Patio Landscaping Ideas

If you have plans to utilize some of your backyard space to create a patio , it’s a sure bet you’ve got plenty of patio landscaping ideas. It might even be the case that you have so many, you’re overwhelmed by the options. Luckily, there are great options that can help you decide which patio landscaping ideas are best for your outdoor space’s design.

After exploring deck and patio design ideas, one of the first considerations for patio landscaping options is whether or not you want to create a “focal point” for your patio landscaping. A fire pit, outdoor fireplace, dining or seating area or even an outdoor television can be a great way to bring people together in a central area of your patio.

Next, determine what the different spaces in your patio design will be used for. If one is a focal point for sitting or conversation, it’s likely you’ll also need a cooking space. This can be centered around a barbecue grill or a serving station, and is often located adjacent to the entrance to the home and the focal point of the patio.

One of the most popular design trends for patio landscaping is to emphasize visual diversity. So for example, if your patio pavers are a uniform geometric shape, you may want to consider curvy, flowing designs for your furniture or other patio installations, to add some eye-catching contrast. You might also think about using an array of planters for flowers or plants, as opposed to trying to match all of your patio landscaping.

Finally, let nature in. Consider planting shrubs or arranging potted flowers or plants directly adjacent to your patio, so the natural landscape feels like it’s always within reach of your outdoor living space.

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Looking To Convert Your Deck Into A Screened-In Porch?

Ever step out onto your deck during the hot summer days or very cold winters and wish it had a roof? You have options! Converting a deck to a porch is often possible; it depends on a number of factors.

Custom Porches | Steadfast Construction
Custom Porches | Steadfast Construction

First, look up. Imagine a new porch on your house. Will its roof attach to a house wall or to a house roof? Are there any obstructions – like windows, vents in the wall or through the roof, power lines, or skylights? You may need to move these.

How high is your deck off the ground?  Your new porch will likely require new footings and additional framing underneath. Is there space under your deck to install these?  Six feet or more would be good; four feet or less could pose real problems for conventional sonotube footings.  Can a man or machine get under your deck and dig the four foot deep holes your building code requires?

Next, look at your deck.  Is it well-located for a porch?  Is there an access door from the house?  Will traffic flow smoothly from that room into the porch?  A kitchen to porch path is appropriate for dining on the porch.   A bedroom to porch transition rarely works well.

Is your deck the right size and shape for a porch?   If your deck is too large, you could convert part into a porch and keep the remainder as a deck.

Then, look around.  What shape does your house roof have now?  Gables are very common; hip and shed roofs are less popular.  How steep are the roof slopes?  Matching the shape and pitch of existing roofs will help your new porch to blend in architecturally and not look “tacked-on.”

Your porch side walls will meet your house walls.  Is there anything blocking those intersections?   Existing windows, doors, vents, outlets, lights, etc. may affect where the porch walls can attach and will impact the porch.

If all this seems complicated, that’s because it is.  Properly structuring a porch roof is complicated. It is important to speak with a professional porch builder like Steadfast Construction who will do all of this for you and propose what will be the best plan of action.

View our porch gallery for ideas.

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5 Tweaks for Updating Your Wood Deck

A deck is one of the most useful outdoor spaces because it can support so many different functions: lounging, cooking, throwing parties, container gardening or just sitting outside to enjoy the view. As a multifunctional surface, a deck needs to always look its best. Read on if you have an existing wood deck and are looking to make some simple tweaks to update its look and improve how it feels and functions.

1. Practice Basic Deck Care

A deck can be improved in just a few hours through routine surface care. It’s recommended that you refinish a wood deck about every two years, either naturally with a linseed oil rub or with stains and sealers, to keep moisture away. 

Whatever refinishing method you choose, know that moisture invites organisms into the wood that cause it to rot over time, so remove and clean up anything that is allowing water to collect in parts of the deck. Also, repair anything that may be habitually splashing water onto the deck, such as a leaky hose spigot.

To winterize, clean your deck of debris and remove and store your outdoor furniture in a dry place. Leaving your furniture out during the wet winter months can cause it to wear down more quickly. 

2. Upgrade Your Railing

If your railing is looking shabby, consider changing it for an overall deck upgrade. A cable railing can contribute to a more contemporary deck style, or consider a different balustrade style or material. 

Steadfast Construction can help you design and install new railings, because they consist of detailed parts and connections. Have an idea of the railing type you want installed, and contact us for product and design recommendations. We can also check that your preferred railing type meets local codes before having it installed.

