Archadeck of Austin

Posts tagged “Austin deck builder

Soil Amendment Will Ensure New Sun City Deck in Georgetown, TX, Has a Long and Healthy Life

When premium deck builder Archadeck of Austin removes a deck that’s sick and replaces it with a healthy one, we feel satisfaction approaching that of a transplant surgeon. Of course, we don’t have to source our healthy decks from deck donors. We custom design and build each one from the ground up, including this deck replacement project in the Sun City community of Georgetown, Texas.

Sun City deck builder in Georgetown TX

What’s unusual here is that the ground was part of the problem. It’s what made the first deck sick, so it was our job to ensure the new deck wouldn’t meet the same fate: mold, deterioration, and rot.

This Georgetown TX Deck Tells a Story We Don’t Want to Repeat

The clients’ original deck included two pergolas attached to a canopy with built-in benches. We had to remove the deck, benches and pergolas because they were deteriorating. The deck had been built so low-to-grade it had started sinking.

— Before: the existing deck was sinking due to rot.

When we took out the old deck, we found was it was rotting underneath. While pressure-treated pine is rated for ground contact, moisture can intervene and cause severe problems. This deck was in contact with the moist ground, hence our discovery of mold and degradation on the underside. In a case like this, a deck rots from the bottom up because the underside is not stained or sealed.

Design, Prep, Build. And Don’t Forget to Prep …

Georgetown AZEK deck builder

Knowing the ground under this deck stays moist, we took extra precautions to prevent the same damage from recurring. This illustrates one reason Archadeck of Austin has become such a trusted deck builder. We go the extra mile to make sure our projects last and look great as long as possible.

First, we excavated the soil under the deck’s location since we were building the new deck on the same moist spot where the prior deck had stood. Then we applied a 3″ gravel base before erecting the new deck. This system will allow more air flow under the deck and prevent the humidity level from rising enough for rot to occur.

Designing, Building Custom Decks and Pergolas for Austin and Georgetown TX Clients

We custom design every project we build because each client is unique and each home is unique. You could say it goes without saying, but not every deck contractor does this. For this Sun City project, we redesigned the space by installing a proper beam system across the posts supporting the pergolas.

Georgetown custom pergola builder

Another example of the custom work we did here is the spacing of the slats atop the pergola closest to the home. The homeowner had commented that the previous pergola blocked the light coming into the home through the windows. We were able to customize the new pergola to remedy that situation.

Georgetown custom pergola builder

As you may know, adjusting the spacing between slats across the top of a pergola will affect how much shade the structure casts. For this Georgetown TX deck, pergola and bench project, we spaced the slats at the front of the pergola (farthest from the house) 3” apart for adequate shade. Toward the back of the pergola (nearest the windows), we spaced the slats every 6″ apart. The homeowners will enjoy shade on the deck where they want shade and light inside the home where they want more light – thanks to the new customized design.

The Details: Materials Used for This Deck and Pergola Project

For the deck’s surface and benches, the clients selected low-maintenance capped PVC decking from TimberTech AZEK’s Vintage collection in their weathered teak color. We rebuilt the twin pergolas – including posts, beams, slats and trusses – with cedar and applied a solid-color custom stain on all of the wood surfaces. We were able to retain the original deck railings, and we didn’t need to modify the roof structure for this project.

Georgetown AZEK deck builder

Not only was the new deck prepped thoroughly, it’s also solid, sound, more useful and beautiful! Can you make out the triangle dinner bell hanging from the pergola’s beam? These Sun City homeowners can enjoy dining on their deck safely once again.

Whether you want a new deck, replacement deck, custom pergola or more, Archadeck of Austin is ready to design and build the outdoor living space that will make your home complete. Contact us today at 512-259-8282 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 rescues Hayes County, TX, homeowners from unfortunate outdoor living space design

Hayes County TX Outdoor Living Space BuilderIn these pictures you see an outdoor living project gone awry and the results after we accepted the task of making it right. Archadeck of Austin designs and builds porches, patios, decks, outdoor kitchens, pergolas and more — and we can design any combination of those structures. Sometimes we start from scratch. Sometimes we take what another builder did before us, like a patio, and make it bigger and better (much better). Or we take something old like a worn out deck, tear it down, and build a new deck-patio-outdoor-kitchen combination in its place.

And then there are times like this. To set the scene, we are in Hayes County, TX, southwest of Austin, outside the Travis County limits. Our clients purchased a new home with an outdoor living space that was nothing like they wanted. It was a brand new home, and obviously it suited them in many ways or they wouldn’t have purchased it. But the outdoor living space at this home was getting a negative approval rating from the homeowners starting on Day 1.Before

The home’s original outdoor living space consisted of a covered concrete porch/patio with a small cedar deck attached. It was all very plain and unappealing. The homeowners knew someone could do a better job of designing and building a more functional and enjoyable space for them. Enter Archadeck of Austin to the rescue.

The first problem was the covered porch/patio needed to be screened in. Insects were driving this young family crazy and they needed a no-bug zone.Hayes County TX Outdoor Living Space Builder

Then, they wanted the small cedar deck extended to cover a larger expanse across the back of the house, and they needed a stairway directly from the deck down to the children’s play area in the yard.

It sounds simple enough, but it was actually a complex project. We took out the Hardie Board ceiling over the porch and replaced it with a beautiful tongue-and-groove ceiling by Synergy Wood. We removed part of the roof on one side and built a new roof extension that came out deeper toward the yard. Of course, you can’t tell a difference where we extended the roof; it all blends in and looks original, as it should.Hayes County TX Outdoor Living Space Builder

We also had to demo some brick off the wall on the outside of the house in order to attach some of the new work directly to the original concrete substructure. Finally, we built soffits to match the original construction so that everything tied together. Once we had finished, framed and painted, we were able to install a wall of screen. Now the original porch/patio is a screened porch with a TV and seating area, and on the other side of that screen the family has a bigger deck with sheets of cedar lattice along the underside.

