A thousand small details add up to one stellar Columbus outdoor space

Take a look at the before and after of this stunning outdoor space
Take a look at the before and after of this stunning outdoor space

One glance at the “before” pictures and you can tell that this backyard space just wasn’t working. There were two small decks that came from two different parts of the house and there was nothing creating unity of space or purpose in between. Before, there was seating on three different levels, but everything was disjointed and awkward. The goal: create multiple beautiful spaces that could be enjoyed by parents and teens that encourages fluid movement throughout.

The clients originally started working with a lumber yard that also did some design work, but they lost confidence that the outfit was up to this challenge. One of our designers, Rob, stepped up to the plate and really hit this one out of the park. His solution of a covered TimberTech plank porch and multiple levels of Unilock Brussels paver patios hit every point on the customer’s wish list.

Columbus Powell open porch and multi-level patio lrThere are multiple decorative planting circles that create visual interest, define different spaces and give the owners a living creative outlet. Seating walls provide a casual place to relax and help keep landscaping in place. Gravel beds look decorative, but serve the added function of handling drainage. The fire pit has a gas starter and can burn either gas or wood– take your pick. The built-in grill is right outside the kitchen door and is convenient to inside or out making food transfer quick and simple.

Some of the critical details to the success of this project you might never notice; had to do with water management. The design of the patio or deck is what everyone sees. But as an outdoor designer, it’s our job to know about and take care of what everyone doesn’t see. In this case, that was water management.

The grade of the yard meant that we had to give lots of thought to water movement. We used a catch basin trenched into the woods to do the heavy lifting. We used a rubber roof system above the porch to handle rain and snowfall. The owners wanted everything to be easy to care for, that included having an irrigation system built in to the landscaping and planters. We also took care of rerouting hot water and dryer venting. We attended to every detail from start to finish.

So, if you are ever lucky enough to be invited to a barbecue at this Powell porch and patio combination, make sure you get a chance to admire the huge grand staircase that leads to the landing patio– you might stop at the bistro table there for a drink. Or, if the mosquitoes are biting, use the remote to start the ceiling fan. It does a great job of shooing them away. You might want to play around a bit with the lighting too. It’s on a dimmer and the owners made some very attractive lighting choices, replacing an old sconce and adding some stylish new fixtures.

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

Archadeck of Columbus on the road in Canada

panoramic Canada lakeside patio by Archadeck ColumbusEach fall, as our busiest season winds down, I try to bring some of my crew members up to my family’s cabin in Canada for a little well-earned break. You can’t beat the scenery there in October. Our place sits on the banks of the Ottawa River in Ontario and looks across to a provincial park in Quebec. We all have a great time fishing, relaxing, and enjoying Molson Canadian.

building lake side patio Columbus OH lrAt heart though, we are all builders and our conversations inevitably turn to what projects we could do that would make the place a little nicer for our next trip up. We have a nice space inside for watching the river go by, but it’s a little short on seating. There is plenty of room outside, but the property slopes away from the house down to the water. We wanted to build something that would give us plenty of space and stability to enjoy our time outside looking at the blaze of autumn color across the river or counting the stars.

The first question was whether it should be a deck or patio. We wanted something low profile and natural to the setting. The winters are extremely harsh up there and I didn’t want to add one more thing that required maintenance. These factors made the choice pretty simple: paver patio.

Taking our show on the road presented a few challenges. We had to source our materials locally and we were ordering them at the end of the building season when stock is a little scarce. Chuck at Reiche & Sons took great care of us. We were able to order Oaks pavers, a product I’ve used to build Columbus patios. We designed and built the whole project in less than a week pavers for patio by Archadeck of Columbus lrwith time to spare for happy hours and fishing breaks. Thanks also to Pat Stewart who was kind enough to loan us his loader and Kubota tractor: that really made the job easier!

The finished patio is roughly 14’x20’ with room for 12 chairs. There is a drop off on one side of about 28” which I imagine will end up being a seating wall for the kids. We used graystone and buff for the pavers and Oaks Gardenia greystone for the retaining wall. We worked most of the day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Sunday we put in polymeric sand and we were done. It won’t require any maintenance. Period.

While we were lucky with the weather and have never had a better view at a job site, I’m thrilled to have the work done. It was really cool to have the chance to add a new amenity to the cabin that my grandfather built with his guys back in the early 1940s. Having seen how much joy the place has given four generations of family (so far), I know how meaningful a building project like this can be. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing the reactions and pictures from my extended family during their trips to “Harry’s Haven” next year. They are gonna love it! Special thanks to Rob Mitchell, Phil Sluss, Seth Mitchell, and his dad Rahe. Outstanding work, guys!

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 westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

 

Dinner made in the shade

Stunning open porch Powell Columbus OHThis family in Powell, OH wanted to expand their covered patio on the south side of their home so that they could have additional shade in the summertime and room to create an outdoor kitchen.  The space abuts the garage, which is a little unusual.  The existing wall is 12’ high, but we wanted a lower patio roof to provide more shaded space, so the open porch area is 10’ tall with a hip roof to match the home.  Underneath the roof, the ceiling is vaulted and finished with plybead to match the porch at the front of the home.

Matching the existing pavers was a bit of a challenge because the old ones are no longer made, so we did some research with our extensive list of suppliers and found a nice solution with Unilock Beacon Hill pavers.  The entire covered area is about 20’x16’ and is supported with four pillars made with Unilock Brussels, nicely complementing the fabulous open porch beadboard ceiling Columbus OHpavers on the ground.  Brussels was also used on the seating walls and to build the outdoor kitchen.

As with most of our projects, this one has several thoughtful details that make it special.  We modified the support columns with hand-carved flutes to match existing columns at the front of the home.  The pillar caps are made from a genuine stone called Brentwood which is quarried in Oklahoma.  It is so striking because it looks like petrified wood.  We also used it for the kitchen and seating bar countertops, creating a rich and distinctive focal point.  There is a built-in footrest all around the bottom of the bar. Little details mean a lot!  The roof posts and beam, columns and king truss were all wrapped in Paulownia wood which has a high weight-strength ratio and is easy to work with for details like the column flutes.

Powell OH outdoor barThe finishing touches on this new cooking/eating/entertainment area were the installation of top-quality appliances and the wiring for lights and speakers.  With the flick of a switch, light fills the space and highlights those polished stone countertops.  One more turns on the music and then it’s time to fire up the grill and start taking drink orders.  Powell’s newest exclusive eating area is open for friends and family to enjoy.

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.

Call (740) 879 – 3730

Email: westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

Visit our website to see more Columbus open porch photos

We look forward to your call.

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

Archadeck of Columbus discusses the importance of promoting enviromental sustainability in our softscape designs

As the first portion in part 3 of our series on softscapes, Archadeck of Columbus discusses the importance of environmental sustainability within the landscape.

Environmental SustainabilityHave you ever heard the old saying “beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” When it comes to creating beauty within your landscape, what is beautiful to the naked eye can also be planned in such a way that is beautiful for our environment.  The importance of creating environmentally sustaining landscapes in our own backyards can contribute to sustainability on a global level. A little extra effort, and thinking beyond the here and now when planning your softscape design is doing our part to support our environment.

According to the EPA “traditional landscaping and current landscape maintenance practices, while frequently meeting human needs and aesthetics, often have harmful impacts. The clearing of native woodlands and other natural habitats for urban/suburban growth and subsequent planting of grounds with vast lawns and manicured arrangements of exotic ornamental plants place a heavy toll on environmental and human health. This type of landscape requires extensive use of mechanical equipment, unnecessary consumption of our limited natural resources (water and fossil fuels), frequent application of fertilizers and pesticides, and the generation of significant quantities of solid waste. As a result, our surface and ground waters are being polluted; destructive flooding is more commonplace; our neighborhood’s tranquility and air quality are compromised by noisy, polluting landscape equipment; and our landfills are being consumed by yard waste. Furthermore, the biodiversity of our ecosystems is suffering from the introduction of invasive exotic landscape plants.”

Columbus OH Hardscape front of home additions
This paver sidewalk, landing and softscape surround is carved out into the landscape with site conditions in mind to reduce water runoff.

One of the biggest problems in an urban environment is water runoff. Keep in mind that a lawn, or garden, has less than 10% the water absorption capacity of natural woodland. This is a main reason for suburban flooding. In addition, it is not just water that is “running off” into storm drains either. Yard wastes including grass clippings, and even landscaping materials such as mulch comprise 20% of municipal solid waste collected and most still ends up in landfills.

Keep in mind, from a global perspective, we cannot forever continue to abuse our surroundings and still expect a healthy, attractive community or planet for future generations to enjoy!  In order for success we must learn to balance our needs with those of the environment. Beneficial landscaping attempts to do just that. And, in addition to protecting and conserving our natural resources, this method of landscaping can save considerable time and money for homeowners with reduced maintenance requirements. Archadeck of Columbus embraces the use of environmental guidelines for responsible landscaping in all of our softscape designs and installations. We also encourage the homeowner to continue “green” practices when maintaining and using their softscape.

Below is a list of tips and ideas that will help reduce the global impact your landscape has on the environment:

  • Learn about your site or yard – Knowing about your yard’s resources and problems is key to making good decisions about your plants, soil, water, and wildlife.
  • Choose plants native to your area
    Choose plants native to your specific area in order to promote sustainability within your softscape.

    Choose the right plant for the right spot –  If a plant is in a location where it must struggle to survive, chances are the homeowner will respond with additional water, fertilizers, or pesticides to improve the situation. A properly acclimated plant will require less maintenance and pruning and avoid the cost and waste of replacing it.

  • Select regionally native plants -To form the backbone of the landscape. Select appropriate plants for each particular site (each plant has its unique requirements and most sites have a variety of conditions). While there isn’t usually a problem with occasional use of exotic plants, native plants have evolved to local conditions over millions of years and they form an integral part in the life cycles of the local wildlife. They also give an area its unique sense of place.
  • Use plantings to reduce heating/cooling needs – Deciduous trees planted appropriately along the south sides of buildings can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 20%. In winter they allow the sun’s rays to warm buildings. Coniferous trees planted to block prevailing NW winter winds can reduce heating costs.
  • Avoid choosing invasive exotics – These out compete native plants and result in declines in biodiversity. Examples include: Norway maples, kudzu, purple loosestrife, Japanese honeysuckle and multiflora rose. Here’s a great rule of thumb. If it’s going to take over, then steer clear from planting in within your landscape!
  • Healthy and fertile soil is necessary for good plant growth
    Healthy and fertile soil is necessary for good plant growth.

    Build healthy soil and use fertilizer responsibly – Healthy and fertile soil is necessary for good plant growth, supports microorganisms, and results in plants that are more resistant to disease and pests.

  • Reduce waste and recycle nutrients – Reducing yard waste that otherwise could be sent to a landfill reduces the need to create more or larger landfill operations. Recycling nutrients through composting and recycling grass clippings reduces the need for fertilizers or other soil supplements.
  • Practice soil and water conservation – Stabilize slopes with natural plantings, mulch around plants, and install drought- tolerant species. Even hardscaped areas can be planned and built in such as way as to promote water-run off. Using  pavers that water can soak through, such as Unilock and Belgard’s permeable pavers allow you to recharge groundwater on site. This means you don’t have to create extra ditches, and/or piping to move the water away into storm drains. Permeable pavers can also aid in helping landscapes with existing drainage issues too!

Many of these helpful hints come from The Lawns and the Environment Initiative as outlined by the Center for Resource Management and from the EPA outline for Greener communities through beneficial landscaping.

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

Archadeck of Columbus realizes that knowledgeable and thoughtful plant selection, soil criteria and averting water runoff are key factors in creating an environmentally friendly softscape. We can help you plan and design the outdoor oasis you have always imagined with a keen eye on how your little slice of heaven can impact the world as a whole — we firmly believe a greener tomorrow begins in your own backyard! (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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 named Unilock Authorized Contractor for the second consecutive year!

We are proud to announce that Archadeck of Columbus has been awarded the Unilock Authorized Contractor award for the second consecutive year!

unilock certified contractor Archadeck Columbus OhioEach year, Unilock awards a few select contractors the esteemed Authorized Contractor status. Here in Ohio and Western PA, only 125 contractors were chosen from a list of 3,000 Unilock dealers in the region. We are proud to announce that Archadeck of Columbus has been named an Authorized Contractor for the second consecutive year!

As part of being named an Authorized Contractor, we were also able to visit their plant that services the Ohio region. The visit was a very rewarding experience and we were able to see first-hand how their pavers are made. We were able to take a look at some of the new product line introductions and we are excited about working with their new products in 2014! Among the highlights of the visit was learning more about their Enduracolor line of pavers.

Enduracolor pavers are made from high-quality aggregate including quartz and granite.  The process involves making a standard paver first where the top layer is high-quality cement then adding a pigmenting layer containing minimal aggregate. The result is a paver that has a compression strength that is 10 times stronger than poured concrete and looks fantastic. The Enduracolor line is definitely the “beauty and the beast” of pavers, as they provide strength and the aesthetics homeowners are looking for to use in their hardscape and patio designs.

Avante Ashlar interlocking has random appearance Archadeck Cols
The Avante Ashlar paver features a random, interlocking appearance.

Unilock started selling the Enduracolor line last year with a couple of products. They have introduced even more products to the line this year.  The Enduracolor Plus line of products takes the concept a step further with  the addition of natural stone like quartz and granite. The Enduracolor Plus colors in their ultra-high-end “select” line and include Richcliff, Umbriano and Copthorne. These pavers come with a guarantee from Unilock that their color will never fade.

Unilock EnduraColor Il Campo
This walkway was built using EnduraColor in Il Campo — beautiful!

In the Enduracolor line, the new color additions include from a khaki color all the way to darker brown which can be seen in their sycamore color paver. The trend to add darker pavers this year comes from the trend towards the use of darker colors within the market. The Enduracolor line includes Beacon Hill flagstone, Avante Ashlar, Il Campo and Thornbury.

Here at Archadeck of Columbus, we use a lot of the Beacon Hill series in our hardscape designs. Beacon Hill is popular with our clients and comes in three beautiful colors, River, Sierra and the new introduction of Sycamore. As an authorized contractor, Unilock backs up our warranty for two years in addition to the strong warranties we already have in place for our customers!

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

We are very proud, once again to be awarded as an authorized contractor. We will continue to provide the highest quality products to homeowners in building the patio, retaining wall or other hardscape structure of their dreams! Contact Archadeck of Columbus today to learn more. (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

See our beautiful hardscape and patio designs by visiting our hardscape and patio photo gallery located on our website.

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.

Archadeck of Columbus discusses the benefits of a screened patio or covered patio addition; a new take on the traditional porch we all know and love

Archadeck of Columbus explores the realm of covered and screened patios including construction, benefits and costs.

Elevated screened patio
This elevated screened patio with adjoining patio below offers loads of low-maintenance qualities and aesthetic appeal.

In keeping with the endless outdoor living opportunities present with a screened porch addition, many homeowners are opting for less traditional screened porch designs. Most conventional methods of screen porch construction consist of being built on “top” of some kind of deck-like structure, be it wood or composite. However Archadeck of Columbus has built many screen porches and open porches over concrete pavers or hardscapes. These are generally referred to as screened patios, or covered patios with the only difference essentially being the grade of the structure and floor medium used.

Paver and hardscape patios can make a wonderful screened or covered/open porch addition. These outdoor living spaces are often built on the ground, or at a lower grade than traditional screened porches, but can also include an elevated design. Screened or covered patio construction begins with planning the corner columns of the structure. Here we install a standard footer set in concrete to secure the columns and create a base from which the structure is built out. In this part of the country we typically install these footers at 3 feet in depth due to freeze lines. Once the footers are installed, they serve as the base from which the rest of the structure is built. This includes the walls, rafters, roof and remainder of the structure. In constructing some of our screened or covered patio designs from scratch we will often extend the paver or hardscape out past the covered portion. This will allow a good transition and add valuable outdoor living space too!

Columbus screened patio builder
This screened patio in Columbus, OH is built using a mix of dimensional pavers and rustic cedar interior trim.

Often the question may arise, how do we adhere the walls when knee walls are present in the design?  The answer is simple: we attach the walls to the pavers themselves with concrete fasteners. Another viable consideration is how do you combat the undulation of some pavers or hardscape mediums?  When choosing a paver the homeowner needs to keep in mind the different paver textures. Using a hardscape material with varied undulation is actually no different from the undulation or character of a decking board — because no two are exactly alike.

There are many reasons homeowners choose a screened patio or covered patio design. These include the low-maintenance qualities tied to using a hardscape floor. Pavers and hardscapes are easy to maintain and to clean. Hardscapes are also strikingly beautiful from an aesthetic standpoint, and homeowners like to tie their screened or covered patio into a new or existing patio space as well. The mixture of wood and stone is also appealing aesthetically to many homeowners.

Columbus OH screened patios
This screened patio in Columbus, OH opens onto a covered patio which increases valuable outdoor living space.

You can also add a porch over an existing patio—this is done by installing footers which requires removing sections of the existing patio, setting posts, back filling and reinstalling the pavers. Portions of the pavers or hardscape of your existing space will have to be removed but once the porch is done, you won’t be able to tell. Our renovations look original once completed.

The price of adding a screened patio or covered patio all depends on the elevation of your design and the hardscape flooring you choose to use within the design. You can have it built two ways, either low-to-grade, which is essentially on the ground or elevated. Elevated screened patios generally cost 20% more than a regular elevated screened porch. The increase reflects the construction dynamics involved which consist of layers of aggregate that are necessary in patio construction.  Low-to-grade designs usually cost approximately 10% more over standard screened porches built using wood. This increase may be non-existent or even a decrease when compared to screened porches built with higher-end solid PVC decking or its counterparts.  Just like a savory recipe, it is the ingredients that go into an outdoor living design that make the difference, and reflect the costs involved.

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

To find out more about our quality hardscape outdoor living designs, including patios, screened patio and covered patios, contact Archadeck of Columbus today.  Call us for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730 or drop us an email at westcolumbus@archadeck.net

Please visit our patio and hardscape photo gallery and our outdoor living photo gallery located on our website to see more of our fabulous Columbus area hardscape designs!