Chicago Area Outdoor Living Trends for 2016

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

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”

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.

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

 

 

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

 

 

Top Outdoor Living Trends for 2013

It’s that time of year again.  Spring is just around the corner and it’s time to start designing or decorating your outdoor living space. What are the hottest trends for outdoor living spaces? According to ASLA’s recently published survey, homeowners across the country are investing in fire pits and fireplaces, grills, lighting, decks and patios.

“In this uncertain economy, homeowners want to get more enjoyment out of their yards,” said ASLA Executive Vice President and CEO Nancy Somerville, Hon. ASLA. “They want attractive outdoor spaces that are both easy to take care of and sustainable.”  Take a look at the complete survey; you just might find a few creative ideas for your own backyard.

See you in the Backyard!

A Year Of Achievements in Chicagoland

As we move forward in the new year, we can’t help looking back on 2012 with a smile, remembering it as a great year at Archadeck of Chicagoland.   We spent the year creating and designing outdoor living spaces that blend with our clients’ homes and fit their lifestyles.  We have had the pleasure of meeting and working with some amazing people. Even as our company continues to grow, we are able to enjoy learning each client’s vision so we can help bring it to life. Creating outdoor living spaces to draw families closer together is our great passion.  Knowing a family is enjoying their backyard dream puts a smile on our faces.

A couple of weeks ago, my wife Kristen and I attended Archadeck’s Annual Convention in Charleston, South Carolina.  We love these conventions because we continually return motivated  and full of new ideas for the upcoming season.  You’ll read more about these new ideas in the coming weeks as we begin rolling out the new plans.  While in Charleston, we attended workshops and seminar, dinners and award ceremonies.  Kristen, myself and our Chicagoland Archadeck team earned several awards. It is exciting to receive such recognition for all our hard work!

Kristen earned the 2012 award for Top Rookie Design Consultant.  This is quite an achievement for someone who Awards Archadeck of Chicagoland earned in 2012.started this position in April last year!  I earned recognition for leadership as President of the Midwest Region of franchisees and for leadership as Chairman and President of The National Guarantee Corporation (a third party guarantor that all Archadeck projects will be completed and warrantied for at least two years).

Archadeck of Chicagoland also earned the Customer Satisfaction Award for the fifth year in a row and recognition for sales in excess of $1,000,000 in 2012.  Perhaps most exciting, we earned two design awards – one in the patio category and one in the deck category.

The multi-level patio and pergola we designed allowed the homeowners to create different outdoor living spaces while maintaining a beautiful flow from one space to the next.  The separate areas featured a living space, a dining area, and a section that incorporated a hot tub and fire pit.  We utilized Belgard walls and integrated natural blue stone and flagstone.

Multi-level Patio with Pergola and Fire Pit

The deck was a top of the line combination deck and patio project.   Everything was set to impress, from the beautiful stone columns and flagstone patio built with Belgard pavers and walls to the multi-level deck built with TimberTech Evolutions, Radiance rails and Deckorator pickets.  A built-in bench, beautiful decking pattern, and stone fire pit added to the beauty, comfort, and functionality of the design.

Deck and Patio with Fire Pit

Last year shaped up nicely and this year is already appearing to be an exemplary one as well.  Here’s to 2013, may it be joyous and full of family fun.

See you in the Backyard!

Win a Dream Backyard Makeover

If you had $70,000 dollars to create the backyard retreat of your dreams, how would you design it? Would you build a stylish screen room or gorgeous deck for entertaining?  Would you include an elaborate multi-level patio that features a custom fire pit or fireplace? Maybe you’ll take it a step further and add water features.  There is nothing better than having a relaxing outdoor retreat right in your own backyard.  Relax in the sun on your deck, laugh with your friends around a fire pit, watch your children run and play while you sit on the patio, curl up with your morning coffee in your screen room.  Throw the best summer barbecue of the year.

Archadeck is running a Dream Backyard Makeover contest.  You could win the backyard of your dreams, valued at $70,000!  Come on over to our Facebook page for details on how to enter.  While you’re there, be sure to like our page so you can enjoy our conversations, find exciting new recipes, see new design ideas, and learn new tips for keeping your outdoor living space in tip-top shape.

Combo