Among the preference of materials used to construct our Austin area homeowners hardscape endeavors, the top choice is undoubtedly natural stone. Natural stone comes in a myriad of colors, textures and variances in undulation, or waves and bends present in natural stone. Natural stone is derived from a multitude of locations within our earth, and with any material that is derived from nature and the earth, no two pieces of stone are exactly alike. The differences and variations present in natural stone only add to its charm and part of what makes it so popular among the many materials available to create a truly unique hardscape outdoor structure.
Our signature item is the flagstone patio. Whether they are built-in unison with a decks, pergolas or one of the other stunning outdoor structures we build for homeowners here in the Austin area, the added essence of flagstone makes the entire project breathtaking. Austin is hill country which not only yields varying grades and steep drop offs which often includes natural stone, but natural stone used as a building material is common because of its natural beauty and the way it complements the natural surroundings and backdrops of Austin’s hill country. Flagstone is quarried from the ground and therefore will not yield a completely even surface. Flagstone patios are set on either concrete or mortar beds. The concrete base is referred to as a 1″ stone, and the mortar base is a 2″ stone. These terms are commonly used but the thickness of the stone itself can vary from 3/4″ to 3″. There can and will be movement on flagstone which is set on a base which is not concrete. Maintaining your flagstone patio, or other outdoor structure involves cleaning, sweeping or pressure washing on a low PSI and a fan tip is also recommended. Our flagstone patios our sealed with a “matte” finish penetrating sealer and are not visible to the naked eye that they are being absorbed. The seal will last from 6-12 months. After the initial sealing, the patio may be resealed again at your discretion. If you are placing a BBQ pit or grill atop your flagstone patio be careful not to let grease or drippings on the surface of the flagstone for they can stain the stone and become permanent.
Flagstone is not the only natural stone that is coveted among Austin homeowners for its beauty and unique characteristics. We also use sandstone in many of our projects. Sandstone is created when sand and an alkaline settling is formed under pressure and joined at the uppermost surface of the earth. Slate as well is a rich, deeply undulated natural stone that is popular in building outdoor hardscape structures. Slate and sandstone are very similar in the manner formation of the stone itself occurs. Slate is formed when wide ranges of minerals are compressed in layers near the earths’ surface over time. Slate is however prone to what is called “cleft plane spalling” which is a process where layers separate from the main stone body. Combined with the soft character of slate, these layers can be separated by walking on the surface, dropping or moving items over the surface or an excessive presence of moisture. Due to its’ soft nature, slate is also prone to scratching.
Running only second to flagstones popularity here in the Austin area is Leuders stone, also known as limestone. Limestone is formed when sea beds dry up in layers over time which results in the decay of aquatic organisms. This sedimentation process over time and intense pressure yields limestone. Limestone is basically calcium carbonate which is a pure form of a very soft alkali. Not unlike the other natural stones we have listed, limestone also can be stained or damaged by outside forces. When exposed to acidic properties which are present in wines, sodas, coffees and other beverages it can result in a condition referred to as an “etch mark” which needs to be polished to be removed. Repeated acid or high moisture attack can result in permanent and irreversible stone damage and color change. This stone class can scratch easily under normal wear. Despite the fragile nature limestone has under certain circumstances, it is one of the most beautiful stones we use and as long as it is properly sealed and taken care of can prove to provide years of outdoor enjoyment.
All of these types of stone are excellent choices for masonry projects. They can all be sealed to help prevent staining. These stone make ups are available in a chopped block, patio stone or cap stone. Combining various styles can add more texture and depth to a project. All are extremely durable and will outlast us all as we know since it has already existed for thousands of years. Within these stone types there are an extremely large number of colors and hues. So when choosing your hardscape material for your patio or other outdoor structure, natural stone is a natural indeed.
Contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more about creating a breathtaking hardscape outdoor masterpiece for yourself. (512) 259 – 8282
See more photos of our natural stone patios and hardscapes by visiting our patio and hardscape photo gallery located on our website.
These Round Rock, TX homeowners have one of the most beautifully lush backyards. Being able to incorporate an outdoor living structures within this backyard could seem like a challenge to some, but not to us. The mingling of the wood and flagstone we used to create this outdoor retreat is mesmerizing set against the beauty of the rush of green in this residence.
These homeowners had an existing concrete patio that was not serving their needs. Our goal was to extend the patio and pour a whole new facet of enjoyment into their backyard. Our design included a covered patio extension complete with an outdoor kitchen and pergola-style roof and another patio that descends from the covered patio to the new outdoor fireplace.
In designing the master plan to transform this Round Rock, TX backyard into a paradise for the senses we first had to overcome some obstacles. The first challenge was to incorporate all the desired structures into the homeowners minimal backyard and also deal with the small elevated back porch. The design we decided upon that would work best was to actually create two structures out of one area by extending the small space to make it larger and adding another space to serve as the focal point for the outdoor fireplace.
