How is your screened porch going to look in 10 years, 20 years or 30 years?

When we begin planning to build a home addition such as a screened porch, we read magazines, visit websites and work hard to envision what the new porch will look like the day it’s finished. We envision which rug we will purchase and the number of people the seating will accommodate. Do you ever envision what the porch will look like in 10 years, 20 years or more? Do you suppose that a decade old porch would look worn and beaten by the sun, rain, and wear of a full decade? Would it look that much more bedraggled after another decade?

This porch by Archadeck of Kansas City was built 6 years ago and still looks new.

Depending on how you have your porch built, with very little care and cleaning, your porch can look nearly as good in 10 years, 20 years or more. Let’s look at how this is possible. There are many ways to build a screened porch and many materials that can be used both inside and outside your porch. There are different choices in weather resistance and in materials. This is not only for flooring materials but also for your railing, trim work, exterior siding, soffits and other materials that will be needed to build your porch. All your porch building materials will differ in durability and maintenance as well as weather resistance. Today, the choices of these materials and quality levels is much greater than in the past.

While porch consumers have many material choices available to them, often builders will have set ways they build and other builders don’t expose homeowners to an important variety of material choices that are available. Many builders don’t let homeowners know there are options and don’t explain to homeowners how those options influence the long-term durability, longevity, and maintenance of their porch.

Traditional all-wood screened porches with wood columns, wood trim, wood flooring, wood railing, and wood steps will always have maintenance, durability and upkeep issues. These are the same maintenance, durability and upkeep issues as an all wood deck. Even though screened porches have a roof, the surfaces are still exposed to weather and this outdoor environment will affect the durability, longevity, and maintenance of the porch.

By careful selection of materials in all these different areas, it’s possible and likely desirable to build a much lower maintenance screened porch that will look every bit as good 5 – 10 years out and more. But all the different areas need to be addressed to achieve this goal. This doesn’t apply just to flooring or one element but to all the materials selected for your new porch.

If you look around at some older or existing porches that were built 5 – 10 yrs. ago, you’ll see cracks, splits, fading, staining issues, broken trim, broken screens, loose screens, railing damage and more because the attention to product selection was not given when the porch was built. It’s all about material quality, craftsmanship and using the right products in the right places to achieve the right balance of looks, durability, upkeep, and longevity. Just like in most product decisions, there’s always a choice of a cheaper product that is not going to hold up.

This beautiful porch uses all low-maintenance materials including low-maintenance flooring.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re likely considering adding a screened porch to your home. Here is some good information to know about material selections to build a porch that will still look fantastic even one or two decades later. Using composite low-maintenance flooring is an option many homeowners are often familiar with but there are quite a few other low-maintenance materials that will keep your porch looking great for years to come.

All roofed porches have exterior trim boards that are exposed to weather. Thirty years ago there were just a couple options for, exterior trim including pine, cedar, and other natural woods. Today there are man-made, weather-resistant materials that will never crack, split, rot, fade, splinter or warp. These are designed to be custom painted to match your home ensuring your new porch doesn’t look added on but looks like it was built with your home. These choices didn’t exist 30 years ago but today they make a significant impact.

It’s important to be aware that there are many critical material decisions to make that have long-lasting implications. Choose a contractor that has expertise using low-maintenance products and one that is willing to invest time on the front end helping you select the materials to ensure you have many years of return on your outdoor living investment.

Our design consultation is free. Give us a ring at (913) 851-3325 to discuss ideas and options for your new outdoor living space. To see many great pictures of porches we’ve built throughout the Kansas City metro, visit our screened porch photo gallery or our covered porch photo gallery.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

These Creekmoor homeowners in Raymore MO just turned in their old deck for an amazing new porch

When these Creekmoor homeowners first contacted us, they had an old deck that was built at the time the house was built. It was tired and they wanted a space that was a little larger. Instead of a deck, they wanted a new screened porch complete with an outdoor fireplace.

The new porch looks amazing. Integrated into the screened-in porch is a gas ventless outdoor fireplace with TV mounted atop. If you look closely, you’ll see an inset above the fireplace made to accommodate a TV. You can most often use an indoor TV on your outdoor porch if you’re careful to shield it from the elements. This can be done a number of ways. The TV can be mounted on one of the house walls or an enclosed sidewall of the porch. The area above this fireplace was where these homeowners wanted their TV to reside permanently.

The interior of this porch utilizes a beautiful color pallet. The interior house wall is a warm tone which is complemented with the AZEK low-maintenance PVC floor in Hazelwood color. The stone facade on the outdoor fireplace also utilizes a muted array of beige and gray tones. In contrast, the ceiling is finished with cedar in warm tones. Closer to the house wall is a king truss wrapped in cedar to match the ceiling.

Looking at the outside of this Creekmoor porch with outdoor fireplace, you’ll notice that the porch looks like it was built with the home even though it was just added to the home. Careful time and attention goes into matching not only the home’s exterior color but also matching soffits and gutters. Homeowners don’t want their home improvement to look added on. They want it to look like it was always there.

This screened porch has an exterior exit. The homeowners wanted easy access to the patio below the elevated porch. For this reason, we added a landing to the stairs ensuring that the stairs descend back toward the house. Just outside the porch exterior door is a small grill deck. While you can’t have a grill inside a screened porch, it’s important to make sure to accommodate the grill in the area where it will most often be used. If you have a multi-level space but plan on doing your grilling on one particular level, let your builder know so space can be integrated into your design.

If you live in Creekmoor, Raymore or anywhere throughout the Kansas City metro, give us a call for a free design consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email at We would love to work with you to design and build the perfect outdoor living space for your home.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder


Can you add a screened porch addition to a townhome?

For those with homeowners associations, it can be difficult to get home improvements approved. With a townhome association, it can be even more difficult to get a home addition approved. We just completed a screened porch working with townhome owners in Leawood KS. It’s important to select a builder that not only takes care of all the necessary permitting, but to select a builder that will work with your HOA to gain approval for the home addition. Often times this will require multiple visits and some revisions. When you select a contractor, make sure you work with a contractor that is experienced with handling all the drawings, permitting and inspections.

These homeowners were particularly discerning as they both are in the home improvement industry. You’ll appreciate their attention to detail in the design and material selections they made for their new screened porch and outdoor fireplace.

The homeowners carefully selected a number of beautiful materials for use on their new screened porch. Selecting materials for your new outdoor project is fun yet challenging as there are many different options for each component of your new space. The material options range in quality, price and maintenance levels.

These homeowners chose a couple low-maintenance materials for their porch. The low-maintenance flooring is AZEK in dark hickory. The contrasting railing is iron railing from Fortress. Natural materials beautifully contrast the low-maintenance materials. Cedar is used for the posts, for the headers and also for the tongue-and-groove ceiling.

The final key material selection is the stone used for the fireplace facade. The hearth is capped with concrete slabs. The mantle and corbels are also concrete.

You may notice that the porch is long and narrow. There width of the addition was restricted so this porch has a generous 20′ length.

If you’re considering adding a porch, outdoor fireplace, deck or other outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation. We want to help as you make your choices and explore any restrictions such as HOA’s, building codes, setbacks or other restrictions. Call us at (913) 851-3325 or email us at

Take a look at some more images on our website:

Screened porch photo gallery

Outdoor fireplace photo gallery

Covered porch photo gallery

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Owner Archadeck of KC deck and porch builder


When is the cheapest time to build my new Kansas City area porch or deck?

You’re probably not going to like the answer, but the cheapest time to build your new Kansas City porch or deck was 5 years ago. That’s not because our prices have gone up. It’s because material costs have gone up and will continue to go up since the economy is strong nationwide. When times are good and the market will bear price increases, manufacturers and material suppliers take that opportunity to increase prices. We didn’t see these price increases back in 2008 and 2009 after the economy crashed but now we see them regularly and without any notice whatsoever.

We realize that the nature of planning and obtaining qualified, skilled firms to build outdoor projects and home improvements can be a long-term process. We know that a tremendous amount of thought and planning, as well as saving and budgeting, have gone on behind the scenes before homeowners contact us. We also know that when homeowners are ready to move forward with their project, they are anxious to start enjoying their new space as soon as possible. The challenge is that all the qualified and skilled firms are likely to be working months out into the future.

