10 Design Ideas for Your Chicagoland Screen Porch

Ten popular screen porch design ideas by Archadeck of Chicagoland.

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Screen porches are a great way to experience the outdoors while remaining protected from elements like rain and snow.  Today’s custom screened porch designs can be as elaborate or simple as you choose. Match your home, opt for a finished look, or keep it rustic and outdoorsy.  Here are ten popular design elements to consider as you plan your screen porch.

Skylights and Exposed Rafters

Exposed rafters create a rustic look and skylights let in more sun.

Screen Porch with Skylights by Chicago Screen Porch Builder Archadeck of Chicagoland

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Patio Ideas by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Archadeck of Chicagoland brings you five inspiring patio design ideas to give your backyard a unique look!

Looking for inspiration for your new patio? Think beyond the standard circle and square designs.  Here are five inspiring patio design ideas to give your backyard a unique look!

Seat walls define your outdoor living space and create accent pieces, helping to make your patio design unique.  A great example is this Belgard patio in Naperville, IL which features a Weston Wall seat wall in Cotswold Mist and Holland Stone pavers in Kensington Red.

Belgard Holland Stone patio with stone Weston Wall by Naperville patio builder Archadeck of Chicagoland

Continue reading “Patio Ideas by Archadeck of Chicagoland”

Outdoor living solutions.

A screened gazebo provides a great dining space with out the bugs.

Last spring a Libertyville home owner contacted us about a new screen porch project.  When we met I shared the news that in the Village of Libertyville, IL any attached roofed structure requires a full foundation.  The cost of a full foundation is a significant increase over a standard construction for a screen porch. The Building codes and most communities in Illinois do not require such an extreme foundation.   The homeowner’s functional priority was a screened area for 4-6 people to dine in.  She also wanted deck space that fit the house and offered room for another table as well as a grilling area.   We designed and built a large main deck with a wide stair transition to a lower deck. 

The lower deck held a new 14′ screened gazebo.  A 14’ gazebo is a good size for a 6 person table.   By building a screened gazebo we avoided the full foundation requirements and the costs involved with such an upgrade.   Also, we matched her aesthetic priorities for the gazebo with a kit manufactured by Berlin Gardens Gazebo’s.  By utilizing a kit instead of building the gazebo from scratch we saved the client additional costs as well as significant time in the construction process. 

This project is a great example of the solutions that Archadeck provides its clients based upon their priorities, including meeting a budget.

Top 25 BBQ recipes for your outdoor grilling

Top 25 BBQ grilling recipes from About.com, featuring simple and delicious rubs and BBQ sauces, just perfect for cooking in your new Archadeck outdoor kitchen.

You know, it’s funny. After enjoying a lot good food during yesterday’s Super Bowl (Go Saints!), it occurred to me that with all this good conversation about our new Archadeck outdoor kitchens, there hasn’t been any talk at all about what to cook on them.

And that, my friends, is about to change. About.com has some incredible rubs, sauces and even slow cooker recipes that are simply awesome. For the top 25 BBQ recipes, click here.

Enjoy, Chicago! Grilling doesn’t get any better than this.

Outdoor kitchens perfected

David Berryhill designs and builds custom outdoor kitchens with virtually everything — even the “kitchen sink.”

Everything you’ve ever dreamed of — including the “kitchen sink” (see the right side of the photo) — all outdoors — courtesy Archadeck of Chicagoland. For a free design consultation and estimate, just ask.

With David Berryhill’s new custom outdoor kitchens, Chicagoans may never cook indoors again

David Berryhill is designing affordable, functional and beautiful custom outdoor kitchens for his lucky clients in Chicago.

Come Spring 2010, with one of my new custom outdoor kitchens, you just may be tempted to never cook — or entertain — indoors again.

Archadeck of Chicagoland can now custom design a stunning outdoor kitchen right before your eyes — on your computer.

That’s right. Our expert custom outdoor kitchen design team will meet with you online — right in front of your computer — to create a custom design plan that fits exactly what your looking for.

For example, if you have a small patio but want big cooking and entertaining, we have a design for that.

Looking for a efficient and multi-functional outdoor kitchen to go under a covered porch, yes, we have a design for that, too.

Need a big, expansive outdoor kitchen to cook up a big feast for a family reunion? Yes, you know that you’ve come to the right place…Archadeck of Chicagoland.

Outdoor kitchen with bar

Here’s one of my personal favorites, a raised counter with bar stools connected to a highly efficient outdoor kitchen.

Sound good? Well, there’s lot more good news to share. Call me at 847-359-8002 for your free design and planning consultation. We can quickly come up with a perfect solution to extend your outdoor living entertaining hours in beautiful, functional style.

True, there may be no such thing as a “free lunch,” but there is $500 worth of free landscaping with a new Archadeck outdoor living space

A free gift for you, Chicago! Get a $500 gift certificate for Hawthorn Gardens when David Berryhill from Archadeck of Chicagoland designs and builds your new outdoor living space or addition. Limit one per household. Projects of $10,000 or more. Offer expires June 30, 2010.

We love our outdoor living customers in Chicagoland, especially those in Hawthorn Woods.

They always seem to be very forward-thinking about how to best design and use their new decks, patios and outdoor kitchens from Archadeck.