We designed an extension of the existing concrete patio and added stone over the top of the concrete for seamless design. We then added the pergola with an extension as well over the patio and added a little slope to compensate for the existing patio being so high. The small round patio located in the design accents the large outdoor fireplace located at the corner. We used a round design for the patio and continued the curved design feature into the fireplace’s eyebrow and hearth.
The medium we chose to cover the patios with is gorgeous Oklahoma flagstone in buff peach. We also used block stone in the design using Autumn blend block stone. The element of the two separate stones working together along with the cedar pergola and the trees on the property is truly breathtaking.
The outdoor kitchen is located inside the patio cover and includes a grill, refrigerator and plenty of electrical outlets. The countertops are finished out with a very nice tile that compliments the homes brick colors. The rustic outdoor fireplace is graciously equipped with custom cedar cabinets above the firebox made especially for housing a television and keeping it safe and dry from the elements.
These Round Rock, TX homeowners couldn’t be more thrilled with the transformation, they say it feels as though they have a whole new backyard. We can create a stunning transformation of your back yard as well, contact Archadeck of Austin to learn more (512) 259 – 8282
Here is a slideshow of this Round Rock, TX backyard oasis that is a feast for the senses….
To see more stunning inspiration of outdoor structure designs visit our photo galleries
For more design inspiration visit our Patio photo gallery
Visit our Outdoor kitchens photo gallery for yummy designs in outdoor kitchens
This angled cover pergola in Town Lake in Austin, TX gives this homeowner a unique and stunning angle on design
Recently homeowners in Austin TX contacted us to build a unique and stunning pergola which encompasses all the spirit of Texas’ unique scenery by overlooking the river in Town Lake. The homeowners knew they wanted a two-sided pergola because when the house was originally purchased they had scaled models assembled depicting the projects they wished to do.
The home has a fantastic view overlooking the river and gets plenty of wind and lots of sunshine. The existing deck is 22 feet off the ground and on a third story, this combined with the steep driveway of the home presented some difficult logistics in constructing the angled pergola which was designed to become part of the 3rd story decks integration. The addition of the pergola will help these homeowners utilize the deck properly and add shade to the upstairs deck as well as the windows of the home.
The pergola itself is constructed of beautiful western red cedar which compliments the traditional Mexican clay tile roof. we extended the joists a little further so the pergola would have a cantilever effect. The lathing on the pergola spans about 1.5″ apart as to provide shade within the pergola. The design of this pergola is unique and innovative.
Pergolas have become very popular recently. A simple flip through of any home magazine while in the grocery store checkout line will prove this. Pergolas, although they seem simple, can be very complex to build. If not constructed correctly and with sustainable materials, will wither and decay very quickly. Archadeck of Austin uses top quality materials to construct their pergolas and their designs can be tailor-made to suit your needs. We can space the lathing as such that you can use your pergola to add shade to a sunny spot. we can also add decorative elements to your pergola that you just can’t get unless you have a custom builder to construct it.
If you are thinking of adding a pergola to your deck, patio or yard contact Archadeck of Austin. We can design and build this little slice of heaven for you to help turn your backyard into an oasis of beauty and style. (512) 259-8282 email@example.com
I cannot even imagine presenting a job to a prospective client without the immeasurable aid of our custom design renderings. Through a custom designed rendering we can add in your furniture pieces, additional seating areas and even your grill. A properly composed rendering will show details and nuances not seen in a conventional one-dimensional drawing. Details such as elevation changes, and the direction of the swing on the doors.
Presenting a three-dimensional design rendering to our client gives them an opportunity to see their design true to life. This true to life rendering also gives them the opportunity to make changes to areas and details they normally wouldn’t be aware of until after the structure was completed, this way we get a better idea of exactly what the customer themself envisions.Another postive detail is that all our renderings come with landscaping ideas to help the homeowner envision the truly finished project.
Archadeck of Austin prides itself on constructiing spaces large enough to fit your furniture and outdoor living lifestyle. Remember when you were ready to move into your “big” new house, and once all the furniture was in place the structure wasn’t so “big” anymore? We want the structure you get from us to be all that you imagined and everything it seems, meaning that we will make every effort to make certain your space has enough
“flow” and “harmony” once the furnishings are moved into the space. Showing the space through the design rendering will give you the opportunity to maybe make that covered porch a little larger to accommodate that large outdoor seating ensemble you have, or the to add more room for that prized gas grill and smoker.
In essence the difference between a written description of what you are getting and a rendering is that more happens when a professional rendering is drawn to include emphasis and demonstration in true to life examples of how the details will be taken care of. If you are considering adding an outdoor or indoor space to your life, give Archadeck of Austina call to get a realistic design rendering of your structure today.Call (512) 259-8282.
Outdoor Kitchen Additon by Archadeck of Austin Takes a Pergola to the Flip-Side, With Stunning Results
As you may already know the Texas state motto is “friendship”. Archadeck of Austin has created an outdoor living area that is all about friendship and entertaining. This unique structure boasts an outdoor kitchen and covered porch that is sure to draw this homeowner’s friends and family to their home like a magnet.
These detailings were added to an old home that had an existing patio that was very long and had very high ceilings, about 16’ to the ceiling. We decided to enclose two ends of the patio because of the high winds that are common in this area. We then built an outdoor kitchen at one end and elevated the rear bar section of the outdoor kitchen.
The outdoor kitchen has a full-size refrigerator, a built-in sink, gas grill, side burner, storage and pull-out drawers. We used standard exterior porcelain tile with a bullnose edge and added a unique backsplash to the kitchen area. We used a combination of stone and stucco in the structure to break up the amount of stonework on the house itself.
The most unique feature of this structure is the innovative use of the pergola which you see hanging from the ceiling. We used the pergola in a hanging manner to help lower the ceiling in this massively high structure to “cozy” it up and make it more conducive to feeling like a gathering spot and to also use it to hang lighting features from and add light to the space. We had to install the pergola so it would not swing in the wind. We attached it using large iron chains secured from the pergola to the ceiling joists, we also added cross members between the chains to solidify the structure to ensure no swinging. The chains not only do the tough job of expertly securing the pergola, they also add a rustic charm to the feature.
We then hung the pergola directly over the outdoor kitchen area. All the decorative elements were added to the pergola before we elevated it. The detailed light fixtures are actually made from the antlers of white-tailed deer, adding additional character to this already unique space, and a great element to use as a conversation piece!
This structure is big on Texas style. The homeowner’s selection of wood, and stone add nature inspired beauty to this structure , as well as all the detailing that adds rustic charm. This space will be truly memorable to all who have the opportunity to enjoy it. If you are considering the addition of a “uniquely you” outdoor living space , give Archadeck of Austin a call, we can plan and construct a structure for you that will be memorable for years to come.Call (512) 259-8282
We just finished a job in Barton Creek that I’m really excited about. What I love most about my job is design. Well, I guess that’s one of the two things I like most. I love getting to meet my customers and know their families and understand and fulfill their goals. I know that what we build for them will really change the way they live. They will spend more time outdoors and will make countless memories outside their home. It will essentially increase the size of their home.
Remove existing deck
When this customer purchased their home, they had a treated pine deck that was 7′ off the ground. The treated pine was all warped and the deck was very poorly supported by 4×4 posts. The joists were over-spanned causing a big sag in the deck. It was an eye-sore.
Goals and objectives…
Sun relief on 2 levels
At the beginning of a job, my customers always have an idea of what they would like to build. But what I like to do is back up and ask them how they want to live in their yard. Like many customers in Austin the most important design objective is relief from the sun. This family lived on two levels in their back yard. One level was the elevated deck and the second level was adjacent to the pool. Relief from the sun was needed on both levels. So the first thing we decided was to build 2 pergolas – one at each level.
Pool access and stairs
After building outdoor structures for 18 years, I’ve learned many things from my customers and through experience in building. One of the things that is so often overlooked is access. How do the customers access their structure and how they access other their yard from the structure. At this home, the deck access was on the far side of the house – away from the pool. So, the first thing we discussed was moving the stairs to the far left side of the deck so the family could easily walk down the steps and right into the pool and lower level shade area. We also created a landing area on the stairs so we could make the stair area compact and not take away from the living area on the lower level. The customer wanted a hanging swing at the pool level which works nicely when a deck has head clearance. It looks great and it’s a nice shady spot to sit.
Lower level shade area
On the lower living area, the customer had an existing pool with concrete patio. Unfortunately, since there was no shade relief at all, they weren’t able to spend as much time there as they liked. So we extended the concrete patio over to the corner of the yard and created an additional flared pergola.
Upper level pergola
At the deck level, we had several objectives for the pergola. The homeowners wanted some privacy on the outer side but didn’t want to give up on the breeze from that direction. So we used a deco wall that allowed air flow to enjoy any breeze that comes from that direction. To add to the air flow and circulation, we added 2 ceiling fans. Finally, we wanted to create one last bit of sun relief on the upper deck. So we added an 18″ drop off the front of the pergola so they still had full visibility out into the yard, but relief from the setting sun. When the sun is at an angle, it still came into the living space.
One small detail that makes a big difference is adding iron rails to a deck. You wouldn’t think that the width difference between iron rails and wood rails would make a big difference but it makes a huge difference in 2 ways. First, you have more visibility out into your yard. Secondly, you do not feel boxed into an area.
Before, the plan, and after.
New deck after completion: