Take a tour of some beautiful Charlotte area flagstone patios

One of the questions we’re frequently asked is whether you can mix and match different types of stone. Yes, you can! In the patio image above, you see flagstone on the patio, steps, and on the outdoor fireplace accent details. Stackstone adorns the vertical walls of the outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen, and outdoor fireplace. Look how beautifully they work in harmony with each other.

The beautiful outdoor space pictured above features an elevated deck with wide stairs leading down to the second outdoor space. The lower flagstone patio features a retaining wall which doubles as a seating wall along with a custom firepit. Notice the way several areas are available for convening. The patio is large enough to have your resident bookworm curled up on the outdoor sofa while a group enjoys evening cocktails around the outdoor fireplace.

Take a look at the flagstone patio above. Enjoy the sizes and shades of the individual flagstones. Appreciate how the artisan wove together the different natural stones with narrow veining between stones. Your Archadeck of Charlotte patio artisan works tirelessly, stone by stone, to arrange materials with such natural variation into a cohesive pattern that looks like it was made to go together.

Take a deep breath. You know this time of year. The pear trees are just starting to bud and the smell of fresh blooms is alive in the air. Enjoy some of the details of this fantastic flagstone patio and outdoor fireplace. What a showpiece! The outdoor fireplace not only has fabulous design details but is also tremendously functional. The long retaining walls that fan out from the fireplace double as overflow seating. The same can be said of the large stack stone hearth. This artisan-built outdoor fireplace has a brick firebox. There are no inserts or pre-fabricated pieces in this outdoor fireplace.

If you love the picture above, you are the type to choose natural stone over a paver or concrete. Do you love the color differences? Do you love that every stone is a different size and shape? Do you love the way the designer put them together like a kaleidoscope?

Reach out to us for a free consultation on your new flagstone outdoor space. Give us a call at (704) 944-1350, email us or fill out the form on our homepage and we will get right back in touch with you.

Still want to look around a little longer? Here are some great links:
Read more about outdoor fireplaces and firepits
Learn more about Charlotte hardscapes and patios
Enjoy our stone patio photo gallery

Top five reasons to choose Archadeck as your Charlotte patio contractor

If you’re a Charlotte-area homeowner considering a backyard transformation, you’re probably poised to begin with the addition of a deck or patio. These are the two most popular choices among Charlotteans because they create a surface that is not only a great place to relax with family and friends, it also adds value to your home. A patio, in particular, can provide a starting point for future backyard renovations like adding an outdoor kitchen, outdoor fire feature or even a pool.

We have tremendous experience and expertise in designing and building Charlotte’s best patios and hardscapes. Here are five reasons why choosing Archadeck of Charlotte to build your new patio or hardscape is a wise choice:

Our patios require minimal maintenance

At Archadeck of Charlotte, our patios are professionally designed and installed using only the best hardscape materials. This ensures a hardscape with longevity that is also a breeze to maintain. A patio requires very little attention from the homeowner and doesn’t require annual resealing like a wooden deck.

As an added benefit of choosing Archadeck of Charlotte to build your patio, our sister company, Renew Crew of Charlotte, can deliver effortless scheduling of any needed maintenance to keep your patio looking like new.

Archadeck of Charlotte offers flexible design options

Our wide selection of hardscape materials gives Charlotte homeowners an almost endless choice in patio design options. Your Charlotte patio can be built with pavers, natural stone like flagstone, travertine and even ceramic tile. Our portfolio includes a variety of shapes, colors and styles to achieve your desired look and to fit any budget.

Our patios deliver a high return on investment

Our patios, which are professionally designed and installed, will yield a 30-60% return on investment if you ever decide to sell your home. In the long run, that same patio addition will add curb appeal, enhance outdoor functionality, and become a beloved backyard destination - benefits you cannot put a price on.

Our patios get along well with other outdoor structures

Patios can serve well when used in conjunction with other outdoor structures such as a deck, porch or outdoor room. This is what we refer to as an outdoor living combination or outdoor living environment. For many of our clients, an outdoor living space needs to be multifunctional. If that’s the case, our designers will create a space that flows yet defines separate spaces for different purposes.

Our patios are built with quality materials

Archadeck of Charlotte uses the best materials in the business to design our custom hardscapes. These include Belgard and Pavestone brands just to name a few. Our designs include paver patios, stone patios, stack stone patio, blue stone patios, flagstone patios, covered ceramic patios and travertine tile patios.

If you are thinking of a patio or hardscape addition for your home, Archadeck of Charlotte can help! Contact us today to learn more. You can call us at (704) 944 – 1350, email us or fill out the form to the right and we will contact you.

Selecting the Best Material for Your Charlotte Patio

Let’s face it. There’s nothing more boring than a slab of poured concrete for a patio. Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of patio many Charlotte homeowners got when they purchased their homes. These are the type of patios that often come standard with a new home. Dull, lifeless, small and not very functional — right?

Archadeck of Charlotte is ending the cycle of boring, builder-grade patios and providing stunning patio designs to homeowners looking to improve an outdoor living space. With this in mind, here are some ideas for selecting the best outdoor materials to design your patio.

Open porch in Shadowlake featuring a travertine tile floor.

Here in the Charlotte area, the most popular hardscape materials are pavers, travertine and flagstone. When choosing the best hardscape material to use for your patio, it is a good rule of thumb to continue with hardscape materials you already have on your house. For example, if you have stone or flagstone on your home’s foundation, then you might want to use flagstone on your patio addition.


