Category Archives: Pergola builder/contractor

Screen offers a fabulous alternative to shade

Macon-deck-pergola 750When it comes to summertime in the south, we make so many of our decisions based on the sun. It’s a powerful force in our lives. One of our customers had a large Macon pressure treated pine deck on the back of their home in an established subdivision. The underlying structure was sound and well built, but the sun ruthlessly beats down on it because it faces due south. The summer sun made the deck nearly unusable– both because it was so hot during the day and because it had dried, splintered, and cracked the boards and rails over the years.

We were thrilled to be able to design a project that enabled this customer to keep the existing structure of the 30’x10’ deck, saving a substantial amount of money. We laid new Fiberon PVC deck boards to better stand up to the sun’s punishing rays and allow the owners to avoid having to do regular staining and maintenance. Pergola-Macon-Deck-Sun screen 750They chose to use Sandstone, a nice, neutral color that will hide dirt and look good with any furniture they purchase in the future.

After we dealt with protecting the deck from the sun, it was on to helping out the people who wanted to enjoy sitting on the deck. The customers liked the idea of having a pergola, but a standard Macon pergola would not offer enough shade for a full southern exposure. We asked if they had considered putting a sunscreen on top of the pergola. The screen, a product produced by Phifer, offers protection from over 80% of UV light. This makes the entire porch considerably cooler and decreases the need for skin protection like hats or sunscreen.

Macon-Pergola-Sun screen lrYou can see from the photos the fabulous results. The screen is dark, but you can see through it. It provides shade, but still allows for some sunlight and plenty of airflow. We also mounted two ceiling fans under the pergola to get the air really moving when Mother Nature gives us an oppressively hot and muggy day. The addition of this pergola has been a life-changer for our customers. It didn’t just take something old and make it new; it took a largely useless space and made it a vibrant part of their daily lives.

For the finishing touches, we added black Fortress Iron pickets to better allow them to see the yard and give them another low maintenance element. We put a gate on each end to keep the dogs in their place. And, before we decked it, we put a new edge band around the outside to make everything look clean and fresh.

Stephen Denton Archadeck Augusta square lrIf you are considering creating a great new outdoor living space for your Macon/Warner Robins area back yard, or if you want to give a fresh new look to your existing pool area, give us a call for a free consultation. We will work to identify the best structures and materials to create the perfect outdoor living space just for you. Call: (478) 745 – 2000. Email: centralgeorgia@archadeck.net.

 

How this small outdoor living structure in project in Perry GA evolved into a backyard paradise

View from Perry GA composite deck looking into poolhouse pavilion
View from deck and pergola looking across to the pool house in Perry, GA.

Our focus project this week breathes fresh air into this Perry, GA backyard. When we initially met with the homeowners they had a deck leading to their pool and the deck was in really bad shape. The pressure-treated wood deck had not been maintained and was showing signs of age and exposure to the elements through excessive splintering and warping.

The homeowners conveyed  to us their wish for a composite deck during our initial consultation. Since their tired wood deck was splintering, they did not want to have to deal with splinters ever again.  Our original game plan was to replace the deck in low-maintenance composite decking, but as we started talking with the homeowner the backyard design began to evolve. In addition to the deck, Archadeck of Central GA also added a lovely pergola above the entire area where the existing deck was. We also opened up the area using the existing footprint of the old deck and created a welcoming space where people could sit on the steps, with more seating area where onlookers could face the pool from the deck. The design grew even further into adding another, additional side deck that is not covered under the pergola.

Perry GA low maintenance deck builder
Low maintenance double decks in Perry, GA. Notice the elegant Chippendale style railing.
Chippendale pattern on Perry GA deck rail reflects the homeowners Chippendale-backed swing
Chippendale pattern on Perry, GA deck rail matches the homeowners Chippendale-backed swing!

Both decks were built with gray composite decking that makes maintenance a breeze for the homeowners. We used an elegant Chippendale style railing motif which mimics the motif found on the back of the homeowner’s swing, which we hung for them while we were there as well. By adding benches below the Chippendale portions of the rail, the homeowner innovatively created the look of bench seats facing the pool surround too

Before even nearing half completion of the decks, the homeowner approached us with a vision of adding a pool house directly across from the deck. Archadeck of Central Georgia immediately began designing a pool house to place at the end of the homeowner’s pool, directly across from the new decks. The design encompasses the style of a poolside pavilion with its large roof and functional utility closet and restroom. The pool house is highly functional and adds loads of charm to the entire backyard with the half-enclosed, half-open stucco and brick design.The pool house also includes a small outdoor kitchen area. To balance the new outdoor living space we built columns surrounding  the pool house and around the pool. In addition, we put the homeowner’s in touch with a fence company that could add fencing to the columns surrounding the space for added safety.