Hayes County TX Outdoor Living Space Builder

 

It feels like all is now right with the world, at least in this corner of Hayes County, TX. Our work is done here, and we have the Before and After pictures to prove it.

If you’re interested in reconfiguring your outdoor living space without having to tear it out and start over, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 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.

 

 


New deck in NW Austin gives new life to porch cover, thanks to Archadeck of Austin

Box of chocolatesTo borrow from Forrest Gump, a deck replacement can be “like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

When this NW Austin homeowner hired Archadeck of Austin to replace her existing wood deck, she didn’t know that her porch cover was in need of shoring up. In the process of removing the old deck, we discovered that the porch cover was no longer structurally sound. The beam that was holding it up was not strong enough to support the roof load it was carrying. See a picture of the deck and porch cover before we began the project below:

Since being advised prior to ordering the materials that she should fix the porch at the same time as the deck we included the materials needed as part of the total work order.

We conferred with the homeowner about this issue because replacing that beam and adding new support posts were tasks not included in the scope of our project. The homeowner agreed that replacing the porch roof’s support structure — while we were already in the same spot building a new deck — was a good idea. This was definitely a safety issue.

Now the homeowner has a sweet new deck with a sturdy and well-supported porch cover. For the new deck construction, she selected low-maintenance AZEK composite decking in Mahogany. Notice the deck board at the end, the way it runs perpendicular to the other boards. This is called picture framing, a method Archadeck of Austin uses now on most of our composite and PVC decks.

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

Picture framing allows us to provide a nice, clean, finished edge around the deck perimeter. It creates an even edge for the fascia and deck boards so debris and dirt won’t accumulate between those components. That kind of debris accumulation can rot the substructure.

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

We had room to expand the depth of the deck by about four feet, which may not sound like a lot, but it does make the deck feel much more spacious. While a portion of the deck is covered for protection from sun and rain, a significant portion remains uncovered for those beautiful days when nothing will do but to sit out in the open.

West Austin AZEK Deck BuilderTo support the porch cover, we added a new Glulam beam along its front edge. If you’re not familiar with Glulam beams, let’s just say this beam is a workhorse. Technically, Glulam is glued laminated timber. It’s “pound for pound” stronger than steel and much stronger than regular, comparably-sized lumber. And the adhesives used in the lamination process are moisture resistant.

We supported the new overhead beam with pressure-treated wood framing, and we wrapped the new support posts with cedar.  Instead of using lattice screen under the deck, we used Hardie skirt board for a cleaner, more streamlined appearance. We shifted the stairs away from the building to improve traffic flow to and from the deck.

West Austin AZEK Deck Builder

The homeowner selected the Fortress rail system in the black sand color with 2″ posts because they allow more of the view of the sloping back yard. She plans to fill the hillside with landscaping, using only plant material native to Austin.

Are you thinking of replacing your aging deck or other outdoor living structures? If you want the job done professionally, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

 

 


North Cat Mountain, TX, homeowner enjoys the view from his new deck!

Cat Mountain Deck BuilderThis might be one of the strangest ways we’ve heard of to get a new deck. When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade, right? This North Cat Mountain/Greenbelt area homeowner certainly made that statement true recently when his deck was destroyed in an accident.

This home featured a second-story wooden deck that wrapped around two sides of the house in an ‘L’ shape. The views from the deck are glorious. The home in North Cat Mountain, TX, overlooks the Greenbelt, a beautiful, wild, undeveloped area near Austin that didn’t get its name by accident.

Before Archadeck of Austin began the project:

One end of this large deck was supported by stone pillars at the edge of the home’s driveway. Maybe you can see where we’re going here, but we’ll finish the story. A neighbor’s car ran into one of the pillars, destroying not just the stone pillar itself but the deck it was supporting.

Image of damages:

The structural integrity of the entire deck was compromised. If this looks like a whole bag of lemons, our client soon found out he was getting lemonade. Although the homeowner didn’t have insurance pay for the entire project. They were able to achieve the upgrades and repairs needed by working with insurance and their own funds, which made it possible to improve the entire structure.

Cat Mountain Deck Builder

Finished project:

When Archadeck of Austin consulted with the homeowner about the design for the replacement deck, he didn’t want to make many changes. The layout of the original deck was pretty much just right. We built the new deck using cedar decking boards and applying a custom stain to the wood. We did change the configuration of the stairs leading up to the deck, and we updated the overall look of the deck by using a newer railing design. While the original deck railing was made entirely of wood, the new Fortress railing system features 3″ steel posts and railing with 2×6″ cedar railing caps stained the same color as the deck. The thinner metal pickets of the new railing system allow deck-sitters to see more of the incredible view of the Greenbelt.

View of Greenbelt from Cat Mountain Deck

View of Greenbelt from Cat Mountain Deck:

Additionally, Archadeck of Austin also rebuilt  the masonry columns and replaced the supports within because they did not meet building code. Fortunately, this was within our project realm, as we are not just a deck builder, and have the ability to do things that competitors can not. The finishing touch to the project was staining the underside of the deck which serve as a covered patio.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Has life handed you lemons lately? If your outdoor living structure needs to be replaced — for whatever reason! — contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

 

 

 


Spiral staircase is a winner for this just-right Steiner Ranch combo deck-patio-pergola affair

Steiner Ranch Second Story Deck and Pergola Combo with Spiral StaircaseCan an outdoor living space be small in scale and still be GRAND? You’d better believe it! Today’s project, located in the Steiner Ranch community of Austin, TX, drives that point home with certainty. This may not be the largest outdoor living space we have designed, but it’s unique — and one of our favorites.

This Steiner Ranch homeowner was referred to Archadeck of Austin by a previous client of ours who was thrilled with the project we designed and built at their home. And you know we love it when new clients find us through word of mouth. (If we have completed a project for you, don’t forget to tell your friends about it!)

To start, a basic concrete patio was the only outdoor living space existing at the home. Standing in the back yard, facing the patio and the back of the house, the homeowner looked up … and knew she wanted to add a pergola over the patio and a deck off of the second-floor bedroom. She also knew she didn’t want a typical deck staircase extending from the deck out into the yard. Whether a straight staircase or one that turned at a landing, either kind would be too prominent, visually, and would take up way too much space. It would stick out.

Steiner Ranch 2nd story deck with elegant spiral staircase A spiral staircase was what she wanted. OK! Archadeck of Austin is all in favor of spiral staircases, but they can be expensive. We did some research online and finally located an affordable spiral staircase by Salter Spiral Stairs. We were hesitant to order it, though, because it comes as a kit. First you go through Salter’s design consultation process, giving them the measurements of your space. Then Salter creates your staircase and ships it to you in pieces — along with installation instructions. If you have any trouble with it, they provide customer service reps who can answer your questions by phone.

Based on our experience in the world of DIY, some kits are good and some are not. We decided to take a gamble that this spiral stair kit would be satisfactory. It was GREAT! The staircase installation was seamless, and we are all pleased with the staircase quality. We even got an upgrade to include welded stair treads, which add a great deal of character to the stairs.

We built the second-story deck with AZEK low-maintenance composite decking in a dark hickory color. The deck railing is a black metal railing from Fortress, and it goes perfectly with the black metal spiral staircase. Finally, we custom-made a bench using AZEK dark hickory composite decking to provide additional seating along one end of the patio.

Archadeck of Austin Custom Built AZEK Bench in Steiner Ranch

 

Altogether, this combination outdoor living space now includes the original patio plus a new cedar pergola and composite deck — topped off with a spiral staircase, which is like eye candy! To support the pergola and deck, we built sturdy cedar posts matching the cedar pergola. We also added a Polygal cover on top of the pergola to protect patio sitters from sun and rain. The scene is complete with ceiling fans over the patio and light fixtures for nighttime use.

Steiner Ranch Deck and Pergola

 

Taking it all in at once, you can see we packed a lot of outdoor living design into a relatively small space! It all works together well without crowding or giving you that penned-in feeling. This Steiner Ranch combination deck and pergola project, with patio, demonstrates that an outdoor living project doesn’t have to be massive in scale to be effective.

Steiner Ranch Composite Deck Builders

 

Let us show you how to make the most of the outdoor space you have. And if you want a spiral staircase for your deck, we know just the one! Contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

 

 


Hudson Bend homeowners find deck satisfaction — and more! — with a new deck design

Hudson Bend AZEK Deck BuilderSometimes, fixing one thing gives you the opportunity to fix a few others as well, taking you from good to GREAT! For example, take this deck in the Hudson Bend area on Lake Travis. The aging cedar deck was worn, weathered and due for replacement. Meanwhile … hmmm … how about eliminating those troublesome steps down from the breezeway to the deck.  And … hmmm … what if the new deck could hold a hot tub … and what about those old railings …?

Archadeck of Austin addressed several issues by designing a new-and-improved outdoor living space for these Hudson Bend homeowners:

  • Because we replaced the wood deck with AZEK composite decking, the new deck won’t fade and weather like the old one did.
  • The deck is on the same level with the breezeway now, as well as the doors to the house and garage, so several inconvenient steps have been eliminated.
  • The deck was extended to include an alcove for — yes! — a hot tub.
  • The updated railings are sleek and allow a better view.

Here is a look at the deck before Archadeck of Austin began the project:

In the new deck design, we were able to match the deck’s elevation with that of the breezeway, not only eliminating the awkward “step down” but also making the space more open and functional. To bring the two surfaces to the same level, we raised the new deck up to the level of the breezeway. This adjustment makes the whole deck area look bigger because the breezeway and deck blend together now, creating one larger space. Also, the new deck design, level with the doors on the back of the house and level with the garage door, works much better for the homeowners.

Ready for the low-maintenance lifestyle, the homeowners chose AZEK composite decking in the mahogany color. We installed a triple parting board in the deck pattern, which is fairly unusual, because the client didn’t want any deck boards visibly meeting end-to-end. We engineered the design to use as many full pieces of the decking boards as possible. That’s the kind of challenge we enjoy tackling.

Hudson Bend TX AZEK deck overlooking Lake Travis

To make the deck sturdy enough to support a spa, we installed additional cross bracing and substructure underneath to accommodate the weight of it. No one will need to worry about the support there!

Austin AZEK Deck Builders

Finally, the sleek, new railing runs horizontally, giving the deck an urban edge. The homeowners wanted a low-profile railing in order to have full access to the spectacular view.

Archadeck of Austin redecking project in Hudson Bend TX

The new deck is beautiful and much more functional now that the breezeway and deck are on one level. The homeowners are quite pleased with the results and are asking, “Why did we wait so long to do this?”

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

If you would like to learn more about updating your deck and gaining an outdoor living space that’s functionally better in the process, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.


Archadeck of Austin asks: Are you ready to drive home a new deck?

Austin TX AZEK Deck BuilderReplacing 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.

Austin poolside patio and deck builders

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.

Austin poolside patio and deck builders

  • 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!

Austin Deck Builders at Cat Mountain North

  • 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.

Austin Poolside Hardscape at Cat Mountain North

  • Austin TX deck lightingDeck 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 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 (512) 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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.


Breathtaking Ipe Deck and Porch on Rob Roy at the Lake in West Austin, TX

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:

west-austin-deck-and-porch-combination-project-in-rob-roy-on-the-lake

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:

before-after-images-for-west-austin-project

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.

Ipe deck and porch combination at Rob Roy on the Lake in West Austin

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.

Ipe deck and porch combination at Rob Roy on the Lake in West Austin

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.

