10 Design Ideas for Your Chicagoland Screen Porch

Ten popular screen porch design ideas by Archadeck of Chicagoland.

Advertisements

Screen porches are a great way to experience the outdoors while remaining protected from elements like rain and snow.  Today’s custom screened porch designs can be as elaborate or simple as you choose. Match your home, opt for a finished look, or keep it rustic and outdoorsy.  Here are ten popular design elements to consider as you plan your screen porch.

Skylights and Exposed Rafters

Exposed rafters create a rustic look and skylights let in more sun.

Screen Porch with Skylights by Chicago Screen Porch Builder Archadeck of Chicagoland

Continue reading “10 Design Ideas for Your Chicagoland Screen Porch”

Sunrooms -Your Very Own Retreat

Have you ever found your home bursting at the seams while entertaining family and friends?  Did you wonder what you could do to provide more space for entertaining?  Perhaps you looking for a way to create a quiet and peaceful retreat from a busy household. Maybe you prefer to take in the beauty of the great outdoors, but find those spring and fall mornings too chilly to sit on your back porch.

Gorgeous screen room and sunroom built in Hawthorn Woods

Over the past few weeks we have been discussing the differences between screen rooms, sunrooms, and new additions.  Often, sunrooms are the best of both worlds. They create a usable living space that shields against the outdoor elements while allowing you to view the splendor of the outdoors.  With the ability to open the many windows, they also allow you to bring the outdoors right into your home.  Sunrooms provide the versatility to use them in many different ways. With Chicagoland’s ever-changing weather, this versatility is valuable and will extend the outdoor season.

Sunroom custom designed and built by Archadeck of Chicagoland.

Unlike the screen rooms we discussed last week, sunrooms provide a more substantial form of protection from the weather, allowing you to decorate with interior furniture.  You can create a dining area or breakfast room, or install  a television and music system. You can design a family room or a quiet and tranquil space for your escape.

Sunroom with cathedral ceilings and skylights.

When choosing a sunroom, you want to consider the best option to meet your needs.  How you plan to use the room should determine your choice of materials and size.  Choose a style that matches the architecture of your home.  If you need help, our Archadeck Design Consultants can guide you every step of the way.  We will work with you to create a beautiful and functional space that meets your needs and fulfills your vision.

See you in the Backyard!

Sunrooms built by Archadeck in your local Chicago Suburbs

 

What’s the Latest Trend in Outdoor Living?

According to Builder Blog, a recent survey by Professional Builders shows decks, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and screened porches are among the most demanded outdoor living features.  Thinking about sprucing up your backyard?  Give us a call and visit our showroom!

 

 

How to choose a contractor you can trust, part 2

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 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 second article in a blog series on how to select the right contractor.

 In my last blog I wrote about evaluating a contractor’s background and experience.  In this blog I would like to share some thoughts on how to evaluate the contractors approach to understanding your needs.  In my business we call it “design”, but really it’s about asking questions, listening, and understanding the priorities of the client.  Not all construction projects involve “design” but all of them include understanding the client’s priorities.   In our outdoor living business we strive to offer designs that match our client’s needs and wants.

 To insure that we understand a client’s priorities and, just as important, they understand what we are proposing to build, we provide a clear drawing with detailed specifics related to their project.   Every contractor should give clear written details of your project.  Of course, a written agreement and warranty are important as well.

 Project specifications should include details regarding materials and finishing information. Material information should clarify the quality of the material, if appropriate.  For example, we note number 1 grade decking and stainless steel screws for our deck projects.  Any items the client will be responsible for should also be included in the project specifications.  For example, when we build screen porches, we note that the client buys the ceiling fan which we install. 

 In some cases it’s valuable to visualize your project in three-dimensional photo realistic drawings.  When we build decks, patios, screen porches, sunrooms, or pergolas for shade, we offer a plan view (view from above) of the project.  If a client desires, we can offer custom three-dimensional drawings of their home with our proposed project shown on an image of their home.   This type of design work takes more time so we charge a small project retainer, which applies to the price of the project.

 Of course price is an important part of any proposal.  Some contractors give estimates.  Estimates can change and some contractors purposefully give a low price that they plan to increase once the project begins.  We guarantee that the that we agree will not to change unless the project is changed by the client or something unforeseen occurs.  We define unforeseen as not visually present or a requirement by a building department outside of those noted in the building code.

 In a future blog I will discuss project management and services offered by contractors.

 See you in the outdoors.

Outdoor living solutions.

A screened gazebo provides a great dining space with out the bugs.

Last spring a Libertyville home owner contacted us about a new screen porch project.  When we met I shared the news that in the Village of Libertyville, IL any attached roofed structure requires a full foundation.  The cost of a full foundation is a significant increase over a standard construction for a screen porch. The Building codes and most communities in Illinois do not require such an extreme foundation.   The homeowner’s functional priority was a screened area for 4-6 people to dine in.  She also wanted deck space that fit the house and offered room for another table as well as a grilling area.   We designed and built a large main deck with a wide stair transition to a lower deck. 

The lower deck held a new 14′ screened gazebo.  A 14’ gazebo is a good size for a 6 person table.   By building a screened gazebo we avoided the full foundation requirements and the costs involved with such an upgrade.   Also, we matched her aesthetic priorities for the gazebo with a kit manufactured by Berlin Gardens Gazebo’s.  By utilizing a kit instead of building the gazebo from scratch we saved the client additional costs as well as significant time in the construction process. 

This project is a great example of the solutions that Archadeck provides its clients based upon their priorities, including meeting a budget.

How do we begin the design process for our deck or patio?

Outdoor design begins with understanding what you want to do. A great place to start this process is by identifying what furniture groups you plan to use. Form should always follow function!

Creating outdoor living spaces requires outdoor design.  Obviously outdoor furniture will be a central element to enjoy the spaces with your family and friends.  The outdoor furniture you plan to use is a great starting point for planning your outdoor living space(s).   Knowing what type of furniture and activities you plan on using will drive the new spaces design.  Obviously it will affect size but also shapes and transitions. Form should always follow function.

When we begin the design process for a screen room, paver patio, deck or any of our projects we start by asking about use.   I like to understand what rooms they wish to have in the new outdoor spaces.   Most want an area to dine and to cook, some want a family room, many want a space for a fire pit or fireplace, some want spaces for hot tubs, and many have other ideas for outdoor spaces.   Often getting this conversation started is difficult.   Most people have not thought about their backyard in this way.   Asking about the outdoor furniture that they plan to use gets the conversation started.  Most home owners want to include a grill and a table for dinning.  Beyond these two staples each home owner adds those elements that create their unique outdoor space.

The base for creating outdoor design always flows from the functional needs.   Once we know the basic spaces that the homeowner wants to have we begin blocking out the project.   When we apply the aesthetic tastes of the client the design takes a more exact shape and form.

Deck, patio, pergola

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.