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.

Put a little holiday in your step with a new deck by Archadeck

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Archadeck focuses on the joy of the season with this “Christmas deck” by Archadeck of Greater Atlanta, which is truly a deck for all seasons packed with functionality and style. A deck like this can be yours with Archadeck. Continue reading

Tip-toe through the tulips with a custom patio cover by Archadeck that showcases your own patio garden

Belgard patio and patio garden

This patio cover, created with Belgard pavers showcases this lovely patio garden beautifully.

When you think of the reasoning behind building an outdoor structure such as a patio cover in your backyard you have to really focus on the term “outdoor”. Homeowners make the decision to ultimately add such a structure because of a deep love for the outdoors. It can be the way the wind feels in your hair. It can be the smell of the brisk fresh air after a summer rain. It can be the way you love to gaze upon the clear night sky. Or maybe you love the way the sun feels on your face. Whatever the personal reason, it all comes down to mother nature and all she has to offer us. Among the many reasons homeowners choose to build an outdoor structure  maybe the number one reason that comes to mind is the love of flowers, and gardening.

Covered patio by Archadeck of Fort Worth

This patio cover by Archadeck of Fort Worth includes custom stone planters into the design of the structure for close proximity to plants and flowers.

One way to incorporate flowers and the joy of gardening into your lifestyle and bring it closer to your home is by way of the patio garden, and no patio garden would be quite as enchanting without a patio to enhance the beauty and folly associated with cultivating and nurturing your  own patio garden. Covered patios, or patio covers are the perfect way to bring the beauty of the patio garden to life and share the beauty of your bountiful blooms within closer proximity than having to venture into your backyard.

Patio covers can also add valuable outdoor living space to your backyard. They can be incorporated into a design that includes a deck, where the deck would spill into the patio cover adding an abundance of added functional space. Patio covers can also be designed to include other luxurious outdoor amenities such as outdoor fireplaces and outdoor kitchens. There is no limit to what can be included into your patio cover design, the choices are as endless as your own imagination. In terms of working in correlation with a patio garden, your structure can be designed with custom planting areas, so you can watch season to season as the colors and textures of your plantings change.

The same artful design elements that go into creating a patio garden, are also used to create the perfect covered patio as well. Patio covers are usually constructed of hardscaping materials. Whether you choose a synthetic or natural stone, concrete, or even pavers; elements like color, shape, size and location all play a major role in a well designed patio cover. The same can be said about the elements you choose to fill your patio garden with as well.

Covered patio Austin from back

Covered Patio by Archadeck of Austin showcases gable-end detailing.

Archadeck uses high quality materials and expert workmanship as the basis for all their patio cover installations. One of our most popular hardscape materials to use when constructing an outdoor structure such as this are Belgard pavers, as well as various natural stone variations and  flagstones. These materials, among the many other choices we offer, have a huge style and color selection available for homeowners to choose the perfect size, shape and color as the foundation of their patio covers design.

Of course when you take the facade of the patio cover into consideration you can’t leave behind the beauty and functionality of the interior. We can create a covered patio  that will not only complement your gardening skills, we can also turn the patio cover into a place of endearing relaxation by adding ceiling fans for those warm days and even if you so desire, outdoor water features, outdoor fireplaces, and an outdoor kitchen as well. We can finish out the interior ceiling of your patio cover to make it as beautiful from the inside, as it is from the outside, by the use of design elements such as bead-board ceilings, and even open rafter systems to bring out the rustic side of you. Whatever you fancy, we can incorporate your desires into the design of your patio cover.

Patio cover and outdoor fireplace

Patio cover and outdoor fireplace

If you are ready to “tiptoe through the tulips” by creating a serene environment to enjoy the benefits of a patio garden and any other luxuries mother natures bounty has to offer, contact Archadeck to create a patio cover design that is tailor-made for your love of the outdoors.

To find an Archadeck location close to home visit our locations list which is available by visiting our website.

You can also see more photos of patio covers by visiting our patio and hardscapes gallery also located on our website.

