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:

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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.

Archadeck Outdoor Living Gets Dream Backyard of its Own

We at Archadeck Outdoor Living pride ourselves on being the experts in outdoor living structures. Whether it is a deck, porch, patio, pergola or other project, we design and build the backyards of our clients’ dreams. I hate to admit it, but despite being America’s oldest and largest deck builder, our corporate office’s outdoor living space is lacking. Actually, it doesn’t really exist right now, but we photoare thrilled to say that that will be changing soon!

Since we are currently in the middle of a $70,000 dream backyard makeover contest, we decided it was time to build our dream space too! Our corporate design staff of draftsmen have designed the perfect outdoor living space for our corporate offices that will soon be underway. I, of course, will be sharing photos and details of how it is coming throughout the process. To start, I want to show you what the plans look like.

OLB beforeAs you can see in the first 3D rendering and the photo, our corporate office’s property doesn’t look like a place the outdoor living experts work. We, along with the other companies that we share our building with, wanted a place to enjoy the outdoors when the weather permits. Since we would be the ones designing and building the space, we created a combination structure to show our corporate partners, franchisees and potential franchisees.

deck-patio-richmondThe first step in the process is to get permission from the building owners to make the significant enhancements to the property. Much like our system of porch, patio and deck builders do with their clients, our corporate team presented them with several options to consider. An outdoor living project is a significant investment and it’s important to us that our clients feel confident in their purchase when they sign a contract. To ensure that is the case, our design options are presented in 3D renderings that depict what the space will look like on their property. These renders have our entire office waiting impatiently for the space to be available.

patio-deck-richmondThese renderings show the final design that is currently with the county for permits. The project will consist of a new paver walkway that leads to an upper paver patio surrounded by seating walls and a fireplace. There will be two entrances off the patio to a 900 square foot composite deck loaded with benches throughout. Since Virginia can bring plenty of hot summer days, a large pergola will cover and shade a large part of the deck. On the far end of the deck there will be a set of stairs that lead to a lower paver patio with outdoor an outdoor kitchen (company cookouts, here we come!)

patio-deck-pergolaFor the detail-oriented, here are the specifications of the space: The deck will be a little over 900 square feet. In addition, it will have 105 linear feet of white, vinyl railings, 38 linear feet of composite bench, composite trim and solid board skirting. There will be a total of two pergolas, an entrance one, comprised of 34 square feet and the second one that covers part of the deck will be 484 square feet.

As for the paver component, the space will have a total of 1,020 total square feet of Belgard Holland Stone, 108 linear feet of seating wall and 4 stone columns. On the upper patio there will be a 9 foot wide fireplace and an outdoor kitchen on the lower patio.

We are all excited to build and enjoy the new outdoor living space. We are currently waiting for all of the local permits to go through before we break ground on the space. Sit tight for updates!

Archadeck uses creative hardscaping to build functionality and style into our designs

Belgard hardscape seating wall incorporated into surround

Belgard hardscape seating wall incorporated into surround of this retaining wall

When thinking about building a memorable hardscape such as a patio, outdoor fire pit or outdoor fireplace or even an outdoor kitchen, it is the details and subtle nuances present in the design that make it a cut above the rest. Seeking areas to add design oriented touches and beauty can not only make your hardscape a pleasure to look at, but sometimes adding these touches can also add to the functionality of your structure as well.

Hardscape seating area by Belgard

This hardscape seating area is an ingenious and beautiful addition to your fire pits enjoyment

We like to call these nuances and design details, creative hardscaping. Thinking outside the  box when it comes to creating a backyard hardscape takes experience, and design expertise.  One example of creative hardscaping is creating a seating or relaxation area with little more than an idea and additional hardscape material. For example, you can create a seating area to complement an outdoor fireplace or fire pit by incorporating a roomy hardscape ledge or hardscape bench seating. With this added seating area, there is no longer a need to bring in outdoor furniture for a place to sit while the fire pit is in use.

Hardscape sandbox and play area by Belgard

The little ones in your family would enjoy a modernized "sandbox" area like this one shown incorporated into your hardscape patio design

Using hardscape materials in an innovative manner is not exclusive to fire pit designs. There are endless possibilities of ways to use hardscapes to enrich and expand  your outdoor living enjoyment through design. A simple patio can become a place of enchantment for a child by extending the patio area to include an area that shines new light onto the typical playful sandbox of yesteryear. An outdoor kitchen and grilling area becomes an outdoor bar perfect for entertaining with just a little imagination.

Belgard hardscape bar area

Have a round of style, with a custom hardscape bar area designed to compliment your outdoor kitchen or grilling area

If you are planning an outdoor structure with hardscapes in your near future, contact Archadeck to plan, design and build a hardscape that uses the art of creative hardscaping in each and every design. Not only will you be the envy of the neighborhood, but the functionality it will add to your backyard enjoyment will astound you as well.  To find an Archadeck location close to home visit our locations list, located on our website.

See more stunning hardscape designs 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

Keep The Home Fires Burning With An Outdoor Fireplace

Outdoor fireplace with unique pattern and sitting benches

Outdoor fireplace with sitting benches

I know you have all noticed the beautiful outdoor fireplaces that are all over town and in every home and garden magazine on the bookshelf. You have probably pictured yourself and your family nestled around the warm, crackling fire under the stars sipping on a cup of something yummy and relaxing in the moment. The appearance of outdoor fireplaces is becoming increasingly popular. The addition of this type of structure can add value to your home and also give you many years of enjoyment. An outdoor fireplace can make the outdoor habits you avoid during the cooler months a welcome end to a long day, even in the winter.

Alongside other outdoor structures the outdoor fireplace is the “glue” that holds everything together. When considering an outdoor fireplace you first have to decide on the exact spot where you want your fireplace. The spot should be far enough away from the home, plants and other flammable structures as possible. This does not mean your fireplace cannot be built alongside or incorporated into a deck or outdoor structure. Local and state building codes have guidelines set for height requirements and setbacks, your professional Archadeck installer will be able to help you with the placement of your outdoor fireplace to ensure it is safe as well as beautiful. You also need to take into consideration your surroundings that will be blocked by the fireplace. A see-through outdoor fireplace is an option for homeowners that don’t want to block the view of that serene garden or tranquil water feature.

Screened porch with outdoor fireplace and built in large screen TV

Screened porch with outdoor fireplace and built in large screen TV

You want to choose a fireplace design that fits in scale with the size of your yard and your home. If there is stone or stucco on your home, you may consider incorporating these to complement the surroundings. You can also bring in architectural elements into the shape of your chimney or mantle. You want the structure to blend and become a natural looking part of your outdoor area.

You also need to decide what you want the fireplace to be used for. Are you interested in an intimate area to create ambiance or a focal point to anchor an outdoor room? If you entertain larger groups of people often you will want the scale a bit grander, because people tend to gravitate toward the warmth of the fire, especially in cooler months. In this case you may even consider dual fireplaces places across from one another.

Right now is a great time to plan and even have Archadeck install your outdoor fireplace. With the drier and more hospitable weather conditions afoot, now is the time to start pouring those foundations and gathering the firewood. In many parts of the country an outdoor fireplace can be used year round. Even in the west where the temperatures soar, you can still enjoy some conversation and cocoa on those chilly western nights.

Outdoor fireplaces create a feeling of romance. The glow of the flickering fire invites you to sit down and relax. The flickering fire can be achieved using gas or by burning wood, the choice is yours Today’s fireplaces can even have built-in seating such as curved stone, which is beautiful and functional. Contact your local Archadeck today to see just how easy it can be to keep the home fires burning by carving out your own little slice of heaven.

Can a back seat car charger be the reason someone buys a $25,000 car?

Sure. Should something as small as a back seat car charger be the reason someone buys one car vs. another? Perhaps. When it comes to vehicles, the difference in price between a “basic” car and the car that fits our lifestyle is really usually not that much as a percentage. So, in doing a financial analysis, we can  have a motor with 4 wheels and scratchy seats for one price and a car we enjoy riding in for 5% more. Take into account that we will use this item every single day for the next 5 years or so, the cost of having all the comfort we really want could be as little as pennies per day.

TimberTech Earthwood Tropical Teak Deck by Harold Cross of Archadeck of Des Moines

TimberTech Earthwood Tropical Teak Deck by Harold Cross of Archadeck of Des Moines

My husband constantly tries to help me see this fact and often it takes a literal financial analysis to help me see it. I tend to get sticker shock – especially during this bad economy. I’m embarrassed to say but I can remember more times than I care to admit when I’ve purchased the cheap item only to have it break or be completely useless and had to buy the more expensive version in addition spending nearly twice as much as I spent originally.

Charlotte NC screened porch with outdoor fireplace

Charlotte NC screened porch with outdoor fireplace

Our Archadeck owners tell me that they often get calls from homeowners who had a “cheap” deck built for them and not much later they realize they should have spent a little more to get the deck that they really wanted. This could be because of the size or the construction or very often as a result of the deck missing one or two critical features to make it an area that they really want to spend time.

As a recovering first-time cheapskate, I urge you to take a look at the product you really want and do a financial analysis to find out how much more the product I want really costs. These days, a new deck can last 30 years or more. That’s a purchase that’s worth spending a little more to get your “back seat car charger” type feature that’s really going to improve your quality of outdoor life in your yard.

Call an expert near you to have your deck built right the first time.

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.