Category Archives: Deck Lighting

A Hot Summer for Central Iowa Backyard Makeovers

Des Moines Deck BuilderI was reminded today that I’m not blogging enough.  A potential Archadeck client was looking over one of our outdoor living brochures during the design consultation I was having with her on her aging deck in her beautiful Des Moines-area backyard.  “Oh, do you blog?” she asked.  I replied, yes…but, not enough.  She suggested I write a sentence or two each day.  I told her that Facebook and Twitter are better suited for that type of approach (and we’re there, too), but nonetheless…she was correct.

Open Porch and Azek Deck, Johnston

Open Porch and Azek Deck, Johnston

All that to say, I have a lot to write about regarding our many deck, porch and patio projects around Central Iowa this hot and dry summer of 2013.  The keyword there is “many.”  Which translates to not enough time to actually write about the projects themselves or the outdoor living trends and technologies we’re incorporating into the designs of our outdoor living spaces.  At least not now.  But, her comments were valid…as was my response.

So to that point, our $70,000 Dream Backyard Makeover project deserves time and a couple of sentences.  Here…and on Facebook…and on Twitter.

It took us a while to finalize a design for that outdoor living project and align our sponsor contributions appropriately.  But the design ultimately got “love it!” and “good stuff!” validation from our contest winners, Rick and Merea Bentrott in Huxley, IA.  We’re excited to bring this project to fruition for them:

Dream Backyard Makeover Grand Prize - Project Design by Archadeck of Central Iowa

Dream Backyard Makeover Grand Prize – Project Design by Archadeck of Central Iowa

We just broke ground on the project this week.  And with that, I am planning to post (already have posted!) regular updates on our status there via our Facebook page.

Groundbreaking at the Bentrott's

Groundbreaking at the Bentrott’s

So, follow progress on this project there; after all, this was a Facebook-based contest.  Plus short-burst text and picture/video updates on things like this (and your cat’s most recent antics) are tailor-made for Facebook.  I’ve put together a photo album as a journal of the construction process: I’ll update it regularly and will continue to post pictures and videos on our wall there.

Curved Trex Elevations, Des Moines Archadeck Project

Curved Trex Elevations, Des Moines Archadeck Project

Thanks for checking in here on all things Archadeck | Outdoor Living.  The Bentrott’s Dream Backyard Makeover project isn’t the only thing (but certainly one of the nicest) – there are other things going on in other Archadeck backyards around Central Iowa.  Curved decks and steel framing to name a couple.  For the next time.

In the meantime…Go Outside and Play!  Play football!  Tailgate at home on your deck or patio!  Just like we hope to do with the Bentrott’s in a few weeks!

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Outdoor Living Dreams Do Come True In Central Iowa

Dream Backyard Makeover Poster

Dream Backyard Makeover Poster

Remember that February 3rd post here about our first-ever Dream Backyard Makeover Contest?  The one with the $70,000 deck and patio combination space Grand Prize?  Yeah, that one.  The one that Rick and Merea Bentrott of Huxley, Iowa, just won!  The one that Archadeck of Central Iowa will now get to design and build for the Bentrott family.

This past Friday, May 17th, I got the extreme pleasure of surprising the Bentrott’s with this announcement in the very backyard so in need of the makeover they dreamed of.  With banners and balloons flying, with cameras rolling, and with a few tears and many smiles flowing… a proclamation was made of the Bentrott’s selection of our Grand Prize package.  And its a package the Bentrott’s could really use; with all due respect, their existing deck area is a real mess.  Their backyard is very conducive to the deck-patio combination space our contest sponsors, Belgard (patios and hardscaping) and TimberTech (decking and railing) manufacture such high-quality materials for.

