Should you give your outdoor contractor your “real” budget?

We all know that contractors don’t have a standard price list and that there is a degree of contingency and margin in pricing. The unknown is, if we are paying too much. We at Archadeck of Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana understand your reticence about disclosing that budget figure. When choosing a contractor it is important to have confidence in the trustworthiness of that contractor.  We ask to so we can offer solutions and designs that will not exceed what you are comfortable with spending, while trying to give you everything you want included.

There are many different elements involved in a custom outdoor space. Take a deck for example. Options range from standard pressure-treated pine up to Ipe Brazilian hardwood and to it’s price rival PVC (composite) decking. Choosing the higher end material could easily exceed your budget. Then there is railing, ranging from less expensive wood options to a variety of low-maintenance choices like aluminum, iron or PVC. Again going with the high end choice could blow your budget. Add in a custom shape, upgraded stair design, lighting and other options that will add to the expense.


When we at Archadeck of Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana meet for your initial free consultation we will ask what your proposed budget is along with what you want for that money. We will ask about options you want to consider. We do this because we have intimate knowledge of the materials available and years of experience in design options. We can tell you if a particular upgrade is worth the investment. We can suggest a design alternative that could cut costs and leave you some flexibility with upgrades in other areas. Being upfront with your budget in the beginning also speeds the proposal process along as we are not spending time presenting a plan that is more than you care to spend.

Should you give your contractor your “real” budget? The answer to that is YES if you have done your homework and chosen a contractor that you know is reputable, trustworthy, talented, experienced and successful. One of the best ways to know all of that is testimonials from past customers. Check their online reviews. They will either tell a story or they won’t. Low ratings or no ratings should give you pause.

We at Archadeck of Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana invite you to read our customer testimonials. Check out our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, our 5 Star rating with Houzz and Yelp. Do your research. If you talk with more than one contractor give them each the same amount of information about your budget and list of wants and needs. Carefully evaluate the proposed project and materials. And keep in mind that the contractor that says he can start tomorrow may not be your best choice. The best contractors are busy contractors.

Archadeck of Fort Wayne is northeast Indiana’s premier custom outdoor living design and build firm. Our forward thinking designs are built to last, love and enjoy. If you are considering an outdoor space addition to your home or landscape give us a call for a free consultation at (260) 969-8663 or email us at

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Maximize your Outdoor Experiences

In northern Indiana our weather is fickle and summer is over before you know it. Busy lives make finding the time to enjoy outdoor living even more difficult. These Crooked Lake homeowners worked with Archadeck of Northeast Indiana to find a way to maximize their outdoor living area. We designed and built a striking vinyl pergola atop their existing upper level deck to give them some relief from the heat and the sun. In addition, Timber Tech’s Dry Space under deck drainage system was installed along with gutters to keep the lower patio area dry.  A summer shower no longer ends the outdoor fun and the furnishings stay clean and dry.


Vinyl pergola attached to the ledger board and supported by two posts.


Timber Tech’s Dry Space under deck drainage system will keep the ground level patio area dry.


Another view of the Timber Teck Dry Space system. Gutters were installed to channel the water away.

Posted in Archadeck of Fort Wayne Northeastern Indiana, Decks, TimberTech, TimberTech decks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

They hated their deck…

These homeowners bought their house knowing that the deck needed a lot of work and that there was nothing but mud below it. They contacted us to see if we could evaluate whether it was safe or not, and to recommend solutions to make the space more enjoyable, and safe to host the large parties they planned with their view of the golf course.

BLOG before (2)

The existing deck was very tired and was not extremely well built initially. It was time for it to go. The layout was generally good and fit the style of the home, so beyond making a long walk way wider so it could be used for a sitting area just outside the door, we stayed with a similar deck foot print. Because we were going to expand the outdoor living space by adding a patio below the deck, we did add a stair and landing connecting the upper deck to the lower patio area.

The patio was created by adding a retaining wall that also served as an auxiliary seat and plant display. We then installed a patio built to ICPI specifications, using Belgard Mega Libre pavers with a border of Belgard Moduline and Dublin Cobble. The underside of the new deck was treated with TimberTech Dry-Space so that the patio could be enjoyed even if it was raining, while also covering the unsightly deck joists. The deck support posts were wrapped to match the deck above and the underside of the stairs was covered. The patio, deck and railing will require little maintenance beyond normal cleaning.


