Family Pets are Archadeck Customer Too!

Family pets are Archadeck customers too!

There’s never EVER a one-size-fits-all or single ‘right way’ to design and build a deck, screened porch or other outdoor space.

The details of each and every project totally depend upon a family’s preferences, their needs, lifestyle, budget, and of course their house and landscape layout.

In addition to the people though, a family pet can bring an entire set of considerations to the table for both design and building of an outdoor living space as well.

Now if you don’t own a pet, you may be surprised by exactly how many Archadeck customers incorporate pet-friendly design details into their custom outdoor space.

If, however, you are among the animal lover population, you already know that pets are a part of your clan and taking their needs into account isn’t so surprising after all.

Deck and Screened Porch with Dog Door, by Archadeck

Deck and Porch with Dog Door by Archadeck

But there’s good news for dog and cat owners.

An experienced and reputable contractor can design and build any outdoor structure to cater to the needs of your furry friend.

Dogs and cats want to be with ‘their people’ and love plenty of fresh air too.

And more often than not, they’ll be spending time on a backyard deck or screened-in porch with the ‘fam’.

So when it comes to deck and porch design for pets, don’t hesitate to check with your builder.

At Archadeck, we discuss this topic with customers quite frequently and their most common concerns boil down to:  durability, safety and comfort.


TimberTech Deck by Archadeck

TimberTech Deck by Archadeck

Think of a deck as another surface of home flooring.  And just like the floors inside of your home, deck boards are vulnerable to stains from spills or accidents and gouging or scratching from dragging furniture, high heel shoes and sharp dog toenails.

Without a doubt, your canine and feline companions will require durable decking options.

We can’t promise that Rover or Felix (or other things) will never stain or scratch a deck, but we can certainly recommend material options that provide the best resistance.

For example, TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions capped composite decking and XLM premium PVC are both great options for people with pets.   Other products/materials are viable possibilities too.

In regards to screened porches, the most common concern is strength of the screen.  Special, upgraded screening is available which is designed to better resist tearing when compared to traditional screens.

Another feasible alternative is a solid kneewall rail to eliminate screens on the lower part of the porch wall, altogether.


Sliding Dog Gate by Archadeck

Sliding Dog Gate for Deck by Archadeck

Rail spacing is obviously important for everyone’s safety but particularly for children and pets.

Local building codes will dictate what is required; however, if you have a smaller dog and are building an elevated deck, it’s essential that your pet won’t be able to squeeze through the balusters.

Tall privacy walls or solid rail inserts (such as glass rails) are choices too.

Dog-safety gates will allow you and your dog to enjoy the outdoors while keeping him from navigating down the deck stairs and securely enclose him on the deck.  Gates are incorporated into the rail design and may have sturdy latches or they may be rolling.  A doggie or kitty door (or flap) can be installed in screened porches, allowing pets to ‘come and go’ as they please if your backyard has a fence of some type.

Pergolas with Fans by Archadeck

Pergolas with Fans by Archadeck


Shade and ventilation are important to both cats and dogs.  Due to their fur coats, they will need relief from extreme heat and scorching sun.

Slatted pergolas or solid roofs are each a practical and stylish way to add deck shade.

Screened in porches will obviously have a finished ceiling.

Ceiling fans can be added to any of these structures in order to enhance cooling and increase ventilation.

Water Shed Outdoor Dog Bed, photo by Orvis

Water Shed Outdoor Dog Bed, photo by Orvis

And finally, there’s no shortage of pet-friendly outdoor accessories available through chain pet stores, specialty shops or other retailers.

From cushioned waterproof pet furniture to pet cots, igloos, and tents there’s all sorts of fun extra’s to ensure your pet’s comfort, outdoors.

If you live in the St. Louis, Missouri area and are thinking about adding a deck, screened porch, pergola or other outdoor space to your home, please consider Archadeck.

We’re located in St. Louis West County and serve the entire metropolitan region including St. Charles, St. Charles County and parts of Illinois.

Call us anytime, 636.227.0800 or visit our website,

If you reside elsewhere, just go to and key in your local zip code to find an office near you.

Sources and Citations:  Archadeck Outdoor Living, Beautiful Backyard Blog, Archadeck in Charlotte, Pet Screen, Pet Doors, Orvis, Homeguides, TimberTech, Archadeck of The Piedmont Triad in North Carolina, Archadeck in Atlanta, Archadeck in Central Georgia