Bentrott's Existing Deck Space

Bentrott’s Existing Deck Space

But, what their new outdoor living space will actually be…that’s where our work comes in now.  The Bentrott’s have many good ideas all centered around the concept of having an enjoyable and safe outdoor space in which to share family time, amongst themselves as well as with their friends and neighbors in the Huxley community, just north of Des Moines.  To be honest, I don’t have too many ideas about their project yet…whether the Big Green Egg will go on the patio or the deck…whether Rick and the kids get a koi pond, and where it will go if Merea approves…whether Merea gets a hammock, now that she surprised Rick with that one…and whether we can trust Rick not to burn trees down with a fire pit.   It’s a lot to comprehend on top of the fact that I’m still in a state of disbelief that a Central Iowa entrant actually won our contest.  I can only imagine how the Bentrott’s feel…they are the winners here, not me.  Winners…or “Rock Stars” as I call them.

Dream Backyard Makeover Contest Winners - Rick and Merea Bentrott; Huxley, IA

Dream Backyard Makeover Contest Winners – Rick and Merea Bentrott; Huxley, IA

We at Archadeck of Central Iowa are excited to be working with the Bentrott family to bring their Grand Prize, outdoor dream, alive.  The ideas and plans will come.  We’re scheduling ongoing and future efforts to design and build their new outdoor living spaces.  We’ll keep you posted on our progress over the remainder of the summer, so stay connected here to follow the project status.

We are also proud to be representing the entire nationwide system of Archadeck outdoor living space designers and builders in this endeavor.

A big thank you to our contest sponsors, Outdoor Living Brands (our Archadeck franchisor), Belgard Hardscapes and TimberTech; without them, none of this would have been possible.  We are also proud to be representing our sponsors.

Grand Prize Presentation Strategy

Grand Prize Presentation Strategy

Lastly, I want to thank the Bentrott’s neighbors and the Huxley Police for not turning us in and not arresting us for trespassing as we…trespassed…across a couple of adjacent backyards and a city park while setting up the surprise announcement in the Bentrott’s backyard.  It was a 3-pronged plan of attack General Patton would be proud of….and not possible to pull off without good troops, which included  Chris Boyd (Belgard Territory Manager), David Cross and Nolan Benge (Archadeck of Central Iowa) and Dan Welk (Click! Photography).  And pulled it off we did!

Grand Prize Winners and the Archadeck and Belgard "Troops"

Grand Prize Winners and the Archadeck and Belgard “Troops”

Archadeck | Outdoor Living.  Dream Backyard Makeovers by Design.  For nice families like the Bentrott’s.

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Dream Backyard Makeover Opportunities for Central Iowa

What is your Dream Backyard, Central Iowa?  Maybe an inviting deck and patio space offering ambiance, functionality and beauty your family and friends will enjoy for years?  Tell us about it and you could possibly win it!  Yes, it could be – could be – that easy and thats the big news I teased you with in the last post.  Its no longer a tease…its real…and its underway.

Dream Backyard Makeover Poster

Dream Backyard Makeover Poster

Archadeck of Central Iowa is excited to offer our market the opportunity to participate in our very first contest – your chance to win an outdoor living space Grand Prize valued up to $70,000!  2nd and 3rd Place prizes as well.  Our franchisor (Outdoor Living Brands, Inc.), TimberTech (decking and railing)  and Belgard (patios and hardscapes) have partnered-up to sponsor this nationwide contest across the Archadeck | Outdoor Living brand of outdoor living space designers and builders.  S0, yes, not only will you be competing with your neighbors around the Des Moines area, you’ll be competing with our other 60 markets as well.  That will make it more suspenseful, fun and impressive to win.  And, as we are often told here in Central Iowa, you can’t win if you don’t play.  So…go outside…errrr…go online and play!

Dream Backyard Makeover Flyer

Dream Backyard Makeover Flyer

This Dream Backyard Makeover contest will play out over Facebook, so it does require you to like our Facebook page, ArchadeckCentralIowa, to enter the contest.  If you already like us (“thank you”), click on the “Win a Backyard” icon to submit your entry.  Rules, regulations, the contest entry itself and status updates are all available thru our Facebook page so check your news feeds and our wall regularly.

