How a Fire Pit Will Enhance Your Deck Living Throughout the Holiday Season

Custom fire pits by Archadeck of Charlotte not only create stylish focal points on decks, they will also keep you warm and toasty in the mild autumn and winter Charlotte climate through the holiday season.

Have you considered how adding one simple element to your deck might give you more time outdoors, even in the late fall and winter months? At Archadeck of Charlotte, our goal is to give you a beautiful and functional space to enjoy year-round, as the temperate Charlotte climate allows. See how a fire pit atop your deck will enhance your cool weather outdoor living this holiday season!


Gorgeous Ipe Brazilian hardwood deck with firepit and seating wall – perfect for holiday gatherings!

Be the hosts with the most with custom Charlotte outdoor fire features!

With Thanksgiving mere days, even hours, away, have you thought about how you will accommodate your guests? Will you host an entire traditional dinner, or perhaps be the last stop for friends and family to enjoy desserts and drinks on Thanksgiving evening? A fire pit is a great way for friends and family to be able to step outdoors to a comfortable area for fresh air, or to enjoy a beverage and cigar after dinner! Offer your guests an area of brief or not-so-brief respite during the busy Thanksgiving rush. With a fire pit on your deck, you and your guests have a wonderful area for conversation and festivities right outside your door.


This Charlotte deck with flagstone gas fire pit will provide warmth and ambiance for holiday guests!

Host holiday parties, indoors and out, with a custom fire pit!

Charlotte decks with fire pits lend themselves to setting the perfect scene for your upcoming holiday parties. Your dinner party guests will love flowing from inside your home to your deck with all festive holiday accoutrements! Railings around the deck are great for strings of holiday lighting for added cheer, and seating walls or benches create intimate areas for guests to congregate around the ambient fire. Gather ‘round to reminisce holidays past with loved ones around your custom fire pit by Archadeck of Charlotte. Host a New Year’s Eve masquerade or ring in the new year privately, champagne or scotch in-hand as 2019 closes in.


Trex deck with stacked stone fire pit, custom railing, and Trex bench – gather ‘round in perfect holiday style and comfort!

When it comes to outdoor living, we all have different ideals. The same goes for holiday celebrations. Whether you are planning a huge holiday soiree, or an intimate yuletide affair this holiday season, we want you to have an outdoor area in which to experience it with a beautiful and functional fire pit. Wrap your shoulders with your favorite throw, pour the hot cocoa, tea, or coffee, and step outside to your deck with a custom fire pit by Archadeck of Charlotte.

If you are ready to enjoy a fire pit on your deck for the holiday season, give us a call for a free design consultation at (704) 944-1350 or email us and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

How might you use a bar on your Charlotte porch, deck, or patio?

Archadeck of Charlotte can build your ideal outdoor bar on porches, decks, and patios. We would like to share some helpful ideas for using a bar in your favorite outdoor living area.

At Archadeck of Charlotte, we aim to help our clients design their most useful outdoor living space. It is paramount when designing a Charlotte porch, deck, or patio, that we help the homeowners add useful amenities, and for many that includes building a custom outdoor bar. The connotation of the word “bar” might make us only think of a place to mix cocktails, but there are many more uses for outdoor bars than just serving beverages!

Dinner is served under a custom pergola on this gorgeous Charlotte outdoor bar!

This Charlotte patio with a custom pergola is the perfect spot for an outdoor bar. As you see here, the area behind creates a useful patio grill nook, where the cook can converse with family and friends while cooking. The lower bar area is great for food prep and holding grilling accoutrement, while the raised snack bar area provides a great place to enjoy dinner straight off the grill. We can almost smell the freshly-grilled steaks and vegetables!


This beautiful stone bar façade with natural stone bar tops is a useful addition to this pergola-covered patio space. Archadeck of Charlotte can design your ideal bar with custom façade and bar-top materials to suit your home’s exterior finishes and your personal design tastes. Bar surfaces can be created with natural stone, custom tile, and more!

Bars can do double or triple duty in your outdoor space for hosting or private use!

Bars are useful when hosting parties and get-togethers, such as bridal showers, where you could easily create a food serving station on the lower surface and a bloody Mary station or mimosa mixing station on the top surface. Bars can have wet or dry sinks to accommodate easy clean-up or hold ice and cold beverages. Be the most popular book club host in town with a bar to create a gathering spot and snack bar! Host friends and family for gameday. How about Taco Tuesday with the kids, where you can create a build-your-own taco station in your outdoor space? Speaking of the kids, an outdoor bar is a wonderful idea for homework and snacks while we prepare dinner in the evenings! Do you work from home, or bring home work from the office? Break out of your routine of sitting inside your home office. Step outside to decompress while you work! Bars can have electrical capabilities for charging phones, tablets, and laptops while we work. Do you craft? How about taking your crafting outdoors? A large, single-surface bar would be the perfect place to get creative in your favorite Charlotte outdoor living space.


