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

Winterizing your outdoor living space (winterizing your porch)

Screen Porch with EZ Breeze windows and stone outdoor fireplace

Stone outdoor fireplace with Eze Breeze windows in screen porch

stone patio with stone outdoor fireplace

Outdoor fireplace and patio in Charlotte

Screen Porch with wood burning stone fireplace

Archadeck of Charlotte design and built this screen porch and stone outdoor fireplace

What are the best ways to winterize your outdoor living space or porch? There are several ways to extend the time you are able to spend outdoors, specifically in the Carolinas!

The most popular way to winterize your outdoor living space is by adding a fire feature. This could mean something as simple as a fire pit or a real focal feature like an outdoor fireplace.  If you have a covered patio or screen porch, you can even have the outdoor fireplace integrated into the structure.

PGT Industries has been manufacturing its Eze Breeze window porch enclosure product for years now. In the greater Charlotte area, these are a wonderful to enclose your porch and with the aid of an outdoor fireplace or space heater, you can be outside year around.

To see a tremendous photo gallery of design ideas or more information on these products, go to

Can you place a fire pit on a deck?

Archadeck of Charlotte built this Trex Transcends Spice Rum composite deck with a composite bench and stone fire pit that is gas burning

Archadeck of Charlotte built this Trex Transcends Spice Rum composite deck with a composite bench and stone fire pit that is gas burning

Can you really place a fire pit on a deck? The answer technically is yes. Archadeck of Charlotte has been doing it for the past several years and has consulted with local building code officials to do it legally and as safely as possible.

The safest ways to build a fire pit on a deck is to use gas logs as you can then control the flame. If you really want a wood-burning fire pit, you want to keep it at least 10 feet from your home and control the amount of wood you place in the pit. You will also want to think about building the pit a bit taller in order to handle the ashes.

Building a stone fire pit on a deck is more cost effective if your deck is low to the ground as you will need a footing directly under it to handle the weight. The taller the deck, the taller the support structure will need to be to handle it and therefore increase the cost of the project. If you would like to see more ideas on fire pits and decks, go to

How can I get the best ideas for my outdoor living space?

Archadeck designed this outdoor fireplace and outdoor kitchen and patio

stone outdoor fireplace with flagstone patio and outdoor kitchen in Charlotte

So many people want to get ideas for their outdoor living space, they just don’t know where to look or who to go to! There are some very efficient  and effective ways to go about gathering good design ideas and concepts for your backyard.

You can start by attending Home and Garden Shows in your local market. Here in Charlotte, there are 3 in the spring and 2 in the fall where a large number of vendors display beautiful projects for you to view.

You can go to web sites where remodeling professionals often have extensive photo galleries that you can search for the particular types of projects you are looking for.

You can also hire a design professional that may be willing to come out to your home free of charge to discuss the possibilites with you and share expert advice! For great ideas for your outdoor living desires in Charlotte, either call 704-944-1350 (Archadeck of Charlotte) or go to

What are my patio step options and price implications?

A common question people are seeking answers to are their choices regarding patio steps and deck steps and the price implications. We will detail several of those below.

A primary consideration for patio steps is to determine if you want to match the substrate of what the patio flooring is or do you want to contrast? What is the substrate leading down to the patio or from the patio?

If cost is a primary consideration, wood steps are going to be a far less expensive way to go then masonry. TheImage challenge with with wood steps is they will require maintenance and are not necessarily the most aesthetically pleasing in combination with masonry. The paver steps are rustic and provide a low maintenance solution. Travertine stone steps are perfect as shown above when they are combined with a Travertine stone patio.

Concrete patios are best suited for concrete steps. A great way to warm up the look of the concrete is to stain or color it with products that are very inexpensive from companies like Quickcrete or Rust-Oleum. If you are in need of further ideas and photos, you can go to to see the latest!

How often do I need to seal/stain my deck?

How often should you seal/stain your deck? This question gets answered everyday at Archadeck of Charlotte!

After building over 20,000 decks, we have a good idea. Decks that are exposed to afternoon sunlight will require staining more often than others. Different wood species will also weather differently. The most used decking in Charlotte, NC is by far pressure-treated pine. If it is exposed to direct sunlight, your best bet is to seal it annually. If on the other hand it is not, every 2-3 years is sufficient. Composite decking will never need sealing but still require cleaning (products like Trex decking).

The Brazilian hardwoods like IPE don’t require stain but will silver out rather quickly not keeping their rich initial color. To gather more information, go to

Archadeck deck in Charltte with fire pit

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this pretty stained deck and fire pit

How close can an outdoor fireplace be to my home?

A common question we get at Archadeck of Charlotte is “how close can an outdoor fireplace be to my home?” there are a couple of wAys to look at it.

The local building codes in the greater Charlotte market requires that you keep your outdoor fireplace a minimum of 10′ from your home. In addition, you can build within 10′ as long as your chimney extends at least 2′ above the highest pitch within the 10′. This often makes the fireplace 16′ and higher and it becomes cost prohibitive!

The other way to look at is use good common sense. Even if you construct the fireplace (and especially fire pit) 10′ away, you don’t want to build a large fire that can get out of control. For some great outdoor fireplace and fire pit photos, go to