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.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Top 4 questions Columbus homeowners ask when considering a new paver patio or hardscape.

Archadeck of Columbus answers the top 4 questions asked by homeowners when planning a patio or hardscape addition.

Columbus paver patio with retaining wall outdoor kitchen
Our patios are built with quality and beauty in mind for the long haul.

The popularity of patios and hardscapes in the Columbus area continues to grow each season. With this growth, there are a number of questions potential hardscape owners ask Archadeck of Columbus. During our consultation with the client we are able to address any questions or concerns homeowners have about their patio or hardscape project.  In an effort to provide information for your upcoming outdoor living space project, we have picked the four most commonly asked questions and provided our answers below.

The top 4 questions people ask us when thinking of adding a patio or hardscape are:

1) Will the hardscape “settle”?

2) Will the hardscape get weeds?

3) Are hardscapes maintenance free?

4) What is the cost of a patio vs. a deck?

Pavestone flagstone patio Columbus OH
Under this stunning flagstone patio are many layers of intensive preparation to ensure the structural soundness of the patio over time.

The answer to these questions for the most part are no, no, no, and it depends. As far as any concern of a patio or hardscape settling over time or getting weeds, the answer is that it’s very unlikely if it’s done right.

Here are the details that go into the way we install a hardscape patio or outdoor space. When we build a patio or hardscape we use multiple layers to build the right foundation for your paver patio. When we excavate the are for the patio, we compact the base (dirt), then add the quarter size gravel 2″ at a time and compact after each 2″ layer.

Many companies will install all the gravel at once and compact only once. The first layer is a compacted soil base which is brought on by excavation of the proposed building site. We then install a layer of geo-textile material. We then add aggregate which consists of angular, quarter size stone which is added and compacted down two inches not just once, but three times. This is an element of patio construction that sets Archadeck of Columbus apart from other patio builders. We make sure the area is compacted in layers which is the main reason our designs maintain their integrity over time. We are certified Interlocking Concrete and Pavement Institute (ICPI) installers and build all of our hardscapes to meet and exceed all building codes set forth within.

Columbus paver hardscape decorative retaining walls
No weeds, no settling, no problem!

Most installers don’t compact the base or aggregate correctly which leads to settling over time. In addition to the compaction and aggregate layers, Archadeck of Columbus also installs polymeric sand which acts similar to grout once it is activated with water. We compact the last time pavers are installed and the poly sand is installed in an attempt to fill the voids as a much as possible so the poly doesn’t settle. This also greatly reduces the chances of weed seeds sprouting through the cracks. Archadeck of Columbus also provides a five-year guarantee on all hardscape and patio foundations, so we stand behind each of our structures every step of the way.

To answer the question of whether a patio or hardscape outdoor structure is maintenance free, the answer is no because nothing is completely maintenance free. Patios are however very low maintenance. The only requirement we recommend is sealing the hardscape every couple of years for an extra measure of protection against the elements and everyday traffic. Using a sealer will add a slight gloss, or sheen to the hardscape itself, but most homeowners love this look!

Columbus OH paver patio with retaining wall and fire pit
The curved seating wall and fire pit is a great way to add vertical dimension to this patio in Columbus, OH.

When trying to compare the price of a deck addition versus a patio, the final number is influenced by the design of the structure itself. Generally speaking, a wooden deck will be a little more expensive to build because you need a higher skill set for installation. When dealing with very flat ground, a patio will be a little less expensive to build, however when you begin to add vertical elements to the patio’s design that take more time, the price tag will begin to go up.  In regards to the cost of a synthetic deck versus the cost of a patio, the price for the synthetic deck will almost always be significantly more. Once again, it is hard to gauge a precise cost analysis until you take the design or the space and all the “bells and whistles” within the design into consideration, so the answer is it all depends on your individual design.

To find out more about our quality hardscape outdoor living designs, including patios, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, contact Archadeck of Columbus today.  Call us for a free consultation(740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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

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!

Archadeck of Columbus helps you plan the perfect patio or hardscape from head to toe

Archadeck of Columbus helps you plan the perfect patio or hardscape this spring from start to finish and everything in-between.

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.

When it comes to getting the most enjoyment and functionality out of your patio or hardscape, the devil is in the details. To the surprise of many of our clients one of the most important things to consider when planning your design is what will actually go into your space in terms of furniture, grills, etc. The key is to treat your outdoor spaces with the same consideration when analyzing and “sizing up” your interior space. How often do you go into an empty house and not really think about your furnishings? When you purchased your home, the room sizes were predetermined so you had to fit within those constraints. If you’re adding a new outdoor space, you can determine how you want to live in your new space and thus how you want to furnish it. That will tell us what size your new space needs to be.

Columbus Monarch Composite Deck with Paver Patio
Planning the perfect patio includes furniture considerations, shape, size and placement to allow proper traffic flow.

During our consultation we always ask what primary function your space will serve. For example, will your space be used primarily for dining or seating? If your answer is dining, then we take into consideration how many chairs you will need and the size of your table. If you are considering using a round table which is typically four feet in diameter and includes four chairs that are typically two and a half feet deep, we can help you decide your best use of space. One crucial factor that is often missed is allowing ample pull-out room for your chairs. Having enough room to easily sit back and relax in your chairs is a necessity if you want to get the most enjoyment from your space. Another key consideration is the type of chairs you intend to use in your patio. Rockers, swivels and stationary chairs all have different dimensions. Knowing ahead of time what furnishings you intend to use will allow us to ensure your space delivers proper traffic flow. The goal is to have a space that is large enough to travel to and around your table easily. This is especially important with dining because tripping could cause an accident or a spill.

Columbus paver patio rounded edges rounded retaining wall bench
Consider the big picture and how you wish your space to function in the years to come when planning your patio or hardscape endeavor.

A very popular table size is four feet in diameter. In order to obtain a comfortable proportion you will need a space that is 8 and a half feet. You have to consider the space that the chairs occupy when being occupied and the space they occupy when you and your guests are sitting away from the table during conversation or after meals. A typical case scenario is when your table is occupied and all are sitting away from the table. Then, you s till need room to move around those chairs. Once you add up all these measurements, this totals an area of approximately 14 square feet. There’s a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to space planning.

Columbus OH hardscape patios and paths
This hardscape patio and path in Columbus, OH is a good example of mixing hardscape mediums in one design.

Once you have decided upon the perfect size furnishings to use for your new space, you’ll need to think about texture choices. A scored concrete or paver patio contains undulation which is part of the beauty of the hardscape itself. These undulations and grooves also mean your chairs will not sit perfectly flat as they did in the showroom when you made your purchase. Some hardscape materials offer a more level surface than others. If leveled area for seating and dining is a must then we can mix mediums in your hardscape design. Mixing mediums will allow for a mix of smooth hardscape in your functional space and rough textured hardscapes throughout the remainder of your patio. Not only will this solve the dilemma of rocking furniture, it also looks great and helps delineate your space.  The joints of your paver patio will also influence steadiness of your furnishings. The distance of the pavers to each other will help hold furnishings level. In essence a smaller joint promotes a steadier surface for tables and chairs.

Paver patio with rounded edges rounded step Columbus OH
Paver patio with rounded edges and steps in Columbus OH

We cannot forget the importance of choosing outdoor furnishings that match the appeal of your patio. Many of today’s contemporary outdoor furniture designs use streamlined design with deeper seating with less of an emphasis on a slender leg. Stacked resin furniture is wildly popular right now. The trend we see throughout outdoor furniture design is taking the comfort and easy feel of your living room into the exterior. The term outdoor room is widely used in patio and hardscape designs for this very reason. Homeowner’s are leaning toward outdoor furniture that mimics the comfort and loftiness of their favorite couch or easy chair but with low-maintenance outdoor fabric choices.

Cedar deck and patio in Columbus, OH
This deck and patio combination by Archadeck of Columbus exemplifies good landscape planning.

Last but certainly never least, don’t forget the patio landscaping. This stage of planning a patio or hardscape addition is often an afterthought. Many times homeowners only landscape the area around the perimeter of the patio after completion. The foundation of a patio extends by about one foot to support the outside perimeter. It needs to have a landscaping plan even if it only includes mulch beds or planting beds. This is also a service Archadeck of Columbus can provide enabling you to build it into your contract. Landscaping choices should also reflect shade configurations that will affect your completed patio or hardscape and be planned accordingly.

If your outdoor living season aspirations include a patio or hardscape addition, we can help from head to toe. We can assist you in choosing the correct size space all the way building and landscaping your space. Contact Archadeck of Columbus today for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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

See more examples of stunning patios and hardscapes by visiting our patio and hardscape photo gallery and our outdoor living photo gallery located on our website.