Going retro: Archadeck of Central CT designs 3-season rooms with today's "hot" jalousie windows

If the image of jalousie windows stirs up your good memories of a simpler time, you are not alone. At Archadeck of Central CT, we have seen these retro-vintage-inspired windows increase in popularity lately. Specifically, clients adding a 3-season room or sunroom have been asking for them.

— Image courtesy retroenovation.com

Not everyone can remember what they’re called, because the name is not something you hear every day, but almost everyone recognizes the jalousie window in a magazine or photo online. They give your room a retro look — some might call it whimsical. Perhaps your grandmother or great aunt had these windows on a porch or 3-season room, and seeing them now reminds you of your visits as a child. Today’s jalousie windows do come with a side order of nostalgia.

The jalousie window features a column of parallel glass or acrylic slats, like louvers, and the column of slats runs all the way from the top of the window frame to the bottom. The angle of the slats is adjustable by a crank on the side of the window. All of the slats move at the same time, in the same direction, when adjusted. The difference between slats and louvers is that louvers (on a louver door, for example) are stationary while a jalousie window’s slats are adjustable.

When the jalousie window is completely open, the slats are positioned horizontally, and there is a gap of a few inches between each slat. When the jalousie window is closed, the slats are tight and almost straight up-and-down. What keeps them from closing completely flush is that they overlap. The top of one slat rests on the bottom of the one above it.

Besides the retro appeal, why do our clients request jalousie windows? First, it’s all about the breeze! No other window allows as much airflow, so these windows were treasured for maximizing ventilation in the days before homes had air conditioning, especially down south. Today they can remind us of days spent in Florida, Hawaii or the Caribbean.

In our New England climate, we enjoy 3-season rooms because, when the temperature is right, we can open the windows and bask in the fresh air. But modern window systems only allow some window panels to open while others stay shut, so you never achieve maximum airflow. The jalousie window, on the other hand, opens fully, providing as much airflow as a screened porch.

Tafco jalousie windows

Speaking of screens, today’s jalousie windows can include screens so you don’t suffer pesky insects while you’re enjoying the fresh air.

As Central Connecticut’s premier designer of sunrooms and three-season rooms, Archadeck of Central CT has found four additional benefits to using this gem of a window style:

Price: Jalousies are more cost-effective than many other window systems.
Inexpensive to repair: If one slat is damaged, you don’t need to replace the entire window, just the one slat.
Keeping rain out: With jalousie windows, you can leave the windows open while it’s rainy outside, as long as it’s not raining extremely hard. Because you can position the slats at a downward slant, the rain will not run into your home through the open windows.
Unobstructed views: These windows allow the least-obstructed view compared to any other windows except the picture window.

If you prefer a window that doesn’t require curtains or blinds for privacy, you can select jalousie windows with wooden slats instead of glass. Closing them will keep the light out, and opening them will let light in — as well as the outside air, of course. For a compromise between light and darkness, you can choose frosted glass slats; these provide some privacy while allowing some light into the room as well.

Are there drawbacks to jalousie windows? We’ve found two drawbacks the homeowner needs to consider:
Not completely watertight: If a heavy, driving rain is aiming right at your windows, these windows are not sealed as completely as others. During a torrent, rain may seep in even when the windows are closed.
Not airtight: The construction of the jalousie window does have some gaps, so these windows will never seal a room as completely as other types of windows. Homeowners find these windows are best suited for a room they’re not trying to heat and cool throughout the year.

— Image courtesy retroenovation.com

Archadeck of Central CT can help you determine whether jalousie windows will be right for your outdoor living space in Avon, Farmington, Cheshire or anywhere else in Central Connecticut. We are the designers that build, as opposed to builders that design. Call us at (203) 793-7142 or email us:.

Archadeck is Central Connecticut's first-quality builder for luxurious outdoor living -- at home

Sometimes you just need to see your surroundings with fresh eyes.

Picture this: you’re on vacation or a business trip and you’re enjoying top-of-the-line accommodations. You admire the resort’s elegant cabana overlooking the indoor-outdoor pool and its terraced surroundings. You especially admire the multi-level deck that starts near the pool and goes off in several directions. With short stairways leading from one level to another, each landing on the deck is comfortably furnished as an alcove for conversation, private dining and relaxation under the stars. Subtle lighting nestled among the deck’s many planter boxes offers an ambiance of casual luxury.

It feels good to get away, but it always feels great to get back home again. And yet, the feeling you had at the resort lingers. Can you recreate this at your home?