There are now many different shapes, colors and patterns available in manufactured paving stones. Archadeck of Charlotte has a large selection of pavers from manufacturers such as Belgard, Pavestone and others to choose from. Not only can paving stones be used on the floor of your paver patio but the large assortment of stones and blocks available can also be used in creating decorative and functional vertical elements. Decorative elements include planters, seating walls and pillars. Functional elements consist of outdoor kitchens, load-bearing retaining walls and even outdoor fire features.


Travertine patios are very popular among Charlotte homeowners. Travertine tile delivers a very neat and organized look. One of the best advantages of using it on the floor of your patio is that it stays cool underfoot even in hot conditions. It comes in a variety of colors and subtle textures to suit any taste. Travertine is also absent of efflorescence. Efflorescence is the white deposit that sometimes occurs on the surface of concrete and some paver projects just after completion.

Travertine patio in Piper Glen.

Travertine pavers are a natural material which is formed by geological processes. Travertine is found in many different parts of the world, from Rome to Peru and even Yellowstone Park.


For a completely natural look, nothing beats flagstone for a patio. Natural stone is so versatile it can be used in many horizontal and vertical applications. Flagstone patios convey a very natural, organic look due to the stone’s irregular shapes and earthy shades of browns, reds, grays and blues. The unique beauty of flagstone provides inspiration to create both formal and informal spaces. For a formal look, we suggest selecting cut flagstones and installing them in a repeating pattern. For a more informal, eccentric look, you can select irregular flagstones and install them at random. This informal style is often called crazy-paving.

Flagstone patio and seating wall on Lake Norman.

If you are thinking of a patio for your home, Archadeck of Charlotte has tremendous experience and expertise in designing and building Charlotte’s best patios and hardscapes. Contact us today to bring your backyard from blah to beautiful! Call us at (704) 944 – 1350, email us or fill out the form to the right and we will contact you.

How Archadeck of Charlotte has been inspiring Charlotte area homeowners for over 29 years

Being in the business of providing award-winning outdoor living space designs to Charlotte area homeowners for almost 30 years speaks volumes. Archadeck of Charlotte is celebrating its 29th year and we are still going strong. As we take a step back to look at all we have achieved, one thing comes to mind — the way our custom deck designs have inspired a better way to enjoy the outdoors.

Our projects take you beyond the basic and boring decks of yesteryear when a deck was considered an appendage rather than an enhancement. We have successfully mastered the art of making the backyard deck the center of attention. A deck is a destination you look forward to visiting and lingering on. It also serves as a place to evoke your imagination while escaping in the pages of a good book. A deck can be a place to be proud to entertain friends or a place that serves as the centerpiece for outdoor family fun. Not just a place to cook a hot dog because the grill just happens to be located on the deck.

Our deck designs are timeless, innovative and ideal for enjoying the everyday things that are so important. We offer a wide portfolio of classic to modern deck ideas. When it comes to choosing the right deck for your Charlotte backyard there are many elements to consider. These include size, materials, style and budget.

How big should my deck be?

A small deck intended to hold a round dining table should be at least 12 feet by 12 feet, while a large deck can be designed with much more space. The average size deck is between 300 and 400 square feet. Generally, a deck should be wider than it is deep, with the longer dimension running along the house. Archadeck of Charlotte considers many factors when consulting with clients about how big their deck should be. We ask about the furnishings you intend to use and what activities you want to engage in on the deck. We also take the dimensions and style of your home into consideration as well as any setbacks and local and /or HOA restrictions.

What decking material should I choose?

Choosing a decking material for your intended deck addition is based on two main factors. These are maintenance requirements and your budget. During our consultation, we go over the various materials we offer in detail to help you choose the one that is perfect for you. One of the perks of being the area’s premier outdoor living space provider is having an extensive indoor and outdoor showroom. This enables you to see and feel all the various decking options. These include wood, hardwood and low-maintenance composites like Trex, AZEK and TimberTech. We also have a wide variety of railing options to choose from at our showroom.

How much should I spend?

It is imperative to establish a realistic budget for your outdoor living project. Deciding how much you want to spend needs to be decided upon before we begin designing your project. This is why we inquire about your intended budget during your initial consult because of the importance of having one in place before proceeding. We realize this is sometimes a hard decision and we make every effort to make it the opposite (easy). If you are unsure of where you need to set your budget, we can show you our portfolio and pictures to help you get an idea of what you want and what you want to spend.

Our quality design service paired with our innovative detailed pricing menu allows customers to see how different options look together. This will help you make an informed buying decision because many people have an idea of what they want, but have trouble visualizing it and aren’t aware of the realistic cost for what they have in mind.

If you are ready to get inspired about your backyard, contact Archadeck of Charlotte. We can show you how we have been inspiring homeowners for over 29 years! You can reach us at (704) 944-1350 or via email at charlotte@archadeck.net.

The Appeal of the Charlotte Porch

A porch is just a deck with a roof on it, right?


While some porch designs may appear to be that simple, porches can encompass many variables. Here at Archadeck of Charlotte we specialize in all things outdoor living. A huge benefit of being able to live the outdoor lifestyle you desire is having options. This can mean having a covered outdoor living structure such as a porch, that allows you the freedom and protection to escape summer humidity or inclement weather without having to retreat indoors. Archadeck of Charlotte builds all genres of porches. From open porches and screened porches to versatile Eze-Breeze porches that deliver many of the same benefits found in sunrooms, we do it all!
To gain a better grasp of the types of porches we build in Charlotte and the surrounding area, watch our Charlotte Porch Builder video featured on our YouTube channel:

Porches can be built a number of ways, no matter which type of porch you are looking to build. Our team of professional porch designers focus on addressing your needs and desires first and foremost. We then use the architecture of your home and details of your lot as our guide. During our design consultation, we ask the important questions. What activities you wish to carry out on your porch? What time of day do you primarily plan to use your space? Are shade and insects a factor in choosing a porch? What type of outdoor furnishings you plan to use? From there, based on your answers, we then design the perfect porch to speak to all your specific needs.

A Charlotte porch a wonderful place to spend time. Just be sure to spend a little extra time upfront letting us design and plan it!

Give us a call at (704) 944 – 1350, email us or fill out the form to the right and we will contact you.

Decadent Open Porch in Shadowlake Neighborhood

One of our recent open porch projects takes us to the Shadowlake neighborhood, which is located just in South Charlotte, just off Carmel road. As you can see from the images, the finished addition is every bit as decadent as the name of the location implies.

This open porch features an elegant Travertine tile floor, detailed coffered interior ceiling, stone coped columns and much more!

This addition flows naturally with the lines and materials of the existing home giving the appearance that it is original, not an appendage. Aside from the aesthetics of adding a porch cover, these South Charlotte homeowners can reap additional benefits. One of the top benefits is that it adds to the property’s value. Additionally, choosing a covered porch will provide extra shade especially since the back of the house sits in the direct sun for most of the day. The porch cover will keep the interior of the house cooler in the summer because it prevents the sun from beating directly into the windows which heat up the home. Another benefit is being able to sit outside and enjoy the sound of rain without getting wet!

These Shadowlake homeowners will now have a covered space to sit outdoors and just enjoy the fresh air and the smell of the wet grass on a rainy day. In the winter, they can bundle up with a hot beverage in hand and sit on the porch enjoying the crisp air while watching the wildlife go about their busy day.

Interested in experiencing the endless benefits of a porch cover for yourself? Give us a call at (704) 944 – 1350, email us or fill out the form to the right and we will contact you.

When does an outdoor living space quantify as an outdoor living environment?

You may have heard the term outdoor living environment loosely among savvy homeowners or designers and architects, but what does it mean?

An outdoor living environment encompasses all the comforts of an indoor living room outdoors as part of an outdoor living combination space. This is when two or more outdoor structures combine but function as one large outdoor environment. A well-built outdoor living environment should also blend seamlessly with the style of your home. This adds value to your property and makes it look more spacious. This will also make your entire property a more enjoyable place to live, creating a visual extension of – and complement to -all your indoor spaces. Our most recent project at Firethorne Country Club in Weddington, NC, is the perfect example of this concept.

The ultimate outdoor living environment in Weddington, NC

This outdoor living environment contains an elevated Trex deck, custom screened porch, pergola and lower level Trex hot tub deck. Though the project consists of four separate structures, they flow together as one space. Take a look at this amazing in the project video featured on our YouTube channel:

If you are thinking about the addition of an outdoor living combination space, there are certain aspects that you need to consider. First, think through why you gather inside and what draws you and your family outdoors. Do you all enjoy relaxing? Do you prefer an active lifestyle? Do you like entertaining? Do you like to dine outdoors? Designing your outdoor living space should center on what would give your family a compelling reason to spend time there. Once you have established all the reasons to benefit from an outdoor living environment, Archadeck of Charlotte can bring your vision to life!

Give us a call at (704) 944 – 1350, email us or fill out the form to the right and we will contact you.

Charlotte Eze-Breeze helps put a stop to all the pollen, and the sneeze!

Right now the pollen count in Charlotte is growing day by day. You need to look no further than your own backyard to see the layers of pollen in a greenish-yellow cast to know that spring has arrived. Pollen is a good thing, it is a sign of the constant seasonal evolution of Mother Nature. This time of year all the pollen means abundant blooms and lush greenery are just weeks away. On the other side of the coin, however, pollen spurs seasonal allergies for many Charlotteans. From mild to severe in some cases.

The 5-day seasonal pollen count for the Charlotte area shows we are climbing into the double digits by mid-week. For those allergic to pollen, this puts a damper on outdoor living activities. Allergies can make it difficult to relax on your backyard deck or patio within an open air environment without succumbing to the effects. Fortunately, Archadeck of Charlotte has an answer to reduce the negative effects and enjoy your outdoors — an Eze-Breeze convertible porch!

A Charlotte Eze-Breeze porch provides a layer of protection from uncomfortable outdoor temperatures, insects, debris such as dirt, pollen and other allergens, as well as the elements. This system can be installed on new and existing screened porches.

Let’s face it, sometimes you want the freedom of the screen but you don’t want the negative things that can still get through that screen. Screens keep out the insects and the harmful direct rays of the sun, but pollen and other allergens can still penetrate screen, as does the wind, cold, heat, high humidity and in some instances even a little rain.

Eze-Breeze gives you the flexibility, and option, to have a screen porch or a sunroom on a moment’s notice. By simply stacking the windows at the bottom or the top of your porch, or removing them altogether. A sunroom will not provide nearly as much ventilation, free air flow or allow you to choose an open air/ enclosed environment on a dime.

This season, put an end to bothersome pollen and having to forfeit your time outdoors because of the sneeze! Contact Archadeck of Charlotte today to learn more at (704) 944-1350.

