Patios are very popular here in the Austin area and flagstone patios in particular are one of the most requested type of patios among our customers. The rustic elegance they provide compliments our Texas landscape and unique home designs. Installing a flagstone patio requires a lot more steps than it may seem.
The first steps begin once the dimensions are determined during our pre-construction meeting with the homeowners. Following this important meeting we then have the concrete poured to form up the shape of the patio. Sometimes the homeowner first needs to contact their sprinkler system company and have them re-locate any sprinkler heads that are in the area of the intended patio, if not Archadeck of Austin will cap off the heads. If we are building a “full-on” patio next to a house that is built on a slab our professional concrete contractor will also install rebar every two feet to connect the foundation of the patio to the foundation of the house. This extra step ensures a stable patio foundation. Once this step is completed we then pour the perimeter of the patio. We pour this 1ft. by 1ft. around what will become the perimeter footing, we also add rebar to this area as well for an added measure of strength. Most other companies just don’t take this step; we however feel it very important for the strength and life of your patio.
Depending on the slope of your yard, we may install a fascia. A fascia involves the underpinning which is concrete paint that is trimmed so it doesn’t convey a rough vertical surface. We will then use vertical stones around your step areas. Typically this is not done around the entire perimeter because over time it can flake and break off so we do something that will last over a long period of time.
On the top of the poured patio base we add a 4″ deep cap and pour an additional 4″ of concrete strengthened with wire mesh. Depending on the size of your patio, we may also install man-made, control and expansion joints every 10-12′ depending on the width. Once those layers of concrete properly cure, the flagstone will then be delivered by the stone company so our expert masons can lay out the flagstone in a mosaic pattern. Once they are laid out and everything is concise, we then put in the mortar that was chosen by the homeowner. One thing we are proud of is the tight mortar joints we do so well, this gives you a flagstone patio that looks like stone when you look at and not all mortar. After all, our customers are paying for stone, not mortar. After the mortar is done, the next step is to apply a sealer. The sealer is undetectable to the appearance of the patio, but it keeps moisture from penetrating the stone and also keeps mold and mildew out. The sealer also gives the finished patio a cleaner look. After applying the sealer you shouldn’t have to do any further maintenance for 5-10 years.
When the stone selections are made we generally meet our customer at the stone shop to help them with their selection and any questions or concerns they may have about a particular stone. There are actually 10-14 various types of flagstone to choose from. The most popular flagstone choices are Oklahoma, Arizona and Mexico. All the most widely used flagstones come from Oklahoma. Sometimes when we use flagstone we will incorporate beautiful and useful features such as stone benches or even a stone kitchen island if your patio incorporates an outdoor kitchen.
Flagstone patios are not only gorgeous, they are a solid material choice for your patio because with a stained concrete or concrete patio when it cracks, and it is not a question of if it cracks, but a question of when, you will have to live with it. When you use flagstone and the concrete underneath cracks you may get a little separation of mortar joints over time but you won’t see a line in the stone. Making sure your flagstone is installed by a licensed professional ensures the beauty and enjoyment of your patio is treasured for many years to come.
If you are ready to add a flagstone patio or other outdoor structure to your life this season, contact Archadeck of Austin to make it happen. Our talented design staff can come up with the perfect outdoor oasis to fill your needs. Call for a free consultation ( 512) 259 – 8282 email:Austin@archadeck.net
To see more beautiful flagstone patio creations visit our flagstone patio gallery located on our website.
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.
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 deck, covered 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.
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.
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.
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
When you close your eyes at night to dream does your mind take you to a place where you can hear the crackle and feel the warmth of the fire amid comforting images of roasting marshmallows and relaxing with family and friends? Then chances are you are dreaming of your own outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Homeowners are taking their backyards to a new level by adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Owning one of these glorious feast for the eyes and the senses has become the crown jewel of outdoor structures. Being able to entertain, or just “hang out” with the element of fire close at hand takes being outdoors to a place where all your senses come into play, and the result is as unforgettable as some of the outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs that come to us in our dreams.
