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.


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

Porches on patios…what do I need to consider? How do these effect the price of a Charlotte porch?

Archadeck of Charlotte built this pergola and paver patio

Another popular option is a pergola over a patio

Porches, whether they are screened in or simply covered, can be built on decks or patios. When you are planning to have a porch built on a patio, there are various things that should be taken into consideration prior to having it built.

First, what roof line will work when you look at the possible obstructions from existing windows, vents, pipes, lights, speakers, etc? What roof shape is appropriate to match the existing architecture? You may have a gable, a hip, a shed, or even a gazebo shaped roof that works best with your home.

Secondly, what is the existing flooring? Is it concrete, pavers, or brick? What will you need to do to dig your footings to support the new porch cover (roof)? Is the current patio the appropriate size or will you need to expand the footprint to fit the new porch? Will the additional materials be able to match the existing materials?

Thirdly, what about drainage? Will the new porch cover have gutters? Where will the downspouts be installed? What is the grade of your property and will the placement of the downspouts work will or does there need to be trenching done to route the downspouts where you want the water to run?

All of the above items will impact the cost of your project. Different roof lines have different costs associated with them. For example, a gable roof is more costly than a shed roof generally speaking and a gazebo roof is even more costly. If you want to expand the current patio to fit a large roof, this will incur cost above and beyond the porch cover itself. You are probably going to want a ceiling fan and lighting installed so you should budget for these additional electrical expenses.

For more information on porch considerations, visit either http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com or you can go to www.porch.com as well!

Large open porch over a brick patio with brick columns in Waxhaw, NC built by Archadeck of Charlotte

Large open porch over a brick patio with brick columns in Waxhaw, NC built by Archadeck of Charlotte

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

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