Building a patio myself

A patio seems like a fairly easy project to tackle for those that are handy.

Outdoor-Fireplace-with-pave

What are the pitfalls?

  1. Grading – knowing how to slope the patio and when you will need retaining wall block to keep the patio from falling or separating
  2. Materials – having the information on how much off the base to purchase and how to compact
  3. Design – to build a patio is just part of it, the proper design to accommodate what  you want to furnish or seat on the space is another part
  4. Finish – how to keep the weeds from growing up through the seams and to keep the patio from staining easily
  5. Warranty – when you build it yourself, you may end up doing it more than once which increases your costs!

Charlotte outdoor kitchen travertine patio

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Can I put a grill under a roof?

Most of our clients at Archadeck of Charlotte prefer to have a roof over them when they are using their grill. The idea of standing under the sun for an extended period is not exciting. Furthermore, being rained on is not an exciting prospect either!

For years we could design and build covered areas to place your grill. There is a building code violation that prevents us from doing that. The concept is that the practice presents a fire hazard.

There are 2 ways now we design “covered” spaces in order to be protected from the elements while you are grilling.

One is simply to design the outdoor kitchen or grilling station on the outside of the roof just enough to where you can stand under the roof while the grill station is not covered!

The second is a much more expensive but quite legal option. We can purchase and install a vent hood and place the outdoor kitchen directly under the roof. For more information on grilling and outdoor kitchens, go to archadeckofcharlott.com

What is the best way to clean my Eze Breeze Windows

Stone outdoor fireplace integrated into screen porch with EZE Breeze windows

 

Eze Breeze windows are manufactured by PGT Industries in Sarasota, Florida. Archadeck of Charlotte has been installing their porch window product for over 15 years in the Carolina’s.

There are many questions centered around how to best clean the Eze Breeze windows. If you read the warranty, you should never use a product containing alcohol (ie. Windex) as it will void the warranty on the vinyl panes.

The windows all have little tabs at the top of each pane that allow you to completely remove the individual panes from the track. Because they are so light weight, this is quite easy to handle. Once you remove the pane from the track, you can simply wash it down with a soft soap and water or the PGT makes a cleaner specifically for their own product that is quite effective.

Archadeck of Charlotte stocks the cleaner at their offices in Charlotte.

Go to http://www.archadeckofcharlotte.com

 

Which Outdoor Fireplace is Right for Your Home in Charlotte?

Should you choose a stand-alone fireplace or one integrated into a porch or deck?

Outdoor living in Charlotte is nearly year-round.  Adding an outdoor fireplace to your outdoor living space will close the gap and create a space that is truly usable in all seasons.  But what type of fireplace best suits your needs?  There are benefits to all types of outdoor fireplaces, but there are differences that should be considered before you add a fireplace to your outdoor living area.

Stand-alone Outdoor Fireplace

A stand-alone fireplace, though detached from your home, is usually accompanied by a paver or stone patio.  A detached fireplace area is a fantastic idea for homes with large backyards, because it allows the homeowner to create aesthetic appeal to an area that would otherwise be unfinished and unused.  Stand-alone fireplaces turn boring flat areas of a yard into luxe gathering spaces, where we meet with friends and family for a relaxing evening – just add wine!  Custom stone fireplaces are show-stopping focal features in an outdoor living area.  Your friends won’t want to leave, and neither will you.

Outdoor-Fireplace-with-pave

Alternately, a detached outdoor fireplace can be tucked away into a quiet or hidden corner of your backyard to create a secluded sanctuary.  Imagine walking from your back door to your fireplace hideaway and feeling like you’ve been transported far away from woes and worries of the day.  We can help you create a getaway that will not require leaving your home – one that you can escape to any day you choose.

Charlotte large patio with outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen

If you have considered adding another fire feature, such as a firepit, why not upgrade to a custom outdoor fireplace?  If you are looking to expand your family’s use of your backyard, a fireplace will upgrade those plans nicely!  If you are seeking a truly custom fire area for your family, a detached fireplace will accommodate.  Gather ‘round for daily after-dinner conversation.  No one will ever object to a family meeting again if you offer a cozy fireplace area, where cares fall away, and comfort is offered on-sight.

Charlotte outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Outdoor Fireplace Integrated into a Porch

If you have a porch area in need of character, adding a custom fireplace will turn your space into a beautiful four-season outdoor room.  Porches are essential and practical, but they offer so much more when used as an outdoor room.  Adding a fireplace to a porch will add usable time but can also change how you use the porch altogether.  Add a TV above the fireplace for catching your favorite shows or have a movie night for the kids at their weekend sleepover!  Fall is a perfect time to utilize a fireplace on your porch, mere steps away from inside your home, but lightyears from the outside world.  Imagine football games on Saturday and Sunday, wine after Thanksgiving dinner, and hot cocoa and Hallmark movies at Christmastime in your cozy outdoor space.  Coffee on cool weekend mornings…the list goes on and on!

