Why wait for the Columbus outdoor living space you are yearning for?

Columbus OH covered patio for dining and entertainingThe prospect of adding a custom outdoor living structure, or combination of structures, to your home and property just naturally sparks excitement. That is why I am often stumped when a customer has their preliminary plan in place and decides to “wait until spring” to begin their project. It is from my experience within the world of outdoor living that a common misconception among many homeowners is we don’t build in the fall and winter. In actuality, nothing could be farther from the truth.

When is the best time of year to embark on an outdoor living addition you may ask? The answer may be more surprising than you may think. Many homeowners are under the impression that outdoor structures such as decks, porches or patios are best to build during the warm weather months. The truth is that Archadeck of Columbus builds year-round and anytime that best suits your circumstances and budget is the right time to build. However, there are certain advantages to moving ahead with your project during the cooler months…

Columbus porch for happy catEnjoy your space sooner and be “sitting pretty” in time for spring

There are many advantages to building in the cooler months. Along with shorter lead times you will also get a space that is up and running in time to enjoy for the upcoming holidays, spring and the beginning of the outdoor living season.

Wood loves cooler weather

Since the humidity level is much lower during the fall and winter, any wood used during construction of your project will season quicker. Seasoning involves the drying out of wood making it ready to accept stain or paint better. When a project is built during the warmer, humid months the usual wait time to stain or paint is a few months.

Increased productivity

Another plus to cooler weather construction is productivity. A crew that is working in the humid 95 degree weather, even in the shade, is less productive than one that is working outside during milder weather. Less heat means more stamina and less time lost to hydration breaks for the crew. This translates to the likelihood that a job that is completed sooner.

Low maintenance Columbus TimberTech deck with pergola lrSave more in the long run

Prices for building materials generally increase during the early part of the 1st quarter. Moving ahead with your outdoor living project now instead of waiting will ensure you are locked into this year’s pricing modules. In addition, outdoor furnishings and accessories sometimes reflect deep discounts as retailers make way for holiday merchandise. Outfitting your new space may also mean a savings!

It’s not good to fool with Mother Nature

Since our average temperatures remain above freezing in Columbus for most of the winter, chances of inclement or freezing weather impacting your project are minimal. The advantages of fall and winter construction outweigh any deficiencies brought on by Mother Nature. As with any construction project there will be damage to the turf caused by foot traffic. In a fall/winter project the turf is more apt to recover quicker because it has the time to overwinter in time for spring taking in valuable nutrients present in precipitation. Some turfs are dormant during the winter and this will aid in quicker recovery as well.

New Albany OH Softscaping

If you are on the fence about deciding when your outdoor structure project, keep in mind that lead times during the outdoor living season can be in excess of 8-12 weeks. In the winter it may be 4-6 weeks at the most.  This quick turn-around will ensure you get the full benefits of your outdoor space when you are ready, and with less impact on your lifestyle. Contact Archadeck of Columbus to schedule your free consultation today and get the ball rolling on your outdoor dreams. (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

Archadeck of Columbus team
The Archadeck of Columbus team.

All of the “elements” of an award-winning design…

Design Excellence Award Winning Columbus Hardscape
And the winner is…

One of the favorite cliches of Oscar season is a famous actor or director telling the audience how special it is to be chosen for such a prestigious award by his peers. Cliche or not, that’s the kind of pride that we felt when Archadeck of West Columbus won the award for Excellence in Hardscapes and Patios in a recent competition that included companies from across the U.S. and Canada.

Design Excellence Award Winning Columbus Hardscape

I believe one of the things that makes this particular Columbus curvilinear patio design special is that it has all of the elements in it. The extensive stonework across multiple levels covers the earth category. We see fire both in the warming conversational-friendly fire pit and the built-in grill area with granite counters. The open air porch invites cooling breezes all summer long. Where is the water? There is no water per se, but take a look at the overall design and you will see the curving, bending nature of the lines and circles that is inspired by the winding paths of the rivers that are such treasures to us here in central Ohio.

