Chicago Area Outdoor Living Trends for 2016

Archadeck brings you 2016’s top 4 outdoor living trends for the Chicago area.

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As Jack Frost starts painting Chicagoland with his frosty charm and outdoor building begins to slow, we at Archadeck take a moment to reflect on the great year we had, favorite projects we built, and the trends we see coming for 2016.

Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchens

Designed for climates that cycle through seasons, these outdoor kitchens are durable enough to withstand cold Chicago winters so you can enjoy your kitchen summer after summer.  Completely customizable, Archadeck’s Chicagoland outdoor kitchens are designed to only include amenities you want and plan to use.

Belgard patio with stone grill surround and outdoor bar by North Chicago suburb patio builder Archadeck of Chicagoland

Built-In Fire Pits

Easily incorporated into your outdoor space, a built-in fire pit comes with plenty of design options, including the choice of wood burning or a gas line and ceramic logs or fire beads. Continue reading “Chicago Area Outdoor Living Trends for 2016”

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

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.

Tips to Prepare Your Deck and Paver Patio for Winter

We hope you enjoyed your summer!  The days are definitely growing cooler and winter is right around the corner.  Now is the perfect time to start thinking about preparing your outdoor living space for winter months; you’ll want to maintain your wooden deck, outdoor furniture, and paver patio to extend their life.  Here are a few tips to get you started.

Protecting Your Deck and PatioDeck and patio combination project

  • Sweep the surface removing all leaves and debris to help prevent mold and mildew forming.
  • Wash with mild soap and water.  If some dirt remains or if there are signs of mold, you may need to pressure wash the surfaces.  It is advisable that you use a professional as pressure washing at too high of a setting may cause damage.
  • If you have a deck, inspect the entire deck (slats,  handrails, railings, and posts) noting any rotting, loose rails, or warping. If  re-hammering the nails or tightening screws causes the nails or screws to sink into soft wood or splits the wood, then the piece should be replaced.
  • If you have a patio, add joining sand and sweep evenly into the joints of your patio.  Don’t put too much sand on the patio at one time. Most paver patios have tight joints between bricks and won’t need a lot of sand.

Protecting Your Furniture

  • Wash and store vinyl furniture indoors.
  • Inspect any wood furniture for damage and make the necessary repairs before covering or storing it for winter.
  • Cover with a heavy tarp or store inside a shed or garage to protect it from the elements.
  • Clean soil from planters.  Any pots made of clay or other fragile materials should be brought indoors.

Tips for Snow Removal

  • If you are shoveling snow from your deck, run the shovel lengthwise across the boards to minimize scratching or cutting into the wood. Another option is to use a plastic shovel.
  • Avoid salt and other ice melting substances as they may damage or discolor your deck finish.

Fall 2013 Bucket List

How much fun can be had in the autumn months?  Tons!
Host an outdoor party
Go on a fall camping trip
Visit a farmers market
Enjoy hot apple cider on the deck
Roast pumpkin seeds
Jump in a pile of leaves
Go to a harvest festival
Trick-or-Treat
Go on a fall nature photo scavenger hunt
Visit a pumpkin patch
Roast marshmallows over the fire pit
Go apple picking
Have a bonfire

2013 Fall Bucket List

 

 

The Benefits of Building Outdoor Living Spaces in Fall and Winter Months

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!

Learn more about the advantages of building your outdoor living space in the fall and winter months.

Deck and pergola with mosquito curtains

Save A Tree, Build Around!

It happens to many of us.  We have grand visions of the outdoor living space we want to create, but something like a beloved tree may stand in our way. Sometimes all you need is a little creativity and a knowledgeable contractor. These homeowners knew they wanted to build around the tree, but getting started can sometimes seem a bit daunting.  We were pleased to be given the opportunity help them design a deck that wouldn’t harm their tree while also creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.  Read more about it here.

Macko

Archadeck of Chicagoland named 2013 Best Pick

We are excited to share that we have been named 2013 Best Pick by EBSCO Research for the second year in a row.  We are honored to receive this recognition because it is based on testimonials directly from the Chicagoland homeowners we work with day in and day out.

See more Chicago Suburb projects!

According to the Local Tribune, “Only top-rated companies that qualify in EBSCO Research’s rigorous research process can earn “Best Pick” status. Archadeck of Chicagoland excelled throughout this research process, boasting an overall “A” grade based on more than 100 candid telephone interviews with Chicago-area homeowners.”

Overall, the Best Pick status reinforces our mission, to design outdoor living spaces that blend with our customers’ homes and fit within their lifestyles, while delivering high quality work and service throughout the process.

Read the full article here.

