The Many Uses of the Pergola

When designing an outdoor living space, Archadeck Outdoor Living looks to create functional, yet beautiful spaces. They have to work well for the client and their needs, but also their home and property. Sometimes a deck is the best option, sometimes it’s a patio or sunroom or other outdoor structure.

One of the most versatile outdoor structures is the pergola. With the ability to be built in a number of sizes, shapes and finishes, the pergola is a multi-purpose structure that works with both new and existing outdoor living spaces. Here are three different pergolas that service different purposes in their respective space.

Archadeck_Godley_001A copyThis small pergola acts as the perfect entryway into the space past it. Instead of having a walkway between retaining walls, the homeowner wanted something more impactful and visually interesting. With all of the natural stone in the space, Archadeck of Charlotte designed this rustic pergola with dark stained wood and arched beams at the top. It’s the perfect transitional spot from the driveway into the outdoor living space.

WCOL-014This second example is larger than the first and comes from Archadeck of Columbus. It sits on a large low maintenance deck that has space for a dining table, outdoor fireplace and living area and hot tub. One of the design challenges of such a big deck is creating flow from space to space, otherwise all the areas just mash together. Retaining walls and this pergola were just some of the ways that Archadeck defined the purpose of each area. By building the pergola directly over the hot tub it essentially created a room outdoors. It’s very clear how that area of the deck is to be used.

AUS-010The last pergola we’ll cover is from Archadeck of Austin. This home has a large pool in their backyard with surrounding low maintenance deck. The owners like to keep people outside as much as they can, but that task can be difficult during the hot Texas days. The pergola was added to provide a place for visitors to cool down. It not only offers shade, but fans were also installed to give some circulation to the area. Shade is one of the most common reasons why someone would be interested in adding a pergola to their backyard space.

If you have interest in adding a pergola to your yard, please contact your local Archadeck Outdoor Living office.

Relax in the Shade of a Pergola this Summer

WCOL-014When the weather is nice, I want to be outside. The fresh air, the breeze, it’s perfect. However, I don’t like to spend too much time in the sun. Not only is it bad for the skin, but it can get too hot (especially in the south) and becomes uncomfortable. If you are like me, having a shade structure in your outdoor living space is a nice addition.

Pergolas are one of the most popular shade structures that we design and build at Archadeck Outdoor Living. They can be designed and built to complement any outdoor living space, new or existing.

Shade is one of the most common reasons a homeowner requests a pergola. While part of it is open at the top, the beams at the top create ample shade below. Some homeowners also choose to add fabric to the top for pops of color in the space.

Shade isn’t the only way to cool off with a patio. Because it is comprised of framing, electrical can be run to the structure as well, making it a great place to add an outdoor fan. Shade and a breeze, sounds pretty good to me!

IMG_6195One issue that we’ve noticed with a lot of patio and deck designs is that there isn’t a clear form or function.  The structure’s size and layout should work for the intended use of the space, whether it’s cooking, lounging, etc. Sometimes different purposes need to be defined and a pergola is one way to do it. The space underneath a pergola is almost like a separate room outdoors. Take this pergola for instance. It is very clear that the space underneath will be the “dining room” area of the patio with the living area beyond it.

Compared to outdoor rooms like open and screened porches and sunrooms, pergolas are more easily added to an existing outdoor living space. They are normally free standing and with a variety of shapes, sizes and finishes, they can look like they were always there.

If you have questions on adding a pergola or other shade structure to your outdoor living space, please contact your local Archadeck Outdoor Living office.

Updating Your Existing Outdoor Living Space

It’s spring which means it is time to move it outdoors and enjoy the nice weather. Creating beautiful outdoor living spaces that you want to spend time in is one way to ensure that you aren’t cooped up inside all the time. If your existing deck or patio isn’t as inviting as it should be, it doesn’t mean you need to completely replace it. Instead, look for ways to update and enhance it. Here are some ideas from the outdoor living experts at Archadeck.

composite-deckSeating/furniture options. In one of my first homes, I had a great little patio, but I barely used it. While I had furniture outside, it wasn’t comfortable furniture that I wanted to spend a lot of time on. Looking back, had I updated my seating options, I would have spent more time outdoors. If you aren’t sure of spacing, have a deck and patio builder visit your property and discuss built-in seating with benches or retaining walls. This is a great way to increase the amount of seating you have.

