Above ground pools are sure to bring hours of enjoyment for your family, but they aren’t known for looking pretty. A beautiful patio design could transform your above ground pool from an eyesore to a resort.
Add a Deck
Sure, that rickety white ladder allows you to climb inside your above ground pool, but does it make you feel like you’re enjoying a getaway? Adding a deck is how you spruce up your pool design and make it more functional. Pool decks make it easier to get into your above ground pool, they add space so you can sit poolside, and they hide the unsightly sides of the pool.
For a look that really stands out, consider adding multiple levels to your deck. This could be as simple as a landing a few steps off the ground, or you could have a level of the deck that overlooks your pool. Additionally, the finishing touches of your deck are important. Don’t skimp on the rails that surround your deck; they make your space feel private… just like you would feel at a high-dollar resort.
One thing is for sure… if you don’t do anything else to your above ground pool, adding a deck will instantly help it feel more like a vacation.
Beautiful flowers, hedges, and succulent plants require minimal landscaping but offer maximum appeal. Pool decks are a great space to add some greenery. Flowers and plants in pots or planter boxes around the deck bring softness to the deck and the pool area. You can also plant hedges or flowers around the side of the above ground pool (where the deck doesn’t already cover) to draw your eye away from the pool siding. Highlight it with some mulch and anyone who visits your pool will feel like they’re in a top-dollar vacation destination.
Add Functional Furnishings
A resort lifestyle includes sitting by the pool, and you can enjoy that in your own backyard with functional furniture. Look for fabric that can withstand your climate and fabric designed to catch your eye. Try out the furniture before you buy it to make sure it’s comfortable. After all, you want it to be something you’ll be able to relax in.
Taking money you would invest in a vacation and investing it in your backyard is a great option to enjoy a lifestyle of luxury. Archadeck can help you find your solution to resort living… right in your own backyard.
I was recently looking through some of our Archadeck Outdoor Living projects when I noticed a theme. A theme that was both useful and beautiful: under decking.
For those that are unfamiliar with under decking, it is a type of drainage system that is installed on the underside of a deck, creating a space below that is dry and usable as another outdoor living space. While some decks don’t need or wouldn’t benefit from under decking because they are too low to the ground, it’s perfect for raised decks.
So, how does under decking work? A sloped drainage system is added on the underside of the deck that catches water that falls between deck boards and leads it away from the structure to a gutter, leaving the space below dry. The bottom of the system can be finished in a variety of ways that look like any other type of ceiling.
Under decking creates more dry space that can be used in a variety of ways. The most common use is having a porch below. Many of our clients essentially have outdoor rooms below their decks that can be used as living rooms or dining rooms. Because the ceiling of the structure stays dry, lights and fans are often added to finish the space.
Some of our clients have also added enclosures of some type under their decks using under decking. Screened porches and sunrooms can be built under an existing or new deck to create more space.
Here are some great examples of under decking:
I have two rambunctious nephews that cannot sit still. They’re 5 and 3 and as you can imagine, full of energy. They live in a great neighborhood with a ton of young kids. Like clockwork, when everyone is home from school, the kids race outside to play. I was visiting them a little while ago and watched the outdoor antics all from my brother’s front porch.
My brother lives in a newer subdivision in South Carolina. There are five or six floor plans for people to choose from, but it’s the outside finishes which stops them from looking all the same. One of those finishes is the front porch. Some have just a simple stoop, others have a front porch that spans the width of the home and others have wrap around porches.
Front porches and porticos are a great way to add personality and function to your home. My brother’s porch was the perfect place sit back, catch up and still have a clear view of my nephews. Neighbors stopped by for a few minutes, chatted and went on their way. What can I say? Porches make great outdoor living spaces for spur of the moment visitors.
Growing up in Maine (yup, I just made the jump from South Carolina to Maine), our front porch was where we took off our muddy or wet shoes before we stomped our ways through the house. It was essential to my mom’s sanity. When it was raining or snowing, we would slip out of our boots and step right inside. We were safe from the elements and didn’t have to track dirt inside.
Beyond functionality, front porches and porticos add personality to a home. Custom porch designs make sure to add to the beauty of the home while not making it look like an afterthought. The colors, trims and finishes should complement what is already there. Here are some examples of beautiful front porch designs from Archadeck Outdoor Living:
If you are interested in how a new front porch or portico can enhance the front of your home, please contact your local Archadeck Outdoor Living office.
Homeowners make improvements to their homes for a myriad of reasons. Reasons include adding additional living space, remodeling to update a space or style, or upgrades to interior and exterior spaces just to name a few. Home improvements are classified as anything that makes a positive alteration to your home or your land. Today many homeowners are adding new decks and outdoor living structures to their list of improvements.
When an appraiser comes to appraise your home before you put your house on the market, he takes a lot of information into consideration before coming up with that magic number. Appraisers look at land size, square footage, age of the home, the numbers of rooms, the type of home it is, the condition and the quality of the home, and the comparable value of all the other homes around you. Any type of home improvement that adds livable space of any kind, whether it is heated or unheated square feet, does increase your home’s value.
Building a deck for example, can greatly increase your home’s value. Some research shows that up to 75% of the deck cost can be recouped if the home is sold within a year of adding the new deck. Even if you don’t have a lot conducive to adding a deck, a patio is also a solid choice for sellers looking to re-vamp their backyard in preparation to put their house on the market.
Any structure that adds character to your home or land will add value. Any structure that makes you stand out above the competition will add value, and also help get your house shown more often, and thus, sold quicker. You have to think in terms of relativity to the competition around you. Adding an outdoor structure such as covered porch, a gazebos or a pergola can add enough character to make your home stand out from all the rest. Think in terms of the potential buyer’s standpoint, they are going over the houses they have been shown and have to choose from in their price range and they come across yours by memory in their conversation…” yes, that was a nice home, lots of open space, well maintained interior, right amount of bedrooms and it had that beautiful backyard with that lovely covered porch, nice”. An addition such as this can often make such a positive impact on your home that the chips will become stacked in your favor.
Keep in mind as well that adding an outdoor space to your home is the most affordable way to expand your home’s value. Archadeck can help you decide on the right outdoor structure for you, from planning, to design, to construction. We can help you every step of the way. 888-OUR-DECK
I am sure each one of us would agree that a roof is a pretty important detail in any structure. It keeps us dry and out of the elements. It helps secure other structures that are attached to it. It becomes a component of the stability of a structure it is atop. All these explanations are “no brainers”. A roof is so much more than all of these. A roof can add character and presence to a structure. What type of roof you decide to put atop your structure can really determine how sound it is, and how attractive your structure ends up. That is why it is so important to pick the right roof for the right structure.
One important factor when you decide on the addition of a structure such as a covered patio, screened porch or sunroom is to choose a roof style that matches and fits with the existing architecture of your home. For instance if you have a hip roof, it is usually a good idea to carry that through when building your addition, this will keep the structural integrity of your home and the additional roof will flow into your existing roof. This “flow” is most crucial when the structure is going to be directly connected to your existing house.
The same rules usually apply when you have a gabled roof. If you want to add pizazz and originality to your new addition with a gabled roof there are gable-end designs now available to add a custom look with a lot of flair.
The use of a gabled roof also lends space for higher ceilings which can be a canvas for arched windows, bead-board ceilings, the addition of ceiling fans and unique lighting choices. The design choices available to structures with high ceilings are endless nowadays.
Whether you are anticipating the addition of a sunroom, patio or screened porch Archadeck can show you all the choices and design a roof and living area plan to fit with your home’s architecture beautifully. Give us a call and we can make your dream come to life under one roof.
Take a look at our website at Archadeck.com to see lots of pictures and learn more.
At first glance, this two-story deck in Malvern PA looks like the perfect deck. But, what makes the perfect deck?
Above is the “before” deck that was re-architected, replaced and rebuilt by Archadeck of Chester County, PA. Even though this looks like the perfect deck, the owners had two problems and one issue with the deck. The problem with the deck was the damage done by their dog. The first issue was that the deck faces southwest so it is a scorching location in the afternoon and evening. They were simply not able to use the deck until after sunset. The second issue is that the deck had a boring shape. When rebuilding their deck, they wanted to fix not only the sun issue but also make their custom deck truly custom.
Here is the after picture from atop the deck:
Here is the after picture from the back:
The design included both a custom deck structure as well as an octagonal covered porch. The hip roof helped achieve usable area during the afternoon and evening. The octagonal shape of the open porch added dimension to the back of the home as well as a large usable area for entertaining.
You’ll notice that skylights were added to the roof to allow daytime light to flow onto the open porch and into the kitchen. The unique octagonal shape of the open porch created a duplicate octagonal area below on the patio area for extra entertaining and outside living.
With any custom structure, materials are incredibly important. Because of the dog, a more scratch-resistant TimberTech XLM decking material was used using hidden fasteners.
TimberTech’s XLM decking is one of their premium decking planks. It is a cellular PVC decking plank that’s built to withstand tough scratches and mildew and it has very strong stain resistance. So, XLM is a wise choice if your deck will be a heavy traffic area, a heavy spill area, a heavy rain and tough weather area, a play area for kids, an area for your pets and an area that might see heavy spills. It’s also very slip resistant.
The TimberTech XLM comes in 5 colors – Mountain Cedar, River Rock, SandRidge, Desert Bronze, and Rustic Bark.
The railing is a combination of TimberTech Builder Board with an XLM cap and aluminum balusters. The columns are round, tapered, 10” Fiberglass. They are paintable so that the owner can match the trim on the house.
Here is another after photo of the job from afar:
The boards on this deck may have great weather proofing characteristics but Juan Cardona, the owner of Archadeck of Chester County wished the weather would have held off while they were building the deck. They started construction about 4 days after the first of the massive snow falls that hit this past winter. So they had to show up with a snow blower to clear away a path down to the yard and a 20’X40’ area near the deck so that the crew could set up their work site. Now the Archadeck crew has a new tool in their toolbox – a snow blower.
As you think about building the structure for your back yard, think about how you want to use your structure.
Here are some questions:
- Do you want to entertain a lot? If so, what times of day and how many people?
- Do you want a quiet spot to read? Do you want a romantic spot to steal away and enjoy a glass of wine with your spouse after long days at work?
- Do you want to have another spot on the deck for the kids to play or roast marshmallows while you are enjoying that glass of wine over on another portion of the deck?
- How does your dog or cat like to use the deck? Do they want shade or just the quickest way to chase down a bird in the yard?
- Do you want your deck elevated so you can watch the birds in your trees?
- Are you one of those people who can’t spend 5 minutes outside without getting an insect bit? If so, something screened might be the best fit.
If you have an idea of what type of structure will enhance your lifestyle, take a look at some of Juan’s projects here for some more aesthetic ideas:
- Deck Photo Gallery
- Wood Deck Photo Gallery
- Hardwood Deck Photo Gallery
- Deck Extras: Benches, Planters, Lattice Photo Gallery
- Pergolas and Trellises Photo Gallery
- Outdoor Rooms photo Gallery
- Porches Photo Gallery
- Screened Porches Photo Gallery
Do you have a lifestyle question that you’re looking for an outdoor living space to fit your lifestyle? Comment here and we’ll get back to you with some ideas!