Hardscape designs

Hardscape designs can be defined by a combination of products being incorporated into a project. We have grown into a full hardscape design build firm at Archadeck of Charlotte.

The origins of hardscapes was really referring to any retaining wall work and patio work. Today we lump the term “hardscapes” with almost any hard surface like outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and water features.

The market has made a major shift towards more and more hardscape designs in the Carolinas. The combination of substrates such as stacked stone, pavers, and block are a very common theme today.

To see a wide variety of hardscape designs, you can visit archadeckofcharlotte.com or go to the show room in Charlotte at 2225 Coronation Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28227.

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How do you best clean a tile floor in a screen porch?

Most screen porches in Charlotte, NC are built with either a deck or a patio as the flooring. When the screen porch is elevated, the advantage of the deck flooring is the debris can fall in between the decking boards.

We commonly get asked at Archadeck of Charlotte, what is the best way to clean a screen porch floor when there is tile?

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and build this screen porch with Travertine porch floor

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and build this screen porch with Travertine porch floor

We have found the best way to clean a screen porch floor with tile is to take a broom handle with a sponge mop on the end and simply use soap and water or tile cleaner and this is the simplest and most effective way to clean it!

To see screen porch designs, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

 

 

 

What is the best stain to use on my wood deck? Ask Archadeck!

Archadeck of Charlotte has built over 23,000 projects over the past 29 years in the Charlotte metro area. In addition, there are over 50 Archadeck franchisees around the country that we share best practices.

As we review options to seal and stain decks, we eventually purchased a professional franchise that specialized in deck cleaning and staining called Renew Crew.

We have found for a new deck, a semi-transparent deck stain seems to last the longest and provide the most authentic look allowing the wood grain to show through the stain.

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum balluster by Dekorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum baluster by Deckorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

While many manufacturers have touted restoring decks to new with heavy solid stains, we have found those to be very temporary solutions and unless every application step is followed precisely, there are nightmares to deal with afterward and many callbacks.

Hot tub deck with a privacy fence and outdoor shower by Archadeck of Charlotte

Located in Charlotte, NC this backyard oasis was designed and constructed by Archadeck. It includes a pool deck, screened porch, covered outdoor kitchen and dining area, firepit and raised spa deck.

We have found that Renew Crew offers a proprietary stain with a vast color selection that offers a premium look with maximum protection. If you are looking for a Charlotte deck builder, visit the deck page on our website to learn more or take a look at the Charlotte wood deck photo gallery to seen dozens of wood decks Archadeck has built throughout the Charlotte market over the last 29 years.

 

Outdoor Fireplace vs. Fire Pit….pro’s and cons

We now know that fire features are all the craze in Charlotte, NC. We have seen year over year growth in the category for 10 straight years!

Stone outdoor fireplace integrated into screen porch with EZE Breeze windows

The common question people ask is should I invest in a fireplace or a fire pit?

 

Here are the key differentiators:

 

  1. Price – a common fireplace is around $8,000 while a common fire pit is around $1,500
  2. Function – a fireplace is wonderful if you are sitting in front of it to project heat while a fire pit everyone can sit around it
  3. Aesthetics –  a fireplace can be a focal point of the backyard due to size and stature while a fire pit a complimentary accessory
  4. Return on Investment – the fireplace is probably a bigger “wow” factor

To see multiple fire feature photos and designs, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

How do I expand my patio?

Expanding your patio seems like a no-brainer, right? Here are a few small tips in this blog that you should consider prior to tackling this project:

What is the current slope of the patio? It is most likely sloped away from the house to allow for proper drainage. If you are expanding your patio further away from the house, you will have to grade appropriately so you do not create an area where water will sit due to a grade change.

How is the edge of your patio finished? Is there a border around it? Are there full pieces or cut edges. There needs to be some thought as to how to properly blend in the extension so it appears to built as part of the original design.

Archadeck of charlotte outdoor show place

Archadeck of Charlotte outdoor show place

How old is the existing patio? Has the color faded or is it stained? Perhaps consider combining a different substrate rather than trying to match! To get wonderful patio design ideas, visit our paver patio photo gallery or our stone patio photo gallery. Are you thinking about adding some amenities to your patio? Take a look at our fire features photo gallery.

 

How to build an outdoor fireplace?

Archadeck of Charlotte has been designing and building outdoor fireplaces for years now.

Can a “do-it-yourselfer” build an outdoor fireplace? There is no doubt that someone skilled in masonry, can build an outdoor fireplace.

The primary challenges are building code knowledge and even more challenging is the “flu design”.

There are specific building codes that have been written in recent years with the growth of outdoor fireplaces from a safety standpoint. It is highly recommended that you get in touch with your local building department prior to your design phase or contact a pro.

In terms of flu design, the trick is the flu architecture to ensure that the smoke goes up and out the chimney as opposed to back at you. For more information, you can call 704-944-1350 or go to archadeckofcharlotte.com. To view more outdoor fireplace photos, visit our Charlotte outdoor fireplace photo gallery.

Do Trex decks stain or mildew? Do Trex decks fade?

There is a lot of bad history and bad press out there on – line. If you don’t know what you are really looking at, it can be very misleading.

Trex is the originator of the composite deck industry and in fact, the original product did have these issues. The product faded relatively quickly. It was easy to stain with the spill of any oil based product. Mildew grew easily due to the porous nature of the design.

Along came the invention of Trex Transcends. This was a vast improvement of the original products that solved the major problems consumers complained about. By engineering a cap stock over the original core of the product, the product now has a 25-year fade warranty in addition to protection from staining. The product is so superior that in the previous 7 years, we literally have no callbacks on Trex. So when you do your research on Trex, make sure you are looking at the Trex Transcends!

Click here to see a complete photo gallery from a Platinum Pro Trex Contractor,

Learn more about Trex decks in Charlotte on our Trex web page.