Sierra ExifShade. Having shaded areas in your outdoor living areas creates a space for you and guests to escape the hot sun if needed. Shade options are varied and include awnings, arbors, trellises and pergolas, all of which can be installed on an existing space. Pergolas are one of the most popular shade options. The size, shape and design and can be tailored for you, your tastes and your budget.

Archadeck 2013 PhotographyColor. Color adds life into any living area whether indoors or outdoors. Take a look at this deck, doesn’t its colors make you want to spend time on it? Colors can be added in a lot of ways. If you have existing furniture, consider purchasing some new decorative outdoor pillows to liven up the space. Or, add an outdoor rug, not only will it add color, but it will also help define your space. Adding planters with flowers and greenery to a deck or patio is also a great way to add some color, and they’re easy to change every season!

L-8312 copyOutdoor Lighting. Eventually your outdoor living spaces will get too dark for you to enjoy them when the sun goes down, unless you have outdoor lighting. Many of our Archadeck Outdoor Living locations install deck lights on their projects to make sure it can be enjoyed all day and night. Lighting will keep you outside and provide sure-footing as you move around your outdoor living space. If you are in need a more extensive lighting system, take a look at our sister company, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.

As always, Archadeck Outdoor Living is here to help you enhance your outdoor living spaces. Please reach out to any of our locations to learn more.

Deck and Patio Design Coming Together in Richmond, VA

Posted by: janegwalker

It’s been a long time since we updated you on the outdoor living structure that we designed and are building for our corporate office and we are happy to say that it is 99% finished. The remaining items on the list are primarily clean up. So what’s been going on since we last updated you? In short, a lot.

To recap, this is the boring side yard that we had at our office:

photo

And this is what we have now:

Archadeck-building

It is quite the difference, right? In our last post about the project, we had just finished framing the deck and started laying the deck boards. As you can see, that and more has been completed.

TimberTech-benchThe majority of the deck is a dark brown TimberTech composite material. It was installed at an angle for added visual interest with highlight boards that are a brick red color (I apologize for the shadows in the pictures). The composite material will minimize our need for regular maintenance. Pressure-treated wood, as opposed to composite, needs to be pressure washed and stained to ensure that water, dirt and other debris don’t settle in the wood cracks and cause splitting.

As you can see in the picture, the built-in benches have been added to the space. One of our goals in creating this outdoor living space at the office was to have a space that everyone in building would really use (not just look at). Seating is extremely important for regular use and with a commercial space that does get some traffic, the seating couldn’t be movable. While the retaining walls offer some seating, benches were added throughout the space to invite people to relax and take a seat.

With such a large amount of dark decking, our deck designers decided to complement the structure with white highlights in the form of railings and the pergola. Timbertech vinyl railing was installed around the open edges of the deck for safety purposes. Any deck that isn’t low to grade, meaning that it rises at least 36 inches off the ground, must have a railing by code. Once the railing was up, everyone here started to see the whole the project come together. The crisp white makes it really pop.

When the Archadeck Outdoor Living team discussed what they wanted in the space, a shade structure was a key component. The pergola was added to the design and covers nearly half of the 900 square foot deck. In a space that gets a lot of sunlight, the pergola offers a reprieve.

While the building part of the space is pretty much finished, there are a few finishing details that are still to come. Outdoor lighting is going to be installed for safety and security (as well as beauty). Besides that, we just need to get rid of any construction debris and we are ready to host our first barbecue at the office.

If you have questions on how you can enhance your backyard with a custom outdoor living space, please reach out to your local Archadeck office. Our trained designers will work with you to create something that works for you, your family, your needs and your budget.

Deck and Patio Installation Begins at Archadeck Headquarters

Several weeks ago, we announced that we at Archadeck Outdoor Living’s corporate office are getting a new outdoor living area. We are thrilled to let you know that after some weather delays, we officially broke ground today!

