Alex and C.J. Murray Reshape a No-Man’s Land behind Their Home into a Visually Stunning Addition for Entertaining and Relaxing

For nearly 26 years, “a door to nowhere” in the back of C.J. and Alex Murrays’ home near Horse Pen Creek Road led to an uninviting sharp slope. Its sole inhabitant: a lonely swing set, long abandoned by their now-grown children.

Today, the steep grade has been shaped into an expansive, visually stunning retreat. The door to nowhere now leads to a 600-square-foot, multilevel and cantilevered wraparound deck, accommodating multiple seating areas and a pergola for shade. The swing set has been replaced by an inviting patio and fire pit. Some old railroad ties that had served as a retaining wall of sorts are gone, and in their place, a handsome stone wall.  

“We wanted a little oasis,” C.J. says. “We thought it’d be nice to come out from the living room or kitchen and have somewhere to hang out.” 

But to call this elaborate, well-designed structure just a “deck” would be an understatement. This is no square platform tacked on the back of a house, but a custom-built addition made to integrate almost seamlessly with the home and made to last. Looking up from below, the angled corners echo the shape of the roofline, and the composite floor decking is also set at a diagonal, enhancing the visual interest.

The spacious shape lends itself to entertaining; there’s an easy flow between the levels and seating areas. Wood posts, wood-alternative decking, and black aluminum pickets and rail caps ensure low-maintenance durability while weaving together a harmonious combination of textures and colors.

“Typically the projects we do involve design work, to provide people space that they want to use, that they want to have parties on. We don’t take any joy in building a project that someone is not going to use,” says the Murrays’ builder, Greg McNeer, president of Archadeck of the Piedmont Triad.

The company, which has had a local presence since 1991, specializes in custom design/build of outdoor additions, including decks, porches, sunrooms and patios.  

Greg sees a trend among homeowners who need more space but are deterred from moving by climbing mortgage rates. Instead of looking for a bigger house, they are opting to expand. A deck or sunroom is often the first thing they think of.

“Some of the most popular things we build here in the Piedmont Triad are three-season rooms with Eze-Breeze windows,” Greg says.

He explains Eze-Breeze is a sliding window system that effortlessly transforms a screened porch into a multi-season room. Some of the firm’s more elaborate designs might include vaulted ceilings and stone fireplaces. They may loop around homes and snake down hillsides, like the Murrays’ project. 

“We kind of had an idea of the components we wanted, and Greg was able to put it down on paper,” C.J. says.

“Greg came out here and walked the property with us, said, ‘OK, let me go back and come up with some potential plans,’” Alex says. “And he put together several different options, came out again, with some flags, started marking things out.”

Greg describes what his company does as “artful solutions” to extend living spaces. Unlike some contractors, he doesn’t operate from scribbled notes but instead provides formal proposals and blueprints to ensure everyone is on the same page. He also collaborates with other contractors the homeowners might bring into the project. For the Murrays’ project, for instance, he coordinated with New Garden Landscaping and Nursery, which constructed the patio and fire pit.

Another reason people choose Archadeck is the security that comes with knowing it’s a North American brand with a reputation to protect. Hence, every project includes the company’s own guarantee, plus another from the third party National Guarantee Corp. Homeowners also appreciate the design flair, workmanship and attention to detail the company brings to every project. 

“We work very hard at making our projects look like they were part of the original construction, rather than something that was stuck on the back as an afterthought,” Greg says.

Archadeck of the Piedmont Triad

5587-C Garden Village Way