Ipe deck and porch combination at Rob Roy on the Lake in West Austin

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 (512) 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.


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.


This East Austin Outdoor Living Environment Defines Upscale Urban Elegance

East Austin Deck BuilderHave you ever perused through your favorite home & garden magazine and come across that one outstanding outdoor living space that exemplifies everything you dream about? For these East Austin homeowners, that dream is now a reality thanks to Archadeck of Austin.

This property is located just one mile from the heart of downtown Austin. An area that is alive with renewal, energy and urban vibes. When we initially met with the homeowners they were only looking to design a sunken area to house their hot tub. After exploring this option, and the criteria and costs involved, the conversation broadened as the homeowners expressed their desire to unify the rear area of their home with the detached garage apartment that is just a stones throw from their back door. They were also keen on the idea of having a space that could function as an extension of the home. A place where they could open the doors and the outdoor living area would just naturally flow with no barriers. This is when the design ideas began to come to fruition…

We began perfecting their vision by transforming the area that was previously just a concrete patio. We expanded this area and installed an Ipe hardwood deck to join the backyard of the home with the detached garage/structure as one cohesive space. We then designed and built a versatile outdoor kitchen, gas-burning outdoor fire pit and one-of-a-kind custom vine wall. Each element in the design adds functionality and contemporary styling to the overall project. The vine wall in particular is ingenious as we used 2 x 2 metal tubing and cattle panels welded together, customized and powder coated as the final touch to deter rust.

East Austin Unique Outdoor Living Designs

The customers are over-the-moon about their new outdoor living environment and are looking forward to many years of enjoyment.

Contact Archadeck of Austin today to learn more about our innovative, unique outdoor living space designs. You can reach us at (515) 259-8282 or via email at  jim.odom@archadeck.net

 

 


Archadeck of Austin transforms this Brushy Creek backyard from plain to perfection!

Brushy Creek TX Ipe deck builderThis project is located in Brushy Creek which is the area between Round Rock and Cedar Park, TX, and  it serves as the perfect example of a complete backyard transformation. When we initially met with the homeowners their outdoor living space consisted of little more than a builder-grade concrete patio off the rear of the home. Not only was the patio too small for the functions they had in mind, it also lacked pizzazz.

The dynamics of the Texan architecture of their home included both a stone facade and a metal roof. Both of which begged for a better interpretation of outdoor living Texas style. Upon consulting with these wonderful clients, they indicated their adoration for the aesthetics of deep-toned woods, however they did not wish to use cedar. After exploring the elements of many hardwoods they decided their preference really leaned toward the exotic look of Tigerwood and Ipe.

Austin Ipe Deck BuilderThe completed space was built from Ipe hardwood decking and extends off the homeowner’s existing patio. Ipe is among the strongest and most beautiful of all the hardwoods we use here in the Austin area for our custom outdoor living designs. Ipe comes from South America and is classified as an exotic hardwood. Ipe’s rich, dark tone varies from board to board giving it an exotic look. The real advantage to using Ipe is its density and strength which make it a solid material to use on decks, porches and other outdoor structures.

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 is so dense that it doesn’t absorb much water which results in a lack of the normal expansion and contraction evident with other wooden decks.

Austin Ipe Deck Builder

For this project, we used a complimentary black iron railing made by Fortress. We also oiled the decking planks following installation because Ipe requires oil so it can penetrate the wood surface. Frequent oiling is recommended to maintain the rich wood look Ipe is known for, or it may be left untreated allowing it to turn a silvered patina look. The deck extension/addition makes the space a spacious 10 feet deeper and enables them to enjoy the beauty of the native trees within their landscape and there was even room for the homeowner’s to add their own fire pit table. Take a look at these amazing before & after images to see the transformation:

before-and-after-in-brushy-creek-tx-2before-and-after-in-brushy-creek-tx-2

Needless to say, the clients are elated with their new outdoor living space. It embodies all the qualities they love about the Texas outdoors, 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 jim.odom@archadeck.net to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.


Top 6 Reasons a Professional Austin Outdoor Living Space Builder is Worth the Wait!

Covered patio in Austin, TX with outdoor kitchenChoosing a reliable, professional outdoor living structure company can be difficult, and how can you really make sure they are the right company for you? Custom design, over 16 years in the Austin market and attention to quality and detail are all important factors to consider.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, neither should your anticipated outdoor living addition. Keep in mind, that quality and true craftsmanship require time and expertise. With this in mind, here are the top 6 reasons choosing Archadeck of Austin for your outdoor living space endeavor is definitely worth the wait…

  1. Contemporary Outdoor Living Space Designer and Builder Austin TXBetter Building by Design – The design of an outdoor structure isn’t just about a layout and the build. The design of an outdoor structure is a reflection of your personality. It is an extension of the way you live your outdoor lifestyle and see yourself living in that space. Choosing a builder that will custom design your project and match your needs to every last detail will have you feeling thankful you waited.
  1. Enjoy for years to come – Getting your outdoor space completed in time to enjoy the season is a common concern. But what about the following seasons and countless years to come? From graduations, bridal or baby showers to becoming the family gathering hub, this outdoor living space is going to be appreciated year after year. So give it the time it deserves to be built and know that it is all worth the wait to get the perfect family space to enjoy for many years to come.
  1. Outstanding Project Management – A project build has a lot of moving parts. With a experienced project manager your build will progress smoothly and on schedule. A lot of the time, other teams have to be brought in to get part of the job completed. This can include plumbers, painters, electricians, roofing contractors and many more. The right project management team will ensure your outdoor structure(s) are completed within the time frame of your build in mind.
  1. Archadeck of Austin wins a best of Houzz service award in 2016High Quality Builders – Research to find a professional Austin deck, porch or patio builder is apart of the process. What do the most trusted sites have to say about the company? Do their reviews hold up to the standard you’re looking for in a builder? They absolutely should. Archadeck of Austin is proud to have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and Archadeck of Austin was awarded a Best of Houzz service award in 2016.

