- You’ve purchased a brand new house — new construction — that came with a builder-grade patio.
- You’ve purchased an older home where the prior homeowner kept the original builder-grade patio.
- 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.
You’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.
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.
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.
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!
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 (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
Our outdoor living space addition in South Austin is a good example of the way Archadeck of Austin is changing the way homeowners are able to utilize, and enjoy their backyards. We are able to deliver these kind of results in two ways; #1 we can transform the vision of your ideal backyard and bring it to life from the ground up, an #2 we can convert an existing outdoor living structure into the backyard of your dreams. The possibilities are truly endless!
In the case of these South Austin homeowners, they had an existing outdoor space consisting of an aging backyard pond and an exposed aggregate concrete patio. The pond had become a chore to maintain as it had become a nursery for mosquitoes making spending time in the backyard a challenge to avoid being bitten, especially after dusk.
Archadeck of Austin consulted with the homeowners and listened to their vision of what they wanted their backyard to be. They wanted a spot that was versatile in that they could find a respite from the hot Texas afternoons and relax in mosquito-free comfort. They still wanted to be able to take in the ambiance an open fire provided too, so the new design had to incorporate a fire pit. With these ideas in mind, we set out to bring their anticipated outdoor space to life.
There were some obstacles to overcome in order to give these South Austin homeowners the environment they wanted. One of which was having to finalize a design that would pass the impervious cover requirements needed for their localities. Once this was confirmed it was smooth sailing! The project also needed to be mindful of some drainage issues and maintain some space outside the covered porch to accommodate their outdoor grill.
The completed project is multi-faceted and included transforming the concrete patio by way of installing flagstone atop the existing patio and covering a portion to give the homeowners the needed shade they desired. In addition to the extensive upgrades just off the rear of their ranch style home, we also created a detached space that includes a custom stone fire pit encircled with a hardscape retaining wall, which can also double as seating. The fire pit is just a stone’s throw away (no pun intended) from the covered patio which allows the spaces to be enjoyed simultaneously. To the side of the porch and connecting all the way to the driveway we constructed a patio/walkway using an Oklahoma variety flagstone on a bed of decomposed granite and pea gravel. This allowed for a good solid surface but allowed any water to absorb into the soil.
The covered patio is finished a rustic ceiling, with exposed cedar rafters and T1-11 ceiling, which was stained to make it pop against the painted hardi wrapped posts/beams atop stone pillars. The covered patio also includes a ceiling fan to circulate the air on hot summer days and deters any insects from invading the space, plus some post sconces to light up the evening
The clients are elated with their new backyard — which is far more than just an outdoor living space, it is a completely new outdoor living environment! If you are ready to change the way you and your family live outdoors, contact Archadeck of Austin today to begin the process today — you can reach us by phone at at ( 512) 259 – 8282 or email us at email@example.com.
Have you ever looked at your home and wished you could purchase adjoining acreage just to add on a playroom, living room other space to your existing home? Why not think about your ideal living space in a broader sense. The fact is there is a plethora of living enjoyment area right outside your back door that can be utilized more efficiently than an interior addition.
Living space doesn’t necessarily have to mean “interior” living space. There are a multitude of outdoor living structures that lend themselves to dining, entertaining, relaxing, and play. Today’s outdoor structure designs can be outfitted with all the same amenities an interior addition to your home can offer, and in some cases even more. Here are some ideas that will inspire you…
The covered patio or porch
Covered patios keep you cool on hot days, and offer protection from the elements as well. They can be constructed from a vast array of materials such as wood, brick, stone and other hardscape material. Covered patios can be attached to your home or your deck, or can even be used as a freestanding structure within the landscape. Covered patios can also be situated beside your pool for a cabana style covered patio. Covered patios can be wired to accommodate ceilings fans, sound systems, computers, telephone, and even flat screen TV’s. Patio covers can include built-in fireplaces and even contain fully functional outdoor kitchens with all the fixings. These include refrigeration, sinks, food preparation areas, warming drawers, microwave, smokers, and grills. You name it, we can include it into the design of your patio cover. If you are looking for the perfect place to watch the game, and prepare a feast for your guests all while watching the kids play, the covered patio is an all-around best outdoor structure. An outdoor living room with mother nature as the backdrop.
The screen porch
The screened porch is another way to utilize all the amenities of an outdoor living room, minus the insects. Here in Texas, the warm temperatures will give you the benefit of year-round enjoyment of your screen porch. We also refer to these as sun porches and they make a perfect spot to relax and rewind. The beauty of a screened porch is that you get the pleasure of the outdoors without actually being outdoors. A screen porch offers an extension of outdoor as well as indoor living space.
Multi-structure outdoors living areas
We are starting to see a trend in multi-structure outdoor living areas. These are outdoor living areas that contain the works. These can include open patios, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, pergolas, outdoor kitchens and decks all in one. This offers homeowners the ultimate in luxury and convenience, not to mention adding to your home’s value. Our multi-structure designs are planned to compliment each structure as it flows together. Instead of getting an outdoor room, you are actually getting an outdoor paradise where each outdoor room or area caters to a specific function but also harmonizes with the other elements within the entire design. Imagine having an area right outside your back door where you can dine, cook, read a book, roast marshmallows, listen to the crackle of the fire on those cool Texas nights, entertain, or just enjoy the fresh air.
See more awe-inspiring outdoor living rooms by visiting our outdoor spaces photo gallery located on our website. For more ideas on covered porches and covered patios you can visit our covered porch gallery, and our covered patio gallery, also located on our website.
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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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.