What is the best exterior paint for my porch?

Are you looking to add a screen porch or covered patio? Most likely you will need exterior grade paint for a portion or all of the columns, header, and ceiling!

While there are many paints that are exterior grade on the market, we have had the best performance overall with Sherwin Williams various exterior grades from gloss to flat finish.

At Archadeck of Charlotte, we design and build over 300 porches a year and paint is the final wrap on our project. It is critical that we have a surface that is both beautiful and protects the investment of our clients.

To see hundreds of porch designs with beautiful paint finishes, visit the numerous photo galleries on our website. Give us a call for a free consultation at (704) 944 – 1350 or drop us an email at charlotte@archadeck.net to set up a free design consultation.

 

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What are my shade options for my Charlotte patio?

In Charlotte, our backyards are consistently under siege by the constant heat and bright shine from the sun.

What are the options for shade? This time we are going to discuss ideas ranging from the least expensive to most expensive.

There are options of umbrellas like above that range from hundreds of dollars to a couple of thousand dollars. The upside is the low cost and they can be attractive. The negatives are they are not permanent, require movement, and maintenance.

Awnings can be attached to the back of the house and depending on the quality and size, can range from $1,000 up to $6,000. They are relatively effective at blocking the sun. They are not the most attractive option and do not hold up in wind and need to be maintained.

Pergolas or arbors as they are sometimes called are another option for shade. They can range from $2,000 – $8,000 depending on materials and size. They are quite attractive and a cost effective way to shade your deck or patio. The negative is they do not block out rain and the shade is only partial.

Finally, a solid roof structure like the one constructed in the photo above by the pool. These can run from $10,000 and up depending on size and materials. The positives are the total block from sun and rain, they are beautiful when designed properly, and increase property value. The only negatives are the higher cost and potentially blocking light from coming into your home.

To see a complete photo gallery of shade structures, go to archadeckofcharlotte.com

 

Options for covering your deck or patio? There are plenty of shade options!

Is the sun rendering your deck or patio useless? At Archadeck of Charlotte, we often hear this and people want to know all of their options for shade?

When you live is sunny states, shade becomes a necessity for protecting your skin and just plain comfort. Whether you have a deck or a patio, the same options are viable.

Retractable awnings are a popular choice, particularly in Sun City Lakes where we install remote controlled Craftbilt Awnings with Sunbrella fabric in a wide variety of colors and even wind sensors!

Designing various roof lines that compliments a homes architecture is very popular in terms of a shade option. Whether its a gable, hip, or shed roof, they all provide the maximum amount of shade but the roofs are the most expensive cover option. In addition to the roof, of course screening in the posts supporting the roof can add additional shade as well.

Finally, pergola’s or arbors are used quite extensively to provide shade protection. The closer we put the timbers together, the more shade they provide. There are additional solutions with a pergola now like fabric covers and polycarbonate corrugated covers to place on top of the pergola. We have an extensive photo gallery of pergola photos as well as covered deck photos at http://www.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 designed this covered pool patio with a difficult roof line in Charlotte

Archadeck designed this covered pool patio with a difficult roof line in Charlotte

TimberTech composite deck with pergola and screen porch

Charlotte based home with composite deck, hot tub, outdoor lighting, screen porch and pergola

People are telling me I can’t build a roof over my Charlotte deck or patio, what can I do?

Unfortunately, there is lots of advice being given on what can and can not be built by many inexperienced contractors and wanna be contractors. Most of the time, with little exception, there are ways to construct roofs over decks and patio’s even though you cannot visualize how it would tie in both aesthetically and functionally.

Having constructed thousands of screen porches throughout Charlotte,NC over the past 27 years, we can both show and tell you fist hand how it can be possible.

Most of the obstacles can be narrowed down to windows that may be in the way of where you want to tie in the roof line or the house has different protruding roof lines that would appear to interfere with constructing an additional roof over the space.

It takes some visual imagination and construction know how, but there is almost always a way to tie a roof in over a deck or patio you can block the sun and have a pretty outdoor living space.

We look at the general architecture of the house to see where your windows are, what the current roof lines look like, take into account how much light might get blocked out of your house by adding a roof line, and finally any drainage issues that may occur as a result of the additional roof. Once we assess these issues, we can come up with creative and functional roof lines that make it appear the roof was there when the house was originally built, which is always the goal. I have attached a few of the projects we have built to give you some ideas of how you can cover a deck or patio that has seemingly difficult roof lines to deal with or large windows. In addition the photos, you can also visit http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com and go to the photo gallery and seek out both screen porches and covered patios to see wonderful ideas!

