Side view of spacious low maintenance Fiberon deck addition in Ellington CTHave you ever gotten to the middle of a project and realize you don’t know what’s coming next? While that can certainly be exciting, when it comes to large investments – like adding a deck, porch or other outdoor project to your home – not knowing can be downright scary. If you’re considering embarking on such a project, we feel it’s important to discuss how the process will unfold with your designer/builder before you begin.

Most homeowners begin planning an outdoor living project after weeks or even months of imagining how much they will enjoy it and, for this reason alone, the planning phase should, and can, be an exciting time! It is important to first identify what you need from your anticipated deck, porch or other proposed outdoor space addition and how it will meet your outdoor living needs and wishes. From there, the next step is to begin looking for a designer & builder who will turn your vision into reality.

Spectacular views from this 3-season room in Southington CTMaking the initial inquiry to a builder is often the most daunting task in the construction process. Even if the builder comes highly recommended, there is no “manual” of what to expect during your initial communication. Anticipation and venturing into the unknown can be very stressful…  even before you make the first call or send the first e-mail to start the process. Archadeck aims to change that: We want homeowners to have a firm idea of what to expect during the planning phase – and the entire project. To that end, we have put together an outline of what to expect during the different phases of bringing your dream to life:

We have developed a path we follow during the designing and building a project and here are the steps in the process:

Central CT deck builder

Step 1. Connect

The first step in the client/Archadeck relationship is to develop a connection – to establish “common ground”. When we connect with you our first goal is to insure that you have all the information about us and our process. Designing and building any project with us is a collaboration and we want it to proceed smoothly. It begins with a conversation about what you’re looking to have done, your vision for the project, what thoughts you have about a project budget and what sort of timeframe you have in mind.  Assuming that we, together, decide that our company is a good fit for you and your project, we’ll set up a time to meet in your home.

Step 2. Consult

Our initial meeting is a consultation – a “conversation”, not a “presentation” – and will be centered around your ideas; what you see as project requirements, what personal preferences you have and what functional needs you’d like the new space to serve. We’ll also touch on your material preferences, styles and features that you think would best suit your requirements. We’ll show you pictures of some elements of our past projects which may help you make decisions about material choices. Finally, we’ll take measurements and pictures that we’ll refer to as we work on the design, insuring that whatever we design is in keeping with the design of your home. Once we’ve done all that, we’re usually able to develop some ideas of potential costs – the project budget range.  The goal here is to establish a budget range that works for you and which will help us as we work, since we always “design to budget”.  If we can get our heads together on a workable budget and you feel that we are the right firm to work with, we’ll put together a Project Retainer document and ask for a retainer check – which will trigger the start of the next important steps in the process: design and costing. The other thing that happens once we have a retainer is that we put your project into our construction schedule immediately.  Scheduling at this point, rather than waiting until the final contract is signed, effectively eliminates the time lag between our initial meeting and the date of signing the contract, we could be one to three weeks.

View of Somers,CT, project with details of storage area below porch.Step 3. Design

At the end of our initial meeting, we should have enough information to begin designing – developing plans and related project documentation. Once the initial project plan is completed, using our CAD design program, we’ll put renderings into a cloud-based folder dedicated to your project and send you a link to your project folder via e-mail.  Once you have that, you’ll be able to review the project on any computer, smart phone or iPad.  Having renderings available will give you an opportunity to make suggestions, ask questions and offer ideas which will help us “fine tune” the project before we meet in our office for the Design Review Meeting.  The goal of this process is to have a completely defined and costed project plan ready for the review meeting; every detail should be nailed down before we sign a contract.

Central CT deck builderStep 4. Build

Once you approve the design and sign the contract you will be protected by two separate guarantees, constituting the most expansive customer protection plan in the industry. Local oversight assures your property and privacy are respected. We attend to every detail from securing any needed building permits to final cleanup. We work very hard to be as unobtrusive as possible and to be respectful of your property during the entire construction phase.

The building process should be as seamless as possible.  That’s why we’ve created a detailed Job Progress Methodology (JPM) to manage and track the project from start to finish. From filing for any building permits to the final walk-thru, the goal is to keep you informed, satisfied with the process and, most importantly, super-happy with the result.

Step 5. Enjoy

At the end of the day, Archadeck prides itself on enhancing our clients lives by designing & building quality outdoor living projects. Our goal it to give you a space you’ll love for years to come.

If you’d like to discuss adding an outdoor project to your backyard, call or e-mail for a “No-Obligation” consultation. You can reach us at (203) 793-7142 or via email at

Archadeck of Central CT