Why remodeling contractors take too long?

Any one  who has been through any type of home renovation has experienced construction delays. It is a reputation that is well earned.

Why?

The reasons most laymen attribute this phenomenon to  are:

  1. They are using my money and going to another job
  2. They are disorganized
  3. They are lazy
  4. They are incompetent

While this is true in some cases, I will share with you from a professionals point of view, some additional causes. I happen to be a part of a franchise system so I know hundreds of remodeling contractors across the country and fully understand what happens. Here are the most common causes:

  1. The scope of work changes: more often than not, cleints have change orders to their original scope of work and this may require everything from updating the building permit,  updating the HOA information, ordering additional and possibly special order materials, and so forth. Meanwhile, we do not want to leave that job so the jobs that had been promised afterwards are now delayed!
  2. Unforeseen sight conditions: when you are a remodeling contractor, you cannot predict things you cannot see or know for sure. For example, when you are digging footings and there is a drain where no one know. This is a problem!
  3. Weather: for exterior remodeling, weather is a big variable that is quite misunderstood. Even if it only rains partially one day, there is a good chance that entire day is lost. It may result in an additional day or 2 if it is too wet to perform the service.
  4. Human factors: while we believe we are going to complete a project in a specified time, the skilled labor we all depend on are still humans! Meaning, they get sick, have problems, car troubles, etc…..

When you are planning your next  remodeling project, plan for these delays, they should be expected but most likely for the reasons you had not thought of!

For more on remodeling, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

 

 

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Best Patio Surfaces in Charlotte, NC

What are the best patio surfaces if you are living in Charlotte, NC? It depends on what you will be using the patio for!

 

The most traditional surface is concrete. It is still the standard for track builders to provide a small “slab” outside the rear exit door of a home. The advantages are lower cost, low maintenance, and ease of installation. The disadvantages are primarily the propensity to crack and poor aesthetics. Stamped concrete improves the aesthetics, raises the cost, but does not address the cracking.

 

Flagstone is a popular surface for it’s aesthetics and is often found in high end neighborhoods. The advantages are the beauty and low maintenance, the disadvantages are the very high cost and will still crack over time.

 

Paver patios are the most popular surface in Charlotte. They combine the reasonable price point with good aesthetics. People believe that weeds can grow up in between the  pavers (which normally happens only when an amateur constructs the patio and does not add enough base or seeds fall from above and grow in the poly sand). They come in a variety of colors and sizes.

 

Finally, Travertine patios have been the fastest growing segment of the market here in Charlotte. They have tighter lines than traditional paves with less chance of weeds growing in between in the sand. In addition, the look resembles a tile and in fact can be purchased as a tile for applications directly over concrete on decks. The price point is slightly higher than pavers.

For more information on all outdoor living spaces, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?

Outdoor Kitchen is a term used for a wide variety of meanings. In Charlotte, NC, an outdoor kitchen is used generally to imply a built-in grill station that includes a counter top, a stone or brick cabinet, and a grill. The smallest outdoor kitchen is about 5 linear feet wide and 2’6″ deep.

The term outdoor kitchen can also imply not only a built-in grill, but a full range of appliances that people want to incorporate into their outdoor living space. It’s not uncommon for Archadeck of Charlotte to install a refrigerator, ice maker, warming drawer, side burner, and even keg orator into the cabinet. Of course each additional appliance requires the cabinet to be larger and therefore increasing the cost.

Over 80 percent of all of the outdoor kitchens we design and build every year are constructed with a stone veneer while the majority of the remaining 20% is a brick veneer to match the house walls. The counter tops range from Travertine to granite.

The smaller outdoor kitchens (excluding the appliances) will run around $3,000 and can go upwards of $10,000 driven by size, materials, and features!

To see wonderful design ideas, go to 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.

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.