Design Excellence Award Winning Columbus Hardscape

Design Excellence Award Winning Columbus Hardscape

Design Excellence Award Winning Columbus Hardscape

This is a project that will continue to grow more beautiful over the next few years. There are a number of landscaped areas within the design that will fill in over the long term. Those are intermingled with beds and planters that are well-suited to the use of annuals to create pops of color and interest. I can’t wait to see what furnishings the homeowner adds now that all the pieces have come together.

Design Excellence Award Winning Columbus HardscapeHere are a few of the kind words we received with our award:

We are proud to present this award to Rob Mitchell and the entire Archadeck of West Columbus team,” stated Mike Reeder, VP of the Archadeck Outdoor Living Brand. “His level of expertise and design carried him through many challenges that the landscape provided and in the end, he was able to deliver to the homeowner what he had envisioned… beautifully.

Archadeck of ColumbusIf 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, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com. We look forward to connecting with you.

 

Our Hardscape and Softscape Project in London, OH, Merges New and Old Seamlessly!

London OH Retaining wallsThere is nothing more interesting than when Archadeck of Columbus gets the chance to work on a historic home in our local geography. It certainly does present some challenges in terms of keeping the integrity of the home while providing homeowners with all the practical elements and benefits that are all about today’s outdoor lifestyle. We recently worked on a project in London, OH, with a home built in 1865 on 7.5 acres that has steep history during the Civil War/Antebellum era.

London OH Hardscape project on historic home

The house has been restored numerous times throughout its lifespan, and luckily the previous owner did renovations to the home to code back in 2000 after investing almost $750K to restore it, including the home’s stunning original brick veneer. This home’s newest owners also wanted to do right to the structure to continue its legacy in the proper way and preserve its integrity, but also add plenty of energy that would enhance the exterior. They wanted a masterful intermingling of new and old.

London OH patio builderOn a project of this scope, the homeowner’s needed a highly skilled  company with expertise in these areas for a large-scale outdoor additions complete with landscaping that would elegantly blend the new upgrades so they would complement the existing look and feel of the home. The homeowners didn’t necessarily want to have a historically accurate renovation, but rather have the improvements to the outdoor entertaining areas marry beautifully with what was already in place. This delicate balance was struck with the addition of a large paver patio, retaining/seating walls and fire pit along with extensive landscape installation to create a tasteful and practical outdoor living space that would complement this gracious home and property without overpowering its handsome simple lines.

London OH Patios and Hardscapes

The home originally had an existing deck off the back which was long overdue for an upgrade, so we tore it down to make way for a whole new look that was more in keeping with the historical nature of the brick building. Archadeck of Columbus added a hardscape outdoor living environment with stunning curved tiered steps lead from one area to the other in a dreamy way that tempers the hard lines and materials. The project also includes all the softscape foliage landscaping as well.

London OH outdoor fire pit builderThe hardscapes are built solely using Unilock and Belgard pavers due to their beauty and hard-wearing nature. The patio features Unilock pavers from the Camelot series in the Riverblend color with plenty of natural hues. All the vertical hardscapes were built using Belgard pavers from their Bel-air line in the Fossil Beige color. Both of these beautifully complement each other and have a seamless feel. The softscaping installation pairs well with all the stonework and adds plenty of color thanks to gorgeous specimens of Hydrangeas, Lavender, KnockOut Roses, new trees and evergreens for year round green.

London OH hardscape outdoor living environment
Just look at the vantage point the family now has to enjoy the view!

The family is beyond overjoyed at their new outdoor living environment, and you can see it looks heavenly. These homeowner’s are now in the process of adding a tranquil backyard pool to further their enjoyment and are currently in discussions with Archadeck of Columbus to design and build a paver pool surround,  pavilion and a pool house — they are so excited, and we are too!