To recap, up until now, our corporate office has been of void of any outdoor living structures (we know, it’s sad considering what we do). This year, we decided to change that and designed this custom deck and patio combination project. A large pergola will cover part of deck for shade and built in benches and retaining walls will provide places to sit throughout the space. Continue reading

Pergolas: An easy addition for a new year

I’m one of those people that is constantly changing, updating and tweaking my home. One space never stays the same for too long. It may be a small change like switching out pictures, or something larger like a new paint color or new furniture. In 2013, my husband and I have decided to be put some extra time and effort into our outdoor spaces. Because of their versatility and design options, one thing we are considering is adding a pergola to our existing outdoor living spaces.

Pergolas are a great add-on to an outdoor living space. The finishes can match the structures that are already there. At Archadeck Outdoor Living, our offices design custom pergolas that enhance a space without it looking like an afterthought (even though it may be).

Garden pergola by ArchadeckMy husband and I are thinking about a pergola to define our space. Our outdoor living area has a few different components and we are looking to make one part a little cozier. Pergolas are a great way to define a space as a separate area. Much like a porch (without the cost of a porch), a pergola frames out a section of the property. For us, we are looking for a cozy place to sit, read or have a drink. Look at this curved pergola for example. Although it is part of a larger structure, this is clearly a separate area. I’ve seen pictures of pergolas that are built over living and dining areas as well as outdoor kitchens.

One of my favorite aspects of pergolas is that they do provide some shade while still allowing for sun as well. For the most part, I enjoy the sun, but there are times that I want a reprieve but don’t necessarily want to go inside. Some homeowners that want more shade also purchase pergola covers to block more of the sun.

Pergolas can be as simple or ornate as the homeowner would like. Our pergola designers take the existing space into consideration and create a plan around it. Here are some examples of some different custom pergolas from our Archadeck offices:

This poolside pergola uses heavy timber to provide ample protection from the elements

This poolside pergola uses heavy timber to provide ample protection from the elements

This pergola is more ornate at the top and is finished in a dark brown stain

This pergola is more ornate at the top and is finished in a dark brown stain

Pergola with awning

The owners of this pergola added a canopy in a bright yellow to shade the sun.

If you would like to learn more about pergolas and how they can enhance your outdoor space, please contact your local Archadeck office.

 

 

 

 

Columbus Deck Builder Included in Extreme Makeover Home Edition

I’m a big fan of Extreme Makeover Home Edition. I can’t get through one episode without a few tears streaming down my face, but it’s worth it. It is truly a feel-good show. As you can imagine, I was elated to hear that our Archadeck of Columbus office recently participated in the show’s Christmas build (aired on 12/16/2011).

The house was built for the Rhodes family. The Rhodes had recently opened their home up to their adult daughter who was recently diagnosed with brain tumor and her four kids, however, the house they had at the time was slowly falling apart and was WAY too small for seven people. That’s where the Extreme Makeover team comes in!

TimberTech Rooftop Deck

TimberTech Deck and Cedar Pergola for the Rhodes Family

Mike Reeder, the owner of Archadeck of Columbus, was asked to be a roof-top deck over a detached garage for the family. He installed a Timbertech deck with aluminum rails, stairs and a beautiful cedar pergola (if you haven’t seen this episode, it’s available online).

Here’s Mike’s memory of the day:

“I was asked to arrive on the 4th day of the build. I got there at 6am and left at 1am the next day, a full 19 hours. Upon arrival, you could feel the love. For the first four hours, we helped with the interior framing of the house. Despite being up all night, the framers were working to finish that step. And boy did they! In the one day I was there the framing was complete, electrical and drywall was installed and painting was started.

The rooftop deck that we built was great, the perfect getaway for the family to grill out and watch their beloved Ohio State football team.

The Extreme Makeover build was a great personal experience for me. It was amazing to see the amount of volunteers. They weren’t just construction workers, but people who just wanted to give back to this family and the community.”

Columbus Deck Builder

Archadeck of Columbus Team at the Extreme Makeover Home Edition Build

We are so proud of Mike and his team for their work on the Rhodes home. Not only was it a wonderful project, but it went to a well deserving family. The only negative? He didn’t see Ty.