So this Spring, I have decided to run a half-page ad in Woodtales, the Hawthorn Woods newsletter, featuring a $500 gift certificate from Hawthorne Gardens as a thank you for any new outdoor living project of $10,000 or more.

If you don’t have the newsletter, just print this ad and give it to us when we come to your home for your free design consultation.

How do we begin the design process for our deck or patio?

Outdoor design begins with understanding what you want to do. A great place to start this process is by identifying what furniture groups you plan to use. Form should always follow function!

Creating outdoor living spaces requires outdoor design.  Obviously outdoor furniture will be a central element to enjoy the spaces with your family and friends.  The outdoor furniture you plan to use is a great starting point for planning your outdoor living space(s).   Knowing what type of furniture and activities you plan on using will drive the new spaces design.  Obviously it will affect size but also shapes and transitions. Form should always follow function.

When we begin the design process for a screen room, paver patio, deck or any of our projects we start by asking about use.   I like to understand what rooms they wish to have in the new outdoor spaces.   Most want an area to dine and to cook, some want a family room, many want a space for a fire pit or fireplace, some want spaces for hot tubs, and many have other ideas for outdoor spaces.   Often getting this conversation started is difficult.   Most people have not thought about their backyard in this way.   Asking about the outdoor furniture that they plan to use gets the conversation started.  Most home owners want to include a grill and a table for dinning.  Beyond these two staples each home owner adds those elements that create their unique outdoor space.

The base for creating outdoor design always flows from the functional needs.   Once we know the basic spaces that the homeowner wants to have we begin blocking out the project.   When we apply the aesthetic tastes of the client the design takes a more exact shape and form.

Deck, patio, pergola

Rehabing your deck (replace decking and reuse the structure)

Often we can replace the decking, trim, and/or the rails but keep the existing structure. The top three issues I look at are signs of structural rot, the deck to house connection (especially the flashing), and the soundness of the concrete footings. Redecks are an option that provides significant savings.

Will that deck make it through another summer?    As the snow melts, hopefully soon, thousands of decks throughout the Chicago suburbs will be revealed.   The wear and tear from another season of sun, rain, freeze, and snow will show itself.   What options does a home owner have?   If the deck boards are beyond normal maintenance, pressure washing and staining, it’s time to consider new material.  Does that mean a new deck?  Not necessarily, often we can replace the decking, trim, and/or the rails but keep the existing structure.  Have the structure evaluated by a professional deck builder or qualified contractor to insure the structure is safe and worth saving.  Poor structure with new surface material is a bad investment.  Having said this, it is very common that the structure can offer many more years of support for your deck.  The top three issues I look at are signs of structural rot, the deck to house connection (especially the flashing), and the soundness of the concrete footings.   Of course, we also review the structural plan for the deck. Healthy material won’t compensate for poor design.

Assuming the structure is sound, perhaps with minor structural repairs, there are many options to rehab and reuse your deck space.  The decking can be replaced with new wood, low maintenance deck boards (such as TimberTech or Azek), or even “stone like” tile options.  With in these choices exists a multitude of natural as well as synthetic materials.   The pros and cons of these choices are best left for another blog.  Okay, several blogs.   The key is that a deck rehab, or redeck, is a very viable option.  Redecks are an option that provides significant savings. 

These rehab’s can involve replacement of decking only or any combination of surface components.  We have done many combinations of deck rehab, including several that involved shape changes, adding screen rooms, or integration of a paver patio.  As always we start by asking questions to understand the homeowner’s priorities.  Once we have a clear picture we will offer recommendations.  Ultimately, we will build what the client wants assuming, it’s safe and legal.  However, there are a couple issues that really make sense for most deck rehab’s.  First, if you are planning to replace the decking on the stairs, it’s best to replace all elements of the stairs.   I don’t reuse strangers.  Second, reuse of non structural materials from the old deck is not worth the effort.  Using new material is so much faster for carpenters that it’s less expensive then reusing old materials.  Not to mention that I have never met a carpenter who is happy working with old material.  Remember, the carpenter is a craftsmen and their happiness will directly affect the results of your project.  Happy carpenters equal a successful project; that sounds like another future blog topic.

A deck rehab is often the perfect solution.   Whether you simply need deck boards replaced or wish to recreate your outdoor living space(s), using the existing foundation can give savings.  It can give savings of both money and time for your project.

Plan your 2010 outdoor project now!

January is the perfect time to design your new outdoor living project.

January is the perfect time to design your new outdoor living project.  Begin the process now by contacting Archadeck to have your new deck or patio for the full 2010 outdoor season.  As the premier outdoor living builder in Chicagoland, Archadeck Is ready to discuss your new backyard space.  For 30 years we have created outdoor living spaces for America’s families.  Now is the prefect time to connect with our professional Design Consultants. Get in front of the spring rush and have your new deck or screen room ready when the weather comes.   View our variety of projects at northern-chicagoland.archadeck.com.

We can complete your design process in one meeting for an hour or multiple meetings with a variety of design options.  Most often, we can create a design with you in two meetings.  Usually, your new deck, gazebo, pergola, or patio will be ready for you, eight weeks from the day we have a design & agreement. Of course, the times can vary based upon the project & village requirements.  As an example screen rooms and sun rooms will usually take an extra four to five weeks to complete.  Call today to get your project started so you will enjoy the outdoors with your family all spring & summer.