Not only did we meet their challenge of merging old and new, but the property now boasts a multi-faceted and multi-functional outdoor living space that increases the livability of this stately 18th century home.

Archadeck of ColumbusGot a challenging project for us? Give Archadeck of Columbus a call today for a free consultation at (740) 879 – 3730. We look forward to your call. Please also visit our website at http://columbus.archadeck.com.

Take a look at 2 beautiful new hardscapes in New Albany and Dublin OH by Archadeck of Columbus

We often profile some of our larger projects on the blog.  The big projects are certainly not all that we do though.  Some smaller projects are standalone projects, and other times they are additions or extensions to previous ones.  We recently completed two of these in the Columbus area that we want to share with you.

Take a look at the before and after. They are different angles but we promise, this is the same house!
Take a look at the before and after. They are different angles but we promise, this is the same house!

The first one in New Albany OH included the removal of an existing brick patio and redoing the stairs from the back of the home.  The brick patio was not quite level and there were some issues with moss growing between the bricks and corners coming up and creating tripping hazards.

Beautiful rounded paver stairs Cols OH lrThe new patio is both wider and longer, now abutting the house, while leaving a lovely river birch in place, and extending to two corners of the home.  We leveled the area and installed Unilock Beacon Hill pavers. The stair pavers are also Beacon Hill but have the bullnose edging.  We created a bump out off the main area which can easily accommodate either a table and chairs or a free-standing fire pit by the half moon seating wall. The seating wall cap is Beacon Hill Sierra.  The curve of the bump out is echoed on the semicircle landing creating harmony in the space.  This new landing is much more welcoming and doesn’t block light to the French doors. You’ll also notice the soldier course in Unilock Copthorne in Basalt color – or perhaps you didn’t notice it at first blush. The basalt color is much darker and creates a perfect picture frame for the space.

The feature the homeowners will probably enjoy the most is the gas line extension that we plumbed beneath the patio.  We took the gas line off the back of the house so that the grill can be a little farther away from the house and no one ever has to make a last-minute dash to the store to refill the propane tank again.  The resulting patio is lighter, more open and easier to maintain.  When people look at it, the adjective I hear repeatedly to describe it is “harmonious.”

Dublin OH flagstone patio with half moon retaining wall lrAnother job we want to show you is in Dublin OH.  This project includes a deck expansion, hardscape expansion and an expanded flagstone walkway that creates a small patio with built-in fire pit.  We worked with existing pavers for the patio and used Unilock Brussels for the retaining wall.  In addition to pavers, capstones and edging, we added a Unilock fire pit to match.

The patio area has a nice canopy of trees over it which makes for great shade and protection from light rain, but it is a little dark, even at noon.  We brightened it up by perfect backyard oasis in Columbus OH by Archadeck lrinstalling lighting on the pillars of the seating wall around the fire pit.  It is a wonderful little oasis. The surrounding trees and landscaping give it a woodsy feel that make it seem like you are far from the city.

Contact Archadeck of Columbus today to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. (740) 879 – 3730 or

email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

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

Archadeck of Columbus discusses the importance of site conditioning for your softscape design

In this 2nd installment in our 3-part series on softscapes, Archadeck of Columbus discusses site conditioning for your softscape design plan.

Columbus OH front of home hardscape designs
Lovely hardscape and softscape addition in Columbus, OH.

In this 2nd installment in our 3-part series on softscapes, Archadeck of Columbus discusses site conditions for your softscape design plan.

There is an art and a science to installing a successful softscape design. This is driven by a host of factors which include a vast knowledge of the way plant material reacts within a border or bed, the growth characteristics of the plant, and the type of conditions best suited for an individual plant. Many less than professional contractors will just “throw” a plant in the ground not looking beyond the moment of installation. These practices forgo any site considerations to give the plant(s) their best start in order to thrive.

Archadeck of Columbus does not approach softscape design this way. We create a master plan with each of our clients that provides a detailed image and specifications of your softscaping plan. Our design team always takes into consideration what colors the homeowner prefers, or if you dislike a particular color when planning your softscape.