Deciding to add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to your backyard, or in addition to your existing outdoor structure can be a big step for many homeowners. Archadeck of Austin has been in the business of creating award-winning outdoor fireplaces and fire pits for our customers here in Austin, TX for many years now, and we know a thing or two about the correct way to ignite quality and style into the construction of your outdoor fireplace or fire pit. Here are some of the important considerations to think about when deciding to add one of these stunning structures to your life.
Light my Fire?
There is more than one method to obtaining fire in your outdoor fireplace or fire pit. There is of course, the traditional wood-burning structure that we are all familiar with. When considering a wood burning structure the dimensions of the fireplace itself are important. The smallest capable wood burning fireplace can be built no smaller than 5×8 and has to be at least 2-3 feet deep in order to function properly.
Outdoor fire structures can also be lit by gas through a gas started system or full burning gas log kits. In either case the “draw” needs to be correct on a fireplace or fire pit, and this can only be achieved by having a professional outdoor fireplace contractor build the structure for you. Improper drawing on a structure such as this can be dangerous and cause a safety hazard, so the chimney itself has to be designed and constructed properly to achieve an appropriate draw.
When considering the design mediums that outdoor fireplaces and fire pits can be built with, typically the wood burning structures are either masonry or stone. Archadeck of Austin uses a great deal of flagstone for our outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs, it looks the part and is a high quality stone that functions well with the fireplace itself. The main aspect when looking at material choices is that they are acceptable for use on a fire structure and that they hold up well under the conditions. Flagstone is strong, beautiful, and can take the heat well and will look gorgeous for many years to come.
Another design consideration is whether to embellish or add anything to the structure. Some homeowners add mantles which can serve as a focal point for your structure. We place the mantle 12″-18″ above so it is not flush with the grade therefore the heat can radiate at a similar level. Mantles provide more aesthetic appeal in form than in function and aren’t really used much. However, fireboxes are a useful addition to your structure. You don’t want the firebox area to be too large, but large enough to hold wood or other essentials. If you are thinking of integrating the firebox into the structure itself, it will have to comply to building codes and be built within certain dimensions.
Fireplaces and fire pits match to a T
As any seasoned outdoor fireplace designer can tell you, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are the perfect companion to other outdoor structures. They look great built with and alongside covered or uncovered patios, covered porches, pergolas, and even screened porches. It is not just about beauty though, functionality plays a key role in the attraction. Being able to enjoy an outdoor fireplace or fire pit in conjunction with your outdoor structure adds ambiance and fun beyond comparison. There are certain codes and rules associated with building a fireplace in and around another structure that require the chimney and flue stack be a certain elevation higher and a certain distance from surrounding walls, especially where a wood structure is concerned for the risk of heat build-up. In these cases wood will have to be a certain distance away from the structures internal flue. Each state and county has certain criteria to follow for safety reasons and your outdoor fireplace contractor will see that these guideline are met accordingly.
Archadeck of Austin can make your dreams of fireplaces and fire pits come true. We construct dozens of these structures a year. They are not only stunning, but they are a structure the whole family can enjoy. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits can add value to your home and your life. Here is a video that showcases some of our fireplace and fire pit creations…
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Here in the Austin area flagstone is quite popular. We have been using it in a variance of structures, from patios to pathways, flagstone has a rustic elegance about it that can’t be found in any other medium. Here at Archadeck of Austin each of our clients get their own design rendering. These design renderings are never used again, so the structure you get from us, is yours and yours alone. Since flagstone is 100% natural since it is cut from the earth, every piece of flagstone is different as well. No two flagstone projects will be the alike because no two pieces of flagstone are identical.
Deciding which flagstone to use can be a difficult decision because of all the different types, colors and patterns of flagstone there are to choose from. We want this daunting task of selecting the type and color to be a little easier for you and hopefully after you have reviewed this blog, you will have a little better idea of the basics of flagstone selections. When talking about natural stone such as flagstone there are words that are used to describe certain attributes of the stone itself such as undulation which are natural wavelike bends, curves and elevation differences you can see and feel throughout the stone. Veining refers to a pattern or natural markings that are visible in the stone. Swirling means any curving, twisting line or shape visible naturally within the stone.
The Oklahoma family of Flagstone
Oklahoma buff peach is a very popular color. Customers choose this color frequently with its subtle pleasing tones. The variation in the tones of Oklahoma buff peach can vary from peach tones, taupe tones and even gray tones.The surface tends to be smoother and not have as much undulation as some of the other Oklahoma’s.
