What time of year do you stop building in the Carolinas?

North and South Carolina are very transient markets, meaning we have a huge influx of people that move here from the North and Midwest. This leads many people to ask the question, “when is the best time of year to build”? or when do you stop building due to the cold weather in the Carolinas?

The quick answer is we build all year around. That is not to say that there aren’t days or perhaps up to several days that it is just too cold for things like concrete, paint and stain, and sometimes even for the carpenters to build.

The most common affected trades are the masonry crews and paint/stain crews as the products often require temperatures to be above 50 degrees to be effective. The good news is that our coldest month seems to be January and even then we average 50 degrees for the month.

Common sense is a best practice for considering when and when not to build. Most screen porches and decks get built each and every day of the year unless we have percipitation. There may be breaks in the work due to weather but for the most part, time of year should not be a factor if you are concerned about getting your project done. The advantage of building during January and February is that often that is your lowest cost basis since lumber prices tend to be lower in these months! To have your questions answered by the pros, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this brick screen porch with EZE Breeze windows

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this brick screen porch with Eze Breeze windows

Sunroom options in Charlotte, NC and price points

custom built sunroom in Charlotte

Energy-efficient custom built sunroom with lattice under deck

More and more people are wanting to add on to their homes with specific rooms that allow a lot of light in and make us feel like we are on vacation without having to leave our home. When people refer to a sun room, there are many options and connotations that we will clarify in this blog.

The definition of a sunroom is: “a structure usually constructed onto the side of a house which allows enjoyment of the surrounding landscape while being sheltered from adverse weather conditions such as rain and wind.”

Having said this, some people refer to a screen porch as a sunroom also and if you look at the definition, it is close. One of the key differences is how important it is that this space be heated and cooled. While living in the Charlotte area allows us to live on a screen porch about 80% of the year, many want the ability to be using this sunroom year around.

There is a hybrid between a screen porch and sunroom that we have found to be quite popular and used in neighborhoods from Ballantyne Country Club to Beverly Crest and Providence Plantation. This is a custom-built structure that has Eze Breeze windows installed in it. This would act as a convertible screen porch/sunroom.
These are plastic porch windows that slide open and closed depending on if you want to avoid pollen, rain, wind, and cold temperatures. On beautiful days, you slide the windows open and you are back to a screen porch.

Charlotte sunroom with Eze Breeze windows

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this Eze Breeze sun porch

A fully heated and cooled or what we refer to as conditioned space is becoming more popular the past couple of years as a place where you can feel outdoor without actually being outdoors. These rooms are extensions of the house itself and often use hardwood floors or tile that match the existing flooring. We spend a lot of time with our customers helping define what their needs and wants are so we can best advise on what will work for them.

When it comes to price points, an average screen porch is going to be between $15 – 25,000. An Eze Breeze porch will add on average about $5,000 to the screen porch price. Finally, a sunroom on average will run from $40,000 – 80,000 depending on size and materials!

To see porch and sunroom photos, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

This brick sunroom was designed and built by Archdeck of Charlotte

This brick sunroom was designed and built by Archdeck of Charlotte

How many estimates do I really need for a remodeling project? Is 3 true?

I am not sure where this myth began, but people will recite the statement “you know I have to get 3 quotes before I can move forward”. My first thought when I hear this is, no, that has not been my experience. In addition, most of our customers get 1 – 2 or go crazy and get something like 6.

So, the question is, how many estimates do you need? The answer of course is it depends on the circumstances. The following is a guide to think through the decision making process on selecting a contractor.

1. Start with what is order of importance to you? Quality? Design? Price? Experience? Guarantees? Relationship?
Prioritize these

2. Reputation? How many quality references can you obtain from the contractor on “like” projects?

3. Experience? Decipher between a generalist and a specialist in what you are wanting to have done

4. Personal Assurances and Safeguards? Make sure you see an up to date insurance certificate and the proper building permits secured

5. Years in business under the same name? Physical place of business? Show room?

6. Design ideas…taking into account form and function and unique ideas that are helpful or appealing to you

7. Organization…did the contractor show up on time? Was he/she courteous? Are they easy to reach? Who will supervise the project?