Perry GA double deck and pergola combination
Side view of this double deck and pergola combination in Perry, Ga.

This project began as a small outdoor living endeavor and became a backyard paradise due to the union of an experienced, likeable and trustworthy builder with homeowners who had great vision for the way they wanted to live outdoors. Archadeck of Central GA is impressed with the way the project evolved into the outdoor oasis the homeowners now enjoy.

Archadeck of Central Georgia urges you to dream big when it comes to turning your backyard into the space you have always wanted. You can learn more about all of our breathtaking outdoor spaces by contacting Archadeck of Central GA today at (478) 745 – 2000 or email us at centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

You can see more examples of outdoor living combinations that deliver maximum function and beauty by visiting our deck photo galleries,  porch photo galleries and our pergola and trellis photo gallery located on our website.

This East Macon deck and pergola addition is nothing short of an outdoor oasis from every angle!

Multi-angled deck and pergola in Nottingham by Archadeck of Central GA
Our recent deck and pergola addition in east Macon is built with a keen eye towards preserving the holistic nature of this home’s architecture.

This deck and pergola project takes us to the Nottingham community located on the East side of Macon. This area of Central GA lends itself to the very roots of Macon, and carries an air of nostalgia amid the mature landscapes and prominence of the homes located there. This particular home was built in the Frank Lloyd Wright style architecture which is based on designing structures in harmony with humanity and their environment. This is a philosophy Wright called organic architecture. This home is a prime example of combining the home with the outdoors as the surrounding property and the residence unite elegantly as one.

Nottingham East Macon GA deck and pergola project by Archadeck of Central GA
This bi-level deck design allows the decks to flow harmoniously into one another and also provides space for separate living and dining areas.

Our goal was to emphasize this union with a new deck and pergola addition for this home. The homeowner’s existing deck was showing signs of age and exposure to the weather. We began the project by tearing down the old deck so as to have a blank canvas to build a new outdoor living masterpiece. We built the new deck from pressure treated pine and later the homeowners applied a solid sealer. The homeowner also wanted the new deck design to emphasize varied angles and shapes as they did not want a typical square-shaped deck. The design we decided upon includes two decks built at two different levels. This bi-level design allows the decks to flow harmoniously into one another and also provides ample space for separate living and dining areas. The living area of the deck provides convenient access to the interior of the home to make entertaining on the new deck a breeze.

Nottingham in Macon unique pergola and deck by Archadeck of Central GA
The day we photographed the space, the pergola had just been painted with red to make the pergola stand out among the lush landscape.

Within the living area of the deck, we also built a stunning wooden pergola. The pergola design is influenced by the same cues set forth by the home’s architecture and the free-flowing nature of the deck. The day we photographed the space, the pergola had just been painted with red to make the pergola stand out among the lush landscape and in keeping with the red hue used on the French doors that provide access between the deck and house.

Lush bi-level deck and pergola in Macon GA
Notice how the bi-level design allows ample space for both dining and relaxing.

These Nottingham homeowners are elated with their new outdoor living space and are looking forward to many years of organically inspired outdoor living enjoyment on their new deck. In fact, they were so happy with the outcome of the design that upon completion they referred their daughter to us for an outdoor living project she had in mind. We recently finished her project and will feature it here soon.

Archadeck of Central GA wants to remind you to think outside the box when it comes to inspiration for your new outdoor living space. Building on your style and individual taste is often the key to the success and enjoyment of your new area. There are no strict rules of design when it comes to an outdoor living space addition. If you have a specific style or placement location in mind for your anticipated deck or pergola, don’t be afraid to go with it. We are happy to give ideas and suggestions from what we’ve seen that works with our other clients.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

To learn more about our unique custom outdoor living space designs, contact Archadeck of Central GA today, the consultation is free, but the rewards are priceless – (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Please visit our wood decks photo gallery and our pergola and trellis photo gallery located on our website  for more unique examples of deck and pergola combination designs.

