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.

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Advantages of Travertine versus paver patio?

The  two most common patio materials that are used by professionals today in the Charlotte, NC market are pavers and travertine. The question we are often asked is to compare the two?

 

 

Travertine:

  1. Larger tile like shapes
  2. Closer seams so limited room for dirt or weeds
  3. finished clean look
  4. slightly higher priced

 

Pavers:

  1. Multiple patterns and shapes
  2. tend to fade from sun
  3. slightly lower priced
  4. installed with sand in between where weeds can grow from the top

 

Both products are widely accepted in the market and hold up well over time. The key to any patio installation is the proper base and preparation with an eye towards drainage. For more information, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

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.

 

 

How can I put my Green Egg into my stone outdoor kitchen?

We get asked all of the time about the integration of the Green Egg into an outdoor kitchen. We also get asked simply what kind of stand can I use instead of the retail stand that you can purchase with the Green Egg?

Archadeck of Charlotte has masons that custom build “nests” around the egg that serve as quite functional and beautiful. If you love outdoor cooking and living, the Green Egg has become an important addition to the space. While it was introduced as a high quality smoker of meats, fish, and vegetables, it is commonly used to grill as well!

We have a great variety of designs for outdoor kitchens in our photo gallery at https://archadeckofcharlotte.com as well as on our Pinterest page.

Check out Archadeck’s Super Bowl 50 advertisement right after the game!

Archadeck of Charlotte has supported the Carolina Panthers since their inception! We are excited to share the night with them tonight and sponsor part of the “post game show” hosted by Stephen Colbert and Tina Fey!

This is the start of our busy season with people wanting to move back outdoors here in Charlotte. We will be highlighting outdoor fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, and a gorgeous flagstone patio from a happy customers backyard!

Archadeck of Charlotte designed this Gazebo pool cabana with fire pit and patio

Archadeck of Charlotte designed this Gazebo pool cabana with fire pit and patio

If you look in the background, you will see my wife and a customer enjoying the great backyard! I hope you check out this exciting and historic game tonight and stay tuned for the post game!

If you are interested in videos on some of our backyard designs, go to our YouTube channel, “Archadeck of Charlotte” in the search button. You can always go directly to our website and find a wonderful photo gallery as well as links to YouTube!

Call Archadeck of Charlotte today at (704) 944-1350 or email us at charlotte@archadeck.net to schedule your free design consultation.

Does Trex Decking or composite decking need to be installed differently than wood decking?

If you ask a pro, installing Trex Transcends composite decking is different from installing wood decking. This blog will outline the differences.

Trex Transcends composite deck with a hot tub recessed onto a cement pad and composite beching for the ideal

Trex Transcends composite deck with a hot tub recessed onto a cement pad and composite beching for the ideal relaxing backyard!

When it comes to installing wood decking, you start by separating the good boards from the bad ones (in the industry, it’s called “culling out”). This is time consuming and costly. Wood deck boards come in standard lengths (12′, 14′, 16′, and 20′ are typical sizes that are available at most lumber yards or stores). When you lay out your deck, you will most likely have to saw off the ends to fit the joist spacing as there is rarely a deck that perfectly matches the length of all the deck boards needed. It is most effective to screw down the wood deck boards as the screws prevent boards from curling much more than nails or staples will. You also need to use proper spacing between the boards depending on if you are installing it in cold weather or warm weather as well as the spacing where deck boards meet the fascia or even the house wall.

Pressure-treated wood deck stained with pergola and outdoor kitchen by Archadeck of Charlotte

Pressure-treated wood deck stained with pergola and outdoor kitchen by Archadeck of Charlotte

Trex deck boards do not need to “culled out” as composite decks are amazingly engineered and have little to no variation. When you go to fasten Trex, it is best to use the steel clip system that provides for hidden fastening for a clean look. The other advantage to their system is it creates perfect spacing between each board. Because of the high cost of composite decking, the cuts are critical to eliminate waste. Best to call a pro in as while you may think you are saving money on the front end, we end up fixing quite a few Trex decks where the DIY guy gave it a go! To see wonderful Trex photos, go to our Charlotte Trex deck photo gallery on our website.

5 ideas on how to upgrade or update your Charlotte porch

Here in the south, having a porch is like drinking sweet tea, it’s just what we do. Whether it’s a back porch screened in or open or a front porch, we simply love to spend time outdoors on our porches.

If you have a porch and want to update or upgrade it, here are 5 ideas that can have a great effect on the aesthetics and functionality:

1. ENLARGE IT
Many of us have a porch but would like to make it bigger. The challenge is that most of us have trouble visualizing how to do this with the way the existing roof line is constructed. Call an expert that both designs and builds porches and they can give you a consultation on various means of enlarging the porch. It might mean taking the porch and widening along the back or front of your house or it may mean projecting out further into the yard.

2. NEW COLOR WITH NEW RAIL
Rails are one of the most visible parts of a porch. If you have an existing wood rail that is either failing or tired looking, why not update it with some type of metal rail? How about composite or vinyl rail to give you a beautiful new look that is also low-maintenance? How about a combination of wood rail with metal pickets? Color is an easy way to update your porch and this can mean everything from the rail to the flooring and ceiling

3. PORCH COLUMNS
The trend today is get away from standard 4×4 posts or columns and go too more decorative columns and larger/ wider columns. If the porch is screened in and normal sized, a 6×6 that is trimed out looks beautiful. If the porch is open without screen, you can even go to an 8×8 or larger if it is a large porch. You can use cedar, fiberglass, or laminated columns.

4. CHANGE THE ROOF LINE
The roof line not only affects that look of the porch, it also changes the feel of space when you are in the porch. By changing the roof line, you may add more height. This can allow more light back into your porch and into your home as well. You can also change the architectural feel of the back of the home. This also allows for a change in ceiling material and perhaps decorative trims.

5. CHANGE THE FLOOR
If you currently have wood deck boards on your porch floor as most do, you can add a dramatic difference by upgrading to tile flooring or stone flooring. You can move to a higher end tongue and groove flooring, a Brazilian hardwood such as IPE or Tigerwood flooring, or even throw rugs can enhance the porch!

For more ideas on updating and upgrading your porch, go to charlotte.archadeck.com

Archadceck of Charlotte designed and built this double-deck open porch in Matthews, NC

Archadceck of Charlotte designed and built this double-deck open porch in Matthews, NC

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this beautiful screen porch using Ipe Brazilian hardwood decking as the porch floor

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this beautiful screen porch using Ipe Brazilian hardwood decking as the porch floor

Custom porch by Archadeck of Charlotte in Myers Park area with round fiberglass columns and vinyl rail

Custom porch by Archadeck of Charlotte in Myers Park area with round fiberglass columns and vinyl rail

Beautiful screen porch by Archadeck of Charlotte with Travertine tile and an outdoor fireplace integrated into the porch

Beautiful screen porch by Archadeck of Charlotte with Travertine tile and an outdoor fireplace integrated into the porch