8. Price…do you have a budget? What is it based on?

If you have done the appropriate research and understand your budget and the true value of the product you are looking to acquire, there is no reason for 3 quotes unless you are not satisfied with the price, quality, design, or experience level of the contractor! Go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com to see and read great information on this subject

Paver Patio with ledge stone fire pit and sitting wall and a wood pergola with an outdoor kitchen in Ft. Mill, SC by Archadeck of Charlotte

Paver Patio with ledge stone fire pit and sitting wall and a wood pergola with an outdoor kitchen in Ft. Mill, SC by Archadeck of Charlotte

Have you been told you can’t build a roof line for a screen porch you really want?

When you are having a screen porch built, there is a big difference in talking to someone who can build a screen porch and those that design and build screen porches every day! We have had countless prospects call us at Archadeck of Charlotte to look at the potential of a screen porch for the back of their house. When we recommend a gable roof for example, we hear “the last guy said we could not have a gable roof”.

Designing and building screen porch roofs does take a lot of experience and vision. The back of the house has several potential obstacles that include but are not limited to chimneys, windows, different roof lines that may jet into the space, dryer vents, air returns, roof vents, etc…

Roof designs are critical because they can affect the amount of light that comes back into your home. They also are critical to insure the porch looks architecturally correct and appear as if it were built with the home, not as an afterthought.

Please make sure you go to our photo gallery under “screen porches” at http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com, to see what the possibilities are when it comes to screen porch roof design or simply call Archadeck at 704-999-1330.

 

New code for North Carolina for outdoor fireplaces!

EZE Breeze Screen Porch with Outdoor Fireplace integrated and sky lights

EZE Breeze Screen Porch with Outdoor Fireplace integrated and sky lights

Archadeck of Charlotte has designed and built hundreds of outdoor fireplaces in and around the greater Charlotte area. Up until this year, we built them with all of the same materials. Now, there is a code stating that when you build a gas outdoor fireplace, you must use a stainless steel frame that is being enforced. This is especially important when building the outdoor fireplace in a screen porch! It is a more expensive way to construct them but all of the surrounding counties seem to be adopting the code! For more information on outdoor fireplaces, go to charlotte.archadeck.com

Archadeck of Charlotte services Ft. Mill and Rock Hill, South Carolina

Archadeck of Charlotte is a long tenured outdoor living business that has been servicing Ft. Mill and Rock Hill, South Carolina for over 20 years! In 2013, Archadeck of Charlotte was ranked the #130 largest remodeler in the United States by Qualified Remodeler Magazine. The company has experienced rapid growth the past couple of years based on its large referral base and scope of work!

Unlike most exterior remodeling companies, Archadeck of Charlotte does a combination of stone work (outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and patios) as well as carpentry (decks, screen porches, sun rooms, pergolas).

In addition, they have 2 sister companies that service all of the surrounding areas. Value Remodelers and Handyman Services is a full-scale interior remodeling company that specializes in kitchen and bath remodeling.

Renew Crew of Charlotte is an exterior cleaning and sealing company that can power wash your house, patio, driveway, and then put a sealer or protectant on them to keep them clean longer. For more information on all 3 Archadeck companies, the web sites are:

http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

http://www.valueremodelers.com

http://charlotte.renewcrewclean.com

 

What should I look for in an outdoor fireplace? How do I plan for my outdoor fireplace?

EZE Breeze Screen Porch with Outdoor Fireplace integrated and sky lights

EZE Breeze Screen Porch with Outdoor Fireplace integrated and sky lights

Archadeck designed this outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen and patio

stone outdoor fireplace with flagstone patio and outdoor kitchen in Charlotte

Are all outdoor fireplaces created equally? Like anything else, NO! Archadeck of Charlotte has been designing and building outdoor fireplaces for years now in and around the Charlotte, North Carolina area. There are several things to look for when planning your outdoor fireplace design.

First, do you want a gas starter with wood burning fireplace? Do you want a gas ventless fireplace? You should answer this question first so you can begin the planning process. If you are planning on integrating your outdoor fireplace into a screen porch, pergola, or sun room, sometimes gas is a better solution as you do not need to run a chimney up past the peak of the roof.

Secondly, do you want a brick, stack stone, field stone, or stucco exterior? Are you working with a professional contractor that has a lot of experience with designing the flu so that it draws the smoke up and not back at you?

Finally, are you aware of how far from the house the fireplace has to be located to meet building safety codes? Have you considered the size of the fire box? The type of mantle or hearth you may want? How about installing a TV over the mantle?

To get many design ideas and professional advice…go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com