Open Accessibility Menu

Preparing for Your Archadeck Design Consultation

You’ve been thinking about adding a screened porch, patio, deck, or 3-season room to your home. You’re ready to move forward. You’ve asked for recommendations and read customer reviews. You know you want to work with Archadeck of Columbus. What should you do next?

Man thinking of new patio

The better prepared you are for our first meeting, the more effectively we can communicate. The clearer you are about what kind of outdoor living space you want, the better we’ll be able to design your dream outdoor space. And the sooner we can start building it!

Here are some ways you can prepare for our initial design consultation:

  • Make notes about what kind of outdoor living space you want to build. For example, a screened porch, or a screened porch with an attached deck. A low-maintenance deck with a pergola for shade. A paver patio with a fire pit. An outdoor fireplace with a stone walkway and stone bench seating. How would you describe your vision?

Table with phone, cup of coffee, wallet and journal

  • List additional features you may want to include – or that you want to know more about. For example, deck lighting, an outdoor kitchen, or glass panels instead of pickets for the railing.

Screened porch ceiling detail and fan

  • Make a list of the ways you want to use the new addition, or things you want to use it for. Examples: entertaining guests, stargazing, watching TV on the back porch, or simply being able to enjoy the outdoors and stay dry while it’s raining.

Work table

  • Use available home renovation project-related websites to get a feel for the scale of various projects and, if possible, their price ranges. Angie’s List is a great resource for this. Also Houzz and the Better Business Bureau, although they won’t share prices. If you find projects similar in scale to what you have in mind, it helps to know what you might expect to pay for professional design and high-quality construction.

Getting to know you: Why we want to help you help us

Why do we suggest the above activities? Because so many times we meet with potential clients who have trouble articulating what kind of outdoor space they want. To assist, we guide them through Archadeck’s comprehensive needs analysis. This process helps homeowners focus on why they want to add a certain outdoor living structure to their home.

Custom deck with dining area and outdoor fireplace

While it may sound strange to ask why you want a new deck, for example, we find that it helps clients refine their vision. Increased clarity at the beginning of the custom design process means we will arrive at your ideal design with fewer iterations.

How else can you prepare for your meeting with Archadeck of Columbus?

  • Take a photo of the area you have in mind for the project and send it to us by email. Whether it’s currently an empty space in your back yard, or an old deck or porch you’re looking to replace, giving us an advance peek helps us get prepared, too.

Holding a camera

  • Take some measurements and mark off a space in your yard to see how much area your project might take up. Is it enough? Is it too much? See how much ground a 12 × 14 outdoor room will actually cover.

Cozy custom deck with hot tub

  • Have a general idea of what kind of furnishings you would like in the space once it’s completed. Keep in mind you need space around the furniture for traffic flow and additional room around a dining table for pulling out chairs. Your choice of furnishings will help us determine how the project you envision can be sized to meet your needs.
  • Read as much as you can of the material on our website, including our blog, and scroll through our photo galleries. Following are some excellent places to begin:

Columbus deck builder Archadeck of Columbus
Columbus OH porches and sunrooms
Columbus TimberTech and low maintenance decks
Outdoor living is a breeze in a Columbus Eze Breeze porch
Ultimate Columbus outdoor living spaces

Why your project budget is not the elephant in the room

We cannot avoid talking about your budget for this outdoor room addition, so don’t be coy. You’ll need to come to the table with a clear idea of your budget and the willingness to be open about it. We realize some homeowners are reluctant to reveal budget because they imagine all contractors jack up our prices once we know what you can afford. We are not that contractor.

Money bag on balance beam

Knowing your approximate, realistic budget for the project allows us to steer you toward materials you can afford. You’ll have to make decisions about materials, project size, and amenities. Budget plays a part in determining what options you might want to consider – and which ones you should avoid.

We can’t design a project within your price range if we don’t know your price range. We’re in danger of wasting your time and ours if you allow us to design a project you cannot afford. Going for the win-win, the process of designing your project is more efficient if we’re all on the same page.

Finally, please keep in mind . . .

Workers measuring wood

Be wary of any builder who says they can start working on your project tomorrow. Any reputable builder is going to have a backlog of jobs. That’s why we recommend you call us for a design consultation several months in advance of when you want to break ground. The sooner we get started on your design, the sooner we can give you a quote and sign a contract. Only then will we be able to add your project to our construction schedule.

At Archadeck of Columbus, we work year-round, so don’t think you need to wait until spring to give us a call. We’ll probably get to your project more quickly in the slow season (late fall and winter) than we will in the spring, our busiest time of year.

Be wary of any builder who says, Oh, we don’t need a permit, or zoning approval, or HOA approval. ALL of these requirements are part of our process at Archadeck, and they’re in place to protect you and us.

We look forward to the opportunity to work with you to create your dream outdoor living project! There is no charge for our design consultation. Contact Archadeck of Columbus today to learn more about our custom-designed decks, screened porches at (740) 265-3905.

Company team