This beautiful open porch includes a dual-surface, natural stone wet bar with stacked stone façade. With the addition of space heaters, the porch can be kept cozy on cool days. Imagine stepping out into this beautiful space for a special weekend brunch with family and friends, or gathering on an autumn Saturday night for drinks, food, and conversation. Wiring is in place on the wall behind this bar, where a TV can be mounted for enjoying televised sporting or music events.

Are you ready to begin designing your new outdoor living space with a custom bar? Call on Archadeck of Charlotte to help you realize your perfect deck, porch, or patio design with a bar that will give you more time with family and friends in the fresh air and mild Charlotte climate. Now is the time to plan your space to begin using it in springtime!

If you are ready to plan your perfect Charlotte porch, patio, or deck with a custom outdoor bar, give us a call for a free design consultation at (704) 944-1350 or email us and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

Why You Should Choose Archadeck of Charlotte to Build Your Firethorne Porch, Deck, or Patio

More and more Firethorne Country Club homeowners trust Archadeck of Charlotte to design and build their custom outdoor living spaces and we would like to show you why.

Homeowners in the exclusive neighborhood of Firethorne, in the Marvin NC area of Waxhaw, North Carolina 28173, know about living luxuriously. Mature trees, stately homes, and pristine manicured lawns are the standard in this gorgeous neighborhood. Archadeck of Charlotte is the premier Firethorne outdoor living building contractor because we understand that constructing a builder grade deck or patio on the back of one of these homes will not measure up. Take a look at these beautiful Firethorne outdoor living projects, and you will see why Archadeck of Charlotte should be your first and only choice to build your custom outdoor living space.

We want to be your first choice for your Firethorne deck builder.

This grand home in Firethorne, with its distinct rooflines and rich color palette became the perfect canvas for a truly unique Trex low-maintenance deck and screened porch gazebo masterpiece. The new deck and screened porch appear very organic extensions of the home with new materials that are in perfect harmony with the home’s original finishes. The substantial stone columns and turret style gazebo make this outdoor living area a real show stopper. The second-story deck and porch inherently provide an additional living area underneath – a walk-out covered patio that could be used as an exclusive overnight guest space, or in addition to the main outdoor living area for large get-togethers.

As your Firethorne deck builder, we bring to the table complete custom design and building capabilities, along with choice building materials, for which we have received extensive training for proper usage and installation. That’s something you might not get from other building contractors!


Firethorne deck builder – Waxhaw NC

Looking for a Firethorne porch builder?

What’s not to love about this lovely open Firethorne porch and deck outdoor living area? The entire space exudes comfort and luxury. The porch and deck were built with Trex Premium Tropicals Spiced Rum, a beautiful and low-maintenance choice for any outdoor living space. The allure of this porch is all in the custom details. This quiet nook for conversation or watching TV is ensconced by custom cedar columns, archways, and ceiling trim detail. The light tongue and groove ceiling plays in perfect contrast with the more saturated colors of the deck and trim elements. A dark bronze chandelier, surrounded by two ceiling fans, is the porch’s crowning jewel, and really creates an extension of the comforts of the indoor living area.


Firethorne porch builder – Marvin NC

Firethorne patio, porch, deck, and pergola.

This grand Firethorne Country Club home offers and equally grand array of outdoor living options by way of screened porch, pergola-covered deck, and extensive paver patio flanked by fun amenities. Color matching and complementing also comes into play here, with all new materials working with the existing to create a cohesive design. Extra wide steps connect the two attached living spaces and offer ease of access to the patio amenities. Altogether, we see dinner parties, holiday celebrations, and days of total relaxation in this congregation of outdoor living spaces.


Firethorne patio – Marvin NC

Custom touches in outdoor living design by Archadeck of Charlotte.

Archadeck of Charlotte will go the extra mile for your Firethorne outdoor living area. This upscale open porch ceiling offers a luxe coffered design, dramatically trimmed in white with finished wood inlay. The finished ceiling lends itself to clean installation of electrical elements, such as lighting, ceiling fans, speakers, and televisions. This covered porch ceiling rivals those of its indoor counterparts, and any family would enjoy time in such a beautiful, custom space.

If you are looking to add outdoor living space to your Firethorne Country Club luxury home, give us a call for a free design consultation at (704) 944-1350 or email us and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

Charlotte Homeowners are Increasingly Choosing Travertine Tile for Their Outdoor Living Spaces

Five reasons why travertine is a solid choice for your patio


When we think about patios, pavers usually come to mind as the only cost-effective choice. Truth is travertine tile is a fantastic choice for upscale outdoor living spaces without the exorbitant cost of an exotic material, such as bluestone or marble. Archadeck of Charlotte is the leading builder of Charlotte travertine patio projects. In this list, we will offer five reasons that we have built hundreds of travertine patios in the Charlotte market.

