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

 

 

 

Beautiful Outdoor Living Spaces and Designs at Lake Norman, NC

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this composite deck, rail, and benches at Lake Norman

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this composite deck, rail, and benches at Lake Norman

Double-decker porch with brick and cedar colums and a dry deck system in Matthews, NC

Lake Norman is one of the largest lakes in the southeast. It offers hundreds of miles of shoreline, beautiful greenery and landscape, custom designed homes, all of the watersports and fishing imaginable on a lake, and the best of outdoor living spaces and designs! Some of the most beautiful design ideas and architectural integration comes from Lake Norman homeowners and at Archadeck of Charlotte, we are heavily involved in the design/ build phase of the outdoor spaces.

Most people have trouble visualizing what something might look like or what the possibilities are to enhance their backyards. We start with the homeowner’s wishes and concepts and bring them to life through 3D computer-aided design renderings to scale so that prior to building the structure, the homeowner can actually see how this will look on their exact home. It gives the homeowner the unique opportunity to make major or subtle changes to the design and giving them a great understanding of how this will impact not only the overall look of the project but also the cost.

From Mooresville, Cornelius, to Huntersville, Lake Norman has grown immensely over the past 15 years and more people are finding the outdoor so desirable that they are adding onto their homes rather than moving just to stay in the area. The schools are improved and the choices have improved.

The most common outdoor living spaces are to build a nice composite low-maintenance deck like Trex that allows for great views of the lake. We often design and build shade structures that keep the view available but also keep the sun from rendering the backyard useless. Outdoor kitchens and fireplaces are now as common as patios. To see a wide variety of designs and photos, visit http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

How much sun comes through a pergola versus a porch roof?

Trex deck with pergola and composite rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex deck with pergola and composite rail by Archadeck of Charlotte

The famous question….how much sun protection will a pergola provide? What are the advantages of a pergola versus a porch roof?

At Archadeck of Charlotte we get asked this question almost daily! The answer lies in how the pergola is constructed. For example, the closer you space your rafters and perlins, the more sun protection you will receive. This is not to say it will stop all of the sun, but then again, neither will a roof. If you think about it, the sun moves all day long and your roof and or pergola of course are stationery. At any given time, the sun may peak under the roof as well. What both the pergola and the roof provide are some protection. The primary difference comes when you have rain, then the roof is the better protection by a long shot.

One solution to provide rain protection on a pergola is to cover it with either a canvas or metal pan system. There are some very nice products on the market now to cover a pergola with and you can get many design ideas at http://www.charlotte.archadeck. com

In the end, pergola’s can provide quite a bit of protection depending on how they are designed and the additional features you may choose to add to them. Talk to a professional who can guide you through the various options and prices!

Porch Accessories…what else can I add to my porch?

Archadeck of Charlotte designs and builds porches and can add accessories like porch swings

Archadeck of Charlotte designs and builds porches and can add accessories like porch swings

As you have read over the past several years in my blog posts, our porches are becoming more and more the area we want to spend more time. There are more accessories for the porch now than ever!

Porch swings are one of the most common asked about accessories. They can be mounted and hung in a screen porch, on an open porch, or even on a pergola. They are primarily available in pressure-treated wood that will not rot but can be found in a low-maintenance alternative such as pvc. They can also be customized by skilled carpenters.

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Archadeck of Charlotte designs and builds porches like this and added porch draperies

Archadeck of Charlotte designs and builds porches like this and added porch draperies

raperies for porches are another hot trend. The roof of the porch keeps much of the sun out but when the sun is going down, it sneaks under the roof and people want to be protected at twilight as well. There are a variety of shear fabrics with varying levels of opacity that are readily available.

Cooling misters are available and relatively affordable to install around the perimeter of the porch. On the flip side, heating systems can be installed or free-standing heating systems can be purchased so that you can use the porch year round. This is the real want by consumers today, year-round outdoor living.

Easy access on and off the porch are other concepts that people want help with whether it be adding additional entry points from their exterior back house walls or adding walking paths from their existing driveway back to the porch.

To get the most complete design ideas for your porch and other outdoor living spaces, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Should I build a deck or patio off of my back door?

Flagstone patio and porch steps with rod iron rail by Archadeck

Flagstone patio and porch steps with rod iron rail by Archadeck

A common dilemma or question for people in the Carolina’s is whether to build a deck or patio off of their back door to access their outdoor living space. While either one is suitable, there are things to consider to make it ideal!

Remodeling Magazine has shown that consumers would prefer not to navigate steps when immediately leaving their back door. The implication is that if your home is built above grade or on a crawl space, a deck is an ideal situation because the height can be built to make sure you can step right out of your home without the hassle of steps. This is also a consideration if you use an outdoor grill since you may have several trips with food in your hands and going up and down steps is not that simple.

Archadeck of Charlotte designs and builds thousands of outdoor living spaces annually and is a known and trusted consulted on these and a variety of other topics. While you can easily get away with building steps off of your back door, the ideal situation for a patio is when the home is already built on a slab!

What are my best options for shade structures in NC/SC?

outdoor fireplace charlotte, outdoor kitchen charlotte, open porch, stone patio

Stone Outdoor Fireplace in Charlotte on patio in porch

Most people in the Carolinas at some point are looking for shade options for their backyard. Whether it is to cover a patio, cover a deck, or even an outdoor kitchen, people want protection from the elements.

There are many options to achieve this depending on budget, architectural concerns, and size. Pergolas, arbors, and trellis’ are words often used interchangeably that are relatively inexpensive options to provide some shade. They are generally custom built in materials that range from wood to vinyl. They are not rain resistant but can be with the appropriate covers that are now available on the market. You can purchase fabric for the top of the pergola, aluminum ceilings that install under the rafters, and even polycarbonate roof sheathing that allows lights into the structure but does stop rain from coming through.

Retractable awnings provide wonderful shade protection and are available in a wide variety of colors and sizes.

Solid roofs or what we refer to as covered patios or covered decks (“Open Porches”) are going to be more expensive but ultimately provide the most protection from all of the elements. They can be designed and built with matching roof shingles to your home, matching gutters, and matching soffit and fascia that will make the cover to appear to be a natural extension of the house!

Archadeck of Charlotte is a custom builder of shade structures and outdoor living spaces, to see a large photo gallery of options, go to www.charlotte.archadeck.com

What materials should I use for porch steps? How about step lighting?

Screen porch with EZE Breeze windows and pressure-treated wood steps

Screen porch with EZE Breeze windows and pressure-treated wood steps

What are the options and suggestions for porch steps coming out of a screen porch or covered deck?

The options are as follows:

1. Pressure-treated wood

2. Composite lumber

3. Brick

4. Concrete

5. Stone/ tile

The recommendations for Archadeck of Charlotte are based on budget, other materials on job, and finally function.

Simple wSimple wood deck with baroque style Deckorator Picketsood deck with baroque style Deckorator PicketsPressure-treated wood steps are going to be among the most price competitive alternatives from a budget standpoint. They work well with screen porches and covered decks. Since there is no roof over the steps, composite lumber will hold up better and will require very little maintenance. If you have a brick foundation wall or skirt, it is very attractive to match the existing brick with your new steps. The same is true of the concrete and stone steps. The most common solution in the NC/SC markets are either composite lumber or pressure-treated wood. Low-voltage riser lights can add both beauty and safety to your porch stairway. To see design photo examples, go to charlotte.archadeck.com