Pink hydrangea
Hydrangeas work well in Northern facing beds and borders, and come in many colors.

Factoring site conditions into your softscape design plan

1) Sun/shade orientation – When examining your individual site conditions, we first consider the orientation of your house and where the plantings will be located. For example, if the orientation of your site in on the North side of your home, it will receive a large amount of shade. For this site configuration we would choose shade loving plants to fill your border or bed, such as Euonymus, hydrangea and hostas,  just to name a few.

The same rules apply (but in reverse) when planning for a softscape that will receive a great deal of sun. For a sunny border we would choose sun-loving plants that are more drought tolerant than those required for shade plants. The soil within a sunny border or bed will dry out quicker because of sun exposure and evaporation, whereas a shady border will retain moisture and vital nutrients in the soil longer. This is also important to keep in mind when considering maintenance requirements of your softscape.

Here are some other sun/shade conditions.

  • Light Shade—A few hours of direct sun
  • Medium Shade—little direct sunlight – Reflected sunlight comprises bulk of available light
  • Deep Shade—No direct sunlight – In very deep shade, it is often beneficial to include hardscaping, structures, water features, containers, and or sculpture for enhancement.
Lilac bushes are a great choice for Ohio landscapes because they thrive in alkaline soil.
Lilac bushes are a great choice for Ohio landscapes because they thrive in alkaline soil.

2) Soil conditions – Much of Ohio lies on a limestone bed. This makes most of our soil here in the Columbus region very alkaline. The area that encompasses central Ohio works well with plant selections that are suitable for alkaline environments. A few specimens that perform well in alkaline soils include Lilac bushes and lilies, but the list goes on and on.

3) Outside interference – Any time we examine site conditions, we always factor in the amount of wildlife that may visit your property. The urban deer population has become a really big issue her in our area, and can decimate an entire border in one visit! We take all these factors into consideration when planning your softscape by adding deer deterring specimens to your design. We also consider the welcomed 4-legged friends that visit your site. We make sure your pet has a direct path that leads from the door to the area they use most often. We will do the same for the 2-legged friends that will be frequenting your proposed area around your softscape, perhaps we will even add stepping-stones through your border or bed for easier access to their favorite backyard retreat!

Do deer like to visit your backyard? Certain plants will deter deer when added to your softscape.
Do deer like to visit your backyard? We know which plants will deter deer when added to your softscape.

4) The highs and lows – Grade is an important consideration when preparing your site for a softscape installation. Archadeck of Columbus can use the grade of your site to gain the most benefit. We can create beds on a flatter surface and use hardscapes, such as retaining walls, to solve grade issues at your site. We also readily use spreading, ground covers on sloped areas for erosion control.

5) Site preparation and plant layout – When preparing your site for installation, we ask that you consider your privacy needs. Would you prefer a screening that delivers partial privacy or full privacy? We can provide either through the plant material itself, or through structural amendments or adding hardscapes — the choice is yours~

Unilock EnduraColor Il Campo
Hardscape paths integrated into a border or bed will alleviate plant damage by foot traffic, and they look beautiful!

What we use as resources for planning and design:

  • We instill the expertise and knowledge of a great nursery in Norton OH, called Dayton Nursery and Garden Center. They have a plethora of helpful  information on their website. Their easy to use directory allows you to look up information many different ways and even add commentary. This valuable resource is even targeted to the central Ohio region specifically.
  • Another great resource we utilize is a computer program called “Horticopia“. It has everything you need to know about every plant imaginable, including pictures and specifications!

Archadeck of Columbus realizes that knowledgeable and thoughtful plant selection, soil criteria and site conditioning are key factors in creating a functional and attractive softscape. We can help you plan and design the outdoor oasis you have always imagined, including the lush landscape that comes along with it! (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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

Please visit our extensive hardscape photo gallery on our website, including our patios and covered patio photo galleries, for more backyard ideas!

