Sun protection is not something that should be taken lightly…

DrySnap rain deck
DrySnap rain deck by Archadeck of Columbus.

We’d all love to spend our summer days in the garden, reading a book by the pool or just taking in the fresh air with a cold ice tea on our patios. But often times we forget to think about the risks of spending too much time outdoors in the sun without proper protection. Numerous medical complications like Melanoma and Cataracts can occur when sun protection is disregarded.

 National UV Safety Awareness monthDisregarding the sun’s damaging rays are nothing to take lightly. These serious complications have life threatening concerns that need immediate attention. Melanoma occurs when the pigment-producing cells that give color to skin become cancerous due to overexposure to sun or sunburn. Broad-spectrum sunscreen is used as a temporary protector against the sun but is frequently only applied once throughout the day which becomes inefficient over time if you plan to spend a full day outdoors.

Columbus Screened Porch BuilderThe month of July is observed as National UV Safety Awareness month. Archadeck of Columbus wants to ensure you are worry free when it comes to spending time outdoors. Instead of spending your time indoors in fear of the damage UV rays may cause, invest in long-term protection for your backyard. Archadeck can help protect you and your family by adding a covered patio, screen porch or a 3 or 4-season room addition. Whether you enjoy gardening or sitting in the breeze to read a book these are perfect options to get you the ultimate protection while still enjoying the freedom of being outdoors.

Columbus OH covered patio for dining and entertaining

Covered patios and screen porches offer a shaded more private area for you and your family to escape to during lunch when the heat is in full swing. Even with an existing hardscape patio, Archadeck can custom design a covered structure over the top to help provide proper UV protection. With a screen porch you get triple protection. Screen porches provide the benefit of sun protection but also becomes a defense against allegans such as pollen and mosquitoes and other nuisance insects.

Four_Season_Sunroom_with_Tile_Floor

Adding a 3-season or 4-season room is like taking a piece of the outdoors and bringing it inside. A 3-season room can be designed and built with an Eze-Breeze® window system. Eze-Breeze® allows your outdoor structure to quickly switch from glass windows to screen panels letting in the cool Columbus breeze. 4-season rooms are designed with HVAC systems to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. These additions protect you from direct sunlight while still being able to enjoy the panoramic views of your backyard garden and landscape with floor to ceiling windows.

Open porch and hardscape patio

It is fairly easy to forget to follow the standard recommendations for sun protection such as continuously adding a strong broad-spectrum sunscreen or wearing sunglasses throughout the day. That is why Archadeck of Columbus wants to help you and your family with long-term sun protection by adding a covered patio, screen porch or a 3-season or 4-season room onto your backyard.

Archadeck of Columbus team
The Archadeck of Columbus team.

Contact Archadeck of Columbus today at (740) 879-3730 or via email at westcolumbus@arcahdeck.net to get out of the sun by designing your custom outdoor structure. We would look forward to connecting with you!

Cover Story: Why Columbusites Love Porches

Rocking chair front porches of yesteryear
Rocking chair front porch of yesteryear.

There are certain outdoor living structures that are just must-haves and porches have remained at the top of this list for generations. There is nothing more American than the porch. Whether used as a refuge from the elements, or a place to relax and make memories with friends and family, the porch is a classic outdoor structure that transcends time.

“Porches are as synonymous with American culture as apple pie. While known in colonial times, they rose to nationwide popularity in the decades before the Civil War, and remained in fashion for almost one hundred years. Ironically, the very social and technological forces that made them both popular and possible were eventually responsible for their decline.”

— From Kahn, Preserving Porches

http://columbus.archadeck.com/our-projects/columbus-screen-porches-and-sunrooms/For over 15 years, Archadeck of Columbus has designed and built custom outdoor structures with functionality and beauty in mind for homeowners in the Columbus area. During our time in business few structures have remained as constant as the porch. Porches have been portrayed throughout history as a safe haven of protection from wind, snow, rain and nuisance insects and have been associated with the art of relaxation.

Delaware OH rustic screen porch with outdoor fireplace
An outdoor fireplace adds to the rustic charm of this wooden screened porch in Delaware, OH.

Porches come in all shapes and sizes, and their benefits extend the entire circumference of the home and even within the landscape. From the traditional “rocking chair” front porch, the open porch, screened porch and even porches detached from the home and used in a variable setting within the landscape — all are endearing to Columbusites!

Interior of open porch in Columbus, OH
This photo shows the lovely interior of this open porch we recently completed in Columbus, OH.

Archadeck of Columbus specializes in creating porches that are steeped in quality, beauty and overall outdoor enjoyment. We can deliver the beloved wooden porch of your past, or design your porch without the worry of constant painting or staining because of our diverse menu of low maintenance materials such as vinyl, PVC and other synthetics. We also pay close attention to the details that make each of our porches unique and superior to other designs. Our porches can be designed to include the modern conveniences that you yearn for such as ceiling fans, electrical outlets, recessed  lighting  and even an outdoor kitchen or fireplace. When it comes to choosing the details that set your porch apart from others, the world is your oyster. Archadeck of Columbus’ porches not only provide you with comfort and convenience, they can also improve your home’s curb appeal and increase your home’s value as well.

