We were delighted when the Hall family, local Palatine homeowners, won second place in the national Dream Backyard Makeover, sponsored by Archadeck and Belgard. Their existing outdoor living space consisted of a cracked concrete patio closely surrounded by large bushes. The young family had recently purchased the home and dreamed of having a beautiful open space to enjoy with their friends and family.
After making the announcement that they had won, we got together to discuss how they envisioned their new outdoor living space. Custom design is our specialty, so together we walked through the tried and true process we use to create the best design for their family. To do this we focused on the four most important aspects of a design: space, function, aesthetics, and budget.
It was important to know about any spatial issues they might have. Knowing ahead of time where property lines and natural easements are help us to determine how much space is available to use, or to prepare a plan of action in the case a client may want to request a variance from the village for additional space.
Functional needs tie into the discussion of spatial issues. If we designed too small, the Halls would not be able to use the space as they had envisioned. If we designed to large, they would have more patio than they needed and the space would go unused. Most of us don’t build patios and decks every day, so determining how much space you need can almost feel bewildering. In order to help the Hall family determine how much space they would need, we discussed how they planned to use the space. Did they just want an area to sit and enjoy the sun? A place for a table and grill? Enough room to comfortably host an outdoor party? Each of these require different amounts of space. Knowing what they ultimately want to do with their patio helped us determine the amount of space that would suit their needs.
Discussing aesthetics is also a key element in helping us design the right outdoor living space for our clients. We showed the Halls several pictures of previous projects we have built, asking them to point out aspects they either liked or those they did not favor. This helped us design specifically to their taste and style.
At Archadeck, we design to a budget. We don’t want to develop a design that is two or three times what our clients want to invest. Knowing an ideal budget helps us keep a design within the parameters of what they are comfortable investing in their project. This time was no different. The Hall family won the second prize of the Dream Backyard Makeover contest, so we worked with them to design the perfect space while remaining within the designated amount alloted by the contest rules.
Once we had the design in place, we set everything in motion to begin building. Breaking ground was an exciting moment for both the Halls and our Archadeck team! We began by discussing building plans with our crew, making sure every detail was addressed before we began. The crew broke up and removed the old concrete patio and put in new drain tiles.
Next they put the base in, getting everything set for the new Belgard Pavers. The Halls chose a wonderful combination of Buckingham Cobble and Weston Wall for their seat wall.
With the bricks laid, we put down grass seed and green matting to fill in the dirt that is left from building the patio.
The outcome was beautiful. We enjoyed the opportunity to work with them and hope they enjoy their new patio with family and friends for many years.
We have earned the service industry-coveted 2012 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor awarded annually to approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on Angie’s List, the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.
It truly is a privilege to be awarded the Angie’s List Super Service Award for the second year in a row. The award reflects how our passion for outdoor living shines through as we strive to provide the best customer service and highest quality work for our community. As our company has grown, we have maintained our commitment to our customers in the Chicagoland area without losing the values, quality and customer service that the Archadeck name has come to represent over the years.
“It’s a select group of companies rated on Angie’s List that can claim the exemplary customer service record of being a Super Service Award winner,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “Our standards for the Super Service Award are quite high. The fact that Archadeck of Chicagoland earned this recognition speaks volumes about its dedication providing great service to its customers.”
Angie’s List Super Service Award 2012 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, including earning a minimum number of reports, an excellent rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.
Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List. Companies are graded on an A through F scale in areas ranging from price to professionalism to punctuality. Members can find the 2012 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.
Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 550 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. More than 1.5 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain unlimited access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine, and the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.
When you buy something at the store you see the finished product. When you order something online you see a picture of the finished product. When you hire a contractor, you won’t see the finished product until the project is built.
Buying from a contractor means trusting someone. Trusting they will build what you expect. Trusting they understand what you expect . How can a homeowner be comfortable they are choosing the right contractor for their project? How do they know who to trust? In the next few blogs I am going to share some ideas that may help homeowners know what to look for and how to select the right contractor.
The first area to consider is experience and background. How much experience does the contractor have with your type of project? Some contractors try to do all types of construction but there are subtle differences in materials and design that affect the outcome of each construction project. For example, our company specializes in outdoor living projects; decks, screen porches, sunrooms, patios, and pergolas for shade. we know all the details to make these types of projects fit your home perfectly. However, I know the basics to remodel a kitchen; but if we did one there would be a dozen little issues that just did not look right. If a company has done at least 100 projects in a category they have probably learned the nuances that insure the project will look right.
What is their background & history? The Better Business Bureau or Angies List are great places to learn how the contractor treats other clients. Speaking to references can tell you a great deal, especially if the contractor does not have a list ready and organized. This is a question we are asked all the time. If a contractor is not prepared for it, then how well will they prepare for your project?
How quickly they response as well as the quality of their response are key indicators of how they will perform for your project. Are they on time? Do they ask questions to help you avoid mistakes? Do they listen to you and understand your priorities? Do they commit to follow up and more importantly do they fulfill those commitments? If the contractor falls short before you sign a contract, they will certainly fall short during the project. Everyone is at their best when they are trying to make a good impression and earn your business.
In an upcoming blog I will talk about the design process and how to insure that the details you expect are included in your project.
Mullen Advertising has teamed up with Twitter to bring us Brand Bowl 2010, a social media equivalent of an indoor tailgate party for those who will not be celebrating America’s favorite pastime in their outdoor living spaces this year.
The idea of watching the Super Bowl from your outdoor living space sounds like a strange idea, you may think, but it’s not.
I can custom design and build your family a 4-season sunroom that will be affordable, functional and fabulous all year long — especially for watching weekend football in comfort.
With energy-efficient wrap around windows, French doors leading to your deck or patio, and a fireplace to warm your minds and bodies on cooler days, Archadeck of Chicagoland can create the relaxation retreat of your dreams.