 

 

This Warner Robins sunroom turns out being more than these homeowners had ever hoped for in terms of value and design

Warner Robin GA sunroom builders
This project in Warner Robins includes a sunroom, patio and pergola.

These Warner Robins homeowners have a zest for outdoor living. Their large beautiful lot includes a serene backyard pond. The only downfall to having the pond is the number of mosquitoes it brings into the yard. With this in mind, these Warner Robins homeowners decided to add a screened porch overlooking the pond. The family decided that maybe they would benefit more from a sunroom because they wanted air conditioning and the other amenities that a screen porch could not provide. Once they confirmed their decision to add a sunroom addition, they began the contractor search. They reviewed the project with different builders for almost two years before contacting us for a consultation.

View from inside Warner Robin GA sunroom
The sunroom was built using large insulated sliding glass windows for comfort and convenience within the space. Notice the scenic view of the backyard pond visible through the large windows.

When contacting us, they shared the quote they were given to build the project. During our consultation I realized that the quote was way out of line being almost twice what we thought it would be. After we began discussing what they wanted, which was actually quite modest in comparison, we were able to quote a sunroom and pergola addition with an adjoining concrete patio for less than half of what the other guy quoted for the sunroom alone.

The sunroom was built using large insulated sliding glass windows for comfort and convenience within the space. The homeowner has the ability to slide the panels where the windows are 75% open so the space can function as a porch. They can also close the panels and run the A/C and heat at their discretion. There is a wall unit A/C unit and a radiator to provide constant comfort control within the space year round.

One thing is important to know about heating and air. People sometimes assume they can just tie a sunroom or interior room addition into their existing unit with no repercussions. This rarely bodes well as A/C units are designed for the square footage of the area they are serving. If the A/C unit is too large for the square footage it will cycle on and off too often causing wear on the unit leading to damage to the compressor. On the flip side if the A/C unit is not large enough it will run all the time in an effort to “keep up” and most likely just quit working way before its’ expected lifespan. So unless the HVAC unit is designed to take on another room, it is best to use a freestanding unit or alternate heating and cooling source for a new sunroom or room addition.

Warner Robins sunroom interior ceiling details
The bead board ceiling of the sunroom has since been stained.

The sunroom interior features a bead board ceiling and walls. Bead board does not dramatically expand and contract as it doesn’t hold moisture like drywall and other interior finish mediums so there is no worry of damage from temperature changes. The homeowner is planning on painting the bead board walls and staining the ceiling of the sunroom. They also plan on installing a ceramic tile floor. It’s not uncommon for us to leave painting and flooring to the homeowner. The price we would would get from a subcontractor would likely be the same that the homeowner would get. We let our clients know that so they can contract the finish painting and tiling themselves if they desire.

In designing the new sunroom, patio and pergola space Archadeck of Central GA introduced fun shapes into the design to break up the monotony of everything being linear and square. This adds to the harmony of the space and adds tons of visual interest too!

Macon Warner sunroom by Archadeck of Central GA
Finishing up the new sunroom, patio and pergola space Archadeck of Central GA introduced fun shapes into the design to break up the monotony of everything being linear and square.

The design of an outdoor space is what controls the price point. If you dramatically change the size of your intended space, that will influence the cost. However, project changes don’t always cause an increased price. Dimensional changes like making up some of the size in length rather than width can actually drive the price down instead of up. We cannot emphasize enough the importance of consulting with a professional outdoor structure builder. Here at Archadeck of Central GA we understand all the construction, design and material costs involved in a project. Taking advantage of our free design consultation will give you, and us, a better grasp of the space that meets your needs and wants. It is always better to have a custom design that takes your functional needs, aesthetic needs and budget into account rather than opting for a “cookie cutter” outdoor design that could actually end up costing you more.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

Remember that no two outdoor living spaces are created equal. Hiring a specialist can actually help keep the prices lower enabling a more suitable design for your individual needs. If you are ready to learn more about how we can enhance your outdoor living experience and stay within your budget, contact Archadeck of Central GA today (478) 745 – 2000, Email: centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

You can see more examples of our versatile, high quality outdoor rooms and pergolas by visiting our sunrooms photo gallery and our pergolas photo gallery located on our website.