Finally Proof That Outdoor Living Spaces are Good for Your Health!

Here at Archadeck of Charlotte our multitude of happy customers can attest that their outdoor living spaces are good for the soul. However, recent findings are shedding light on the fact outdoor spaces are also good for our health!

That’s right. Having the benefit of a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor structure nearby allows freedom to get outside anytime. We often use the terms relaxation and down time when describing the benefits of having a backyard space. Over the last few years, however, medical experts are starting to take notice of just how beneficial spending a short time in our own backyards is for our health.

Getting rid of stress— at least temporarily—might be as simple as silencing your cell phone, putting away the worries of the day, and basking on your backyard deck. Stress is a contributing factor for hypertension which can result in stroke and other vascular issues. In addition to reducing stress, spending time outdoors will also boost your immune system and help with symptoms of depression.

And that’s not all. In a study conducted by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, children with ADHD who played outside, versus those who played inside, after school and on weekends were compared for differences in concentration. The findings determined kids who spent time in green, outdoor spaces reported fewer symptoms of ADHD, even when the exact same activities were compared.

The endless list of benefits of outdoor living is true for any age, not just the very young. According to research published in the Journal of Aging Health getting outside on a daily basis may help older people stay healthy and functioning longer. Participants in the study who spent time outdoors each day at age 70 had fewer complaints of aching bones or sleep problems, among other health-related problems, at age 77 than those who did not head outside each day.

So, just as we had always thought, outdoor living spaces ARE good for us on all levels, at any age!

Contact Archadeck of Charlotte to learn more about creating a custom outdoor living space that will lift your mood, increase your happiness and enhance the overall well-being of all members of your family. Give us a call at (704) 944 – 1350, email us or fill out the form to the right and we will contact you.

How to create the ideal outdoor living space for your Weddington area home

The definition of the term ideal is “satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect or most suitable.” This can mean different things to different people and is judged by one’s own personal taste. Being in our 29th year of building outdoor living structures for homeowners within the Queen City and surrounding areas gives us knowledge of which type of designs best fit certain regions. For example; the same design that works on a property in South End may not work on a property in Rock Hill.

Case in point; Weddington, NC

The Weddington area, which extends from Matthews in Mecklenburg County well into Union County, is revered for it’s spacious, wooded properties. Most of the homes sit on an acre or more of property which greatly extends the options for choosing an outdoor living space design. Most of the requests we hear from Weddington homeowners are for structures that extend the versatility of their existing home or designs that complement their naturally scenic properties. One of our most recent Weddington area projects delivers both…

This project consists of an elevated covered porch with a stacked stone outdoor fireplace. As you can see from the images, this project is loaded with details. From the intricate “coffered” beam ceiling on the interior, to the curved posts and custom colored guttering, this project elaborates in every detail.

This project would fit the ideal outdoor living space for many Weddington homeowners. Not only does the project fit the originality of the existing home, it also enhances it, adding value to the home. Adding a covered space to extend the time spent outdoors with versatile options to carry out many functions. All the while taking into consideration the surrounding landscape in order to capture those views we referred to earlier.

If you are ready to plan the ideal outdoor living space for your Weddington area home, Archadeck of Charlotte can help. From taking your image of the perfect ideal space from planning, to paper, to perfection! Contact us today at (704) 944-1350 to get started!

No problems with Trex now, Transcends is an amazing product!

Researching Trex decking on the internet is a real mixed bag of results. Trex invented the category of composite decking some 20 years ago and the original product had its share of issues. There were complaints from fading, discoloration, staining, scratching, and so forth. This continued with the next generation but to a much lesser extent.

Fast forward to 9 years ago when Trex introduced a cap stock product they branded, Trex Transcends. This product was engineered to eliminate the challenges with previous generations of composite decking. They were so confident in their product, they backed it with a 25-year no fade and no stain warranty!

Archadeck of Charlotte began promoting and installing this product right away and amazingly, the product has given us no challenges! We are one of the country’s largest deck builders and have next to NO call backs or warranties in the 9 years we have installed the product. Without hesitation, we promote and install Trex Transcends and the beautiful colors and grain make it much more aesthetically pleasing as well.

As a Trex Platinum Pro, we are featured on their website in North Carolina/ South Carolina and you can go to Trex.com or archadeckofcharlotte.com to see great photo galleries!

How much are EZE Breeze windows priced and can I install them myself?

PGT industries manufactures the leading screen porch window called EZE Breeze. They are powder-coated aluminum framed and the panes are actually a “memory-vinyl” that is clear and appears to be glass.

These windows convert your screen porch into a sunroom and right back by retracting up and down or side to side depending on the model you purchase. They are ideal to keep the pollen, dirt, and moisture off of your porch while opening easily to allow free air flow when desired.

EZE Breeze windows can retail from $350 – $450 per unit plus labor depending on size. There are additional considerations that can add to the cost. You will need to factor any additional framing needed, alteration of existing structure, paint or stain, adding a door, and so forth.

These windows can be done yourself but there are some tricks to the trade to ensure you measure the opening properly to ensure you don’t buy these custom products and they fit properly! Archadeck of Charlotte is a distributor and installer of this product and introduced it to Charlotte years ago. For more information, go to https://archadeckofcharlotte.com

Should I paint or stain my deck?

Is it better to paint or stain your deck?