Oh, yes you can, if you know the right people … someone to listen carefully as you describe not just the physical characteristics of the place, but the way it made you feel. Someone who can take what you describe and come back with three-dimensional renderings that bring your vision to life on the page or screen. An experienced designer of outdoor living spaces who can create designs, indoors and out, that will allow you to experience nature’s beauty at home while keeping you snug in the winter, cool in the summer.

You’ll want a designer who can recommend the best materials and explain the differences when it’s time to make your selections. Would you prefer top-quality, exotic hardwood decking or the newer low-maintenance decking products that offer incredible endurance and always look new? Would you prefer a screened porch with open rafters or beadboard ceiling — or one that lets in the sun’s sensuous rays through carefully-placed skylights? Will your new sunroom dazzle you with craftman-inspired tile or the warm glow of polished wood?

You’ll want someone who can custom design an outdoor living space that’s just right for your family no matter how many contradictions that embraces. Someone who has enough experience with innovative design features that they can design what you ask for … and take it a step or two further in ways you may not have imagined.

That designer of the perfect upscale outdoor living spaces is Archadeck of Central Connecticut. We know how to listen, so you’ll get the unique deck, porch, sunroom, 3-season or 4-season room that fits your family’s lifestyle, not a tired design out of a book. We have mastered the art of deluxe outdoor living spaces, too, so as to combine structures that complement each other while making your home a welcome retreat or a vibrant showplace. Maybe it’s a new, bigger sunroom with French doors that open onto a screened porch with a massive stone fireplace. Or a great wrap-around deck opening off of a 4-season room that becomes a sports oasis where friends and family always gather to watch the big games.

Archadeck of Central Connecticut listens to you and what you want in an outdoor living design. We communicate with you at every step of the design and building processes to eliminate surprises. We hire skilled craftsmen who always exceed expectations. We help you select the quality of materials that you want in your home. The outdoor living spaces we build appear original to the home, not something “added on” as an after-thought. We know you are an exacting client, and we will not disappoint.

— Luxurious outdoor kitchen and custom pergola in Cheshire, CT.

What’s more, we know you can hire anyone you want to design and build your central Connecticut outdoor living space. When you choose us to bring your outdoor living ideas to life, we want you to be so pleased — yes, thrilled — that you recommend us to your friends and colleagues at every opportunity. Quality is important to you, the homeowner, and it is equally important to us.

If you want to recreate a luxurious experience you had while traveling, or you’re ready to re-imagine your home’s outdoor living space with fresh eyes, contact us to learn more about how we can exceed your expectations. Call (203) 793-7142 or email us today!

This Durham, CT, Deck Outdoor Living Trio Creates the Perfect Harmony for Outdoor Living Enjoyment!

Archadeck of Central CT designed and built this custom outdoor living combination to speak to the individual needs of this Durham, CT, family. The space includes a paver patio, screened porch and spacious deck. Each of the structures was designed to work in unison, much like one large outdoor room with different areas to enjoy various functions.

The homeowners are musicians and they wanted a space for family and friends to gather for playing music and outdoor entertaining. The entire design is low-maintenance so more time can be spent harmonizing in the space rather than maintaining it.

We used Fiberon Ipe decking on the deck, stairs and screened porch. The screened porch features a tempered glass knee wall and gable end queen fan trusses so the view into the spacious backyard is never obscured.

Part of the ease of this design is the way Archadeck of Central CT built the stairs wide enough to serve as seating. This element makes it easy to play musical instruments within the space as no constraints are present.

The homeowners are elated with their new space. There is no denying the appeal of an outdoor living combination design. Outdoor living combination spaces, such as this project, marry the function and aesthetic elements of two or more outdoor structures allowing them to function as one large space.

If an outdoor living space is part of your plans for the upcoming outdoor season ahead, consider the benefits of a combination space. Contact Archadeck of Central CT today to add harmony to your outdoor living lifestyle. Call (203) 793-7142 or email us today!

Central Connecticut Bamboo Deck Builder

Bamboo is gaining popularity in the realm of outdoor living design and building. Bamboo itself has been used to create everyday objects for over 4000 years. Often being considered a scourge in a landscape, the plant we have taken for granted for so long is quickly becoming the center of attention as a durable, attractive material for interior and exterior home use.

This tough material has a long life and is honored as the Chinese symbol of longevity. Most people try to classify bamboo as a hardwood, but it is actually a natural grass. A highly stable material, it is stronger and more durable than nearly all wood. All of these desirable attributes combined with its amazing longevity make it an ideal building material for outdoor living spaces, such as decks and porches. Not to mention the luxurious and exotic aesthetic it adds to any setting.

