The reason why I’m in your Columbus backyard (It’s not because I’m nosy)

I’m pretty good with dogs, but if you were going to give me a nickname, it would more likely be “the house whisperer.” I listen closely to what my clients tell me about their vision for their outdoor living project, but I get a huge amount of the information I need to do my job right by a careful site survey–essentially listening to what the home and site tell me.

Obviously, homes don’t talk to you, but they do have individual characteristics and they all interact differently with the environment. While I’m walking around the yard with a homeowner, I’ll look places they might not expect, ask questions that they think are nuts and will take notes. It’s all part of the process of determining what is possible and what is best for a particular job.

I start by looking at site conditions. What is the architecture, size, and age of the home? Where are the vents, windows, and doors? What kind of siding and roof are on the existing home? And, probably most important of all: where is the water going to go? Not the water pipes, but the rain and snow melt.

Take a look at this home.
Take a look at this home before and after the new porch. There were multiple roof lines and the center portion had a high window that provided a challenge for adding a roof. This elevated roof porch overcame all the architectural solutions while creating a fabulous solution.

If you are building a Columbus screened porch, I will determine if a gable or hip roof is possible. Many people prefer gable roofs because they are so light and airy, but sometimes the location of a window or door will dictate a shed roof. The grade of the land will tell me whether we need to discuss a railing. Code states that any structure 30” or higher off the ground needs rails for safety.

In addition to design considerations, I’ll be thinking about some work site issues for my crew. Do they need to take down a fence to bring in large equipment? Is there space to stage lumber or materials on the site? How long will the commute be? Are there neighbors we don’t want to wake up early in the morning? Some of these issues impact the cost of labor and ultimately the price I will quote the clients. If a company is quoting you a flat price per square foot to do a job, they aren’t giving you an accurate bid, they are taking a shot in the dark.

Take a look at the incredibly steep grade in this yard. Integrating with this steep drop off was one challenge. We also needed to follow the design lead of the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. The spiral stairs provided a great way to bridge the second story porch and the steep grade.

A comprehensive site survey also allows me to collect the information and photos that I will use to create architectural designs and plans.  So the short answer is: I’m in your yard getting your project started on the right foot.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at We look forward to your call.

Author: archadeckofcolumbus

I began my association with Archadeck in 2001 when I was working for a subcontractor that Archadeck of Columbus was employing for patio installations. I had been working in the Landscape/Hardscape industry for quite a few years at the time and immediately noticed a difference in how Archadeck operated in comparison with other deck companies that we worked with. Over the years of working with Archadeck on numerous projects, large and small, I came to realize the importance of what they were selling; beautiful designs, top-notch craftsmanship and a world class customer experience. This is what drove me to start working for Archadeck in January of 2011 and eventually buying the company in 2016. My wife, Amber, and my son, Logan, could not be happier to be a part of such a wonderful organization. We look forward to the future as we build the outdoor living environments our customers dream of with the “world class” service they deserve!

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