Archadeck of Charlotte stone outdoor fireplace

Adding a fireplace to your covered patio or porch area will augment your home’s livable square footage and encourage use on days that you would otherwise be indoors.  A bit of cool weather won’t keep you bundled up inside.  Enjoy a good book on cool mornings or evenings.  Your sanctuary exists right outside your door!

Brick Gas Outdoor Fireplace under covered patio

Outdoor Fireplace Integrated into a Deck

Maybe you prefer open-air to covered porches and patios.  If your current deck is spacious and convenient, but you feel it just needs something more, a fireplace will fulfill that requirement.  Decks are one of the most practical additions to our homes.  We enjoy them for grilling, eating, sunning, and relaxing.  Take your relaxation to another level by adding a fireplace to your deck.  Your friends will applaud your ingenuity!  A fireplace will take your deck from a space of utility, albeit great, to an actual living area.

Charlotte multi-level Trex deck with outdoor fireplace

Be creative, add an air of flair and luxury!  A deck with a fireplace is a great conversation-starter and gathering spot.  Imagine convening for weekly book club or a random happy hour with friends and neighbors.  Decks are great investments alone, but with the added usability a fireplace offers, they become so much more!

Charlotte deck building composite deck outdoor fireplace

Archadeck of Charlotte specializes in all things outdoor fireplace, not matter your specific requirements.  We will work with you to plan, design, and build the perfect outdoor fireplace, and turn your current outdoor space into one of luxurious style.  From lavish enclosed porches, to perfect patios of respite and decks that will redefine convention, Archadeck of Charlotte is ready to build the custom outdoor fireplace of your dreams.

If you are considering a new Charlotte outdoor fireplace, give us a call for a free design consultation at (704) 944-1350 or email us and a Design Consultant will contact you promptly.

What are my options to cover my pergola?

While pergola’s are beautiful, there remains questions as to how much shade they actually provide. Over the past 10 years, there have been a variety of solutions that will provide additional shade and even create a dry space under your pergola.

 

The early solutions were fabric that could be attached to the top of the pergola to act similar to an awning but they were fixed in place. They came in a variety of colors and the Sunbrella fabric prevented them from fading. Some of the challenges we mildew and they still were not water proof.

Later, a company called Shade Tree developed a retractable fabric that installed under the pergola rafters. These have great utility but again are not water proof.

Most recently, we have discovered a polycarbonate resin that acts as a roof that can be screwed down on top of the pergola. This not only provides additional shade but is water proof!

If you are looking for just more shade, the easy solution is to add more rafters and perlins and place them closer together! To see a complete photo gallery of images of pergolas, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

Composite Deck and Pergola

Hardscape sitting walls, design and purpose

With the absurd growth of paver and stone patios, the public is taking notice of features that accompany them. Whether it be an outdoor fireplace, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, or sitting walls.

The sitting walls serve multiple purposes. They are custom designed to meet function and aesthetics.

 

At Archadeck of Charlotte, we typically design them to follow the soft curve or bay of a patio layout to add a “picture frame” or provide definition. They are commonly used as a space saver when we build a fire pit as shown above. We design them to be 18″ – 20″ tall, which matches the height of a typical chair you would sit in.

Other uses include the function of a barrier to water draining back onto the patio due to the grade of your land. In addition, they can be used as a combination of a retaining wall and a sitting wall. Go to archadeckofcharlotte.com to see a complete photo gallery of outdoor living space designs.

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pave patio with paver steps and sitting walls

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pave patio with paver steps and sitting walls

Can I build a sunroom with HVAC?

Building a “sun room” without HVAC is possible. Defining a “sun room” varies by person that is asked.

Our definition of a  sun room is a room that is primarily glass but is not necessarily heated and cooled. Some people refer to a screen porch as a sun room. Others refer to any room on the back of the house as a sun room. A more classic definition of a sun room is a room that is used for recreation and escape and allows maximum light exposure to make you feel more like you are outdoors!

Stunning 2-story sunroom by Archadeck utilizing unique architectural design to overcome a difficult roof line

Stunning 2-story sunroom by Archadeck utilizing unique architectural design to overcome a difficult roof line

Archadeck of Charlotte builds classic stick-built construction that is designed to match the architecture of your existing home.

The only legal way to build a sun room with out heating and air conditioning it in Charlotte, NC and the surrounding area is to leave the existing door from the house intact completely. Once you modify the opening in anyway, the code then calls for the room to be completely insulated and HVAC installed to code.

For more information on sun room design and building codes, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com