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What to expect when planning deck/patio projects

If you’re reading this blog, you probably have waited a long time to build the backyard space of your dreams. If you’re just beginning the process, you might be wondering where to start. One of the first planning tasks on your list is to look at deck pictures and patio pictures for design ideas. The great news is that we have literally hundreds of deck and patio pictures including pictures of composite and low-maintenance decks and pictures of popular custom hardscape features such as outdoor fire pits and fireplaces.

After finding some visual inspiration, you likely want to find out what to expect when working with an outdoor builder. At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we look at the concepting and planning stage of building very strategically. After 25 years in this business, we know that homeowners can easily pick features and specifications from pretty pictures. But, if they’re going to love and use their space long term, we also want to look at 4 key practical considerations.

Four key considerations when planning your new deck and patio project

  • Function:
  • Aesthetic
  • Budget
  • Space


How will you use your space?

While this sounds like a no-brainer, it’s more complex than you think. Most homeowners have an idea of what they want to do outside – relax, eat, perhaps enjoy a backyard fire on a cool evening. It’s important to really dissect each of these. If one of the key things you’d like to do outside is eating, here are some key follow-up questions. How many people will eat outside? Will you entertain regularly and if so, how many people will you need to seat for meals? This number will help determine how much space you need. Tables and chairs take up quite a bit of space. Your Design Consultant will help you work through the size your space will need to be to accommodate that number of people. The same is true for your seating space. Will just a couple of family members steal away here and there to relax? Or do you plan on not only family evenings and having a spot for girl’s night and impromptu weekend get-togethers? Will your get-togethers be at night? That will require lighting.


How will it look

Are you looking for a showplace with fantastic features such as an outdoor kitchen, perhaps patio retaining walls, or a stately pergola? Are you envisioning a rustic space utilizing knotty cedar or subtle paver hues? Perhaps you are envisioning a muted, sophisticated, and elegant deck with subtle beige or gray shades. Or maybe you’re looking for rich dark colors to make a dramatic statement. Share these ideas with your experienced design consultant. They will be able to show you pictures of previously built spaces that have the sort of look you’re thinking of to help you narrow down your aesthetic options and the materials to achieve the look you’re going for.


How will your new space fit your budget?

By knowing your budget we can blend all priorities; function, aesthetics, spatial, and budget to give you the best solution based on almost 40 years of outdoor living experience. We look for great solutions every day that help our clients achieve their priorities, including the investment that they are planning for this project. It is important to provide your realistic budget to your design consultant. We know that homeowners can often be reluctant to share their budget assuming that other contractors will find a way to use up every last penny of the budget. Here’s why it helps to share your budget with your Design Consultant. If you had envisioned a number of low-maintenance and high-end materials but your budget will not accommodate using all upper-end materials, your design consultant will guide you to which upgrades make the most sense. Often a particular material or design feature is more costly than you would have expected. Instead of receiving a quote with budget-breaking features, your Design Consultant can let you know upfront that a particular feature would eat up a high percentage of your budget allowing you to make better decisions at the beginning of the design process.


What limitations do you have? What will fit your house?

Before going too far into the design process, it’s important to look at how much space you have, any space limitations, and what will fit your house. Your Design Consultant can look at the back of your home and communicate what will and will not work based on your home’s facade and architectural features. In addition, while you may not be aware of setbacks or other restrictions, your Design Consultant can guide you in reviewing restrictions before determining dimensions.

You may be wondering about the cost to work with a highly trained and very experienced Design Consultant. There is no charge to you. We want to build a space for how your family wants to live outside. We want to guide you in the design process based on our experience in building thousands of decks, patios, and porches here in the local area. Give us a call for your free design consultation at (847) 250-4100, drop us an email, or fill out the form online and we’ll contact you to schedule your design consultation.