Belgard introduces Archadeck as a new addition to their authorized dealer network with rave reviews.

Belgard paver patio with endless syle

With Archadeck and Belgard the possibilities are endless

Belgard recently introduced Archadeck as a new addition to their authorized dealer network and we couldn’t be more ecstatic. Belgard is one of the industry’s top manufacturers of hardscapes such as pavers and retaining walls. Archadeck is proud to be authorized dealers of Belgard in our locations throughout the country. Our partnership with Belgard reinforces our goal of using the finest materials to create America’s best outdoor spaces.

Belgard uses a  multi-step design guidance presentation that incorporates design, color, shape and texture. Their motto is “be prepared for company”, and by using this design guide in preparation for having Archadeck build your outdoor structure, you can rest assured the structure you get will be the envy of the neighborhood.

The design guide helps homeowners with four basic steps.

What will your ideal outdoor structure be used for?

What will your ideal outdoor structure be used for?

The first step is to decide what your outdoor structure will be used for. Will it primarily be  used to entertain? Or will it just be used as a sanctuary for relaxing with the family? Considerations in your personal tastes and how you want your outdoor structure to impact your life will play a key role in what type of hardscapes will work best in your design.

The second step is to consider your owns home’s architecture. The goal with any good outdoor structure is to work in harmony with your existing structures and complement their differences and what they have in common. ” You want to work with the grain instead of against the grain” in terms of how your outdoor hardscape structure  will affect what you already have.

Paver patio and firepit by Belgard

Belgard pavers were used in this beautiful patio and fire pit combination

The next step when creating a memorable hardscape design is to extend the visual line from the corners, doors and windows in order to incorporate your  landscape design into the big scheme of things by creating shapes to play up the landscape in your own backyard. The goal here is to see the package in its entirety and not draw the eye to one specific area, a good hardscape design harmonizes with your home, and your yard.

Finally, size matters. When you imagine your perfect outdoor hardscape structure in your mind once it is finished and every little detail is in place, do you see your outdoor  furnishings? Are your chairs neatly tucked in? When considering what size structure is best for you always remember that you need ample space to move around when the furniture is in use. Take leg room into consideration, and pull out room for the chairs as well. This is a simple step, but a crucial one in how much enjoyment you get from your structure in terms of “real life” use. Those pretty pictures in magazines are depicting the area not in use. Thinking outside the box will help you achieve  optimal pleasure when using your structure.

You can learn more about Belgard’s design guide at http://www.belgard.biz/

Tea for two on this beautiful patio constructed with Belgard pavers

Tea for two on this beautiful patio constructed with Belgard pavers

If you are ready to enjoy your outdoor to the fullest with a hardscape outdoor structure custom-built by Archadeck and using the beautiful Belgard products contact us today to learn more. With Archadeck and Belgard you get quality and beauty underfoot. 804.353.6999 • info@archadeck.net

You can view our beautiful gallery of hardscape outdoor structures at http://www.archadeck.com/pickYourProject/PatiosAndHardscapes.html

A paver patio by Archadeck is built tough from the ground up.

Paver Patio by Belgard

This paver patio has detailing that will leave you breathless, finished with Belgard pavers

Paver patios can be simply extraordinary in terms of design and the rustic elegance they encompass. Paver patios are full of personality and the selection of patterns, textures and hues they come in can be customized to reflect a homeowners personal taste and style. Taking all this into consideration, pavers are even more amazing because of their strength. A professionally installed paver patio can withstand several thousand pounds of pressure. I am sure your average dinner party or family get-together outside on the patio would never put this to the test, but the fact of the matter is the cohesive combined strength which is evident in a paver patio is not only strong but it is versatile. A paver patio can be extended in the future if you so wish, and replacing an individual paver is easy. Many people don’t realize what elements go into constructing  a paver patio, but I am here to tell you, they are built tough from the ground up.