Archadeck of ColumbusIf you are ready to transform that blah front exterior of your home, or are ready to turn your vacant backyard into an outdoor oasis, a porch is the perfect answer! Contact us today to learn more about our versatile porch and screened porch designs at (740) 879 – 3730, email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net or visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

With this Powell OH deck extension, there was no need to throw the baby out with the bath

Can you see where this deck was extended? Even that will gray out and become unnoticeable
Can you see where this deck was extended? Even that will gray out and become unnoticeable

The builder deck is good enough when you are building your home and want to save what extra money you have for upgrades to your kitchen appliances, hardwood floors or a jet tub for the master bath. It also works just fine when you are “trading up” to get a little more room and it’s the deck that comes with the house in the neighborhood with the great schools. But the time will come when you are ready to make a change.

People often hesitate to completely tear out a serviceable deck. They worry that it is wasteful, so we often hear the question, “Can we make our deck bigger?” My answer: absolutely. Here is a typical example of a Columbus deck upgrade/expansion project that we completed. We took what they had and improved upon it.

Composite and synthetic woods have come a long way baby. Look at the stunning color of this deck.
Composite and synthetic woods have come a long way baby. Look at the stunning color of this deck.

Our Powell OH customers had the same petite builder deck as several other homes in the neighborhood. It was constructed of pressure-treated pine and was too small to be of real use. Archadeck removed the decking and railing, leaving the underlying structure in place. We extended the base to make it 6-8 feet wider. Then we replaced the tired, faded wood boards with TimberTech Evolutions Pacific Redwood; it harmonizes with the floors inside the house. That change alone makes a tremendous difference both aesthetically and from a home maintenance perspective.

Next we added some small details that you just don’t see on builder decks. They aren’t necessarily expensive to do, but they have a big visual impact. We used a double parting board down the middle which gives a pleasing visual division of space and serves the practical purpose, allowing that TimberTech Pacific Redwood deck Powell OHextended width along the back of the house. We also created a small, attractive bay area at the corner– that’s something you just don’t see on a cookie-cutter builder deck.

We widened the stairs the yard just a bit. Obviously, that makes it a little more comfortable for moving back and forth, but it also creates a better sense of balance to have a larger staircase with the larger deck. The stairs and the perimeter are adorned with a contemporary black aluminum rail. It’s sleek and functional at the same time.

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.

If you like it, put a roof on your Columbus porch

Open porch over concrete pad Columbus OH lrAsk any self improvement guru and they will tell you to celebrate the things you love about yourself and then identify and take positive steps to change the things you don’t. We have a similar approach to assisting our customers in designing their new outdoor living spaces. We ask them to tell us what they love about their house and what they want to change to create their fabulous new Columbus deck, porch or patio.

This Westerville porch project had, literally, a good base to start from. The house boasted an existing variegated stamped concrete pad for a patio. The trouble wasn’t the pad, it was in great condition. The problem was the punishing sun hitting the west side of the house nearly every afternoon during the summer. Our mission: create an open porch working around the existing pad that didn’t block the many windows adorning the rear of their lovely home.

Westerville OH double open porch lrWe opted for a combination gable roof to accommodate the windows. One gable faces the side and one faces the back. Both offer plenty of height to allow for amenities like lights, ceiling fans and outdoor speakers. The vaulted interior cathedral ceilings are beautifully appointed in cedar tongue and groove planks. The owners liked the look of a beam ceiling as well, so we added decorative beams perpendicular to the planks that are painted to match both the exterior of the home and the paulownia-wrapped pillars.

We wanted to minimize the number of times that we cut through the concrete pad so that we wouldn’t risk damaging it and could minimize project costs. Our design demanded just seven columns to hold up the entire structure. Of these, only one was drilled through the slab. The pillars were vaulted ceiling open porch Westerville OH lrconstructed from Unilock in Brussels Sierra. The pillars were important from a practical standpoint because they allowed us to give us lots of elevation for the high roof. From a design perspective, they just look fabulous. They complement the patio as well.

I’d like to include a note about paulownia, the wood we used to wrap the pillars and beams. This variety is unfamiliar to many Americans, but it is, in fact, native to North America. It is very lightweight for its strength and easy to work with. It’s also very fast-growing (as much as 20 feet in one year!) so it is highly regarded for being eco-friendly. It is resistant to rot and insects so it is useful for many outdoor applications, but is too soft to use for most horizontal applications like flooring. It was a perfect match for this project and can be painted any color.

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, visit our website at columbus.archadeck.com or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Cedar’s natural beauty makes it a perennial porch favorite

Composite building products grab more than their fair share of the headlines in stories about Columbus decks and porches. This is probably because the industry is always rolling out new products, textures and colors. They also have large companies promoting them: think TimberTech and AZEK. This week I’d like to highlight the beauty, versatility and warm smell of natural cedar as we used it in a screened porch addition.