This question is answered with “it depends”. Here is what it depends on:

1. If it’s a brand new wood deck and the lumber was dried before treatment or has sat and dried over a few months, a semi-transparent stain is a wonderful choice for a couple of reasons. Number one, it allows the natural wood grain to show through and is pretty. Number two, the semi-transparent stains (like the ones supplied by Renew Crew of Charlotte) are great at sinking into the board and protecting it longer.

2. If the wood deck has already been stained and you want to change color, you would need to go to a solid stain or paint to get the pure look of the intended color. If you tried a semi-transparent or even a semi-solid, the previous color is likely to alter the appearance of the new color.

To see some great deck stain projects, you can go to archadeckofcharlotte.com or charlotte.renewcrewclean.com

Best way to hide my garbage cans? Privacy fence

In Charlotte, North Carolina, if you want to know the best way to hide the ugly garbage cans and store them efficiently, a simple privacy fence is the answer.

We design and build them to a custom size to fit as few or as many receptacles as you need. We also design easy to open doors to hide all angles when desired. The keys are to make sure you have a level surface for the garbage cans to rest on which can be done on an existing surface or simple poured surface.

The exterior of the privacy fence can be done in a matching cladding to the house like Hardy Plank or simply done with a good grade of pressure-treated pine.

If you want some good ideas on how to hide your garbage cans, go to https://archadeckofcharlotte.com

Great stone masonry work in Charlotte

If you want to see some of the best stone masonry work in Charlotte, NC, you need to visit our website at archedeckofcharlotte.com . We started in the outdoor living business 28 years ago in Charlotte and our stone and brick business has exploded over the years. While we have always been known for screen porches and custom decks, it’s our masonry that really wows people these days.

We are blessed with several quality masonry crews we have assembled and retained over the years. We commonly build stone patio’s, sitting walls, fireplaces and fire pits, and outdoor kitchens. The masonry work can be real or synthetic stone, brick, or simple stamped concrete.

Patios have been a large growth area for us as builders are constructing more and more homes on a slab rather than with crawl spaces to save money. We are able to provide patios as cost effectively as most decks which surprise our customers. More often than not, we are seeing a demand for a combination project of a deck leading down to a patio with a fire feature. We also have a great YouTube channel with dozens of videos of great hardscape projects!

How to best furnish my screen porch to maximize space?

What is the best way to furnish your screen porch to maximize your space? I believe it begins with the design of the screen porch.

The more doorways you add to the porch the less functional it becomes. If you think about it, everywhere there is an entry/ exit from the screen porch, there needs to be space for people to walk (at least 2’ in front of each exit). This begins to diminish where you can place your furnishings. Prior to designing the actual porch, think about how many people will use the porch on a normalized basis? Don’t design for the once a year Thanksgiving party but rather for the people that will use it most weekends.

How about furniture? Do you intend to eat your meals inside the porch? We find it makes the most sense for the dining table to be inside the porch (no insects), rather than placed outside on a patio or deck. To get the most out of your space, I recommend thinking about a round or octagonal table. This design allows for seating the most people in the least space!

Having a sectional is wonderful as your porch will quickly become your favorite place to relax and entertain in the house. Please the sectional right up against one of the screen walls to maximize space. If you buy a decent quality outdoor furniture, the weather will not be a factor. We have had ours for 14 years and it still looks great and is comfortable.

We have added two rocking chairs (I always reserve one for me and my glass of wine). These are very welcoming and our guest always gravitate to the rockers. We have a beautiful center table between the sofa and the rockers that are wicker with a glass top. This serves for serving drinks and appetizers. We have a large flat screen TV that we installed on the back wall so we can watch our NetFlix and other favorite stations. Finally, we added a large area rug that really adds warmth and beauty to the entire space. If you want to see more examples of furnished screen porches, go to

Is it smart to cover a Trex Transcends deck with a roof?

Trex has done a fantastic job building their brand over the years. Like any other brand, their needs to be a well-defined brand promise and then it needs to be kept. As a long time design/ build company that specializes in outdoor living spaces, we have used Trex since the category started.

Trex is simply the leader in the category of low-maintenance outdoor living products that continues to innovate and expand the category while backing up their products. A common question we get is if it is a smart investment to cover or put a roof over the deck?

Putting Trex on the deck surface is never a bad idea. It fulfills the promise of low-maintenance, it is comfortable to walk on without being slippery, and now the look is more like natural hardwood flooring and quite pleasing.

The question is really one of cost. It is not critical to use a composite when you put a roof over a deck because it is largely protected from the sun which causes the most damage to the wood. If the porch is going to be open (not screen or glass), there is a better argument for Trex but not as necessary as it would be if there were no roof. To see a wide variety of covered decks and patios, go to our photo gallery at

How much would it cost to integrate an outdoor fireplace into my screen porch or covered patio?

How much should it cost to integrate an outdoor fireplace into a screen porch or covered patio?

That depends on several factors but we will attempt to provide a detailed answer. If the outdoor fireplace is going to be wood burning, stone, have a hearth and a mantle and be designed into a roof cover, you can plan on average of adding $10,000 – $15,000 depending on the height necessary to meet building code. We have to build fireplace chimneys 2’ higher that the closest peak of your home within 10’ from the chimney. The price variance is due to the height of the overall fireplace especially if your porch is built up on a deck.

If the fireplace in going be gas powered with gas logs, there is no need for a chimney but it does require a special stainless steel framing and firebox that meets the new building codes. On average, you will spend around $12,000 for this type of fireplace.