The materials for the deck were TimberTech Terrains-Brown Oak, capped composite decking with a 25-year fade and stain warranty. Trex Transcends-Rope Swing, composite fascia was chosen because the color was the closest match to the house trim, tying everything together. TimberTech Radiance rail was chosen because it is very sturdy and presents a refined look with no visible fasteners. The rail cap was custom modified to provide a drink rail in areas that overlooked the golf course.

BLOG Deck pic (2)

Finishing touches included a ceiling fan with light under the deck over the patio, LED riser lights, post cap lights, stair riser lights and accent lights on the lower support posts. Additionally, a drip line from the irrigation system was incorporated behind the beam trim so the hanging plants would be well nourished.

If your deck is past it’s prime, call us to help you enjoy your outdoor living area again.   We will provide a no cost consultation. We are the Fort Wayne’s premier deck and porch builder and would like to work with you. Call us at 260/969-8663 or email us at .

Posted in Archadeck of Fort Wayne Northeastern Indiana, Covered Patios/Patio Covers, Decks, Patios, Paver patios, re-decking, TimberTech, TimberTech, TimberTech decks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get back to basics with a fire element in your Northeastern Indiana outdoor living space by Archadeck of Fort Wayne

Patio and fireplace hardscape The four basic elements are fire, earth, water and air. These days, for most, fire is a design element included for the homeowners’ enjoyment as an aesthetically pleasing focal point that provides ambient light and heat. More homeowners want their outdoor space to truly be an extension of their house and desire a more inviting area to relax, play and host guests. This can easily be done by updating and adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit to your existing outdoor living space or by having a new hardscape or screened porch and patio combination outdoor living space with an integrated fire feature custom designed and built for you by Archadeck of Fort Wayne.

Custom patio and gas fire pit in Abolite township

Custom patio and gas fire pit in Abolite Township

An outdoor fire feature’s functionality extends your outdoor season, as well as a home’s physical capacity for accommodating social gatherings. Whether it’s down time with the family, intimate get-togethers with friends, or a full-blown party, having a fireplace or fire pit adds another dimension to entertaining. Inevitably, it becomes the focal point, and as most who have spent time staring into a blaze will attest, it acts as a common denominator and elicits friendly conversation and warm feelings.

Much like any outdoor living structure or element, a fire feature can be customized to match your tastes and needs. Even with a smaller yard, you can still create an intimate space for gatherings. From the furniture to the actual fire pit itself, there are plenty of ways you can customize your outdoor space and still reap all of these benefits:

  • Entertainment – nothing says gather a group of friends and family together like a fire pit or fireplace, as it’s a great way to extend your party space to the outdoors.
  • outdoor fire featuresCooking – although, not as dialed-in as a grill or barbecue, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces can provide a flame over which you can create a multitude of culinary creations.
  • Heat – you can extend your entertaining seasons a bit by staying warm on those chilly evenings practically year round.
  • Ambiance – even if you aren’t into throwing parties or entertaining, the ambiance a fire feature brings is worth the investment alone, especially if you are into star-gazing with a loved one while sitting next to one of nature’s most captivating elements.
  • Added home value – they are attractive features that create an enthralling focal point that can really help make your home stand apart from others.

Just imagine when the cool Indiana  nights begin to settle in, even though it may be a little chilly, you’ll be ready with your own custom fire feature to warm you right up and increase your opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.

Baron Biedenweg - Archadeck of Fort Wayne and NE Indiana

Baron Biedenweg – Archadeck of Fort Wayne and NE Indiana

If we have sparked your interest, and you want to learn more about having your own custom designed and built outdoor living space with an integrated fire feature, we are here to help. With any outdoor living project you anticipate pursuing, it is important to make sure you are using an experienced, licensed builder, like Archadeck of Fort Wayne, which strives to make each project a smooth, effortless and enjoyable experience. Now is the time to get your project lined up and on our schedule to be completed in time to for you and your family to enjoy the debut of the 2016 outdoor living season.

