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.

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

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.

Patios Covers that deliver function and style

Patio cover by Archadeck of Fort Worth

Brick Columns, ceiling fans, and a stone retaining wall are just of the few gorgeous details of this porch cover by Archadeck of Fort Worth.

Imagine having that one spot in your landscape that you can retreat when the day has been long and you need to renew yourself. Imagine an area that offers shelter from the elements, the wind, and the sun, and a place that offers shelter from the storms of a stressful day. Having a special spot of your own is easy with a patio cover from Archadeck. A covered patio, also referred to as a patio cover can transport you to a place of relaxation and refreshment. Patio covers are also a good way to show off the beauty of your home and landscape, by introducing elements to compliment both. Patio covers can be constructed with a mixed medium of materials that include natural stone, tile, hardscape materials such as pavers, composite and PVC materials, hardwoods, brick and concrete. Planning a new patio cover by Archadeck can turn the blank canvas of your existing backyard and transform it into a masterpiece with beauty and quality that will make your structure a feast for the eyes as well as the senses.

At Archadeck we keep receiving more and more requests for patio covers.  Many patio covers you see at the “do it yourself” big box stores are aluminum and lack the quality or beauty that Archadeck is renowned for. Now that being said, Archadeck patio covers not only talk the talk, in terms of aesthetic appeal, but they walk the walk as well with functionality, by broadening the spectrum of uses for your outdoor space.

Covered patio by Archadeck of Fort Worth

" This is the life", with a patio cover by Archadeck of Fort Worth which encompasses an angled pergola, and custom fire pit into the design.

Patios in their own rite, are still a stunning and useful way to add livable outdoor space to any home or landscape. Patios can be used in conjunction with other outdoor structures such as decks, pergolas and much more. Is your patio able to be used on hot days when the sun is beaming down on you? Are you forced off the patio and indoors whenever the clouds thicken and the sky threatens rain? If you answered yes to either of these questions, then maybe a Patio cover is an ideal way to get more hours of enjoyment out of your patio. Maybe you are “on the fence” as to build a patio that is covered or uncovered. Archadeck wants to make your patio decision an easy one, with your comfort and lifestyle in mind.

Archadeck of Fort Worth and Archadeck of Austin are both heavy hitters when it comes to building patios, covered and uncovered. Here are some photos of both locations stunning work to serve as an inspiration when deciding what path to choose for your new patio.  Archadeck can take your existing patio and add a cover to create an outdoor room great for entertaining, or just reading a good book. With a patio cover you can enjoy the beauty of a  summer rain while having a glass of your favorite beverage without the worry of getting wet. How many living rooms can offer you that kind of versatility?

Austin concrete patio with pergola and patio cover

Austin concrete patio with pergola and patio cover

This patio cover by Archadeck of Austin serves as a triple threat with the clever and unique use of twin pergolas encompassing the central patio cover.
Detached patio cover by Archadeck of Austin
This detached patio cover by Archadeck of Austin has natural rustic detailing and includes a fully functioning outdoor kitchen and dining area, perfect for entertaining, or a simple dinner date for two.
Patio cover by Archadeck of Austin
This patio cover by Archadeck of Austin has all the comforts of home, enjoyable outdoors. A great place to watch the summer rain or maybe the football game on your TV which is mounted in your patio cover.

Covered patio by Archadeck of Austin
Another view of this patio cover by Archadeck of Austin shows just how much versatility this space offers. An outdoor bar and gully functioning outdoor kitchen are built right into the structure which showcases the beautiful spa area as well.

Patio cover by Archadeck of Fort Worth

This patio cover in Southlake, TX by Archadeck of Fort Worth shows the attention that was paid to every detail of quality through the materials chosen and the design itself.

Archadeck is America’s premier builder of outdoor structures such as these. Imagine a patio that becomes an extension of not only your living space, but an extension of your personality and tastes as well. From dining and seating areas, to outdoor kitchens and ceiling fans, Archadeck can plan, design and build a patio cover that will leave you breathless.

Contact Archadeck to learn more 804.353.6999 • info@archadeck.net

A Dream is A Wish Your Heart Makes…

I think it was Snow White who originally coined the term ” A dream is a wish your heart makes”, we all have our list of dreams that come with wanting to improve upon our home and the area around it. These wants don’t have to be put on the back burner, even if you are on a budget. Here at Archadeck we can work along with you to help you plan, design and construct these wants in what we call phased building. The key is you can reach your goal by taking baby steps instead of leaping in head first.