Interior of South Austin covered patio

  1. Understanding Restrictions and Keeping You Safe – A set back in design or build can always have a solution if you’re working with the right professional builder. Archadeck’s national design team assists in the engineering of your project. Keeping your safety as a main focus, assistance to determine how much weight a column or beam can hold based off the soil in your yard is just one example of how the national design team lends a hand.

Austin deck and porch builders

  1. Whichever way you look; we’ve got your back – No matter the project, you –the customer will be in trusted hands with Archadeck of Austin. Your project will be backed by three national warranties. The first is the Workmanship Warranty which covers defects within the material used such as splitting, severe warping, leaking roofs or shifting patio pavers. The second warranty will cover defects within the structural components and is what we refer to as the Structural Warranty. Footings, patio base material, columns, beams and joint are a few structural components included on the warranty. Last but not least, any manufactured items will be covered under the terms of the Manufactured Warranty including pressure treated lumber, windows, pavers or any outdoor kitchen components.
Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Remember these top 6 reasons it is worth the wait when choosing an Austin outdoor living space builder. Contact Archadeck of Austin at (515) 259-8282 to schedule a free design consultation today or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net.

 

 

 

 


A beefed-up deck design and gabled pergola make this SW Austin backyard a force to reckon with!

SW Austin multi-level deck and pergola

SW Austin multi-level deck with pergola.

When Archadeck of Austin initially met with these SW Austin, TX, homeowners their backyard consisted of a multi-level cedar deck that needed work. Where many builders might have suggested the exiting deck be demolished and a new one built in its place, we looked past the deck’s cosmetic flaws to reveal a vision of what the deck could become. With a little ingenuity, TLC and elbow-grease, we were able to transform the space into a huge asset as opposed to an eyesore.

We began by “beefing up” the existing cedar deck to make it structurally sound and safe. We then power-washed the structure bringing it back to the bare wood to reveal the beautiful grains of the cedar. After these steps we then began the addition of the gabled pergola.

SW Austin multi-level deck with pergola

The pergola is designed for versatility and engineered to ensure clearance of the top floor window of the existing home. The addition not only increases the aesthetics of the entire structure, it also serves as a refuge from inclement weather and sun. We also installed a Polygal cover for added protection. Archadeck of Austin installed the pergola cover in an ingenious manner that allows rainwater to drain into and through the existing gutters of the home. Multiwall sheets, often referred to by the brand name of Polygal, are a structured sheet product available in double and triple layered configurations and manufactured in various colors and degrees of transparency. Polygal allows sunlight in but provides protection from unwanted elements, such as rain.

Detail image of gabled roof on pergola.

Detail image of gabled roof on pergola.

To finish off the project we stained the entire structure in a dark cedar/walnut hue for cohesiveness. These SW Austin homeowners are elated with their new, old deck, that has added tons of enjoyment and satisfaction to the time they spend outdoors!

This project serves as a great example of our innovative design process. In certain scenarios, we can make your existing or aging outdoor structure like new again — or even better! Contact Archadeck of Austin today to learn more about revitalizing your backyard today! You can reach us at (515) 259-8282 to schedule a free design consultation today or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

 

 


Read all about our dreamy Austin, TX, deck addition featured in Qualified Remodeler magazine

Qualified Remodeler April 2016

Extra, Extra Read all About it!

As you are looking through the April 2016 issue of the Qualified Remodelers Magazine, you will find beautiful Outdoor Living Spaces highlighted that will have you dreaming of one for yourself.  The good news is;  a space like this is within reach with the right design and builder. Archadeck of Austin can turn your vision into a reality just as we did for these happy homeowners in Austin, Texas.

Starting on page 38 of the magazine, you will find a beautiful outdoor living space that Owner of Archadeck of Austin, Jim Odom, and TimberTown, a lumber and building materials dealer in Austin, TX, worked to complete. The extent of the project consisted of a complete tear down and rebuild. This meant creating a design to replace, enlarge and transform the existing cedar deck that stood in its place.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin Qualified Remodeler Magazine

This beautiful 950 square foot elevated deck and porch was built with multiple living spaces to fit all needs, from outdoor dining to a peaceful haven you can appreciate day or night, while providing stunning views of the Cat Mountains that exceed the expectations of the homeowners. You can read more about the amazing details of this project in our article; “Custom features abound in this Austin, TX, elevated outdoor living space!

Austin Fiberon Deck BuilderOne of Archadeck’s main priorities in deck building is to provide deck safety; that’s why we take the time to inspect the existing deck and see how we can improve upon the next structure. As you will read in the Qualified Remodelers Magazine, for this project we rebuilt the structure to new specifications and used 6-by-6-inch steal posts to properly secure the outdoor living space that sits 17-feet above a sloping site. For the railing we used a stainless steel baluster, or closely spaced supports, ensuring both safety and little obstruction of the amazing views.

Not only did we have the utmost safety in mind when building this deck, we wanted to extend the outdoor living space’s life by using Fiberon Horizons decking in Tudor Brown, which is capped (covered) on all four sides with a patent-pending PermaTech® surface material. This increases the durability and fade resistance of the deck, and provides a polished appearance all over. This type of decking requires very little maintenance with no sanding, staining or sealing, and leaves more time enjoy your outdoor living space with family and friends!

Austin deck builder

If you too are interested in making your dream outdoor living space a reality, contact Archadeck of Austin at (515) 259-8282 to schedule a free design consultation today or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

 


Finding Outdoor Living Bliss in Lost Creek

Lost Creek Covered Deck Addtion and Extension in Southwest AustinThis project takes us to Lost Creek, directly beside Barton Creek in Southwest Austin. These homeowner’s hold a special place in our hearts here at Archadeck of Austin as we have worked with much of their family on previous projects and as always, they are a joy to design and build for.

