A wise man once asked, When you have a big ol’ back yard, why be satisfied with a teeny-tiny, little patio? We like where he was going with that thought! And we would add, Especially here in Texas!
While it’s not entirely true that EVERYTHING’S bigger in Texas, Archadeck of Austin is doing our part to make it so, one patio at a time. The project we’re featuring today is a perfect example. The homeowners had a small patio at their back door. The door to the patio was also small, just a single door. The homeowners had big dreams of a better lifestyle that included a whole lot more patio enjoyment. To remedy the situation, they called Liberty Hill patio designer Archadeck of Austin.
Take a look before we began the project:
Our mission: increase the patio size, build a total shade pergola over most of the new patio area, add a fire pit, and install larger patio doors. Patio enjoyment would be theirs in no time.
Patio Builder Archadeck of Austin Makes Little Patios Bigger
Our first order of business was to increase the patio size. Hardscapes and patios are some of our specialties! For this project, we built the additional patio areas with concrete, and we added a nice stamped overlay finish. We kept the patio width the same on one side, but on the other side we extended the patio along the length of the house. We extended the middle section of the patio out into the yard, the perfect spot for a fire pit. We ended the middle section with a rounded shape where we nestled the round fire pit. The patio encircles the fire pit beautifully with room for family and guests to pull up chairs all the way around the entire circle.
The homeowners wanted a custom wood-burning fire pit, and for their fire pit materials, they selected white limestone with nicotine. The stone stands out nicely against the new, textured patio surface. It’s clear that we designed the rounded patio section and the fire pit to complement each other perfectly. The homeowners and their guests will spend many relaxing hours under the stars, mesmerized by the fire in their new fire pit.
The tiny, original concrete slab patio was covered by a roof, completely shaded, and that was the one thing about the original patio the homeowners liked. They definitely wanted the extended patio to be shaded, too – except the end that would be reserved for fire-gazing and star-gazing.
For shade, we designed a custom pergola made of cedar that does more than just provide shade. It transforms the concrete patio from “a place in the sun” into “the place to be.” The big, sturdy pergola, with ornamental cuts on the ends of the support beam and the rafters, makes a statement! It is boldly decorative, and it also provides shelter. The homeowners wanted complete shade as well as protection from inclement weather, so we added a polycarbonate sheet on top of the pergola to make the patio weatherproof.
Patio Windows Can Easily Become Patio Door
The homeowners wanted bigger patio doors, and they wanted those doors to offer a view of the back yard. Their original patio door gave them a view of a brick wall. Meanwhile, they had two nice-sized windows overlooking the patio and the back yard. Yes, these windows were occupying the space nature had surely intended for the placement of doors. Big doors that were also windows! The solution: remove the windows and install a pair of sliding glass doors.
Archadeck of Austin was up to this challenge. We removed the brick below the windows, removed the windows, and created a new door opening big enough for a set of sliding glass doors. Once we installed the new doors, we rebricked around them so you can’t even tell work has been done there. On the interior, we put in new drywall and headers above the doors. Our standards are high, and we do very good interior finish work when it’s called for. Inside and outside, the area surrounding the new doors looks impeccable and undisturbed. The homeowners have the bigger doors they wanted and a better view of the amazing new patio and the back yard.
Is There Anything Else We Can Do for You?
Clients are accustomed to seeing the “pretty” side of the work we do, but sometimes there’s another side, too. As part of this project, we also installed a drainage system for the yard. The homeowners had found that water running off of the house wasn’t draining well due to the slope and topography of the lot. We used a catch bucket and basin system to distribute any water from left to right to prevent rainwater from flooding the patio.
Now these Liberty Hill TX homeowners have a much bigger patio with plenty of shade and room for grilling and dining outdoors. After dinner, they’ll enjoy their new fire pit. They couldn’t be happier with their combination patio-pergola-fire pit outdoor living project.
Are you ready to transform your outdoor living area? We can custom design and build a covered patio, fire pit, or whatever it will take to improve your outdoor living space. Call Archadeck of Austin today at 512-259-8282 or email us to schedule your free design consultation.
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.
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.
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.
The 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-sized 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 chop block 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.
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.
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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
Replacing 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.
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.
- 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!
- 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.
- Deck 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 email@example.com to schedule a free design consultation.
When 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?
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.
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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free design consultation.
This Spacious Cedar Park, TX, Patio-Pergola-Fire-Pit Combination Pairs the Natural Beauty of Flagstone and Cedar
What 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 (512) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com.
