Screened Porch, 3- or 4-season, or Sunroom Home Addition?

Discern which “outdoor room” best suits your Chicagoland home and lifestyle.

As Chicagoland residents, we have a deep understanding of seasonal weather changes, and how to best make it through a full year of indoor and outdoor activities dictated by Mother Nature. If you have considered adding an indoor/outdoor room to your home but find yourself unsure of what really best serves your Chicagoland home and lifestyle, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here to help plan, design, and build your ideal outdoor living room!

Screened porch

A screened porch will protect you from things like insects, hot, direct sunlight, and even a little wind and light rain. Screened porches are very popular extensions of our homes and can add value to the way we live. They are great flex spaces for use as an extra TV room, overflow dining space for parties and holidays, or even a great area for the kids to play in on rainy days in warm weather months. Adding a fireplace and ceiling fan to circulate warm air will extend use into cool weather months, such as early spring and late fall. Using an additional space heater will likely buy you a bit more time on colder days, but bundle up, because that Chicagoland wind will still whisper (or roar) through the screen.

3- or 4-season room

What types of indoor/outdoor rooms are actually suitable as the temperature dips down here in Chicagoland? You can achieve a higher level of protection from cold weather elements with our Eze-Breeze rooms. Like screened porches, Eze-Breeze rooms can have interior flooring, but will offer protection from the open air of the screens by enclosing them with a special Eze-Breeze vinyl panel window system. An Eze-Breeze room gives homeowners the option to open windows on warm weather days, and allows wonderful, warming, nurturing sunlight into your indoor/outdoor space in any season. Again, as with screened porches, Eze-Breeze rooms are made more suitable for cold weather with the addition of a fireplace, fan, and space heaters. Rooms with a retractable window system are less expensive than an actual room addition, but the trade-off is similar to that of a screened porch. You will lose the winter months in the space as there is no insulation and no heat source worthy of heating the entire room nor keeping pace with the dropping Chicagoland temperatures. The cost-to-build savings would be a trade-off for sacrificing cold days inside your home.

If your family doesn’t mind spending time completely indoors on extra-cold and blustery days, an Eze-Breeze room could be for you! If you like the idea of having even greater protection from wind and rain in the warm weather months, and Eze-Breeze room is a great choice also. You will get a few extra days of cold weather in an Eze-Breeze room, but a full four seasons is better spent in an actual sunroom addition.

A room fit for use all winter long, regardless of the temperature outside?

Chicagoland sunrooms, or full room additions can be used year round. The distinction between a 4-season room and a sunroom addition are in the way they are built. A sunroom addition will have insulation and include HVAC. While it can have the feel of an outdoor space with large windows, a sunroom addition will have more wall space than an Eze-Breeze room, hampering the flow of sunlight. However, sunroom additions can be built with an outdoor flair, and give you the feeling of being surrounded by the outdoors in any season. They can be rustic-themed, take on a very organic aesthetic with a stacked stone fireplace, and use of richly colored wood finishes. Sunroom additions are a more expensive investment, but the extra cost will buy you year-round use. There can be a few logistical differences with a room addition. Setback requirements may be different than with a porch. Different permits and inspections will likely be required.

If your home needs more living space for all seasons, a climate-controlled sunroom addition is the solution for your home and family! If you are looking for a room that gives the air of being outdoors even on extreme weather days, the protection of a sunroom addition will deliver.

If you are ready to discuss options for adding a 3-season, 4-season, or sunroom addition, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Outdoor Rooms with Fire Features

Chicagoland outdoor fire features add warmth, beauty, and value.

When planning and saving for an outdoor living space, there is much to consider. At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we encourage clients to build an outdoor room that will be of the greatest benefit – to build the outdoor living space of their dreams. We believe that one of the most advantageous inclusions is a fire feature. Large or small, wood-burning or gas, fire features add so much to the outdoor living experience. Invest wisely in your outdoor room!

A fireplace will add warmth to your space, giving you much more use throughout the year. Outdoor living will screech to a halt in cold-weather months in the Chicagoland area. Don’t be caught indoors in late fall, winter, and early spring. Your fireplace will invite you outdoors and keep you there comfortably! Screen porches with fireplaces will be functional for more cool-weather days than an open covered porch or patio. Sunrooms with Eze-Breeze vinyl windows, a fireplace, and fans for warm air circulation will keep you comfy-cozy year-round!

Chicagoland outdoor fire features by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Fireplaces are gorgeous additions to outdoor rooms. The ambiance provided is unmatched. We can all agree that there is something very soothing about watching flames waltz around in a fireplace – calming, zen. We all need a place to get away from the stresses of everyday life. Why not have a place of reprieve right outside your door? From a design standpoint, fireplaces are inherently fantastic focal points. A beautiful fireplace will immediately draw the eye and be appreciated by everyone.

Fire features will add value to your home. Not only valuable, usable living space for your personal enjoyment, but potential resale value. When selling a home, outdoor living areas are selling points alone, but adding a fireplace will generate more interest, and your home will be much more memorable to potential buyers. Adding livable square footage is never a bad thing! When planning your outdoor space, especially if you believe you will sell your home in the future, adding a fire feature is a must. Don’t skimp on amenities – create the outdoor room of your dreams. One that will be the outdoor room of potential buyers’ dreams too!

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we believe that building an outdoor room is one of the finest investments homeowners can make in their homes, but also in their lives. Fresh air and natural sunlight can be essential to surviving a harsh winter in the Chicagoland area. Outdoor living areas provide a place of calm reflection and unparalleled enjoyment for the whole family. We would love to help you plan, design, and build your perfect outdoor sanctuary. You have saved, researched, and dreamed. Now is the perfect time to begin your journey to year-round outdoor living, and we are here to guide you through every step.

If you are ready to invest in a Chicagoland outdoor fireplace to add warmth, beauty, and value to your home, give us a call at (847) 496.4333 or sign up here for a Free Design Consultation.

Designing the Outdoor Room Best Suited for the Chicagoland Climate

Create a Porch and Deck or Porch and Patio Combination to Maximize Your Time and Investment Outdoors

Gone are the days of part-time porch sitting. Homeowners have learned that porches, patios, and decks have become an extension of our indoor living spaces, and by making them comfortable as an indoor room, we add valuable livable square footage to our homes. Who says that porches must have plastic outdoor chairs, that beg little to be sat upon? Bring comfortable fabrics and add colors and décor that you want to see and use. Modern teak loungers or oversized rattan chairs and sofas with billowy cushions can carry from screen porches to your custom patio or deck seamlessly and create true outdoor living spaces. Furniture designers now offer fully-upholstered outdoor furniture that transforms porches into outdoor rooms. Today, it’s not just about curb appeal. It’s about lifestyle appeal. Plan, design, and build a space outdoors that you want to live in. Allow Archadeck of Chicagoland to help you on this journey.


Libertyville, IL 3-Season Porch With Vertical Track Windows

As the premier Chicagoland porch and deck builder, Archadeck of Chicagoland will help bring your indoor creature comforts outdoors.

When planning and saving for a custom outdoor living space, it’s important to know that we can maximize our investment by creating a porch combo rather than just a porch or deck. In one project, we can create a cohesive design that not only suits your lifestyle and design choices but will also guarantee that you get the most use as our Chicagoland weather dictates. Warmer, full-sun days can be spent on your custom deck, grilling and eating, or just lounging. Overcast, inclement weather days, and cool evenings are better spent in a screen porch, where the elements may be kept at bay.


McHenry, IL Belgard Patio with Grill Surround

Adding a fireplace on the screen porch will ensure that the space is kept cozy on days that would otherwise be spent indoors. Outdoor rooms, as an extension of our interior, can be decorated to complement our favorite interior rooms, and will be useable for much more time than just a deck or patio. Add comfortable furniture and a TV for watching football in the fall. Choose tables, lamps, and décor will make you right at home, outside your home. Our time is valuable. Spend it splendidly outdoors in a combo room!

If a patio is more to your liking, choose Archadeck of Chicagoland as your Chicagoland porch and patio builder, and we will take your outdoor room to unexpected heights.


Naperville, IL Belgard Multi-Level Patio and Screened Porch Combination

Patios and decks commonly serve a similar purpose, and pair well with screen porches. Allow us to create a patio that will be functional and a beautiful addition to your exterior space. Add a custom outdoor kitchen that rivals your indoor kitchen. Create a dining space that will wow your friends and family. Outdoor furnishings can be just as lovely as their indoor counterparts, worthy of dinner parties and holiday cookouts alike. Wood farmhouse tables are on-trend and work well in outdoor dining spaces. Rattan, metal, and glass-top tables are a more traditional and are great low-maintenance choices. Fantastic additions, such as built-in grills and outdoor pizza ovens in a wide array of styles will heighten your culinary aspirations while adding beauty and interest. We will work to create an optimum outdoor patio kitchen and dining space that will specifically suit your needs, and pair beautifully with your screen porch to create a space that you will use more than you thought possible.


Lakewood, IL Screened Porch and Deck Combination Outdoor Living Space

As with any home improvement project, building a porch combo is not just about adding value to your home. It’s about adding value to the time you spend there. As your Chicagoland porch and patio builder, we want you to see the value in that concept. We will provide guidance in planning, design, and budgeting to get the biggest return on your investment. As your choice Chicagoland porch and deck builder, we guarantee that you will love the time you spend in your new outdoor living spaces, whether entertaining friends, or having dinner and relaxing with your family after a long day of work.

Start the conversation now.

If you’re thinking about finally being able to host the number of people you want and doing so in style, give us a call for a free design consultation at 847.496.4333 or email us. Our design consultants will help walk you through the options, considerations, and design choices for your new space. We look forward to your call.

Are you tired of always having the holiday party at someone else's house?

Considerations for upgrading your backyard to a great outdoor entertaining space


It’s summertime and that means holiday after holiday. If the entertaining space within your home is limited, summer holidays are some of the best because your party can spread out throughout your backyard area and you should be able to comfortably entertain more people than you can indoors.

However, there may be a number of reasons that you don’t want want to host the next holiday party at your home. Hopefully, it’s not because of your outdoor living space. If your outdoor living space is too small, too run down or not functional enough to host get-togethers with family and friends, you might want to consider giving your backyard a makeover. We’ll share some considerations for upgrading your backyard to make sure your outdoor space is not only ready for personal enjoyment, but also a great place to host gatherings at your home.

Think about traffic flow

You may have a great backyard space but it’s difficult to get to. Perhaps you have a small deck that was original to your home with a large beautiful area beyond the deck. Perhaps you have a pool with spacious adjoining patio. No matter how wonderful parts of your backyard outdoor living areas are, if family and guests trip over each to get there, they may not be able to enjoy all that your outdoor living space has to offer.

How many are in your party?

If you’re reading this article, you’re likely hoping to expand your backyard living space to be able to host not only family but also friends and important gatherings. A really important thing to consider is exactly how many people you plan to regularly host. If you have a family of 6 and a perfect night is having both sets of grandparents join your outdoor family dinner, you want to design a space that very comfortably fits 10 people on a regular basis. That is a very different space than a small builder deck with a 4- or 6-person table.

Don’t just think about deck space

The backyard deck is the all-American quintessential outdoor living space. Most builders won’t consider a new build completed until they have added a back deck. When you’re beginning to plan your next outdoor living space, think about adding a paver patio either as the primary outdoor living area or in combination with your deck or porch.

Exactly how do you plan to live outside?

When planning your new outdoor living space, it’s very important to consider whether you want to use your outdoor living area for eating, seating or both. A table and chairs take up a certain amount of space. A seating set takes up a considerable amount of space. Likely, you don’t want a space so small that you are forced to decide whether to add a table OR to add outdoor furniture seating. Many Chicagoland homeowners make the decision to build a space that accommodates both an eating and a seating area. You’ve likely waiting a while to build your dream outdoor living space. Build a space that really works for how you want to live outside.

Don’t forget how often you’ll use your space at night

When determining the final specifications for an new outdoor living area, many homeowners are hesitant to consider the extras given the investment. Do yourself a favor and don’t skimp on lighting. You do not want the usefulness of your new space to expire when the sun goes down. If you’re building a paver patio, make sure to incorporate lighting into the seating walls and pillars. If you’re building a deck, make sure to integrate lights into the railing and step risers.

Start the conversation now

If you’re thinking about finally being able to host the number of people you want and doing so in style, give us a call for a free design consultation at 847.496.4333 or email us. Our design consultants will help walk you through the options, considerations and design choices for your new space. We look forward to your call.

Want Shade? Let us count the ways!

Outdoor spaces from a shade perspective

As we speak to homeowners who are interested in adding an outdoor living space, we review their objectives for their new space. Do you just want more Vitamin D time with an outdoor place designed to soak in as much sunlight as possible? Are you creating a getaway in your own backyard to enjoy romantic dinners or hide away with a book? Some homeowners are looking for a new family room that’s not as formal as inside and has the amenities of a dream family room.

As our Design Consultants work with homeowners to design their new outdoor space, one key consideration is how much sun you want. Almost universally, homeowners want to enjoy the healing properties of the sun while enjoying their outdoor space. But you may not want total sun protection. There are a number of “shade structures” you can choose to manage the amount of sunlight your new space receives.

Open porches

Envision yourself in an outdoor room that has a cathedral ceiling and large screened areas spanning 3 walls of the room. Plenty of light would pour in through the wide screened openings and through the gable end of the vaulted roof. The room would be bright, airy and sun filled. Now imagine that room, without the walls. An open porch is a room alternative that not many homeowners think of. Why would some homeowners want a roof structure without walls? With an open porch, you have unfettered access to your yard and also to the air and sun. While our screened porches are designed to allow in as much light as possible, the screens and columns do impede some light. With an open porch, you have columns but can otherwise enjoy unobstructed access to fresh air and the breeze.

With an open porch, you have the opportunity to enjoy many indoor amenities in your outdoor room. Because your room has a ceiling with a good degree of protection from the elements, your room can be wired for lighting, for one or more ceiling fans, and for outdoor entertainment such as speakers.

Because the roof adds a good bit of protection for the elements, you can choose more indoor type amenities to bring your favorite indoor activities indoors. You have more options with outdoor furniture. While outdoor furniture has come a long way in terms of holding its own against weather, having roof protection provides a good bit of protection from falling leaves, from direct sun (to prevent fading) and may even keep you fairly dry while enjoying the sights, sounds and smell of a light rain while outdoors.

Gazebos

If you thought gazebos were only used at picturesque lakes, at wedding venues or in old-fashioned backyards; think again. Gazebos are no longer constrained by size or shape. Octagonal or hexagonal are just two shape options. Gazebos no longer need to be a very small ornamental space to stage pictures. Looking at the room above, you can see today’s gazebos are nothing like yesterdays. The pergola above not only fits a large sectional but also a couple chairs, coffee table, and an outdoor rug. It comes complete with electricity to wire in the string lights of your choice. One or more fans can be installed to ensure the entire outdoor room gets plenty of fresh air and a gentle breeze.

Pergolas

Pergolas are very popular here in the Chicago area. We build pergolas in every shape, size, material, and in hundreds of design variations. We are often asked how much sun protection a pergola provides. The good news is that we can design your pergola with as much sun protection as you ’d like. In the photo above, you can see that the pergola has a full canopy that can be opened or closed depending on how much sun you like. In addition, we can design the weave of the rafters and lathes for more or less sun protection

Some shade structures are designed with another goal in mind – to add a statuesque design element. As you can see above, the pergola provides some shade along with visual appeal and dimension as the sun descends through the rafters.

Pergolas can be free-standing detached structures of can be attached to your home. The sky is the limit when it comes to the shape and design.

If you’re considering adding a shade structure to your backyard, give us a call for a free consultation at 847.496.4333 or drop us an email to set up an appointment. We look forward to providing a free design consultation to you.

Pool Deck Ideas for Chicagoland Homeowners

Homeowners with a pool know you don’t have to get into the water to enjoy a pool. Just the sight of the water is soothing and tranquil — especially if you have pool lighting and sit by the pool at night. If you swim, you enjoy your time in the water, but you still likely spend more hours near the water than in it. The right deck situated perfectly near the pool can be the best place to spend your pool time. If you have younger children who require supervision while swimming, the layout of your deck in relation to the pool is very important. Let’s look at the decisions you’ll need to make about your new pool deck. Every decision is an opportunity to consider a variety of ideas.

Pool Deck Design

Designing a pool deck is more than a one-step process. Here are some of the individual design decisions you’ll need to think about. We’ll walk through these with you when we meet and suggest options you may not have considered.

  • Size and shape of the deck
    • One level or multi-level?
    • Room for dining and lounging or just lounging?
  • Materials
    • Decking boards — wood or composite?
    • Railings — will they be needed?
    • Colors?
  • Pool deck amenities
    • Lighting?
    • Grill area?
    • Shade structure?
  • Railing options
    • Low maintenance?
    • Color?
    • No railings?

Size and shape of the pool deck

The design of your pool deck is partly determined by the topography of the land between the pool and your house. Will your deck start low to the ground and be terraced up to a level that allows you to look down toward the pool? We’ve designed some beautiful, low decks that flow seamlessly from the deck to the pool area. Or will you need stairs to climb from the pool up to the lounge or dining area on the deck?

Are you thinking about a multi-level deck? You may want to furnish the lower level with waterproof chairs and lounge chairs while restricting the upper level to people who are not dripping wet. A multi-level deck is also great when you’re entertaining a large group and want more than one seating or lounging area.

We will talk with you at length about how you intend to use the pool deck because that will be important in determining the size deck you need. Dining can take up more space than lounging, and you may need a deck with room for both!

Materials for your pool deck

Wood or composite: Traditionally decks were made of wood, but it’s likely you’re familiar with the newer low-maintenance composite decking materials. We work with composite decking boards from several manufacturers, and each company offers several lines at different price points.

We recommend you consider composite decking for a pool deck because UV rays and water from the pool will warp and aggressively age a wood deck. A composite deck is splinter-free, and many of the composite decking boards are designed with texture that is slip resistant.

Railings: The height of your deck will determine whether you need railings. If you have a terraced or multi-level deck, you may only need railings on the higher levels. Several railing companies offer railing systems with slender profile, dark-colored pickets that practically disappear when you look through them.

Colors: With regard to deck colors, you have the option of staying with one color throughout or choosing two colors for a design with a contrasting pattern. One consideration is the temperature of the deck surface for tender little feet. Lighter colors usually don’t retain as much heat as darker boards do.

Pool deck amenities

Lighting: Adding deck lighting will give you a great deal more time to enjoy your pool deck. Even if you don’t swim at night, that’s the perfect time to sit out near the pool and enjoy the mesmerizing play of light on the water. Deck lighting also serves as a safety feature. We recommend subtle down-lights under the railing or on railing posts for ambiance as well as lights under stair risers for safety if you have stairs.

Grill area: If you plan to dine on the pool deck, a bump out for the grill will allow you to keep it nearby without it being in the way. This is especially important if you have children weaving in and out among adults and deck furniture. The grill master may want a space apart from other activities.

Shade structure: A pergola is a beautiful addition to a pool deck, and it’s also practical because it provides some shade. The width and number of slats and rafters along the top of a pergola affect how much shade it provides, as does the north-south orientation. If you desire a pergola that casts more shade, or provides complete shade, we can show you several design options that will create more shade. Since a pergola usually doesn’t cover the entire deck, you can situate it so you have shaded and unshaded areas on the pool deck. We love the beautiful profile of a pergola when you look back toward the house from the pool, too.

Railing options

Low maintenance railing When selecting deck materials, decking boards are a primary component along with deck railings. Like with your decking boards, you have the option to upgrade to low-maintenance materials. The benefit of using low-maintenance is that you never need to do annual maintenance — ever. No pressure washing, no scraping, no staining and no sealing. Maintenance is especially difficult on deck railings because of the of the number of spindles and the fact that you need to alternate from inside to outside to provide maintenance. There are a number of low-maintenance options that include vinyl, aluminum, composite, cable rails or even iron railing. Pressure-treated wood is also a great option but will require annual or bi-annual maintenance.

Color options Gone are the days of shades of tan for railing options. You can now choose from many different shade families. Of late, dark black railing spindles are very popular and for good reason. A dark-colored, slender profile railing draws your eye beyond the railing whereas a light colored thicker profile railing spindle does not draw your eye beyond. There are benefits of seeing through the railing both from the inside and outside the deck. It’s great to see out into the yard when sitting upon the deck. For those in the pool, they’ll be able to see onto the deck as well.

Railing free options

Depending on the height of the deck and on the local building codes, your deck may be eligible to have some portions of it that are railing free. Often this height needs to be lower than 36" but it does vary based on local buiding codes. An area of your deck that is free from railing blends the experience from the deck to the space beyond.

A custom-designed pool deck for your family

As you see, with all of these variables and individual design choices, no two pool decks are alike. Archadeck of Chicagoland wants to make sure you get maximum usage from your pool deck, which is why we’ll ask so many questions about how you intend to use it. If you’re thinking of adding pool deck to your outdoor living space, we would love to hear from you! Call us for a free Archadeck Design Consultation at (847) 496.4333.

What to expect when planning deck/patio projects

If you’re reading this blog, you probably have waited a long time to build the backyard space of your dreams. If you’re just beginning the process, you might be wondering where to start. One of the first planning tasks on your list is to look at deck pictures and patio pictures for design ideas. The great news is that we have literally hundreds of deck and patio pictures including pictures of composite and low-maintenance decks and pictures of popular custom hardscape features such as outdoor fire pits and fireplaces.

After finding some visual inspiration, you likely want to find out what to expect when working with an outdoor builder. At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we look at the concepting and planning stage of building very strategically. After 25 years in this business, we know that homeowners can easily pick features and specifications from pretty pictures. But, if they’re going to love and use their space long term, we also want to look at 4 key practical considerations.

Four key considerations when planning your new deck and patio project

  • Function:
  • Aesthetic
  • Budget
  • Space

Function

How will you use your space?