Other Oklahoma flagstones include the dazzling Chocolate gold, which has quite a bit of undulation and veining. The veining of this flagstone gives it a rich, robust feel. Variances in Oklahoma Chocolate gold can be deep browns, to gray and of course the gold hues as well.
Oklahoma taupe is another favorite of ours. It has a fair amount of undulation but a more neutral feel. It conveys variation of taupe, light gray and earthy browns. This color works well with a lot of different mediums.
Then you have Oklahoma Silver mist. The name itself gives it away. It has a silvery-misty sort of look to it. Color varies from darker grays to light silver, and slight blue undertones.
The Arizona family of flagstone
The Arizona flagstones tend to be more of a sandstone type of stone. They have a Smoother surfacing with less undulation. Not as bumpy as your Oklahoma’s. They have a sandier , flatter look to them.
Arizona buckskin is a good neutral flagstone. Neutral does not mean boring in the case of this flagstone though. When I look at this color I am reminded of a buckskin horse. This color can only be achieved through mother nature. It is rustic, yet elegant, tough yet soft. The natural pigment of the earth is apparent in the hue. It works well with many mediums.
Then there is the beautiful Arizona Rose flagstone. Here in Texas and beyond this is a much coveted color. Arizona Rose is best described as a light brick-red, with natural pink variations and gray undertones. It reminds me of ethnic pottery or the color of the sky right before it disappears into the horizon on a hot Texas night. Even with the entwining of rose and pink variations, this is a great neutral color that will work well with gray all the way to dark brown. Any color where you have gray or brown undertones will only enhance the beauty of Arizona Rose flagstone.
The Mexican family of flagstone
Last but certainly not least we have the Mexican flagstones. This flagstone has a lot of variation in color and movement throughout the stone such as veining and swirling. It is a work of art in itself. As with any flagstone each piece is different, but the beautiful degree of variation in Mexican flagstone makes it a joy to look at.
Mexican Rosewood is probably the finest example of the Mexican flagstones. This color has the hints of terra-cotta you would expect from Mexican pottery, but with variations and swirls of peaches, reds and pinks. Truly original and truly lovely.
Whether you are ready to build your flagstone patio or are just in the decision stages, Archadeck of Austin can help plan, design and build the flagstone structure you’ve been yearning for. We have years of experience building with flagstone and our design staff can help you decide on the flagstone that is right for you. Contact us today to find out more. Call (512) 259-8282 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest post by Marc Mommsen
Outdoor fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. You might think they are the fad of the moment but the homeowners who we’ve built outdoor fireplaces for tell me it’s the best investment they ever made. Sure there is some novelty. Your friends will be very interested, or even anxious, to share a meal, glass of wine, or a board game on the patio where your outdoor fireplace stands.
They’ll want to see if it throws heat or if the heat gets lost in the cooler air that spans the distance. They’ll want to see how clearly they can hear the crackle of the flames while socializing. Like an indoor fireplace, the amount of heat felt is easily adjusted by moving closer or farther away from the fireplace. And, like an indoor fireplace, the sound of the crackle of the fire can be heard more easily when other noises are reduced.
But the feature of the outdoor fireplace that needs to be experienced for full appreciation is the sense of “romance” that a crackling outdoor fireplace creates. Think about your first camping trip and the feeling of sitting around a fire and smelling the sweet aroma of burning firewood through the cool night breeze. Think about the first time you sat in front of a fireplace with a date. The magic is magnified with the romance of a burning fire in a fireplace.
The design decisions you will want to consider are the material, size, and adjacent area. Your outdoor fireplace needs to be built with a fire safe material – concrete, stone or brick. We can build using a combination of these materials to attain the design sense you are seeking. As you can see, this particular fireplace is a substantial size. That’s because this family wanted the fireplace to double as a privacy wall. You also want to consider the adjacent area. Do you want built-in seating? Do you want a built-in area for keeping logs? Do you want to build in room for cabinets to keep other fireplace items such as matches?
The great thing is you only need to have some ideas when we have our design consultation. We have a great deal of experience in designing and building and you have many ideas about what you want. Put together, this amounts to a great design and build that’s just the way you like it.