Archadeck of Columbus will be at the Dispatch Home and Garden Show beginning this Saturday!

Archadeck of Columbus will be at the Columbus Dispatch Home & Garden Show at the Ohio Expo Center 2/22 thru 3/02. Come see us and let us help make your outdoor living dreams a reality this season!

The Columbus Dispatch home and garden show
Come see us!

If improving your existing outdoor living space or adding  a new one is something that has been on your mind, we know how you can learn more about both! Archadeck of Columbus will be at the Columbus Dispatch Home & Garden Show at the Ohio Expo Center.The show begins on February, 22nd and runs through March, 2nd. Spring is right around the corner and now is the time to start planning for your outdoor living space addition!

A look at our new booth for the Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show
A look at our new booth for the Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show.

Our new booth is filled with inspiring outdoor living space design ideas you can not only see, but touch and feel. We will be featuring a 10 x 20 booth in the Celeste Center where we will share a custom TimberTech deck design featuring their newest capstock product introduction, EarthWoods Evolution Legacy. We  will showcase white vinyl railings with black aluminum pickets in conjunction with this low-maintenance, high-aesthetic deck, which are very popular right now. Above the deck we also feature a white vinyl pergola integrated within four (4) Unilock hardscape pillars. Stepping down into another section of our display will bring you into our hardscape area which features Unilock Enduracolor pavers, a custom planting wall and fire pit. As our backdrop we are using cedar screening which will feature pictures of past projects to give homeowners ideas and inspiration for their own outdoor oasis!

Alternate view of our new booth for the Columbus Dispatch Home and Garden Show
Our booth will highlight a stunning deck and pergola combination,a Unilock patio and much more!

The home and garden show is an event designed for homeowners in all stages of remodeling, landscaping and decorating their homes. If you’re thinking of adding or amending your outdoor living space, or an outdoor room addition, this is the home show you can’t afford to miss. No matter what you have in mind for home improvements, you’ll find the right products and the best companies at Columbus Dispatch Home & Garden Show, one of the largest home shows in the region. Talk to the experts and find just the right designs at just the right price for your home improvement budget.

Spring is right around the corner
Spring is right around the corner and this is the home show you can’t afford to miss.

Come by and see us while at the home show, you won’t be disappointed. Whether you are a new homeowner, or someone who has lived in your home for years, anyone with an interest in updating, enhancing, or creating a new look or amenity for their home will enjoy the Home Show. We will be offering a special discount of $250 off of any project of $5,000 or more for this show only!

We will be located in the Celeste Center in booths #5023 – #5025, and our talented team of designers and builders will be on hand to answer all your questions and help you begin living your outdoor living dreams.

Hours for this event are as follows:

  • Saturdays – 10am – 8pm
  • Sundays – 10am – 6pm
  • Tuesday – 3pm – 8pm
  • Wed – Fri. – 12pm – 8pm
  • Closed Monday

The Ohio Expo Center (Ohio State Fairgrounds) is located at 717 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus.

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

Admission for the event is $12 at the door or $11 in advance . On Tuesday, Feb. 25, bring your home electric bill and get buy-one, get one free tickets at the door, courtesy of AEP Energy. On Wednesday, Feb 26, and Thursday Feb. 27, save $3 off two tickets at the door when you present your home electric bill, courtesy of AEP Energy. Friday, Feb. 28, is AAA Show Your Card and Save Day, when you can get $3 off on up to two tickets by showing your AAA card at the door.

To learn more about our fabulous outdoor living space designs anytime contact Archadeck of Columbus at  (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net We look forward to seeing you at the show!

Top 7 hardscape design trends we’ve seen in 2013 (part 1 of 3-part series on design trends)

Archadeck of Columbus is in what many would call an enviable position. We have the opportunity to meet with homeowners around Columbus throughout the year and get to hear what they like, what they are looking for and what type of things they are contracting us to build in their backyards. As 2013 will soon be drawing to a close, we would like to share some of the trends we’re seeing on the front line. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing these design trends for decks and porches also. This week we will look at hardscape trends.

Top 7 hardscape design trends for 2013

Columbus OH covered patio for dining and entertaining
This covered paver patio in Columbus is a great example of planning for function and comfort in your outdoor space.

#1) Roofed structures over patios – This design trend has been a heavy hitter throughout the year and one we predict will continue into 2014. The reasoning behind the popularity of adding a roofed structure over a patio or hardscape area is because it provides a sense of an outdoor room. Pergolas have remained a top choice for a long time, but patio covers offer more protection from the elements and convey a more formal room setting. You don’t have to look very far to see the concept of the “outdoor room” in action; pick up any home and garden magazine and you will notice it is filled with design ideas regarding outdoor rooms. Everything from contemporary to rustic, outdoor rooms are what the “in” crowd is asking for in outdoor structure design. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, outdoor rooms are highly versatile and functional because they can provide an outdoor escape for a myriad of recreational and entertaining uses.

#2) Incorporating hardscape lighting – “Let there be light” seems to have been the unanimous request among hardscape homeowners. We have integrated tons of lighting into our hardscape designs over the past year. From lighting the risers of steps, pillars, seating walls  and even into the soldier course through the use of lighted pavers, we have done it all! The allure of adding outdoor lighting into hardscape outdoor spaces is ambiance and enhanced safety. By adding romantic touches of light into a retaining wall, or paver patio for example, you can extend the function of the space. The beauty that comes from combining stone with lighting draws you into the space like a moth to a flame!

hardscape patio with stone open columns Columbus#3) The use of non-standard pavers – What is that old saying, “the bigger, the better?” When it comes to the use of larger non-standard sized pavers among hardscape owners, this saying certainly rings tree. Traditionally, homeowners have requested their patios and hardscape structures be built using the standard 4 x 8, 6 x6, and 6 x9 sized pavers. In 2013, Archadeck of Columbus has seen a huge increase in request for oversized pavers. The reason for the demand is because larger hardscape pieces lend  more toward a natural feel and make the space look less like a typical patio. The downside to using larger pavers is that they can be overwhelming when using such large pieces. One option we use to overcome this  is by using a paver rug option. Paver rugs are used to create a isolated section using inset patterned pavers. Paver rugs make wonderful design elements and look great in front of an outdoor fireplace, or to mimic the look of a rug under a grill or dining area — remember, creative touches make  your design stand out!

#4) Mirroring designs – Mirroring is popular among our hardscape customers. The concept behind mirroring is simple, everything is built as a mirror image of the other side of the patio. Mirroring is desirable because it gives people comfort in their outdoor space and balance is always an important factor of hardscape designs.

Patio with sailor course edging adjacent to Deck Columbus Ohio
This patio and deck combination matches the exterior of this home beautifully and also includes a sailor course border for added contrast.

#5) Bordering options – Border usage is still very popular with patios. Adding a border gives a design finality and it gives the homeowner an opportunity to make their space original. We often change the color or texture of the pavers within a border and also mix solider course with sailor course to add character.

#6) Color – When you think of paver patios, the vision of red brick looking pavers is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Stretching to think about more recent hardscape colors, you probably envision earth-toned colors – and you’re right. Earth tones are incredibly popular. But in the last year, we’ve also seen gray tones rise in popularity both as a primary color or as a great color for bordering in the soldier course.

#7) Texture – Many different surface textures are available from relatively flat to coarsely tumbled or cobbled. What we’ve seen rise in popularity this year is the cleft surface texture. This texture is slightly uneven resembling the surface texture of natural bluestone.

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

If you are starting to think about adding a new outdoor space to your Columbus area home, give us a call for a free consultation.

(740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

Take a look at some of our patio and hardscape photos on our website.