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

How to build a Charlotte deck…the Archadeck way!

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

At the risk of teaching all of you “do-it-yourselfer’s” how to properly construct a deck, it is worth it to us to make sure that whatever is built by whomever, is done so with safety first!

Decks do require building permits in North and South Carolina.

Archadeck has been designing and building decks for over 25 years and literally has over 23,000 decks built here in the Charlotte area. Here are some guidelines formed from our experience:

1. Ground conditions are a very important factor to start with. If there is a lot of fill dirt where you are going to place your footings, you may need a soil engineer to design a proper footing that will disperse the weight load so that your deck does not begin to sink. If there is soft or bull tallow soil, the same remedy applies.

2. It all starts with your footings. In North Carolina, we typically dig 12″ – 24″ or until we find solid soil if possible. Then you can either purchase 16″x16″ cinder blocks and make sure your 6×6 columns are placed squarely on the blocks before filling in the dirt over and around them. You may also need to add concrete depending on the conditions of the soil, the height of the deck, lateral bracing constraints, and so forth

3. Once you have passed your footing inspection, it is time to start framing. We typically will use either 2×8 or 2×10 floor joists that will attach to a 2×12 band or ledger boards we tie into the actual house if the house is on a crawl space. If the house is built on a slab, that we are forced to build what is referred to as a “free-standing” deck meaning we will add footers up next to the house wall. If we are cutting into a vinyl or fiber cement sided house, we need to purchase and install metal flashing to avoid having moisture get in behind the siding and rotting the house wall.

3. We typically will purchase pressure-treated wood deck boards that are 5/4×6 in dimension and screw them down. We space our floor joists 16″ on center unless we are using composite decking and laying the boards on a diagonal, then we will space them 12″ on center.

4. We use a 12″ fascia board to hide the ends of the decking boards to create a clean finish around the perimeter of the deck

5. Rail is required here in North Carolina once the height of the deck is 30″ above grade or greater. The standard rail height minimum is 36″. There a vast amount of choices of rail systems ranging from custom made to kits.

6. If you are installing dried lumber (that is our preference), it is important to have the deck sealed/stained shortly after installation to protect the deck itself. We find Cabot or the proprietary stain from Renew Crew to be quite effective and protecting the wood decking.

If you’re considering adding a deck to your Charlotte area home, we would love if you would give us a call for a free consultation at (704) 944 – 1350.

This si a good example of Renew Crew of Charlotte can clean and protect wood decking

This is a good example of Renew Crew of Charlotte can clean and protect wood decking

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

Is Cedar a good choice for decking or screen porches in North and South Carolina?

We field thousands of questions each year around which materials are best suited for our climate here in North Carolina and South Carolina. The products we specify are used for screen porches, pergola’s, decks, exterior cladding, etc….

One of the products that generates many questions is Cedar. Cedar is a beautiful product with many great qualities that includes a natural grain and beautiful knots that give it a rustic character. To get the best authentic look at Cedar, you would want to stain it rather than paint it as the paint hides some of these characteristics. You can use cedar as a time accent, a structural member, or a decking.

Here in the Carolina’s, we typically see cedar used more for wide decorative columns on a pergola or holding up an open porch than anything else. There are two major pitfalls with cedar. One is that cedar is not pressure-treated and will rot over time. The second is that cedar is quite costly relative to pine. We are a natural grower of pine and so there is no real freight charge where we live and it keeps that price on the low end.

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this cedar pergola in south Charlotte with a fieldstone outdoor kitchen and Green Egg

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this cedar pergola in south Charlotte with a fieldstone outdoor kitchen and Green Egg

With our moist climate, we do get a lot of wood rot in the Carolina’s. It is important to keep the cedar stained. To see a great variety of wood species and design ideas, go to

http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

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

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.

 

Archadeck of Charlotte teams up with Make A Wish Foundation and check out this customer review!

Archadeck of Charlotte got rave reviews for its partnership with Make A Wish and providing this custom screen porch for a deserving family

Archadeck of Charlotte got rave reviews for its partnership with Make A Wish and providing this custom screen porch for a deserving family

Liz Patton

I can’t say enough good things about Archadeck. I am a wish coordinator at Make-A-Wish, and Archadeck helped us grant a terminal child’s wish quicker than we could have hoped! They built her a 12×12 screened in porch in a matter of weeks, and the quality of work was amazing. The family is beyond thrilled, and as an organization, we are so thankful to be able to work with such an awesome group of people at Archadeck. They are very easy to work with and they do great work. They kept us updated along the way and made sure that everything they did was up to our standards. Seriously, if you’re looking to have any type of deck built, contact these guys! They were also the lowest quoted price we received, and we reached out to every local place we could find. All in all, great work, great price, and even better people!