The contest opened February 1st, 2013, and will close near the end of April, 2013.  Two finalists will be selected each month.  Fan voting (yes, you’ll even have some say in who wins) and sponsor selection from the 6 finalists will occur at the end of April.

Again, for complete information, rules and regulations and, of course, your opportunity to enter and win, visit and like our Facebook page at ArchadeckCentralIowa.  Many of the links here will take you there.

Of course, you can get that awesome backyard with Archadeck of Central Iowa even without winning the contest.  Our highly popular Archadeck Outdoor Living Design Guide, our industry relationships and expertise and our attention to design details bring dream backyards to life every day.  And, contest or not,  none of our projects just happen magically; they all take time…for design and planning ….for construction.  Which is why we want to choose a winner by the end of April…so we can build the lucky winner’s project (hopefully yours!) later this summer.

Better building by design.  Value by design.  It’s the Archadeck Difference – included in every project!

The luck – you’ll have to provide!  Good Luck!

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Big Outdoor Living News: Porch and Patio Awards, Des Moines Home Show and…???

Des Moines Deck BuilderBig news coming this weekend.  Big as the great outdoors.

No, its not news that Archadeck of Central Iowa won two design awards at our recently-completed annual meeting.  But, we did…and thats pretty big, too.

Screen Porch, Patio and Outdoor Kitchen Project in Grinnell Wins Archadeck 2013 Design Contest (Combination Projects)

Screen Porch, Patio and Outdoor Kitchen Project in Grinnell Wins Archadeck 2013 Design Contest (Combination Projects – 1st Place)

These acknowledgements are big and humbling at the same time; we’ve got some great professionals in the Archadeck system.  Competition is fierce; bribes have been attempted…but not accepted.  Just kidding (sorta).

No, its not news that I will be on  Sherry Failor’s  Welcome Home Des Moines radio show this Saturday.  But, I will…and thats pretty big, too.  1040 WHO AM on your radio dial, noon to 1pm.  We’ll be talking decks, porches, patios and more…including, the big news!

No, its not that the Des Moines Home & Garden Show- The Big one! –  is coming up next week.  Starting Thursday, February 7th, running thru Sunday the 10th.  15th year running for Archadeck at the show.  You’ll find us in the lobby on the east side of Hy-Vee Hall.  Make us your first stop!  Or last.  Or both.  And be sure to ask us about the big news.

Patio in Johnston (Des Moines) Wins Archadeck 2013 Design Contest (Patio Projects - 3rd Place)

Patio in Johnston (Des Moines) Wins Archadeck 2013 Design Contest (Patio Projects – 3rd Place)

No…its bigger than all that…combined.  Thats all I can say now.  Other than…find us on Facebook.   Beyond that, I’m sworn to secrecy.  But, its big.  Stay tuned…

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Go Outside and Dance

Welcome Home    Des Moines

Welcome Home Des Moines

We currently have a project featured in the January/February edition of the local magazine Welcome Home Des Moines.  The patio and deck project we designed and built for Steven and Marybeth Lytle in Urbandale also features an outdoor kitchen, a fire pit, a hot tub area and a retaining wall incorporated into existing landscaping. The retaining wall also serves as a seat wall from the patio side and has low-voltage outdoor lighting embedded for nighttime ambiance.  Steven also had a SunBrite outdoor TV incorporated into the kitchen counter area…strategically positioned for viewing all around the patio and from the hot tub.

The “New Living Room” article by Carol McGarvey for Welcome Home Des Moines and the accompanying pictures by Tim Abromowitz highlight some of the moments the Lytle’s enjoyed in their new outdoor living space last year – foremost, their daughter’s wedding reception.  I was told the Belgard Mega Arbel patio made a great dance floor!

