Archadeck of Chicagoland Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

“It is an honor to receive this award as it represents our true commitment to providing our clients with the best quality, care, and customer service in the industry,” said David Berryhill, president of Archadeck of Chicagoland.

The Angie’s List Super Service Award reflects Archadeck of Chicagoland’s consistently high level of customer service.

Archadeck of Chicagoland has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015.

Archadeck of Chicagoland Angies List Super Service Award 2015

With showrooms in Rolling Meadows and Naperville, Archadeck of Chicagoland is a local Design & Build firm that sets itself apart from competitors by considering customer service a top priority. Continue reading “Archadeck of Chicagoland Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award”

Chicagoland Patio Design with Outdoor Kitchen & Fire Pit

Explore Chicago area patio design, featuring a classic Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchen and built-in Gas Fire Pit.

When Kildeer, IL homeowners decided they were ready to replace their tired and worn deck, they called local Chicago area patio builder, Archadeck of Chicagoland.  With their grand plans for a larger space to entertain, along with an outdoor kitchen and fire pit, we knew Senior Design Consultant, Kristen Berryhill, would be the perfect designer for the project.  She didn’t disappoint!

Chicagoland Multi-Level Patio with Outdoor Kitchen and Fire Pit

Because our clients wanted a space for food prep, cooking, and dining, Kristen included a classic Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchen.  These durable outdoor kitchens are designed to be an affordable investment, withstand the harsh Chicago winters, and most importantly, provide an attractive space for cooking and dining. Continue reading “Chicagoland Patio Design with Outdoor Kitchen & Fire Pit”

TimberTech vs AZEK: Choosing the Best Low Maintenance Materials for Your Deck

Which composite decking is the best? Archadeck brings a comprehensive guide to the low maintenance and composite decking products TimberTech and AZEK offer.

TimberTech vs Azek Composite and Low Maintenance Decking

Are you considering a low maintenance or composite deck?  Low maintenance materials are a great option for those who want a deck but do not want to go through the hassle of sanding and staining frequently.  One quick search on the internet, however, can leave you feeling bombarded with options.  How do you know which companies are the best and which products will be right for your project?   Continue reading “TimberTech vs AZEK: Choosing the Best Low Maintenance Materials for Your Deck”

Naperville Deck Designs by Archadeck of Chicagoland Featured on Pinterest

 

Featuring Naperville Deck Designs on Pinterest

As a premier Naperville deck builder, we are pleased to announce that our Naperville deck designs are now featured on Pinterest.  Browse several stunning projects that feature traditional and contemporary designs.  Check out different deck options like cable rails, built-in benches, outdoor lighting, grill surrounds, and more!  Archadeck of Chicagoland serves the surrounding Chicagoland Suburbs.  If you would like to see deck designs (or other Archadeck project designs) featured in your town, let us know in the comments below.  We could feature your town next!

If you are considering an outdoor living project, we would love to hear from you!  You may reach us at (847) 749-2373 or you may sign up for a free Design Consultation with Archadeck of Chicagoland.

Maximize the value of your home with outdoor living spaces

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.

HGTV goes over the current trends for decks and patios, mistakes to avoid, and expert tips for every budget.

PATIO

Custom Designed Deck and Patio

DECK

Custom design low maintenance deck with vinyl pergola - Archadeck of Chicagoland

Memorial Day: 10 Ways To Show Your Gratitude

Our soldiers and veterans have sacrificed greatly for our country.  While we should always show our gratitude for their service, Memorial Day is a great time to do something a little extra special for our brave and faithful soldiers.

1.  Reach out to a military family in your community  

Invite them over for dinner or bring them a meal.  Something as simple as running an errand, taking a walk with them, or watching children for a few hours can mean so much to a family who has a deployed spouse.

2.  Visit an older or wounded veteran

A happy visit can brighten a day and help a veteran to know they are not forgotten.  Contact your local nursing home or VA hospital for guidance on who you may visit.  Need some inspiration?  The Walter Reed National Military Center provides plenty of creative ideas on their Facebook page.

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3.  Make patriotic cookies

A thoughtful treat and a heartfelt “Thank You” goes a long way.  You can pick a local veteran or speak to your local nursing home about passing them out to the veterans in their care.

Memorial Day Cookies

4.  Offer to do yard work or home repairs

Having a spouse or parent deployed overseas is stressful for families.  If the children are young, this time can be especially difficult for the parent at home.  Mowing their lawn, repainting a fence, helping out with home maintenance, or planting flowers will not only help the family tremendously, but can also give the deployed solider peace of mind that their family is being cared for.

5.  Volunteer to place flags on grave sites

Contact your local American Legion or VFW organization to volunteer your time.

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6.  Send a letter

AMillionThanks.org will help match you with a soldier.  Even a gesture as simple as a letter expressing your gratitude and support can brighten a soldier’s day.

7.  Grant a wish

WoundedSoldiersWish.org gives you the opportunity to help grant the wish of a wounded soldier.

8.  Fund a scholar

The Armed Forces Children’s Education Fund is a non-profit corporation that financially assists the educational needs of the surviving children of the U.S. Military men and women who lost their lives.

9.  Adopt a soldier

Why only show your gratitude on Memorial Day?  Adopt a soldier and show your support during his or her deployment.  SoldiersAngels.org will match you up with a soldier that would love your support.

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10.  Never Forget

We often view Memorial Day Weekend as a kick-off to our summer.  Beach trips, camping, and backyard barbeques will soon fill our warm summer days.  However, the real reason behind this holiday weekend is to honor, remember, and show gratitude to America’s fallen heroes.  We must never allow ourselves to forget!

Deck Safety Checklist

Family on Deck - Archadeck
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.

Boards
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?

Every Connection
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?

Structure
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?

Attachment
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.

Exits
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.

Rails
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.

How to Choose the Right Contractor

Can you trust your contractor? Here are 6 key elements to consider when hiring a contractor for your project. Feel confident in your decision!

How to Choose the Right Contractor by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Remodeling projects are often exciting!  But when it comes to the contractor managing the project, it can mean the difference between confidence and sleepless nights.  So how do you choose the right contractor and prevent those sleepless nights?  Here are a few important areas to focus on when interviewing prospective contractors.

Experience

How much experience does the contractor have with your type of project?  Many contractors try to do all forms of construction, but there are subtle differences in materials and design that affect the Archadeck of Chicagoland Groundbreaking outcome of each construction project.  For example, Archadeck specializes in outdoor living spaces.  Could we remodel a kitchen?  Absolutely, but you might find there are several little things that just don’t look quite right.  Choose a contractor who specializes in your type of project.  A good rule of thumb is if a company has done at least 100 projects in a category, they have probably learned the nuances that make sure the project is done right.

Background

What is their background and history?   Looking a contractor up on Angie’s List and The Better Business Bureau is a great way to learn how the contractor treats other clients.  Speak with references and, if possible, take a look at other projects the contractor has completed.  A contractor that does not have a long list of references prepared may be a red flag.

Key Performance Indicators

Pay attention to the little indicators as you interact with the contractor.  If you notice they are not meeting your standards before you sign a contract, they will most certainly fall short during the project.

  • How quickly do they respond and what is the quality of their response?
  • Are they on time?
  • Do they ask questions to help you avoid mistakes?
  • Do they listen and understand the priorities for your project?
  • Do they commit to follow-up, and more importantly, do they fulfill these commitments?
Evaluate the Contractor’s Method

Archadeck of Chicagoland TestimonyA good contractor will ask questions and listen to your ideas and concerns in order to best understand your priorities for your project.  At Archadeck, we use a very specific design process to help us understand our clients’ needs and desires.  Not all construction projects involve design or a “design process,” but the contractor’s method should strive to understand your needs and wants and clearly document the plan you agree to.   Here are a few important things to look for:

  • Clear and written details.  Project specifications should include details regarding materials and finishing information.  Any items the client will be responsible for should also be included.  For example, we note number one grade decking and stainless steel screws for our deck projects.  Or when we build screen porches, we note that the client buys the ceiling fan which we install.
  • Design plans.  In many cases, it is helpful to visualize your project.  With every project we build, we offer a plan view (view from above).  This helps ensure Archadeck and clients are in full agreement with what the end result should be.
  • Price or estimate?  Some contractors give estimates. Estimates can change and some contractors purposefully give a low estimate that they plan to increase once the project begins. We guarantee that the price we agree to will not change unless the project is changed by the client or something unforeseen (not visually present or a requirement by a building department outside of noted building codes) occurs.
Project Management

Project management is crucial in construction.  Understanding how a contractor manages the multiple issues that can arise during the course of the job should be important in deciding who you want to hire for your project.

  • Archadeck of Chicagoland ReviewWhat system does the contractor have in place to ensure your project runs smoothly? At Archadeck, we have a system called the Job Progress Methodology.  This is an elaborate checklist with over four supporting guides for the field personnel that keep us on track.  We use this tool in conjunction with a series of construction standards that clearly reflects how each detail of the project will be built.
  • Who are the crews and how are they managed?  We work hard to find skilled, reliable, and trustworthy tradesmen.  We issue a written test, conduct background checks, follow up with references, check that all insurances are up to date, and that our crews are properly licensed.  With new crews, our Construction Manager is on site daily for the first two to three weeks to ensure they are building to our expectations.
  • Does the contractor handle permitting and inspections?  If you want a full service contractor, they should handle all issues related to the permits and inspections required for your project.  This includes contacting JULIE (Illinois utility locator service) and providing any drawings and information your Home Owners Association might require.
  • Do they keep their clients informed of the job progress?  Some of the feedback we often hear from our clients is how much they appreciate our daily communication and updates about the progress of their project.  It is helpful to understand what’s been done, what is planned, and if there are any problems that need to be or were addressed.  This grants peace of mind that every detail is being handled and allows for less disruption in our clients day to day lives.
Safeguards

It is important to understand what the contractor has in place to protect you and your home.  The safeguards they have in place and the manner in which they respond to these questions help indicate how trustworthy a contractor may or may not be.

  • Liability insurance is a must.  This protects your home from any damage caused during the construction process.
  • Workers’ Compensation is also important and required for any company with employees.  This protects you from an employee of the contractor getting injured on the job and suing you for the bills.
  • Contractors should be licensed in the town or city the construction is being performed.  Request a copy of their insurances and applicable licenses.
  • What type of warranty do they offer?   We offer a warranty of one year on workmanship and five years on structural issues.  For added protection, we also offer a third-party guarantee of performance and warranty coverage.   Archadeck clients receive a National Guarantee Corporation Warranty.  This insures their project is completed and they receive at least two years of warranty coverage.
  • Will the contractor stand behind their work?  All too often we hear about contractors or companies that hide behind a clause in their warranty.  A good contractor will stand behind their work and do the right thing, regardless of the warranty terms.
Go With Your Gut

What do your research and instincts tell you about the contractor or company?  Can you trust them to do what they say, to stand behind their work, and to do what is right?  After interviewing with your contractor, you should feel comfortable in your decision, knowing they are experienced, insured, organized, and ethical.

Celebrating 10 Years!

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.

Screen rooms, pergolas, decks, patios, sunrooms

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.

Archadeck Team - Fun

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!

Screen Porches: Bring the Outdoors In

Screen Porch

Screen porches blur the lines between your outdoor and indoor living spaces and are great for extending the time you spend enjoying the outside. There are many details that make your screen room perfect for your family.  At Archadeck, we enjoy helping our clients discover these details as we design the outdoor living space they envision.

Screen porch with deck

Comfortable living spaces allow you to enjoy the great outdoors while also offering protection from the rain and snow.

Screen Porch View

Aesthetically pleasing and highly versatile Vertical 4-Track windows transform your screen porch into a space that is usable three seasons or even all year round.  These vinyl windows are available in multiple sizes and are designed to allow you to open them 25%, 50%, or 75%.

Windows for Screen Porch

Lifestyle rails inside the porch function as both a safety feature and a drink rail, creating a space to place drinks, plants, and toys.

Knee Wall for Screen Room

Exposed beams and skylights give the room a bright, spacious, and airy feel.

Open Rafter Ceiling

Low voltage lighting on the stairs light the way when the sun begins to go down.

Deck Lighting

Rope lighting under the rails of the deck create a soft, ambient glow.  Deckorator pickets create a striking and beautiful look to the deck.

Deck Rail Lighting

Attaching decks to your screen porch gives you space for grilling and outdoor seating.

There are so many options available to you when building a screen porch.  Our Design Consultants walk you through every step of the way, designing outdoor living space of your dreams.  If you would like to speak with someone about your next outdoor project, give us a call at (847) 749-2373 or email us at chicagoland@archadeck.net.  We would love the opportunity to turn your dreams into a reality.

See you in the Backyard!

Find Archadeck of Chicagoland on houzz!