 

 

Archadeck of Central GA answers the question of how low can you go with this low to grade deck and pergola combination project

design for new deck pergola Macon GAOur feature story this week is a  newly completed deck and pergola project in Central Georgia that is anything but ordinary. This particular deck is what we refer to as ultra low grade. This means the deck itself sits less than one foot off the ground. The completed project includes a pressure-treated deck with standard pressure treated railings. The railing also includes a custom gate to ensure the homeowner’s small kids stay on the deck and their dog stays off. We also built a stunning pergola over the top of the deck for shade and beauty. The pergola is built in a traditional style with pressure treated wood as well. The pergola provides shape and dimension to the deck and makes the perfect place for the homeowners to hang a ceiling fan.

In scenarios such as this, we usually prefer to build a paver patio in lieu of a deck because of the close proximity of the structure to the ground. Sometimes building a deck this low to grade can present issues because the lack of required space below the decking boards required for ventilation. Many times this absence of space will cause the decking planks to cup. Often, moisture that occurs naturally in every landscape will cause the deck to stay wet on the bottom. This moisture is usually not an issue because there is generally enough space under the deck to allow adequate ventilation and air flow ensuring the decking boards dry out appropriately. In the case of ultra low-to-grade decks, the bottom is more likely to remain wet and swollen for long periods while the top of the same board will dry and shrink. This opposite action on the same board will cause it to cup.

Low to grade Deck Macon GAIn most situations we prefer a distance of 16″ below the deck. There are some PVC decking boards on the market that don’t require this However, in our experience the best way to prevent cupping is to use a pressure treated wax injected wooden decking boards. This wax is the same as pre-treating your deck so the deck will not require sealing  for a few years. However, the sun will degrade the wax over time and the deck will have to be sealed annually after that.”  In this project, as with many of our low-to grade-deck designs, the bottom of the deck will be protected because this area will never have contact with the sun and the wax will never be burnt off. The only other instance when Archadeck of Central GA recommends using this product is when the customer is interested in selling their home in the new few years. This product ensures the homeowner’s will not have to perform any additional maintenance prior to moving.

The homeowners are very happy with their finished deck and pergola. The low-to-grade design adds a unique character to the rear of the home. These clients are looking forward to the outdoor living season and the opportunity to spend cherished family time on their new deck in the years to follow.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

If you have a unique deck design in mind and are uncertain of how your idea will look or function in your landscape, contact Archadeck of Central Georgia. Our expert design experience and realistic renderings can help you determine if the outdoor space you have in mind is the best fit for your existing home and landscape. Call us today for a free design consultation at (478) 745 – 2000 or email us at centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Please visit our wood decks photo gallery and our composite and PVC decks photo gallery for more examples of our deck designs.

A Central Georgia pergola adds just the right amount of personality and panache to any outdoor space

Paver patio in Macon GA
This paver patio and pergola combination in Macon, GA is a good example of the shade a pergola can provide in a sunny spot.

Whether you call it a pergola, a trellis or even an arbor; this outdoor structure is so much more than just another pretty face. No one can deny the beauty and presence a pergola can add to a backyard space. A pergola addition can add definition to an area but can also provide much needed shade.  A well-designed and well-placed pergola addition can add just the right amount of shade to an adjacent interior space. One of the benefits of a pergola is a reduction in cooling costs to an adjacent room based on the degree of sun protection your pergola provides. Although it can reduce the direct sun, it often still allows light to the adjacent room.

Statham's landing pergola in Warner Robins GA
This pergola design in Statham’s Landing shows a fiberglass column and wood combination construction.

Typically the most common material used for pergola construction is wood. But, there are also a wide range of different materials that can be used including low maintenance materials. Our customers often prefer real wooden pergola construction either opting for pressure treated pine or rough hewn Cypress. One popular request is a cypress pergola with a wide spacing between the joists and lathes. This gives the pergola a more rustic appeal. If formal is more your taste, we can combine fiberglass columns along with wood for the top of your pergola.

In terms of coatings, if you use wood, we can use a solid sealer for a more formal look or a clear sealer to allow the natural graining of the wood to show through.  Another viable option, especially in commercial pergola construction, is the use of vinyl and aluminum. The only drawbacks to using these materials are the price point and certain size limitations.

Central GA side entrance pergola
This stunning Cypress pergola gives the side entrance to this Central GA tons of personality.

