New Year’s Resolutions – Home Improvement and Enjoying the Outdoors

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Do you have a home improvement project on your New Year’s Resolution list? Maybe it’s the project that your spouse has been hinting for you to look into and start for the past few years… a deck that has been weathered and worn down after decades of use. A patio or hardscape area that needs to be expanded. Or perhaps you never get the chance to even enjoy the outdoors and your own yard, so you’re resolving to make 2013 the year in which you truly enjoy the nature and beauty of your own property?

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According to USA.gov, these are the most popular New Year’s Resolutions.  Many involve improving health, such as getting fit and running more regularly.

running_new_years_resolutions_graphic Credit: Hryckowian on Flickr

Not surprisingly, there are also many popular resolutions revolving around enjoyment of life and luxuries, such as going on a trip or saving money toward other goals.

Many people start off the new year with good intentions to keep their resolutions, but according to a recent Forbes article, only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s goals. If you are in the majority, and have trouble sticking to your New Year’s Resolutions, here are 6 tips to keep you on task:

  1. Write it down. Physically writing down your  resolutions or goals on paper, makes it more real. Commit your goals to writing can make you 33% more successful, according to a study by Dr. Gail Matthews at Dominican University of California.
  2. Get accountability. Ask a friend or family member to keep you accountable. Ask them to regularly call or e-mail to find out your progress on meeting your goals and sticking to your resolutions.
  3. Save up. If you haven’t budgeted for the project, start examining your finances and options as well as setting aside additional money each month.
  4. Set a timeline. Place dates and mark up your calendar or planner so you know when you to begin. For your home project you’ll need to allot time towards research, interviewing contractors and beginning the design process.
  5. Do your research. If your resolution is to finally tackle a big home improvement project, make sure you take the time to thoroughly research the company/contractor you hire. For your own protection, you’ll want to make sure they hold the proper contractor’s license. In Maryland you can check the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation website to search for contractor licenses here. You’ll also want to make sure the company is insured and verify their warranty protection.
  6. Stick to it. Don’t give up! If you start to lose steam toward meeting your timeline or accomplishing your goals, you can place a picture of your dream house project on your fridge or on your desk at work. Visualize your goals. Be realistic, but also work hard to achieve your goals and be a part of the 8%.

Take these simple steps to get your project on track and complete your New Year’s Resolution home improvement project before another New Year’s Eve transpires.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandIf you’re thinking about building a new deck, 3- or 4-season room, sun room, screened porch, patio, trellis, pergola, arbor or fire pit at your home in Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County or Prince Georges County MD, give us a call to discuss ideas. We’d love to help you with your next home renovation and help you check that off your New Year’s Resolution list! Our design consultation is free. Give us a call at 301-926-3001 or email us to schedule yours today.

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This Gaithersburg screen porch and deck combination takes memorable to a new level

Gaithersburg screen porch

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The slideshow above gives a glimpse of what our design meeting will be like. When we propose and illustrate a solution to our clients, we show them a true-to-life rendering and show it from the various important angles so the homeowners know exactly what they will be getting.

Gaithersburg screen porch builder

This Gaithersburg screen porch and deck combination lends plenty of room for rest and relaxation

These Gaithersburg  homeowners came to us with a full walkout basement on their 18-20 year old existing home and asked that we create a screened porch and deck combination that they can enjoy everyday. They wanted the type that would transport them back to a time when the days moved a little slower and the pressures of the everyday were non-existent. They wanted the design to provide functionality and style. We were able to give these homeowners both with a rustic screen porch that is reminiscent of the screened porches we enjoyed when we were all children. The kind of structure that takes you back to a time of fewer worries, more fun and a lot more time to relax.

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This angle of the custom design rendering shows how Archadeck of Central Maryland and Archadeck of Montgomery County solved the roof height concern.

When we first began construction on this Gaithersburg screened porch, we were concerned because the roof lines were a challenge with the garage roof being one story and the existing home being a two-story roof. Wherein lies the challenge that half the roof was over the garage and half was over the home.  We love the challenge in overcoming even the most difficult challenges to find a design solution. We utilize design software to help us illustrate these challenges once we create a design solution to fit the homeowners’ needs and design challenges.  We were able to present these Gaithersburg homeowners with a professional design rendering that encompassed everything they wanted and more. This is perhaps the most fun part of the job – being able to come up with creative solutions.

Gathersbur screen porch with attached deck

The new location of the stairs adds more accessibility into the backyard.

Our solution was to re-structure the homeowners’ existing deck to support the weight of the screened porch. We then enlarged the deck to provide a barbecue area adjacent to the screened porch.We usually find that when homeowners add a screened porch to their deck area they don’t need as much of an open outdoor area as they would if they did not have the advantages of a screened porch. Homeowners end up utilizing their deck space for a barbecue or grilling area and additional seating and dining. We then relocated the stairs to provide access to the backyard. The enlarged deck was then  re-decked with TimberTech composite decking in beautiful twin plank in redwood. This color choice adds to the rustic charm of the entire structure. To complement the new deck, we used black Deckorators balusters.

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This Gaithersburg screened porch is big on rustic detailing and style

The screened porch is designed with an open screened gable to provide ample light and ventilation. This open and airy design element is further carried out with the use of open, exposed rafters. The combination of the exposed rafters and the open design of this screened porch gives it a country casual, rustic feel that is really popular among screen porch owners right now. Rustic never goes out of style, they are just more detailed versions of the beloved screen porches our parents had growing up.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandIf you are ready to be transported back in time to a time period when you could breathe easier and time seemed to stand still, the addition of a magical outdoor structure may be the answer. Contact Archadeck of Central Maryland and Archadeck of Montgomery County to plan, design and build an unforgettable outdoor structure to make new memories within. (301) 926 – 3001
montgomeryco@archadeck.net or centralmaryland@archadeck.net