Charlotte pergola swing on composite deck

We can design a plan around your needs, wants and budget to make room for additions in the future. For example, let’s say the big picture is a lush, romantic backyard with a gazebo, pergola, layers of cottage style landscaping and a relaxing swing attached to “somewhere out there”. We can start with either the largest expense first or the smallest expense first and leave room in the meantime to add structures or details when you are ready. In this example we would suggest a pergola swing. Which would key in on two items on this particular example. Incorporating the swing and the pergola in the same structure. Pergola swings are a growing trend and are in all the lawn and garden magazines. This structure would be an ideal starting point to help you reach your goal.

Archadeck Pergola Swing

Pergola swings serve as not only an inviting area to gather and relax they can also be a good area to get in out of the sun. Their designs can be customized to suit any taste and they add romance to any backyard setting. We discourage the use of pre-fabricated pergola swings. Pre-fabricated structures usually don’t stay with you for the long haul, and what looks good on the box or in an advertisement can be very disappointing when you get it home. Leave the important stuff to us, we offer affordability, style and quality construction in everything we build. In most cases a custom-built pergola swing structure can be built to last by a professional for close to same amount a pre-fab structure would cost. Remember. a good builder will work with you to tailor a phased plan to meet your needs.

Pergola swing by Archadeck of Fort Worth

Go ahead, plan your dreams and build your backyard the way you have always wanted. Archadeck is with you every beautiful step of the way. Give us call to see just how easy it can be.

888 OUR DECK

The Perfect Union of Comfort and Beauty- The Pergola Swing

Move that swing off the porch and into the beauty of the landscape by building a pergola swing . You might already own a porch swing. You probably never thought that the swing itself could be moved to work in unison and complement a pergola in your own backyard. It is true, pergola swings are becoming a very popular addition to the American backyard.

Outdoor swing with pergola Doylestown PA

A pergola is a structure that provides shade. The origin of the word comes from the Latin word pergula which means a projection or overhanging eave. The pergola’s origins are based deep throughout history and were originally created to support hanging vines ( such as grapes) and to also connect separate buildings by way of this open passageway we now call the pergola.

Pergola with swing

Today we still use pergola’s in much the same manner. Many pergola owners plant decorative vines and climbing bushes such as fragrant roses at the base of the structure for aesthetic appeal. Many homeowners also use a pergola , sometimes built-in separate levels to serve as a passageway from the yard itself into a porch or onto a deck. The possibilities for uses of this lovely structure are endless and stretch as far as your imaginations allow. The addition of a swing installed into the pergola is not new. The Victorians were the ones whom originally perfected this concept. With the ornate Victorian architecture and detailing we still see in design to this very day.

A good example of a pergola with wide closely spaced slats

The idea of a pergola swing is to get the best of both worlds. Not only will the pergola serve as shade and an oasis from the heat on a warm summer day, the swing will entice you to relax and absorb the beauty of nature that encompasses you. The amount of shade that is prevalent in your pergola depends heavily on the style of the pergola you choose. Larger slats, or timbers that are closer together will provide more protection from sunlight than an open design. Determining the proper location when building your pergola is important for shade value too. To maximize the amount of protection from direct sunlight we recommend careful planning to avoid direct afternoon sun, or a location that receives indirect sunlight throughout the day. Other influences can be added such as ornamental flowers or vines and even a new product called Polygal to deflect the hazardous UV rays. Polygal (Polycarbonate multi-wall sheets) is a thin sheet virtually transparent that can be applied to any structure, it keeps out the harmful ad damaging UV rays but still lets the natural warmth of the sun through.

Multi level deck with corner pergola swing

Above all let’s not forget the fact that a pergola swing is a beautiful addition to any backyard. Not only will you have a beautiful place to relax, the addition of a home improvement structure such as this increases the value of your home for years to come.

Archadeck can help you plan, design and build your new pergola swing in the perfect location with comfort in mind. Give us a call for a free estimate today.

When is a pergola not just a pergola?

When Harold Cross of Archadeck of Des Moines IA builds a pergola, it’s more than a pergola. This pergola design is a 3-tiered pergola design.

Here is a sunroom designed by Harold Cross. Take a look at the attention to detail.

Harold Cross can be reached at (515) 266 – 8844.

Archadeck of Central Iowa web site

Archadeck of Central Iowa blog