Blog May 2014

Keep it Outdoors this Summer

Spring has sprung and summer is just around the corner. At Archadeck Outdoor Living, we are passionate about enhancing our clients’ outdoor living spaces with our designs and builds. Our hope is that after our work is done that our clients spend more time outside.

When we talk to our clients about getting the most use out of their decks, porches, patios and other outdoor spaces, there are certain things we like to discuss and implement:

Places to gather. When it comes to entertaining friends and family outdoors, a clear area to gather and relax encourages people to spend time outside. This should be discussed during the patio or deck design phase, but can easily be created in existing spaces. Strategically placed patio furniture or built-in seating is a clear way to invite guests into a specific area of your outdoor spaces. You can take it one step further with both living and dining outdoor furniture in different areas of the space.

An area for cooking. The more you can stay outdoors will keep your guests outside too. An area for cooking will keep you and your guests outside on a nice day/night. While a grill is a great place to cook, an outdoor kitchen will allow you to do more than just the cooking. With counter space, you can prepare, cook and serve your delicious cuisine. At Archadeck, we design custom outdoor kitchens that complement your overall outdoor living design perfectly.

A fire feature. Personally, I don’t like to be forced inside on a lovely night just because the sun goes down and it gets a little cool. That is just one of the reasons that fire features have been growing in popularity over the last few years. Both fire pits and outdoor fireplaces emit enough heat to keep you outside on a nice night, and who doesn’t love to huddle around a fire, not to mention the s’mores?

If you have questions on how to get more out of your outdoor living spaces, please contact your Archadeck Outdoor Living office.

Enjoying the Outdoors in a Gazebo

I recently went to a wedding at a small vineyard in Virginia. The couple had an absolutely gorgeous day with perfect temperatures and not a drop of rain. Their ceremony was performed under a simple gazebo overlooking the vines.


Gazebos are a classically beautiful outdoor living structure with their many sides. In many places, they are freestanding rooms, but recently we’ve been noticing more gazebos being added to patios or decks. They make a good addition to provide some needed escape from the sun.

Because gazebos have a lot of side and a sturdy roof structure, they really do feel like rooms outside the home. In the backyards I’ve visited that have had gazebos, they always feel like the natural space to sit down and enjoy company. I’ve seen them with both dining tables and benches and chairs beneath them.


Because the living space of a gazebo has protection with the roof structure, they truly can be used all year round. Adding a fire feature would allow you to enjoy the changing leaves in the fall and winter while a fan will make the warmer summer months more comfortable.

When I think about gazebos, my mind normally goes to the classic white gazebo frame with a dark grey roof, but there are many more design options. With the growing popularity of low maintenance decking, more homeowners prefer low maintenance gazebos as well. From reds and browns to greys and blues, the color options are endless. Additionally, post details are popular and ceiling designs vary.

At Archadeck Outdoor Living, each gazebo, deck, porch, patio, pergola or other outdoor living structure is custom designed for each individual client. With our design renderings, you’ll see exactly what your yard will look like with our proposed enhancements. If you are interested in updating your outdoor living space, please reach out to the nearest Archadeck office.

Relax in the Shade of a Pergola this Summer

When the weather is nice, I want to be outside. The fresh air, the breeze, it’s perfect. However, I don’t like to spend too much time in the sun. Not only is it bad for the skin, but it can get too hot (especially in the south) and becomes uncomfortable. If you are like me, having a shade structure in your outdoor living space is a nice addition.

Pergolas are one of the most popular shade structures that we design and build at Archadeck Outdoor Living. They can be designed and built to complement any outdoor living space, new or existing.

Shade is one of the most common reasons a homeowner requests a pergola. While part of it is open at the top, the beams at the top create ample shade below. Some homeowners also choose to add fabric to the top for pops of color in the space.

Shade isn’t the only way to cool off with a patio. Because it is comprised of framing, electrical can be run to the structure as well, making it a great place to add an outdoor fan. Shade and a breeze, sounds pretty good to me!

One issue that we’ve noticed with a lot of patio and deck designs is that there isn’t a clear form or function. The structure’s size and layout should work for the intended use of the space, whether it’s cooking, lounging, etc. Sometimes different purposes need to be defined and a pergola is one way to do it. The space underneath a pergola is almost like a separate room outdoors. Take this pergola for instance. It is very clear that the space underneath will be the “dining room” area of the patio with the living area beyond it.

Compared to outdoor rooms like open and screened porches and sunrooms, pergolas are more easily added to an existing outdoor living space. They are normally free standing and with a variety of shapes, sizes and finishes, they can look like they were always there.

If you have questions on adding a pergola or other shade structure to your outdoor living space, please contact your local Archadeck Outdoor Living office.

Under Decking Creates Dry Spaces

There is something about the rain that makes me want to cozy up with a book or a glass of wine and enjoy the sound. I especially like it with the windows open, or better yet, when I’m in a dry outdoor space like a screened or open porch.

Open porches are great for enjoying the outdoors from a protected spot. They can be built with a roof structure or under decking to keep the space dry. We often get questions on what under decking is and it is pretty simple. Under decking a both a roof and drainage system for open porches or covered patios that have decks above them.

Decks without usable underneath don’t have under decking as it doesn’t matter if the rain goes underneath it. But if you wanted to enjoy your porch when it is raining, you need to have a drainage system to protect you! That’s under decking, or, as we sometimes call it, rain decking.

Under decking was added beneath this tall deck to create a dry, usable space underneath. Stone was added around the support beams to turn them into beautiful design features
Under decking is installed underneath the decking and framing of the elevated deck. It catches the water as it goes through the cracks between the deck boards and drains it at the side of the structure, keeping the space underneath dry and usable.

Keeping the porch dry is not under decking’s only purpose. It also allows the homeowner to create a space with more amenities, like fans, lights and even televisions. With the drainage system in place, your porch and deck builder and electrician can install power outlets. Without a drainage system, it would not be possible.

At Archadeck Outdoor Living, we use under decking to give our clients more usable space outdoors without taking up more of their yard. Instead of leaving the space beneath an elevated deck unfinished, you can use it for another purpose, dining, entertaining, etc. And if you can’t do it all at once, under decking can be installed after a deck is built. So, if you only want to tackle the deck now and the covered patio or porch later, you can do it.

If you have questions on how under decking can enhance your outdoor living experience, please contact your local Archadeck Outdoor Living office. We can help you plan and build the space you’ve always wanted.

Outdoor Living Projects Just Got Easier

At Archadeck, we pride ourselves on creating the backyards of peoples’ dreams. From porches and patios to decks and sunrooms, we work with our clients to design the perfect space that they will use and enjoy. Unfortunately, building projects of any kind, whether indoor or outdoor, can be expensive. Luckily for our Archadeck clients, it just got a little easier.

Archadeck Outdoor Living is now working with LightStream, a financing option through SunTrust bank. For customers interested in financing, who have good to excellent credit, LightStream is an easy way to get the money the backyard of your dreams!

It’s all done online at Lightstream.com/Archadeck. Here’s how it works, in three steps:
1. Apply online. You’ll need to fill out the specifics of the loan as well as some information on you and submit. LightStream is known to provide responses within minutes during normal business hours.

2. Once you’ve been approved, accept the financing loan agreement online with an e-signature.

3. Use your loan! You’ll receive the funds in a day or two and you can get started!

We’re thrilled to be able to provide this wonderful service to our clients that are interested and meet the necessary requirements. For more information, please visit lightstream.com/Archadeck.

Contact your nearest Archadeck location today to talk about just what you want in your new outdoor space. We’ll work with you to design the perfect deck, porch, patio, or combination there of!

Contact Us