This patio cover in Austin, TX, by Archadeck of Austin is a true masterpiece of design. As you can clearly see from the images, the space appears as if it has stepped off the pages and into reality from one of those glossy home & garden magazines. Jim Schallon, our lead designer, came up with the concept on this structure.
Even though some would say this patio cover serves as the ultimate outdoor man cave area, the benefits of the space exceed just enjoying the big game outdoors. This space serves a multitude of uses, it can evolve as your needs evolve. From outdoor entertaining to relaxing by the fire. The presence of the TV provides a space for family movie night, watching home videos and much more! The possibilities are as endless as the imagination.
The floor of the patio features a textured overlay finish, this was present on both the existing (older) patio and the new concrete patio and featured a custom designed Texas Star in the center. Having the advantage of a textural finish for the patio not only increases the aesthetic appeal of the space adding to the rustic nuances present in the natural stone used throughout the project, it also increases traction within the space. This makes the area easy to navigate even when outside weather conditions may be damp.
The focal point of the space is surely the large outdoor fireplace. Archadeck of Austin designed and built this fire feature and custom fire boxes attached using the same all natural stone used on the facade of the existing home. Since the homeowner’s wanted to attached a TV over the mantel of the fireplace, we ingeniously created a built-in space under the hearth that holds the electronic equipment for the TV. By working with the homeowner’s audio-visual professional, conduit was ran to perfect this feature and in addition a speaker system was installed within the ceiling of the space. Not only is the addition of these elements innovative, it also ensures the wiring and cords stay out of view promoting a clean, wireless atmosphere.
The exterior sunshades directly behind the outdoor fireplace were installed by a local company here in Austin. Austintatious Blinds that specializes in a diverse array of blind and shutter solutions. From custom wood shutters to polyscreens and other shade materials for exterior and interior residential and commercial use. These retractable shades allow the homeowners to block out the late afternoon sun.
The ceiling of the patio cover is simply stunning! We used Synergy Cypress E-Peck tongue and groove to get this amazing rustic look. Synergy products require no staining or sanding and come with an exterior grade protective polyurethane finish. You can also see a continuation of the rustic nuances evident in the ceiling are carried through the entire design including the cedar-wrapped posts. The railing we used is also cedar with aluminum balusters.
Take a look at this amazing project through the video we created for our Archadeck of Austin YouTube channel:
The homeowners are elated with the design, the process and of course, the finished patio cover!
If you would like to learn more about creating the ultimate outdoor room for your home, contact Archadeck of Austin today at (515) 259-8282 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our recent covered patio and pergola addition in Leander, TX, proves that a space doesn’t have to be large to have a BIG impact
I think, often times, when a client looks to us to improve their outdoor living space or establish a new one, the assumption is the project has to be large in order to be effective. This is certainly not the case. A good outdoor living space design should not only speak to the scale of your existing home and landscape, it should also speak to the function you wish to carry out within the space as well as your budget.
Here at Archadeck of Austin our goal is to provide you with the most value through an outdoor living space that is customized to fit your specific needs. Not a cookie-cutter duplication or design. One of our most recent projects in Leander, TX, serves as the perfect example of an outdoor space that delivers based on functionality and keeping in scale with the architecture of the existing home rather than sheer size.
When we first met with the homeowners to discuss their anticipated design, their only outdoor living space consisted of a small concrete builder-grade concrete patio. The homeowners wanted a space that was more conducive to the way they wanted to live outdoors. The patio has also been plumbed for the addition of a sink which influenced their desire to make sure their new space would include an outdoor sink.
Our completed design enhances the entire aesthetic and function of the backyard of this home. The new outdoor living space includes a gable roofed patio cover and freestanding pergola. To accommodate the needs of the client, Archadeck of Austin extended the existing patio with a curved orientation and added brick columns to match the masonry of the existing home. Cedar posts were used to support the roofed structures in unison with the brick columns. The pergola is supported by the roof extension of the covered patio portion of the design.
The interior ceiling of the patio cover features beautiful T1-11 with exposed rafters stained to add rustic flair to the area. An outdoor sink was installed, much to the owners pleasure, and this area includes a serving island and counterspace. Take a look at the before and after images of the transformation of this backyard beyond builder grade:
If you are ready to learn more about transforming your outdoor living space into the perfect backyard destination for you and your family, contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more at (515) 259-8282 or via email at email@example.com.