Contact Archadeck of Fort Wayne today at (260) 969 – 8663


Posted in Archadeck of Fort Wayne Northeastern Indiana, Fort Wayne Indiana Outdoor Living, Outdoor fire pits, Patios | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Choosing which high quality, durable, low maintenance synthetic decking is best for you doesn’t have to be overwhelming

Elevated composite deck in Fort Wayne, IN

While there are well over 60 manufacturers making some sort of synthetic decking, some are established and proven, some are not, and it might be difficult to decide which is best for you.  Let us help.  Factors to consider are, appearance and color, depth of graining, amount of direct sun, tolerance for maintenance, amount of ventilation underneath, specialized needs and wants, and willingness to make the investment to support those choices.

TimberTech deck on Jimmerson Lake

TimberTech deck on Jimmerson Lake.

When it comes to high quality and durable low maintenance decking, Archadeck of Fort Wayne and Northeastern Indiana primarily recommends TimberTech, Azek, Trex and Fiberon, because we know that these products perform well, look good and their manufacturers will stand behind the product should there ever be an issue.

WPComposite Decking–  this technology was developed in the 1990’s and was the technology of choice for many years.  While it is more durable and requires less maintenance than most wood decking products, it falls short in living up to some customer’s expectations, primarily fade and stain.  It is a good alternative for budget conscious clients who understand the performance expectations.

Beautiful AZEK XLM deck in Fort Wayne

Beautiful AZEK XLM deck in Fort Wayne.

Cellular PVC Decking-  This technology was also introduce in the early 90’s and overcame many of the objections to wood plastic composite decking, but as darker colors were introduce it too failed to exceed customer expectations.  To combat that, all Azek cellular PVC decking for 2016 will be manufactured with a process called Armor Alloy and will be backed by a 30 year fade and stain warranty.  This is a beautiful product and now that fading won’t be a problem, it will be a great choice for consumers, even in darker colors.  Cellular PVC tends to store less of the sun’s energy and thus is cooler to the foot than composites.  Color for color, it will tend to be at the high end of the cost scale.

Cap Stock Decking-  This style of product was introduced a few years ago and has been adopted by many manufacturers, including TimberTech, Trex and Fiberon as a way to overcome the shortcomings of the original composite decking.  The polymer cap over a WPC is offered in some beautiful colors and grain patterns (including a hand scraped wood look), and is offered with a 25 year fade and stain warranty.  Capped composites are more pet friendly as the surface is not as hard as PVC.  There also some reasonably priced offerings.

Fort Wayne TimberTech with Westbury Verticable Railing

Fort Wayne TimberTech with Westbury Verticable railing.

If your budget will allow for synthetic deck, there are many good choices.  Seek help with selecting the right one for your outdoor living space.  Synthetic deck should be viewed as an investment.  If you plan to be in your home for an extended period of time, there really is no other product that makes more economic sense.

While we still do many pressure treated decks, a few IPE/Brazilian hardwood and the occasional cedar deck, we are converting more outdoor living spaces to low maintenance decking every year.  We know how to properly construct synthetic decks and have the proper tools to do it.  Let us help you design and build your new Fort Wayne area deck.  We can design and build the space of your dreams, that will require little in the way of maintenance.

Baron Biedenweg - Archadeck of Fort Wayne and NE Indiana

Baron Biedenweg – Archadeck of Fort Wayne and NE Indiana

Contact us today at 260/969-8663 or to schedule your free design consultation



Posted in Archadeck of Fort Wayne Northeastern Indiana, AZEK, composite deck builder, Composite wood building materials, deck builder, Decks, Fiberon, TimberTech, TimberTech decks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Auburn IN front porch gets make over with low maintenance composite deck, rail and post wrap

Porch Access from Driveway (2)Tam-Rail with colonial balusters

Front porches are the first feature visitors and passers-bys see. They should harmonize with the architecture of the home as well as provide functionality. The front porch on this Auburn, Indiana home was well past it’s prime. Archadeck of Fort Wayne was contracted to design and build a new low maintenance porch.