Outdoor fireplace with paver patio

Archadeck begins by digging out the area where the patio will be installed. They do this by digging down about 9 inches. Then “roadbase” is brought in, which is basically a rock filler. It is then compacted down with a machine that will bring it to 6 inches of thickness. Once the roadbase  is well compacted, sand is put down. The pavers are then placed atop the sand and compacted down using the compaction machinery again, this will cause the sand to come up through the joints of the pavers. Following this step a layer of Polymeric sand is put atop that, which is again compacted and the sand is brushed in. The top layer of sand has an added polymer which when water is applied, acts as a binder, which binds the sand so there is no loose sand. To ensure nothing washes away beneath these layers Archadeck installs a geo-grid to hold everything in place.

Paver patio and firepit by Belgard

Belgard pavers were used in this beautiful patio and fire pit combination

In the case of a paver patio if there are any upward pressure points or issues this generally happens early on, within the first year following installation. If this happens it is an easy fix, by breaking out any area that is presenting a problem and fixing it. The key to a paver patio is the base, making sure it is leveled and properly compacted.

Paver patios also pack another punch, they are less likely to fade than a stain-and-score concrete patio and will not show signs of wear. Concrete patios such as a stain and score are also more likely to crack, whereas part of a paver patios charm are the cracks themselves (joints) and any give will affect the joint and the paver itself will not crack.

Pavered retaining wall ( Archadeck)

This paver retaining wall by Archadeck compliments the homes deck and sunroom

Pavers can be used in more designs than just patios.  Today’s paver  is not a one trick pony, it is used to build retaining walls, benches, fire pits, fireplaces and so much more. Archadeck uses Belgard pavers. Their quality, style, textures and color choices are unsurpassed in the industry. Most of the pavers sold in your “big box” home improvement stores lack the quality to withstand the test of time, and offer very little selection.

If you are ready to take the leap and add a patio to your backyard, contact Archadeck to get you started on your way to a real eye catcher with the muscle to match. 888.687.3325

You can also visit our photo gallery to view patio designs that will take your breath away http://www.archadeck.com/pickYourProject/PatiosAndHardscapes.html

An Outdoor Fireplace Adds Instant Ambiance to Any Landscape

Outdoor fireplace with paver patio

Chilly evenings are still around in some northern US cities and towns. Locations such as Cape Cod, and other northern towns are well-known for their warm days and chilly evenings all the way into the hottest parts of the summer. Even out west, dry arid daytime conditions lead into rather cool evenings. The sometimes-extreme differences in temperature from daylight to dark add to the charm of these locations.

The outdoor fireplace is a perfect addition to those cool evenings. Imagine relaxing with family and friends on the cape with the ocean as your backdrop. An evening of laughter, roasting marshmallows, ocean air, conversation, a crackling fire and making memories that will last a lifetime.

Outdoor fire pits as well as outdoor fireplaces are a wonderful addition to any backyard

Outdoor fire pits as well as outdoor fireplaces are a wonderful addition to any backyard

Archadeck can make that dream a reality. We can design and build that outdoor fireplace you have been dreaming of. With a huge variety of shapes, styles and colors to choose from. We can build your fireplace of natural stone or faux stone. We can design a large fireplace that will really make a statement to your landscape, or an intimate fire pit with room to pull up a chair and relax. The choices are only limited to your imagination.

Even if you live in an area of the country that doesn’t experience cool evenings an outdoor fireplace is still a great addition to your summer landscape. Not only does an outdoor fireplace create an instant “gathering” area for conversation and ambiance even when not in use. When in use it deters bugs from entering the area and trying to ruin the fun.

If you are thinking it is time to build that outdoor fireplace you’ve been yearning for, summer is a great time. Contact Archadeck to find out more about heating up your landscape with this beautiful addition.

There is More Than Than Meets the Eye When it Comes to Privacy Screens

Juan Cardona at Archadeck of Chester County

Juan Cardona at Archadeck of Chester County

When you think of a privacy screen you think of a structure whose sole purpose is to block the view of something you don’t want to be seen or don’t want to see. Today’s privacy screens are made for so much more than just privacy. Sure, they still block the view, and add intimacy and privacy in the setting in which you use them in. Privacy screens are also used as design elements and a way to perk up a space without going overboard. There is so much more than meets the eye with today’s modern privacy screens.