The overall analysis is that these are not inexpensive but DO provide a wonderful outdoor space that you can enjoy year around. They become quite a valuable resale item should you have to sell your home. They are a true differentiator and are as popular as ever in the Carolinas.

We are happy to provide a detailed estimate once we have a look at your project but this blog is an attempt to educate you as to how much you should be prepared to invest. Please visit our website at https://archadeckofcharlotte.com

What is that tile that looks like wood?

What is that tile that looks like wood? It is all the craze right now in outdoor living!

The manufacturers have done an amazing job with the aesthetics of the product. You would swear you were looking at a washed out hardwood floor that looks amazingly expensive. They somehow took the wood grain of a true hardwood and impregnated it into a tile.

It is typically a ceramic tile and seems to be of decent quality. We are seeing an increase in demand for this type of product for both screen porches and sunrooms alike.

We build on average about 300 porches/ rooms annually at Archadeck of Charlotte that are all custom built to replicate the look of the architecture of the particular home we are adding on to. The tile that looks like wood only enriches the look and feel of the room. To see a photo gallery of these type of outdoor living spaces, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

How to build a raised stone patio?

A common call we get is that a homeowner had a raised stone patio built by someone and they are having a leak below, cracking tile, rotting wood, etc……..

Sound familiar? The reason for this are skipped steps in the design/ construction of this type of project.

It is important to start with a structural load calculation to determine the weight and the appropriate footings. Then there needs to be a determination of floor joist size and spacing. Finally, determine other load factors that may impact the structure. Once this is done, you can proceed with the build.

A common misconception is that once you put down plywood, a mortar bed, and your stone, that this will keep the space below the raised stone deck dry? This is a where we find the problem. A key step is left out of the process here. In this construction, a rubber membrane needs to be installed directly over the plywood by a trained professional and make sure the edges are turned up. The floor joists need to be designed at an angle so the water drains towards the edge and does not sit and stay on the membrane. Finally, a gutter should be installed on the band of the deck to ensure the water is routed appropriately away!

For a complete design and video gallery, go to www.archadekcofcharlotte.com

Why not build a wood deck?

With all of the alternative decking products on the market today, good old fashioned pressure-treated wood decking still has the majority of the market share nationwide.

Why not build a wood deck? If you want an authentic beautiful deck that is quite affordable, pressure-treated wood is a good answer. The key is how it is built and maintained. There are some quality differences in the wood that can affect the performance of the deck. Look for a #1 grade dried after treatment deck board if you want the best! There are different treatments on the market since arsenic was outlawed over 10 years ago. Today, ECOLIFE is a good alternative and is treated by Tucker Lumber here in North Carolina. We have been using it along with COX Lumber over the many years with good success.

If you are not going to maintain your deck regularly, perhaps you should consider a composite decking material, like Trex or Timber Tech. While these products are more expensive on the front end, the maintenance cost is no more than cleaning them off. There are several other advantages that composite deck boards have but this blog is about wood decking.

Pressure-treated wood often gets a bad rap. It warps, splits, curls, checks, splits, etc… All of that is true! If you start with a quality board and it is installed properly and maintained regularly, a wood deck can still be the best value! To see some wood deck design ideas, go to www.archadeckofcharlotte.com

What are my options for a pool deck?

What are the options for a pool deck?

Traditionally, the original pools were surrounded by concrete and these were referred to as “pool decks”. As technology and imagination evolved, many other options have come to be. If you have an above ground pool, there are traditional wood decks that are built with stairways to access them and often large enough to house lounge chairs and tables. Today, composite decks such as Trex, are used to avoid maintenance and also from a safety staindpoint as composite decks cannot splinter. They are also more slip resistant.

If the pool is built into the ground, their are products such as “Cool Deck”, this is a hardscape product that will not get hot to the foot. There can be problems with cracking, similar to concrete and it a very expensive proposition.

Other hardscape products that are being used around pools include pavers (like the one featured above) and Travertine pavers. Travertine provides a rich look similar to tile while not being a slippery. We have done many pool decks throughout our 28 year history in Charlotte and you can find pool deck ideas at www.porchlifestyle.com

Lake Norman decks and patios

As a 28-year professional design/ build firm that specializes in outdoor living in the Charlotte area, some of the most beautiful and unique designs we get to do are in the Lake Norman area. We have a wonderful photo gallery of projects at www.porchlifestyle.com and they are separated by project type.

If you are looking for design ideas and want to see what other have done around the lake, our web site is full of designs and materials that work architecturally as well as functionally.

The projects range from decks and porches to outdoor fireplaces and patios. There are even large scale covered patios on Lake Norman that have fireplaces integrated into them!

How much should a Trex deck cost?

How much should a Trex deck cost? This blog is going to give you great insight into how to determine this answer accurately.

First, it is not as simple as a “square foot” cost as you would think. Here are the questions that need to be answered to give you a true estimate:

1. Size of the deck
2. Height of the ground
3. Rail system wanted
4. Any pattern or border?
5. Which of the Trex products are you wanting as there are various product choices

Depending on your answer, the price can vary greatly. When people call our office at Archadeck of Charlotte and ask what we charge per square foot for Trex, we simply cannot give an accurate answer without determining this additional information. An example as to why? If you want for example to have your deck boards layed on a diagonal, it will be necessary to install floor joists 12" on center as opposed to 16" on center which will drive the cost up. Once this information is determined, it is easy to provide an accurate price! For more information, go to www.porchlifestyle.com

Porch Floor tile that look likes woood?