Timber Tech’s Slate Evolution decking with hidden fasteners, Azek’s Slate fascia, white PVC Auburn Porch Beforepost wrap and Tam-Rail railing with white colonial balusters gave the homeowners the look and feel they desired. The existing structure was beefed up to 12″ on center joists and we were able to reuse the existing skirting. Stair post lighting-LEDTimberTech post cap lighting on Radiance rail post sleeves light up the stairways.

The charm, safety and functionality has been restored to this front porch with the added bonus of little to no future maintenance.

Get started on your deck project day!
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Posted in Archadeck of Fort Wayne Northeastern Indiana, composite deck builder, Composite wood building materials, Covered Patios/Patio Covers, deck builder, Decks, Low maintenance building materials, TimberTech, TimberTech, TimberTech decks, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This newly built lake front deck is sure to provide these homeowners stunning views of Crooked Lake in Fort Wayne, IN.

Deck built on Crooked Lake in Fort Wayne INWhile it may be a dream home for some, for these Crooked Lake homeowners, owning a lakefront property is their everyday reality. Although their home offers several beautiful views of the lake, they felt they were missing an important aspect of the full experience of lakeside living…a low maintenance, versatile outdoor living space which provided a totally unobstructed view of the water. Wanting a structure that allowed them to take full advantage of the scenery and the tranquility of their property, as well as make the best use of their available area, they decided upon a deck and contacted the leading Ft Wayne deck builder, Archadeck of Ft Wayne.

After careful consideration of their property and the style of home, during our initial consultation, we discussed their list of wants and needs for their outdoor living space:

  • a spacious deck for grilling, dining and relaxing
  • multiple access points to the deck…from the home, front of the property and lake shore
  • the use of low-maintenance materials in colors which would complement the existing exterior of their home
  • minimal obstruction of lake view

With all of this information in hand, we immediately went to work on a 3-dimensional rendering which best translated a realistic image of the deck’s design along with our proposal, for their approval. As with many lake properties, there were many land use restrictions and we guided our customer through them and made our design work to comply.

Crooked Lake deck buildersMaterial selection of the decking boards, skirting and railing for this project focused on real wood appearance and durable metals, with minimal maintenance requirements and color combinations which complement one another. TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions Terrain in Silver Maple was used for the decking boards and stairs for a professional-quality finish for this structure. This capped composite decking takes scratch, stain and fade resistance to an entirely new level with warm, natural hardwood style and authentic graining. We originally proposed the same material for the skirting, but in an effort to remain within their desired budget, we used pressure treated wood for skirting, which the customer will stain to match next spring.

Railing detail on Crooked Lake deck addtion in Fort Wayne, IN.

Railing detail on Crooked Lake deck addtion in Fort Wayne, IN.

For the railing we used two styles from the Westbury railing product line in Gloss White: the VertiCable rail for the lakeside portion of the railing because its unique combination of vertical cables and balusters will provide virtually unobstructed views and the Tuscany rail for the remainder of the deck perimeter, because of its classic good looks. Both of these Westbury® aluminum products will not crack, peel, blister, flake or rust.

Beautiful deck built on Crooked Lake by Archadeck of Fort Wayne IN

As evidenced in these beautiful pictures, the end results exceeded the homeowners’ expectations. They have a set of stairs which provides them access from the front of the home, direct access from the home’s back door and a set of stairs which descend down to the lake shore. Their new structure is a spacious, low-maintenance deck with a truly unobstructed, gorgeous view of the lake. This is a complete outdoor living space of which they can truly be proud. On top of that, with the warranties that Archadeck, TimberTech and Westbury provide, they can be assured that their outdoor experience will be a good one, for a long time to come.

Baron Biedenweg - Archadeck of Fort Wayne and NE Indiana

Baron Biedenweg – Archadeck of Fort Wayne and NE Indiana

If you find that your home is missing the type of outdoor living space which allows you to take full advantage of your beautiful property, contact Archadeck of Fort Wayne today. We are the leading Fort Wayne lakeside outdoor structures contractor and can create a custom outdoor living space for you with the features and style you want most. You may reach us at (260) 969 – 8663 or via email at

Posted in Archadeck of Fort Wayne Northeastern Indiana, composite deck builder, deck builder, Decks, Lakehouse decks IN, TimberTech | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment