Enclosed Patios – Designs for a New Indoor/Outdoor Space

enclosed patios designedWhen it comes to enclosed patios designs are sometimes extremely simple or fairly complex. It’s most important that the design fits your family. Here at Structurally Speaking, we don’t have cookie cutter solutions. Instead, we design custom indoor/outdoor living spaces to meet your specific needs.

Benefits to having an enclosed patio include the following:

  • More space to entertain
  • A safe area for kids and pets to play, even if your backyard isn’t fenced
  • You can enjoy the outdoors without the bugs
  • The roof gives you plenty of shade, even on the hottest summer days
  • Your family gains an extra living space

This isn’t a complete list of benefits, but suffice it to say enclosing your patio is a great option! Here’s what you need to know about enclosed patios, screened porches, and other indoor/outdoor living space options.

Is Enclosing Your Patio Possible?

If you have an existing patio that you’re thinking of enclosing, the first question you may have is if it is even possible. From a structural standpoint, the answer is probably yes! However, it depends on your specific situation. The good news is that we can give you the space you want through our personalized design approach, even if enclosing your current patio isn’t the best plan.

First, we’ll look at the foundation for the existing patio. On the ground floor, many patios sit directly on the ground using concrete, but this may not be the case with your patio. We need to make sure that your patio can support the weight of walls and a roof, and that this would be legal based on the city/county building codes in your area. The same is true of a second or third floor patio or balcony. It has to be able to bear the weight of the enclosure. Before we start, we’ll do a full assessment to ensure that enclosing the patio would be safe.

Next, we need to check any rules set forth by your homeowner’s association (if you have one). Most of the time, enclosing a patio is not a problem. However, you may need to submit paperwork for approval. You don’t want to get halfway through the first day of construction only to have an angry HOA president knocking on your door because you didn’t get approval!

Depending on your existing patio and your exact location, you may need a construction permit. Like with HOA approval, this is usually not an issue, just a step we need to take. We’ll handle this for you based on the patio design and your local requirements.

If we determine that we cannot safely enclose your patio, don’t worry! We’ll sit down with you to determine what we can do that will give you the same affect. For example, maybe your patio was built without a strong foundation. In this case, we can remove the old tiles or pavers and build an enclosed patio from scratch. We take pride in finding creative solutions to make our clients happy.

Enclosed Porches and Enclosed Patios – Designs You’ll Love

With our unique consultation and design process, we can create the porch or patio enclosure you really want. Here’s how it works:

Step One: Your Free Initial Consultation

Building a new piece to your home can be stressful if you work with a company that isn’t a good fit. Before we commit to your project, we sit down for a full consultation with you. We’ll discuss your ideas for your enclosed patio, porch, or other outdoor living space. Additionally, we’ll give you some of our own ideas about how you can make your space truly shine.

This consultation is completely free and there are no strings attached. We want to make sure we are the right design team for you. You need to feel confident that we can bring your patio or porch ideas to life. Not sure what you want? We can help in this case as well! During your consultation, we’ll ask questions about how you plan to use the space, as well as look at the existing architecture. We can help you form the best patio or porch design plan for your home.

Additionally, during this consultation, we’ll talk about your budget. We don’t give you a surprise bill at the end of your project. When you work with Structurally Speaking, you’ll know upfront how much your enclosed porch or patio will cost. We don’t think it’s fair to quote a low price and then suddenly run over budget before the project is even halfway done. So, we talk about money upfront and make sure that our designs fit your budget.

Step Two: Your Design Presentation

After the initial consultation, we get to work designing your new covered patio. Depending on your design consultation, we can also create plans for a sunroom, three season room, screened porch, hot tub deck, or other indoor/outdoor space. Some of our clients start off thinking they want one thing, but quickly realize they want something else. We’re flexible and will design the perfect space to meet your needs.

Our owner, Jim, designs every single project himself. We don’t use the same design for every client or outsource the work to someone who’s never seen your home. He uses everything you discuss in your initial consultation to design options for your new space.

