Here in St. Louis, screen porches are more popular than ever.  Screened in porches are the perfect in-between space:  part house, part yard.

Screened Porch by Archadeck

Screened Porch by Archadeck

From stand-alone porches to attached porches and screen rooms that are combined with a deck or patio (or both), the sky’s the limit when it comes to  design and building.

So whether you want a porch for its architectural value or simply to get away from the bugs, there’s one for any style and any budget.

In our previous posts, Screen Porch Ceiling Options and Screen Porch Roofing Options, we took an in-depth look at the engineering details and materials for hip, gable and shed roofs; vaulted and flat ceilings; exposed and enclosed rafters; accessories too.

And just like a roof or ceiling, the walls, windows, doors and floors of a screen porch are distinct elements that make an important constructural and aesthetic impact as well.

Let’s take a look. Read the rest of this entry »

For many purists, the ONLY decking choice for real wood is cedar.  From shabby-chic to an authentic-rustic style, all-natural cedar decking provides outstanding visual and structural appeal.

Cedar Deck and Covered Porch by Archadeck

Cedar Deck, Railing and Balusters with Gable Roof by Archadeck

Appreciated by homeowners and carpenters alike,  cedar packs a 1-2-3 punch.

It is rich in color, has a natural beauty and is chemical and preservative-free to withstand insect infestation, rot and decay.

When compared to other building materials, cedar is more costly than pressure treated lumber but less pricey than synthetics or hardwoods.

For many St. Louis homeowners, cedar is often the ‘sweet-spot,’ budget-wise.

In terms of maintenance, cedar needs TLC but the process is straight-forward.

As a natural softwood, cedar requires annual power washing and a finishing coat every few years to protect the surface from damage.  To spiff-up its natural color, apply a cedar-toned stain; otherwise, it will weather to a nice, soft and silvery gray patina.

So you’ve decided on cedar… so what comes next?  Rails.

Cedar Deck with Fortress Railing by Archadeck

Cedar Deck with Fortress Railing by Archadeck

If you love a uniform appearance why not choose, not only cedar decking but, cedar rails and balusters too? (above)

And for added privacy, include a cedar wall where needed. (below)

Looking for a variation?

Change-up the balusters and pair cedar rails with sleek metal pickets, cable, tube or glass infill.

Would you prefer low maintenance railing?  If so, combine traditional cedar decking with composite or vinyl rails.  White is fashionable, crisp, clean, bright.  Black is contemporary, bold, masculine.

Do you love elegance?  Then wrought iron rails will do the trick.

As you can see, there is no shortage of possibilities when it comes to color, size and style!

Cedar Deck with Decorative Rails by Archadeck

Cedar Deck with Decorative Rails by Archadeck

Key Takeaways:

Cedar is aesthetically pleasing.

It’s versatile and complements most any type of home and décor.

Unlike brick, cement and synthetic decking, cedar is natural, sustainable and biodegradable.

With proper maintenance and care, this decking material is durable and long-lasting, offering a high return-on-investment when it comes time to sell your home.

And it’s simple to gussy-up your cedar deck with decorative rails, interesting décor and landscaping to stay current with trends that reflect your design preference.

Next steps for designing and building an outdoor space? Read the rest of this entry »

Ta da… Archadeck in St. Louis has a lovely new style.

Archadeck in St. Louis, New Website Design

Archadeck in St. Louis, New Website Design

After months and months of planning, this week our new and much-improved website design went live.

As should be expected with technology, there are tweaks and minor bugs to work-out; but overall we couldn’t be more pleased. We hope you are too!

First, we’re making this announcement because we don’t want readers to get confused with the new look and layout for west-county.archadeck.com.

Yep, it’s still us.

Second, in keeping with digital trends, the gallery photos are larger and perfect for pinning on Pinterest; however, in time we’ll resize each of the project pictures for better viewing too.  Just click on the photo for a description and to pin it.

Third, mobile users rejoice.  The site is phone-friendly when you’re on-the-go.

Fourth, the online inquiry form is uber short, sweet and simple.  So submit away.

Fifth, from the website you’ll soon have easy-access to all of our social media channels including this blog, Pinterest, Google+, and more.

Sixth, there’s a new toll free number.  If you live in the Greater St. Louis area, just call us (as always) 636-227-0800.  But if you’re looking for an Archadeck owner in a different neck-of-the-woods, just call 888-687-3325 to easily connect elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »

In our previous post we wrote about 2014 outdoor living trends.  Now let’s tackle three topics — building materials, design/style, and accessories —  as we preview 2015.

Customer surveys, industry research and plain-old-observation have led niche experts to predict what’s hot for the year ahead.  So as the debate rages on, let’s take a look at trend-spotting when it comes to outdoor living!

1.  Building Materials:

Low Maintenance Multilevel Deck by Archadeck

Low Maintenance Multilevel Deck by Archadeck

Tens-of-thousands of people visit our blog, annually.

And this year, folks were reading A LOT about building materials, especially those articles comparing wood, composite and vinyl decking.

In the U.S., wood is still king when it comes to the sheer number of deck installations.

But premium, low-maintenance products such as TimberTech, AZEK, Fiberon, Trex (and others) have evolved and are gaining market-share too.

Homeowners, today, are blessed with product options galore!

In our opinion, however, there’s no single, magic bullet or perfect brand.  Choosing a material comes down to personal preference, plain and simple.

For example, do you love the innate characteristics of real wood more than you hate the idea of wood’s maintenance requirements?  Or will you trade the look of natural materials for the convenience and higher cost of man-made stock?

How about your budget?

Hardwood Pool Deck by Archadeck

Hardwood Pool Deck by Archadeck

When it comes to price, pressure treated lumber and cedar are more economical than synthetics.  Exotic and elegant hardwoods reign supreme.

With this in mind, would you prefer a large structure built with a lower-cost product or does a small space designed for ‘bite-sized-decadence’ appeal most?

Bottom line – the choice is yours and any outdoor addition, regardless of the material, can be a stand-out project.

2.  Design and Style: Read the rest of this entry »

What we learned in 2014 is that outdoor living is here to stay.  Absolutely.

Multilevel Deck, St. Louis Mo by Archadeck

Multilevel Deck, St. Louis Mo by Archadeck

No ifs, ands or buts.

And more importantly, there’s no one right way to approach designing and building an outdoor space.

Every piece of property is different.  Every homeowner is different.

But we have noticed trends among consumers this year.

As the housing market has improved, more people are actually able to move; however, buyers are increasingly conservative, choosing homes with smart and practical designs.  The overall popularity of the ‘McMansion’ has dwindled.

Empty unused space is a ‘no no’ and folks expect useful living spaces, inside and out'; thus grows the appeal of an outdoor living space.

Elevated Deck with an Outdoor Room Underneath, Project  by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

Elevated Deck with an Outdoor Room Underneath, Project by Archadeck, St. Louis Mo

On the other hand, for those homeowners who don’t want to move, they’re choosing to enhance the ambiance of what they already have.

This year customers have consistently expressed interest in expanding their property by transforming their backyard as an extension of their home to create a usable, relaxing retreat.

The philosophy has been to use every nook and cranny whenever possible!

So whether you live in a cottage or a castle, decks, screened porches, pergolas and other outdoor additions have become a must-have home feature.

And even though specific sizes and styles may vary from person-to-person, family-to-family or neighborhood-to-neighborhood, an outdoor living space seems to be on everyone’s wish list. Read the rest of this entry »

Well, the clock is ticking and time is running-out to prepare for Christmas Day festivities.

And since the 11th hour is near, this will be our last post of the year with a holiday headline; however, you can look ahead to a 2014 outdoor living round-up and news about what’s in store for 2015, coming soon.

But today, just like the previous post, we’ll refer you to our Pinterest board, “Winter Outdoor Spaces and Ideas” where you’ll find:

Winter Outdoor Living Spaces on Pinterest

Winter Outdoor Living Spaces on Pinterest

  • 70+ quick and fresh ideas for holiday decorating, specifically outside.
  • Trendy designs and hot products that will warm-you-up on a deck or screen porch now that winter’s here.
  • Why winter is actually a good time to plan and build a new deck, porch or other outdoor space for the upcoming year.  Who knew?

So, we’ll see you after the holidays!  And until then…

If you live in the Greater St. Louis Mo region, please call us anytime 636.227.0800, visit Archadeck’s website west-county.archadeck.com or join us on Pinterest and Google+ for frequent updates about outdoor living from Archadeck and all around the web too.

Are you living outside of St. Louis?  Then visit archadeck.com to find other locations nationwide.

CONTACT US

Archadeck (636) 227-0800 weststcharles@archadeck.net

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