Tag Archives: porches

Navigating the Curves of Decks…and Life

question-pic-01In one sense, I’m not sure where this is going to go. In another sense, I know exactly where its going.

Starting with what I know…

For one, I know we’re going outdoors. Outdoors in Central Iowa. Where we’ve always been…on Archadeck designed-and-built decks, porches and patios around Des Moines and the surrounding area.

For two, I know we’re going to move. We have hosted this “An Outdoor Living Space” blog on WordPress since its inception in the fall of 2009. Counting this post, we’ve published 87 posts on our blog here to date and there have been over 100,000 views of these posts over this timeframe. All a testament to the popularity and interest in outdoor living spaces as a valuable and necessary extension of your home and our experience in successfully bringing those spaces to life in hundreds of Central Iowa backyards. Thank you for following and reading us here over the years…wherever you live.

For three, I know where we’re going to move. In concert with this post, we will be transitioning to hosting our blogging on our central-iowa.archadeck.com web site. Look for the same outdoor living conversations and content at the “Our Blog” tab at central-iowa.archadeck.com. We look forward to seeing you on the other side! We will keep the historical content here and we’ll occasionally post on “An Outdoor Living Space” here, too, for nostalgia purposes. So don’t lose us here!

Now, as far as what I don’t know…

curves-pic-012016 threw us a couple of curves. Personally, the curve was physical and mental…the way a hard-breaking Nolan Ryan curve ball leaves your knees weak…and the way a Joe Frazier rounder punch to the gut leaves you gasping for air.  And more.  Professionally, the curve was visual…geometry and radiuses coming together…bringing soft and aesthetically pleasing curves to lines in a world that are too often harsh and rigidly square.

What I don’t know is how far to go in connecting the dichotomy of these two “curves.”  In my mind, they are connected because when you own your own small business, everything in your life is connected. There are certainly personal and professional lines, but they are blurred – if not erased – more than they are clear. So its hard for me to ignore the personal “curve” – the tragic accident this past spring that took the life of our granddaughter’s father and severely injured her mother…our daughter – and the impact that event had on me, personally and professionally.  Suffice it to say that if you’ve noticed a “silence” here (nearly 18 months since my last post), this “curve” was a significant factor in that.

But, amidst the events of that tragedy and our daughter’s subsequent miraculous (and ongoing) recovery, the business of Archadeck of Central Iowa continued and, in fact, thrived. Thanks in great part to the entire Archadeck team (David Cross, construction manager; Nolan Benge, design consultant; our crews) who stepped up to spell me when I was otherwise consumed with our family’s tragedy (particularly in the spring…our really busy season). Part of the thriving, too, is the nice outdoor living project opportunities our clients continue bringing us to design and build. Thank you for those opportunities! 3 of those opportunities this year resulted in deck spaces featuring significant curved features, something we’ve done once before but something we see becoming more popular and curved-decks-des-moines-archadeck-01commonplace…like curved patios. So commonplace, in fact, that we invested in and acquired our own Trex Custom Curve machine to help facilitate curved decks with curved decking in those 3 projects in and around Des Moines (with many more to come). Don’t let the Trex name fool you, we can (and have) also curved Azek decking in addition to Trex’s decking products. So, that was the professional “curve” thrown us this year. And with that, we’re now ready to throw you some curves! Continue to watch our web site’s photo galleries and our new blog site there for more photos and information on our Des Moines area curved deck projects and capabilities.

profile-hcOne last point of closure as we transition this blog to our web site, speaking of connections and personal and professional lines being blurred: A couple of years ago, I started a side blog project called “Outdoor Living Notes” where I occaisionally write about the convergence of two passions of mine: outdoor living and music. One professional, one personal…but with more connections and overlap than one might think (especially if you don’t think like me). Needless to say, that site, too, has been quiet as a result of the curves thrown at me this year. But, music being the healer it can be and has been, there are a lot of pent up words to be written there, too. So, look for that to soon become active again; give it a read…listen, too, if you’d like. The “Outdoor Living Notes” blog will remain here on WordPress.

Go Outside and Play!  Run circles (curves) while you’re at it!  Then circle on over to our web site-based version of “An Outdoor Living Space.”  See you there!

Profile with Sig - 2015

 

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For Sale: Central Iowa Outdoor Living At Its Best!

Want to Avoid this Hassle?

Want to Avoid this Hassle?

Normally, a multi-day – and even multi-week (for larger projects) – construction process is necessary for you to have a brand new Archadeck outdoor living space. But, here is a rare opportunity to own a new, beautiful, low-maintenance deck, porch and patio, custom designed and built by Archadeck…without the hassle of construction! Magic. Bang. There it is…right in your Central Iowa backyard.

I know many of our hundreds of past clients would have liked that opportunity.   But, this opportunity is very unique (first time in 12 years)…and fleeting.

“How?” you ask. “Got to be a trick,” you say.

The magical space “appeared” over the winter and spring of 2014-15 and includes a deck, open porch and fire pit patio area overlooking a pond in a Waukee neighborhood, west of Des Moines. TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions capped-composite decking provides beautiful and low-maintenance enjoyment of the deck and porch area. The stamped concrete patio with Rockwood Wall Stone for the firepit and seat walls as its focal point, is surrounded by raised planter beds in the same wall stone.

Waukee, from Archadeck Open Porch

Waukee, from Archadeck Open Porch

It’s a beautiful place to start the day with morning coffee under the canopy of the porch.   Catch some mid-day rays on the open deck and grill a delicious lunch or dinner meal. A drink around a cozy fire on the patio caps the day. And weekends…this space was made for weekends! Plenty of outdoor space for entertaining larger groups of family or friends.

Stamped Concrete Patio with Fire Pit, Seat Wall

Stamped Concrete Patio with Fire Pit, Seat Wall

Its exactly the space our clients envisioned and they love it. They would also love for you to buy their new Archadeck outdoor living space! And…the home that goes with it.

For Sale - Best backyard in Waukee!

For Sale – Best Backyard in Waukee!

While our clients love their porch and patio and all its surroundings, a career opportunity is leading them to change their surroundings even more than what we did to their backyard. Their opportunity came a bit unexpectedly…and just as we were nearing completion of the build of their project.   The phone call went something like “Harold, we need you to hurry up and get this done. We’re moving to Alabama in June and we need to put our house up for sale. We’d like to enjoy the space a few times before we leave.”

ReMax Real Estate Group

ReMax Real Estate Group

So, “enjoy” they have (a few times) and “moving” they are (in two weeks…to Auburn, Alabama). Their Waukee home was recently put up for sale. And you have the opportunity to buy it…and the (brand) new outdoor living space that goes with it.  The home is listed with Re/Max Real Estate Group. I can’t help but notice the listing shows nearly as many pictures of the backyard outdoor features as it does the interior. I’m not saying it’s the best part of the home, but…you can Go Outside and Play there!

Archadeck Custom Design

Archadeck Custom Design

Our clients were great to work with as they collaborated with us over the course of a couple of years to make sure they got their project “right.”   We all expected them to enjoy the space for years to come. But, this move is good for them and we wish them the best in their new endeavors in Alabama. They are leaving a great backyard – a great home – for someone else. We’re all here to leave the world a better place than we found it, right? Our clients did that. I thought the least we could do here was to promote this project from the perspective of helping our clients ease their transition to Alabama by attracting potential new owners of their home through a new Archadeck-inspired backyard.

So, if you’re in the market for a hone in the Des Moines area, check out the Re/Max Real Estate Group listing for our client’s home in Waukee. If beautiful vistas, and the outdoor spaces to enjoy them from, are high on your list of must-haves, then this home should be high on your list of must-haves.

Profile with Sig - 2015

What Color Is This Des Moines Deck?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! If you’ve followed this blog (thank you) about outdoor living spaces, rooms and accessories around Des Moines and Central Iowa, then you know that there’s always a theme here this time of year: Color! Playing off, of course…green beer.

I’m always fearful of recycling this content, fearing that you’ll lose interest and the lack of creativity will drive you away. But, you don’t seem to mind as these posts, collectively, are still some of our most popular…just like green beer.

What Color Is This Dress?

What Color?

So this year, on the heels of the recent release of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” movie and the “What Color is this Dress?” viral social media story, we’re playing off more than just green beer.  New color stories seem to be everywhere, including in the Archadeck world of decks, porches, patios and…(stay tuned) outdoor furniture.

