Outdoor spaces are a hit with a busy and growing family.
Story by Carol McGarvey
Photography by Tim Abramowitz
Featured in Summer 2023
When Katrina and Tom Moreland purchased their classic two-story home in Urbandale in the fall of 2021, they knew they would eventually have to do some upgrading. “The existing deck was falling apart, and the retaining walls of railroad ties were rotting,” Tom explains.
Fast-forward a few years. With their four children, ages 4 to 11, getting older, it was time to make an upgrading plan. They started googling various companies and ended up with Archadeck of Central Iowa.
Tom says he and his wife were so taken with president Harold Cross and decided to go with the company. “Everything I wanted, he came through with graphics and design to accomplish all of it. It was great,” Tom says.
Cross showed Tom and Katrina how things would work. For example, the couple originally figured they would use lots of stone. But Cross suggested using a mix of “thin bricks” and stone to go with the rest of their traditional-style home.
The thin bricks that give the look of full bricks really are just the facade layer. Cross also gave the couple various options to help to lower the final cost of the project.
The project involved a deck structure, partially covered, partially open on the second-story level, along with amenities such as the two-sided fireplace with one opening on the top level and the other on the lower level. The open side on the lower one is visible from the 40-×160-foot saltwater pool.
Tom explains that the in-ground pool was installed independently by Premier Pools in conjunction with the overall project. According to Cross, the pool company did the concrete patio flat work around the pool and under the deck/porch. Archadeck did everything from the patio upward.
One finishing touch Tom insisted on was finished wood ceilings instead of open rafters. The finished wood also allows for can lighting and ceiling fans, which can be controlled by a phone.
Tom also wanted an outdoor kitchen to complete the plan, which Archadeck included in the project under the lower-level deck. “I love to do steak and scallops and lobster and burgers—lots of burgers,” he says.
Katrina loves the entertainment factor of the new possibilities. “We had parties for the NCAA basketball games, and Tom loves to have guests for Hawkeye football games,” she says.
Needless to say, Tom says the new deck and patio have become the place to be to tailgate when the Hawks play away. Otherwise, the Morelands are in Iowa City for home games.
The new digs have become party central for the four children as well. Before school was out, all the children got to invite their individual classes, siblings, and parents to a pool party at their home. Four parties, four dates, lots of food.
Both levels of the new addition offer outdoor televisions, perfect for the game parties or for the kids who might want to watch different movies.
“We figure we can use the new space from April 1 to October 1,” Tom says. He recently sold his business, Nextaff, a recruiting and staffing company for health care, and is looking for his next opportunity.
Lovely outdoor furniture made of all-weather resin wicker that graces both levels means there’s plenty of room for the kids and their friends to spread out.
For Tom and Katrina, the project turned out better than they thought it could. “We wouldn’t change a thing,” both agree. •
- Outdoor Living Spaces Archadeck of Central Iowa
- Pool Premier Pools