3. Add an Edible Container Garden

If your deck receives full sun, and you have the space, consider building or purchasing a few containers for an edible garden. Edibles growing close to the house are easily accessed from the kitchen, and with a deck, you are always working on a level surface.

Keep water from pooling under your containers by placing a saucer beneath them to collect excess water or raising the containers off the deck.

Be aware that large containers can add a significant amount of weight to the deck, so it’s best to locate large, heavy containers over structural beams. Always consult a professional if you are unsure of your deck’s weight capacity. 

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

4. Create More Lushness at the Edges

Sometimes a deck feels too open and exposed. Create a lusher setting by planting large shrubs or a small tree around the deck’s edges. Be sure to keep them away from the foundation of your home. If you can’t plant directly in the ground around the deck, create lushness with planted containers around the deck’s perimeter.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

5. Use the Space Underneath the Deck

If your deck is raised to meet a second-story door, consider how you can use the space underneath the deck to create a shaded outdoor area. The ground below should be sloped to drain water away from the house and have basic paving that allows you to use the space. Once those pieces are in place, you can add seating, potted shade plants, a hammock, lighting and whatever else you desire.

2019 Best of Houzz Award

Awarded by Community of Over 40 Million Monthly Users, Annual BOH Badge Highlights Home Remodeling & Design Professionals with Top Ratings and Most Popular Home Designs.

VIENNA, VA, January 18, 2019 –Steadfast Construction of Northern, VA has won “Best Of Customer Satisfaction” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The top deck builder of Northern, VA was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 2.1 million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz badge is awarded annually, in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design awards honor professionals whose work was the most popular among the Houzz community. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including a pro’s overall rating on Houzz and client reviews submitted in 2018. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award.

That makes 4 years in a row. Only 3% of companies in the nation receive the Best of Houzz award 4 years in a row!,” said Liza Hausman, vice president of Industry Marketing for Houzz.

“Best of Houzz is a true badge of honor as it is awarded by our community of homeowners, those who are hiring design, remodeling and other home improvement professionals for their projects. We are excited to celebrate the 2019 winners chosen by our community as their favorites for home design and customer experience, and to highlight those winners on the Houzz website and app.”

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2019 Best of Houzz Award | Steadfast Construction

Prepare Your Sunroom for Holiday Guests

Hosting guests for the holidays is part of what makes the season so special, but it can also put a lot on your plate during what is already a busy time of year. One of the best ways to fight holiday stress is to prepare as much as you can in advance. There are certain last-minute holiday tasks that are unavoidable–recipes you have to make in the moment or flower arrangements that you want to keep fresh. That is unavoidable. Fortunately, you can set up and furnish the rooms of your house to be comfortable for guests well before you arrive.

Sunrooms are always a popular gathering spot for holiday guests and they’re a good place to have cocktails or small parties with friends and family.
Below, we’re sharing some ideas that will transform your sunroom into the perfect holiday gathering spot. Read on!

1. Make the Room Feel Festive

Christmas SunroomOne of the reasons sunrooms make a great holiday gathering spot is because of the large windows. Sunroom windows make it easy to take in the winter scene outside, from the comfort of the indoors. Sunroom windows are also the perfect place to hang holiday decorations so that the
room feels even more festive during this special time of year. Decorative
holiday lights are a good choice for framing the windows.
You can also hang wreaths and other greenery, which will look pretty and can make the whole room smell like a winter wonderland forest.

2. Update the Furniture

sunroom decorationTypical sunroom furniture has a coastal, outdoor feel. That is perfect for the summer months when the weather is actually warm, but it feels out of place for the holidays. Heavier, lush sunroom furniture can ground the space a little more and make your holiday guests feel more comfortable. If you don’t want to replace everything you already have in there, consider simple upgrades like warm, cozy throw blankets or decorative pillows in seasonal colors.

3. Consider the Flow of People

sunroom decoration christmasDuring the holidays, sunrooms serve a different purpose than they might the rest of the year, which is why certain sunroom ideas will work better than others. When you have holiday guests, you want the room to feel comfortable and functional, but it will also be a space where friends and family gather to mingle and catch up.
It’s important to consider how people will flow through the room, especially if you plan to host a holiday party in the space. Your sunroom furniture will provide seating, but you should also think about bringing in high-top tables.
High-top tables make it easy for people to stand and talk, while still enjoying a festive cocktail or holiday appetizers.

Ready to Update Your Sunroom for Holiday Guests?

Welcoming friends and family into your home for the holidays should be something to look forward too. So often, though, we get caught up worrying about the small details. If you prepare your sunroom in advance, it will be easy to welcome guests into your home for the holidays and be confident that they are comfortable.