Creating Outdoor Great Rooms with Pergolas

One of the many benefits of adding an outdoor living structure to your property is that it increases the amount of livable space to your home. Outdoor rooms are becoming increasingly popular and are often used in multiples ways: a living room complete with couches, dining areas, outdoor kitchens, etc. The possibilities are endless when it comes to outdoor living spaces.

Pergolas help define outdoor living spaces

Pergolas can help define outdoor living spaces

You can define different spaces of your outdoor structures in numerous ways, but one of our favorites is the pergola. Seen here to the left, a pergola is shade structure that can be added to new or existing projects.

Pergolas make a dramatic addition to any outdoor living area, creating the feel of a true room at the fraction of the cost of a sunroom or screened porch. Pergola designs vary in size, shape and finish. Outdoor Living Room - PergolaA fan or triangle pergola may work better for your backyard than the more commonly used square or rectangle pergola. At Archadeck, we work with our clients to not only make sure their new pergola complements their home seamlessly but also that it works well with how they are going to use their space. If the space is going to be used for dining, do you need to include an overhead light? Do you need a fan to combat the summer heat? No problem, these are both easily incorporated to make your space work for you.

Some Archadeck clients are opting to include awnings or louvered roofs to their pergolas for increased shade and definition. A louvered roof gives the homeowner the ability to let sun stream into the space or close it off for a more porch-like feel if wanted. Pergola with awningWith numerous options to consider, pergolas offer a lot of versatility that other structures don’t.

If you’re interested in learning how a pergola or other structure can transform your yard, visit Archadeck.com for inspiration or contact your local Archadeck office.

Among outdoor structures the pergola rises to the top

Archadeck pergola with arched roof that serves as a sitting area for this lovely garden

This pergola has an arched roof that serves as a sitting area for this lovely garden

Sometimes it is the small things in your outdoor oasis that make the biggest statement. Take for example the pergola. Pergolas give you the capability of turning an outdoor space into an outdoor room for very little cost.

The pergola is among the fastest growing elements in backyard building.  In addition to being able to provide a small intimate environment, pergolas provide loads of ambiance to your outdoor living area and landscape.

Gone forever are the days of two posts with a board across the top. Today’s pergolas come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, materials. Today’s pergolas often have all the electrical accoutrements that are available in outdoor areas such as patios and porches. These accoutrements include speakers, lighting, fans and much more.

Remember the pergola of the past that served as a decorative feature at the end of the pool? Pergolas today are used as hot tub covers, swing covers, garden area covers and patio covers.

Composite deck which uses the pergola to create a covered porch effect

Composite deck which uses the pergola to create a covered porch effect

Pergolas can be attached to other structures such as patio covers and even screen porches. On average we see a 50/50 split of stand alone pergolas versus attached. Modern pergolas are being built nowadays to promote the feeling of a room, and a vast majority of them have lighting so it can be used in the evening as well as the daytime.

These double pergolas promote intimacy and space definiton around this hot tub deck

These double pergolas promote intimacy and space definition around this hot tub deck

In order for the pergola to fully function like an outdoor room you want to be able to provide shade as well as protection from the elements. Companion products are the answer and continue to transform your yard by dressing up your pergola and giving it either more sun protection, more wind protection, or both. These are things like shade fabric that is built into the roof of the pergola, curtains made of weather resistant plastic, and drop down weighted blinds to add more shade or wind protection on one side and even awnings. Once you put an awning inside the pergola, you get protection from the wind, rain and a place to provide much-needed shade which is still much less expensive than building a room. The construction of the pergola itself can be made more conducive to providing protection from the elements by the space variance between the cross beams located atop the pergola as well. The closer the beams are set, the more protection your pergola will offer.

This poolside pergola uses heavy timber to provide ample protection from the elements

This poolside pergola uses heavy timber to provide ample protection from the elements

Popular materials for pergolas include unique materials, and material combinations. We are getting more requests for the beautiful rustic beauty of cedar, and redwood. We also use combinations of wood, PVC and even fiberglass columns. Most of the fancy rafter detailing which is hot right now comes from using wood because PVC and other synthetics don’t lend themselves to ornate detailing. One of the unique facets of the pergola’s design is that there are no set standards so your pergola can really become a creative piece that you can add your own personal touches and character into. From shape, size, function, location and materials the world is your oyster.