The design of this porch cover began to take shape after the homeowners requested a remodel to their existing elevated, back deck. They wanted a larger space that would accommodate family and friends and also a measure of shade. As part of their goal to revamp the entire home, they started with the area that they planned to utilize the most frequent — the rear deck.

Before:

Before:

Upon inspection, we determined that the existing decking or the original space was in poor condition. Archadeck of Austin then removed the old deck and extended the footprint to better take in the scenic hilltop views. We used Fiberon Horizon low-maintenance decking in Tudor Brown. Horizon decking boards are capped (or covered) on all four sides with a patent-pending PermaTech® surface material. Four-side capping increases durability, enhances stain and fade resistance, and ensures a more polished appearance all around. Plus, Horizon boards feature two different wood grain patterns on the top and bottom for more design options and less on-the-job material waste. Horizon Decking also never needs sanding, staining or sealing which will allow these homeowners less worry of maintenance and more time for enjoyment in the new space!

Southwest Austin deck extension, redeck and patio cover

After — WOW!

In addition to upgrading the deck, we also installed an aluminum Structall patio cover with a stucco embossed finish to add shade and protection from the weather. Traditional wood frame covers require more maintenance and their construction can be costly, drawn-out and inconvenient. Structural aluminum covers install quickly, are more durable, require less maintenance, and can be easily converted to a room enclosure later. Structall covers are attractive. Their continuous textured surface is available in stucco or cedar embossed finishes,  These enamel finishes are baked onto the metal surface, making them virtually maintenance-free. Structall covers are also durable and engineered to last.

Porch cover detail

To gain the desired height of the patio cover, Archadeck of Austin redesigned the placement of the addition by raising the beam 1.5′ enabling it to sit higher on the home’s roof. The original placement meant the structure would come off the home’s soffits, however through ingenious design we were able to provide the height the clients preferred.

View from Lost Creek Deck and Patio Cover in SW Austin

The finished project is everything, and more, these Lost Creek homeowners had imagined. Now they can spend limitless weekends and afternoons with their close-knit family, grilling outdoors with a stunning view of the world around them —life is Good.

Lost Creek Covered Deck Addtion and Extension in Southwest Austin

If you are interested in making the most out of your outdoors with a new or improved outdoor living space, contact us today to discover how our custom, one-of-a-kind outdoor living designs can make it happen!  You can reach us at  ( 512) 259 – 8282  or email us at  jim.odom@archadeck.net.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin


Archadeck of Austin Explores the History of the Beloved Backyard Deck

Pressure treated deck Austin TX

Pressure treated deck Austin TX

“The more you know about the past, the better prepared you are for the future”

— Theodore Roosevelt

In much the same way our interior spaces are the heart of our home, the backyard deck is an outdoor living staple and remains the heart of the backyard. Today’s decks are not the one-dimensional “plain Jane” decks of the past. 21st century decks have become the centerpiece of the backyard the “glue”  that holds the outdoor area together. The history of the deck itself is quite fascinating, and spans farther than you probably imagine. Its history and subsequent evolution have much to do with the industrialization and the post-war economy of America… and this is where our story begins…

  • outhouse

    Ye’ old backyard outhouse.

    Humble Beginnings

Interestingly enough, it wasn’t until the 1950’s and 1960’s that the backyard became the focal point of recreation and relaxation as it known for today. Up until this time, the backyard served a more practical purpose of sustaining and supporting the family. For example, families kept livestock such as cows, chickens and pigs in their backyard. This utilitarian purposed often resulted in a backyard filled with malodorous odors, from the livestock to — YES the outhouse, which made it less than attractive for relaxing outdoors.

cookoutGradually, outdoor environments evolved into what had once been a place to sustain families to becoming a place of leisure and relaxation instead. This is because Americana itself changed.  The evolution of the backyard happened when households shifted from being self-contained to supporting the local economy by becoming consumers of shops and stores.  Once indoor plumbing and sanitation became more commonplace, gone were the animals and smells of the outhouse as well as the labor of toiling for that night’s dinner.  Leisure suddenly became a popular concept as there was now actually time for relaxation.

Charting the changes of how Americans embraced their outdoor spaces began during the Civil War era, when families would relax after a meal on porches. Looking ahead into the early part of the 20th century, with the invention of the radio in the 1920’s, families would then gather in the living room to listen to the evening’s entertainment.  Automobiles were prone to blowing up, so garages were placed to the rear of the lot taking up part of the backyard. The garage eventually became attached to the house in the 1950’s, freeing up space in the backyard.  The backyard evolved from a practical space to becoming our refuge and haven from life. The new vision became the idea of having your own little piece of greenspace behind the house in order to relax and to play.

civil war era photo

Civil War era photo of residential outdoor landscape.

While no one knows who actually invented or takes credit for the concept of the deck, evidence unearthed suggests that patios were used in ancient Israel, either in the courtyard or on the rooftop, as a place of leisure and entertainment.  Necessity is the mother of invention, and entertaining in all kinds of weather, especially since the earth can become muddy and messy when it rained, became the impetus and thus, the American deck was born.  Just as the porch did in the front of the house years earlier, decks became the answer to the problem and a key element to our homes, defining our backyards.

Ruins of the Fortress Masada in Israel

Ruins of the Fortress Masada in Israel.

Decks really started to come into their own in the early 1980’s when homeowners began to think about decks as an extension of their interior living space.  Earlier decks were usually a simple 8 x 10 ft. platform.  But, as the idea of bringing interior elements outside gained popularity Americans began having a more active, outdoor lifestyle.  The popular trend of outdoor cooking made the deck an extension of the kitchen.  Instead of a simple grill, the deck can now include an outdoor kitchen equipped with cooktops, refrigerators and warming drawers, not to mention the kitchen sink.

