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 ourĀ fire features photo gallery.

 

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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.

 

Outdoor Living Space designs in Waxhaw, NC

We have been designing outdoor living spaces in Waxhaw for 30 years now! My how times have changed. We went from designing and building decks and patios, to entire outdoor living spaces with multiple vignettes.

Today’s approach to outdoor living is quite simple. People want all of the comforts of the indoors with the charm and the escape of being outdoors.

It is no longer enough to have a single outdoor space. The demand is for both shade structures like covered patios and screen porches as well as open areas like patios and decks.

It is almost a given when we design outdoor living spaces that they include some type of fire feature. It may be a wonderful outdoor fireplace or a simple fire pit. Some type of outdoor kitchen is going to be standard in the design. The outdoor kitchens range from a simple grill station to a full range of outdoor appliances like a Green Egg smoker, a sink, a wine refrigerator, and more.

To see a wonderful gallery of outdoor living spaces in Waxhaw, NC and the surrounding area, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

 

Top 5 Patio Design Ideas for Charlotte

Here are the top 5 patio design ideas for Charlotte, North Carolina by Archadeck:

  1. A stone fire pit with a matching stone sitting wall that leaves the perfect amount of room for your feet while being close enough to feel the warmth of the fire!
  2. A water feature that provides a soothing sound of moving water and very low-maintenance since the design has no standing water to attract algae and mosquitoes.
  3. A highly functional and beautiful outdoor kitchen with all of the storage area one wants to store utensils and cleaning supplies. The design fits in perfectly with the architectural characteristics of the home.
  4. A walkway designed with the same material as the patio to provide a dry area to commute between the driveway and the backyard.
  5. A wrap around sitting wall constructed with the same paver material as the patio to provide a consistent and functional patio.

To see a wonderful photo gallery of patio design ideas, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

 

 

Are people building more wood decks or Trex decks today?

Like everything else in life, people want to know the latest trends. Are people building more with pressure-treated wood or composite decking like Trex?

Each year we are building more and more composite decks here in Charlotte, NC. The drivers remain the same, low-maintenance and long lasting investment. We have people moving here from the north all the time who have already had Trex decks and can’t imagine going back to wood.

The only two reasons people select wood decks are a much lower price point or if they just love the feel of real wood. The older objection from composite decking was that is looked like “fake wood”. With all of the technology enhancements, Trex has been able to replicate a real wood grain with a variety of warm colors that appear to be everything from a stained deck to a real Brazilian Hardwood deck.

We are building about 50% with Trex decking this year. The category is only about 20 years old so the increase has been dramatic. To see the most complete Trex photo gallery, visit our Charlotte Trex decks photo gallery.

Can I put a roof over a rear vent fireplace in Charlotte?

One of the challenges we have as licensed General Contractors that build screen porches and covered patios in Charlotte is the dreaded “rear vent fireplace”. If you have a home with a gas fireplace and there is a silver metal vent on the chimney over your deck and patio, chances are this is going to pose some challenges if you want to cover your patio or screen in your deck.

It is a definitive code violation to cover a gas vent with a roof even if you are not screening in the porch! Not to worry, there are options:

  1. Remove the vent and cover and you simply will not have a fireplace (some people claim they don’t use it anyway)
  2. Replace your rear vent fireplace with either a ventless or electric fireplace box
  3. Have a contractor build a flue/ chase and extend the vent up through the new roof for proper ventilation.

One important caveat to the extension of the vent. Each manufacturer of gas fireplaces has very specific guidelines on how to properly vent their equipment. Make sure you are contracting with a mechanical contractor and outdoor living contractor who have experience with this so you don’t waste your money! To read more, visit our outdoor fireplaces page on our website.