When it comes to an outdoor living space, elevated decks are often the best design choice for many types of homes and lots.

Elevated Decks by Archadeck

Elevated Decks by Archadeck

Decks are, hands down, the best structure for any property with:

  • multiple stories
  • a walk-out lower level
  • or a sloping lot

But why?

A deck, unlike a patio, can adjoin divergent planes.

Decks can be built to go ‘up, down, over, under and around’.

So if your home’s design and landscape necessitate an elevated deck, what’s the best way to manage the leftover space underneath?

Essentially, there are four options for the space beneath:  an open area with groundcover, enclosed storage area, underdecking for an open outdoor room, underdecking for a screened-in room. Read the rest of this entry »

'Outdoor Room' with Levels, Lattice and Roof by Archadeck

Outdoor Room with Deck Levels, Roof and Lattice Privacy Screen by Archadeck

Think about it.

Before ‘outdoor living spaces’ became a popular trend, folks created impromptu ‘outdoor rooms’ in all sorts of ways.

A blanket spread-out for a picnic, a tent for backyard camping or a fort constructed with sheets draped over tree branches simulated the concept.

Everybody loves an outdoor room.

They’re fun!

Beyond ‘fun,’ any outdoor room is functional too by adding usable square footage to your home and backyard.

Outdoor Dining Room, Deck Design by Archadeck

Deck Design by Archadeck

It might sounds cliché, but in today’s market this type of home improvement will bring real dollar-value to your property.

The precise return-on-investment may vary by city or neighborhood but generally speaking, homes with an outdoor space are in-demand.

So now you may be wondering, “OK.  How do I actually add an outdoor room?”

The honest answer is, there are a lot of ways and we’ve outlined five specific strategies for your consideration right here.

And no matter if you can budget for a large-scale project or just want to begin by dressing-up an existing patio, an outdoor room can be in your future.

Pergolas create an outdoor room

If you have an existing deck or patio, consider a pergola addition.  Pergolas create significant shade and add a sense of enclosure too; yet, they cost less than a solid roof structure.  A pergola might be a great way to start.

Pergola for Backyard Patio by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Pergola for Backyard Patio by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Add stylish weather-proof furniture for comfortable seating or dining and VOILA, you have a bona fide outdoor room.

Go a step further and add an overhead canopy or hanging plants to supplement shade and intimacy.

Hang an outdoor mirror for depth and dimension.  Use benches as borders.  And don’t forget lighting.

Portable lanterns, string globe lights or an installed overhead light-fixture with a fan will work too. Read the rest of this entry »

Face it.

Open Porch by Archadeck

Open Porch by Archadeck – Beautiful Backyard Blog

Mosquitoes on a deck or porch can be a nuisance.

But there’s no need to let those pesky insects keep you from enjoying time on your deck because there ARE remedies.

In fact, the simplest ‘mosquito-busting’ solution just might surprised you.

Keep reading.

You’ll be glad you did!

According to The American Mosquito Control Association the best defense is a good offense.

First, ‘remove any mosquito friendly habitat’ from your property.  The biggest culprit is standing water which is a breeding ground for larvae.

Check flower-pot saucers, buckets and any other place that water collects.  Change the water frequently in wading pools, bird baths and pet dishes.  Clean rain gutters if necessary.

Deck Design with Mosquito Curtains by Archadeck, Chicago

Deck Design with Mosquito Curtains – Archadeck Chicago

Mosquito-repellents for skin or clothing?

“Deet” is the protective ingredient in these products and it’s EPA approved.

50+ years of research shows, when used correctly, Deet formulations seem to have a good safety record.

Picaridin and Synthesized Plant Oils are also deemed safe and effective Deet alternatives.

The best resources we’ve found on this topic include WebMD, Consumer Reports and outdoor health/recreation business-sites like REI.  If you have children, check with your pediatrician and if you have pets, check with the vet.

It’s a mixed bag when it comes to reviews for other gizmos, gadgets, and theories about mosquito-control.

The actual effectiveness of bug zappers, DIY misting systems, ultrasonic or CO2 expelling devices, magnets, traps, certain plants and other home concoctions are widely debated.   There’s benefit to burning citronella candles; the smoke emitted is a mosquito-irritant, maybe more than citronella itself.

So what IS the best way to eliminate mosquitos on your deck? Read the rest of this entry »

Ipe Deck by Archadeck on Pinterest

Ipe Deck by Archadeck on Pinterest

Two of our most-often viewed articles this year include “Smaller Decks with Sizeable Style” and “Deck Ideas for a Small Backyard”.

With 1,500+ views on the subject, we thought a little more elaboration might prove helpful.  (OK – Bad pun!)

So here goes.

Unlike sprawling acreage found in rural areas, urban and suburban neighborhoods have one thing in common — dense neighborhoods and backyards with limited land.

But don’t be fooled.  Very big style can be incorporated into the confines of a restricted outdoor area by using sound ‘design and build’ strategies.

In the end, an experienced contractor can convert a supposedly ‘small’ outdoor space to a versatile structure for all types of activities and gatherings.

And here’s how. Read the rest of this entry »

Archadeck in St. Louis - New Pinterest Page

Archadeck in St. Louis – New Pinterest Page, http://www.pinterest.com/archadeckstl/

Ever heard of Pinterest for business?

Well, Archadeck has been listening to all the buzz as well.

And our ears are telling us that Pinterest is THE ‘oh-so-perfect’ visual resource when homeowners begin to research a remodeling project for inside or out.

It’s a quick and easy-to-use bookmarking tool.

And Pinterest packs-a-punch of inspiration for whatever topic you choose, including outdoor living.  At a glance.

And best of all, it’s really (really!) fun and completely free.

No wonder  Pinterest has exploded in popularity and is recognized as an essential, online discovery and sharing platform for individuals and businesses, alike.

It’s ideal for the quiet introverts amongst us and you can explore Pinterest without a lot of unnecessary chatter.

As an information hub, our Pinterest page also includes resources for everything outdoor living – design ideas, DIY projects, outdoor furniture, tips for accents or accessories, gifts, gardening hints, grilling recipes and more.

Over the past year alone, our blog has received thousands of visitors directly referred from some of the wonderful pinners of Pinterest.  As a result, we decided to hop on the Pinterest-bandwagon by adding the ‘pin it’ button (now found at the bottom of each post) and a link to our brand-new Pinterest page (found on the side column). Read the rest of this entry »

Westbury Deck Rails, photo courtesy of Archadeck

Westbury Deck Rails, photo courtesy of Archadeck

In our last post “Decks Designed with Glass Rails” we discussed the benefits of using solid panels or balusters made from tempered glass to preserve a deck’s scenic view.

But if glass isn’t the look you’re craving, no need to fret.

There are other non-obstructive railing options too.

Consider aluminum deck rails by Westbury designed for minimal field-of-vision interference.

And for that reason, the Westbury product line is an Archadeck favorite as a glass-rail alternative.

We give Westbury ‘two thumbs up’ and here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

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