Outdoor kitchen detail Rock Round, TX

Outdoor kitchen in Red Rock, TX.

Today, backyards are customized to fit an individual’s artistic expression and style, just like any other space in your home.  Decks can be designed to blend naturally with your home and surrounding property including natural elements such as rocks, trees and running water. Decks are so versatile in their design and entertainment value, that they have become the outdoor great room where one can curl up with a good book, swing in a hammock or soak in the hot tub.  Today’s multifunctional deck does it all, from being a stand alone structure, to a key element in an outdoor living environment.

Austin Zen deck with integrated trees

Zen-inspired deck in Austin, TX.

Let us build the deck of your dreams and let your imagination run wild.  With so many options and amenities available to the homeowner, you can create your own style and have a truly unique outdoor living space customized specifically for you.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Contact Archadeck of Austin today to learn more about getting the most out of your outdoor living environment with a deck upgrade, redecking or new deck addition today.

 


Follow Archadeck of Austin on Houzz — Your One Stop for Outdoor Living Inspiration!

Archadeck of Austin is featured on HouzzWhere 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 wins a best of Houzz service award in 2016Archadeck 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.

Archadeck of Austin's Houzz profile

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!

Archadeck of Austin's Houzz patio galleryHouzz 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  jim.odom@archadeck.net.


Our Austin Elevated Deck and Porch Project in Steiner Ranch is the Epitome of Rustic and Romantic!

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.

Cedar deck and porch cover in Steiner Ranch, Austin, TX

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.

Steiner Ranch All Cedar deck and porch in Austin, TX

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!

Austin TX Cedar porch and deck builder

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!

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

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 jim.odom@archadeck.net.

 

 


Custom features abound in this Austin, TX, elevated outdoor living space!

Austin deck and porch buildersHave you wondered what it would be like to have an outdoor living space that was designed to cater to your every outdoor living need? For instance, having the perfect spot for outdoor dining, a respite where the views exceed your expectations on a daily basis or an oasis that is as functional as it is beautiful, day or night? This is exactly what these Austin, TX, homeowner’s got when they hired Archadeck of Austin to design and build their elevated deck and porch.

This spacious outdoor living space consists of an elevated, 2nd story low-maintenance deck and covered porch area with all the trimmings! The deck was built using Fiberon Horizons decking in Tudor Brown. Horizon decking is capped (or covered) on all four sides with a patent-pending PermaTech® surface material. Four-side capping increases durability, enhances stain and fade resistance, and ensures a more polished appearance all around. Plus, Horizon decking features two different wood grain patterns on the top and bottom to add more character to your deck design with less on-the-job waste. In addition, Fiberon decking requires no sanding, staining or sealing , ever. This means less worry over maintenance and more time to enjoy the finer things in life!

Austin Fiberon Deck Builder

The beautiful deck is accented with custom-designed and constructed horizontal tubular railing that has been powder-coated black. Atop the railing, and expanding the entire perimeter of the space, Archadeck of Austin installed a double composite cap offset within with a super strong fabricated steel plate to prevent climbing on the railing. In addition to the safety factor, the double cap also serves as a luxurious bar area to use as a drink ledge measuring out to 11″, and is even large enough, standing at 42″, to pull up a bar stool and double as a impromptu spot for dining, conversation or enjoying a beverage while taking in breathtaking views of Austin proper.

Austin TX custom deck and porch designs

We took the abundance of custom features a step further by designing and building integrated bistro-style seating out of the same composite used on the deck around the cedar posts of the covered porch portion of the space. We even designed a built-in bench for additional seating when entertaining friends and family. Last cut certainly not least, this outdoor living space picks up where other designs leave as an afterthought — evening enjoyment! The entire space is loaded with romantic LED outdoor lighting to aid in utilizing the space to its fullest potential in the evening, and creating ambiance.

Austin deck builder

These Austin homeowners are elated with their new space. They view it as an all-inclusive escape that is close as just a few steps out the door! With everlasting views of the beautiful Cat Mountain, the backdrop to outdoor living enjoyment knows no end — literally.

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

If you are interested in learning more about creating a slice of Heaven in your backyard too, contact Archadeck of Austin to schedule a consultation today at (512) 259 – 8282 or via email at jim.odom@archadeck.net.

You can see more images of this project and many more of our stunning outdoor living designs by visiting our extensive galleries on Houzz.

 

 

 


Integrating nature into your Austin outdoor living area

Austin Zen deck with integrated trees

Archadeck of Austin cares about the natural landscape and enjoys working with existing trees within the area where you may be considering adding a deck or other outdoor living structure. We like to design your outdoor structure to fit your existing trees instead of clearing the area. Not only does this keep the beauty of your landscape intact, it makes for an interesting design feature of your deck.

Austin deck with integrated trees

One example of the way we make every effort to integrate any existing trees of worth into your outdoor living design is a stunning Tigerwood deck flanked by double flagstone patios on either side that we completed in the Oak Hill community in South Austin. The area where the deck and double patio lies contains some majestic, mature conifers that we were able to incorporate into the layout and design of the structures to preserve the beauty of the landscape and not harm the trees.

 

Tree integrated into Austin TX deck

The foundation of any good outdoor structure design begins with working with the landscape when possible. Many builders set off on their projects by initially “clearing off” the entire area where an outdoor structure is to be built. We like to look at all the individual characteristics of  each landscape, as well as the home, when we design outdoor structures. Mature trees can take years, even decades to reach a size where they provide optimal shade in a homeowners backyard. With this in mind, combined with the trees’ beauty, why would clearing off the area of trees be the automatic choice or the right choice?

Austin hot tub deck with integrated trees

Leaving the tree(s), and working the design around the tree is sometimes the glue that holds the entire design together. It adds visual interest, adds shade without having to use an awning or other protective covering, and it opens the door to so many stunning possibilities. One way we make use of an integrated tree is to add built-in bench seating around the tree. This outcome is similar to the style of a French Tete-a-Tete chair or bench from a by-gone area. It provides an intimate place to strike up a conversation and adds much-needed seating when entertaining outdoors.

