Resolve to Enjoy Your Outdoor Living Spaces More in 2012

Happy New Year!  2012.  Twenty-Twelve.  Has a nice sound, feel and look to it, don’t you think?  I’m always excited to turn the page on a New Year and look forward to the symbolic “re-boot” that New Years Day offers.  At the same time, I’m also caught up in both the “reflective” and “reality” aspects of the moment when the ball drops, corks pop and lips lock.  There are things, both good/bad…happy/sad, that happened in the past year(s) that will continue to influence us in the reality that a New Year brings.  I’m looking forward to building on all that and making a great 2012, both personally and professionally.  Here’s wishing you the best in 2012, too!

That opening could be summarized as the “3 R’s of New Years:”  Re-boot, Reflection and Reality.  And, I managed (until now) to do that without using that other dreaded “R” word (Resolutions).  I’m not sure what your disposition is towards New Years Resolutions, but I tend to think that a good, positive attitude (such as “reflectively rebooting for the reality a New Year brings”) goes a long way towards achieving any resolution…whether you actually make resolutions or not.   But, if you are a person who makes New Years Resolutions and you’re looking for help both in making and meeting your resolutions, Archadeck | Outdoor Living can help you with that:

Resolve to enjoy your outdoor living spaces more in 2012!

Note that I said “…both in making and meeting your resolutions.”  Anybody can make resolutions.  Meeting them is the hard part.  Often it’s the hard part because there isn’t a good plan in place to bring the resources together to achieve the goal.   Or, on the flip side, the goal isn’t realistic based on the resources that only haphazardly come together when planning is overlooked.

Multi-Season Room, West Des Moines

How does this relate to Archadeck and Outdoor Living?  If you take us up on our resolution offering, you’ll soon see that we focus on developing a design and plan to achieve your outdoor living space needs and desires. When the design and plan is in place, we focus on building it with the most qualified, experienced resources and to the highest standards in the industry.  After its built, we warrant it and guarantee our warranty coverage for up to 5 years.  “Better Building by Design” and “We Design It, We Build It, You Enjoy It” are not just catch-phrases for us…its our way of life…our way of business.

Maybe you want a patio with an outdoor kitchen and firepit.  Maybe you want a screen porch to keep out the bugs and sun.  Maybe you’re tired of splinters, tired of staining your deck and railing and are looking for lower-maintenance outdoor living components.  Maybe you don’t want to get “burned” like your neighbor did with their contractor.  Maybe you want all of that.  You can have all that – or all that makes sense for your reality –  under the Archadeck | Outdoor Living umbrella (maybe “pergola” is a better word in our case).  We take making resolutions for you very seriously!

Front Porch with Pergola, Central Iowa

Of course, this will cost you some money and, likely, more money than you anticipate going in (as many things do, right?).  But, we’ll certainly address the cost and budget aspects of your project and its various design options in the planning process as well.  The connection between planning/design and cost is comparable to the connection between the chicken and the egg:  Which comes first?  Not sure about the chicken and the egg, but I wish I had that “magic.”  Unfortunately, I’m only human so we address it in a number of ways (design retainers, iterative designs, addendums within known ranges, etc.) depending on the situation.  But, our goal is always the same…to develop a known budget up front, contract to that and…no surprises along the way…or at the end.

The consensus among remodeling industry experts is that this is money well-spent, too. Remodeling Magazine recently published their 2011-12 Cost/Value Analysis Report.  In that, they track 35 common remodeling projects with average project costs, resale value and cost recoupment; they do this nationally, regionally and within major metropolitan areas.  Archadeck’s product offerings span more than these 35 projects primarily because Remodeling Magazine is focused on in-, or on-home remodeling projects while we focus on outdoor spaces, rooms and accessories.  So, for example, patios, pergolas and outdoor kitchens aren’t specifically included in the Remodeling survey.  But, decks are and we generally relate that as the “outdoor living spaces” indicator for cost/value returns.  Remodeling also tracks “sunroom additions.”  But, “sunrooms” tend to not reflect the “stick-built” approach we take with our multi-season rooms and porches here in our Des Moines-based Archadeck office.  So, we look at the “family room addition” within Remodeling’s survey as the indicator for our “room” projects.  Admittedly, though, “porches” (front, screened and open) are difficult to assess via this survey.

Low Maintenance Outdoor Living Spaces on Urbandale Home

With those caveats, you’ll find that deck additions, wood and composite, are 2 of the top 10 projects with the highest cost/value returns in the Midwest/Des Moines region.  Room additions, depending on what you call the room, are holding strong in the middle of the pack.  Deck additions (and other outdoor living spaces such as patios) continue to be strong performers in this survey, primarily from the perspective that they, unlike many other projects in the survey…and, I might add, when they are done “right” (see above), add living space to your home (if even on a partial-year basis).   It’s the space and functionality aspects that are adding value.  If you choose to add that space/functionality with a cheaper material (wood) over a more expensive material (composite), then the cost goes up but the value (as measured by this survey) remains the same, therefore driving down the overall value on a percentage basis.  That’s my explanation for the drop between wood deck and composite deck values per this survey.  This survey does not take into account some of the more lifestyle-oriented values that composites may provide on a more subjective basis.

Multi-Season Room and Patio, Des Moines

Certainly, the values of our homes and what we put into them have been a tricky proposition in recent years…trickier depending on where you live.  Nearly all of the remodeling projects tracked in the survey are down in the cost/return ratios compared to survey results 3 years ago; that’s more reflective of the housing bubble burst that’s impacted our economy over the past few years than it is of any of these projects, per se.  But, here in the Des Moines and Central Iowa region, we’ve been fortunate enough to be as stable as any place in that regard.  That helps to put us in a position to feel good about investing in our homes.  And, more folks are doing that with more of a longer-term outlook.  Outdoor living spaces remain one of the best investments you can make on your Des Moines-area home.

So, re-boot, reflect and look forward to the new realities that 2012 will bring you.  If those realities include a desire (resolution?) to enjoy your outdoor living spaces more in 2012, I look forward to hearing from you soon.  With Archadeck’s proven processes and experience, we’ll put together a good plan for a good investment in your home.  For one piece of a good 2012!

Happy New Year!

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