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”

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.

Wood vs. Low Maintenance Decks: Which Material is Right for You?

Everything you need to know about wood and low maintenance decking before you build your project.

Choosing wood or low maintenance materials (such as TimberTech or AZEK) for your deck is a matter of personal preference.  Before making your decision, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

  • How much are you planning to invest in your deck or outdoor living space?
  • How long do you plan to live in your current home?
  • How much maintenance or upkeep are you comfortable with?
  • How do you plan to use the space and how can that affect your deck boards?

Composite Pool Deck with TimberTech Brown Oak by Chicago Deck Builder Archadeck of Chicagoland

Continue reading “Wood vs. Low Maintenance Decks: Which Material is Right for You?”

Creative Deck Design Ideas

Thinking of building a deck? From floating benches and solid board skirting, to outdoor fire places and stunning cable rails – here are some of our favorite deck design ideas!

Designing a deck isn’t always quite as easy as slapping a few boards together outside your back door.  Just as homes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and with different design niches, so do decks.  Here are a few deck designs we find many of our clients love.

Have a small space but want to make the most of it?  Floating benches are a great option for decks that are low to grade. They provide extra seating for when you’re entertaining, but leave plenty of space for your daily needs, like grilling and dining.  Adding a built-in flower box or two also saves space by creating a space for your favorite blooms.  No need to set out extra flower pots!

Low Maintenance Deck with Floating Benches

Solid board skirting hides the framing beneath the deck while the pergola creates shade from the hot summer sun.

Low Maintenance Deck with Pergola

Aside from creating a stunning view, incorporating a fireplace into your deck design can extend the time you are able spend outside on your deck.

Low Maintenance Deck with Fireplace

Give your framing an attractive look with AZEK low maintenance post wraps.  This option gives low maintenance deck a nice, finished look.

Low Maintenance Deck with Pergola

Cable rails have a more contemporary look while opening the view.

Low Maintenance Deck with Cable Rails

Lattice walls are great for climbing flowers and vines and can offer a bit of privacy.  Perfect for small decks!

Lattice Walls on Deck

Double the size of your outdoor living space by building a deck over your patio.  The deck will provide shade for the patio and the structural columns will give your space a regal look.

Low Maintenance Deck with Patio and Fire Pit

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, design and build is our specialty.  If you’re considering building a deck or other outdoor living space, please contact us for a free design consultation.  Or, you can give us a call at (847) 749 – 2373.  We would love to hear from you!

See you in the backyard!

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

Designing a Deck that Fits Your Needs

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we love helping our clients create the outdoor living space of their dreams.  We worked closely with this client, discussing spatial issues, their functional needs, aesthetic tastes, and their budget.  Having these elements in place helps our Design Consultants develop a design that fits the needs of their clients.   This particular client wanted to replace an existing deck with something larger and with the ability to extend the time that could be spent using it.

Low maintenance material lessens the amount of time and money spent caring for an outdoor deck.

Low maintenance deck, vinyl pergola, and outdoor fireplace - Archadeck of Chicagoland

A pergola for shade and a fireplace for warmth extends the time you can enjoy your outdoor living space.

Low maintenance deck with vinyl pergola and outdoor fireplace - Archadeck of Chicagoland

One of the benefits of custom design is the ability to match new structures to your home.  The vinyl pergola adds a touch of elegance, yet looks as though it were built with the home.

Low maintenance deck with vinyl pergola - Archadeck of Chicagoland

Added shade from the pergola allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space, even when the hot sun is directly facing the space.

Low maintenance deck with vinyl pergola - Archadeck of Chicagoland

Stay warm on the chilly fall nights by curling up in front of the outdoor fireplace. Roasted marshmallows anyone?

Custom designed deck with outdoor fireplace - Archadeck of Chicagoland

The black TimberTech Evolutions rail creates a striking contrast while the baskets on the Deckorator Pickets add an elegant touch.

Custom designed low maintenance rail - Archadeck of Chicagoland

Riser lights add a soft glow, illuminating the stairs at night for safety while creating an ambient space in the yard.

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

Custom designed to fit the homeowner’s needs, each space blends seamlessly a stunning outdoor living space.

Low maintenance deck, vinyl pergola, and outdoor fireplace - Archadeck of Chicagoland

If you are considering a deck, patio, screen porch or other outdoor living space, please give Archadeck of Chicagoland a call.  Our design consultants would love to speak with you!  You may contact us at (847) 749-2373 or email us at chicagoland@archadeck.net

See you in the Backyard!

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