What is this porch floor tile that looks like wood. It is truly innovative and beautiful! We find the best application is on a screen porch where you love the look of wood but want the durability of tile!

The pricing is in line with other tiles and makes for a truly unique look. It also comes in a variety of colors. We have done thousands of screen porches in the Charlotte, NC area for our customers and feature an extensive photo gallery with a variety of design ideas that are unrivaled on any other site!

Visit our gallery at www.porchlifestyle.com or come to our show room at 2311 Village Lake Drive in Charlotte, NC 28212!

What makes a patio beautiful?

Is a patio really just a patio? I say no! To really make a patio beautiful it begins with understanding your home’s exterior.
Is it sided? Is it brick? Do you already have stone accents? What about the grade of the land? Is there going to need to be a large retaining wall due to the slope?

These are all considerations prior to choosing a substrate for your patio. Speaking of substrates, what are the options? The most popular in the Charlotte, NC market are paver patios. There are produced from companies like Pavestone, Belgard, and others. They can be laid on top of a base of crushed stone and screening and be tamped down hard with polymeric sand in between to harden form like a grout.

Other options include Travertine stone pavers, flagstone, concrete, stamped concrete, and brick. Depending on your budget, flagstone makes for a beautiful patio like the photo above. You will also notice landscaping can make a large difference in the overall beauty of the patio project.

For expert patio and overall hardscape design, go to www.porchlifestyle.com or call 704-944-1350!

How much use can you get out of an outdoor fireplace in Charlotte?

How much use can you really get out of an outdoor fireplace in Charlotte? We have designed and built hundreds outdoor fireplaces here in the greater Charlotte market over the past 28 years and have a good handle on customer feedback.

While fall, winter, and spring certainly are prime seasons for using the outdoor fireplace, our customers are known to fire them up even on an occasional summer night for simply roasting marshmallows or ambiance.

In addition, the nights can be cool through April and into early May and start getting cooler again in September. So…if you do the math, the outdoor fireplace can be used 9 months of the year with other opportunities during the other months!

If you want to see the most complete photo gallery and get design ideas for outdoor fireplaces, go to www.porchlifestyle.com

Incredible covered patio with beautiful travertine steps

Archadeck of Charlotte designed this amazing covered patio in the Piper Glen neighborhood in south Charlotte.

It features a large Travertine patio with cascading wrap around steps down to a pool. The patio cover also has a large outdoor fireplace integrated into it to make an ideal outdoor family room.

The patio cover has a beadboard ceiling with multiple ceiling fans and outdoor lighting. All of the painting and staining on this job were done by Renew Crew of Charlotte, an Archadeck company! To get great desing ideas and see photo and video galleries, go to www.porchlifestyle.com

What are my best patio options and why?

What are all my options for my backyard patio? There are several good choices and this blog will explain the advantages of each substrate.

Let’s start with your basic concrete patio. Even though the cost of concrete has escalated greatly the past couple of years, it still remains the most cost effective choice in patios. The advantages are the cost and relative durability. The disadvantages are the fact that concrete will most likely crack regardless of installation over time and the lack of warmth in terms of aesthetics.

You can add stain to concrete and warm up the aesthetics for a relatively low cost. Once you add stamping the concrete to the equation, the cost jumps up to just below a paver patio.

Paver patio’s have the largest market share when it comes to people remodeling their patio. Leading manufactures such as Belgard and Pavestone have a variety of patterns and colors that are both durable and beautiful. The advantages of pavers is they are very low-maintenance, mid-range priced, and will not crack unless a blunt object strikes them. The disadvantage is the have seams in between where weeds can grow either from below or above in the sand. Installation is a very important part of the performance of pavers.

Travertine tile pavers have come on strong in recent years. They look like tile but thicker and installed like pavers. The advantges are again low-maintenance, very high aesthetic appeal, and much smaller seams as compared to pavers. The disadvantage is they are bit high cost than average pavers.

Finally, flagstone is a growing choice amongst people in the Charlotte, NC area. It is generally laid in concrete and has some great advantages. It is perhaps the highest aesthetic appeal, no weeds can grow through it, it is low-maintenance, and has great utility. The disadvantages are high price and the concrete is likely to crack over time.

To find a complete design gallery on patio and entire outdoor living spaces, go to www. porchlifestyle.com

What are my best patio options and why?

What are all my options for my backyard patio? There are several good choices and this blog will explain the advantages of each substrate.

Let’s start with your basic concrete patio. Even though the cost of concrete has escalated greatly the past couple of years, it still remains the most cost effective choice in patios. The advantages are the cost and relative durability. The disadvantages are the fact that concrete will most likely crack regardless of installation over time and the lack of warmth in terms of aesthetics.

You can add stain to concrete and warm up the aesthetics for a relatively low cost. Once you add stamping the concrete to the equation, the cost jumps up to just below a paver patio.

Paver patio’s have the largest market share when it comes to people remodeling their patio. Leading manufactures such as Belgard and Pavestone have a variety of patterns and colors that are both durable and beautiful. The advantages of pavers is they are very low-maintenance, mid-range priced, and will not crack unless a blunt object strikes them. The disadvantage is the have seams in between where weeds can grow either from below or above in the sand. Installation is a very important part of the performance of pavers.

Travertine tile pavers have come on strong in recent years. They look like tile but thicker and installed like pavers. The advantges are again low-maintenance, very high aesthetic appeal, and much smaller seams as compared to pavers. The disadvantage is they are bit high cost than average pavers.

Finally, flagstone is a growing choice amongst people in the Charlotte, NC area. It is generally laid in concrete and has some great advantages. It is perhaps the highest aesthetic appeal, no weeds can grow through it, it is low-maintenance, and has great utility. The disadvantages are high price and the concrete is likely to crack over time.

To find a complete design gallery on patio and entire outdoor living spaces, go to www. porchlifestyle.com

EZE Breeze screen porches vs. Sun Rooms?

So, what are the advantages of an EZE Breeze screen porch vs. a sunroom? There are several!

As a distributor and installer of the EZE Breeze windows for the past 17 years, we are well positioned and experienced to comment on this from our customers point of view at Archadeck of Charlotte.

1. Flexibility – EZE Breeze give you the ability to have a screen porch or a sunroom by simply stacking the windows at the bottom or the top of the porch or simply removing them altogether. A sunroom will not provide nearly as much ventilation and free air flow.

2. Amount of viewing area – EZE Breeze will allow for you to have minimal framing and you can view the outdoors much better unless you go with all picture windows which would mean you have no free airflow

3. Saftey – EZE Breeze windows are made of a tough vinyl, not glass and will not shatter or crack

4. Function – EZE Breeze windows will go up or down and stop at any point to give you as much or little open window space as you desire

5. Cost – The county building codes do not require a permit when you use the EZE Breeze windows and you do not need to insulate, termite treatment, vapor barrier, hear or air condition so the overall cost is less

To view a wide variety and price range of homes with EZE Breeze, go to www.porchlifestyle.com

Integrating an outdoor fireplace into a screen porch? 4-season screen porch!

How would you like to create a 4-season room out of your screen porch? Integrating an outdoor fireplace into your screen porch is a potential solution. We have been designing and build outdoor fireplaces for the past 10 years and integrating them into covered patios and screen porches are the most popular choices these days.

The desire to extend your outdoor living simply increases each year. Psychologists say that is due to increased stress levels at work and the desire to escape without ever having to leave your home. The fresh air while being protected from the sun and insects make screen porches the most preferred room that you’ll want to spend time in.

From an aesthetic standpoint, stone is the most popular veneer while some choose to match the brick that is already on the back of their home. Contrary to popular belief, you can have a fireplace integrated into the porch even after the porch is built. Make sure you hire a professional with the knowledge and experience to do this. You can also have an outdoor fireplace even if your screen porch is on the second story!

There are new building codes now governing the design of outdoor fireplaces for obvious safety reasons. These cover height of the chimney, material for framing, distance from the house, and other areas. While having an outdoor fireplace is expensive up front, the amount of time and enjoyment you will receive appears to be well worth the investment and our demand has increased for 10 consecutive years here in the Charlotte area.

To see the most extensive photo gallery of outdoor fireplaces, go to www.porchlifestyle.com

The elegance of a covered patio and design ideas

Designing a covered patio is truly an art from. There are roofs and then there are simply elegant covered patio’s. The function of shade and protection from rain is obvious, the rest of the benefits are the real story.

You have to consider the flooring options, from a paver patio, to stamped concrete, to flagstone as pictured above. The columns can have a dramatic effect on the visual appeal and maintenance.

Traditionally you can match the shingles from you home or accent them with a standing seam metal roof as pictured above.

Adding a fire feature such as an outdoor fireplace creates ambiance and extends the use of the patio.

Adding a grilling station or even an outdoor kitchen can turn this into a well equipped outdoor living oasis!

For great design ideas for covered patios and other outdoor living spaces, go to www.porchlifestyle.com

What are my porch flooring options?

What are my options for my screen porch floor? There are several and this blog will detail the pros and cons of the different material choices you can select from.

Pressure -treated wood decking is a cost effective and by far the most common choice for screen porches when your porch is elevated off grade. The product holds up better under a roof that it does when exposed to the elements. By putting a roof over a deck, it keeps the suns harmful rays away and there is very little maintenance required. Because the boards have small spaces between them it gives a release for water when you clean the porch. The negative to the product is some chose a solid floor, while others worry about splinters if they have little ones.

Composite deck boards are certainly more expensive(roughly double when comparing just the cost of the deck boards installed). The positives are they are incredibly durable, they will NEVER need staining or painting, and due to the composition, they will NEVER splinter. The manufactures such as Trex, have done a great job in the aesthetics as well as they know appear to look much more like real wood.

Adding tile to your screen porch is probably going to be the most expensive option. Why? It’s not the price of the tile. It’s the fact that the porch will need be structured with floor joists closer together requiring more to support the weight of the tile. In addition, it requires adding pressure-treated plywood, a mortar bed, the tile itself, and grout. The positive side of adding tile or stone flooring is that it is a very upgraded appearance. In addition, it is easy to clean with a sponge mop and it totally encloses the floor.

For a wonderful photo gallery on screen porches and the complete outdoor living space, go to porchlifestyle.com

What does a pergola really do for my home?

What is the true function or purpose of a pergola? Wow is this a common question! Pergola’s or arbors are so popular in Charlotte and people aren’t quite sure what the use is.

The facts are that pergola’s can provide quite a bit of shade if you add more timbers on top or even go as far as an all weather fabric over the timbers. The obvious attraction to pergola’s is the aesthetic value.

Finally, the price point of pergolas is quite attractive when compared to roof structures or even some awnings!! For a complete photo gallery of outdoor living spaces, go to porchlifestyle.com

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