About a year before that dance, the very spot where Steven and Marybeth’s daughter, Allison, and new son-in-law, Adam, danced  looked like this:

Lytle's Deck, pre-Archadeck

Lytle’s Deck, pre-Archadeck

The deck had served the Lytle’s well over their time in their beautiful Urbandale home.  But, the deck had lived its life…and now there was Allison’s wedding.

Over the course of a few weeks beginning late August of 2011, I worked with Steven and Marybeth to develop a new design and plan for their outdoor living space.  By late September, 2011, we had the design below, detailed specifications and a project plan for bringing the project together…in time for a wedding reception in June of the next summer.

Lytle Deck & Patio Design

Lytle Deck & Patio Design

Lytle Deck & Patio Design Rendering

Lytle Deck & Patio Design Rendering

With an Iowa winter in between and more ground-level patio work than above-ground deck work, the deadline could have proven to be more challenging than one might think.  But, we were blessed with a nice fall and the mildest winter on record so we were able to get a good jump on the project over the fall and winter and ease into the Spring deadline.  Yes, Marybeth…that’s what we were doing…easing.  No pressure, right?

We broke ground in mid-October, 2011.  Serious groundbreaking.  A lot of digging,  a lot of concrete and a lot of base fill.  But, all before the freeze/thaw cycle that disrupts hardscaping efforts in Iowa’s (normally) cold months.  So, we left the project in this state in early December.

Digging and Filling, Oct - Dec, 2011

Digging and Filling, Oct – Dec, 2011

In the Spring, trucks pulled up and unloaded tons of Belgard Arbel Stone for the patio surface and Cultured Stone for the retaining and seat walls.  By late March we were back in shorts and t-shirts, laying a paver patio in Des Moines, Iowa.  Imagine that!

Lytle Patio Progression, Mar - Apr, 2012

Lytle Patio Progression, Mar – Apr, 2012

The project also entailed replacing the deck on the upper side of the new patio.  So, in conjunction with the patio work, there was more digging, more concrete, more Cultured Stone, some pressure-treated faming lumber, and Gossen PVC decking.

Work on Lytle's Upper Deck

Work on Lytle’s Upper Deck

In the end… there was a patio to dance on.  A fire to gather around. An outdoor theater for watching the Summer Olympics.  A hot tub to sit in and relax after a long bicycle ride.  An outdoor living paradise.

Lytle's Urbandale Patio; Completed, May 2012

Lytle’s Urbandale Patio; Completed, May 2012

And in the end, there was a deck offering a prime seating location overseeing one of the Des Moines-area’s finest greenbelt systems and Lakeview Pond.

Lytle's Urbandale Deck; Completed, May 2012

Lytle’s Urbandale Deck; Completed, May 2012

And in the end, there was the little grill that could…

Lytle Outdoor Kitchen Progression, April - May 2012

Lytle Outdoor Kitchen Progression, April – May 2012

…the little grill that could become an outdoor kitchen.

Lytle's Urbandale Outdoor Kitchen; Completed, May 2012

Lytle’s Urbandale Outdoor Kitchen; Completed, May 2012

And in the end, there was a fairy tale dream of a young girl, a sentimental father and a wedding dance.

The Dance - June 23rd, 2012

The Dance – June 23rd, 2012

Thank you Steven, Marybeth, Allison, Adam and Madison for sharing your outdoor living space with Archadeck of Central Iowa.

Go outside and dance.

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2013 Crystal Ball for Archadeck Outdoor Living

NY Eve Ball DropHere we are, putting another year behind us and setting our sights on the next.  Goodbye Twenty-Twelve.  Hello Twenty-Thirteen.

2012 was a very good year for Archadeck of Central Iowa.  Record-setting, even.  Central Iowans are truly embracing our trusted and time-proven approach to custom designing and building outdoor living spaces, rooms and accessories.  Many backyards around Des Moines were adorned with our decks, porches, patios, pergolas, outdoor kitchens and more…even a basketball court!

