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.
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.
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.
To 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
Ah, the sun, glorious sun! When we feel chilly, sunlight warms the skin and thaws the chilly spots. But when we’re already warm … that big Texas sunshine can be downright uncomfortable. Escape is all we can think of. A sun umbrella? Not big enough. A porch roof? Aha! That’s the ticket. A new porch cover built by Archadeck of Austin? The best!
Archadeck of Austin was able to help these North Austin homeowners reclaim their backyard patio. The family enjoyed using their backyard pool, but the adjoining patio, uncovered, seemed to be a magnet for blistering sunshine that made sitting outside unbearable. They wanted to turn their unusable patio into an area where they could relax outdoors without being driven inside by the hot sun. A new porch roof would provide the comfort they craved.
The homeowners first met with Archadeck of Austin a year ago. In terms of ideas, they were ready to proceed with a covered patio/porch project, but their budget was not. They estimated they would be ready in early 2017. Fortunately, they were able to start a little sooner; they called us back in December 2016, ready to roll.
Our first task was to repair a large crack in the existing concrete patio. We cut out that portion of the concrete and filled it back in, and at the same time we added two more feet to the patio’s depth. The patio is now 24′ x 14′ — more space for outdoor living! While we were working with the concrete, we added a conduit so the homeowner could hook up his gas line with a flex line to grill out beyond the patio. That’s a convenience he will appreciate for years to come. Of course, the concrete cut-out/replacement and the additional square footage blend in seamlessly with the original patio surface.
After repairing and enlarging the patio, we were ready to build the all-important porch roof. The addition of a roof is what changes this area from a simple patio into a porch — and into a new-and-improved outdoor living space. We were able to match the style and color of the home’s existing shingles so it all blends nicely.
Under the roof is a vaulted ceiling made of beautiful Synergy Wood, hand-stained and prefinished wood with warm, rich tones. At the back of the porch, a ridge wall and flat ceiling/soffit, also built with Synergy Wood, provide a handsome transition from the painted porch wall to the vaulted wood ceiling. We added a full electrical package with a ceiling fan and built-in recessed lighting, and the homeowner mounted a flat-screen TV along the back wall. In the soffit area, we made sure to place the recessed lighting behind the TV so the images on the screen are not diluted when lights are on and the television is in use.
While the back of the porch roof is tied into the home, the front rests on Hardie-wrapped beams and columns, which we painted to match the home. We added stone coping at the bottom of the columns to match what had been used around the hot tub and pool.
At the very end of the project, Sundek (the company that originally surfaced the home’s concrete pool surround) applied a cool-coat finish to the concrete. This finish provides a comfortable walking surface for bare feet by reducing heat build-up. It’s cooler than regular concrete, brick or tile, and it’s slip resistant, too!
The homeowners added comfy porch furniture and, voila! They have a comfortable, inviting covered porch enhanced by a ceiling fan, lights and TV. Gone is the blistering heat of the uncovered patio, a place no one wanted to be! They love, love, love their new outdoor living space and look forward to spending many relaxing hours there.
If you would like to learn more about turning your patio into a porch fitted out for relaxing and entertaining, or about combining a porch and patio with other outdoor living structures, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
Have 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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!”
One 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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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…
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.
Gradually, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Being in the business of designing and building one-of-a-kind outdoor living spaces keeps us “in the know” about the best decking materials on the market. Our goal is to create a space that brings our clients the most enjoyment outdoors with the least amount of maintenance on their end. Archadeck of Austin is able to deliver almost maintenance-free outdoor living spaces through the use of many high-quality synthetic decking and porch material choices we offer to our clients. At the top of this list is AZEK decking.
Unlike other synthetic decking materials, that are wood/plastic composites or synthetics that contain a wooden core, AZEK is constructed of a cellular PVC material with a polymer cap for superior stain and scratch resistance. This material is solid and durable with a density similar to wood, but unlike wood, AZEK allows for maximum enjoyment with low maintenance. AZEK is impervious to insects and rot and stays 15 -30% cooler than typical wood or composite decks, making it the perfect choice for pool and spa decks, and welcome news for those bare feet! AZEK’s decking warranty is also something to smile about. Unlike other synthetics that come with a 25 year, pro-rated warranty, this decking product comes with a lifetime, limited warranty.
One of our most recent projects takes us to Leander, TX, where our senior designer, Jim Schallon, has created a stunning low-maintenance dream deck for homeowners in the new Travisso neighborhood. Jim’s background in outdoor living space design and building, and all facets of exterior residential building spans more than 30 years. He is a huge asset to our team and his talent shines through on each of his stunning projects!
The deck is built of AZEK decking in Hazelwood and the trim is built using Morado, both from AZEK’s Arbor Collection. The railing is beautiful black gloss Fortress iron railing which compliments and contrasts the neutral tones of the decking perfectly. The skirting on the perimeter of the deck was completed in Hardie board and painted to match the colors of the existing home. We took the design a step further by adding concrete pads at the base of the stairs to avoid a slippery surface and to reduce the debris that is tracked onto the deck from the backyard. The homeowners’ plan to install a retractable sunscreen to shade the area from the mid-afternoon sun.
Here is a look at the before and after images of this beautiful deck addition in Leander, TX:
As you can see from the before & after images, the new addition literally “opens up” the entire rear of the home. The new deck better accentuates the architectural lines of the existing home along with increasing the homeowners’ outdoor living enjoyment.
If you are ready to learn more about enhancing the way you view, and utilize, your outdoors contact Archadeck of Austin today! We would love to meet with you and your family to discuss bringing your backyard dreams to life through one of our custom, upscale outdoor living space designs. You can reach us at (512) 259 – 8282 or via email at email@example.com.