1. Travertine is cost effective.
Most of us consider project costs paramount to anything else when planning for patio construction. We want great materials at a reasonable cost. Travertine delivers both! Travertine patios offer design similarities to granite and marble, but do not carry the same hefty price tag. As your preferred Charlotte travertine patio builder, Archadeck of Charlotte will provide you with a custom, designer patio without the designer cost.

2. Travertine is all natural.
Why is this important? Travertine’s all-natural appearance means that its textures, colors, and patterns never look contrived or manufactured. Travertine comes naturally in a wide range of colors. From muted greys and cool beiges to deeper brown hues, and on to more exotic color choices, like rose gold, pink, or mauve! When it comes to color, nature does it better. Pavers are man-made and could lack the randomness of patterns that Mother Nature lends to travertine. Travertine patterns can appear dappled, veined (like marble), linear, or even appear to have almost no pattern at all.

See Charlotte travertine patio projects on our website!
Archadeck of Charlotte will provide you with a custom travertine patio at a lower cost than other stone patio choices.

3. Travertine is durable.
When considering a travertine patio project in Charlotte, durability must be high on the list of considerations. Your outdoor living spaces will be open to environmental elements, aside from the obvious…we walk on it, sit in chairs on it, and we will undoubtedly drop things onto it. Sun, rain, and extreme hot or cold temperatures are no problem for travertine. While travertine is very strong, it is worth noting that it is highly reactive to acidic substances. Travertine must not be cleaned or maintained with any sort of acid-based cleaners, manufactured or natural, like vinegar or salt.

4. Travertine is versatile.
Travertine tiles are cut into many shapes and sizes, offering a wide range of standard or customized installation choices. Travertine slats may be installed much like wood flooring for a sleek, modern air. More traditionally, square travertine tiles lend themselves to a standard grid pattern or more custom diagonal installation, also known as on-point. Additionally, travertine might be cut into the size of bricks, which accommodates the standard brick layout or more designer approach with a herringbone (zig zag) orientation. No matter your personal design choices, travertine has a color, pattern, and shape to fulfill it!

5. Travertine is environmentally friendly.
Most of us concern ourselves with the impact our building materials have on our environment. If you are of that mindset, travertine is an eco-friendly choice for your patio. What makes it so, is the lack of manufacturing processes. Once travertine is mined and extracted, it goes to a manufacturing facility for processing, which consists of cutting it to size and sanding the surface to achieve uniform thickness. Other than that, travertine for patios might be cut and shaped to specification along its edges and sent on to resellers. One of the better design benefits of travertine is that it is mostly manufactured by Mother Nature, and not much else is needed to achieve the finished product!
(Travertine intended for interior uses will undergo a polishing and sealing process in addition.)

Archadeck of Charlotte is your premier Charlotte travertine patio builder, and we are ready to build the upscale patio you have dreamed about, without the large price tag you have feared! We will assist you with your travertine patio design from concept through fruition. Don’t be cornered by the idea of pavers, expand your vision to durable, cost-effective-beautiful, and natural travertine!

If you are looking for a new Charlotte travertine patio, give us a call for a free design consultation at (704) 944-1350 or email us and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

Why Gray is The "It" Color for Your New Charlotte Composite Deck

From fad to staple – five reasons why gray is here to stay.

For many years, the word gray was negatively received in the world of design, conveyed with adjectives like gloomy, sterile, and boring. This is not true today, however. Gray has positioned itself as a solid design color choice; first as a complementary shade, and later as the main color in our design palette. Today, many of our homes have lovely gray interior design accents, but what about outdoors? Have you considered gray as the choice color for your new Charlotte composite deck? We would like to introduce you to the gray hues offered by Trex and give you five reasons to choose gray for your new composite deck!

1. Trex Transcend Gravel Path (Earth Tones) – A Hue of Fond Memories
Imagine your grandparents’ front porch with rocking chairs. Slightly aged, but it feels like home. It’s a place of happy memories of long summer days, and evenings of lightning bugs and crickets chirping the day away. Trex’s Gravel Path is a hue of times past. Never boring or gloomy, but reminiscent of a deck that was once shiny and new, but now is made better by the passing of time with family and friends upon it. Make your deck like porches of old and create new memories with your own children and grandchildren.


Photo Above: Trex Transcend Gravel Path

2. Trex Select Pebble Gray – Shiny and New for Years to Come
Pebble gray is a light gray hue, saturated just the right amount to look like freshly-painted wood. With no color variations and little texture, Pebble Gray is a color that looks brand new for the life of the deck. For those of us, who prefer a buttoned-up, perfectly neat outdoor space that will accent just about any exterior siding choice, this is the choice gray. It is very complementary to light colored furnishings and railings, but also works in contrast with darker exterior siding colors. Pebble Gray is a new gray standard.

3. Trex Transcend Premium Tropicals Island Mist – Distressed Perfection
Island mist is a fantastic mix of gray hues and shows lots of texture. It looks aged – even distressed, and it is all the rage for your new Charlotte composite deck! Island Mist is perfect for rooftop decks in Uptown Charlotte with urban furnishings, or your lakeside deck and covered porch with more traditional furnishings and accessories. What’s more, this hue is light, so full-sun exposure is no problem. Your Island Mist gray deck will not absorb a lot of heat, like a darker color would. It’s just a beautiful, designer choice!

4. Trex Enhance Clam Shell – Hello, Sailor!
Leave it to Trex to create the perfect nautical gray and give it a name like Clam Shell. This color creates a neat and tidy deck effect, and it’s no surprise that it’s the perfect hue to accept bold nautical navy and white or red and white stripes. Clam Shell is a fantastic choice for your lakeside deck with custom nautical designer furnishings and accessories. This medium gray color is devoid of a lot of texture or “movement” and will look new for many years to come. Add railing with white posts and black pickets for the perfect contrast to your gray deck boards.


Photo Above: Trex Enhance Clam Shell

5. Trex Select Winchester Gray – Be Bold
Who said gray cannot be dramatic? Winchester Gray is full of drama and high style. It is the quintessential bold color choice for your new deck. If you are looking for a gray that makes a statement, Winchester Gray is the hue for you! This dark gray offers so much audacity, your friends will gasp with delight at your own designer daring. Winchester Gray is proof that gray can be anything but standard or boring. Bolder still is its versatility! This color will accept a range of furnishings and accessories, and compliments just about any exterior siding color and material.

See Archadeck of Charlotte’s Trex composite deck Charlotte designs.

If you are considering adding a new composite deck to your Charlotte home, give us a call for a free design consultation at (704) 944-1350, email us, or visit our website to fill out the form and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

Why the Trex Premium Tropicals Collection is So Popular in Charlotte

A color collection, whose names denote vacation vibes

The Trex brand is synonymous with strength, durability, and sustainability. Those benefits alone make Trex an obvious choice for the Charlotte area when it comes to investing in a deck. As a Charlotte composite deck builder, we are proud to offer Trex products for lots of reasons. Often, when a product offers distinguished performance, such as fade, scratch, and impact resistance, we might think that the look of the product must come second. Not so with Trex Premium Tropicals! This collection has form and function in equal measure, and with names like Island Mist and Havana Gold, what’s not to like?

Archadeck of Charlotte has been a choice Charlotte composite deck builder for more than 30 years, and we are pleased to introduce you to the Trex Premium Tropicals Collection.

Spiced Rum

Just one more drink! Spiced rum is the happy medium between its counterparts, Havana Gold and Lava Rock. Happy indeed, as its name denotes, this color is a particularly great choice for those of us, who are looking for a rich and saturated color, but are afraid of going dark. Compare it to a rich teak, with a natural golden base and hints of autumn reds. Pour yourself a drink, hoist it to the sunlight, and there you have it – spiced rum. Spiced Rum is very versatile, and works beautifully with earth toned siding, cultured stone, or brick home accents. Spiced rum is beautiful when paired with lighter, natural wood accents, such as porch ceiling inlays!


Trex Spiced Rum Deck With Covered Porch and Arched Detail

Tiki Torch

What is more befitting an island getaway than the warm glow of a tiki torch? The color of the glow that is cast from its namesake, Tiki Torch is aptly appointed. Much like the color of cedar, this finish is a great choice for many composite decking requirements. Tiki Torch works well in a monochromatic application, but also with darker contrasting railing, siding, and even decking colors. Choose to define areas or outline the entire deck with a rich Lava Rock border for a dramatic effect! Tiki Torch pairs well with light colors on the exterior of the home. Off-white siding and earth toned brick or stone accept this color flawlessly into their palette. This color also looks fantastic with coordinating deck railings and dark pickets.


Trex Tiki Torch Deck in Waxhaw, NC

Lava Rock

The inspiration here is obvious. Lava Rock is a rich red with lower contrasting wood grain and speaks to a more dramatic aesthetic. It’s clean and durable, as all Trex products, and is a beautiful choice for those, who seek a little more color saturation for their composite decking material. Lava Rock is also a color, much like a classic dark cherry wood or dark bamboo flooring, which works well with lighter contrasting home siding and railing choices. Lava Rock really packs a punch when paired with a classic white railing balustrade, or white posts and clear glass panels for a truly custom aesthetic. This finish also pairs well with classic red brick exterior home finishes or accents.


Trex Deck In Lava Rock with Deckorator Pickets

Island Mist

Who says grey must be boring? Grey has been on a comeback for a few years now, and Island Mist is a clear representation of how a trend becomes a staple. With true woodgrain finish, and muted color, Island Mist is a versatile choice for composite decking. It is easily paired with a monotone palette or with rich contrasting colors. It curates well in city or rural settings and is a great light color choice for full-sun decks, where darker colors might absorb a lot of heat. Island Mist is a great addition to rich siding choices, such as dark greys and browns, and works well with classic red brick. This color also suits a “beachy” pastel or muted exterior siding palette!

Havana Gold

You don’t have to visit Cuba to understand the concept behind this finish. Undoubtedly inspired by cobblestone streetscapes and water vista sunsets, Havana Gold will add warmth as organically as if it were a natural wood product. This color is a fantastic choice for an earthen façade that will refuse to go out of style, even after many years of enjoyment. Havana Gold pairs well with light siding colors, including off-white and beige. It also complements earth toned cultured stone or brick siding accents. Havana Gold is also beautifully framed with other accenting decking colors! Spiced Rum is a spot-on choice for framing Havana Gold to achieve a gorgeous custom composite deck.


Trex Deck with Pergola in Fort Mill, SC

No matter your choice in island destination, we have a Trex Premium Tropicals color to suit your vacation vibe at home! Archadeck of Charlotte is your preferred Charlotte composite deck builder with a full range of composite decking design ideas to facilitate your ideal destination, even if you’re only stepping outside your own home for an evening.

If you are considering adding a new composite deck to your Charlotte home, give us a call for a free design at (704) 944 -1350, email us or fill out the form on this website and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

What does our 30 Years' Experience in the Outdoor Living Industry Mean to You?

As Archadeck of Charlotte celebrates 30 years of service in the Charlotte area, we are energized by this milestone—but what does it mean for you, our customers?

In our culture we celebrate anniversaries with gusto. What do they signify? An anniversary is a milestone; it’s not a destination. Reaching—and passing—this 30-year milestone is a sign of Archadeck’s commitment to homeowners throughout the Charlotte market.

Our 30 years as your outdoor living designer/builder in the Charlotte area show that we have staying power in this market. We have the necessary perseverance to weather economic downturns and continue to grow and thrive. Many local deck and patio contractors did not survive the 2007-2008 economic recession. Archadeck of Charlotte continues to thrive and we are still here for you.

What does our 30 years mean to you, the customer?

Throughout 30 years as your Charlotte deck builder, Archadeck of Charlotte has seen design trends come and go. When we consult with you to design and build your new deck, porch or patio, we listen to your ideas and offer ideas based on current design trends. We want you to have the outdoor structures you’ve always wanted, and we want your deck, porch or patio to withstand the test of time.

With respect to decks, especially, 30 years in this business means Archadeck of Charlotte has seen new decking technologies blossom and mature. We have worked with composite decking boards from the beginning and have experienced first-hand the improvements to these materials. As composites have improved, we have developed expertise in how to work with them.

When using composites, we choose to build with Trex products, and we have received training directly from Trex to ensure we install your decking materials correctly. In fact, Archadeck of Charlotte is the top TrexPro® Platinum Charlotte composite deck builder.

Consumers may not realize this, but the synthetic/composite decking materials are not easy to work with. If a builder does not meet the manufacturer’s standards during installation, your manufacturer’s warranty could be voided. It is critically important to us that we provide the highest-quality, reliable installation for you. Thirty years of experience means we have 30 years of expertise that you can rely on.

Thirty Years of the Wood-vs.-Composites Debate

This debate has been going on as long as composite decking materials have been on the market. With our vast experience working with both types of materials, we can answer any questions you may have about building with wood or composites. We understand some homeowners prefer to build with wood and always will. We want our clients to make informed decisions about all materials they’re considering for their outdoor living projects. This includes wood and composites as well as the many types of hardscape materials available.

Why should 30 years’ experience matter to you?

Through longevity comes experience. As your Charlotte porch builder, we have more experience designing and building outdoor living structures here than any other company. When is that much experience important to you? Would you prefer a builder that has built 10 porches, 50 porches or 1,000 porches, decks and patios? Archadeck of Charlotte has built over 20,000 projects in the last 30 years. If you were having knee surgery, would you want a surgeon who had performed your surgery 10 times? Would you feel more comfortable with a knee surgeon who had done your surgery 1,000 times?

Our expertise in designing and building porches goes way beyond the standard screened porch. We have built every kind of covered porch, open porch, front porch, back porch, screened porch and three-season room you can imagine. We can design the porch of your dreams whether it’s a stand-alone porch or part of a combination outdoor living space—whatever meets your needs.

When you add a porch, deck or outdoor living combination to your home, you expect it to last as long as possible. To achieve that goal, you select high-quality materials and choose to work with the most experienced designer/builder in the Charlotte area: Archadeck of Charlotte.

From Decks and Porches to Patios and Hardscapes

Originally known for building decks and porches, many years ago Archadeck of Charlotte became your preferred Charlotte patio builder as well. Archadeck has partnered with several hardscape companies, and we have developed years of expertise working with every kind of patio material. We work with concrete, natural stone and manufactured pavers to achieve the look you want for your Charlotte-area patio. Together with family and friends you’ll spend countless hours on your patio, so we will build the patio you can enjoy many years into the future. Would you like an outdoor kitchen with that patio? A pergola, stone seating wall or outdoor fireplace? Archadeck of Charlotte is the company with the experience and expertise to incorporate whatever elements you desire to build the outdoor living space of your dreams.

While we’re excited to be celebrating our 30th anniversary, we know that an anniversary is a milestone, not a destination. We expect to continue to thrive long after this particular anniversary has passed. We want to be here for you, your children and grandchildren for another 30 years and beyond.

Call Archadeck of Charlotte today to start talking about your new deck, porch or patio design. To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at (704) 944 -1350, email us or fill out the form on this website and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

The Top 5 Reasons Your Charlotte Deck Design Must Include Outdoor Lighting

So you’re thinking about adding a new deck! That’s exciting, especially if you’re planning to work with Archadeck of Charlotte to design and build it. Have you also given any thought to including outdoor lighting with your deck installation? We work hand-in-hand with our sister company, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte, so the best time to think about lighting your new deck is at the very beginning of your planning process.

If you’re uncertain about including deck lighting in your Charlotte deck design, let us put that uncertainty to rest now!

Here we offer the top 5 reasons you absolutely must have deck lighting!

  1. To ensure safe footing on the deck stairs, for family members and guests. While any one of us could make a misstep on the stairs and take a tumble, it’s especially worrying to send a grandparent down dark stairs. A flashlight can help, but some of us have been been known to drop the flashlight before reaching our destination! And what about the kids? While the words “be careful” don’t even register on their tiny ears, they may refuse to go down and play in the yard because the steps are too dark.



    We have the perfect spot to install tiny lights for safety on the deck stairs—it’s the part of the stairs called the risers, the vertical boards connecting a step with the steps below and above. In the photograph, these stairs are especially wide so we installed four tiny deck lights on each riser. When we build narrower stairs, we usually place one light on each riser or one on every other riser. A little light can make a huge difference when it comes to safety.

  2. Pet safety on stairs is important, too! If you have an older dog, lighting the deck stairs is one more way of helping him live out his life comfortably. If he has to make nightly trips down the steps, love is giving him light to see his way out and back in.

  3. Our third reason for having deck lighting is to help your guests see where they’re about to sit! A Charlotte deck design with built-in bench seating is great, but have you seen someone about to sit down and miss the bench in the dark? Ouch! With LED lights discretely placed under built-in benches or below deck railings, you can give your guests a safe “landing.”

  4. To see your food! Part of enjoying a great meal is the visual experience. Everyone loves eating dinner out on the deck, but in the flickering candlelight it can be hard to differentiate the mashed potatoes from the dinner roll. You can take the guesswork out of dining with a few strategically-placed light fixtures. Charlotte Outdoor Lighting Perspectives can work with Archadeck to incorporate lighting into your deck design, and they’ll help you select the lights you want.



  5. To enjoy your deck after the sun goes down. Five days out of seven, most of us don’t get home until dark or close to it. Do you really want to give up enjoying your beautiful new deck most nights of the week? Why relegate the deck to weekends only? With deck lighting you can practically double the amount of time available to spend enjoying your new deck. When you choose to add deck lighting to your Charlotte deck design, you’ll get to meet with our lighting designer who can show you clever and subtle ways to light a deck.

Don’t let your deck lighting be an afterthought. Planning for outdoor lighting in your deck design will enable us to position the electrical wiring efficiently instead of having to go back in and install it later. We’re pretty sure you’re going to want deck lighting!

Archadeck of Charlotte is celebrating 30 years of service in the Charlotte market. Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte, the best and oldest outdoor lighting company in Charlotte, is celebrating its 20th anniversary!

Call Archadeck of Charlotte today to start talking about your new deck design, and be sure to mention you want to add deck lighting with Outdoor Lighting Perspectives of Charlotte! To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at (704) 944 -1350, email us or fill out the form on this website and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

Did You Know Archadeck of Charlotte is the Oldest and Best Fort Mill Porch Builder?

Would your porch be featured on a program called “Greatest Porches of Fort Mill, SC”? Or does your porch need a makeover? If your home doesn’t have a porch, or if yours needs a makeover, it’s time to call your Fort Mill porch builder, Archadeck of Charlotte, and claim your porch.

That’s right! Never let a pesky little state line prevent you from calling the best porch builder for miles around. Archadeck of Charlotte has been building outdoor living structures in Fort Mill SC for 30 years, and we’re the only outdoor living company building in Fort Mill for that long. When we first started designing and building porches around here, the city of Charlotte had not spread out so close to Fort Mill. A lot of things have changed, including the landscape and the streetscapes, but one thing has not changed. Archadeck of Charlotte is the Fort Mill porch contractor you need to call for one of the best porches in two states.

We build front porches and back porches. We’ve built every size and shape porch you can imagine, with every type of porch design and every kind of material on the market. A builder does not stay in business this long without doing quite a few things right and receiving extremely favorable reviews. When you choose a porch builder with 30 years of experience, you have the benefit of working with a company that has literally built thousands of porches.

Archadeck of Charlotte doesn’t just build these porches, we design them, too. A design-and-build firm like ours focuses on creating a custom design for each homeowner. After meeting with you and hearing you talk about what you want in a porch, we’ll design one uniquely suited to your home. Our custom porch design will be based on your tastes, wants, needs, the architecture of your home and the topography of your property.

Looking at back porches, homeowners have several styles to select from including the open or covered porch, the screened porch or a 3-season room, which is a porch with windows that can be closed. Open porch and covered porch are two names for the same structure. It’s open in that the sides of the porch aren’t enclosed with screening, and it’s covered in that it has a roof. So either name is correct.

Open porches give you that airy feeling where nothing stands between you and the outdoors (except for a roof). The benefit of an open porch when compared to a deck or patio is that a porch roof protects you from rain and the UV rays of that South Carolina sun.

If you want a little more protection, you’ll probably be interested in a screened porch, which includes rain and sun protection and adds insect protection to that. No more mosquitoes and flies “bugging” you while you try to eat a nice meal out on the porch! Screened porches have been a favorite in SC and NC since … well, since screens were invented.

Finally, if you want to take Fort Mill porch living to the next level, one of our favorite outdoor living structures is the 3-season room. Archadeck of Charlotte has seen the 3-season room surge in popularity thanks to the Eze-Breeze 4-track convertible enclosure system. A room built with Eze-Breeze offers almost as much visibility as a screened porch. In addition to having screens, the Eze-Breeze room is enclosed with clear vinyl windows that slide open to reveal 75% of the screens, leaving only 25% covered with window. The benefits include just about as much fresh air as that offered by a screened porch — when the temperature is right — and the ability to close the windows completely when you sense a chill. The Eze-Breeze porch does not tie into your home’s heating and air conditioning systems, so if you use this room on the coldest days you may need a space heater.

You can learn more about Eze-Breeze porch rooms by watching this video from Archadeck of Charlotte:

You’ll be happy to know that Archadeck of Charlotte can convert an existing screened porch into an Eze-Breeze 3-season room. We can also convert a deck or patio into a covered porch, a screened porch or a 3-season room. Many clients have hired us to convert their deck or patio into a porch and add a new deck or patio onto that! This combination outdoor living space offers the best of all worlds.

We can discuss all of these options during your free design consultation. If anyone does create a program called “Greatest Porches of Fort Mill, SC,” we want your porch to be included! Archadeck of Charlotte is your most experienced Fort Mill porch builder, and we’d like to include you among our very long list of satisfied clients.

To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at (704) 944 -1350, email us or fill out the form on this website and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

If you are looking for a TrexPro® Platinum deck builder in Charlotte, look no further than Archadeck of Charlotte

When it comes to hiring a contractor for an outdoor living project, are you a risk-taker or do you prefer to go with a sure thing? If you’re interested in adding a Trex low-maintenance deck to your outdoor living space, the sure thing is calling Archadeck of Charlotte. You don’t want to choose just any Charlotte composite deck builder. Archadeck of Charlotte is the top TrexPro® Platinum Charlotte composite deck builder.


Trex Spiced Rum deck with open porch and arches in Waxhaw NC

What is a TrexPro® Platinum deck builder?

TrexPro® Platinum deck builders are the leading TrexPro® builders in their markets. This designation is the highest level of recognition an independent contractor can earn, and it’s based on volume, customer service and continuing education. Archadeck of Charlotte has been a TrexPro® Platinum Charlotte builder for the past eight years. Last year alone we built over $1,500,000 in just Trex material! We’ve built over 1,000 Trex decks here in the greater Charlotte area, and we’re among the top five Trex builders in the country. We are your Trex deck builder in Charlotte.

Why is the TrexPro® designation important?

TrexPro® Platinum deck builders have demonstrated the ability and expertise to design and build outdoor living projects with Trex, from the simplest to the most complex structures. Building with low-maintenance materials isn’t easy. You might assume it’s much like working with wood, but it’s not.

If your Charlotte deck builder doesn’t have the level of expertise to earn the TrexPro® Platinum recognition, it’s easy for them to make errors with low-maintenance materials – incredibly costly errors. The Trex builder must know how to incorporate special techniques such as the precise distance of the decking joists. A Trex deck must be built according to TrexPro® specifications to ensure the warranty is honored. TrexPro® deck builders have completed the Trex Company’s installation and product training on all Trex products, and TrexPro® Platinum deck builders are the best of the best.


Charlotte NC hip roof Eze-Breeze porch with Trex deck in Spiced Rum

Why choose low-maintenance composite decking materials?

If you’ve previously had a wood deck at your home, your Charlotte Trex deck will usher you into the low-maintenance lifestyle – and you’ll never go back. Trex decking boards and railing systems are beautiful, and they come in a variety of colors to match your home. Trex decking products are warrantied to be free from material defects in workmanship and materials. Unlike wood, Trex products won’t rot, split, splinter or suffer structural damage from termites or fungal decay. The Trex warranty is good for 25 years.

Unlike wood decks, structures built with composite decking don’t require annual painting, staining or sealing. That’s why they’ve earned the description “low-maintenance.” To clean your new Trex deck periodically, you’ll only need to use soap and water or a gentle pressure washer. You’ll spend a lot more time enjoying your deck and lot less time trying to keep it looking great.

If you’re considering adding a Trex, AZEK or TimberTech composite deck to your Charlotte-area home, give us a call for a free design consultation at (704) 944 -1350, drop us an email or fill out the form on this site and we will return your call as quickly as possible.

Why Archadeck?

Whether you’re just starting to think about building a new outdoor space or are in the final stages of due diligence, you’ll want to know how one company is different than the other companies that seemingly provide the same service. In custom design and build, there are so many variable factors. For example, two different builders could describe a project the same way but what they build could be completely different.

For example, the builders might both say the final product is a 12′ × 16′ wood deck.

  • What grade of wood are they using?
  • What are the construction standards for how the deck is attached to the house or the distance of the joists?
  • Will they use nails, screws or hidden fasteners?
  • Will the deck have skirting?
  • Will the railing be made of the same wood or made with upgraded materials?
  • Is there a warranty of workmanship?
  • Warranty of materials?
  • Warranty of completion?

As you can see, just looking at the variations of even a simple deck can be dizzying. Your questions will range from construction questions to material questions to question about the company.


Charlotte pressure-treated wood deck with flower box and upgraded metal railing

Here are the top 5 reasons to choose Archadeck

1) 30 years! in Charlotte

There is only one outdoor builder that has been serving the Charlotte market for 30 years. Archadeck has weathered several recessions and has built over 20,000 outdoor projects right here in the Charlotte market. With experience and longevity comes expertise.

2) Archadeck meets or exceeds all local building codes

Because it is part of an international franchise, Archadeck building process and quality standards adhere to a building standards master plan. Every building guideline is designed to meet or exceed all local building codes. The construction of every facet of your project is documented in the Archadeck master plan ensuring that your builder isn’t making it up as they go along or taking shortcuts.

3) We guarantee your project will be completed

Everyone has a horror story about a contractor that didn’t finish or did shoddy work. Unfortunately, we hear many stories about competitors that accept deposits and vanish into thin air. At Archadeck, we present you with a guarantee of completion. Because Archadeck is an international brand, your project comes with a guarantee of completion, as contracted, should something unforeseen happen to your local office.

4) Guarantee of workmanship

Every Archadeck project comes with a guarantee of workmanship and structural integrity. Your project will have a 1-yr workmanship guarantee and a 5-year structural guarantee.

5) Design experts

Archadeck of Charlotte wins numerous design awards every year. You will have a personal experienced Design Consultant that will work with you to translate your wishes into the outdoor living space you’ve been looking for.

If you’re ready to talk to a design consultant about the outdoor living space you have been dreaming of, give us a call at (704) 944 -1350, drop us an email or fill out the form on this site. We look forward to building your dream outdoor living space.

Don't Wait To Call If You're Thinking About Adding A New Deck, Porch Or Patio This Spring

Is this the year you’re going to build that deck you’ve dreamed about? Are you finally tired of an old paver patio with uneven bricks or cracked concrete? If 2018 is the year to add the outdoor space you’ve dreamed of, don’t wait to call Archadeck to discuss your project. If you wait, your new project may be completed much later than you had hoped.

How long does it take to build a new deck, porch or patio?

We are asked this question all the time. While actually building your new outdoor space may not take long, the process does take time. For example, all reputable builders have a waiting list for start dates. In fact, if you contact a builder that can start tomorrow or next week, be very wary. Good contractors are in demand and they have a waiting list to get started.

What else determines how long it will take for your new project to be completed?

In addition to the wait time that you can expect with reputable builders, there are a number of steps in the design process. While each of these might not take a lot of time, cumulatively they can add upto several weeks.

The decision process

When you give us a ring, we schedule a time to visit your home as shortly after your call as possible. A few days elapse before we even meet. When you make your decision to move ahead, it may take a couple days to finalize your contract. After your contract is finalized, Archadeck of Charlotte pulls your permits and schedules the appropriate subcontractors such as electricians, painters or roofers.


Beautiful Charlotte deck, patio and pergola

The finishing process

Even the finishing process requires a little bit of time. Archadeck ensures that every job is properly inspected by the local inspectors. As you can see from the list above, the required steps in adding a custom-built structure or space to your backyard take time.

Begin the conversation now

Archadeck offers a free design consultation. Even if you may want your project finished later in the year, call now to begin the discussion to ensure your project gets in the production schedule to be ready according to when you hope.

To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at (704) 944 -1350, email us or fill out the form on this website and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

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.

Pavers

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

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.

Flagstone

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 [email protected].

The Appeal of the Charlotte Porch

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

Wrong.

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
archadeckofcharlotte.com

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
archadeckofcharlotte.com

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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