Screen Porch, Patio, Outdoor Kitchen Space by Archadeck of Central Iowa

Screen Porch, Patio, Outdoor Kitchen Space by Archadeck of Central Iowa

Multi-functional, combination spaces with amenities like fireplaces, firepits and lighting are driving growth in the value and popularity of outdoor living.

Three of our 2012 projects are soon going to be seen in some fairly prominent local and national publications in the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled for these:

  • Do It Yourself Magazine, a Better Homes and Gardens special publication used a West Des Moines composite deck project of ours as a backdrop for a feature article coming later this Spring; stay tuned for newsstand availability information.
  • Welcome Home Des Moines, a locally-produced magazine, is featuring an Urbandale deck and patio project, complete with a firepit and outdoor kitchen, in their January/February 2013 issue; find it online, in your mailbox (if you subscribe) and in fine establishments around Des Moines in January.
  • dsm Magazine, another locally-produced magazine, asked us to participate in a “Superior Interiors” feature that will run in their  Feb/Mar/April 2013 issue.  Interiors?  Archadeck?  Aren’t we a “Superiors Exteriors” business?  Well, yes, but the Urbandale screen porch project we’re featuring there will explain it all.  Look for that in late January as well.
TimberTech Deck - Wes Des Moines (soon to be seen in DIY Magazine)

TimberTech Deck – Wes Des Moines (soon to be seen in DIY Magazine)

What else does 2013 hold in store for Archadeck of Central Iowa?  Where is that crystal ball when we need it?  One thing is certain:  It won’t get any easier.  Our clients demand more.  We demand more of ourselves.  In other words, the bar keeps getting moved higher.  But, those are challenges that inspire us.   So, we’re preparing for another exciting year and we’re looking forward to summarizing another successful and record-setting year here again next year at this time.  Ahead of that, here are some of the challenges, excitement and preparations we see in Archadeck’s 2013 crystal ball:

—–  Home Shows  —– 

We will again be displaying at the Des Moines Home & Garden Show (February 7th – 10th, 2013; Iowa Events Center/Hy-Vee Hall) and at the Home Builders Association Home & Remodeling Show (March 8 – 10, 2013; Iowa State Fairgrounds/Varied Industries Building).

Custom Outdoor Living Space Design and Plan, Archadeck of Central Iowa

Custom Outdoor Living Space Design and Plan, Archadeck of Central Iowa

But, you don’t have to wait to see us at a Home Show.  In fact, if you’ve got a pre-Summer “deadline” (maybe needing a deck or porch or patio for a graduation party or wedding?), I’d highly  (highly!) encourage you to not wait.   We have a number of 2012 clients who have already approached us about “phase 2” planning (“phasing” projects is also becoming more common; for example, doing a room/porch one year and a patio the next).  We also have a queue of several proposals from late 2012 under consideration with January decision timeframes (some with those aforementioned deadlines).

—–  Econ 101  —–

With demand and popularity come higher prices, particularly with the building materials that go into our projects.  But on top of that, re-building efforts from massive and devastating storms like Hurricane Sandy and the Joplin tornado further stress supply and demand resources.   Construction industry watchers are forecasting 3% – 8% increases in building material prices over the coming years (source:  Ken Simonson, Chief Economist AGC of America, 9/21/12) .   The last few years have made providers lean, so absorbing these costs will be difficult for us.   Which I know makes purchasing decisions more difficult for you.  But it doesn’t have to be all bad news.  Done right – better building by design – does add value.  And again, if you can catch us early you might beat some of these price increases.

—–  Products, Supply Chain and Relationships  —–

Because of our national presence and our outdoor living industry leadership position, Archadeck has forged various forms of preferred supplier relationships with major manufacturers in the outdoor living arena, including:

There were some interesting partnerships and acquisitions within those suppliers last year and we’re looking forward to some exciting enhancements in their product lines as a result.

Azek acquired the TimberTech business last year.  What that means going forward is yet to be totally realized; for the time being the brands and products are being maintained independently.  I would anticipate some very positive outcomes from this in regards to new and improved product offerings in the near future.

From TimberTech Direct, Radiance Rail with Feeney's Cable Rail, new in 2013.

From TimberTech Direct, Radiance Rail with Feeney’s Cable Rail, new in 2013.

One precursor to what may be ahead with the Azek/TimberTech deal may be seen in the partnership TimberTech and Feeney Architectural Products developed to integrate Feeney’s Cable Rail system into TimberTech’s new Radiance Rail systems.

Locally, I am also working to forge a stronger relationship with Trex.

Trex Transcends Front Porch, West Des Moines

Trex Transcends Front Porch, West Des Moines

We’ve become a big fan of Trex’s Transcends decking and railing products.  In fact, we just finished a Trex Transcends front porch project in West Des Moines a couple of weeks ago.  Trex’s RainEscape product is becoming our under-decking drainage system of choice as well.  Several recent Des Moines-area Trex deck projects are lined up for review and I have paperwork completed and ready to be submitted…for what will soon make us the first TrexPro contractor in the Des Moines area.  We are excited to attain this level of local support with Trex, the number one decking/railing manufacturer in the country.   Stay tuned for more details on this relationship.

Vendors working together make it better for all of us downstream.  And with the relationships Archadeck has forged with these major suppliers, it makes it even better when you work with Archadeck.  The direct support we get from these relationships helps all of us, both before and after an outdoor living space project is designed, sold and constructed.

—-  Re-Energize  —–

The annual Archadeck workshop, held in conjunction with the other brands in our Outdoor Living Brands, Inc. family will be coming up in late January.   It’s a nice time to re-connect and network with our colleagues around the country and learn from those shared experiences.  In addition, we’ll be introduced to new business strategies from our franchise advisory groups.  I always come away from these meetings re-energized for a new season and am looking forward to this again.

—–  Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words  —–

A few blog posts back, I mentioned plans to expand our offerings of project pictures beyond what we have on our web site and Facebook photo galleries to include Pinterest and Photosynth.  Those plans are…aside from adding some pins to my personal Pinterest site and adding a couple of panoramic “synths” to our Photosynth site…still in the planning phase.  But, I am committed to integrating these further into our web presence over the coming weeks.  So, look for announcements on these in the near future.

Slide09XOur online themes (across our web site, Facebook page, etc.) for the past few weeks has been a seasonal wish for “Merry Outdoor Living in the Happy New Year!”  Beyond that, thank you for your readership here and your support of Archadeck of Central Iowa.   And, if you need to improve your merry-making capabilities in your Central Iowa outdoor living space in 2013 – or beyond, we look forward to hearing from you soon.  Feel free to download our complimentary Design Guide, contact us via our web site and/or give us a call.

Best wishes for a Happy and Prosperous 2013!

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More Backyards Than Time…Where Did Summer Go?

Regular readers of this blog about Central Iowa’s premier designer and builder of decks, porches, patios and accessories surrounding outdoor living may have noticed a lengthy gap in my writing here.  This can best be summed up as:

So many backyards.  So little time.  And now…its Labor Day weekend already.  Where did the summer go?

Its been a big year for Archadeck of Central Iowa.  We started off fast with a very mild Winter and a balmy Spring.  Then, Summer got hot, and so did demand for our custom-designed and built outdoor living spaces.  So we sweated through it and many folks around Des Moines and Central Iowa are enjoying their new outdoor living spaces.

Screen Porch & Patio, Grinnell

The Davis’ in Grinnell have a peaceful space with a new screen porch and patio built around their existing garden and water feature areas.  The outdoor kitchen we integrated into their patio offers a great space for cooking and preparing the harvest from their gardening efforts.

Patio Paradise, Urbandale

The Lytle’s in Urbandale have a new backyard paradise complete with a low-maintenance wood-alternative deck and Belgard Mega Arbel patio.  This space is accessorized with stone seat walls, a gas firepit, an outdoor kitchen, a hot tub and a low-voltage lighting system for nighttime ambiance.  The Lytle’s christened their new backyard paradise by hosting their daughter’s wedding reception on the patio.

Belgard Patio, Johnston

The Glenn’s in Johnston replaced their deck with a completely hardscaped outdoor living space.  Their patio, too, features Belgard Mega Arbel pavers, a lighted corner wall area for their firepit seating group and a bar/counter integrated with their existing outdoor kitchen.  The design we created also relocated their hot tub in a more convenient location.  Someone celebrated a significant birthday on the patio shortly after our completion.  Who and which one will remain our secret.  What happens on an Archadeck patio, stays on an Archadeck patio.

Of course, those aren’t the only three projects we’ve done, but in the interest of time…those three projects cover a lot of ground.  Literally.

Not only am I behind writing about our outdoor living projects, I’m also behind in getting pictures from these projects and getting those pictures into the photo galleries in our web site.  So stay tuned and check our web site often.  Obviously, I have some pictures – but not as “clean” or organized as I would like.  So what you see above are the first ones published from these outdoor living projects – an exclusive for you, our patient blog readers!

Because what we do is so “visual,” people frequently tell us how helpful it is to see project pictures of our work and as examples of what we could do for them (you).  I am fond of saying, “words are important,” and they are.  But, there is also the “a picture is worth a thousand words” school of thought.  I think it might be more like a picture being worth a million words in today’s internet world of social media, smart/camera phones and tablet technology.  So, for that reason, I am formulating plans to expand our offerings of project pictures beyond what we have on our web site and Facebook photo galleries; that expansion would include:

  • Pinterest – For those of you not familiar with Pinterest yet, its an on-line pinboard application that allows you to “pin” and organize pictures (and related articles) found on internet sites for future reference.  I plan to get a Pinterest site set up for Archadeck of Central Iowa in the coming weeks.  But, in the meantime, feel free to follow my personal Pinterest site, HaroldCross.  While “personal,” I’m primarily using it to learn about Pinterest and how/if it can benefit my Archadeck business so it has a real “outdoor living” feel to it.  I’ve started some collections (boards) of pictures I’ve saved – outside of Archadeck sites – that I can use for design inspiration and ideas in our custom design process.  So, if you want to get a sense of things I like – besides Archadeck spaces and structures – check out my personal Pinterest site.   Feel free to re-pin from there or to pin pictures from our deck , porch and patio galleries in the Archadeck of Central Iowa web site.
  • Photosynth – Now this is really cool!  A prospective client I talked to about a screen porch project on the south side of Des Moines turned me on to this….thank you!  Photosynch is a Microsoft-supported app that allows you to take panoramic photos and then upload, organize and present those panoramic views via a web site.   And by “panoramic,” I mean…panoramic!  360-degree (as soon as I figure that out), interactive zoom and rotation, horizontal/vertical scrolling…make yourself as dizzy as you want!  I’m on an experimental basis here, too…and still “practicing” with the techniques to get decent results.  But, I’ve got an Archadeck of Central Iowa public Photosynth site set up with views from a Des Moines deck, patio and open porch project we did in 2008…in my backyard (facilitates the experiment).  If you’re willing to follow my experiment, check it out (click the links here or search Archadeck_Central_Iowa on the Photosynth home page)…and watch for future panoramic views of other Central Iowa backyards.  I think this is going to be really fun!

We’ve accomplished much more in backyards around the Des Moines area this Summer and more projects remain to be built.  But hopefully this fills in the gap a bit.  Thanks for your patience and loyal following.  Stay tuned, I’ll fill in more gaps with more Archadeck designed and built outdoor living space project news as Summer fades to Fall.  In the meantime, we wish you an enjoyable Labor Day weekend and a nice (cooler!) Fall season of outdoor living.

Go outside and play!