During your design presentation, you can speak with Jim about any changes you’d like to make to the design. Before we start to build, we want to get your new patio, porch, or sunroom exactly right.

Step Three: Time to Build!

Once you are completely happy with your patio design, we’ll start the building process. At this point, you might think you’ll never see Jim again. Wrong! Jim oversees the building process as well to ensure that your patio design translates perfectly to real life.

In other words, we’re part of the entire process from start to finish. We don’t hire subcontractors to finish the job, and we don’t do a sub-par job and then disappear with your money. The design you see on paper is exactly what you get in real life. We’ll make sure of it!

Enclosed Patio Ideas – Common Features Our Clients Love

If you’re not totally sure what you want for your enclosed patio, we can show you pictures of our past projects. While no two clients/homes are the same, you might see some common features that many clients love. This can help springboard your own ideas about what you want in a new patio.

First and foremost, many of our clients decide that they want a combination indoor/outdoor space. This could be a sunroom that leads to a porch, a three-season room that leads to a patio, a screened porch that leads to a deck, etc. In short, your new space will include areas that are enclosed and areas that are open if you choose this option.

If you have an existing deck or patio, we’ll take this into consideration as we design your new space. Sometimes, it makes more sense to add on a sunroom or enclosed porch that leads to your current patio or deck. Other times, it makes sense to enclose the patio you already have and add on a deck. We’ll work with you to figure out what is best for the space in terms of both design and budget.

Another common element among our clients is some kind of fire feature. With enclosed patios designs we can consider including outdoor fireplaces and other features that we can safely add under a roof. You have more flexibility with a deck or patio without a roof. In this case, you can consider adding a fire pit, fire column, fire table, chimera, fireplace, or other type of fire feature. We can even design a space with room for heaters if you want to add warmth without a traditional fire feature.

We also build a lot of spaces that include a place for a hot tub. Hot tub decks and patios are the perfect place to relax after a long day of work. Imagine enjoying a frosty beverage as you sink into the bubbles while watching a movie on your outdoor television. We can make it happen! Just check out this design inspiration from HGTV for beautiful hot tub decks and patios.

Even More Patio Ideas – Decor Tips to Make Your Space Beautiful

Our primary job is to build good bones within your new enclosed patio design. But, we also love to hear details about how you intend to decorate. Decor pieces can give us a sense of your style. We might also have some ideas for built-in features that will complement your decor. So please, show us pictures of the outdoor furniture, curtains, accent pieces, and more during your initial consultation.

One of our biggest recommendations is to pay close attention to how the sun will affect the space. With an enclosed porch or patio, you won’t get as much sun as you have in the past. However, we’ll build the space to let in the natural light. Choose curtains to match how you’ll use the patio. Sheer options will let in a lot of light, but do not give you as much privacy, for example. On the other hand, thicker curtains, shutters, and blinds allow you to block the sun (and the neighbor’s view), but may not give you the breezy, open feeling you want.

You will likely want furniture for your patio. We recommend outdoor furniture, which is easier to clean and resists weather damage. If you have a specific set or piece you plan to purchase, we can build your patio with the dimensions in mind. For example, maybe you want a perfect nook for a little breakfast table and set of chairs. Maybe you want to create a game room complete with a large poker table. Or, maybe you want an area for a porch swing. The sky is the limit!

If you know how you want to decorate in advance, we can also make sure to show you colors that will match the overall vibe. We have options for flooring, and of course many paint colors for your walls. Additionally, we can help you choose stain or paint colors for any built-in features like planters or benches. Neutrals are of course popular, but if you prefer bolder colors, we’ve got that covered too.

How Much Will Your New Patio Space Cost?

