Archadeck of Austin

Posts tagged “Austin patio builder

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

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

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

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

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

Before and After in Round Rock TX

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

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

Round Rock Patio with Overlayment

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

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

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

Round Rock TX Outdoor Kitchen Builder

Round Rock TX Fire Pit Builder

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

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

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

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


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

Austin patio covers with outdoor fireplaces

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

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

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

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

Backyard before Archadeck of Austin began project:

Backyard before Archadeck of Austin began the project:

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

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

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

Austin patio cover with outdoor fireplace and privacy screen

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

Austin covered patios

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

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

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

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

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

If you would like to learn more about how we can help you create an outdoor living project on a budget, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at to schedule a free design consultation.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.


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

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

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

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

Steiner Ranch Patio Covers

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

Steiner Ranch Stone Patio

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

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

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

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

Steiner Ranch Outdoor Kitchens

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

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

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

Archadeck of Austin Recommends Resurfacing Rather Than Staining Concrete

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

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

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

Brushy Creek TX Screened Patio Builder

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

Austing Patio Covers

Austin covered patio with custom overlayment.

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

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

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

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

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

austin-patio-builderWhat could be better than a big, beautiful flagstone patio just outside your back door? How about a double flagstone patio with a grand cedar pergola for shade at one end and a stone fire pit for warmth and ambiance at the other end? Archadeck of Austin recently completed such a combination outdoor living addition in Cedar Park, Texas, and the homeowner can’t wait to show it off.

The first two things you notice here are the spacious patio, with its unique curvy shape, and the beauty of the multi-blend Oklahoma flagstone. Equally as impressive is the rustic cedar pergola, and this pairing of natural flagstone and cedar is stunning. In character with its Texas setting, this pergola is stronger and “beefier” than some because it features big, 6″ x 6″ posts, exceeding the normal standards for pergola construction. Since shade is so valuable on sunny Texas days, we designed the pergola with 2″ x 2″ slats across the top spaced every 3″ apart to enhance the structure’s shade benefits. Strings of party lights hanging from the pergola’s rafters turn this section of the patio into the ideal spot for outdoor dining any time, day or night.


On cooler evenings, the family will be drawn to the opposite end of the large patio where a matching stone fire pit will provide warmth as well as cozy ambiance. This is a gas-burning fire pit with a 36″ burner that heats rock and blue glass stones. The result is a highly effective and beautiful fire pit with stones that glow with firelight and put off a lot of heat. Don’t you love the custom-designed Texas star pattern of the blue glass stones in the fire pit?


Family and friends will naturally gather around the fire pit to share stories, sing campfire songs or just get lost in the hypnotic glow of the flames. This Texas-size patio is large enough that quite a few people can gather by the fire for warmth and camaraderie. The homeowner chose to add a seating wall on one side of the fire pit while leaving the other side open for patio furniture that can be rearranged depending on the need. The seating wall was built with natural limestone that complements the flagstone patio but doesn’t compete with it for attention.


This patio floor is built to exceed the standards for patio builders in the Austin area. Most builders only use a layer of decomposed granite with grout mixed in as the base for their patios. Archadeck of Austin actually poured a solid, full-scale concrete patio to use as the patio’s base. This is because, over time, this patio will not sink, tile chip or joints crack with this method. This gives the patio a longer life with no chance of incurring structural issues due to weather conditions or time.

Archadeck of Austin started this gorgeous project with a “blank slate” because, before we built this addition, the rear of the house simply opened into the backyard. The finished patio makes great use of an area that was once void, so this project can serve as inspiration for anyone presently lacking an outdoor living space!

If you would like to learn more about creating such an inviting outdoor living space right outside your back door, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at

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





Our Brushy Creek, TX, Covered Patio Delivers Privacy and All the Trimmings Under One Roof!

Brushy Creeek TX covered patioHere are the key elements that go into creating the perfect outdoor living space:

  • Enhanced beauty of your home and landscape
  • Increased backyard/outdoor functionality
  • Versatility and variety
  • Shade and air circulation
  • Room for good traffic flow and outdoor furnishings
  • Protection from inclement weather
  • Shade
  • Privacy

It is uncommon to have the ability to incorporate each of the key elements listed above into every outdoor living structure we design and build, but in the case of our recent covered patio addition in Brushy Creek, TX, we can say “yes” to all of the above! This addition delivers all the elements a savvy homeowner would want in an outdoor living space.

Brushy Creeek TX covered patio

Brushy Creek TX patio cover builderThis covered porch addition is quite large, encompassing a gabled roofed area of approximately 27′ wide and 12′ deep onto the back of the existing home. It features a 33′ wide stained and stamped concrete patio that includes a combination of two(2) neautral colors for added depth and visual interest. In addition to staining the concrete patio, Archadeck of Austin also stained the entire foundation across the back of home in the same color for continuity. The soffits and fascia are clad in Hardie Board to match the existing home. The open gable design also feature an arts & craft decorative element often used in craftsmen-style structures and delivers a gentle transition into the backyard from the coziness of the porch cover.Brushy Creek TX patio cover builder

The interior details of this patio cover are just as impressive as those implemented into the design of the exterior. The ceiling of the space was finished using Synergy Wood Products in Cypress. This amazing product is new and has been added to our arsenal of cutting edge material choices we offer here at Archadeck of Austin. This product works great for ceilings and walls and has a poly-finish that is rubbed by hand to create the high-quality aesthetic and rustic look you see here. Synergy comes in 4 finishes, Cypress, Ponderosa Pine, Yellow Pine and Cedar.

Brushy Creek TX privacy screen

Along with the striking rustic wood detailing evident throughout the patio cover, we also installed a custom-designed privacy screen to keep prying eyes from looking into the space.

Interior of Brushy Creek TX patio cover

On the interior of the patio cover we also installed two large Haiku ceiling fans from Big Ass Fans ( yes, that’s the name of the company). These fans are touted as the world’s most advanced ceiling fan. Haiku fans utilize groundbreaking SenseME® technology to automate your comfort and save energy year round. These fans have won more than 60 international design and technology awards and currently hold the top 19 spots on ENERGY STAR®‘s list of efficient ceiling fans. These oversized residential-use fans make a huge statement and promote superior air circulation too cool the patio on those hot Texas days!

Archadeck of Austin also installed recessed can lighting within the space for added ambiance and unlimited evening enjoyment!

If you are ready to learn what it truly means to have an outdoor living space that gives you all the elements you yearn for, contact Archadeck of Austin at ( 512) 259 – 8282  or email us at, and say “yes to all of the above.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.

Jim Schallon, senior designer Archadeck of Austin.