Beautiful Sunroom Ideas

A sunroom is also called a sun parlor, sun porch or sun lounge and it’s a structure usually built onto the side of a house. It allows you to admire and to enjoy the surroundings and the views while being sheltered and protected from rain, wind and other weather conditions. The name is very suggestive actually. Since this room has large windows in order to allow panoramic views, the sun gets through and the room is filled with light and warmth.

There are numerous different types of designs for the sunroom. It can be constructed out of a variety of materials. For example, you can have a brick sunroom if you prefer a more rustic décor. You can also build it out of wood to make it feel warm and cozy or, if you want to emphasize the views, you can build it out of glass. The roof can also be made of glass so you can admire the sky and enjoy the weather to its fullest.

Use blinds for the windows in case the sunlight becomes disturbing

sunroom ideas | Northern VA

You could also use the sunroom as a second dining area

sunroom ideas | Northern VA

A fireplace will make the sunroom warm and cozy when the weather is unfriendly

sunroom ideas | Northern VA

Use skylights for extra light and beautiful views of the sky

sunroom ideas | Northern VA

Decorate this space with plants and flowers for a more natural look

sunroom ideas | Northern VA

Turn the sunroom into an entertainment and relaxation area

sunroom ideas | Northern VA

Use comfortable furniture and pleasant textures

sunroom ideas | Northern VA

A glass roof would definitely be a wonderful feature for a sunroom

sunroom ideas | Northern VA


3 Reasons You Should Care About Deck Maintenance

#1: There Is No Such Thing as a Maintenance-Free Deck

Because they are under constant attack from the elements, all decks, regardless of the native climate or type of material they’re made of, require some degree of maintenance in order to retain their look and structural integrity over the years. While rain and moisture present a clear threat to a deck’s longevity, it’s the relentless UV rays of the sun that exact a particularly harsh toll. And while a deck in an arid, sunbaked backyard won’t last as long as one beneath the canopy of lush foliage. With proper attention, even the shortest-lived deck should last for at least 15 years (and possibly up to the lifetime of the home).

Homeowners are faced with a number of choices when it comes to choosing the type of building material for their deck. As the longtime industry standard, pressure-treated wood remains the most popular choice by far, and there’s good reason for this: it’s a reliable, cost-effective, and attractive option.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

#2: Cleaning Before Sealing Is Absolutely Necessary

An incredibly useful tip for any homeowner reaching out to a deck contractor is to ask them what they’re going to do first, what steps they’re going to take and if they say anything about sealing it before cleaning it, they’re not who you want.

There was a homeowner whose beautiful deck lasted all of a year before mold took a hold and left it in a state beyond repair. Because the homeowner was given the impression by a negligent contractor that a new deck didn’t require cleaning prior to sealing, the microscopic mold spores that naturally inhabit the wood were trapped beneath the seal, left to multiply exponentially and wreak irrevocable havoc on the lumber. Needless to say, the homeowner was devastated to learn how easily this could have been prevented.

The real focus of the cleaning isn’t so much the removal of visible dirt and grime as it is the elimination of invisible microbes and mold spores. Homeowners should have the cleaning performed at a time when very little sunlight is hitting the wood so that the wood can remain as damp as possible. A simple blend of one part bleach to three parts water constitutes a cheap and effective cleaning solution.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

#3: Sealing/Staining Is the Key to Your Deck’s Longevity

After the deck has been thoroughly cleaned and allowed to dry (which could take anywhere from 48 hours to a week, depending on the climate), it’s time to choose a sealant or stain. Ranging from transparent finishes to opaque stains, there are hundreds of different options from which to choose, and it can be downright overwhelming. While nearly all will afford protection from rain and moisture when properly applied, you should use oil-based solutions, as they actually seep into the pores of the wood and create a greater defense from the sun’s UV rays.

How often does the deck need to be resealed? There’s no simple answer to this, as factors such as climate, location (especially with regard to how much sunlight is received), and construction materials come into play. It’s a good idea to consult with a professional deck contractor, such as Steadfast Construction, since we are familiar with the area and therefore, be able to provide advice.

Custom Decks | Steadfast Construction

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Three Season Porch vs Four Season Porch

Three Season Porch

Sturdier than your average screened in porch or enclosed deck, a 3-season room addition is a good option for homeowners who want to enjoy outdoor living in style but who don’t need the living space available all year long. 3 season rooms are:

Custom Porches | Steadfast Construction
Custom Porches | Steadfast Construction

  • Used primarily spring, summer and fall
  • Often added to an existing deck or patio with a few structural changes
  • Separated from the rest of the house with an exterior door
  • Heated and cooled separately from the home, if at all
  • Not insulated
  • Generally completed within a week

A 3-season porch has windows with integrated screen systems and can be used for long periods throughout the year. They can shield you from outdoor elements such as rain, wind, sun and insects, but 3-season porches are not heated. Therefore, it is not a part of finished square footage, but is considered an enclosed space.


One of the biggest benefits to a three-season porch is the fact that it is very economical. Since it is not heated or cooled, it costs much less to build than a four-season porch or room addition would. It also does not require any additional money to heat or cool this space. Maintenance costs are very minimal as well.

Four Season Porch

Sunrooms | Steadfast ConstructionA 4-season porch (also known as an all season room or sun room) is a room that functions as an interior room, but allows you to take in the views of the outdoors year-round. It has permanent heat and is included in the finished square footage of the home.

A 4 season room, also referred to as all-season or year round room, is integrated into the construction of your home, existing roofline and exterior. This structure is:

  • Constructed to use your existing HVAC for year round usage
  • Open to the rest of the house
  • Constructed with insulated, walls, floor and roof

Steadfast Construction Receives 2018 Best of Fairfax County Award

Fairfax County Award Program Honors the Achievement

FAIRFAX COUNTY July 6, 2018 — Steadfast Construction has been selected for the 2018 Best of Fairfax County Award in the Deck and Porch Construction category by the Fairfax County Award Program.

Each year, the Fairfax County Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Fairfax County area a great place to live, work and play.

2018 Best of Fairfax County Hall of Fame AwardVarious sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2018 Fairfax County Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Fairfax County Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Fairfax County Award Program

The Fairfax County Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Fairfax County area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Fairfax County Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Fairfax County Award Program

Fairfax County Award Program

5 Steps to a Smooth-Running Construction Project

Patio Enclosures | Steadfast Construction

1. Don’t Skimp on Design Help

Given the busy lives most of us lead, we don’t have the time to research every type of technology and material that might be used on a construction project. Let Steadfast Construction save some of the time that would otherwise be spent learning and perfecting the process. Your budget might be tight, but we’ve seen time and time again that trying to save money on design actually can cost homeowners far more in the end, in dollars and frustration.

Homeowners often underestimate the cost and complexity of a home addition project. The cost of the design work on a project is something that homeowners may consider skimping on to save money, but we find that the best way to avoid problems in construction is to invest time with us up front to think about the construction process during design. This takes far less time than fixing mistakes that happen when the walls are going up.

We at Steadfast take the time to review your project in great detail by focusing on the layout of the project, how people will enter and exit the space, how furniture will be placed and other details on how to create an enjoyable atmosphere for the homeowner and those accessing the space.

Once we talk about our initial findings and your thoughts, you can opt to have us create custom CAD and 3D design deck drawings based on those ideas. These 3 dimensional images allow you the homeowner to get a clearer idea of their new space’s potential. If you already have a 3D deck design in hand, we are ready to bring your project to life. If you need help with planning, you can use our experience in creating master plans for projects.

Click here to learn more about our design process.

2. Become Part of the Team

Most people spend more time planning their next vacation than they do planning their house project. Not that planning a home addition project has to be a full-time job. Steadfast Construction can help you understand your role in the project as well as the contributions of other team members. That means participating in the process from the start so that you stay fully up to speed with what is happening throughout the project.

We’ve seen clients assume that we know what’s going on in their head and are surprised when something comes out different than what they were expecting. That’s why communication is important.

Steadfast Construction will assist you so you understand what is being communicated at each stage of the project. The best opportunity for this is during the design meetings. Remember, if you don’t understand something, ask. It’s better to get everyone on the same page early before a structure gets built that sticks out like a sore thumb.

3. Establish Your Goals and Refer Back to Them Frequently

Be ready to suggest ways to get what you want while avoiding potential problems down the road. If you can create a list of priorities, then when you are faced with challenging decisions during construction, you will be able to look back at your prioritized list to really focus on what will get you closer to your goal instead of what may be a costly distraction.

4. Establish Your Budget and Add at Least 10 Percent

Be sure to set aside a construction contingency for critical items. Due to the complexity of the construction process, unforeseen issues might come up. Without a contingency, you might find yourself short of cash when you really need it.

5. Don’t Get Attached to an Optimistic Timeline 

Steadfast Construction will take the time to carefully plan and build your addition most efficiently. It takes time to work out the details of a project, so if you need to get the project designed and built very quickly, there might be situations that won’t be fully resolved in the design phase. There will always be elements that will need resolving onsite, but taking the time to do as much as possible on paper can reduce costs.