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

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How to choose a contractor you can trust, part 3

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? This is the third article in a blog series on how to select the right contractor.

In two previous blogs I wrote about evaluating a contractors background and experience and how to insure the contractor builds what you want and expect. In this blog I will share some thoughts on how a contractor can manage your project so it is built well and construction runs smoothly.

Project management is important in most businesses but it is crucial in construction. There are a lot of balls to juggle. Building department requirements, the carpenters, coordinating multiple crews, trash removal, material showing up on time, ensuring timely inspections to avoid delaying job progress, protecting driveways from dumpster damage, ensuring the correct fasteners are being used in the correct locations, and that is just a few examples. The most important detail is clearly communicating the progress of the job in a timely manner to the homeowner. 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.

People and systems can make or break the job. In our organization, we manage each deck, patio, or screen porch project with a system called the Job Progress Methodology. This elaborate checklist (over 200 items currently) and four supporting guides for the field personnel keep us on track to ensure a smooth running project. We use this tool in conjunction with a series of construction standards in our Master File. This is a collection of drawings that clearly reflects how each detail of the project will be built.

Knowing who the crews are and how they are managed are important factors in the end result of the project. Finding tradesmen that are skilled, reliable, and trustworthy can be challenging. Over the years I have been shocked by the lack of skill that some carpenters bring to their work after presenting themselves well in the interview. We issue a written test to weed out many people up front. Asking for their approval to conduct a background check causes even more to drop out. With new crews, our Project Manager is on site daily for the first two to three weeks to insure they are building to our expectations and acting appropriately at our client’s homes. Some trades require proper licensing such as roofers, electricians, and plumbers in Illinois. We check that all insurances are up to date and that all our subs are properly licensed.

If you want full service, the contractor should handle all issues related to securing the permit and the inspections. This includes contacting the utility locater service, JULIE in Illinois, to insure no lines are hit when digging is involved. It should also include providing any drawings and information your Home Owners Association might require. Our company provides all of these services when we build Outdoor Living projects such as decks, screen porches, or pergolas.

How a contractor organizes it’s work, before and during the construction, is critical for success in your project. It is critical if you want comfort your expectations will be met and the job runs as smoothly as possible. If material or crews occur in the wrong order, it becomes difficult to undo the construction, making this organization critical. Of course even a quality company that makes every effort to be organized will still have mistakes, but they need to step up and make them right for you! We will talk more about this in our next blog.

See you in the outdoors.

Plan your 2010 outdoor project now!

January is the perfect time to design your new outdoor living project.

January is the perfect time to design your new outdoor living project.  Begin the process now by contacting Archadeck to have your new deck or patio for the full 2010 outdoor season.  As the premier outdoor living builder in Chicagoland, Archadeck Is ready to discuss your new backyard space.  For 30 years we have created outdoor living spaces for America’s families.  Now is the prefect time to connect with our professional Design Consultants. Get in front of the spring rush and have your new deck or screen room ready when the weather comes.   View our variety of projects at northern-chicagoland.archadeck.com.

We can complete your design process in one meeting for an hour or multiple meetings with a variety of design options.  Most often, we can create a design with you in two meetings.  Usually, your new deck, gazebo, pergola, or patio will be ready for you, eight weeks from the day we have a design & agreement. Of course, the times can vary based upon the project & village requirements.  As an example screen rooms and sun rooms will usually take an extra four to five weeks to complete.  Call today to get your project started so you will enjoy the outdoors with your family all spring & summer.