There are any number of possibilities for privacy screens depending on your likes and dislikes; any homeowners associations requirements you may have; budgetary constraints; or simply what seems to fit your particular design preferences or your property. Different designs have regional popularity.

The following designs were custom designed and built by our Archadeck of Chester County office. Owner Juan Cardona and his staff enjoy coming up with creative solutions for creating privacy using a variety of materials and finding the perfect solution for each individual home.

Made from a Brazilian hardwood to match the deck, the privacy screen below uses a shadow-box design.

Hardwood privacy fence

Hardwood privacy fence in Chester County PA by Archadeck of Chester County

Similar to above, here is another privacy screen using a shadowbox design however this one is made of composite decking materials.

Composite wood privacy fence Chester County PA

Composite wood privacy fence Chester County PA

This privacy wall below uses cedar lattice with an AZEK trim

Cedar privacy lattice with Azek trim

Cedar privacy lattice with AZEK trim

Cedar privacy fence in solid board style with aluminum balusters incorporated to match the deck railing that was already there.

Cedar privacy fence with aluminum balusters

Cedar privacy fence with aluminum balusters

In this instance, the homeowner’s association dictated this design. This privacy wall uses stained cedar with the slats on a 45 degree angle.

Stained cedar privacy wall with angled slats

Stained cedar privacy wall with angled slats

A serving Bar can also provide some privacy as you see in this picture. This particular screen blocks out the heat of the daytime sun to make this area a place of refuge even when the temperatures soar.

Serving bar and lattice for privacy

Serving bar and lattice for privacy

The vinyl privacy fence below incorporates a decorative pergola-style top. This decorative element is also great for hanging plants.

Vinyl privacy fence with decorative pergola top

Vinyl privacy fence with decorative pergola top

As you can see, there are a myriad of options and likely more than one option that can be right for you. The best thing to do is call your local Archadeck office for some ideas and suggestions. It’s what we do all day long.

If you live in the Chester County PA area and you are thinking of building a deck, sunroom, screened porch or other outdoor structure in the Chester County area, give Archadeck of Chester County a call. (610) 696 – 3340. Or, email us a chesterco@archadeck.net

Imagine your Outdoor Oasis with Hardscapes

Patio and fireplace in hardscapes

Imagine your outdoor oasis…a stone fireplace with surround patio floor of contrasting pavers set against the backdrop of nature and the sky. Have you taken  a deep breath yet? Or maybe a pool patio hardscape with a covered patio flowing out into the horizon. The dream is yours- Archadeck can make it a reality.

Transforming your outdoor place into an unforgettable space is a lot easier than you think. Archadeck has many hardscapes to satisfy even the most discriminating customer. We now offer the Belgard products in addition to our other hardscapes. Belgard is unsurpassed in quality and style. We custom design each job with your input and we have hardscaping to fit any budget.

Patio and endless pool hardscapes

If you are considering a change from the deck or patio you have now, or if you are starting from a blank canvas, Archadeck can turn your backyard into a work of art.

Multi-level hardscapes have become a staple in outdoor structures and beautification. The true meaning of a hardscape is the man made part of the grounds surrounding a building, as paved areas and structures, but it is so much more than that. The beauty and variety of today’s hardscapes take on a personality of their own. Hardscapes can be used to create barriers, driveways, sidewalks, walls, floors, water features, railings, fire features such as fire pits and fireplaces, planters and many more structures. The choices in hardscaping materials are as large as all the things you can build with hardscapes. Hardscapes can be natural or man made, such as stone, pavers, concrete, brick and the list goes on and on.

The color wheel is still the real deal when picking outdoor structure colors

Once you’ve decided on adding an Archadeck structure to your home and landscape most of the major decisions have already been made like size, type of material, and accessories.

Archadeck deck in TimberTech teak by Jim Hilliard of Archadeck Pittsburgh

Archadeck deck in TimberTech teak by Jim Hilliard of Archadeck Pittsburgh

Whether you have chosen a deck, a sunroom, a pergola or even a patio, you will have to decide what colors to use. Archadeck has a talented and trained staff to guide you through  from start to finish to assist you with your new addition. There are a wide array of colors and textures to choose from when deciding on what materials to construct your structure out of.  Choosing colors to use can be a daunting task in itself.

Based upon your individual taste and the colors of your existing structures, color selections can be fun and interesting. You want your structure to reflect your taste and your individuality and be as unique as you are. Many interior designers and building professionals use the convenience of the color wheel and color theory in helping their clients make their color selections. Color theory is a body of practical guidance to color mixing and the visual impacts of specific color combinations. The color wheel is a simple color chart in which complementary colors are arranged on opposite sides of a circle. The color wheel was said to be invented by Sir Isaac Newton in 1670. The principles of color theory also first appeared in the notebooks of  the famous painter, sculptor, and  architect Leonardo Da’vinci (one of his greatest works being “The Mona Lisa”) as early as 1490.The uses of color theory and the color wheel are not all ancient history, it is alive and well and being used in the 21st century. Below is an early color wheel from Goethe’s color wheel from his 1810 “Theory of colors”.

Goethe’s color wheel from his 1810 “Theory of colors”

By effectively using the color wheel you can decide what colors complement each other. For example, if you have a Terra cotta color brick home and are planning on building a deck attached to your house. You would find your brick color on the color wheel, then look directly across from the color on the color wheel and you would find the color that best complements your brick color. In this example Terra cotta is an orange/red color, directly across from the orange/red color is a gray/blue color. By reading the color chart you can see that a darker gray deck or stain may be the best color choice to complement your Terra cotta brick.

Archadeck Colorado redwood deck over rock wall

Wheat Ridge CO redwood deck over rock wall

Color as you know can also enhance or set a mood. When you discuss color choices you have to take into consideration above anything else, your personal tastes. Did you know that certain colors have a “psychology”, meaning that different colors can affect your mood?  Yes, just like certain scents have mood altering effects on the brain, color does too.

The color wheel is split into warm and cool colors. Warm colors such as red, orange and yellows can give you a feeling of warmth, enthusiasm , strength , and passion. Your cool colors such as greens and blues give you the feeling of  depth, trust, freshness and tranquility.  Much can be said about the neutral tones that are most often used in the construction of outdoor structures. Brown is of course the color of the earth and is considered to be comforting and reassuring. In design brown can add depth and warmth to your structure.  Gray is subtle and can be calming. Black is Elegant. Black is usually used to make something stand out and will draw attention to detail and is often used in ornamental details. Whites are classic and timeless. White is clean and fresh like a new fallen snow. So as you can clearly see. Colors can set a mood and promote a feeling you want to convey when enjoying your outdoor structure. Spending time on your sunroom with deep brown flooring accented with white trim can make you feel as if you are curled up with a big slice of warm apple pie a la mode!

Now that you armed with the knowledge you need to make great color choices plus the uniqueness of your favorite colors don’t be afraid to dive into the color selection process. Archadeck has a rainbow of choices to guide you and the talent and know how to make your experience unforgettable.

How to Increase Home Value

In this market, it can seem impossible to sell your house. There are so many home improvement projects you can do to raise your home value, but which ones help the most? The last thing you need to do at this point is waste your time on projects that only garner a small amount of home value.

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Remodeling Magazine has been conducting annual surveys of the most cost-effective home improvements since 1987. In 2007, the winner for a mid-range home was a wooden deck. Homeowners who had a 16 by 20 foot pressure treated deck installed recouped an average of 85.4 percent of cost of the project.

Similarly, patios, porches, and other outdoor areas have a high return on investment, as well. To explore these options and raise your home value, take a look at the Archadeck website.