While this sounds like a no-brainer, it’s more complex than you think. Most homeowners have an idea of what they want to do outside – relax, eat, perhaps enjoy a backyard fire on a cool evening. It’s important to really dissect each of these. If one of the key things you’d like to do outside is eat, here are some key follow-up questions. How many people will eat outside? Will you entertain regularly and if so, how many people will you need to seat for meals? This number will help determine how much space you need. Tables and chairs take up quite a bit of space. Your Design Consultant will help you work through the size your space will need to be to accommodate that number of people. The same is true for your seating space. Will just a couple family members steal away here and there to relax? Or do you plan on not only family evenings and having a spot for girl’s night and impromptu weekend get-togethers? Will your get-togethers be at night? That will require lighting.

Aesthetic

How will it look

Are you looking for a showplace with fantastic features such as an outdoor kitchen, perhaps patio retaining walls, or a stately pergola? Are you envisioning a rustic space utilizing knotty cedar or subtle paver hues? Perhaps you are envisioning a muted, sophisticated and elegant deck with subtle beige or gray shades. Or maybe you’re looking for rich dark colors to make a dramatic statement. Share these ideas with your experienced design consultant. They will be able to show you pictures of previously built spaces that have the sort of look you’re thinking of to help you narrow down your aesthetic options and the materials to achieve the look you’re going for.

Budget

How will your new space fit your budget?

By knowing your budget we can blend all priorities; function, aesthetics, spatial,and budget to give you the best solution based on almost 40 years of outdoor living experience. We look for great solutions every day that help our clients achieve their priorities, including the investment that they are planning for this project. It is important to provide your realistic budget to your design consultant. We know that homeowners can often be reluctant to share their budget assuming that other contractors will find a way to use up every last penny of the budget. Here’s why it helps to share your budget with your Design Consultant. If you had envisioned a number of low-maintenance and high-end materials but your budget will not accommodate using all upper-end materials, your design consultant will guide you to which upgrades make the most sense. Often a particular material or design feature is more costly than you would have expected. Instead of receiving a quote with budget-breaking features, your Design Consultant can let you know up front that a particular feature would eat up a high percentage of your budget allowing you to make better decisions at the beginning of the design process.

Space

What limitations do you have? What will fit your house?

Before going to far into the design process, it’s important to look at how much space you have, any space limitations and what will fit your house. Your Design Consultant can look at the back of your home and communicate what will and will not work based on your home’s facade and architectural features. In addition, while you may not be aware of setbacks or other restrictions, your Design Consultant can guide you in reviewing restrictions before determining dimensions.

You may be wondering the cost to work with a highly trained and very experienced Design Consultant. There is no charge to you. We want to build a space for how your family wants to live outside. We want to guide you in the design process based on our experience in building thousands of decks, patios and porches here in the local area. Give us a call for your free design consultation at 847.744.9550, drop us an email or fill out the form online and we’ll contact you to schedule your design consultation.

It's Award Season for Archadeck of Chicagoland

Archadeck of Chicagoland took home many awards at the 2018 Outdoor Living Brands Annual Meeting. Our Chicagoland office brought home the awards for:

1. #1 Franchisee in Sales for Archadeck and all Outdoor Living Brands -Our office is the second Franchisee in the 37 year history of Archadeck to reach this level of sales

2. Kristen Berryhill- #1 Selling Franchisee in Personal Sales for Archadeck and all Outdoor Living Brands

3. Archadeck Customer Service Award, Archadeck of Chicagoland received a Net Promoter Score of 81 identifying us as a world class service company

4. #2 Sales Person in Archadeck awarded to Design Consultant, Lisa Bombard

5. “Rookie of the Year” Sales Person in Archadeck awarded to Design Consultant, Sara Vivaldelli


Our team being recognized at the conference for #1 Franchisee in Sales


Our owners and sales team with their many awards


Our fantastic sales team

We are so proud of the hard work our team put in to accomplish so many outstanding achievements! We look forward to another successful, award winning year!

How to Know if Using a Design-Build Company is Right for Your Outdoor Project

When planning your outdoor living project, there are many different companies to choose from when deciding who you’ll work with. One of your many choices is to work with a design-build company, but what exactly does that mean? A design-build company takes care of your entire project –everything from drafting the initial design concept, working with villages to obtain permits, to the final installation. This project route saves time and money while minimizing mistakes. Here are a few benefits of using a design-build firm when completing your outdoor project, which may help you decide if that is the appropriate step for you.

1. Less Room for Error

Working with one company to design and build your project equates a lower risk of mistakes. This means you don’t have to find an architect to design your deck or patio and then find a new company to build your project. At Archadeck, we create a one stop shop by offering the best of both worlds with experienced in house designers who work with quality carpenters to build your dream backyard. Having our professional staff work together on your project allows for constant communication, minimizing mistakes made to your project.

2. Time Saved

When you work with one company from design implementation to the final walk through of your space, it takes less time to attend to project details. Whether you’re planning a new deck, patio, or outdoor kitchen project, you will have fewer meetings to worry about and experience a more efficient process by working with one company.

3. Avoid Unexpected Costs

One of the significant benefits of using a design-build company is that costs are drastically reduced. At Archadeck one of the first questions our Design Consultants ask is what budget the client has. We do this to make sure we don’t design a space that is more than what they want to invest. Using one company to design and build your project is a money saver since it generally costs less using one firm to create a design and build, than to hire an architect and builder separately. There is also no question as to whether or not your project can be built when working with one firm.

If you are considering adding an outdoor project to your backyard, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at 847-496-4333 or sign up for your free design consultation.

Top 3 Reasons to Plan Your Outdoor Living Project in the Fall and Winter

With the chilly Chicagoland weather in full force, upcoming holidays and family gatherings are probably at the forefront of your mind. Warm, sunny afternoons grilling and lounging on your new deck or patio may be a distant thought for you. However, the fall and winter months are the best time of year to plan for your spring outdoor living space. At Archadeck, not only are we building in the colder months, but we’re already planning for spring projects. Still not sure if  thinking about your outdoor project this time of year is for you? Check out our top 3 reasons to plan for your outdoor space in the colder months.

1. Avoid price increases

Material prices generally increase in the first part of the year.  In 2018 we also anticipate labor cost will increase significantly with high demand for skilled carpenters. Planning your project now will lock in 2017 pricing. At Archadeck we are offering $1000 or 10% off of your project (whichever is greater) when you book your project this November; be sure to mention code WinterWork17. Restrictions apply. Call 847-496-4333 for details.

2. Your project will be ready to enjoy during warmer months

Planning your outdoor project now and getting on the schedule means that we’ll be ready to build early next year. By building your project at the beginning of next year, you will be able to fully enjoy your new space when the warm weather arrives.

3. Less Interruption

Families typically spend more time inside during colder months. The late spring and summer months tend to come with more outdoor gatherings; having carpenters working that time of year can disrupt time outside and outdoor activities. Carpenters in the backyard in late winter/early spring are less likely to be in your way.

If you are looking to plan your spring outdoor living project now, we’d love to hear from you. Sign up for our Free Design Consultation or call us at 847-496-4333.

See you in the backyard!

How Can I Enjoy My Outdoor Living Space In The Colder Months?

With cooler weather on the horizon, you may be wondering if enjoying your outdoor space this upcoming season is even possible. Wouldn’t it be great if you could still soak in the beautiful sunsets and fresh air, despite the upcoming chilly, Chicagoland temperatures? Adding a room, such as a sunroom or screened in porch is a great way to make the most out of outdoor living as it cools down and can be built with features to make use of the space year round!

Screened in porches and sunrooms provide protection from outside elements such as rain, wind, and snow, while still allowing you to enjoy the outdoors. Below are a few of our favorite features that make it easier to use your space throughout the year.

Sunspace Retractable Windows

These attractive, light weight windows allow you to easily close up the room to protect against rain or snow or open them fully to allow a warm breeze in on sunny days; let in as little or as much of a breeze in as you please. Below are some of our favorite projects featuring Sunspace windows.

This rustic style screened in porch integrated cathedral ceilings and Vertical 4 Track Windows to maintain an open, airy feel. The windows let in plenty of light while allowing the homeowners to enjoy the space during chilly months.

This screened in porch features floor to ceiling Sunspace Vertical 4 Track windows which gives the room a very open, spacious feel. Adding a space heater can warm up the room even more to enjoy on colder days.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Integrating an outdoor fireplace into your screened in porch or sunroom is a great way to create warmth and ambiance throughout the colder seasons. Below are some of our favorite rooms with fireplaces.

This cedar screened in porch features an outdoor stone fireplace which creates warmth as well as encourages family to gather for entertaining.

This fireplace makes an eye catching focal point in this sunroom, which greatly compliments the space and makes it more usable throughout the year.

Studio 41 Glass Windows

The Studio 41 glass windows we use in our sunrooms truly make these spaces usable when the cold hits by keeping out more chilly air. Check out some of our favorite projects with these windows.

These Studio 41 windows ensure more cold air is kept out of your living space, while bringing in additional natural light to the area.

These windows open up the homeowner’s view to the rest of the yard, while allowing them to choose how much fresh air to let in.

If you’re considering adding a room to your outdoor living space, such as a screened in porch or sunroom, we’d love to hear from you. Call us at 847-496-4333 or sign up for your Free Design Consultation.

TimberTech reviews for your Chicagoland area composite deck


TimberTech Silver Maple deck in Winfield IL

If you’re getting ready to add a low-maintenance deck to your Chicagoland-area home, you are wise to do your due diligence. Your due diligence should include not only the builder but also the materials that make up a significant portion of the cost. If you are reading this blog, you have likely chosen to or are strongly considering using low-maintenance decking for your new deck or porch. That is a wise choice. By their nature, natural materials begin to weather, age and show signs of that aging from about the moment you install them. If you choose natural wood for your decking, it will begin to expand, contract and change color shortly after being installed. There is nothing you can do to prevent natural materials from the effects of being used outside. Significant temperature fluctuations coupled with precipitation and direct sunlight will cause wood to expand, contract, and sometimes twist and cup. Direct sunlight will also weather the color of wood to a gray color.


TimberTech Legacy deck in Tigerwood in Downer’s Grove IL

Because low-maintenance composites maintain their shape, look, color and surface, they are a great option if you want your newly installed deck to continue to look exactly like it did when it was newly installed. The decking you see in the pictures featured on this page will still have the same color with the same attractive streaking and texturing in 10 or 20 years. If you selected a particular color to match or compliment your home, that color will be maintained. If you select furniture to match or compliment your decking, it will still match the decking for many years to come.

Due diligence on TimberTech, AZEK, Trex or other composite woods

Doing due diligence on composite decking brands should start with reading about the manufacturer’s warranties. This information is easily found on the manufacturer’s websites. It’s important to note that there are building standards that must be met to ensure the manufacturer’s warranties are honored. With composite decking, this includes ensuring that the joist spacing does not exceed a particular and exact distance. This is why it’s important to work with a reputable deck builder that is experienced in working with the standards set forth by the various manufacturers.

It is also good to check references and read reviews. It’s difficult to find a collection of reviews for a particular material. You will more easily find reviews for the builder. A reputable builder will provide references of their customers who have used the particular material you are considering. They will also point you to reviews for jobs including the material you are considering.

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, you will find hundreds of online reviews published on various review sites including Angie’s List, Houzz, Google,, or you can read reviews on our website

If you’re considering adding a low-maintenance deck or porch to your Chicagoland area home, give us a call for a free consultation at 847.496.4333 or drop us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.

How to Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Space This Fall

With summer nearing its’ final days, you might be anxiously awaiting fall football games, gorgeous golden trees, and the crisp, chilly air. With all of these wonderful seasonal perks to look forward to, you may be wondering if you can even still enjoy your backyard as pool and BBQ season come to an end. The good news is, the falling leaves and mild weather make fall the PERFECT time to enjoy the outdoors. You may be curious as to how you can warm up as the weather cools down. Adding a patio with fire pit or a screened porch with a fireplace makes enjoying the outdoors a must do this autumn.

Building a patio with a fire pit or screened porch with fireplace creates style, ambiance, and warmth for your space. Imagine gathering the family around the fire pit on your paver patio while roasting marshmallows, or enjoying a cup of coffee next to your fireplace in your screened porch on a chilly fall day. Additionally, a fireplace in your room or fire pit on your patio creates a great focal point for your project’s design. Below are a few of our favorite patio with fire pit and room with fireplace combinations.

This Belgard paver patio features a gas built in fire pit with blue glass. This is a great feature if you don’t want to worry about smoke, fumes, or clean up from a wood burning fire pit.

This Belgard paver patio features a square wood burning fire pit, which is a great focal point on the project and complements the circular shape of the Mega Arbel pavers.

This gas fireplace with above TV makes the perfect place to watch the game and entertain family and friends.

This screened porch features a built in gas fire place with stone surround. This cozy room is an ideal retreat in the fall or winter to curl up with a book and cup of coffee.

If you’re ready to create your dream outdoor living space to enjoy this fall, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us at 847-496-4333 or sign up here for a Free Design Consultation.

What is AZEK?

AZEK is a low-maintenance outdoor building material. AZEK is best known for their PVC decking boards but they also make railing, trim, moulding and even pavers. Whereas wood requires maintenance on a fairly regular basis, AZEK synthetic decking won’t ever need annual maintenance. Also unlike wood, it resists mold & mildew and also resists stains, scratches and fading. It’s splinter free and comes with a 30-yr warranty.

How is AZEK different than composite?

When companies started making synthetic decking almost 30 years ago, they used a combination of wood fibers and recycled plastic. Not only was the product low-maintenance but it was also environmentally friendly using post-consumer and post-industrial waste. Soon, some of the products ended up having mold problems because the product was not impervious to water and other elements. There are a number of successful companies that now make synthetic wood for decking and outdoor projects. In addition to AZEK, these include Trex, TimberTech and Fiberon.

What is the new composite?

When some of the original composites began having problems, composite manufacturers began to create new variations. Some of the current variations include a more updated composite board, composite with a strong PVC cap/shell and solid PVC. AZEK only makes a solid PVC product. TimberTech and other companies make capped product.

What is the benefit of going with a capped composite?

Of the materials that can be used for low-maintenance decking boards, PVC is the most expensive. It also carries the best performance qualities. It is stronger and more impervious to staining, scratching and fading. Manufacturers soon learned that they could use the newer composite boards but design them to have a PVC coating on 3 or 4 sides. The composite is still an exceptional low maintenance material but the PVC provides better performance. The combination provides some cost efficiencies while maintaining top performance.

Can composite stand alone?

It sure can. The new composite formulations have exceptional performance, durability, scratch resistance, fade resistance and stain resistance. They also come with very long warranties of 25 years or more. They also don’t suffer the maladies that wood suffers. They do not crack, chip, cup, twist or splinter. Current day composite decking boards are exceptional and have the warranty to prove it.

Does composite look fake?

Composite, low-maintenance and PVC decking have come a tremendous way in overcoming the aesthetic challenges of making a synthetic material look like wood. These boards now have a variety of different streaking, texturing, veining and other design techniques to emulate the look of real wood. Take a look at the pictures above and see how beautiful the boards are.

Is composite better than wood?

We are asked this question all the time. Wood will forever embody a character that cannot be replaced a material that emulates wood. Wood is imperfect which is both its charm and can be considered its downside. Wood will fade, change color, splinter, twist, crack, cup and change shape. While many of these maladies are minor, you have no guarantee that wood will not suffer these maladies. In fact, you can be guaranteed that wood will suffer these maladies. The question is to what degree.

How do you decide which to choose?

You want to decide if you want to perform annual maintenance. Do you want to powerwash, stain, seal or otherwise perform maintenance on your deck every year or two for the life of the deck? If you don’t want to perform maintenance and don’t want to pay someone else to do it, low-maintenance is the best way to go.

Are there other reasons to choose AZEK, TimberTech, Trex or other composite/synthetic decking boards?

In addition to having confidence and a warranty that your decking boards will continue to look the same year after year, there is also comfort in knowing that the color you select will still be that color years later. Synthetic boards come in fabulous new colors including numerous shades of gray and a number of very dark brown shades along with traditional more wood-like shades of brown. Regardless of the shade you choose, you can count on the fact that your deck will maintain its color.

If you’re considering adding a new deck, porch, patio, pergola or other outdoor structure to your backyard, the best thing to do is talk to one of our design consultants. We provide a free consultation and can help you make decisions about your new project including materials, design and other factors. You might also want to take a look at our composite photo gallery to see the great options, colors and aesthetic opportunities available when building with composite.

Have Your Room and Patio Too (or Deck)!

With only a brief amount of time left to enjoy summer, you may be thinking about how you can still enjoy the outdoors as we approach the end of the warm season. Have you ever considered a combined project, such as a screened porch or sunroom with a deck or patio? Joining an outdoor area with an enclosed space offers many benefits during the transition of seasons and allows you to enjoy your space throughout the year!

Having a combination project is especially be beneficial when changing from late summer to early fall. Having a deck or paver patio can be useful during warmer afternoons for grilling or dining, while a sunroom or screened porch can be beneficial on chilly fall evenings or cool mornings to curl up with a warm cup of tea. How do you know if a combined space is something your backyard needs?

One of the first questions our design consultants ask our clients is “how do you plan to use the space?” This answer will always differ from person to person. Many times we find out our clients want to use their space for multiple activities. For instance some clients want one area for grilling and a separate, enclosed area for seating and gathering family and friends. Sometimes our clients want a large outdoor area for entertaining along with a smaller, covered space for lounging and relaxing. Others simply want an uncovered area to enjoy warm, sunny days, as well as a cozy enclosed space to enjoy on chilly or rainy days. Sound like something you may need? Having separate spaces for different activities increases the function of your design and expands your living space for multiple uses.

Below are some examples of our room projects in combination with other spaces such as decks or patios.

This combined screened porch and Belgard paver patio creates plenty of room for the home owners to enjoy grilling on sunny afternoons as well as an enclosed area for shade or bug protection.

This outdoor living space creates the best of both worlds; a spacious Timber Tech low maintenance deck and Belgard paver patio to appreciate the outdoors as well as a screened porch to bring the outdoors in! The spacious deck with patio is ideal for large parties and family gatherings, while the screened porch makes for a cozy indoor retreat to enjoy as the weather cools down.

This wood deck with screened porch defines different areas for different activities. The deck can be used for grilling and lounging in the sun, while the screened porch is ideal for staying dry and warm and for protection of outdoor elements, such as rain and snow.

If you’re looking for a combined outdoor living space to enjoy year round, we’d love to hear from you. Sign up for your Free Design Consultation or call us at 847-496-4333.

See you in the backyard!

When is the best time of year to build your new Chicagoland deck or porch? Would you be surprised if we said fall or even winter? Read why.

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we’ve been building outdoor spaces for over 25 years. It’s safe to say we’ve built in every weather condition you can possibly imagine. When asked about the best time to build a project, you might be surprised to hear our answer. Of course, here in the Chicago area, there are times throughout the year when weather conditions prohibit us from doing some building activities such as digging footings if the ground is too cold. But, you’d be surprised to learn that we are building throughout a good portion of the entire year.

So when is the best time?

As you can imagine, many homeowners feel that the ideal time of year to have their new outdoor space built is in the spring or early summer. Homeowners often tell us that they waited and possibly saved for years before commissioning us to build their project. Because of that, they’re excited and don’t want to miss another summer without their new space. We totally understand but this presents a couple challenges.

Challenge #1: Most everyone else wants their project at that same time

Spring and summer are our busiest months of the year and as you can imagine, we begin building new projects on a first-come, first-served basis. So, the homeowners that commissioned their new space back in January have their projects built before contracts that close in February or later months.

Challenge #2: Every reputable builder has a wait

As the season progresses and it becomes really busy, we have an increased wait time before we can begin the project as all reputable builders do. In fact, if a builder tells you they can start next week or even the week after, you may want to strongly reconsider that decision. You can’t afford to make your builder decision based on who is available to start the soonest. It’s not uncommon for a sought-after builder to have a wait time of a couple months, but it’s worth the wait.

With Archadeck of Chicagoland, it may pay to wait!

We’re homeowners too. We’ve waited for the right builder before making home improvements to our own homes. We know it’s not fun to wait so we want to do something about it. At certain times of the year, we offer a flexible build discount to homeowners that are willing to schedule their project build times a little later in the year. During your consultation, we can give you an idea of when that time frame is. We appreciate your patience so much that we are willing to take 10% off the price of your carpentry project! Of course, this discount must be noted on your contract and cannot be added on top of another discount but we want to thank you for your patience in choosing Archadeck.

Here’s why you should never wait until next year

As you can imagine, when facing the challenge of a wait time before starting a project, some homeowners decide to postpone adding their new space until the next year. Unless they call super early the next year, they may run into the same problem. Even more importantly, we never know when spring is going to start. We could have fabulous weather in March. If you chose the flexible build discount and had your project built later in the previous year, your new space would be ready the very first day that spring appears.

Memories will be made that will last a lifetime

So often, our customers tell us how they wouldn’t have had that big family event at home if they didn’t have a space that’s befitting of entertaining and hosting. Your new outdoor space will be your favorite relaxing and entertaining spot at your house. When considering whether to hold off until the next year, think of all the years and all the events you will host, enjoy and remember on your new outdoor living space.

One final note about timing your new build…

Manufacturers have price increases, typically at least once per year. We never receive alerts of when these will be. If you push your project to the next year, the cost could likely be higher because of the price of framing lumber or because of the increased cost of other materials.

Give us a call now to take advantage of the flexible build discount of 5% off your entire build (carpentry projects only) ! Right now we are only offering this discount in August 2017. If you read this blog after August of 2017, ask your design consultant to see if the flexible build discount is still being offered.

Contact us now to begin discussing your project idea with an Archadeck design consultant at 847.496.4333 or drop us an email

Archadeck Fires up Your Backyard Patio with Firepit Giveaway!

Ready to upgrade your backyard?

Enter to win your outdoor oasis with Archadeck’s “Fire up your backyard” patio with fire pit giveaway! Enter to win a 14’ diameter Belgard paver patio with wood burning fire pit. Finally get the perfect space to roast marshmallows and gather with your loved ones. Enter to win here now through July 30th 2017 and for official rules.

Radio personality Roe Conn gets his deck built with Archadeck

When radio personality, Roe Conn, was looking at his old, chipped deck out back, he decided he wanted something better; a sanctuary worthy of enjoying his fresh cup of coffee in the morning or glass of wine at sunset. What did Roe do when he realized his current deck wouldn’t cut it? He called Archadeck!

Roe knew he could trust our owners and outdoor living experts David and Kristen Berryhill, and the Archadeck of Chicagoland team with his project. Our senior carpenter, Paul Taylor, and production manager, Anthony Amodeo, worked hard to build this simple but beautiful deck. The old, worn out deck was replaced with a brand new Timber Tech low maintenance/composite deck.

Our owner, David Berryhill suggested to make the simple deck more interesting by designing the deck as a “picture frame” by having a border going around the edges of the deck with a parting board in the center. This is a very unique design detail and creates separation even within a smaller space. The brown oak and gray deck boards create a stunning contrast and gives the space a modern appearance.

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Roe; he has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The best part is, he loves his new deck and has been very happy throughout the process. Like many of our clients, Roe is building his project in stages; stay tuned to see the new paver patio we’ll be building for him later this spring!

If you’re ready for your “before” to turn into “after” for your backyard space, we’d love to hear from you. Sign up for your free design consultation or call us at 847-496-4333.

See you in the backyard!

Top Four Things to Consider When Planning Your Patio Project

Are you thinking about a patio in your backyard for your ultimate stay-cation? Have your been dreaming about a place to enjoy your glass of wine while watching the sun set? An Archadeck patio makes a great outdoor space to enjoy for dining, entertaining, and relaxing. When researching patio projects, you may come across different options as far as design and materials. How will you know which options are right for you? The following four factors are important considerations when planning your patio project.

Space and Function

Understanding how you plan to use your space will help determine how much space you will need for your patio project. Are you planning to use your patio for dining or entertaining large groups? Or are you in need of a small, intimate area to lounge while reading or sunbathing? What you plan to do while using the space will determine how large of a design you will need.

Backyard Layout

How your backyard is currently laid out and what is currently in your backyard will affect your patio design. Would a raised patio with a retaining wall be beneficial to your sloped backyard? Do you have an existing sunroom or deck that you want to have integrated with your new patio? Assessing your backyard’s layout and what’s currently there will help when planning your new space.

Aesthetics

Do you like the feeling of separation from the rest of your yard with structures such as seat walls? Do you get excited about trendy curved, smooth shaped patios? Or do you prefer eye catching symmetrical lines and crisp corners that square and rectangular patios offer? Looking at our numerous patio designs is a great place to start when gathering ideas and getting inspiration while planning your project.

Materials and Investment
When searching online for patio ideas, you may come across material options such as concrete or pavers. How do you know which material choice is right for you? At Archadeck, we use pavers for all of our patio designs for the simple reason that concrete cracks. With Chicagoland’s extreme hot and cold temperatures, cracks in concrete are inevitable. With this in mind, expensive repairs are unavoidable for concrete patios. At Archadeck we want to ensure you have a high quality patio that lasts for many years. A paver patio will have an upfront higher initial investment, however, will cost less in the long term with repair costs in comparison to concrete patios.

If you are considering adding a patio or outdoor living space to your backyard, we’d love to hear from you. Call us at 847-496-4333 or sign up for our Free Design Consultation.

See you in the backyard!

WGN Radio Personality Roe Conn Gets His Patio Built by Archadeck

When radio personality, Roe Conn, was looking brand new deck from Archadeck, he decided his patio needed a face lift too! What did Roe do? He called Archadeck owners David and Kristen Berryhill to design and build a beautiful patio for him since he loved his new deck so much!

Roe knew he could trust our owners and outdoor living experts David and Kristen Berryhill, and the Archadeck of Chicagoland team with his project. Our team worked hard to build this simple but beautiful patio. The old patio was replaced with brand new Belgard pavers with a fire pit. This simple yet elegant design fits very well with Roe’s modern taste.

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Roe; he has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The best part is, he loves his new patio and has been very happy throughout the process.

If you’re ready for your “before” to turn into “after” for your backyard space, we’d love to hear from you. Sign up for your free design consultation or call us at 847-496-4333.

See you in the backyard!

Pergola with Mosquito Curtains; an Alternative to a Screened in Porch

Have you thought about adding an enclosure such as a screened in porch to your backyard, but are looking for a more cost effective alternative? Adding a pergola with mosquito curtains is a creative and affordable way to create an enclosed space for enjoying bug protection.

Pergolas by themselves provide shade on brighter days. These structures are made up of four posts with cross rafters. The further apart the rafters are, the more sun that will come through.

Mosquito curtains are made of a sheer netting fabric which is used to protect against mosquitoes and other bugs. This material can be attached to pergola structures on tracks, which can be opened or closed depending on the weather. Mosquito curtains not only provide the functional need of insect protection, but they also add a decorative touch as well as privacy to the outdoor living space.

If you are considering adding a pergola or enclosure to your outdoor living space, we’d love to hear from you. Give us a call at 847-496-4333 or sign up here for a Free Design Consultation.

See you in the backyard!

Archadeck of Chicagoland's First Ever Spring Open House!

Kick off your Memorial Day Weekend at Archadeck’s first ever Spring Open House!

Enjoy grilled burgers and hot dogs. Did we mention the cold soda and beer?

When: Friday May 26th 2pm-6pm -now you have your excuse to leave work early!

Where: Archadeck’s Palatine Showroom 395 W. Northwest Hwy. Palatine, IL 60067

Plan your new outdoor space now!

Dreaming of your backyard stay-cation? What are you waiting for? Speak with one of our expert design consultants at our open house about your new project.

Get $500 or $1000 off your next project just for stopping by! *

*Minimum $5,000 contract for $500 discount; minimum $10,000 contract for $1000 discount. Cannot be combined with any other offers. All special offers must be presented before time of contract signing.

Top 4 Things to Consider When Planning a Poolside Deck or Outdoor Living Space

Are you ready to turn your backyard into the ultimate summer stay-cation? Summer is just around the corner which means it’s the perfect time to turn your space into a relaxing retreat. One way to do this is with a poolside deck or outdoor living space. The following are important considerations when planning your pool and deck/outdoor living project.

1. How do you plan to use the space?
Function is a very important factor to consider when planning for your new space. Will you just need space for a couple chairs and a place for towels? Or do you want enough space for a grill and table for dining? How you plan to use the space will go hand in hand with how much space you need and how to best plan for your project.

2. Is your pool above ground or built in?
If your pool is above ground, do you want a wrap-around deck, or a deck on just one side of the pool? We can install decks that are on one side of the pool or that wrap around. Function wise, a wrap-around deck may not leave you with much space for seating or grilling, as much of the space is used for walking around the deck. Having a pool deck that’s built on one side of the pool gives more room for purposes such as lounging, grilling, or dining.

If your pool is built in, remember decks aren’t the only outdoor living space to consider. Paver patios are a great way to compliment your pool. Paver patio designs can create aesthetically pleasing landscaping to your space. When building a patio, we always suggest pavers over concrete, since they are easier to maintain and require fewer repairs.

3. Do you already have an existing pool and living space installed?
Not every project needs to start from scratch. Many of our clients build in stages; do you just want a project to compliment what’s already in your yard? Adding a deck coming off the house to an existing built in pool area or pergola for shade creates an extra place for gathering with family and friends and makes a great area to watch the kids play in the pool.

4. Cost
There are many variables that go into the cost of a poolside deck or outdoor living project. The materials used, for instance, if you use wood or low maintenance/composite decking, as well as the size of the space will be important factors that determine the project cost. If you have an above ground pool and are considering a wrap-around deck, or adding a deck to a circular pool, it will cost significantly more than a deck on only one side of the pool.

If you are considering adding a deck or outdoor living space to your pool area, we would love to hear from you! Contact us for a Free Design Consultation Consultation or call us at 847-496-4333.

See you in the backyard!

WGN Radio Personality Roe Conn Gets a New Deck Built with Archadeck

When radio personality, Roe Conn, was looking at his old, chipped deck out back, he decided he wanted something better; a sanctuary worthy of enjoying his fresh cup of coffee in the morning or glass of wine at sunset. What did Roe do when he realized his current deck wouldn’t cut it? He called Archadeck of Chicagoland!


Archadeck Owners, David & Kristen Berryhill with WGN Radio’s Roe Conn

We are your trusted Chicagoland deck builders!

Roe knew he could trust our owners and outdoor living experts David and Kristen Berryhill, and the Archadeck of Chicagoland team with his project. Our senior carpenter, Paul Taylor, and production manager, Anthony Amodeo, worked hard to build this simple but beautiful deck. The old, worn out deck was replaced with a brand new Timber Tech low-maintenance composite deck.


Roe’s Chicago deck under construction

Customization is the name of game at Archadeck of Chicagoland!

Our owner, David Berryhill suggested to make the simple deck more interesting by designing the deck as a “picture frame” by having a border going around the edges of the deck with a parting board in the center. This is a very unique design detail and creates separation even within a smaller space. The brown oak and gray deck boards create a stunning contrast and gives the space a modern appearance.


Custom TimberTech composite deck with picture framing detail

We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with Roe; he has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The best part is, he loves his new deck and has been happy throughout the process. Like many of our clients, Roe is building his project in stages; stay tuned to see the new paver patio we’ll be building for him later this spring!

With ‘A’ ratings on Angie’s List and impeccable customer reviews, Archadeck is sure to build a quality Chicagoland deck for your specific needs. If you are considering a composite deck, we would love to hear from you! You may sign up for a Free Design Consultation. or give us a call at (847) 496.4333.

Spectacular from every angle

Where it all comes together

Truly a room with a view, this Downer’s Grove screened porch is special from any angle. From the herringbone decking pattern of the floor to the low gable roof and everything in between, this porch is designed to ensure a great view no matter if you look up, down, or out to the yard.

One of the benefits of a custom room is the ability to customize to fit your needs. Like most screened porch customers, these homeowners wanted to maximize every single bit of the view of their yard. These screened openings are generously wide to fit that requirement. Take a look at the low knee walls on the screened walls. Code required a wall or railing but only a low barrier. To ensure we maximized every inch of the view, we created a low knee wall to meet code and preserve the view too.

The slightly vaulted ceiling is an open rafter ceiling. Lending itself to the informal sensibility of this porch, the open rafters create a rustic but still custom feeling for this porch.

Whether stealing a nap on the sofa or enjoying conversation among friends, the view from every angle is just delightful.

Coloring outside the lines

Why is this pergola shaped this way?

Read below…

The space you’re about to see is special for a couple reasons but what you will notice is the design’s desire to push boundaries and certainly to color outside the lines. The deck has two distinctly different areas with the lower level deck donning a unique hexagonal shape. And while that shape would have been a perfect fit for a gazebo or even a matching pergola, this pergola dons its very own unique and very custom shape. Although this lower deck protrudes from the upper-level deck, it is anything but a protrusion. It is that quiet hideaway surrounded with elegant thin railing spindles creating an intimate yet not confined feeling in the space. The lower deck also becomes a patio cover for the new paver patio below. In keeping with the geometric playfulness of this space, the patio extends only to the deck support columns as if peeking out upon the lawn from yet another private hideaway. This design was neither the creation of the homeowner nor designer alone. Like all great designs, it was a collaboration of the homeowners envisioning outside “the box” paired with the recommendations and design expertise of the experienced designer.

Barrington IL Pergola and Multi-Level AZEK Composite Deck

When you can't compete

With a house THIS beautiful, how in the world could a deck be made to suit?

Sometimes we are called to a home that is so fabulous, it’s literally difficult to figure out how to add to the space without taking away from majesty and design excellence of the home itself. With multiple offset turrets, stacked layers of custom installed windows and interwoven arched door and window elements, any added structure could easily look like a sore thumb. This grand yet simple TimberTech composite deck adds gingerbread appeal to a stunning custom back façade of this home. The brick façade contrasts beautifully with the elegant white columns and pickets. The wide composite stair set is met with a custom gate at the top and empties out in a grand flare at the bottom to the authentic bluestone custom stone patio. The flared stairs are flanked by dual paver pillars serving to guide those using the stairs and also creating a perfect place for displaying decorative elements.

Have your deck and your patio too!

Deck, patio, pergola… No problem.

You would be surprised how many Chicagoland area homeowners don’t choose between a deck or a patio. They add both and for very good reason. First, there are a couple practical reasons. If you’re going to add the outdoor living space you’ve dreamed about to your home, add the spaces that really allow you to the outdoor living opportunities you’d like. Both patios and decks have tremendous appeal but their appeal is different. Most decks are elevated and come with the corresponding railing necessary due to the elevation. Most patios are not enclosed and provide an unencumbered feeling that a deck cannot provide.

What’s really fabulous about the space you see below is the attention to the vertical details. The deck is surrounded by custom wood skirting and the patio stands atop a glorious hand fashioned stone skirting. Adding to the ascending elevational profile of the 2 spaces stands a custom-made pergola providing partial sun protection to the patio. And, just to make sure evening entertainment on either space is not thwarted, the gently descending steps include deck lighting.

If you are considering adding an outdoor living space to your Chicagoland area home, we would love to hear from you! You can sign up for a Free Archadeck Design Consultation online, give us a call at (847) 496-4333 or send us an email. Our experienced Design Consultants are happy to help you turn your backyard into the ultimate outdoor living destination spot.

Take a look at more Chicago-area paver patio design pictures
Read more about adding a deck to your Chicagoland-area home

You would never guess this screen porch was just added on

As if it was always there, this screened porch not only complements this Long Grove IL home, but you would never guess it was added on to the home many years after it was built. What is even more interesting is the fact that the porch builder was able to match the porch siding to the home siding. The soffit matches, the trim color matches and even the gutters match. It can’t be seen in this picture but the roof tiles also… You guessed it. They look like they were always there.

After building outdoor room additions here in the Chicagoland area for over 25 years, we can tell you the top requests homeowners have for their new porch or sunroom. Homeowners want their new room to fill with sun. They want a cheery, light, bright and airy space to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the outdoors. Tied for most highly requested features of porch or outdoor room additions is to make the room look like it was always there. Gone are the porches of yesteryear that looked like a sore thumb and were obvious late additions to the home.

Here is how we go about making your new space look original to your home.

Complimentary Roof Shape

One of the first decisions in the design process is the roof shape. There are a number of factors. The first thing we do is look at the roof shape or shapes on the home. The home may have one or more gables, may have elevations with hip roofs and homes may have a combination of roof lines. In order to make your new space look original to your home, we want to match or compliment the existing roof shape. This home has a gable roof on the main home and also a gable over the garage section. A gable style roof was a great choice for this roof.

Trim matters

Your home’s trim color is one of the defining characteristics of its facade outside of the siding style. Your trim is used to outline the architectural features on your home such as windows, doors and soffits. Your new porch, in order to fit in, should have the same trim color as your home.

Face value

Whether your facade is stone, vinyl, wood or stucco, your facade is literally the face of your home. If your new room has exterior siding such as this kneewall, it is critical that the new siding compliments or matches the home’s siding.

If you are considering adding an outdoor living space to your Chicagoland area home, we would love to hear from you! You can sign up for a Free Archadeck Design Consultation online, give us a call at (847) 496-4333 or send us an email. Our experienced Design Consultants are happy to help you turn your backyard into the ultimate outdoor living destination spot.

They wanted a high ceiling but...

Finding a solution with a difficult porch connection…

When the owners of this home contacted us to discuss adding a screened porch addition, they were looking for a space with an open and airy feel. After all, we go outdoors to leave behind the confinement of walls and windows. We want to experience as much of the sun, heat and breeze as possible. We want to smell the scent of fresh cut grass and hear the sweet song of birds answering each other’s calls. We want to hear the sound of rain and have a covered place to watch a lightning storm. We want all of that with the protection of a roof and screens but we still don’t want to feel confined. When considering adding a porch to this home, our site visit identified a significant challenge. The second story had a number of windows that we would not want to cover or visually obstruct. Our goal was to make the porch as spacious as possible without obstructing the second-story windows. You’ll see below that we maximized the vertical space by adding screened transom windows above the traditional screened windows. We utilized a low hip roof to gain some elevation or vaulting within the room while designing within the constraints.

From a design perspective, the goal was to achieve a rustic sensibility within a traditional elegant custom porch design. We utilized cedar posts and a cedar door to harken from the natural wood posts from porches of old. Adjoining the porch is a paver patio with a unique custom footprint. Many Chicagoland area homeowners want an outdoor living area that has both a seating area and a distinctly separate additional space serving as an eating area. The Unilock paver patio creates the perfect space for intimate dining among family and friends. Nestled between the two spaces is a small grill deck with enough room to tuck the grill close to each space but not interfering or taking up too much otherwise usable eating or seating area. The cherry on the cake is the custom built firepit of complimenting Unilock paver stones. During the off season, the family can utilize the fire pit for plantings and to host other decorative outdoor elements.

Give us a call for a free consultation at 847.496.4333, drop us an email or fill out the form above and we will contact you.

Take a look at more Chicagoland screened porch images in our online photo gallery.

Top 3 Things to Consider When Budgeting for a Wood or Low Maintenance Deck

Spring has officially sprung which means it’s the perfect time to consider a deck addition to your outdoor space. With many customers who contact us about future deck projects, a common question we get is what to expect budget wise when thinking about a wood or low maintenance/composite deck? The following points are necessary considerations to help you determine which is the best fit for you.

The Difference It’s important to understand the difference between a wood or low maintenance/composite deck first, before you can know which is the better investment option for your budget. Our wood decks are made using pressure treated pine decking. We use Timber Tech or AZEK brand products for our low maintenance/composite decking; which is made from either cap stock (composite core with PVC skin), or full PVC boards. Click here for more details on this type of decking.

Maintenance

Wood deck boards can fade, splinter, expand, or shrink over time. However, these effects can be dramatically minimized if maintained properly, which includes staining and pressure washing every 2-3 years. Low maintenance/composite decking on the other hand will not experience this same wear and tear, but it may scratch. However, there are low maintenance/composite deck options that are stain or scratch resistant. Low maintenance decking also does not need to be stained or painted.

Budget

If considering a low maintenance deck, plan to budget about 70-100% more than a wood deck. It may sound expensive, however if you plan to be in your home for several years, it may be the better investment. With this in mind, you would not need to worry about the cost of hiring someone to wash, stain, or sand your deck. These maintenance costs would end up recouping the cost of a low maintenance/composite deck in about fifteen to twenty years; if you plan to be in your home for many years, it may be the better investment long term. If you only plan to be in your home for a couple of years, a wood deck may be the better option.

If you are considering adding an outdoor living space to your home, such as a wood or low maintenance/composite deck, we would love to hear from you. You can sign up for a free design consultation or call us at 847-496-4333.

See you in the backyard!

Do I have to choose between a screened porch and a porch that also includes vinyl windows?

Whether you have an existing screened porch or are thinking about adding a porch, you might want to consider a porch that includes both screens and vinyl windows. You don’t have to choose.

There are a couple popular brands that make 4-track window systems for screened porches. These include WeatherMaster by Sunspace, Eze-Breeze by PGT and some smaller brands such as EzePorch. At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we have been installing screened porch window systems for years on both new porches and retrofitting existing porches.


Beautiful cedar screened porch with outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Chicagoland

We are your trusted Chicago area screened porch builder! See these great client testimonial videos below.

If you’re just getting started with your research on whether to consider an open porch, screened porch, 3-season room, 4-season room or sunroom; you certainly have your work cut out for you. A good starting question would be whether you are looking for protection from dust, pollen, precipitation and some temperature protection. All of these protections are afforded to you when you have an enclosed system whether it’s with vinyl windows or in a full window sunroom.

How do window systems work?

Here is how the window systems work. The vinyl windows work on a track system with 4-tracks. This provides the ability to open three tracks to expose 75% screen or to only open one track exposing 25% of the screen. If you take a look at either of the videos above, you can see 2 different porches with installed vinyl window systems. You’ll note the extreme clarity of the vinyl. It’s durability rivals it’s clarity.

As mentioned above, when determining which porch option is best for your home, among the key considerations are what you want to keep out of the room. For example, if you want to have full exposure to all of the elements and want to be able to walk freely from your porch to your yard, an open porch or covered porch is the best option.

Adding screens to your porch encloses your porch to a degree. This provides protection from flying insects and from some flying particles such as dust or pollen. Depending on the screens and strength of a rain shower, it will also provide some protection from the rain allowing you to enjoy the sound of the rain under cover. You will not receive sun protection from screens but you will receive sun protection from the roof itself. The degree of sun protection from roof cover depends on the strength of sun to that area of your yard which is influenced by your home’s orientation and the degree of shade your porch achieves due to trees and other structures.

For those of us who struggle with airborne allergens such as dust or pollen, being able to turn screened windows to clear vinyl windows with the ease of opening or closing a window, you will love having a track window system. If the transition to lower temperatures forces you indoors, a vinyl window system can provide a reprieve for you. Depending on the transition to your house and whether you have a space heater and ceiling fan, you may be able to enjoy your porch quite a bit longer in the cooler months.

As you can see, there are a number of benefits of selecting Eze-Breeze or SunSpace windows for your porch. If you have an existing porch and would like us to retrofit your windows, give us a call for a free consultation. We look forward to your call.

If you are ready to discuss options for adding a screened porch with windows, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Do you want a composite, capstock, or PVC Chicagoland deck?

If you’re considering adding a new deck to your Chicagoland area home, you have no doubt considered the amount of maintenance you are willing to do on your new space. Do you want to scrape? Do you want to strip? Stain? Sand? How about splinters? Fading? Insect damage?

TimberTech deckBelieve it or not, all of these maladies that befall natural wood can be eliminated by using low-maintenance materials. You have probably heard the term “composite” as it relates to low-maintenance decking. What you may not realize is there are several different types of composite decking – enough that the material choices are now lumped into the category of “synthetic” because of the number of different materials and compositions. Our goal is to share those with you to help you make your decision.

We want to be your Chicagoland deck builder!

Composite decking

composite deckTo provide good information about composite decking, we have to talk a little bit about the history. Believe it or not, synthetic decking has been around for 20+ years. The industry has grown and evolved quite a bit over that period of time. Quality issues sprung up many years ago that were later greatly reduced with product improvements.

Composite decking was the first generation of synthetic decking. As the name implies, it consists of a combination of wood fibers and plastic. This combination allows composite to claim protection from material defects, from splinters and damage from termites or rot. Although traditional composite is still available, we work exclusively with the two upper end synthetics because mold issues still exist on traditional composite.

Low-maintenance decks are an Archadeck of Chicagoland specialty!

Capstock decking

TimberTech Terrain deckCapstock low-maintenance decking is a composite core surrounded by a stronger polymer shell or cap. Some capstock boards are protected on 3 sides and some have the polymer shell on all 4 sides. This shell does provide the additional benefit of stain resistance, scratch resistance and fade resistance. It has all of the same protection as composite in that it resists mold and mildew along with resisting moisture damage. Depending on the board or collection, many include texturing or other custom finishes that emulate natural wood textures or more current textures. One of the best benefits of capstock is that it comes with not only the 25-year limited warranty that composites have but also has a 25- to 30-year fade and stain warranty. TimberTech has a couple lines of capstock decking including the Legacy Collection, Tropical Collection and Terrain collection. Check back for a future post to look at these options in greater detail.

Archadeck of Chicagoland builds many types of specialty decks, ideal for many outdoor living needs!

Solid synthetic decking

AZEK deckAt the high end of the synthetic decking options is solid synthetic decking. Solid PVC has the greatest strength because it does not utilize any natural materials. While intuitively, natural materials such as wood may seem desirable, solid PVC eliminates all of the maladies that befall wood or wood fibers.

Solid synthetics come with the longest and typically the most comprehensive warranties. AZEK’s warranty covers your decking boards for 30 years. It’s quite likely that you will have moved to another home before your decking warranty expires.

How in the world do you choose?

Don’t try to choose on your own. Work with a local custom deck builder that’s experienced in working with all of these materials. They will give you the pros and cons as well as provide insight about colors and how those look when they are installed on a large deck vs. on a website or a small color block.

We are a tried, trusted, and true Chicagoland deck builder. Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

What roof style should your new Chicagoland porch or sunroom have? Gable? Shed? Hip? Flat?

As you begin dreaming about adding a new porch to your Chicagoland area home, one of the the first things you will do is envision what what your new room will look like. You will likely have a general room shape, location and roof style in mind. You will have some “must haves” and some “absolutely nots” on your list. We have seen a lot of these lists as we’ve helped homeowners translate their requirements and visions into a porch design for their home. Almost inevitably, the first thing on the list is “lots of light!”. Whether you are looking for a screened porch, an open porch, a sunroom, or a 3- or 4-season room, you are most likely hoping for a sunny and bright space to enjoy your home and your backyard too.

Some of the key decisions we will help you make early on include where your porch should attach to your home, how large your porch should be and what roof style is best. In this blog, we want to share some information about choosing the porch roof that’s best for you. Your options for your Chicagoland area porch include a gable roof, shed roof, hip roof or a flat roof. Here is some information and key considerations for each type.

Gable roof

A gable roof is one of the most highly sought roof shapes. It is the shape that essentially makes a triangle. It has a high point in the middle and slopes down in 2 directions from that high point.

There are a couple reasons this style is popular. First, it creates a vaulted ceiling on the inside. Secondly, the elevated ceiling lets a good deal of sun into the room. Third, the gable end or ends can be transparent using glass or screening to further increase the visibility out into the yard. If you have your heart set on this style, you first need to find out if it works with your home. There is a key functional and key aesthetic factor that influence this decision. Functionally, you do not want the roof of a new room to block second story windows. If your second story has a number of windows, that may limit the height and style of roof that will work with your home configuration.


Because of the second story window configuration, a gable roof would cover these windows and would not work with the configuration on the back of this home

From an aesthetic design perspective, it’s important to make sure the roof style is a fit with the roofline or rooflines of your existing home. You want your new porch or room to look like it is original to your home. Does your home have a gable roof? A Shed roof? Does it have a couple different roof lines? We want to make sure the new roof shape fits your home by complementing what exists. It’s important to note that you do not need to match the roof shapes with your existing rooflines but you do want to make sure they complement eachother.


This home has a shed roof over the home section and a gable roof over the garage section. Take a look at how nicely this gable roof screened porch looks on this home.

Shed roof


This sunroom has a shed roof which is connected at the house and slopes downward away from the house

A shed roof style essentially makes a half triangle. It is connected to the house and slopes downward in one direction from there. It is a great option if your second story limits connecting a higher roof or if a more elevated roof style would block the view from the second story. From a light perspective, this roof style does not generally allow in as much light as a gable roof but that depends on the orientation of your backyard to the room, the height of the roof connection, the number of trees in your yard and other factors. Like the gable roof, a shed roof can be open on the ends with either glass or screening depending on the room type. This ensures that more light enters the room.


Above is the interior view of the shed roof sunroom shown above. You can see that the space seems very spacious vertically.

Hip roof

The hip roof style is very popular especially with more upscale homes. This roof shape has a high point in the middle and slopes downward in three or more directions from that high point. A hip (or hipped) roof essentially creates the shape of a pyramid. It is the most complex from a construction standpoint and may cost more than a different, simpler roof shape. This roof shape is aesthetically pleasing to the eye especially from the inside. The geometric complexity adds more visual interest than a more traditional shape.


Hip roof screened porch in Chicago’s Hawthorne Woods community

As you see in the pictures above, the new room’s roofline does not need to match the home as long as it complements the home. One thing you’ll notice in the picture immediately above is that shed roofs can have tremendously varying heights. This roof shape is an alternative to a shed roof or flat roof for a house with second story obstructions.


The above gazebo style open porch has a shed roof. Note the visual interest of the ceiling shape from within the space

Flat roof

The first question we always receive about a flat roof is whether it will hold water. The good news is that flat roofs are not completely flat for that reason. Any good builder will build a slight angle and proper drainage into the space to ensure no resting water. This being said, if this room addition is in an area subjected to falling leaves and other debris, those can certainly accumulate on the roof.


We built a multi-level porch on this home with a large deck atop the second level effectively creating 2 rooms each with a flat roof

A flat roof is often selected when there are significant vertical constraints. But there is also tremendous appeal to this roof shape especially as it relates to an open porch. This shape is also very pleasing to the eye. The height of the roof can often compensate for the fact that less light enters the room than if it had a more elevated roof style.

Additional options

It’s important not to forget about great options for any roof shape. One of these is skylights. Skylights have multiple benefits including being aesthetically pleasing and helping to allow more light into the house.

If you are considering adding a porch, sunroom or 3/4 season room to your Chicago-area home, give us a call for a free consultation at 847.496.4333. You might also want to take a look at some of our photo galleries:

Screened porch photo gallery

Front porch and portico image gallery

Chicagoland open porch photo gallery

Sunroom image gallery

How Much Does a Chicagoland Screened Porch Cost?

I love to enjoy my first cup of coffee while sitting outside on my back porch. The summer air is peaceful and a little cool from the previous night and all around me, nature is waking cheerfully to meet the early morning sun. For many, the idea of a screen porch is appealing, especially for outdoor living enthusiasts. Screen rooms are a great way to enjoy the great outdoors while also enjoying the shelter, bug protection, and comfortable living they provide.

One of the things we find when people call in looking for someone to design and build their screen porch is that while they have a pretty good idea of what they want, they don’t know where to start or how much to budget for their project. And it’s no wonder when a quick Google search shows such wide a variety of kits from a hardware store, aluminum kits professionally installed, and custom designs that tie into your home.

In the world of custom design and build, knowing the elements that go into pricing a screen porch is helpful. Everything from the materials you choose to the roof style and foundation can greatly impact how much your screen porch will cost. As you look for a contractor you trust to build your new porch, keep these key components in mind.

Materials

Knowing the differences between material options will help you create a reasonable budget for your screen porch. The most common flooring materials we use are wood, composite decking, and pavers. Wood and pavers are usually comparable in price while you can expect to spend 50% or more for low maintenance materials like TimberTech and AZEK.

Window styles vary from standard rolled screening that is left open year round, to windows that include acrylic inserts for winter, to lightweight vertical 4-track systems, like Eze-Breeze. Eze-Breeze window systems give you the look, protection, and ease of windows. Their light weight frames are easy to open at varying degrees, providing you with the warm, breezy feel of a screen porch while allowing you to customize the air flow.

Stain, paint, and trim are also important to consider among material options. Staining and painting must be maintained on a regular schedule, making this an important cost to include when considering what you’re comfortable investing overall. AZEK offers a low maintenance trim that gives screen porches a crisp, clean look. It is easy to clean, is impervious to moisture and insects, and comes with a 25-year warranty.

Amenities & Design

Including amenities allows you to customize your screen porch for your specific lifestyle needs. Most of our screen porches include some sort of electric. Standard electric options usually include a ceiling fan with a light, a couple of outlets, a light switch, and a coach light. Canned lights in the ceiling, cable hookups or wiring for sound systems are also popular options.

Fireplaces are growing trend with Chicagoland screen porches, especially when 4-track window systems have been included in the design. Incorporating a fireplace allows homeowners to use their screen porch during the colder months, giving them the most use of their investment. A fireplace adds character to your screen porch design, is a great way to encourage people to gather and socialize, and without a doubt is the perfect place to curl up with a good book. Be aware, though, that a fireplace will substantially increase the total cost of your screen porch, often by close to $10,000.

Foundation

Depending on where you live, the foundation required can be the biggest driver of cost. Most often we build our screen porches on pier footings. Pier footings are concrete cylinders placed in the ground to support your structure. Even the Sears Tower (ahem, I mean Willis Tower) was built on pier footings!

Here in the Midwest, we have a very distinct freeze and thaw cycle, and as such we construct our footings to be 42” deep and 18”-24” in diameter, putting them below the frost line. Comparatively, in the warm southern states, most can get away with building a screen porch on footings that are only 6” deep. We also use belled footings to prevent any uplift that may occur when the ground freezes, further protecting your project. Occasionally we run into a village that requires a trench foundation. A trench foundation is a solid wall of concrete, 42” deep (or where the frost line falls), that runs along the perimeter of the porch. Unfortunately, such a foundation can increase the cost of your project by $5,000-$10,000. Before designing your screen porch, we contact your village’s building department to determine their foundation requirements. This allows us to let you know in advance if their requirements will have a larger than expected impact on your project.

Roof Style

Even you’re the style of your screen porch’s roof can impact the total cost of your project. Usually, we tie into your existing roof, matching your existing roof style and color. The three common roof styles we use are a shed roof, gable roof (which is more than shed), and hip roof (which is more than gable). The gable roof is the most popular roof style among our clients as it opens up the room with cathedral ceilings. With your choice of roof style also comes ceiling choices. Exposed rafters cost less than enclosed rafters and can give a screened porch a beautiful rustic look.

More than Material

Another piece to consider is the work that goes into designing and building screened porches. At Archadeck, your skilled Design Consultant walks you through our design process so they can create a design that will meet your functional needs and aesthetic tastes. Our Production Team manages your project from start to finish. We have a Draftsman to structure your project so that is engineered to be structurally sound and meet code requirements. Our Permit Coordinator works with the surrounding village building departments and handles all of the necessary permitting for you. The team also schedules material deliveries and inspections, manages the crew building your project, and coordinates with you in an effort to disrupt your daily life as little as possible.

The Bottom Line

So when we put all of these components together, what does the cost of a screened porch come to? A price or estimate that falls in or around $20,000 – $50,000 would be reasonable for a professionally designed and built screen porch in the Chicagoland area. A good contractor will work with your budget. Our Design Consultants will let you know if it looks like your design might run higher than you planned and will discuss possible solutions in order to keep your design within your budget.

If you are considering adding a screened porch or other outdoor living space to your backyard, we’d love to hear from you! Give us a call at (847) 496.4333 or sign up today for a Free Design Consultation.

How to Choose the Best Contractor

Spring is a great time to work on new projects around the house. Whether you’re adding a new deck or patio to your backyard, remodeling a kitchen, or updating your bathroom, one thing remains the same; you need a skilled contractor you can trust. How do you find a contractor that leaves you feeling confident your project will be built well and according to plan? Here are a few important areas to focus on while interviewing.

Experience

Choose a contractor who specializes in your type of project. Many contractors try to do all forms of construction, but there are subtle differences in materials and design that affect the outcome of each construction project. For example, Archadeck specializes in outdoor living spaces. Could we remodel a kitchen? Absolutely, but you might find there are several little things that just don’t look quite right. A good rule of thumb is if a company has done at least 100 projects in a category, they have probably learned the nuances that ensure the project is done right.

Background

Choose a contractor with positive references that back up their experience. Looking up a contractor on Angie’s List, The Better Business Bureau, or Houzz is a great way to learn how the contractor treats their clients. It is also worth noting how they respond to clients that had a negative experience. Do they ignore complaints or do they work with the client to make the issue right? Also, if possible, take a look at other projects the contractor has completed. A good contractor has a proven record of providing quality craftsmanship and customer care for their clients.

Performance Indicators

Pay attention to how your potential contractor interacts with you. If you notice they are not meeting your standards before you sign a contract, odds are they will fall short during the project. Ask yourself these five questions before you sign on the dotted line.

  • How quickly do they respond and what is the quality of their response?
  • Are they on time?
  • Do they ask questions to help avoid mistakes?
  • Do they listen and understand the priorities for your project?
  • Do they commit to follow-up, and more importantly, do they fulfill these commitments?

Evaluate the Contractor’s Method

A good contractor seeks to understand your personal priorities for your project by asking questions and listening to your ideas or concerns. At Archadeck, we use a proven design process to help us understand individual client needs for each project. Even if your project does not involve a design process, your contractor’s method should strive to understand your needs and wants and should clearly document the plan you agree to. Protecting your investment starts at the beginning with three important details.

  • Clear and written details. Project specifications should include details regarding materials and finishing information. Any items the client will be responsible for should also be included. For example, we note number one grade decking and stainless steel screws for our deck projects. Or when we build screen porches, we note that the client buys the ceiling fan which we install.
  • Design plans. In many cases, it is helpful to visualize your project. With every project we build, we offer a plan view (view from above). This helps ensure Archadeck and clients are in full agreement with what the end result should be.
  • Price or estimate? Some contractors give estimates. Estimates can change and some contractors purposefully give a low estimate that they plan to increase once the project begins. We guarantee that the price we agree to will not change unless the project is changed by the client or something unforeseen (not visually present or a requirement by a building department outside of noted building codes) occurs.

Project Management

Project management is crucial in construction. Understanding how a contractor manages the multiple issues that can arise during the course of the job should be important in deciding who you want to hire for your project.

  • What system does the contractor have in place to ensure your project runs smoothly? At Archadeck, we have a system called the Job Progress Methodology. This is an elaborate checklist with over four supporting guides for the field personnel that keeps us on track. We use this tool in conjunction with a series of construction standards that clearly reflects how each detail of the project will be built.
  • Who are the crews and how are they managed? We work hard to find skilled, reliable, and trustworthy tradesmen. We issue a written test, conduct background checks, follow up with references, check that all insurances are up to date and that our crews are properly licensed. With new crews, our Construction Manager is on site daily for the first two to three weeks to ensure they are building to our expectations.
  • Does the contractor handle permitting and inspections? If you want a full-service contractor, they should handle all issues related to the permits and inspections required for your project. This includes contacting JULIE (Illinois utility locator service) and providing any drawings and information your Home Owners Association might require.
  • Do they keep their clients informed of the job progress? Some of the feedback we often hear from our clients is how much they appreciate our daily communication and updates about the progress of their project. It is helpful to understand what’s been done, what is planned, and if there are any problems that need to be or were addressed. This grants peace of mind that every detail is being handled and allows for less disruption in our clients day to day lives.

Safeguards

It is important to understand what the contractor has in place to protect you and your home. The safeguards they have in place and the manner in which they respond to these questions help indicate how trustworthy a contractor may or may not be.

  • Liability insurance is a must. This protects your home from any damage caused during the construction process.
  • Workers’ Compensation is also important and required for any company with employees. This protects you from an employee of the contractor getting injured on the job and suing you for the bills.
  • Contractors should be licensed in the town or city the construction is being performed. Request a copy of their insurances and applicable licenses.
  • What type of warranty do they offer? We offer a warranty of one year on workmanship and five years on structural issues. For added protection, we also offer a third-party guarantee of performance and warranty coverage. Archadeck clients receive a National Guarantee Corporation Warranty. This ensures their project is completed and they receive at least two years of warranty coverage.
  • Will the contractor stand behind their work? All too often we hear about contractors or companies that hide behind a clause in their warranty. A good contractor will stand behind their work and do the right thing, regardless of the warranty terms.

Follow Your Instinct

What do your research and instincts tell you about the contractor or company? Can you trust them to do what they say, to stand behind their work, and to do what is right? After interviewing with your contractor, you should feel comfortable in your decision, knowing they are experienced, insured, organized, and ethical.

If you are considering an outdoor living project, we would love to hear from you! Sign-up today for a Free Design Consultation or call our Palatine Showroom at 847-496-4333 to speak with one of our talented Design Consultants. Together we can bring your outdoor living dreams to life.

Chicagoland Pool Deck Design Ideas

Turn your backyard into the destination spot this summer with a pool and pool deck! Dip your toes into the water while the children play, do cannonballs into the pool, soak up some sun next to the water, or throw a spectacular outdoor party.

A pool makes a great addition to any backyard, but it’s the pool deck or patio that really pulls it all together into one fantastic outdoor living space. Here are a few of our favorite pool deck design ideas with options ranging from small to expansive. When you work with a custom design and build firm like Archadeck of Chicagoland, you have the opportunity to create a deck space that fits your family’s lifestyle.

If you are looking for a pool deck builder, look no further than Archadeck of Chicagoland!

Designing a deck that leads from your home to the pool is an excellent way to create multiple spaces for seating, dining, and sunbathing. This allows the adults to steal away to a quieter section of the deck while the kids splash in the pool or the space to throw an outdoor party with plenty of room to entertain.


Pool deck design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

If you have an above-ground pool in your yard, but already have an outdoor space you love, consider installing a small deck. This cozy pool deck includes a gate for safety, a built-in bench for swimmers and towels, and the lattice skirting hides the pool pump and other items from view, creating a pleasant look while maximizing the functional space.


Above ground pool deck by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Wrapping a deck around a curved pool can get expensive. Consider building the deck on one side for a more budget friendly design. If you’re in the market for a new pool, consider a design that includes straight edges.


Chicagoland pool deck design

Perhaps you already have an in-ground pool installed, yet want an outdoor space that complements the pool area. If this is the case, a deck coming off the house and designed to land on the concrete surrounding the pool is an excellent option.


Pool deck by Archadeck of Chicagoland

This unique pool deck design is elevated to come off of the split-level home. A locking double gate is a safety measure that prevents accidentally slipping into the pool. Open the gates and you have a great space for the kids to jump right off the deck into the pool!


Pool deck design with locking gate

Patio pool decks are a great alternative to wood or composite decking. Consider how your pool will look in your yard. You’ll spend more time looking at the pool while you’re grilling, dining, and visiting with friends than you will actually spend in the pool. Implementing a patio design creates a beautiful landscape that incorporates the pool as an attractive water feature.


Chicagoland patio pool deck

If you are ready to discuss options for adding a deck to your backyard pool, call on us! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

How Much Does a Chicagoland Pool Deck Cost?

We often think of summer as a time to get away and vacation on a beach in a relaxing spot of the world. But have you considered making your backyard a relaxing summer destination? When you add a pool to your backyard you have the opportunity to create your very own summer retreat by incorporating your favorite outdoor living elements. Whether you’re an adult, a child, or simply a child at heart, there is nothing better than cool water on a hot summer day. With the help of an Archadeck Design Consultant, you can design a space that incorporates your pool, compliments your home, and transforms your yard.

As you begin looking at the many pool options available to you, consider the differences between above ground and in-ground pools and how those differences can affect the cost and design of your pool deck. Before purchasing my own pool, I did plenty of research and learned that investing in an above-ground pool with a deck was comparable to installing an in-ground pool with a patio. Of course, these numbers will depend on materials, size, and location, so please take care to do your research. Before you take the plunge and purchase your pool, here are a few things to consider that will help you make a decision that matches your family’s lifestyle and budget.

Above-Ground Pool Decks

Above-ground pools are often associated with a lower price tag and easier installation, making this an attractive option for many homeowners wanting to add a pool to their backyard. In contrast, above-ground pool decks tend to be expensive and can easily cost more than the pool itself. As with any deck, the under structure must include perimeter footings and deck supports to ensure a safe, long lasting structure. A square or rectangular deck requires fewer supports. A rounded deck (as one would find wrapping around a pool) requires several, raising the price considerably.

To avoid such an increase, we often recommend building the deck along one side of the pool. This gives you more deck space for your money and gives the swimmers space to sit, sunbathe, or dine near the water. Wrapping the deck around the pool often leaves you with little functional space as most of the deck space is more of a walkway around the pool. This walkway, however, makes cleaning the pool easier than if you’re standing on the ground. Depending on your personal preferences, you may decide wrapping the pool and creating such a walkway is well worth the investment.

Another consideration to keep in mind is how the pool and deck will look aesthetically in your yard. Will they stand alone away from the house or will the pool be installed near the home so you can step right outside onto your pool deck? Either way, it is important to consider how the pool and deck will look as you relax in your backyard. While you are adding a pool for the benefit of enjoying the water on a hot summer day, much of your time will be spent looking at the pool from your yard or home. A good pool and deck design will compliment your backyard, successfully turning your backyard into your very own summer retreat.

In-Ground Pool Decks (Patio Pool Decks)

In-ground pools can add value to your home and are known for their beauty, enhancing your landscape as a water feature and creating an attractive view from inside your home or outside in your backyard. Patio pool decks are a popular option as they are easy to maintain and seamlessly blend the outdoor living spaces while beautifully complementing your home and backyard. With no need for the structural elements you find with decking, a patio pool deck becomes a budget friendly option.

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we recommend installing pavers instead of concrete as pavers are easier to maintain and repair whereas concrete will crack over time. Pavers also allow for easier access to any piping that runs beneath. Simply lift the pavers and relay them when finished (though we do recommend speaking with a professional first).

When to Design Your Chicagoland Pool Deck

The pool deck design process can vary depending on the type of pool you are installing, the materials you’re using, the location of the pool, and how you want the design to affect your current landscaping. Consider how you want to use your pool and how much space you will need. Perhaps you only want a couple of lounge chairs and place to hold your towels or maybe you would like a space large enough for dining and entertaining. It is helpful to have an idea as to how you are going to use the space before you begin making any decisions.

If you are purchasing an above-ground pool, it’s usually best to have it installed before we get too deep into the design process. Although if you have the measurements and exact location it is possible to discuss design plans before it’s installed.

There is a little more flexibility with patio pool decks. It would be beneficial to work with both your pool and patio companies to create a design that compliments both features, incorporating the aspects you want for the outdoor space. This includes determining any additional amenities that may be added, such as a built-in fire pit, an outdoor kitchen or a grill surround. Alternatively, you may also install your patio first, keeping in mind that your pool will be added at a later date. Once the pool is installed, pavers can be added to fill the space between the pool and patio to complete the design.

If you are considering adding a pool deck or other outdoor living space, we would love to hear from you! You can sign up for a Free Archadeck Design Consultation or give us a call at (847) 496-4333. Our experienced Design Consultants are happy to help you turn your backyard into the ultimate summer destination spot.

See you in the backyard!

How to Build a Deck with Archadeck of Chicagoland

How do you build a deck? When you ask our Construction Manager this question, he says “Hire Archadeck!”

From the outside looking in, designing and constructing a deck may not appear to take much effort. If you look closer though, you’ll see there are many details and design elements that that pull the shape, structure, and functionality of the deck together for one amazing outdoor living space.

Design Before You Build

Before your Design Consultant begins to form ideas and suggestions for your new outdoor space, they’ll want to learn about your needs and wishes for your project. We come to your home for the Initial Design Consultation. It is during this meeting that your Design Consultant will go over four key elements. You can expect to discuss spatial issues and functional needs so they understand how you plan to use the space. They’ll show you pictures of previous projects we’ve done so they can get a good understanding of your personal aesthetic tastes. They’ll also discuss your budget so they can develop a design that meets your specific needs while staying within the parameters you set. With this information, as well as measurements they take of your backyard, they are able to present you with a couple of different designs at the next meeting. At this time, working with your Design Consultant, you’ll make any changes or adjustments necessary until you’re satisfied with the final design plan.

Know Your Deck is Structured Properly

Once your deck design is finalized and your project is set into motion, we give the design plans to our in-house draftsman. Through our many checks and balances, our draftsman ensures your deck design is structurally sound before we go in for permitting. As a franchise, we are also backed by our national offices and their drafting team, confirming your structured design meets our highest expectations. This includes knowing how deep to dig for posts, how far off the ground your deck must be, the best hardware for your project and/or material, at what height rails are required, and many other elements.

Follow Your Village’s Permitting Procedures

Prior to building your deck, it is important to apply for and receive a village permit to construct your project. Archadeck takes care of this process for you. We speak with the village to determine the requirements they have set in place. Once we have all of the paperwork and structural details put together, we send it all in. Once the village has had time to look over it (anywhere from a few days to a few weeks) they will notify us when the permit is approved or if there are any adjustments necessary to meet their requirements. If this happens, we discuss the changes with your before moving forward. When the permit is approved we schedule your project start date.

Know Your Material and Have It Ready

It is at this time we set up delivery schedules for your dumpsters and material. Often your material will be delivered on the same day. Sometimes though, the scope of the project or the type of material dictates a multiple deliveries. We do this for a few reasons. We don’t want to take up too much of your yard space, we don’t want to have material sitting too long on your grass, or the material needs to be installed soon after it is delivered. Properly scheduling material deliveries helps the construction process run smoothly and efficiently.

Use a Skilled Carpenter

It’s not hard to find someone who can use a hammer and nails, but if you’re going to have family and friends moving about on your deck, you’re going to want a skilled carpenter to build your project. Through their knowledge of the industry and years of experience, they will build a sturdy deck that is strong enough to withstand decades of use. Further, their skilled expertise will shine through their work. The tiniest details are covered, making sure end pieces line up, boards are even, rails are smooth, pickets evenly spaced, and trim or skirting are properly installed. Throughout your project, you can expect the crew to be respectful of your home and to keep the site clean. At the end of every construction day you’ll receive a quick update via email explaining what was completed that day and what the crew expects to work on the next day.

Know Your Project is Protected

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we stand behind our work. Your safety and satisfaction is our highest priority. Backed by Archadeck’s national office, the security of the best warranty in the industry, and a 3rd party guarantee of project completion and warranty fulfillment, you can rest assured your project will be completed and protected.

If you are considering building a deck or other outdoor living project, give us a call at (847) 496-4333 or sign up for a Free Design Consultation. We would love to hear from you!

See you in the backyard!

TimberTech vs AZEK: The Leading Manufacturers of Low Maintenance, PVC, and Composite Decking

A popular and fast growing trend in the outdoor living world is low maintenance and composite decking. Low maintenance decking allows you to create an outdoor space without the hassle of staining or painting to contend with; leaving more time for you to spend with your family. As you begin your research, you’ll find there are many different varieties of materials, color choices, and brand options, such as Trex®, TimberTech®, and AZEK.® How do you know which material will be better suited for your yard and lifestyle, or which brands confidently stand behind their products?

As your local Chicagoland deck builder, we at Archadeck have done the research, tested the products, and vetted the companies for you. We confidently recommend TimberTech and AZEK decking for our clients. Both companies stand behind their products and offer quality options. TimberTech and AZEK offer several products and colors to choose from, each with distinct characteristics designed to complement various environments and lifestyles.

Before your head starts swirling with synthetic blends, capstocks, and PVC decking options, take a look at our comprehensive guide to low maintenance material. We’ll go over the important details for each type of decking, the product lines TimberTech and AZEK offer, and the unique characteristics that will help you determine the best product for your new deck.

TimberTech

Wood-Plastic Composite Decking

  • A synthetic blend of wood flour and plastic
  • Sensible decking options designed for the value-conscious homeowner
  • Economical price points
  • Traditional wood-like appearance

TwinFinish
A versatile plank with different textured surfaces on either side of the board

ReliaBoard
A step up from wood with a low maintenance wood-like look

DockSider
Ideal for heavy-use public places and docks near water

Capped Composite Decking

  • A synthetic blend of wood flour and plastic with a PVC skin for additional protection
  • VertiGrain™ surface won’t trap dirt or dust and mimics the look of real wood
  • 25-Year Fade and Stain Warranty

Earthwood Evolutions Legacy
A hand-scraped hardwood look that adapts to any décor

Earthwood Evolutions Tropical
Tropical tones with multicolored streaking creates an authentic grain pattern

Earthwood Evolutions Terrain
Value-conscious price points with the timeless appeal of earthy tones

AZEK

PVC Decking

  • PVC engineering guarantees the ultimate in scratch, mildew and stain resistance.
  • Flat grain surface texture
  • Stain and scratch resistant
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Resistant to moisture and insects

Vintage Collection
Realistic wood appearance with rich textures and colors

Arbor Collection
Warm, vibrant tones of exotic wood

Harvest Collection
Soft shades that compliment most popular siding colors

PVC Trim

  • Covers the wood structural pieces with low maintenance materials, pulling the whole project together
  • Maintains a “like new” appearance in all types of weather
  • Resists cupping, swelling and chipping for lasting good looks
  • Resists moisture and insects.
  • 25-year Limited Warranty

Column Wraps
Provides a smooth, finished look for your deck’s structural posts

If you’re looking for a Chicago area deck builder for your new deck or other outdoor living project, we would love to hear from you! You may sign up for a Free Design Consultation or call us at (847) 496-4333. Our talented Design Consultants will walk you through every step of the design process and will help you determine the best low maintenance material for your family’s needs.

See you in the backyard!

Fire Pit Pros and Cons with Archadeck of Chicagoland

Imagine a cool summer evening. The sun has gone down, but your closest friends and family are still gathered in your backyard enjoying the company and beautiful weather. A warm fire burns in your stone fire pit. The kids are toasting marshmallows and your best friend is sneakily stealing a little chocolate meant for the s’mores. This could soon become your reality.

Adding a fire feature to your Chicagoland patio is an excellent way to create a welcoming outdoor space that encourages your family to spend more time together outside. A glowing fire brings a gentle ambiance to your backyard, whether you’re laughing and sharing stories with a group of friends or curled up cozily with your partner.

This all sounds great, you may think, but how do you know you’re picking the right fire pit or fire feature for your yard and your lifestyle? That’s where we come in. Archadeck of Chicagoland’s experienced design consultants walk you through the design process. By keying in on important factors like placement, materials, children, and pets, they are able to offer you design options that will bring your fire pit design ideas to life while ensuring the design is sturdy and safe. As you begin looking at the design process, here are a few important factors to consider as you determine which fire pit is best for your lifestyle.

Wood Burning Fire Pits

Wood burning fire pits create an authentic campfire atmosphere. The smoky aroma and the crackling wood leaves you feeling as though you’ve left the city behind.

Wood Burning Pros

  • Larger fires
  • Wood is inexpensive
  • Affordable to install
  • Enhanced ambiance

Wood Burning Cons

  • Starting a fire takes effort and can be time-consuming
  • Cleaning up ashes after fire can also be time consuming
  • Blowing smoke or flying embers

Natural Gas Fire Pits

Natural gas fire pits give you an easily controlled fire with the ease of flipping a switch. Natural gas burns significantly cleaner than wood and creates less smoke or flying sparks. These fire pits are a great option for environments where children or pets are present or for those bothered by smoke.

Natural Gas Pros

  • Light, extinguish, and control the size of your fire with the flip of a switch
  • Minimal to no cleanup
  • Creates a relaxing atmosphere with little effort.
  • Cleaner burn, less smoke

Natural Gas Cons

  • Smaller fires
  • Gas line must be installed
  • Initial cost may be higher than a wood burning fire pit

Fire Glass

A popular fire pit trend is fire glass. These glass beads instantly transform your outdoor living space with flames dancing above the reflective glass. Easy to work with, this heat tempered glass is processed through a tumbler to prevent sharp edges. Because it doesn’t burn or break down, you can use them several years.

Fire Glass Pros

  • No toxic fumes, smoke, ash, or soot
  • Multiple sizes and colors of fire glass for you to choose from.
  • Tempered glass chips last longer, do not burn, melt, or discolor.
  • Radiate 3-4 times more heat with its reflective surface than wood or ceramic logs.

Fire Glass Cons

  • As with all glass products, there is the risk of breaking pieces if mishandled. When re-installing after moving, there may be some glass sediment or broken pieces at the bottom of your container.

If you’re considering adding a fire pit or other outdoor living space to your backyard, we’d love to hear from you. You may call us at 847.496.4333 or sign up for a Free Design Consultation We look forward to speaking with you.

See you in the backyard!

Should I Use Concrete or Pavers for My Chicagoland Patio?

Are you considering a patio for your backyard? Patios make a great outdoor living space for dining, entertaining, and relaxing in the sun. One quick Google search for patio materials shows you some very different options. Even before you create a patio design, you will first want to decide whether you will use pavers or concrete.

As your premier Chicagoland patio builder, we at Archadeck recommend pavers. In fact, at Archadeck of Chicagoland, we only use pavers for our patio designs. Why? Concrete cracks. We warranty every project and pride ourselves on our quality and craftsmanship. Archadeck wants to ensure you have a beautiful patio that will last for many years. Here are three important factors to consider as you begin researching material for your Chicagoland patio design.

Patio maintenance and repair
One of the most important factors to consider before making patio material decisions is how the ground shifts in the Chicagoland area. With the extreme hot and cold temperatures of Chicago, shifting is inevitable and will eventually affect your patio. The good news is some patio materials are easier to repair or relay than others.

Concrete patios and stamped concrete patios will crack, making pricey repairs unavoidable. Pavers will eventually begin to shift over a long period of time. Fortunately, it is easy to relay the section that is beginning to shift, saving you from costly repairs. If you’re looking for high quality and good value, Archadeck’s Belgard paver patios meet both.

The truth about pavers and weeds
One common concern we often hear as we begin looking at design ideas with our clients is that weeds will grow between the pavers, making the patio look unkempt. To prevent this, we sweep polymeric sand between the pavers of every Chicagoland patio we build. It is recommended homeowners perform this simple and inexpensive process yearly to prevent weed growth. If you do happen to find yourself with stubborn weeds, Belgard recommends mixing a pre-emergent granular weed killer into the joint sand.

Patio price points
Consider how you will make your patio material decisions. Ultimately it comes down to price, value, and quality. If cost is a determining factor, then concrete will meet that need. The lowest of these price points is concrete, though it is important to know concrete repair or replacement quickly becomes expensive. Stamped concrete price points are comparable to that of a paver patio. However, stamped concrete is still concrete and you will run into the same repair and replacement issues. A paver patio, though pricier than concrete, lasts for many years, will need fewer repairs, and repairs are relatively low cost and often something homeowners can do themselves.

We use high quality materials in order to ensure that we create an outdoor living space to be enjoyed for years. It is because we use pavers that we are able to offer a warranty to protect your investment. If you are considering a new outdoor living project, give us a call at (847) 496.4333. You may also sign up for a Free Design Consultation. We would love to hear from you!

See you in the backyard!

Understanding the Difference between Screened Porches, Sunrooms, and Additions

Do you know the difference between screened porches, sunrooms, and full additions? Many homeowners have an idea of what they are looking for but may not know whether it is considered a sunroom, screen room, or an addition. Screen porches and sunrooms allow you to enjoy the outdoors while avoiding unwanted elements of nature such as mosquitoes or rain while an addition is an expansion of your home. Knowing how you will use the room and during which seasons you would like to utilize the space will help you decide which style best suits your family’s needs.

Screened Porches
A screened porch is very similar to a sunroom but rather than using glass windows we use fiberglass screens allowing the breeze to flow freely through the room, creating a space that invites the outdoors in. Many of the screen porches designed by Archadeck.

As your local Chicagoland porch builder, we often recommend using Eze-Breeze vertical 4 track windows. These unique window designs consist of 4 panels, allowing homeowners to open the window 25%, 50%, or 75%. This lets you to choose how much fresh air you would like flowing through the room. At first glance the window panes, made of a strong, flexible vinyl, appear to be glass, giving the room a more finished look. As these windows are a lighter weight than glass windows, we are then usually able to build your porch on pier footings rather than with a full or trench foundation sunrooms require.

Design elements such as this make adding a screen porch more affordable than a sunroom while still protecting from outdoor elements, creating a wonderful space to spend time with family and friends during not only sunny weather but also during a light rain storm or December snowfall.

Sunrooms
A sunroom is built to protect homeowners from rain, wind and snow while optimizing the amount of light that enters the room, meaning lots of windows! The windows are designed to heat the room by intensifying the sun’s rays, creating a wonderful space to curl up and enjoy during a light rain or even snowfall during the cooler seasons. During warmer seasons, windows can be opened to allow a warm breeze to flow through the room, bringing the outdoors in. Archadeck’s sunroom designs are not insulated and do not included heating or cooling, although a small space heater heats the room well on a mild winter day.

Additions
An addition is simply a room or rooms being added onto the home. Additions include more wall space rather than window space, heating and cooling systems, and insulation. These spaces are fully functional year round and are quite literally an expansion of your home.

If you are looking for a protected area to enjoy the outdoors, a screen room or sunroom may be just what you need. Design options are customizable and endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

See you in the Backyard!

Pergola Shade Solutions for Your Chicagoland Backyard

Adding a pergola to your backyard is a fantastic way to create a more comfortable and attractive outdoor living space. A pergola is a shade structure that can be customized to provide the perfect amount of shade for your backyard. Pergolas consist of 4 posts with cross rafters to create shade. The further apart the rafters are placed, the more sun will shine through to your deck or patio.

Here are 4 elements to consider when adding a pergola to your outdoor living space in order to ensure that you build exactly what you are looking for.

Space
The size of your pergola depends on the area you would like to cover. Consider what furniture or items you would like to place underneath. Because pergolas are open structures, they can define a space without separating the space. For instance, you could place your outdoor furniture under the pergola and keep your dining area outside of the pergola, defining your seating and dining spaces while keeping an open floor plan. Or you could build a pergola to cover both! Also consider whether you prefer to cover an entire space or if you would like to keep a portion of the patio or deck open to the sun.

Shade
How much shade would you like? Many homeowners opt to cover only a portion of their outdoor living space rather than the whole area, that way they may choose to bask in the sun or relax in the shade. Keep in mind that the area under the pergola will not be completely covered by shade because the ceiling is not solid. This brings you to your next decision, how far apart to space the rafters. If you would like minimal amounts of sun plan to build the rafters very close together in order to maximize shade. If you prefer partial shade consider placing rafters farther apart. You can also increase the amount of shade offered by your pergola by adding a retractable canopy.

Amenities
Although the practical purpose of a pergola is to provide shade, don’t forget what a beautiful addition the pergola can be in terms of design and decor. How can you use your pergola as a part of your outdoor landscaping and decor? With flowers, plants, lighting, and curtains! Planting vines to climb and cover the pergola will create a romantic ambiance in your outdoor space while creating additional shade. Another option is to place hanging plants around the rim of the pergola. Outdoor lighting creates an intimate setting while allowing you to use the space long after the sun goes down. Mosquito curtains offer protection from pesky bugs and look gorgeous on any pergola.

Design
Our pergolas are customized to give you the optimal amount of shade as well as to decorate your outdoor living space. There are many design aspects to consider when building a pergola such as the material of the pergola, the shape of the posts, and the shape and spacing of the rafters. Would you like to create a perfect match to your house or add a unique pergola that compliments the style of your home? The options are endless.

If you are looking for a way to change or spruce up an existing pergola, hopefully some of the tips in this article have given you some ideas to consider. Painting or staining, installing outdoor lighting, adding rafters for more shade, installing a pergola canopy, or hanging plants are all viable options. If you are looking for another practical change, consider mosquito curtains! This is a wonderful way to make your outdoor living space that much more enjoyable. Not only will you be protected from the sun while you enjoy the outdoors, but you’ll be protected from pesky mosquitoes and other insects as well.

If you’re looking for a Chicagoland pergola builder to guide you through the design process and build your project, give us a call at (847) 496.4333 or sign up here for a Free Design Consultation.

See you in the backyard!

Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchens

Imagine standing at your outdoor grill on a warm summer evening. You’re preparing dinner on the grill while family members enjoy a cool beverage at the bar top overlooking the yard and the kids gather around the dining table. Welcome to your outdoor kitchen.

Didn’t think an outdoor kitchen was an option in the Midwest? Think again! Archadeck of Chicagoland has custom designed and built numerous outdoor kitchens, each crafted to meet the specific needs of the client. We may not be able to incorporate every aspect of a traditional kitchen due to the chilly Chicago winters but that doesn’t stop us from creating unique Chicagoland outdoor kitchen designs that bring cooking and dining to your backyard.

You may be familiar with the term “California Outdoor Kitchen,” which refers to an outdoor kitchen built in warmer climates and can be enjoyed all year round. These trendy outdoor spaces are quickly gaining popularity in the Midwest – with a few alterations, of course. The typical California Outdoor Kitchen may include details such as polished granite countertops or a sink. Due to the freeze/thaw cycle of Chicago these are two amenities we would not recommend including, but there are many aspects that we do include in Chicagoland outdoor kitchen designs such as a grill surround (or a built-in grill), limestone countertops, a bar, an outdoor dining table, and more. You might also consider additional details that are not categorized under the theme of “kitchen” that will certainly enhance your outdoor kitchen or living space such as a fire pit, fireplace, shade structure, or shade structure with mosquito curtains, allowing you and your family to cook or dine outdoors during blazing summer days as well and cool fall nights.

While outdoor kitchens are not the least expensive option for a new outdoor space, it’s worth noting that we at Archadeck pride ourselves on creating designs that within your budget. We will customize your Chicagoland outdoor kitchen design to fit your needs while accommodating your budget. This means we can add all of the bells and whistles or create a modest design depending on the amount you are comfortable investing. We want to build a space for you to create memories you and your wallet will both appreciate.

With ‘A’ ratings on Angie’s List and impeccable customer reviews, Archadeck is sure to build a quality Chicagoland outdoor kitchen for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. If you are considering an outdoor kitchen or other outdoor living space, we would love to hear from you! You may sign up for a Free Design Consultation. or give us a call at (847) 496.4333.

How to Create a Unique Deck Design

Looking for a unique deck design? From colors to materials to amenities, explore creative design elements with your local deck builder, Archadeck of Chicagoland.

Mother Nature offers the best design inspiration, so look no further than your backyard when planning your outdoor living space. Bold colors beautifully accent blended neutral tones while countless textures tease your senses. Pulling design ideas from these earthy elements helps you create a natural looking space that complements both your home and yard. We did just that with this unique deck design.


Custom deck design with picture framing by Archadeck of Chicagoland

We are your trusted Chicagoland deck builder!

By incorporating both wood and composite materials we were able to create a stunning multi-colored deck design. The main deck areas are constructed with natural wood, beautifully stained to pull in accenting colors from the yard. The surrounding border you see is a double picture frame.

Picture frames are a great way to add a unique, contrasting look to your deck as well as to help define spaces (such as seating and dining). This design used top of the line TimberTech Tigerwood low maintenance decking from their Earthwood Evolutions Legacy line.


TimberTech Radiance Rail on custom deck

See more composite decks by Archadeck of Chicagoland.

The rails are a unique blend of composite TimberTech products. The white rail posts are from the Radiance Rail line. Creating a stunning contrast, these posts are a durable, high-quality product that will keep their brilliant sparkling white look for years to come. The flat-topped Walnut railings are from TimberTech’s Evolutions Contemporary Rail line. The flat tops offer an extra space to place a beverage and are comfortable to relax or lean against. The walnut color combines beautifully with the black aluminum pickets and white rail posts to give this deck a rich and luxurious look.


TimberTech Radiance Rail posts and composite decking create a custom bench

Keeping with the color theme, the built-in benches are constructed with TimberTech’s Tigerwood decking and white Radiance Rail posts for the bench legs. Because they can often be used in place of rails, built-in benches become a multi-use component. A built-in bench is perfect for providing additional seating while saving space, and can also double as area for potted plants and flowers. If you are working with limited deck space, this is certainly a design element worth considering.


Complete custom deck design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Exiting right off the screen porch, the deck provides a stunning space that assists in creating a seamless transition from the house to the yard. Retaining walls finish the look, providing deep planting beds while keeping the space level as the ground slopes away from the home. At Archadeck, we believe a good design is functional, creates smooth transitions, and beautifully compliments both the home and yard. We were happy to bring just that to this beautiful home.

If you are ready to design and build a custom deck for your Chicagoland home, Archadeck of Chicagoland is ready to work with you! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Wood or Low Maintenance Materials - What's Best for your Chicagoland Deck Design?

Do you enjoy spending time outside? Whether its cooking dinner on the grill, entertaining, or simply sitting out and enjoying the beautiful weather, adding an outdoor living space, such as a deck, would be the perfect addition to your home. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is whether to use wood or low maintenance decking material, such as TimberTech or AZEK. As your local Chicagoland deck builder, we would like to share three important factors to consider as you prepare to make your decision.

Cost
You can expect low maintenance and composite decking materials to run about 50% – 70% more than wood decking. While that initially sounds pricey, consider how cost effective low maintenance deck designs are in the long run, especially if you plan to be in your home for several more years. When you compare the cost of hiring someone to wash and stain a wood deck; you end up recouping the cost of choosing low maintenance decking in about fifteen years. While you initially invest more upfront, you will not need to be concerned with sanding and staining your deck – ever.

On the other hand, if you plan to stay in your current home for only a few more years, wood is the more cost effective option for your investment. A wood deck design will require that you pressure wash and stain the boards every 1-3 years. If you plan on moving in the near future, wood is the more cost effective and increases the value of your home.

Wear and Tear
Wood may fade, splinter, expand or shrink. Low maintenance boards will not splinter, they expand and shrink less, but they may scratch. Additionally, low maintenance and wood can both be stained by cooking oils and other chemicals. The difference is that while wood boards can be sanded in order to remove stains, low maintenance boards cannot. That said there is a wide array of options for low maintenance decking, including stain and scratch resistant materials. For these reasons it is important to consider how you plan to use the outdoor space when deciding between materials.

Maintenance
Wood decking must be cleaned and stained and the frequency will depend on what type of wood you choose. Cedar requires cleaning and staining every year while pressure treated pine must be cleaned and stained every 1-3 years.

The beauty of low maintenance and composite decking is that is does not need to be stained or painted. You might consider cleaning your boards in which case you can purchase a special low maintenance decking soap that is made by your product’s company.

If you are considering adding an outdoor living space such as a deck or patio, we would love to hear from you! You can sign up for a free Archadeck Design Consultation or give us a call at (847) 496.4333. Our experienced Design Consultants are happy to help you determine the best materials for your project.

See you in the backyard!

Chicagoland Patio Design with Outdoor Kitchen & Fire Pit

When Kildeer, IL homeowners decided they were ready to replace their tired and worn deck, they called local Chicago area patio builder, Archadeck of Chicagoland. With their grand plans for a larger space to entertain, along with an outdoor kitchen and fire pit, we knew Senior Design Consultant, Kristen Berryhill, would be the perfect designer for the project. She didn’t disappoint!


Chicagoland patio design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

We are your choice Chicagoland patio builder!

Because our clients wanted a space for food prep, cooking, and dining, Kristen included a classic Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchen. These durable outdoor kitchens are designed to be an affordable investment, withstand the harsh Chicago winters, and most importantly, provide an attractive space for cooking and dining.


Including an outdoor kitchen allows the “Summer Chef” to mingle and socialize with guests rather than spending hours inside preparing dinner.

SEE MORE OUTDOOR KITCHENS!

A built-in gas fire pit with ceramic logs invites family and friends to gather together. Whether they’re making s’mores or simply enjoying the warmth on a cool fall night, gathering around the fire is sure to encourage plenty of fun and laughter.


Custom fire pit by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Staying true to Archadeck design, the Belgard patio was designed to be functional and flow easily. With multiple entrances to the yard, the patio design allows people to easily move around and creates clear direction for foot traffic.


Chicagoland patio design with outdoor kitchen and fire pit

If you are ready for a custom patio design with useful outdoor amenities, such as a fire pit or outdoor kitchen, get in touch! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Custom Chicagoland Outdoor Kitchens

One of the hottest outdoor living trends is the outdoor kitchen. We’ve seen them for years in the warmer climates, but now the trend is moving even to areas like our own. With cold Chicago winters, one might wonder if adding an outdoor kitchen to their backyard is even possible. The answer is yes!

Probably the most popular and well-known outdoor kitchen design is the California Outdoor Kitchen. These kitchens are truly stunning and often include everything you would expect to find in an indoor kitchen. Designed for climates with warm temperatures year round, certain aspects or amenities, unfortunately, are not suitable for cold weather. For instance, you wouldn’t want a polished granite countertop around a sink as Chicago weather has a very distinct freeze and thaw cycle. The expanding and contracting could cause your beautiful countertop to crack.


Outdoor kitchen with bar in Palatine IL by Archadeck of Chicagoland

We are your choice custom outdoor kitchen builder in Chicagoland!

The good news is, outdoor kitchens are completely customizable. Archadeck can design your outdoor kitchen to be as elaborate or as modest as you wish.

When we first had clients asking about outdoor kitchens, we realized that the cost was higher than many in the Chicagoland area expected. A quality outdoor living space is worth investing in, but when the amount of time you can use the space is limited by weather, the amount you are comfortable investing may change.

We determined to find a way to give Chicagoland homeowners outdoor kitchens that suited both their needs and budgets, and would also withstand cold winters. Most often these outdoor kitchens are built as part of a patio project. With options like stone grill surrounds, limestone countertops, built-in grills and ovens, and bars for dining or serving, you can customize your outdoor kitchen to fit your specific needs.

SEE MORE PATIOS BY ARCHADECK OF CHICAGOLAND


Custom outdoor kitchen in Shaumburg IL by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Of course, you can always go beyond the patio and outdoor kitchen. Including an open porch provides shade and shelter so the space can be used even when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate. Adding a fire pit or outdoor fireplace provides heat, allowing you to use the space even when the weather turns cold. They also add ambiance and place for friends to gather.


Deefield IL outdoor kitchen design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Outdoor kitchens are an excellent way to continue entertaining while still cooking. Such a space is perfect for gathering friends and family. Make your backyard alive with fun, laughter, and delicious food!

Are you ready for a custom outdoor kitchen design? Options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Fire Pit Safety Tips from Archadeck of Chicagoland

Learn how to keep your family and pets safe with these important fire pit safety tips.

Backyard fire pits are a rising trend among outdoor living spaces. Fire pits conveniently provide a way to enjoy the backyard during cooler weather and are perfect for homeowners who enjoy entertaining or spending time outside with their family. A warm fire creates a cozy and inviting atmosphere, whether you’re curling up quietly under the stars or laughing with a group of friends. Ensure everyone has a good time and stays safe by implementing these important safety tools.


Custom patio and fire pit design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

See more fire pit and outdoor fireplace designs by Archadeck of Chicagoland!

Positioning & Preparing Your Fire Pit

  • Contact your local building department to inquire about any codes or regulations you may be required to follow. At Archadeck, one of the first calls we make is to the local village so that we can create a fire pit design that adheres to the required safety standards.
  • Position your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structure or combustible material.
  • Check the forecast before lighting a fire and avoid windy conditions that can blow embers.
  • Remove any leaves or other combustible materials around the fire pit area to ensure a fire doesn’t accidentally spread.
  • Have a bucket of sand or a garden hose nearby to put out any stray sparks. Using a multi-patterned nozzle on your hose is recommended. * A shower spray will douse a flare-up while a stream of water could spread sparks.
  • Keep fire gloves nearby to handle hot parts of the fire pit safely.


Belgard patio and fire pit by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Lighting Your Fire Pit

  • Never use lighter fluid, gas, or kerosene to light a fire.
  • For built-in fire pits, natural gas provides a cleaner burn with less smoke. Be sure to limit the amount of gas you use for the fire—only use what is necessary to keep it burning gently.
  • Only burn wood that has been seasoned at least 6 months. Do not use construction materials, such as plywood or composite woods as these materials can release toxic fumes when burned. Softwoods, such as pine and birch, tend to produce more crackles and sparks. Seasoned hardwoods, like oak or hickory, are less likely to produce these crackles and sparks.

Using Your Fire Pit

  • Never leave a fire pit unattended.
  • Never leave children or pets unattended near a fire pit.
  • Consider investing in a screen or wire mesh to keep embers inside and help prevent children or pets from falling in.
  • Position chairs with enough room for people to rise and move around seats without the risk of tripping or falling into the fire. Built-in patio seat walls are a great way to ensure there is always plenty of space to move safely and comfortably.
  • Don’t put garbage or paper products into the fire. They can easily spark and throw off embers or burning remnants.


Belgard patio and built-in, stepped fire pit by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Extinguishing Your Fire Pit

  • If you have a wood burning fire pit, drench with water and stir with the shovel to make sure it’s fully extinguished.
  • Dispose of the ashes in a safely by keeping a metal can that is used solely for ash storage. Ashes can still be hot enough to cause a fire 2 or 3 days later.
  • Do not dispose of hot ashes in a compost pile, cardboard box or anything that is combustible.

Are you ready for a new custom patio design with fire pit? Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

10 Design Ideas for Your Chicagoland Screen Porch

Screen porches are a great way to experience the outdoors while remaining protected from elements like rain and snow. Today’s custom screened porch designs can be as elaborate or simple as you choose. Match your home, opt for a finished look, or keep it rustic and outdoorsy.

Here are ten popular design elements to consider as you plan your screen porch.

1. Screened Porch with Skylights and Exposed Rafters

Exposed rafters create a rustic look and skylights let in more sun.

2. Screened Porch with Enclosed Rafters

Enclosed rafters will give you a more finished look for your screen porch.

3. Screened Porch with Cedar Siding

Use cedar siding instead of your home’s existing siding to give your screen porch a more outdoorsy and rustic look.

4. Screened Porch with Rolled Screening

Keep your view open and blend your outdoor spaces a little more smoothly with rolled screening.

5. Screened Porch with Vertical 4-Track Windows

Protect your room from the outdoor elements and extend the time you can use your screen porch with vertical 4-track windows. Slide them all the way open to let the warm breeze in, open them only partially, or keep them closed to protect from rain and snow.

See our screened porches gallery for more design ideas!

6. Screened Porch with Attached Patio or Deck

Attach a patio or deck for the perfect grilling space or additional room for entertaining.

7. Elevated Screened Porch

Maximize your outdoor space by building an elevated screen porch, leaving you room for a patio or deck beneath.

8. Screened Porch with Outdoor Fireplace

Adding an outdoor fireplace to your screen porch design provides ambiance and additional warmth in the winter.

9. Screened Porch with Stone Floor

Screen in your existing patio or use paver stones for your screen porch flooring.

10. Double-Decker Screened Porch

A two-story screened porch allows you to feel surrounded by the great outdoors while providing plenty of protected space for relaxing or entertaining.

Archadeck of Chicagoland is ready to help you realize your dream screened porch outdoor living design! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Outdoor Fireplaces vs. Fire Pits

Explore the pros and cons of outdoor fireplaces and fire pits with Archadeck of Chicagoland.

Adding a fire feature, such as an outdoor fireplace or built-in fire pit, to your Chicago area backyard creates an excellent space to entertain, roast marshmallows, and simply enjoy the great outdoors. How do you know if an outdoor fire feature is right for you? We’ve broken down the pros and cons of outdoor fireplaces and fire pits to help you decide.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces are designed to withstand the outdoor elements, giving you the benefits of a warm and cozy fire while enjoying your backyard. Versatile designs allow you to attach an outdoor fireplace to your deck, patio, or screen porch, or to stand alone.


Outdoor fireplace in screen porch


Outdoor fireplace on TimberTech deck

See more outdoor fireplaces and fire pits by Archadeck of Chicagoland!

Outdoor Fireplace Pros & Cons

  • Provides a cozy environment and encourages intimate conversation, seating 4-6 people at a time.
  • A Large structure will become a focal point in your outdoor living space. Keep this in mind if you have a view that you do not want to be obstructed.
  • Outdoor fireplaces are easy to light in windy conditions, create privacy, and can also serve as a windbreak.
  • A fireplace directs smoke up and away, preventing smoke and flying embers from bothering guests.
  • Pricier than fire pits


Screened porch with stone outdoor fireplace

Built-In Fire Pits

Built-in fire pits are smaller and easily incorporated into your backyard space. Design options include gas lines, colorful fire glass, and ceramic logs. Traditional fire pits are circular; create a unique look with square or triangular fire pit designs, or by including patio walls.


Fire pit and patio


Belgard patio with fire pit and outdoor kitchen

Fire Pit Pros & Cons

  • Provides a more social environment, seating 10-12 people in a circle
  • Flexible designs allow you to make the fire pit a focal point or to create a more subtle look
  • Small structure is low to the ground, keeping the view open
  • Without anything to block the wind, a wood burning fire pit may be harder to light or there may be flying embers and smoke. Preventative options include installing a gas fire pit and using fire glass or ceramic logs.
  • Less expensive than fireplaces


Square fire pit with fire glass beads

Archadeck of Chicagoland is the premier Chicagoland builder for decks, patios, screen porches, and much more. If you’re considering an outdoor living space, we would love to hear from you! You may sign up for a free Archadeck Design Consultation or call our office at (847) 749-2373.

Deck Design Ideas by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Are you considering building a backyard deck? The Design Consultants at Archadeck of Chicagoland are talented and creative, helping you find deck designs that will match your home and decking materials that fit your lifestyle. The right wood or composite deck design will serve you functionally and will blend the space form home to yard so you can grill, dine, relax, play with the kids, and entertain your friends.

Building your deck low to grade provides an excellent transition from your home to your yard, giving you a great space to grill, dine, relax and entertain!

We are your choice Chicagoland deck builder!


Wood deck in Glen Ellyn, IL

Adding a bar rail, such as this one in Aurora, IL, creates a great space for eating and drinking while entertaining. Because it is built in, the outdoor bar saves space, allowing for more room to relax and mingle on the deck.


Wood deck with built-in bar

Building an elevated deck over a patio instantly increases your usable outdoor living space and provides shade to the patio. This deck design in the Southwest Chicago Suburbs is perfect for yards with limited space!


Elevated deck in Aurora, IL

This South Chicago Suburb deck design exists on a paver patio, creating a seamless transition from the home to the yard. Featuring composite TimberTech decking with contrasting white rails, this deck design pulls the entire space together, making it a truly stunning space for these homeowners to relax and entertain with friends and family.


Chicagoland area TimberTech composite deck with paver patio

Built-in benches save space and provide additional seating as shown in this Northbrook, IL composite deck design. Featuring TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Terrain in Brown Oak, this traditional styled deck beautifully matches the home while providing a pleasant space to enjoy the outdoors.


TimberTech composite deck with built-in bench for seating

This unique deck design in Gilberts, IL features a large pergola for shade and privacy panels around the edge of the deck. A great space for grilling and dining and perfect for backyards that have close neighbors.


Chicagoland area wood deck with pergola

Contrasting colors always make a deck look stunning. This Chicago Suburb deck features composite TimberTech decking in Brown Oak with White Vinyl rails with teardrop lighting on the posts. Low voltage outdoor deck lighting creates a soft ambient glow for summer evenings.


Chicagoland area TimberTech composite deck

Wood decks give your outdoor space a natural and earthy look. This elevated backyard deck in North Riverside, IL features a gate so the children can jump straight into the pool!


North Riverside wood deck with gate for pool access

With ‘A’ ratings on Angie’s List and impeccable customer reviews, Archadeck is sure to build a quality Chicagoland deck for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. If you are considering a wood or composite deck, or any other outdoor living space, we would love to hear from you! You may sign up for a Free Design Consultation. or give us a call at (847) 496.4333.

Why Should I Use Pavers for My Chicagoland Patio?

Patios make great outdoor living spaces. They require little maintenance and allow for creative design options that make your yard more versatile and usable. If you are considering a patio, you are probably researching your material options. The three most popular are pavers, concrete, and stamped concrete.

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we use pavers for the patios we build. Here’s why:

Concrete cracks

Concrete looks great when it’s new and smooth and stamped concrete offers a bit of a custom look, complimenting your home. However with the extreme hot and cold temperatures of the Chicagoland climate, no matter the skill of your contractor or precautions taken, concrete will ultimately crack.

Pavers can be adjusted

The ground will move and shift over the years, and while this may cause your pavers to eventually shift as well, this is relatively easy to fix by relaying the section that needs repair. This is far more cost efficient (and for the DIY homeowners– free!) than replacing a full patio.

Won’t weeds grow between the paver cracks?

While some might enjoy the rustic look of moss or grass between pavers, the look is not for everyone. We place polymeric between the pavers when we build the patio and recommend that homeowners continue to sweep polymeric sand between the pavers yearly to prevent the growth of weeds. This is a simple and inexpensive process. Belgard also recommends mixing a pre-emergent granular weed killer into the joint sand if you find yourself with stubborn weed growth.

Pricing

While concrete patio prices are generally cheaper upfront, they will ultimately incur higher costs in the long run with repairs and replacement. Stamped concrete will generally run around the same price and in some cases are more expensive than a paver patio. Unfortunately, because it is concrete, homeowners would still be looking at pricey repair and replacement costs. Pavers make a great investment as they last for many years, are easily and inexpensively repaired if necessary, and require little maintenance.

It is important to us to use high-quality materials to ensure that you will spend many happy years on a beautiful patio. Because we use pavers, we are able to offer a warranty to protect your investment. We want you to be worry free as you relax on your backyard patio!

If you are ready plan your new patio, get in touch at one of our Chicagoland locations in Palatine and Naperville, at 847-496-4333, 630-505-7688, or 708-873-1990 or email us at [email protected].

Palatine Design Center
395 West Northwest Hwy; Palatine, IL

Naperville Design Center
1320 N IL-59 #128, Naperville, IL

TimberTech vs. AZEK - Choosing the Right Low-Maintenance Materials for Your Chicagoland Deck

Are you considering a low maintenance or composite deck? Low maintenance materials are a great option for those who want a deck but do not want to go through the hassle of sanding and staining frequently. One quick search on the internet, however, can leave you feeling bombarded with options. How do you know which companies are the best and which products will be right for your project?

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we have done the research, tested the products, and vetted the companies. The products we recommend to our clients are TimberTech and AZEK. They have quality materials and stand behind their product. Both TimberTech and AZEK offer a wide variety of boards and colors, with each collection offering unique characteristics.

Do synthetic blends, capstock, and PVC decking options have you scratching your head? Here is our comprehensive guide the many low maintenance and composite decking products TimberTech and AZEK offer and what makes them great options.

TimberTech – Wood-Plastic Composite Decking

  • A synthetic blend of wood flour and plastic
  • Sensible decking options designed for the value-conscious homeowner
  • Economical price points
  • Traditional wood-like appearance

TwinFinish – A versatile plank with different textured surfaces on either side of the board

ReliaBoard – A step up from wood with a low maintenance wood-like look

DockSider – Ideal for heavy-use public places and docks near water

Capped Composite Decking

  • A synthetic blend of wood flour and plastic with a PVC skin for additional protection
  • VertiGrain™ surface won’t trap dirt or dust and mimics the look of real wood
  • 25-Year Fade and Stain Warranty

Earthwood Evolutions Legacy – A hand-scraped hardwood look that adapts to any décor

Earthwood Evolutions Tropical – Tropical tones with multicolored streaking creates an authentic grain pattern

Earthwood Evolutions Terrain – Value-conscious price points with the timeless appeal of earthy tones

AZEKPVC Decking

  • PVC engineering guarantees the ultimate in scratch, mildew and stain resistance.
  • Flat grain surface texture
  • Stain and scratch resistant
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Resistant to moisture and insects

Vintage Collection – Realistic wood appearance with rich textures and colors

Arbor Collection – Warm, vibrant tones of exotic wood

Harvest Collection – Soft shades that compliment most popular siding colors

Terra Collection – Rich earth tones with enhanced grain textures that compliment any housing exterior

XLM Decking

  • Premium PVC decking plank
  • Stain and scratch resistant
  • Mold and mildew resistant
  • Resistant to moisture and insects
  • Stands up to heavy traffic and all that comes with an active lifestyle, such as children, pets, entertaining, etc.

Natural Collection – Earthy and subdued colors blend seamlessly with your environment

Tropical Collection – Rich colors that offer a timeless look

PVC Trim

  • Covers the wood structural pieces with low maintenance materials, pulling the entire project together
  • Maintains a “like new” appearance in all types of weather
  • Resists cupping, swelling and chipping for lasting good looks
  • Resists moisture and insects.
  • 25-year Limited Warranty

Are you looking for a Chicago area deck builder for your new deck or outdoor living project? We would love to hear from you! You may visit one of our design centers or call us at (847) 749-2373.

Chicagoland Fire Pit Design Ideas

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we have found that fire pits have quickly become one of the hottest trends for patios and outdoor living spaces. The warmth and glow of a fire is inviting and provides a relaxing atmosphere. Whether you plan to roast marshmallows and hotdogs with friends, or simply enjoy the warmth on a cool evening with your family, a fire pit is sure to compliment your evening.

One of the greatest aspects of building a fire pit is how truly customizable they are. From design to heat, to heat source, you can customize every feature of your built-in fire pit.

Round Fire Pit Design


Stone fire pit built into patio in Deerfield, IL

Stepped Fire Pit Design


Stepped fire pit design in Flossmoor, IL

Unique Geometrically Shaped Fire Pit Design


Triangular fire pit design in Wadsworth, IL

Low Built-In Fire Pit


Built-in gas fire pit design

Built-In Seating for Fire Pit


Built-in fire pit with stone seating wall in Wheeling, IL

Built Into Raised Patio


Raised patio with built-in fire pit and pergola in Libertyville, IL

Fire Glass

Fire glass is the latest fire pit trend. Great for anyone with allergies or those sensitive to smoke, fire glass does not produce toxic fumes, smoke, ash, or soot. The tempered glass beads provide more heat with their reflective surface, and create a stunning look as the fire dances over the glass.


Patio with outdoor kitchen and fire pit with glass fire in Palatine, IL

Wood Burning Fire Pit

Wood burning fire pits are perfect for those who love the crackling and smoky campfire atmosphere.


Wood burning fire pit in Lombard, IL

Natural Gas

Natural gas allows you the freedom to instantly light and extinguish your fire as well as control the size of the flame. Gas also tends to provide a cleaner burn.

Let your imagination run free! Design your fire pit to fit right in with your outdoor living space and customize it to fit your needs.

If you are ready to discuss options for your new patio and fire pit design, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

How to Determine How Much Space You Need for Your Deck or Patio

One of the most important key factors in designing your project is knowing how much space you will need. It is very easy to overestimate the size of deck or patio you need. In order to help our clients determine the amount of space they need, we discuss three important aspects.

Planning and designing your deck, patio, or other outdoor living space is an exciting time!


Custom wood deck and patio with seat wall design

Know How You Plan to Use Your Space

Knowing how you plan to use your space is essential to determining the size of your project.

  • Are you looking for just enough space for a couple of chairs to enjoy your morning coffee or sit outside and read?
  • Do you want enough space to entertain several guests for frequent parties?
  • Do you want space for a grill, dining area, and a seating area?


Wood deck with bench seating and paver patio design

Know Your Furniture

Will you be using a small table and grill or do you plan to have large outdoor furniture pieces? Take measurements of the furniture you plan to use on your deck or patio and give the piece an appropriate amount of space. Don’t forget to leave foot room in front of a chair and space to move your chair back from a table to stand up. For example, for a dining table with four chairs, we generally allow 144 square feet.

Know Your Budget

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we design to your budget. The last thing we want to do is present you with designs that are two or three times what you are planning to invest. If a 14’ X 20’ deck will accommodate your spatial needs and fits within your budget, then there is really no reason to design something larger. You can expect the cost for your project to increase as your project grows larger.

Another aspect that falls under budget consideration is the type of material you would like to use. Are you considering wood or low maintenance materials for your deck? Wood tends to cost significantly less than low maintenance, but you may find low maintenance is worth the investment. Pavers for a patio are fairly comparable to wood prices for a deck…but do you want add-ons like a fire pit or seat wall? Materials and amenities are important to consider while determining how you plan to budget for your outdoor living space.


TimberTech deck with low-maintenance railing

The great news is, if you’re planning to work with a design-build company, they will often walk you through this process as they help you plan the perfect design for your deck or patio. That said, it is always a good idea to have given these three factors some thought, and to have discussed them with anyone else who will be a part of the design or decision-making process, before talking to the company you plan to work with. Be sure to research the company you are considering as well. Read their reviews on Angie’s List and Better Business Bureau. Choose a trustworthy and reputable deck builder. Your new outdoor living space is an investment in both your home and happiness!

If you are ready to discuss options for adding a new deck, patio, or other outdoor living space to your Chicago area home, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Wood vs. Low Maintenance Decks: Which Material is Right for You?

Choosing wood or low maintenance materials (such as TimberTech or AZEK) for your deck is a matter of personal preference. Before making your decision, there are a few questions you should ask yourself.

  • How much are you planning to invest in your deck or outdoor living space?
  • How long do you plan to live in your current home?
  • How much maintenance or upkeep are you comfortable with?
  • How do you plan to use the space and how can that affect your deck boards?


TimberTech low-maintenance deck in Brown Oak

We are your trusted Chicagoland deck builder.

The investment and why the length of time you stay in your home is important

A low maintenance deck will generally cost 50% – 70% more than a wood deck. If you’re planning to stay in your home for several years, low maintenance is a great cost-effective option. When you consider the cost of hiring someone to pressure wash and stain a wood deck, you’ll find you recoup the cost of the low maintenance deck in about fifteen years. In other words, while you may pay more up front, that is 15 years without having to worry about pressure washing and staining your deck. Additionally, you’ll have about 10 more years of low maintenance bliss on your deck.

Alternatively, if you are only planning to stay in your current home for a few more years, wood is the more cost-effective option. You will still need to pressure wash and stain the deck every 1 – 3 years; however, if you only need to do this once or twice before you sell your home, it is well worth it. Keeping your deck maintained and aesthetically pleasing will increase your home’s value.


Wood deck with herringbone decking board layout

How using your space can affect the material in different ways

Do you plan to grill on your deck or is this simply a space to sit and relax in? Will you be eating on your deck? Do you have large dogs that will be on the deck frequently? These are all aspects to consider as you determine the material that is best suited for your lifestyle.

Low maintenance boards tend to be more uniform than wood and do not splinter. Wood, on the other hand, more commonly splinters, fades, and expands and shrinks with the weather. While low maintenance is still subject to the outdoor elements, shrinking and expanding tends to be less.

Low maintenance boards, while easier to clean and maintain, are still susceptible to scratches, as well as staining from materials such as cooking oils, harsh chemicals, gasoline, and paint thinners. On a wood deck, stains such as this may be sanded away, however, sanding is not recommended for low maintenance material.


TimberTech low-maintenance deck with low-maintenance black rails

If you do need to clean your low maintenance deck, a soft brush and gentle soap should work well. Use a soap recommended by your product’s company. Under extreme circumstances, you may need to replace a board or two. Alternatively, wood boards can be sanded, pressure washed and stained to remove blemishes.

If you are ready to discuss options for your new Chicagoland deck, we are ready to work with you! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

When Should I Start Planning My Deck or Patio? Now is the time!

One of the most common questions we hear early in the year at Archadeck is “when should I start planning my deck or patio if I want to use it this summer?”

If you want to make sure you’re on the construction schedule and your project is built and ready to use in time to enjoy the warmer weather, then late winter or early spring is usually the best time to start the process, but there is still time to get you enjoying your new space this summer. Here are a three things to consider with regard to project timing.

We are your choice Chicagoland deck and patio builder!

Design & Build Project Lead Times

Typically you can expect about 1-2 weeks of working with your Design Consultant to design your new outdoor space. Once you have finalized your design and we have reached a project agreement, a typical lead time for a deck or patio is 4-6 weeks. During this time we submit for the permit, structure your project, line up your construction crew, and order your material. Much of the time we are waiting for permit approval before we are able to finalize a start date for your project. It is important to note that as it gets later into spring and summer many villages find themselves swamped with the number of permits waiting for their approval. As a result, our lead time may extend further than six weeks. We will always contact our clients to keep them up to date with timing, but this is a possibility if you choose to wait until June or July to start your project.


Custom Palatine deck and patio design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

How Weather Affects Your Project’s Timing

Without fail, when it’s a beautiful day, we have many inquiries for new projects. As you can imagine, our construction schedule fills up rather quickly once warm weather hits. If you want to get on the construction schedule before the spring rush, then late winter is the perfect time to start designing and working with a contractor. They will take advantage of the slower season to go in for permitting so that they can start your project as soon as the ground thaws.

Are you reading this in late spring or summer?

It’s still not too late! While it is ideal to get ahead of the spring rush for many, it certainly doesn’t mean that you can’t build your project this year. One of the benefits of planning your project during the warmer months is the ability to sit in your backyard and visualize your project (without the Chicagoland snow). Also, we are usually only building at your home on average for about a week, so you don’t lose your yard for long during the summer months.

Alternatively, late fall and early winter is also another great time to plan your project. This gives you the opportunity to lock in the current year’s pricing, helping to avoid the price increases often seen in early spring.


Custom Mundelein IL deck by Archadeck of Chicagoland

We now have two outdoor living design centers, located in Naperville and Palatine!

Your Project’s Timing

On the flip side, if you don’t expect to build for a couple of years, waiting is your best option. Permits have expiration dates, building codes change, and even your design ideas might be different. If your project is a year or so out, now is the time to start researching design ideas, materials, and companies. When you’re ready to build, your design-build company will help pull your design ideas together and walk you through the building process.


Palatine IL patio with built-in fire pit by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Whether you choose to start working with a contractor in late winter, spring or summer or fall, your project is sure to be gorgeous. Choose the timing and process that works best for you and you won’t be disappointed.

If you are ready to discuss your new outdoor living project, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Deck Design Ideas

Designing a deck isn’t always quite as easy as slapping a few boards together outside your back door. Just as homes come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and with different design niches, so do decks. Here are a few deck designs we find many of our clients love.

Have a small space but want to make the most of it? Floating benches are a great option for decks that are low to grade. They provide extra seating for when you’re entertaining, but leave plenty of space for your daily needs, like grilling and dining. Adding a built-in flower box or two also saves space by creating a space for your favorite blooms. No need to set out extra flower pots!

Solid board skirting hides the framing beneath the deck while the pergola creates shade from the hot summer sun.

We are your trusted Chicagoland deck builder!

Aside from creating a stunning view, incorporating a fireplace into your deck design can extend the time you are able spend outside on your deck.

Give your framing an attractive look with AZEK low maintenance post wraps. This option gives low maintenance deck a nice, finished look.

Cable rails have a more contemporary look while opening the view.

Lattice walls are great for climbing flowers and vines and can offer a bit of privacy. Perfect for small decks!

Double the size of your outdoor living space by building a deck over your patio. The deck will provide shade for the patio and the structural columns will give your space a regal look.

If you are ready to plan your new deck, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at one of our design centers at 847-496-4333 | 630-505-7688 | 708-873-1990 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new custom outdoor living space.

Designing a Pergola: What You Need to Know

Are you considering adding a pergola to your backyard but aren’t quite sure where to start? At Archadeck, we design outdoor living spaces every day. Here are four key elements to consider as you begin designing the perfect shade structure for your outdoor living space.

Define Your Space

Pergolas are shade structures, usually comprised of four posts with cross rafters, leaving open spaces above to allow some sun to shine through. One of the roles of a pergola is to define an outdoor living space, using the architecture and design to compliment your deck, patio, home, and yard. Because there are no walls or a roof, a pergola creates an inviting, open and airy space for you to relax. Consider the space you want to define. Do you plan to dine, grill, or entertain? The answer to these questions will help you determine the size of the pergola, the amount of shade you need, and other design details.


This beautiful pergola offers partial shade on this low-maintenance deck!

Shade

One of the great aspects of pergolas is the ability to customize the structure to provide as much or as little shade as you prefer. If you simply want to break up the intensity of the sun, you can space the rafters further apart, allowing plenty of sun over your deck or patio while diminishing some of that sweltering heat. Alternatively, you can space the rafters closer together and add lathing if you’re looking for significant shade for more protection and a cooler space. For those who want to maximize the amount of shade, or to control when there is shade over their patio or deck space, retractable canopies and screens are an excellent option.


Gorgeous pergola design with outdoor curtains and a shade for additional sun protection

Consider Vertical Gardening

Pergolas are great structures for plants and vines that need support. Ivy, passion-flower, and honeysuckle are great options that will help provide additional shade while adding color and fragrance to the outdoor space. Fruit is also an option. Grapevines are beautiful winding around pergolas. If your yard is particularly small, vertical gardening is a great way to bring a little green, giving it a lusher look.

Design Considerations

Part of the joy in adding a pergola is designing the structure. You can customize your pergola to match or contrast the exterior of your home. Most pergolas are built with square wood posts; however, you can add your own flare to the structure. Is the classic look more your style? Consider rounded columns. Are you more contemporary? Consider a sleek look for you posts and end pieces for the rafters. Do you prefer a craftsman look? Stone bases might have the look you’re going for and are great for integrating a new pergola with an existing patio.


Beautiful, robust pergola design on a patio with optional shade for added sun protection

If you are ready to discuss options for adding custom pergola, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Designing a Deck that Fits Your Needs

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we love helping our clients create the outdoor living space of their dreams. We worked closely with this client, discussing spatial issues, their functional needs, aesthetic tastes, and their budget.

Having these elements in place helps our Design Consultants develop a truly custom deck design that fits the needs of their clients. This particular client wanted to replace an existing deck with something larger and with the ability to extend the time that could be spent using it. Low maintenance material lessens the amount of time and money spent caring for an outdoor deck.

A custom pergola and outdoor fireplace create a more usable deck outdoor living space!

A pergola for shade and an outdoor fireplace for warmth extends the time you can enjoy your outdoor living space.

One of the benefits of custom design is the ability to match new structures to your home. The vinyl pergola adds a touch of elegance, yet looks as though it were built with the home.

Added shade from the pergola allows you to enjoy your outdoor living space, even when the hot sun is directly facing the space.

Stay warm on the chilly fall nights by curling up in front of the outdoor fireplace. Roasted marshmallows anyone?

We are your trusted Chicagoland deck builder!

The black TimberTech Evolutions rail creates a striking contrast while the baskets on the Deckorator Pickets add an elegant touch.

Riser lights add a soft glow, illuminating the stairs at night for safety while creating an ambient space in the yard.

Custom designed to fit the homeowner’s needs, each space blends seamlessly a stunning outdoor living space.

If you are ready for a custom deck design that suits your every need for outdoor living, get in touch with us! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

How do I choose the best contractor?

Remodeling projects are often exciting! But when it comes to the contractor managing the project, it can mean the difference between confidence and sleepless nights. So how do you choose the right contractor and prevent those sleepless nights? Here are a few important areas to focus on when interviewing prospective contractors.

Choose an experienced contractor

How much experience does the contractor have with your type of project? Many contractors try to do all forms of construction, but there are subtle differences in materials and design that affect the Archadeck of Chicagoland outcome of each construction project. For example, Archadeck specializes in outdoor living spaces. Could we remodel a kitchen? Absolutely, but you might find there are several little things that just don’t look quite right. Choose a contractor who specializes in your type of project. A good rule of thumb is if a company has done at least 100 projects in a category, they have probably learned the nuances that make sure the project is done right.

Professional background check

What is their background and history? Looking a contractor up on Angie’s List and The Better Business Bureau is a great way to learn how the contractor treats other clients. Speak with references and, if possible, take a look at other projects the contractor has completed. A contractor that does not have a long list of references prepared may be a red flag.

Trust your gut instinct

Pay attention to the little indicators as you interact with the contractor. If you notice they are not meeting your standards before you sign a contract, they will most certainly fall short during the project.

  • How quickly do they respond and what is the quality of their response?
  • Are they on time?
  • Do they ask questions to help you avoid mistakes?
  • Do they listen and understand the priorities for your project?
  • Do they commit to follow-up, and more importantly, do they fulfill these commitments?

Evaluate the contractor’s method

A good contractor will ask questions and listen to your ideas and concerns in order to best understand your priorities for your project. At Archadeck, we use a very specific design process to help us understand our clients’ needs and desires. Not all construction projects involve design or a “design process,” but the contractor’s method should strive to understand your needs and wants and clearly document the plan you agree to. Here are a few important things to look for:

  • Clear and written details. Project specifications should include details regarding materials and finishing information. Any items the client will be responsible for should also be included. For example, we note number one grade decking and stainless steel screws for our deck projects. Or when we build screen porches, we note that the client buys the ceiling fan which we install.
  • Design plans. In many cases, it is helpful to visualize your project. With every project we build, we offer a plan view (view from above). This helps ensure Archadeck and clients are in full agreement with what the end result should be.
  • Price or estimate? Some contractors give estimates. Estimates can change and some contractors purposefully give a low estimate that they plan to increase once the project begins. We guarantee that the price we agree to will not change unless the project is changed by the client or something unforeseen (not visually present or a requirement by a building department outside of noted building codes) occurs.

Project management

Project management is crucial in construction. Understanding how a contractor manages the multiple issues that can arise during the course of the job should be important in deciding who you want to hire for your project.

  • What system does the contractor have in place to ensure your project runs smoothly? At Archadeck, we have a system called the Job Progress Methodology. This is an elaborate checklist with over four supporting guides for the field personnel that keep us on track. We use this tool in conjunction with a series of construction standards that clearly reflects how each detail of the project will be built.
  • Who are the crews and how are they managed? We work hard to find skilled, reliable, and trustworthy tradesmen. We issue a written test, conduct background checks, follow up with references, check that all insurances are up to date, and that our crews are properly licensed. With new crews, our Construction Manager is on site daily for the first two to three weeks to ensure they are building to our expectations.
  • Does the contractor handle permitting and inspections? If you want a full service contractor, they should handle all issues related to the permits and inspections required for your project. This includes contacting JULIE (Illinois utility locator service) and providing any drawings and information your Home Owners Association might require.
  • Do they keep their clients informed of the job progress? Some of the feedback we often hear from our clients is how much they appreciate our daily communication and updates about the progress of their project. It is helpful to understand what’s been done, what is planned, and if there are any problems that need to be or were addressed. This grants peace of mind that every detail is being handled and allows for less disruption in our clients day to day lives.

Safeguards

It is important to understand what the contractor has in place to protect you and your home. The safeguards they have in place and the manner in which they respond to these questions help indicate how trustworthy a contractor may or may not be.

  • Liability insurance is a must. This protects your home from any damage caused during the construction process.
  • Workers’ Compensation is also important and required for any company with employees. This protects you from an employee of the contractor getting injured on the job and suing you for the bills.
  • Contractors should be licensed in the town or city the construction is being performed. Request a copy of their insurances and applicable licenses.
  • What type of warranty do they offer? We offer a warranty of one year on workmanship and five years on structural issues. For added protection, we also offer a third-party guarantee of performance and warranty coverage. Archadeck clients receive a National Guarantee Corporation Warranty. This insures their project is completed and they receive at least two years of warranty coverage.
  • Will the contractor stand behind their work? All too often we hear about contractors or companies that hide behind a clause in their warranty. A good contractor will stand behind their work and do the right thing, regardless of the warranty terms.

What do your research and instincts tell you about the contractor or company? Can you trust them to do what they say, to stand behind their work, and to do what is right? After interviewing with your contractor, you should feel comfortable in your decision, knowing they are experienced, insured, organized, and ethical.

We are a tried, trusted, and true Chicagoland outdoor living design and build firm. Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Screen Porches: Bring the Outdoors Inside

Screen porches blur the lines between your outdoor and indoor living spaces and are great for extending the time you spend enjoying the outside.

There are many details that make your screen room perfect for your family. At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we enjoy helping our clients discover these details as we design the outdoor living space they envision.


Screened porch and deck design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Comfortable living spaces allow you to enjoy the great outdoors while also offering protection from the rain and snow.


Enjoy the great outdoors in a custom screened porch!

Aesthetically pleasing and highly versatile Vertical 4-Track windows transform your screen porch into a space that is usable three seasons or even all year round. These vinyl windows are available in multiple sizes and are designed to allow you to open them 25%, 50%, or 75%.


Adding vinyl windows will give you more hours in your screened porch!

Lifestyle rails inside the porch function as both a safety feature and a drink rail, creating a space to place drinks, plants, and toys.


Railings add safety and function to your screened porch!

Exposed beams and skylights give the room a bright, spacious, and airy feel.


Gorgeous screened porch ceiling design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Low voltage lighting on the stairs light the way when the sun begins to go down.


Never miss a step after dark!

Rope lighting under the rails of the deck create a soft, ambient glow. Deckorator pickets create a striking and beautiful look to the deck.


Low-profile Deckorator picket railing

Attaching decks to your screen porch gives you space for grilling and outdoor seating.

There are so many options available to you when building a screen porch. Our Design Consultants walk you through every step of the way, designing outdoor living space of your dreams. Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Custom Outdoor Living Design - It's All In The Details

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, custom design is our specialty. We took great joy in designing this paver patio with our clients.

From the spacious layout to the clearly defined living sections, this patio is truly unique. We start with a design plan that is tweaked and adjusted until it is exactly what our client is looking for. As you can see in this design, we created separate spaces that transition nicely for grilling, dining, seating, and the hot tub.


Custom patio design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

We are your trusted Chicagoland patio builder!

For this particular paver patio design, we used a different color of stone for the Soldiers Course. This helped to clearly define the different spaces while creating a striking and aesthetically pleasing look.


Paver patio design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Fire pits and seat walls offer a warm and inviting space for family and friends. These are the particular custom design elements that set Archadeck of Chicagoland outdoor living designs apart from the rest.


Custom fire pit and seating wall design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

If a hot tub is desired, it is important to incorporate the space in the design so that the space flows easily. We achieved a cohesive flow for this patio project, where the hot tub sits outside the confines of the patio, but is clearly an integral part of the overall design layout.


Custom patio design with hot tub by Archadeck of Chicagoland

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we know that outdoor living doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down. Adding low voltage lighting to your outdoor living space creates an intimate feel while transforming your patio into a nighttime wonderland, and giving you more use of your backyard oasis.


Custom Archadeck of Chicagoland patio design with low voltage outdoor lighting

Archadeck of Chicagoland is ready to design your perfect outdoor living solution! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Designing Your Patio: Elegance Meets Functionality

When it comes to building Chicagoland patios, the focus should never be on design alone. Archadeck of Chicagoland will custom tailor a patio that meets your design and function requirements. We will help you create your ideal outdoor living space for entertaining and private relaxation with custom design capabilities, and a plethora of material choices, such as pavers, natural stone, and cultured stone.

We love our clients and are always happy when the opportunity to work with them again arises. In 2008, we built a low maintenance pool deck for these homeowners. When the time came for a new patio, they came to us and we excitedly worked together to design their dream patio.

The unique mixture of Holland Stone and Mega Arbel (both by Belgard) created a stunning look for their patio.

We also built a grill surround to give them a place to keep their grill.

The seat walls around the dining area, with a stepped fire pit in the back, create an inviting space for family and friends.

Mega Arbel steppers leading to the pool deck help to make a seamless transition from one beautiful outdoor living space to the next.

Want to see more of this stunning project? Watch the video!

If you are ready to discuss options for adding a new custom patio to your home, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Paver Patio Ideas and Expaning Paver Patios

Looking for inspiration for your new patio? Think beyond the standard circle and square designs. Here are five inspiring patio design ideas to give your backyard a unique look!

Seat walls define your outdoor living space and create accent pieces, helping to make your patio design unique. A great example is this Belgard patio in Naperville, IL which features a Weston Wall seat wall in Cotswold Mist and Holland Stone pavers in Kensington Red.

Think you can’t have a patio because your yard is sloped? Think again! We used retaining wall to ensure this Belgard Cambridge Cobble patio in Darien, IL would remain level for years to come. Another great benefit of a raised patio is increased usable space, giving you more room for dining or entertaining outside.

Create a more formal entrance to your yard with seat walls around the edges of your patio.

Outdoor kitchens and fire pits are perfect for entertaining. Inset circles such as this Holland Stone patio with Mega-Arbel create unique accents, especially with contrasting colors. Using fire glass in your fire pit adds an extra flair that everyone will love!

It seems almost everyone is looking for trendy smooth and curvy patios these days. Change it up with straight and symmetrical lines like this Woodridge, IL patio. The clean lines of the Belgard Lafit paver patio and crisp corners of the square built-in fire pit are eye-catching. The Charcoal Holland Stone steppers around the fire pit draw it all together for a stunning and unique patio design.

Expanding Paver Patios

One of the benefits of paver patios is the ability to modify or expand your patio design. Archadeck of Chicagoland designed and built a patio in Libertyville, IL for these clients one year. The next year, they decided to expand the patio and add a fire pit and grill surround.

We removed the existing soldiers course and integrated the pavers so that the patio design remained seamless. The soldiers course was replaced around the edges of the new patio and around the inset circle for definition. The finished project resulted in a beautiful and spacious area to enjoy with friends and family.

Expanded Paver Patio with Fire Pit

Expanded Paver Patio with Grill Surround

New Fire Pit

New Westin Wall Grill Surround

Expanded Paver Patio with Fire Pit and Grill Surround

Soldiers Course Around Patio and Circle Inset

If you are ready to discuss options for a new or expanded patio, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Shade Solutions - Pergolas, Canopies, and Mosquito Curtains

Your backyard is your retreat. It is your escape. It is where you go to relax, where you enjoy precious moments with the children and entertain your friends and family. Sometimes though, the summer sun is especially hot and the mosquitoes and bees swarm around you. When this happens, do you find yourself mulling over just what you should do?

Shade and protection are the most logical conclusion, but is a screened porch or sunroom necessary to provide these attributes? Building a screen room may be the perfect solution for your family. Perhaps, however, you prefer the open atmosphere of your deck and patio, or a room isn’t the sort of investment you are looking for at this time. Fortunately, Archadeck has many options when it comes to shade and bug protection.


Chicagoland pergola with canopy for shade and mosquito curtain for protection from insects

Pergolas can provide a substantial amount of shade; and for many, this is perfect. If you’re looking for more coverage, installing a canopy on the pergola is an excellent option. Canopies allow you the flexibility to let in as much sunshine as you choose or create as much shade as you need at any given time. Adding mosquito curtains offers protection from pesky little insects. You are able to pull them closed when the mosquitoes and bees are out or open them back up when such protection is not necessary. Not only are they versatile and functional, but the curtains also add a beautiful and elegant touch to any pergola.

Think beyond the basic four posts with crossing rafters and customize a pergola that compliments your home and displays your fantastic taste.

At Archadeck of Chicagoland, we think beyond the basic four posts with crossing rafters and help you customize a shade structure that compliments your home and displays your fantastic taste.

Spruce up the classic pergola by customizing your end pieces.


White cedar pergola in Lake Forest, IL

Add lathing to create heavier shade.


Cedar pergola in Naperville, IL

Maximize the shade and protection from the sun (and even a light drizzle!) by installing a canopy system on your pergola.


Wood pergola with retractable canopies

Attach a lattice or privacy wall to your pergola to create a more private environment in your backyard


Cedar pergola with lattice privacy wall in Elgin, IL

Installing screens above the pergola or an outdoor fan for air movement also aid in bug protection.


Chicagoland pergola with screens

Looking for a little more flair? Try something with a unique design, such as a multi-level or curved pergola.


Multi-level vinyl pergola in Northbrook, IL


Curved pergola in La Grange, IL

Are you ready to discuss options for adding the perfect shade and insect protection solution for your Chicagoland backyard? Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

The Creation of a Multi-Level Patio in Vernon Hills

Take a look at one of the latest projects we built in the Chicago Suburbs! We were thrilled to help these Vernon Hills homeowners design this beautiful multi-level patio.

With two different levels uniquely designed, they can now create four different outdoor living spaces that blend together smoothly. The lower patio level consists of a dining area with space for a table and chairs as well as a section for entertaining at their new custom limestone bar. The second level has a space for grilling and a peaceful area for relaxing in the hot tub. The paver patio was created with Lafitt Pavers. A Holland Stone soldier’s course and circle inset add an attractive detail, and the Belair walls create a stunning effect while helping to define the different outdoor living spaces.

Here is a before picture of a project in Vernon Hills. The homeowners decided to replace this aging deck with a patio designed to be more functional for their needs.

You can see the old deck has been torn out and that the new Lafitt pavers and Holland stone have been laid. Looks like it’s time to build the Belair walls!

The Belair walls are coming along!

We are your trusted Chicagoland patio builder!

Almost finished! A custom limestone counter top will be installed soon.

Here you can see the beautiful stone these homeowners chose. An excellent combination if you ask us!

This is the higher level of the patio. It surrounds the hot tub and has a space for their grill. Perfect for entertaining friends and family!

They’re hard at work, paying close attention to every detail, ensuring the patio is crafted with the quality and beauty that Archadeck and our clients expect.

Visit one of our Chicagoland outdoor living design centers!

A look at the nearly finished project. The homeowners and their guests will soon be enjoying the custom limestone countertop!

Here is the completed project. We hope these homeowners enjoy many years of outdoor living on their new Archadeck patio!

Are you ready for a custom patio design for your Chicagoland home? Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496-4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Is a screen room right for you, and how are they different from sunrooms?

Imagine the sun peaking up, it’s first rays glittering through the trees. The air is fresh and cool. Aside from the birds chirping their morning songs, everything is quiet while you warm your hands around a hot cup of coffee. There is something special about spending a quiet hour with the tranquil beauty of the great outdoors.

Screen rooms, or screened porches provide the feeling and function of an indoor room while blurring the lines between your outdoor and indoor living spaces. Only a thin screen separates you and the outdoors. Whether it’s dinner with the family or just letting the children play, a screen room can add functionality to your back yard while eliminating worries such as mosquitoes and even rain.


Screen rooms by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Screen enclosures are also cost effective when compared to other home improvements. The maintenance of a screen room is minimal and most winterize in no time. If you are looking for a way to use your screen room through multiple seasons, you have a couple of options. Acrylic storm panels can be placed in the windows when you prepare for winter. Placing a small space heater in the screen room allows you to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate as you watch the snow fall, draping Chicagoland with a frosty white blanket.


Custom screened porch design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Vertical 4-track windows appear to be glass to anyone looking from a distance, but are made of a vinyl material instead. These windows come in a variety of sizes, but are separated into four sections, allowing you to open from 25% to 50% to 75% This gives you control over the amount of outdoor elements you allow in. If it’s a particularly blustery day, open just enough to allow just the right amount of breeze. On a gorgeous summer afternoon, open them all up and enjoy the fresh scent of the season that wafts through your airy screen room.


Screen room with vinyl windows by Archadeck of Chicagoland

So, what is the difference in a screen room, sunroom, or room addition?

In the years that I have owned the Archadeck of Chicagoland, I’ve heard screen porch and sunrooms referred to in a number of different ways. At the end of the day though, the term you use isn’t nearly as important as finding a design that meets your needs. To find that, you’ll need to know the basic differences between a screen room, a sunroom, and an addition.


Custom screen room by Archadeck of Chicagoland

A room addition has a higher ratio of solid walls to windows than a sunroom does. With the added insulation and full HVAC, these rooms are functional year round. This is basically a new space that is designed to expand your home.

Sunrooms are rooms that are built to maximize the amount of light and ventilation while offering complete protection from rain and wind. The glass intensifies the sun’s rays to heat the room; this is great in the chilly spring and fall seasons. In the summer you can open the windows to allow the flow of a warm breeze. Sunrooms are usually insulated and sometimes heated.


Sunroom by Archadeck of Chicagoland

There are so many options available to you when building a screen porch. From a traditional screen design to a custom three season room; the sky is the limit. If you would like to take a look at design options or discuss how to put your outdoor dream together, give us a call and set an appointment to visit one of our our showrooms.

Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at one of these numbers 847-496-4333 | 630-505-7688 | 708-873-1990 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Choosing the Perfect Fire Pit for Your Backyard

One of the things we love about spending time outdoors is enjoying time with family and friends around a campfire. The ambiance a warm fire creates is cozy and inviting. Everyone is laughing and telling stories and hot dogs and s’mores are being cooked over the flames. It’s a relaxing atmosphere; one that everyone can enjoy.

These days you don’t have to trek out to the woods or a campground in order to have a campfire, you can have one in your own backyard. Fire pits are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners. They not only add convenience but provide a way to enjoy longer periods of time in the outdoors during cooler weather. After deciding you would like to place a fire pit in your backyard, you’ll want to determine whether you’ll want a permanent or portable fire pit.

See our custom Chicagoland fire pit designs!


Sunken wood burning fire pit design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Portable or Permanent?

Portable fire pits can be moved to any location you choose and can be removed from your backyard completely if you find yourself needing more space. While having the ability to move your fire pit around may be quite convenient, pay attention to the size or style before you make a purchase. Many are quite large and heavy, making it difficult to move them from one location to another.


Portable fire pit

A permanent fire pit can be built to your specifications. Often people will integrate it into the design of their outdoor living space, creating decorative landscape features or beautiful focal points. The design can be as simple or elaborate as you choose. Many homeowners choose to place their fire pit in a corner or along the edge of their patio, allowing them to keep the area open and functional.


Custom, permanent square gas burning fire pit design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Wood Burning or Gas?

Both portable and permanent fire pits offer the option to use gas or wood for your fire. Gas provides a convenient way to manage your fire, allowing it to light instantly. You can also turn off the fire when you’re ready to go in without having to wait for the fire to die down and embers to cool. However, gas can be a bit costly and may not provide the size and warmth of a wood burning flame.


Gas fire pit with fire glass by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Using wood for your fire pit, with the crackling sound and smoky scent, provides that authentic campfire atmosphere. Wood is inexpensive and provides large, warm flames – which warm a larger space. However, wood can take longer to light and you’ll want to stay outside until the fire has gone out and the embers have cooled.


Wood burning fire pit by Archadeck of Chicagoland

A Creative Option

A gas equipped fire pit can be supplied with lava rocks or glowing glass fire rocks. Glowing glass comes in a variety of colors and creates a unique show for your family and guests.


Beautiful fire pit design with blue fire glass by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Take some time to consider what options are best for you and your lifestyle. Which takes precedence – convenience, cost effectiveness, versatility? For years to come, your fire pit can help create many delightful memories. Let your imagination run free. Create the space of your dreams and enjoy your backyard to the fullest.

If you are ready to discuss options for adding a fire pit to your backyard, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

Screened in Patio and Porch Sanctuaries

Screen Porches with brick paver floors are a unique option that truly brings the outdoors in.

Open patios are very popular outdoor living choices in the Chicagoland area, but in years past, we have built quite a few of these screened patios. These rooms combine two of the most popular outdoor structures. Interest in brick and paver patios and hardscapes grows each year. The more natural look, low maintenance qualities, and designs that flow into the backyard makes paver patios very desirable. With mosquitoes, bees, and other bugs becoming such a pest the classic screened porch is as popular as ever. They offer the best of the outdoors while protecting your family from pests, rain, & too much sun.


Screened paver patio by Archadeck of Chicagoland

We are your trusted Chicagoland patio and hardscapes builder!

Traditionally screen porches have deck floors but by building the room with foundational support for each roof post we can do the floor in patio bricks. Obviously, the screen porch needs to be at / or near ground level to include brick. The look is compelling and unique. These screen porch / patios flows with your backyard, especially if the patio floor is inside the porch as well as outside the room.


Screened and open patio design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Archadeck of Chicagoland has been combining paver patios with our carpentry projects; screen porches, decks, gazebos, and pergolas, for several years. Few companies do both brick and carpentry. We started working with both materials primarily because of our desire to create unique and exciting outdoor spaces that best meet our clients priorities. Usually this option is about aesthetics but sometimes there is no room to frame a deck and brick is simply the most practical option. Personally, I love the look that combines wood (or composite) & stone. If we can get a fire-place or water feature in the design it’s even more exciting.


Custom screened patio and open patio design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Take a look at Dave Berryhill’s personal former screened porch sanctuary!


Dave’s former screened porch sanctuary

Oh, how I loved my screened porch – let’s have a trip down memory lane during the holiday season!

In 2005, I designed and built my families screen porch and deck at our home near Barrington Hills, IL. We loved the new outdoor spaces we created and the new Screen Porch was the perfect way to be outside, safe from rain and bugs. We especially enjoyed the porch on those warm summer evenings, listening to the light rain outside. Without question, fall was my favorite season on the porch. In the fall of 2005, I kicked back in a big cushy chair with my feet up on the ottoman and watched lots of football and the White Sox win the World Series. It was very exciting, though at heart I will always be a Tigers fan.

Those afternoons with a cold beverage, my fridge a few steps away, and the games on t.v. were more relaxing than any vacation I have ever taken. Almost as peaceful were the mornings when my wife and I would enjoy our coffee and watch our two young children play in that room. That Fall stands out so strong in my memory because shortly after, we moved to a new home and left our Screen Porch behind. Each new screen porch we build for clients reminds me of those truly relaxing afternoons. I am always a little jealous of my clients and their new porches. Every so often I drive by our old house and look longingly at that room. It is satisfying to know that the new owner is enjoying the space with his family.

If you are considering adding a patio or screened porch, or any other outdoor living space to your backyard, we’d love to hear from you! Give us a call at (847) 496.4333 or sign up today for a Free Design Consultation.

Turn your house outside in with a new screened porch

When we look back at our outdoor building portfolio, of some of our favorite Archadeck of Chicagoland outdoor deck designs, those that stand out the most are the ones that include a screened porch. Screened porches are popular for their beauty, versatility, and usability in the Chicagoland area.

Picture this. Walking out through your rear patio door onto a diagonally-patterned wood deck (or composite, if you want virtually zero maintenance). And to your left is an awesome screened porch, your private sanctuary.

Screened porches are the perfect place to listen to your favorite music, with maybe your favorite scented candle nearby, and a glass of chilled chardonnay — just perfect for a warm weather evening. And let’s bring a bowl of fresh fruit from the farmers market.

Most of our clients literally change the way they live once the new screened porch is completed. It’s almost as if they can escape to some leisure oasis, to escape the trails and tribulations of a long and tedious work day.

Why choose Archadeck of Chicagoland for your screened porch builder?

Take a look at some of these custom screened porches, and you will see why we are the premier Chicagoland screened porch contractor!

Orland Park, IL Screened Porch

Custom screen porch is combined with a spa deck and patio for ultimate use of this backyard space.

Aurora, IL Screened Porch

This screened porch features cathedral ceilings and TimberTech® decking, offering a great place to relax and entertain with friends and family.

Downers Grove, IL Screened Porch

This cozy, custom cedar screen porch features cathedral ceilings and a gable roof to welcome in as much sunlight as possible.

Are you ready for a custom screened porch design for your Chicagoland home? Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

With David Berryhill’s custom outdoor kitchens, Chicagoans may never cook indoors again

David Berryhill is designing affordable, functional and beautiful custom Chicagoland outdoor kitchens for his lucky clients in Chicago.

Come spring, with one of my new custom Chicagoland outdoor kitchens, you just may be tempted to never cook — or entertain — indoors again.


Chicagoland outdoor kitchen with everything, including the kitchen sink!

Archadeck of Chicagoland can now custom design a stunning outdoor kitchen right before your eyes — on your computer.

That’s right. Our expert custom outdoor kitchen design team will meet with you online — right in front of your computer — to create a custom design plan that fits exactly what your looking for.

For example, if you have a small Chicagoland patio but want big cooking and entertaining, we have a design for that.


Compact outdoor patio kitchen

If you’re looking for a efficient and multi-functional outdoor kitchen to go under a Chicagoland covered porch, yes, we have a design for that, too.


Outdoor kitchen under covered porch

Visit one of our Chicagoland outdoor living design centers!

Need a big, expansive outdoor kitchen to cook up a big feast for a family reunion? Yes, you know that you’ve come to the right place…Archadeck of Chicagoland.


Outdoor kitchen with dining bar

Here’s one of my personal favorites, a raised counter with bar stools connected to a highly efficient outdoor kitchen.

With ‘A’ ratings on Angie’s List and impeccable customer reviews, Archadeck is sure to build a quality Chicagoland outdoor kitchen for you and your family to enjoy for years to come. If you are considering an outdoor kitchen or other outdoor living space, we would love to hear from you! You may sign up for a Free Design Consultation. or give us a call at (847) 496.4333.

Rehabbing Your Deck: Replacing Decking & Reusing Deck Structure

Will that deck make it through another summer? As the snow melts, hopefully soon, thousands of decks throughout the Chicago suburbs will be revealed. The wear and tear from another season of sun, rain, freeze, and snow will show itself. What options does a home owner have?

If the deck boards are beyond normal maintenance, pressure washing and staining, it’s time to consider new material. Does that mean a new deck? Not necessarily, often we can replace the decking, trim, and/or the rails but keep the existing structure. Have the structure evaluated by a professional deck builder or qualified contractor to insure the structure is safe and worth saving. Poor structure with new surface material is a bad investment. Having said this, it is very common that the structure can offer many more years of support for your deck. The top three issues I look at are signs of structural rot, the deck to house connection (especially the flashing), and the soundness of the concrete footings. Of course, we also review the structural plan for the deck. Healthy material won’t compensate for poor design.


Wood deck and patio design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

We are your choice Chicagoland deck builder!

Assuming the structure is sound, perhaps with minor structural repairs, there are many options to rehab and reuse your deck space. The decking can be replaced with new wood, low maintenance deck boards (such as TimberTech or Azek), or even “stone like” tile options. With in these choices exists a multitude of natural as well as synthetic materials. The pros and cons of these choices are best left for another blog. Okay, several blogs. The key is that a deck rehab, or redeck, is a very viable option. Redecks are an option that provides significant savings.


Low-maintenance deck by Archadeck of Chicagoland

These rehab’s can involve replacement of decking only or any combination of surface components. We have done many combinations of deck rehab, including several that involved shape changes, adding screen rooms, or integration of a paver patio. As always we start by asking questions to understand the homeowner’s priorities. Once we have a clear picture we will offer recommendations.


Deck and pergola design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

Learn about Chicagoland low-maintenance deck options!

Ultimately, we will build what the client wants assuming, it’s safe and legal. However, there are a couple issues that really make sense for most deck rehab’s. First, if you are planning to replace the decking on the stairs, it’s best to replace all elements of the stairs. I don’t reuse strangers. Second, reuse of non structural materials from the old deck is not worth the effort. Using new material is so much faster for carpenters that it’s less expensive then reusing old materials. Not to mention that I have never met a carpenter who is happy working with old material. Remember, the carpenter is a craftsmen and their happiness will directly affect the results of your project. Happy carpenters equal a successful project; that sounds like another future blog topic.


Low-maintenance deck by Archadeck of Chicagoland

A deck rehab is often the perfect solution. Whether you simply need deck boards replaced or wish to recreate your outdoor living space(s), using the existing foundation can give savings. It can give savings of both money and time for your project.


Wood deck and pergola design by Archadeck of Chicagoland

If you are ready to discuss options for rehabbing your aging deck, Archadeck of Chicagoland is here for you! Design options are customizable and virtually endless! Sign up for a free design consultation or call Archadeck of Chicagoland at (847) 496.4333 to speak with a design consultant and begin creating your new dream space.

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