LOCAL HOMEOWNER CHOSEN AS FINALIST IN ARCHADECK “DREAM BACKYARD MAKEOVER” NATIONAL CONTEST

PALATINE HOMEOWNER IS SELECTED FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A $70,000 BACKYARD MAKEOVER,  

COURTESY OF  ARCHADECK OUTDOOR LIVING, BELGARD HARDSCAPES & TIMBERTECH 

Finalists for the national Dream Backyard Makeover Contest have been chosen for the month of February and Amanda Hall from Palatine, IL is among them.

As a finalist, Hall will be among the few given a chance to win the grand prize, a $70,000 backyard transformation from Archadeck, Belgard Hardscapes and TimberTech; second prize, the renovation of an existing deck or patio, courtesy of Archadeck; and third prize, installation of an outdoor lighting system provided by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives.

Two finalists are selected each month, through the end of April, and their entries will be posted on Facebook.  On April 23, voting will open for one week so that Archadeck Facebook fans may voice their opinions on the most deserving backyard. Winners will be selected by a panel of judges and Facebook fan votes, and winners will be announced in May 2013.

The Dream Backyard Makeover contest began February 1, 2013, and runs through April 22, 2013 via Facebook.  To enter, homeowners should visit the entry form on our Facebook page and submit a photo along with a 200 word description of why their backyard is the most deserving.

Located in Rolling Meadows,  we at Archadeck of Chicagoland apply our design expertise to create outdoor living rooms, fire features, porches, pergolas, sunrooms and patios — all featuring the latest trends in outdoor leisure enjoyment and functionality.  Archadeck of Chicagoland services the Chicagoland area.  For more information about our company, or a listing of cities we serve, visit: www.chicagoland.archadeck.com

For full Archadeck Dream Backyard Makeover contest rules, visit:  www.dreambackyardmakeover.com.

Create the backyard of your dreams!

About Archadeck Outdoor Living

Established in 1980, Archadeck is recognized as the largest deck and porch builder in North America and has lived up to its motto — Better Building by Design — by completing more than 100,000 projects across the country. A part of Outdoor Living Brands, their mission is “to enhance the lives of our customers by creating unique and innovative outdoor living environments.”  Recognized for overall operational excellence, Archadeck was named a World-Class Franchise® company for 2013 by the National Franchise Research Institute and was ranked 12th on Qualified Remodeler magazine’s 2012 Exterior 200 list of top remodeling companies.  Archadeck projects have graced the covers of Gardens, Decks and Patios and Decks & Backyard Projects.  The company has been featured in This Old House, Smart Money and Gardening & Deck Design, as well as on Home & Garden TV (HGTV). Visit www.archadeck.com for more information and to download a free copy of our “Design Guide” to help make your dream backyard a reality.

 

About Belgard Hardscapes

Belgard® Hardscapes, part of Oldcastle® Architectural, offers a complete collection of paver and wall products for outdoor living spaces, walkways, driveways, parking areas and retaining walls. Available in a range of styles, premium Belgard products have been found in America’s finest homes and award-winning commercial and retail properties since 1995. For more information or a complimentary Idea Book, visit www.Belgard.biz or call 1-877-Belgard (235-4273). Find more inspiring outdoor space ideas at www.Facebook.com/BelgardHardscapes.

 

About TimberTech

TimberTech is one of the world’s top producers of high-performance decking, railing, fencing and lighting solutions. With a passion for outdoor living and a global reputation for quality and innovation, TimberTech delivers a wide range of low-maintenance, wood-alternative products in an unmatched selection of colors and styles – all available through a network of more than 8,500 contractors and dealers worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.TimberTech.com or view product installation videos on the TimberTech YouTube channel. Stay up-to-date on TimberTech by following the company on Twitter (@timbertech_deck) or Facebook at www.Facebook.com/TimberTech

Think Spring!

Spring is just around the corner.   Soon the weather will turn warm, flowers will push up out of the ground, the grass will be green again, and the invigorating fresh scent of the outdoors coming alive will drift through your windows.  Are you ready?

Now is the time to begin planning your outdoor living space.  What plants and flowers are you filling your flowerbeds with?  Maybe a vegetable garden or planters full of herbs will make their way into your plans. Have you been considering adding a deck, patio,  pergola, or screen porch?  Imagine stepping right out of your home and onto your deck to fire up the grill and pick fresh herbs from your built-in planters. Get ahead of the game and start designing now so your outdoor living space is ready before summer hits.  Do you have a vision already, or are you looking for a little inspiration? Let your imagination run wild and create the backyard

of your dreams.

See you in the Backyard!

Gorgeous pressure treated pine desk and paver patio