New color offerings in the world of decking include:

  • Trex Transcends capped composite decking now comes in two new colors since last spring: Island Mist and Havana Gold . These add two more hues to the already vibrant tropical color line that still includes Spiced Rum, Tiki Torch and Lava Rock.
  • TimberTech expanded their very popular Earthwood Evolutions Legacy collection of capped composite with a nice Ashwood color. In their Terrain value collection, 3 colors were added: Rustic Elm, Silver Maple and Stone Ash.
  • Azek introduced a beautiful new Vintage Collection of PVC decking just this spring; the 3 color offerings in this line include Cypress, Dark Hickory and Mahogony.
Trex Transcends - Spiced Rum over Lava Rocks

Trex Transcends – Spiced Rum over Lava Rocks

For those keeping score, that’s 9 new color offerings across just those three brands of wood-alternative decking products in the past year. Breaking that score down further, 4 of those were some shade of grey. Believe it or not, 50 shades of grey decking is not beyond the realm of possibility…someday.

burst_DR_ExpressYourselfIn the world of railing, I think Feeney’s DesignRail aluminum system has introduced the biggest color splash for spring: BOLD COLORS!  The opposite of grey.  Bold, as in green, blue, red, orange and yellow…nearly all the colors of a vibrant rainbow!

In an effort to accommodate these ever-changing colors in the world of decking and railing, we re-worked our office and design studio last spring to allow more flexibility in our displays of these products. When you’re ready to custom-design your outdoor living space with us, we’ve got a very effective facility to help take the “fear of the unknown” out of your decision-making process.

Archadeck Office & Design Studio

Archadeck Office & Design Studio

In the Archadeck world, a whole new spectrum of colors has been introduced through our new offering this spring of Casuwel outdoor living furniture and accessories. Archadeck of Central Iowa – along with our Casuwel All CollectionsOutdoor Living Brands, Inc. franchise cohorts, – is proud to announce that we are now certified sales reps for Casuwel premium outdoor furniture. We offer substantial savings off published internet prices and our initial offering consists of 4 woven collections, all with a wide variety of color and pattern fabric options for their cushion options. Accessories include pillows, rugs and umbrellas…also offered in a wide assortment of colors. Did I say colors? We have all the weave and fabric samples in our office and design studio now, along with brochures and catalogs. So, we can easily work with you to configure the furniture needs of your outdoor living space – whether an existing space or a new Archadeck designed/built space. In early April, we will have two of the Casuwel collections on display in our office / design studio, allowing you to check out the fine quality and styling of Casuwel for yourself.   We are excited to be offering this new product line. Beautiful, custom-designed/built decks, porches and patios, and now the outdoor furniture to allow you to fully enjoy your outdoor living experience.

With the nice, warm weather we’re having, I hope you get a chance to celebrate some of the early rites of spring – St. Patrick’s Day, March Madness (never madder than in Iowa, this year) and the First Day of Spring – outdoors on your decks, patios and porches around Des Moines.   If your outdoor living spaces aren’t up for these types of celebrations, contact us for a free design consultation to see how we can brighten your outdoor living spaces.

Go Outside and Play!

Profile with Sig - 2015

Des Moines Home + Garden + Archadeck | Outdoor Living = 12 Years

Twelve years ago, on a late Friday afternoon, I got off a long-awaited, return-flight home to Des Moines after a 3-week Archadeck orientation training course with our franchisor in Richmond, VA. Two hours later, I was exhibiting Archadeck of Central Iowa’s deck and porch business at my first Des Moines Home + Garden Show.   Talk about hitting the ground running!

Twelve years ago, all the exhibitors (and attendees) were crammed into Veterans Memorial Auditorium – both floors. The buzz and energy in the building was exciting – as was my experience as a first-time exhibitor.

Des Moines Hone + Garden Show

Des Moines Hone + Garden Show

Twelve years later, we are about to embark on our 12th consecutive Des Moines Home + Garden Show. The show starts at noon on Thursday, February 12th, and continues thru Sunday, February 15th at 6pm. Check the show web site for details; you’ll find us nearly where we started 12 years ago…on the lower-level of whats now a building with a name so long it would break the internet if I spelled it out here…but essentially, Vets Auditorium – or “The Barn” – as us old-time Des Moinians still call it.

A lot has changed in 12 years. Or has it? We’re still Archadeck and we’re still in the basement of Vets…and we’re just as excited. Why the excitement after all these years? We’re excited for all that has changed – and continues to change. Here’s the Top 12 exciting changes over our 12 year run at the Des Moines Home + Garden Show:

  1. Hy-Vee Hall…Iowa Events Center. The old Vets – newly repurposed and renamed a few years back – is now integrated with the new Hy-Vee Hall and Wells Fargo Arena facilities and grouped into the Iowa Events Center. None of these latter facilities existed 12 years ago. The addition of the Iowa Events Center complex is representative of the excitement and growth associated with Des Moines over the past decade. That buzz expands to the Des Moines Home + Garden Show every year and the growth and excitement of the show parallels Des Moines as a whole. The show now fills every nook and cranny of Hy-Vee Hall and the exhibition space at Vets. We’ve been in nearly all those nooks and crannies over our 12 years exhibiting there.
  2. Outdoor Living. I said on Sherry Failor’s Welcome Home Des Moines radio show last week that no one really invented “outdoor living.” But, Archadeck was in the “outdoor living” business over 30 years ago. We were always more than decks and porches and we knew that. But, Archadeck’s name – while a well identified and reputable brand – didn’t articulate that very well. What to do? About 6 years ago…Archadeck | Outdoor Living. Moving life outdoors.   In stunning style.
  3. Pressure = Excitement. 4 days before the show and we don’t know what we’re going to put together for our exhibit. How exciting is that? Pressure-filled excitement is what that is. But, always exciting to see it come together.
  4. Lower-Maintenance, Wood-Alternative Products. 12 years ago – and for the first few years – our exhibits were composed of primarily cedar (wood)…cedar deck, cedar pergola, cedar walls. This weekend (as we have for several years), we’ve incorporated 3 –generations of wood-alternative decking into our exhibit as well as stone walls. No wood. Lower maintenance. No splinters.
  5. Low-Maintenance Trex Transcends Deck with OUtdoor Kitchen - West Des Moines

    Low-Maintenance Trex Transcends Deck with Outdoor Kitchen – West Des Moines

    Year-Round Exhibit. The Home + Garden Show demonstrates how beneficial an Archadeck exhibit is to both us and our clients. So, in 2009 we developed and opened a year-round home show, in effect. Our Urbandale office space has evolved with our products and services, and is now an interactive, collaborative, design studio for our clients.

  6. Product Evolutions.  Wood-alternative decking and railing products change every year – new technologies, new aesthetics, improved performance. There are only about 3 boards we’re showing (and using) in our exhibit (in Central Iowa backyards) that existed more than 5 years ago.
  7. Technology, the Internet and Social Media. Twelve years ago I couldn’t write a blog about the Home + Garden Show. Today, I can not only do that, but I can also post photos and reports from the show on Facebook, live-tweet from the show and access our complete photo gallery on my iPad…but since that’s so small, we’ll just stream it on the 52” high-definition monitor we’ve got in our exhibit instead.
  8. Fleetwood Mac. They are opening the show this year! Next door…Wells Fargo Arena…the night before. World Turning.
  9. Casuwel by Archadeck

    Casuwel by Archadeck

    Outdoor Furniture. To truly live outdoors, you need spaces, rooms and accessories for your outdoor life. We’ve designed, incorporated and provided accessories like lighting, outdoor kitchens, bars, fireplaces, fire pits and more in our outdoor living projects for many years. Later this spring, we’re rounding that out with a new, attractive, offering of Caswel outdoor furniture, with exclusive offerings through Archadeck | Outdoor Living and our other Outdoor Living Brands, Inc. family of outdoor-oriented businesses. Look for more news on this later this spring or talk to us about it at the show.

  10. Free Admission Tickets. Free. How exciting is that? Well, not as exciting as winning the nearly $500 million Powerball prize…but your odds are better. Just be one of the first 4 people to message or post to us on our Facebook page to receive 2 complimentary admission tickets to the Des Moines Home + Garden Show. After confirmation, we’ll leave them at Will Call for you. The only requirement is that you stop by our exhibit and say “Hi!”
  11. Valentines Day. Yeah, once in a while…3 or 4 times now, I think, the show lands on Valentine’s Day. Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses at our exhibit! And that’s not yet a name for a Trex, TimberTech or Azek deck board…but I bet its been considered. It would go well with Spiced Rum and Havana Gold (actual Trex Transcends deck color names).
  12. Home + Outdoor Living. Stay tuned for news on this one. Marketplace Events, the promoter of the Des Moines Home + Garden Show has just announced plans for a new (second) show in March of 2016. To be called…The Des Moines Home + Outdoor Living Show.  See bullets 1 and 2, above. With (one of the only companies / exhibitors)  “Outdoor Living” in its name, I think I know where we’re going to be next March. But, is 13 a lucky or unlucky number for us in regards to the Des Moines Home + Garden Show? Stay tuned for more excitement.

I hope to see you at the 2015 Des Moines Home + Garden Show.

Go Outside and Play!

Profile with Sig - 2015