirting. Clear cedar is a select grade of cedar lumber milled from the heart of the tree, and it is higher quality than the wood many other deck builders work with. For even greater quality, we used 5-and-a-quarter-inch boards as opposed to the competition’s nominal 2×6″ knotty pine. The clear cedar boards display a light wood grain with minimal (if any) imperfections such as knot holes.

Archadeck of Austin offers a choice of standard or premium pergolas, and this client selected the premium pergola, our most popular option. For our premium pergolas, we use 4×12″ beams, 6×6″ posts and 2×10″ boards for the rafters with 16” on center spacing. In contrast, our competition uses 2×8″ beams and posts and 2×8″ rafters that are 24” on center, resulting in a pergola that is less sturdy and provides less shade. The Archadeck of Austin premium pergola looks beefier, is stronger and will last longer than those built by our competition. Plus, our 16” on center spacing provides the optimum amount of shade on a hot Texas day.Austin TX pergola builders

For the finishing touch on this combination redecking and pergola project, we installed a metal screen on one side of the pergola to establish a privacy barrier. Vines and flowers will climb the screen to naturally obscure the view of the deck from the nearby downtown traffic.  This innovative privacy screen was built using Cattle Guard panels.

If you are looking for a creative way to upgrade your existing deck while keeping it in character with the neighborhood, 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 showcases its award-winning deck design in Round Rock, Texas

Archadeck Design Award WinnerYou 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!

Austin Award-Winning Design Excellence Award Winner

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.

Before:

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.

 

Austin Pergola Builder

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.

 

Austin Outdoor Kitchens

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.

Austin Award-Winning Deck Builder

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.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

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 (515) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.


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.

 


The ultimate outdoor living destination could be no further than your backyard!

Austin deck buildersWhen you imagine the ultimate outdoor living destination what comes to mind?

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!

Austin Ultimate Outdoor Living Environment

Austin Deck Builder

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:

Austin covered porch interiorThe 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.

Austin Poolside Pergola

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  jim.odom@archadeck.net.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.


Our recent covered patio and pergola addition in Leander, TX, proves that a space doesn’t have to be large to have a BIG impact

leander-tx-porch-buildersI think, often times, when a client looks to us to improve their outdoor living space or establish a new one, the assumption is the project has to be large in order to be effective. This is certainly not the case. A good outdoor living space design should not only speak to the scale of your existing home and landscape, it should also speak to the function you wish to carry out within the space as well as your budget.

Here at Archadeck of Austin our goal is to provide you with the most value through an outdoor living space that is customized to fit your specific needs. Not a cookie-cutter duplication or design. One of our most recent projects in Leander, TX, serves as the perfect example of an outdoor space that delivers based on functionality and keeping in scale with the architecture of the existing home rather than sheer size.

before-2When we first met with the homeowners to discuss their anticipated design, their only outdoor living space consisted of a small concrete builder-grade concrete patio. The homeowners wanted a space that was more conducive to the way they wanted to live outdoors. The patio has also been plumbed for the addition of a sink which influenced their desire to make sure their new space would include an outdoor sink.

interior-view-of-leander-tx-covered-porchOur completed design enhances the entire aesthetic and function of the backyard of this home. The new outdoor living space includes a gable roofed patio cover and freestanding pergola. To accommodate the needs of the client, Archadeck of Austin extended the existing patio with a curved orientation and added brick columns to match the masonry of the existing home. Cedar posts were used to support the roofed structures in unison with the brick columns. The pergola is supported by the roof extension of the covered patio portion of the design.

The interior ceiling of the patio cover features beautiful T1-11 with exposed rafters stained to add rustic flair to the area. An outdoor sink was installed, much to the owners pleasure, and this area includes a serving island and counterspace. Take a look at the before and after images of the transformation of this backyard beyond builder grade:

before-and-after-in-leander-tx

If you are ready to learn more about transforming your outdoor living space into the perfect backyard destination for you and your family, contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more at  (515) 259-8282 or via email at  jim.odom@archadeck.net.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin