This is a blog about “outdoor living.”  In the context of this space, “outdoor living” means extending your enjoyment – and the value – of your home beyond its walls and roofs.  It’s living with an attitude that there are rooms outside your house walls.  It’s living with an appreciation for rooms that don’t necessarily have walls and/or roofs.  It’s living your life with an understanding that all of these rooms incorporate your home.   

For 30 years, Archadeck has been dedicated to the design and construction of outdoor living spaces.  Founded in Richmond, Virginia, in 1979, Archadeck has grown to over 70 franchise offices around the country and has, collectively, over 65,000 outdoor living projects in its portfolio.  If you’re looking for experience, any need to look further?  Each individual Archadeck office benefits from this experience, through training, industry relationships and the support network of dedicated professionals both within our  franchisor’s corporate office and within the community of Archadeck franchise offices.

Archadeck has had a franchise office in the Des Moines / Central Iowa area for 12 years.  My name is Harold Cross.  As an owner of Archadeck of Central Iowa for the past 6 years, I welcome you to our blog – “an outdoor living space.”  For the record, this is my first blog…the first time I can be referred to as a blogger or as blogging.  Six years ago, blogs didn’t exist and I was slogging away at a financial behemoth, developing ways for computer systems to account for and manage mortgage-backed securities and the derivatives that spawned from those.  I think we all now know how crazy that could make someone.   About as crazy as thinking that 6 years later I’d have designed and managed the development of nearly 150 custom outdoor living spaces and would be blogging about that!

Not all that crazy, though, really.  In my younger days, I wanted to be an architect and did take a few steps down the path to being the next Frank Lloyd Wright.  But, not enough steps.   I also longed to be a forest ranger.  But, the technology revolution eventually captured my interests so I pursued those steps…which led to a career path with many forks.  From programmer, to systems analyst, to technical support, to management, to project management to strategic planning and the ultimate panacea – IT/Business Alignment.  Along the way, I also completed a Business/Marketing degree from Simpson College.  Through all that, the desire to design and create (architect)…and to be outside (forest ranger) apparently never waned.  29 years in an office cubicle keeps that fire stoked, I guess.

I came to this realization when my brother, David, who was the primary builder for the first Archadeck of Des Moines office here, mentioned to me that owner’s interest in selling this office to focus on a new Archadeck office he had also acquired in Omaha.  I looked into the opportunity with David and, in short, discovered a passionate convergence of many of my life-long interests and experiences.  And that led to David and I forming Archadeck of Central Iowa and joining the national Archadeck community of custom outdoor living space developers.

Passionate convergence?  I geek outdoor living!  Decks, Screen Porches, Open Porches, Multi-Season Rooms, Pergolas, Gazebos, Patios and Hardscaping, Outdoor Kitchens and all the amenities that go with those…those are the products we custom design and build.  But, what we sell and promote, really, is outdoor living…an outdoor living lifestyle.  Our mission – our passion – is to design and incorporate those products to flow with how you (want to) live at home…to look natural on your home…to blend and flow with your landscaping….and, ultimately, to enhance your enjoyment of your home and, at the same time, enhance the value of your home.  All from an “outside, looking in” perspective.   This takes more than just throwing a few sticks on the back of your house and calling it a “deck.”  All of us that took shop class have probably tried this and I’m sure we all have various examples of the results throughout our neighborhoods. 

Archadeck has refined a different approach – we believe, a better approach – to developing outdoor living spaces for our clients’ lifestyles.   We are one of the few companies devoted to this aspect of your home, your lifestyle at home.  We are one of the even fewer companies devoted to it for 30 years, nationally, and 12 years locally.  To some extent, our passion has evolved to a kind of art form for us.  Which is why we strive to elevate the fine art of outdoor living through the fine art of outdoor design.

If you already share our passion for outdoor living and have already incorporated that into your outdoor living space, we welcome you to share your ideas and thoughts with us here on our blog.

If you are interested in learning more about outdoor living and the difference Archadeck brings to those spaces, then this blog should appeal to you and I encourage you to connect with us here often.  We aren’t going to design a space for you here.  But we will discuss and promote various concepts, products and issues that can influence all of our experiences in the outdoor living space.   We’ll try to give you some perspective here on the art form that is outdoor design and the difference that is Archadeck.   Yes, we would like to have you as our client as well and we do have other mechanisms and processes for that when the time is right for you to move forward in that direction.

So, welcome to “an outdoor living space” blog by Archadeck of Central Iowa, authored by Harold Cross, owner.  I’ll try to make it informative and entertaining at the same time.  Maybe sometimes even go off-topic, so to speak.  Because, an outdoor living space is a great place to…live.  Talk.  Share.  Relax.  Dine.  Entertain.


Harold Cross

Archadeck of Central Iowa
       on the planet at:  2925 99th St., Urbandale, Iowa, 50322
       on the phone at:  515-266-8844
       on the web at:  central-iowa.archdeck.com

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