Are you looking to maximize the value of your home? Outdoor living spaces have become the latest trend to take home improvement by storm. With more homeowners moving their fun to the backyard, a deck or patio creates the perfect space to blend indoor comfort with the open outdoors.
May is deck safety month. With barbecues, outdoor parties, and summertime fun around the corner, now is the time to inspect your deck and make any repairs necessary. As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Follow these guidelines to ensure a thorough inspection.
Look at the condition of your deck boards. Most wood will show some cracks and splits over time, but is the general condition of the boards good, or are the boards splintering and unsafe to walk on?
A deck should be built using a variety of fasteners and metal hardware connectors to create a continuous pathway to ensure deck stability and safety. Check to see if the appropriate fasteners and connectors were used when constructing the deck. Is the hardware in good condition or need to be replaced?
If visible, look at the posts, beams and joists that provide the structural framework of the deck. What is their condition? Is there any noticeable sagging between supports?
The attachment of the deck to the house (at an area called the house band) is the area where most deck failures occur. Pay special attention to this area and check to make sure that the deck is properly attached to the house band with appropriate screws or bolts and that it is properly flashed for water protection. Nails should never be used for this type of attachment.
Foundation / Footings
The foundation / footings receive and support the weight (also known as the load) on a deck and the columns that bear on them. A footing that is sinking may cause a noticeable sag in an area or a column separating from a beam.
Check the areas where people exit from the deck. These exits usually involve stairs so be sure to check the condition of the material used on the stair stringers, stair treads and risers.
Look at the condition of the rail posts and sections of railing on the deck to make sure that the railing is secure. Check to make sure that the pickets/balusters are fastened securely and spaced no more than four inches apart.
If you’re not sure you want to take the responsibility of inspecting the deck yourself, look up a local company in your area and have a professional complete the inspection. Nadra.org and AngiesList.com are great places to find competent, trustworthy professionals or go to Archadeck.com to see if there are deck safety inspectors in your area.
I am one lucky man. Outdoor living is my passion, and outdoor living is what we do. It is a wonderful feeling to wake up each day knowing we are doing something we’re passionate about. Designing outdoor spaces has long been my idea of fun. Playing in our garden, designing our patio, and taking design classes at the Morton Arboretum were once hobbies for me. I had built a good career for myself, but I was missing that passion I wanted to feel on a daily basis. So, I went on a search for a way to combine my career with my passion. This is when I discovered the Archadeck franchise.
Ten years ago, Integrity Enterprises Inc. dba Archadeck of Chicagoland was born. On February 19th, we will celebrate our 10th anniversary. It has been fantastic to go to work every day knowing we are sharing our passion with Chicagoland families. We are creating beautiful spaces for families and friends to gather and enjoy the great outdoors.
Over that past 10 years, we have seen a lot of changes and faced a number of challenges. We not only survived the worst economy since the great depression; we actually flourished. Projects we build have evolved from decks, screen porches, sunrooms, and pergolas to include paver patios, front porches, and open porches. Our team has grown and enhanced our capabilities, and our company now covers all of the Chicagoland suburbs.
When we first started building our franchise, we began in the northern counties of Lake and McHenry. As opportunities opened up, we expanded to the west and south. Today we service all of the Chicago suburbs. In 2012, we moved our office and growing team out of our basement and into our current showroom close to Woodfield Mall.
Of course, this move coincided with one of our original goals. My wife, Kristen, joined me in the business and became a Design Consultant. We met at work 20 years ago and have since dreamed of working together again. I know many people may think it would be difficult to work with a spouse, but we love it! She has excelled, helping to push our company forward. Our children often come in to hang out in my office while we meet with clients and prepare designs, giving them the opportunity to see firsthand what it means to own your own business. Archadeck of Chicagoland is truly a family operation.
As we’ve grown, we have carefully selected great team members to add to our family. Our very foundation is built on dedicated, hardworking, and talented carpenters and crews. Without our crew leads like John, Chris, Sonny, and Manuel, our designs would never come to life. Of course, our office team is no less important. Wendy, Sarah, and Margo work hard behind the scenes to keep the operation running smoothly. Alex, our newest Design Consultant, is creative and talented. Tim, our Construction Manager, ensures the building process runs smoothly each and every time. Our team members are key to our ability to continue to create the stunning outdoor living spaces Chicagoland has come to expect from us.
One constant over the years has been our great clients! The number of clients we design for has increased significantly over the last 10 years, and we have been blessed with really great people to work with. They have allowed us to learn about their family’s outdoor plans so that we may offer our recommendations and ultimately build their new outdoor spaces. We work hard to make sure the end result of each project is a happy client. Consistent customer service awards and ‘A’ ratings on Angie’s List, as well as the Better Business Bureau, reinforce that we are getting good results. Of course, the best feedback comes when our clients introduce us to their friends so we may build their new outdoor space. We would like to express our gratitude for sharing us so often with your friends and neighbors.
Thank you for allowing us to design and build your backyard getaway for the last 10 years. We can’t wait to create your next outdoor living space!
Holiday season is coming! The next few months will be a whirlwind of activities as everyone prepares for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Don’t forget to slow down and take some time to enjoy the spirit of the season with your friends and family. In order to help you do just that, we’ve compiled a list of some of the events scheduled in the Chicago suburbs and in the city. Enjoy!
Fall is on its way, and with it come the many autumn festivals. We at Archadeck love to spend time outdoors. Come out and enjoy the live entertainment, sip on apple cider, sample the tasty fall foods, take the kids through the pumpkin patch, and much, much more!
|St. Michael Fall Fest||Orland Park||
|Harvest Moon Bonfire||Schaumburg||
|Fall Fest & Chili Cookoff||Homewood||
|Norwood Park Fall Festival||Norwood Park||
|Annual Autumn Fair||Geneva||
|Long Grove Apple Festival||Long Grove||
|Franciscan Fall Festival||Tinley Park||
|Fall Family Fun Fest||River Grove||
|Rogers Park Harvest Fest||Rogers Park||
|Chilympics Chili Cook-Off||Downers Grove||
|Fall Fest||Oak Park||
|Autumn Harvest Festival||Schaumburg||
|Highwood Pumpkin Festival||Highwood||
|All Hallows Eve||Naperville||
Summer days are coming to an end and fall is right around the corner. This is the perfect time of year to plan a project for fall, winter, or even early spring. Although the warmer months may soon be behind us, Archadeck will continue to build year round. Now is the time to lock in this year’s prices and avoid the increases we see in early spring. Planning your project during the fall and winter seasons also ensures that your project will be ready to use when the weather warms up again. Instead of spending your warm spring days sifting through busy contractors and waiting for the completion of your project. You will already be relaxing in the sun on your patio or entertaining on your new deck. This is the perfect season to start that new project!
Spring has sprung! Local events are a perfect way to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family. Whether it’s in the city or the Chicago Suburbs, you’re sure to have a blast!
|Ravinia 2013 Schedule – Enjoy spectacular concerts in the park!||Chicago||June 6 – Sept 15|
|Taste of Glen Ellyn||Glen Ellyn||May 16 – 19|
|Spring Fun Fair||Des Plaines||May 18|
|Civil War Days||Naperville||May 18 – 19|
|Free Museum Day||Elmhurst||May 19|
|Red, White & BBQ Festival||Westmont||May 24 – 26|
|Young at Heart Festival||Loves Park||May 24 – 27|
|4th Annual Barrington Art Festival||Barrington||May 25 – 26|
|Piccadilly Circus||St. Charles||May 25 – 27|
|5th Annual Millennium Art Festival||Chicago||May 31 – June 2|
|First Fridays (Museum of Contemporary Art)||Chicago||June 7|
|11th Annual Promenade of Art Arlington Heights||Arlington Heights||June 8 – 9|
|Father’s Day Barbeque||Brookfield Zoo||June 16|
|The Chicago Symphony Orchestra at The Morton Arboretum||Lisle||June 30|
|Naperville Rib Fest 2013 (Carnival, food, music, and more!)||Naperville||July 3 – 7|
|Windy City Rib Fest||Chicago||July 5 – 7|
Have you ever found your home bursting at the seams while entertaining family and friends? Did you wonder what you could do to provide more space for entertaining? Perhaps you looking for a way to create a quiet and peaceful retreat from a busy household. Maybe you prefer to take in the beauty of the great outdoors, but find those spring and fall mornings too chilly to sit on your back porch.
Over the past few weeks we have been discussing the differences between screen rooms, sunrooms, and new additions. Often, sunrooms are the best of both worlds. They create a usable living space that shields against the outdoor elements while allowing you to view the splendor of the outdoors. With the ability to open the many windows, they also allow you to bring the outdoors right into your home. Sunrooms provide the versatility to use them in many different ways. With Chicagoland’s ever-changing weather, this versatility is valuable and will extend the outdoor season.
Unlike the screen rooms we discussed last week, sunrooms provide a more substantial form of protection from the weather, allowing you to decorate with interior furniture. You can create a dining area or breakfast room, or install a television and music system. You can design a family room or a quiet and tranquil space for your escape.
When choosing a sunroom, you want to consider the best option to meet your needs. How you plan to use the room should determine your choice of materials and size. Choose a style that matches the architecture of your home. If you need help, our Archadeck Design Consultants can guide you every step of the way. We will work with you to create a beautiful and functional space that meets your needs and fulfills your vision.
See you in the Backyard!
Spring is in full swing and everyone is ready to get out and enjoy the warm, sunny days. Pretty soon the nights will be just as warm and enjoyable. Now is the time to start planning the perfect living space for your backyard. What adds that perfect finishing touch? Lighting – it creates a wonderful ambience.
Finalize a plan and sign an agreement by June 30th, 2013 that includes a low voltage lighting package and we will double the lights. Two lights for every one you purchase. Adding lighting extends use, adds safety, and creates a “soft glow” to accent your new backyard space.
*Offer cannot be combined with other promotions, unless specified.