Typical pergola construction consists of beams, joists and lathes which comprise a three layered design. In some cases we install a second layer of joists to deliver a four layer design. We may also install a denser layer of lathe to give the pergola a more masculine look. The distance between the joists and lathe can make a huge difference in the design of your pergola and the shade value and the aesthetic you are seeking to achieve. In pressure treated pergola designs we always advise installing the lathes closer together because over time pressure treated wood can warp. Closer lathe placement will help overcome this problem. Rounding out your pergola design can include decorative cuts such as ogee ends, or a 45 degree cut. These details may seem small but they influence your completed pergola aesthetics immensely.

Never forget the direction of the sun in conjunction with your home and placement of your anticipated pergola design. The back of your house may receive too much sun making it unbearable to enjoy during certain times of the day. With this in mind, we can design a pergola to block a percentage of the sun. For more sun protection, we can add an extra layer atop your pergola to add more shade. One such option is using a sun screen. We’ve had tremendous success with sun shades by Phifer. We work in conjunction with Encore design and construction on all of our sun shade installations. One of the biggest benefits of having a pergola is being able to mount an outdoor-rated ceiling fan. Not only does the addition of the ceiling fan aid in air circulation within your pergola it also helps cool the space on those hot Georgia afternoons!

Pergola Macon
This pergola in North Macon makes a grand entrance complete with Roman columns and Corinthian caps. The structure above and around the columns is cypress.

 

Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to learn more about the perfect outdoor space and companion – the pergola. Call us today for a free consultation (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

You can see more inspiring images of pergolas in many backyard settings by visiting our pergola and trellis photo gallery and our patio and hardscapes photo gallery located on our website.

Central GA hardscapes are strong in more ways than one

Paver patio in Macon, GA
This paver patio in North Macon, GA also provides shade with the beautiful pergola atop the structure.

The word hardscape in itself communicates strength and durability.  The hardscape is a strong choice in more ways than one. Not only is a professionally installed hardscape strong enough to drive a car on it, our hardscapes are built to withstand various and changing soil conditions as well as the effects of the elements. Requiring little to to maintenance, the pergola is a very strong choice for your outdoor living space.

This project in the Providence community in Macon GA is one example of the impact a quality hardscape can have on your backyard. The project includes a paver patio covered by a pergola. A deck would not have worked in this yard and because the homeowners wanted the least possible maintenance.  Hardscapes, in general require even less maintainance than composites or PVC.

Providence, GA paver patio and pergola
Here is another view of this paver patio and pergola project, in North Macon ( Providence), GA.

Building a home-made paver patio is generally not a good idea. Individual soil conditions vary greatly from yard to yard, Almost all home-made patios will inevitably move, sink, bulge and/or crack.  A professionally designed and built hardscape patio from Archadeck of Central Georgia is made to last. We dig down 4-6″  deep, apply a 4-6″ base of aggregate and make sure it is properly compacted before we even begin laying the pavers.

We use Belgard hardscaping materials almost exclusively. Belgard is a top quality hardscape that has a long history of successful applications on thousands of residential and commercial projects. Commonly used applications of Belgard hardscape materials include driveways, walkways and paver patios.

Using pavers allows a lot of design flexibility. We specialize in patterns, border-colors and multi-color designs. We can even incorporate a pathway to the driveway, garden area, or front of your house that matches and works in unison with the paver selection you choose.

The Belgard line has tremendous range in shapes, sizes and colors but right now earth tones and neutrals are popular. Earth tones are often highlighted with grays, blues and reds. The Cambridge cobble is a very popular color here in the Macon/Warner Robins and surrounding area. The Holland line is also popular and has a more traditional feel and style. Belgard also offers a line of outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and outdoor kitchens.

SPLCambridge008
Belgard's popular Cambridge Cobble offers a tailored, architectural look with gently rounded corners and a domed surface.

 

NFDHollandHighland
Belgard's Holland line is a solid choice for residential and commercial applications.

If  a paver patio is something you are planning in the near future, now is the perfect season to start. It is the best time of the year to build due to the heavy equipment used when constructing a paver patio. Spring is the optimum time for the turf to recover from stress, whereas other seasons make it less resilient due to weather and temperature conditions.

Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA
Stephen Denton, owner of Archadeck of Central GA

Contact Archadeck of Central Georgia to learn more about our strong and beautiful patio and hardscape designs today. Call for a free consultation: (478) 745 – 2000
centralgeorgia@archadeck.net