Austin seating bench around integrated tree

Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more about integrating a tree, or trees into your deck or other outdoor design. Incorporating existing trees into your deck may be easier than you think. We specialize in creating an outdoor space that is unique. Our outdoor spaces are designed to fit your individuality and lifestyle in a way that is certain to make heads turn to take a second glance.

Austin Ipe deck with integrated trees

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Call us today for a free consultation, we can meet with you to discuss the existing landscape in and around your proposed area and work with your existing foundation plantings and trees to give you the best outdoor structure possible.  (512) 259 – 8282 Austin@archadeck.net

See more unique design features for outdoor living structures by visiting our design feature gallery located on our website. We also have a plethora of inspirational deck photos from past projects to view on our many deck photo galleries, also located on our website.


Have you thought about adding a roof to your Austin deck?

Austin covered porch ceiling detail

Beautiful details like recessed cans, ceiling fans and rich hardwood ceilings can encompass the interior of your screened or covered porch.

Are you tired of the hot Texas sun beating down on you the entire season while trying to enjoy your deck? If so, we have the answer to your woes. We can, in many cases, turn your existing deck into a haven of shade and comfort by adding a roof and making it into an open porch or screened porch. Covered decks are the savvy way to enhance your existing backyard. We will inspect your existing deck to see if it can accommodate the addition of a roof. Often times we can reinforce the foundation enough to support a roof.

Open and covered porch transformations are a great way to add beauty and enjoyment to your landscape, and can also function as an outdoor room. Screened porches give you all the benefits of an open porch, but with added protection from the insects. Both structures are a viable option as long as your deck can accommodate the added weight. We can evaluate your existing deck to see if it fits the bill, and can often offer reinforcement to the structural components within your deck to ensure strength and structural compatibility with adding a roof.

Austin Covered porch

By adding a roof, your deck will get a whole new look and feel.

Your new porch can be equipped with finishing touches such as lighting, ceiling fans, or even an area reserved for that glorious flat screen TV. The beauty of having a screened or open porch design is that is no limit to the interior reveals that can be brought into the mix. We often use bead board ceilings, rustic beams and recessed lighting in many of our screen porch designs. How ornate or rustic you make your space is all up to you.

If you are considering “putting a lid” on the hot sun this season by adding a roof to your deck, contact Archadeck of Austin, we can open up a new world of backyard opportunities for you and your family this summer. Call for a free consultation: (512) 259 – 8282 Austin@archadeck.net


We don’t just build structures to fit the way you want to live, we build structures that support the big moments in your life.

Austin multi-level deck with pergola

Outdoor kitchen appliances

The addition of an outdoor kitchen can make your holiday, or special event hassle free with the convenience of a secondary food preparation area.

When you think about what motivates homeowners to make the decision to add an outdoor living area to their home and backyard, in many cases the motivating factor that drives them to act upon their decision is a holiday, party or event they have planned for the near future. Let’s say for instance with the holiday season just around the corner, a homeowner may decide to go ahead and add on that new deckcovered porch, or outdoor fireplace with a custom stone patio surround in anticipation of family and friends that are planning to visit and having the structure up and running will create a great place to relax and spend time with family and friends within a unique outdoor setting to make new memories together. It’s almost as though you have the indulgence of an extra “family room” with a unique outdoor setting. Could you imagine having an outdoor kitchen incorporated into your deck or patio that could serve as a secondary food preparation area on Thanksgiving? The hubby can fry the turkey in the outdoor kitchen, and be out of the way, while the lady of the house prepares all the sumptuous side dishes in the house. Having the function of an outdoor kitchen to take some of the stress out of the kitchen, especially if you prepare Thanksgiving dinner for a large crowd, can make “Turkey day” run as smooth as a french silk pie.

Wreath on privacy cattle wall

A spa deck such as this one by Archadeck of Austin can make your holiday party merry and bright

The beauty of our business is when a homeowner  approaches us and needs their outdoor endeavor completed within a specific time frame most of the time we are able to accommodate their request. We do absolutely everything we can to accommodate it. We always quote a lead time to begin and give an expected completion date and 90% of the time we meet it with 2 or 3 days.  Just this month we had a deck that was needed for a wedding, a restaurant deck for an opening last week, and a cabana finished for a party. This week we engaged on a job for a Christmas party mid December. In most cases, if you need it, Archadeck of Austin can have it ready for you within the time frame you need it.

covered patio cabana with outdoor fireplace austin

This cabana style patio cover makes the perfect spot for entertaining with an outdoor fireplace, and outdoor kitchen built right in.

Many outdoor structure builders hesitate to make these kind of promises to homeowners because they lack the project management that is necessary to make sure every aspect of your outdoor structure is run in a professional, timely manner. We make certain on all of our jobs that each specific layer of the building process is set up in the order it needs to be accomplished to avoid delays, and have wiggle room if a problem arises. The keys to being able to deliver what we promise are superior project management, frequent and effective communication with the homeowner, a solid design, and good weather.

Austin covered patio, deck and pergola

Ring in the New Year in style with a covered patio, deck and pergola by Archadeck of Austin

Wouldn’t the thought of having your New Year’s Eve bash under the cover of the warm Texas evening on your new deck sound enticing this year? If you dream it, we can build it. The bottom line is that if you need to get a job done to fit your individual schedule we can do it. Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more and remember, we take care of everything but the weather. (512) 259 – 8282
Austin@archadeck.net

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

Jim Odom Archadeck of Austin

To see more awe-inspiring images of decks that are perfect for your next big outdoor event visit our deck photo gallery located on our website.

You can also see more of our delicious outdoor kitchen designs be visiting our outdoor kitchen photo gallery also located on our website as well.