The bamboo we use at Archadeck of Central CT for building decks is stronger than most hardwoods. We buy high-quality bamboo decking boards from MOSO®, a company that specializes in carbonized, fused bamboo decking. MOSO® uses a patented process to alter the hardness, dimensional stability, fire safety and durability of their product to a level superior to the best tropical hardwood species.

Bamboo decking is very resistant to all kinds of weather. This includes the wintery conditions that are common here in Central CT. In contrast, most wooden deck boards will show the effects of weather over a period of time. For example, after each rain, wood can swell because it absorbs water, and then it shrinks as it dries out. If you’ve had a wooden deck, you know that those boards can eventually warp and twist. Some types of wood stand up to the wrath of Mother Nature better than others, but bamboo beats them all. Bamboo does not swell or contract in response to moisture. Bamboo decking has a hard exterior, and its cellular interior is flexible and elastic. As a homeowner, you can rest easy knowing your bamboo deck will stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws at it.

Did we mention bamboo is beautiful? Bamboo lends an exotic flair to your outdoor living project, yet it will look right at home on your Woodbridge, Guilford, Madison or Cheshire deck or porch. Because it can be stained in a wide range of shades from light natural to dark chocolate, bamboo is a versatile exterior design element. The freedom of bamboo allows you to easily coordinate with your home’s exterior color palette. To keep its exotic appeal over the years, bamboo requires no more work than you would need to do for a hardwood deck; the actual maintenance is very similar.

Last but certainly not least is the sustainability aspect of bamboo. Bamboo is environmentally friendly and sustainable. When looking at the green aspect, it is the best choice for your deck or porch.

  • Bamboo matures in 5-7 years, so crops are replenished constantly. Most hardwood used in the US comes from South America, where deforestation is a severe problem. It takes at least 50 years to grow hardwood trees.
  • In terms of a carbon footprint, although we think of bamboo as mainly growing in Asia, it is also grown in the United States and South America.

  • Bamboo is resistant to insects and doesn’t require pesticides or other harmful chemicals for protection as it grows.
  • Bamboo absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide per acre than trees. (Remember: bamboo is not a tree; it is a grass).

If you are considering bamboo for your new Avon, Farmington, Cheshire, Guilford or Woodbridge, CT area deck or porch, contact us to learn more about this amazing material by calling (203) 793-7142 or email us at centralct@archadeck.net.

3-D design renderings: One of the ways we deliver the best customer service in Central CT

At Archadeck of Central Connecticut, customer service means doing our very best to ensure you’re satisfied with our work at your home. Great customer service is one of the things that sets our business apart from other builders of outdoor living structures in the area. (In addition to our quality craftsmanship, of course!)

How do we know this? Our customers tell us.

How do we do it? Over the years, we have developed a design process that works every time. One of the most important steps in that process features our 3-D architectural design renderings.

3-D renderings provide much more insight than a traditional plan.

When we are working with you, clear and direct communication is vitally important. We’re only going to be working at your home for a number of weeks, but the work we’re doing there will affect your daily life for years. Without clear communication, we may not succeed in building the perfect outdoor living space for you and your family. You are expecting a lot from us, and we want to live up to those high expectations.

Our 3-D design renderings stimulate clear and direct communication in two ways.

3-D design renderings keep us talking

Once we get a good sense of what you have in mind for your new outdoor living space, we translate that into a visual interpretation, a set of computer-generated 3-D architectural renderings. Each set of renderings shows you at least three different points of view and one overhead floorplan layout.

We may go through a number of iterations of the design renderings and we’ll talk with you about them at each phase. Keeping that line of communication open means we encourage you several times to share your feedback and ideas — and any misgivings, if you have them. We want to know! We won’t be satisfied until you are thrilled with the design.

Early Design

Revised Design

For example, here you can see 3-D drawings for one of our recent outdoor living projects. It’s a screened porch/deck deluxe outdoor living combination project in Woodbridge, CT, with skylights in the roof of the screened porch. In the Early Design image, the skylights were smaller. As we reviewed the drawings with our client, they mentioned that they thought the skylights should be bigger.

That’s great information!

It is far easier, (and less expensive), to change something during the design phase (IE. the size/type of window rather than making a “field change” during construction). It may not seem like a big deal, but if the client had not felt comfortable speaking up, we might have installed smaller skylights. Our collaborative process allows us an opportunity to provide a Revised design for consideration. Our goal is to avoid a situation where, every time that client went out onto the screened porch and looked up they think, I really wish those skylights were bigger. That’s not the feeling we want to leave any of our clients with!