Columbus deck to porch conversion

This client wanted to replace an existing deck with a Columbus screened porch that had a rustic look. No other product gives you the combination of traditional rough hewn construction and Columbus cedar screened porch by Archadeck of Columbushigher-end sophistication than cedar. The highly sought after grain pattern, color, and subtle scent are pleasing to humans, but discourage insects. We used the cedar to build an open gable roof with sweeping curved braces and exposed rafters that look elegant while letting in a tremendous amount of light. Another bonus of using cedar on this job was that we were able to pair it with cedar lap siding on the exterior that will be painted to match the rest of the home.

There were two design challenges with this job. The first was that we needed to build around an existing chimney, but this only added to the rustic feel of the porch. The other was that we wanted to preserve a bay window on an adjoining part of the house. To do that, we opened up the staircase to the Columbus paver patio just a bit. We also made sure to have a second window facing the bay window on the interior side to keep as much light as possible.

Columbus cedar screened porch with drink railThe interior of the porch has a knee wall with a drink rail just above it. This combination worked beautifully because their dog Sam can still see outside through the screened gap and guests have a place to put their drinks that is high enough that they are not in danger from a wagging tail. Sam also suggested that we use Screen-Eze in case he gets a little overenthusiastic one day–Screen-Eze has incredible strength and durability.

On a cool fall evening, I think the family is going to love sitting around their new fire pit on their Unilock Camelot paver patio (the color is Coffee Creek). There is plenty of space to use the seating wall or pull up a chair. When the weather gets a little fierce, I know they will enjoy sitting on the new screened porch and listening to the sound of the water hitting the rain bell that they installed in place of one of the downspouts–such a delightful touch to the home.

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.

 

You’ll be really disappointed if you built a screened porch that just wasn’t big enough for your needs. Here are our top 7 things to consider first.

There are many decisions to be made when designing your new screened porch. One that is often not considered strongly enough is size. An extra 2 feet of length, width or both can make a big difference. The last thing you want to do is fill your new screened porch with your new furniture only to realize it doesn’t really fit. Or, you don’t want to try to push your chair back after dinner only to find out you are locking horns with the porch’s chair rail. Below are some general considerations to begin considering the best size. Utilizing your considerations along with our expert recommendations, we will determine the best size to fit your outdoor living needs.

This Zen inspired screen porch in Upper Arlington, OH
This Zen inspired screen porch in Upper Arlington, OH is a great example of good space allocation in regards to furnishings and spatial harmony.

Based on our decade+ of experience with outdoor living spaces, here are my Top 7 details to consider for creating a porch that looks and feels great and is spacious enough to fit your outdoor living needs.

#1: Give yourself space to stretch out. Your dining room is the place where you go to sit formally around the table and sit up straight with your feet in front of you and your napkin on your lap. When you want to relax with friends or family after a long day, you head to the porch. That means you need to leave a little extra room to extend your legs or even prop them up on the coffee table.

#2 Include comfortable cushions. Again, you don’t need your kitchen or dining chairs to have the kind of softness that you can melt into. Those are utilitarian chairs. You eat, you stand, you go. When you want to spend an hour with a book or entice your friends to stay out past their bedtimes, you want a chair that doesn’t want to let you leave.

#3 Plan for the number of guests you will usually have. You can always borrow or rent extra chairs or tables for a large event like a graduation party, but you don’t want to be constantly moving or walking around chairs that almost never get used. Would you buy a pickup truck because you want to haul a big load twice a year?

dog enjoying archadeck screened porch#4 Don’t forget your pets. Most Columbus screened porch owners find that their pets are huge fans of their new space. If your pets are going to spend time out on the porch with you or on their own, make allowances for that. Talk to us about screening options that are pet resistant. And, even if they won’t have their own furniture, leave them a little space to enjoy the porch too.

#5 Measure furniture twice. I don’t mean measure it twice because you might have made a mistake the first time. Measure it once by itself and once with a person using it. That Adirondak chair is very hip and attractive, but it takes up much more space while it is being used. Think about your dining room table. You need 2-4 extra feet around the perimeter when it’s being occupied.

#6 Use outdoor furniture. I know that the two most popular places to put your old indoor furniture are on the porch and in your adult child’s first apartment, but indoor furniture should really stay indoors (or just send it to its next home). You are already tired of it, it doesn’t have much life left anyway, and it will be terrible to try and clean. Let us show you some of our Casuwel outdoor furniture. It is without peer in its combination of comfort, style, durability, and value.

#7-ish OK, while this one is not about size, it was important enough that we wanted to make sure to include it here. Don’t fear the mess, prepare for it. Outdoor living will always be a little messier than indoor living. Bugs, dirt, rain, pollen, muddy feet. You can’t change that. You can, however, use materials and fabrics that will make a huge difference in how your porch and furniture will stand up to abuse and how easily it will clean. Sunbrella fabrics from the Outdoor Living Brands Casuwel line of furniture and umbrellas are the industry standard for beauty and durability. Ask to see swatches from our line: Carnegie Celeste and Astoria Lagoon are just two of the dozens of stylish options available.

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.