Archadeck designed this covered pool patio with a difficult roof line in Charlotte

Archadeck designed this covered pool patio with a difficult roof line in Charlotte

Screen Porch by Archadeck of Charlotte with outdoor fireplace and pergola

Screen Porch by Archadeck of Charlotte with outdoor fireplace and pergola

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

Have to clean the pollen off of your screen porch? Not with EZE Breeze Windows!

We have turned the calendar to a new year, in North Carolina,  spring will be in site in just a couple of months! Each and every year our city of Charlotte gets bombarded with the greenish yellow powder that gets everywhere better known as pollen.

If you own a screen porch and like to be outside in the spring, it is nasty to have this powder all over your furniture, dining table, and porch floor. What do people do to remedy this? The cleaning is not fun because you are never quite sure when the pollen will stop and the particles are so fine that they get right through the screen.

A great solutions is a retractable screen porch window system called EZE Breeze windows made by PGT Industries out of Florida. These are constructed of a sturdy powder-coated aluminum frame that has a lifetime warranty and then with  “memory-vinyl” window panes that are both durable and clear. Archadeck of Charlotte has distributed the product for years and it has done nothing but grow in popularity. Whether the home is valued at $250,000 or $2mm, the product is stylish and functional.

Once you enclose the porch with the EZE Breeze windows, they prevent the pollen from spreading all over your porch. When the pollen season is over, you simply slide the windows up or down and they retract returning your porch to screen room. There are great videos on You Tube on the Archadeck of Charlotte channel that really show how the windows operate!

Additional benefits to the product include the fact that they keep rain out, dirt out, and can extend your outdoor living season! I have personally installed them in my porch and can testify that they have converted our porch from a screen porch to a fully functional outdoor space!

Screen Porch with EZ Breeze windows and stone outdoor fireplace

Stone outdoor fireplace with EZ Breeze windows in screen porch

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

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

I want a screen porch but I am worried about blocking the light out of my Charlotte home?

A big concern for people wanting a screen porch added to the back of their home is how much light it may or may not block from getting back into their home, and rightfully so!

Archadeck of Charlotte designers are as close to experts as it gets after 26 plus years of designing and building screen porches and over 23,000 projects built. There are several considerations and things that can alter the lighting.

When people ask me if a certain roof line is going to darken their home, the first thing I ask or observe is to see if the house is currently dark where the porch is going to be built? If the answer is yes, my response is simple. If your family room for instance is currently dark, it is going to stay dark with or without adding a screen porch so we can eliminate that as one of your concerns.

If the current portion of the house is actually light from the way the sun hits the back of the house, roof line is a big consideration. The roof line that allows the most light in is a gable roof or what looks like an “A-Frame” roof. When we design it with an LVL ridge beam, it allows us to vault the ceiling, completely screen the gable (or triangular opening), and allow the maximum light through back into the house. The more pitch we can get on the gable, the more light that will be allowed back in. If you cannot have a gable due to 2nd story windows that are in the way of a gable pitch, there is a way where we actually design a shed roof and in the middle we design and build a gable dormer that is pitched to allow light back in.

Finally, sky lights are a great light source when placed properly and designed to allow light in the right spot! This takes a well-thought-out design approach. Sky lights are notorious for leaking but when you buy the right flashing kit and install them properly, they should not leak! To see various roof lines, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com and the photo gallery and there are great illustrations and examples where you can envision what it might look like on your home!

paver patio with screen porch

Outdoor living in Charlotte with a screen porch

Ipe Brazilian Hardwood Decking is becoming popular for Lake Wylie decks

Archadeck of Charlotte designs and builds over 1,000 decks each year throughout the greater Charlotte area that includes Lake Wylie, South Carolina.

Deck species vary from the least expensive option of pressure-treated wood Southern-yellow pine, cedar, composite decking, bamboo decking, and Brazilian hardwood decking such as Ipe (pronounced ee-pay). It is easily recognized for it’s beauty and if you have ever held a piece of Ipe, you would notice the extreme density of the board.

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

The board comes in a tongue and groove design that is best utilized inside a screen porch or sunroom as pictured above. It truly brings out a finished and can be highlighted as a rustic deck.

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum balluster by Dekorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

This Ipe deck was built by Archadeck of Charlotte and utilized a powder-coated aluminum balluster by Dekorators with a twist in the spindle for added character

Ipe decking can have a variety of rail systems to mix with it. In the above captioned deck, we used pressure-treated wood posts with an Ipe rail cap and mixed in Deckorator aluminum balusters that are low-maintenance.
Ipe does not rot and does not even need staining if you like the look of weathered wood. If you want the rich deep look it has when applied, you will want to keep it oiled with very specific treatments. If you would like further information on Ipe decking or care and maintenance, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com