Contact Archadeck to design and build the pergola of your wildest dreams. When it comes to the design and functionality possibilities of the pergola, the choices are endless! You can find the Archadeck location nearest you by visiting our locations list located on our website.

If you are still yearning for examples of the pergolas beauty and uses, visit our pergola and trellis gallery located on our website.

Archadeck of Chester County provides these Kennett Square, PA homeowners with a little less deck and a lot more action

Chester County, PA Sunrooms

This photo shows how the details use of stone combined with outstanding design work perfectly together to create an outdoor oasis for these Kennett Square, PA homeowners.

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It is time to turn the spotlight on another Archadeck location that is doing spectacular outdoor living designs that are not only beautiful but functional as well. This creation by Archadeck of Chester County includes a sunroom, deck, outdoor kitchen and a custom  fire pit located on the lovely patio. It also includes a stone trimmed built-in spa, not to mention a gorgeous pergola for the icing on the proverbial cake. This combination of outdoor structures gives new meaning to the term “stay-cation” because with a outdoor living area as well-appointed as this, who needs to leave the comfort of their backyard  home to renew and relax?

Chester_County_PA_sunroom_builder_Archadeck

This view of the sunroom shows the intricate stonework and fluidity of the entire design

When Juan Cardona and the design team at Archadeck of Chester County met with these  homeowners in Kennett Square, PA, which is known as the mushroom capital of the world, to create this masterpiece in outdoor design, they had an existing deck that was in dire need of replacing as well as an open deck at the rear of the home with an unsightly concrete slab patio under the deck.  The homeowners wish was to create an outdoor area that incorporated a sunroom, less deck and a patio on the lower level. They also wanted to include a built-in cooking area, spa area, and a custom fireplace or fire pit to accommodate their desire to have room and suitable entertaining areas  for larger gatherings down below as opposed to having an all-open deck on the second level. The obstacle that had to be overcome was the fact that their yard was on a rather severe slope. In order to deliver the outdoor oasis the homeowners desired, we would have to install some retaining walls to make it happen.

Archadeck of Chester County sunroom and deck

This design offers less deck and a lot more action

Archadeck of Chester County, PA teamed up with a professional stone mason and together, they quickly put together an integrated plan to totally re-build  and re-structure the entire rear of the home.  The extensive use of stone walls was used to match the overall look of the existing home, since the entire front of the home was already finished in stone. The suggestion of using stone within the new design offered a dramatic look that harmonized well with the existing property.

custom_sunroom_builder_Chester_County_PA detailed view of pergola and surrounding structures

This image shows the details of the sunroom and pergola and how it harmonizes with the home and landscape.

The deck was constructed using low maintenance TimberTech XLM  in Mountain Cedar which harmonizes perfectly with the old world appeal of the stone used throughout the project. Archadeck of Chester County used black Fortress iron railings on TimberTech posts for continuity and fluidity in the deck’s design. On the interior floor of the stunning sunroom they used IPE tongue and groove flooring. The exterior of the room was finished with a stone veneer to match the rest of the patio which includes stone retaining walls, an outdoor kitchen and a custom fire pit. The sunroom also includes Anderson windows.  Under the sunroom there is a built-in custom spa also trimmed with stone. The finishing touch to the project was the addition of a maintenance-free pergola of AZEK composite that was painted to match the decking color. The whole design flows effortlessly from structure to structure and looks and feels original to the existing home, which requires perfection in the design and the execution of the design in order to achieve.

If you are ready to turn your backyard into an orchestrated oasis of beauty, style and relaxation, contact Archadeck today and you will be on your way to creating beautiful harmonies within your own little slice of heaven. Schedule a free design consultation  or contact us by calling 804.353.6999  or emailing us at info@archadeck.netto locate an Archadeck near you to get started.

See more awe-inspiring images of before and after completed jobs by visiting our web site photo galleries

Archadeck of Chester County before, during, after

This image shows the progression of the construction from start to finish.