3-D design renderings keep the ideas flowing

The first set of drawings presents a basic visualization of the project. Subsequent versions are collaborations working toward finalizing the design you’ll love. Clients consistently tell us that, looking over the renderings after each time we fine-tune them can trigger new ideas.

You can see intricate details in a 3-D design rendering that you cannot see in an ordinary 2-dimensional drawing. With a 2-dimensional plan, you can miss small things that may turn into big things once the project is completed. Looking at a 3-D rendering, we encourage you to visualize traffic flow from the house to the outdoor living space and throughout the outdoor space itself. We can place furniture in the rendering, to scale, so you can see what pieces will or won’t fit into your new deck and/or screened porch design.

If we are discussing alternate design ideas, we can use two sets of 3-D renderings to compare them and see which option is closer to what you have in mind. Or, the drawings could lead you to ask you about a third option we’ve not yet considered.

Take another look at these renderings of our recent project in Woodbridge, CT. We tried different ideas for the under-deck skirting. The client asked us to change the skirting from brown lattice to white after they saw a 3-D rendering of how the brown would look against the backdrop of the home’s siding. One idea leads to another. For helping you get a clearer view of how the finished project will look, one 3-D rendering is worth any number of words.

Using these computer-generated design renderings plays a huge role in the way we deliver exceptional customer service. Every version of the design carries us a step closer to our goal: making the client happy — from the initial design discussion to the completed project and for years to come.

If you’re ready to let us turn your ideas into 3-D design renderings for an outdoor living space at your home in Woodbridge, Farmington, Cheshire or anywhere else in Central Connecticut, call us at (203) 793-7142 or email centralct@archadeck.net to get started. We promise you’ll appreciate our version of great customer service.

Archadeck of Central CT asks, "When is a window better than a wall?"

The answer: When you want to see through it!

Today’s featured project in Colchester, CT, combines a re-decking with a conversion from deck to screened porch, and it is a stunner. Two aspects stand out on this project. First, in replacing the original deck wall with tempered glass, we have opened up a whole new world for these homeowners. Second, the porch addition blends in so well with the cedar home, you would swear the porch had been there all along.

The Colchester homeowners had a wooden deck along the side of their beautiful, rustic cedar home. Since the deck was aging, it was time to have it re-decked or replaced. The homeowners wanted to turn most of the deck into a screened porch, and in the process they wanted a railing or wall system that they could actually see through. Archadeck of Central CT worked with them on a design to make that happen.

The original deck railing topped a wooden wall instead of pickets or balusters — great for privacy, but terrible for enjoying the outdoors. While the deck was lined with shrubs, the view was completely obscured, so people on the deck could not see them. They could only see the wall straight ahead and the sky above. The overall feeling on the original deck was that of being penned in.

The new design is something to celebrate. Most of the deck is now a porch with tempered glass below the railing where a wall once stood. Above the railing is screen. Anyone on the deck can now look out over the landscape, communing with nature while staying dry and protected from insects. The porch is light and airy with a ceiling fan to create a breeze when there is none.

A lot of work went into improving this Colchester outdoor living space, and the results were well worth the effort. First, we took the existing wooden deck apart and added necessary footings to make the deck level again. We also brought a beam up under the deck for additional support. In some projects, the entire deck needs to be removed, but in this case the footings and framework did not need to be replaced, just reinforced.

Once we had repaired the deck framework, we resurfaced the deck, replacing the original deck flooring with new material. The homeowners chose low-maintenance Fiberon Symmetry decking in the Cinnabar color to match the home. Fiberon Symmetry decking boards look and feel much like natural wood, but they are more durable. The outer layer surrounds all four sides and resists fading and staining; the durable composite core means no splintering, cracking, insect infestation or decay.

With the new deck surface in place, it was time to add the porch over it. We left a portion of the deck open for a barbecue grill, but most of it is now enclosed. A tempered glass wall makes up the lower portion below the deck railing, and we used ScreenEze screening to fill in above the railing — all the way up to the vaulted ceiling. For the railings we used western red cedar stained to match existing home.

Speaking of the vaulted ceiling, we designed it with the rafters exposed, so no one will feel penned up on this porch! A ceiling fan completes the scene.

The homeowners are elated with the new porch and the magnificent way it ties in to the cedar home and looks original to the home. You would never know it had been added on if we had not told you. It’s our secret.

Can we create a dream deck, porch or combination outdoor living space for you? If you are thinking about converting a deck to porch at your home in Colchester, Shelton, Avon, Farmington, Cheshire or anywhere else in Central Connecticut, call Archadeck of Central CT at (203) 793-7142, or email us at centralct@archadeck.net to schedule your no-obligation consultation today.

Contact Us