As mentioned, we discuss patio costs during your initial consultation so there are no surprises along the way. We can work with most budgets. Since our patios are completely custom, we can’t give you a flat price here on our website, but these are a few things that will affect the cost:

  • The patio size along with any additional spaces we’ll be building, such as adding a deck
  • If you have an existing patio or are starting from scratch
  • Special features, such as adding a hot tub
  • The exact building materials and finishes you choose
  • If you need electrical or plumbing in this space
  • The materials you choose for the windows (screens versus glass)

Remember, one of the biggest benefits of adding any kind of indoor/outdoor living space is that it will increase the value of your home. So, this is a great investment for your family.

We provide a breakdown of the costs and can work with you to find solutions in your budget. Remember, there are no strings attached to start. We recommend booking your initial consultation to get a full picture of the costs.

If you’re ready to get started, click here to contact us. We’d love to add your project to our schedule.

Make Your World More Relaxing – Create a Deck with Hot Tub

deck with hot tubIf you’re feeling a bit stressed and wondering if adding a deck with hot tub to your world may help, you’re not alone. A spa with flowing water may be exactly what you need for a sense of well-being and peace. In fact, Herman Melville acknowledges our intrinsic attraction to this liquid gold in Moby Dick.

“…whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can…”

Likely, the allure of water began with time itself. Initially, it was a matter of survival. Civilizations popped up around oceans, lakes, rivers and streams. The flowing waters within are essential to life. Moreover, water calms us; it invigorates us. Notably, the word spa comes from the Latin “salas per aquam”. Literally, this means “health from water.” Hot tubs of one sort or another have been used since ancient times, and the three ways in which they heal the body have remained consistent.

More importantly, the soothing effects of water keep us from “methodically knocking people’s hats off.” While Structurally Speaking certainly doesn’t agree with knocking accessories off of each other, we would like to knock your socks off with our creative hot tub deck design!

A Deck with Hot Tub is Delightful

Obviously, we can’t install the sea into your backyard. However, we can make your outdoor space delightful all the same. Trust us, if we could bring the ocean to you, we would. Although, if you combine a deck with hot tub fun, it makes your outdoor living space a soothing water wonderland.

Before we get into the details of designing a hot tub deck, let’s consider how a spa deck enhances your enjoyment of outdoor space. First, think about how you use your outdoor space. We find that many of our clients have three common goals.

The Real Way to Relax

Whether you have a patio, wood deck, concrete pad or just a small backyard, being outside seems to soothe the soul. Getting up early and heading outside to hear the birds welcome the morning is a peaceful way to begin your day. Similarly, it’s a fabulous way to decompress and end it as well. Lounge on your outdoor furniture as the sun sinks sleepily into the horizon. Let the stress and worries of the day set with it. Read a book; enjoy some music. Or, simply sit and watch the fireflies as the sound of nature plays in the background.

Enjoy Entertaining

Perhaps, you prefer to share these entertaining moments with others. Joining friends and family in your yard space is a great way to do that. Especially, this is true now that many more folks are gathering in their yard rather than indoors. Gathering on outdoor furniture and chatting is a safe way to enjoy each other’s company. Or, playing a round of cards, board games or yard games is a perfect way to enjoy your existing deck, patio or backyard deck. Adding an outdoor hot tub to that idea makes it even more entertaining and relaxing.

Beautify Your Outdoor Living Space

Sometimes, creating an outdoor oasis is simply about enhancing the beauty of your home. We tend to focus on the inside. Extending the ambiance outdoors creates an even more pleasing environment. Plus, adding aesthetics to your yard increases the value of your house. Therefore, if you ever wish to sell, your addition will pay off. Not only is it an investment that you can enjoy while you’re there, future homeowners will appreciate your efforts as well. Hot tub installation increases this value even further.

Creative Work Space

Moreover, we’ve also noticed a new goal our clients desire. Obviously, the trend of working-from-home is on the rise. Even when our world gets back to some sort of normalcy, many people enjoy this opportunity. Having the option to work outside on the perfect deck is a useful way to add a square foot or two to your work space. Better yet, a deck with hot tub waiting for you to hop in for a quick break is a fabulous job perk!

Common Hot Tub Deck Questions

Next, let’s address a few questions that our clients have about their hot tub deck. Foremost, can you put hot tub on decking? The short answer is absolutely! However, you do need a professional who understands how to properly reinforce a deck to support the weight of the hot tub once water is in it. An existing deck may have older boards that are rotting. Rotting wood could collapse under the weight. Additionally, your existing deck may not be built to code which means excess weight could be dangerous.

Fortunately, our team at Structurally Speaking has decades of experience in deck design and can find issues that may exist. Likewise, we use our expertise to adjust your existing deck if needed. While we thrive on creative design, safety is our most important goal.

Similarly, you may wonder what size hot tub will best match your needs? Often, this boils down to your outdoor space, patio or deck size. Personal preference and budget also come into play. Speaking of budget, that’s generally a good place to start and then you can work backwards. After all, once you know how much you want to spend, it’s easier to narrow down what may work best.

The Process of Designing and Building Your Hot Tub Deck

During our free consultation, we go over these questions and more. In fact, we have an entire process to make sure that we meet your needs from start to finish.

We begin with an initial free consultation. This meeting is the most important step — it allows us to lay the groundwork for a successful construction project. During this detailed consultation, we go through a series of questions and examples. Likewise, we focus on finding the specific functional and aesthetic goals you want to meet. Getting to know you individually helps us get a better feel for what you need and want.

After taking extensive measurements and photographs, we take a physical survey of the area and the home itself. This process also includes the impact the project will have on the interior view from the home. Then, we take time to discuss your budget, making sure all parties have a realistic idea of what to expect. If everybody agrees, we schedule a second meeting.

This second meeting is your design presentation. At this point, we complete a review of your functional and aesthetic goals of the building project, ensuring we meet your needs and desires. Our owner, Jim Brennan, offers you at least two design recommendations, which are scaled drawings that show all elevations and viewpoints.

These scaled drawings are done with a laptop computer which allows you to actually visualize the drawings in three-dimensional clarity. After discussing these recommendations, you choose the design you like the most. At that point, you and the designer will make any changes needed, until it is the exact design you envision on your home. Then, and only then, a decision is made as whether or not to do business and move to the next step.

Once you verify changes and agree on the design, we move forward to project construction. From the moment our specialists arrive on your property to the minute we leave, Structurally Speaking promises to be thorough, attentive and respectful of your property. We strive to minimize the intrusion that home construction projects are to you and your family’s lives — we will do everything it takes to expedite the creation of your deck.

Types of Hot Tubs

Finally, let’s get to the fun stuff! Before your meeting, it may help to have an idea of all the hot tub options available. You’ve probably heard of many of the manufacturers. Just a few include Bullfrog Spas, Jacuzzi, Caldera Spas and Thermo Spas. They each have a wide variety of thrilling choices to choose from.

Before you get too ahead of yourself in all these varieties, think first about what size spa you’d like to have. This depends on a few criteria. First, think about how many folks you wish to have in the spa at one time. Hot tub owners sometimes prefer a cozy 2-person bubbly addition or want to go for larger fun that fits up to 8 people at a time. Second, consider each square foot your spa will take up. Make sure you’ll still have room for other activities in your outdoor space. Third, your budget may affect how large a spa you wish to purchase. If you’re not sure what you want yet, don’t worry. We can help!

Then, decide on the shape and how your spa will rest on your patio or decking. The most traditional shapes are a square or round hot tub. However, more unique shapes are available. Next, determine what sort of hot tub platform you’ll use for your new hot tub. Will you opt for a sunken hot tub or do you prefer for it to rest on your main deck floor?

To spark some design ideas, be sure to check out our gallery of past projects!

Fun Additions to Your Deck

Similarly, think about your deck as whole and other enhancements you can make to the design. For instance, a pergola is a great way to add a little shade and class to your wooden deck. Or, a fire pit to keep you toasty when you hop out of the spa is a great addition for cooler months. Plus, it’s fabulous for s’mores, hot dogs and other delightful activities year-round. Similarly, built-in benches are a great addition. They provide extra space to place towels or guests who decide not to soak!

Think about the overall look as well. You may want the design of an elevated deck that not only adds space but breaks the visual monotony of a one-level deck. Deck lighting comes into play as well. Not only is it visually pleasing, it adds to safety. For instance, lights near each stair make walking safer in the evening. Especially, this is true with slippery, wet feet that have been soaking in the spa!

Finally, consider even the smallest touches. Add some speakers for surround sound. Or, hang some windchimes to sway and sing in the gentle breezes. Planters, string lighting, candles…there are all sorts of fun and useful décor items to enhance your space!

Now that you have all these fabulous ideas, it’s time to find the perfect deck builder!

Choose Expert Project Management in the Triangle Area

Structurally Speaking is one of the leaders. For over a decade, our owner Jim Brennan has provided Raleigh-area homeowners with exceptionally designed construction. His hands-on assistance and the quality of our carpenters is a hallmark of Structurally Speaking and our work.

Jim personally oversees every home improvement project we take on and our excellent builders have worked with him for years. He recognizes that he is responsible for design, construction and overall execution!

Additionally, our team also provides assistance to clients dealing with local homeowner associations and building codes. We help prepare any drawings and other necessary documents regarding materials or appearance. Needless to say, we also acquire all necessary permits.

So, give us a call at 919-786-4825 and we can help bring a little less stress and bit of “salas per aquam” to your world!

The Best Patio Builders in the Triangle and Beyond

Patio BuildersIs there anything more relaxing than spending time in the beautiful outdoors in your own backyard? If you have a great outdoor space, the answer is probably no. But if you don’t have a yard perfect for your family’s needs, give Structurally Speaking a call. They are the top deck and patio builders in the Triangle for good reason. For more than a decade, they have been helping Triangle customers with top quality home improvement projects. They have many satisfied customers in Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, and the surrounding areas. Their goal is to ensure each and every customer is more than satisfied. From design to construction, they will ensure that you get the outdoor patio or deck of your dreams. So, check out what makes them the leader below.

The Area’s Top Patio Builders

No matter what kind of outdoor space you want, Structurally Speaking can build it! Their expert deck and patio builders have decades of experience with every kind of project imaginable. Not sure what’s possible for your yard? Their experts can present you with an array of options. Know exactly what you want but need someone dependable to build it? They can handle that, too. Maybe your family wants the ultimate in relaxation? Let Structurally Speaking build a hot tub deck you can enjoy for years to come. Just be prepared for all the extra visitors that will want to come over.

Which Size Patio Is Right for You?

One of the biggest questions most customers have is: what size deck or patio is right for me? Most simply, there is no blanket answer to that question. After all, what’s right for one person might be totally wrong for another. The key is understanding that every family has its own specific needs and wants. Some families may want an area that soaks in the sun for a number of activities. Other families may want an enclosed space for shade and relaxation. Similarly, some families may want a small sitting focal point for games and dining. Others might want a larger space for a wide variety of activities. Luckily, Structurally Speaking understands very well that no two families are the same. That’s why they provide a customized approach to each project every step of the way. From design to construction and installation they can build the beautiful deck or patio you’ve always wanted.

Get Your Free Estimate Today

Wondering how a deck or patio can enhance your home? Check out Structurally Speaking’s gallery of projects for some inspiration. Or, just check out the beautiful quality of their work. They believe that quality work speaks for itself. But they also believe that customer satisfaction is the most important part of business. As such, they get most of their customers from referrals. So, check out the many highly rated reviews of their projects. Read for yourself how Structurally Speaking can make both design and construction a breeze.

As with many home improvement projects, construction costs can vary greatly depending on size, materials, etc. But Structurally Speaking understands that it’s impossible to begin planning without a realistic idea of what things will cost. That’s why they have made getting your free quote as simple and easy as possible. Simply fill out their quick and easy form and they will be in touch. And remember, these free quotes also come with no obligation. So, there’s no reason not to contact them once you’re thinking about improving your home.

So, give the experts a call today at 919-786-4825 for more information.

Deck and Patio Builders – What you Need to Know Before Hiring One

deck and patio buildersIn North Carolina, the weather allows for a great deal of enjoyable time in an outdoor space. That is why many homeowners are seeking decking contractors to build them an outside living space. However, before jumping into that endeavor, there are important questions to consider. First, you need to understand what affects the building cost. Second, you must know what you should expect from deck and patio builders in the Triangle area of NC.

What Affects the Cost of Building a Deck or Patio?

custom deck design has many options. They can be as simple or detailed as a customer wants. Of course, the simplest is the most cost-efficient, yet may not have everything you desire. So, here are a few factors that affect the cost of building a deck or patio.

  • Size – Square footage is a big factor in the cost. The smaller the area the less materials and labor needed. As the deck or patio design grows in size, so does the amount of materials and labor time.
  • Material – Decking and patio materials vary. Options include natural wood, pressure-treated wood, and plastics and composites.
    • Natural wood – Typically cheaper than composite but requires more maintenance. Additionally, wood needs weatherproofing and sometimes staining. Yet, it is a popular choice because of its beauty. Moreover, there are multiple wood types to choose, such as, Bamboo, Redwood and Tigerwood.
    • Pressure-treated wood – This material is affordable and durable. The chemical in this wood deters insects from attacking it. A new oil-based sealant coats this treated wood to protect humans from the chemical.
    • Plastics and composites – These are the most-costly choices. However, this material needs much less maintenance, so it can save money in the future. These materials come in various colors and there are grain designs that replicate the look of natural wood.
  • Stairs and rails – Cost also depends on the height of the deck. For example, how many stairs you require and the length of the railing determines the cost. Railing materials are available in composite, wood, or stainless and aluminum. The costs vary according to brand and style.
  • Add-ons – For homeowners that want to take their deck or patio designs to the next level, there are add-ons. Bench seating, pergolas and planters are all options to consider. Yet, these add-ons are beautiful and add functionality to a custom deck.

Look for these in Deck and Patio Builders in the Triangle

  • Professionalism – These contractors must provide clients with the absolute best in service, originality and functionality in every project.
  • Experience –Structurally Speaking’s owner has nearly two decades of outdoor living space designing and building experience in the Raleigh area.
  • Consultation – Providing clients a chance to voice their wants and needs is vital. Moreover, your contractor must take this information and incorporate it in the project. This is also the perfect time to discuss budget.
  • Design options – You want to have choices in decking styles. For example, hot tub decks are a popular option in North Carolina. In addition, it is important to have options when choosing decking materials.
  • Project follow-through – Structurally Speaking treats each project with a sense of priority and completes them in an appropriate timeframe. You will not feel like just another job number.
  • Honesty – A thorough review of your budget and pricing is important to discuss at the initial consultation. Thus, you will have an honest and realistic idea of what to expect as your final cost. In addition, you should not have any surprises or hidden fees.
  • Great customer service – When hiring someone for custom decking, you need your contractor to hear and address your questions and concerns. Moreover, you deserve to know what is happening at each step of the project. Communication is vital during a large project.

Structurally Speaking Equals Outdoor Living Space

It is clear, upon reviewing these traits, that Structurally Speaking in the Raleigh-Durham area fulfills all of the requirements. When you hire Structurally Speaking to create your custom deck or patio, you will receive only the best. In fact, they embody all of the above qualities needed in decking contractors. But, they also promote a work ethic that includes quality, trustworthy values. They share your dream of an outdoor living space and they will go above-and-beyond to make it come to life.

Their simple design and build process gives you a clear understanding of what to expect with your outdoor space project. For more information on a price estimate, just fill out the contact form, email, or call them at 919-786-4825. Let the deck and patio builders at Structurally Speaking make your custom deck or patio dreams a reality.