Here are some important timing factors to consider regarding when your new outdoor project will be completed and ready to enjoy

  • The design process takes time
  • The process of narrowing choices and selecting materials takes time
  • The process of permitting takes time
  • The shortage of skilled labor extends these timelines further
  • All reputable builders have a wait before starting projects – probably in direct correlation to how strong they are as a builder

Since there are a number of time-consuming factors involved and since materials price increases could always be looming, what’s the best thing to do?

Lenexa AZEK deck screen porch with TVThe best thing to do when you make your decision is to recognize the process and make the right choices for you since you will enjoy this space for many years in the future. Further, it’s important to understand that it’s worth the wait to ensure that you have numerous years of optimal enjoyment in your new space. It’s likely that most reputable builders have had calls from homeowners who went with the quickest option only to be disappointed and were then forced to look for another builder to fix that project that didn’t meet expectations.

Choose well, move forward instead of waiting and be patient enough to have the right project built by the right builder having made the best design and material decisions for how you want to live outside.

If you’re thinking about waiting…

A project that is tabled one year because it couldn’t be done on time may not be picked back up until the same time the following year causing the same issues as before. These homeowners always tell us they wish they would have completed the project the previous year so it would be ready at the very beginning of spring the next year.

It’s important to begin the conversation with a reputable builder and balance any wait time against your lifetime enjoyment of your new porch, deck or outdoor living space. Many memories will be made and shared in your new space over the many years you own your home.

Give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email at Take a look at some of our top website photo galleries: outdoor fireplace photo gallery, screened porch photo gallery, deck photo gallery.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – owner Archadeck of Kansas City


Design ideas for your Kansas City area covered porch or open porch

Have you considered adding a roof over your deck or patio but don’t want to obstruct access to your yard? A great solution may be an open porch. Other common names for this type of space are covered porch, covered deck or covered patio.

In this blog post we’ll share a number of photos from throughout the Kansas City metro along with descriptions of the numerous design features and design ideas and options.

Below is a covered porch in Lee’s Summit MO. These homeowners wanted some sun protection but otherwise wanted unobstructed access to all the fresh air they could get. They also wanted a bright and airy space so they chose a gable roof. This porch includes a number of low-maintenance materials to ensure they can spend their porch time enjoying their porch instead of performing maintenance on it. The porch flooring is AZEK decking and the railings are low-maintenance aluminum.

Below is a picture of the 3-D design drawing of the deck shown above. Your Archadeck designer works closely with you to ensure your new space fits all of your outdoor living needs and also will look original to your home. Everything from the roof style to the roofing tiles and even gutters is designed to match or complement your home to ensure your new porch does not look added on.

If you’re considering adding a new space, there are many covered porch ideas for your Kansas City area home. The open porch below is in Olathe, KS. You may have wondered if you can include an outdoor fireplace in an open porch. Looking at the picture below, you can see that’s absolutely possible and it looks stunning. This covered patio has a low pitch gable roof with an open gable end. The fireplace comes complete with a TV mounted over the fireplace. Take a look at some of the nice design details these homeowners chose. The wide columns are partially finished with the same stone as the fireplace facade for aesthetic appeal and to pull the whole space together.

Below is another view of this Olathe open porch with outdoor fireplace. Take a look at how beautifully the design elements complement the home. The paint and stain colors each match and complement the home ensuring the new porch looks like it was always there.

Below is a covered deck in Overland Park KS. Notice the stately wide columns and how they contrast beautifully with the dark stained railing and the slender-profile black pickets. The ceiling of this porch is painted beadboard. You are not limited to natural wood or natural-toned shades. It’s a great design idea to have some elements of your space painted to match your home. Your Archadeck design consultant will work with you to look at numerous design, finish and material options. We’ve built just about every size and used many different materials from many different manufacturers. We care share all of that experience with you to help you in your design decisions.

In the image below, take a look at the wide spacing between the columns on this covered porch. The flexibility for widely spaced posts is available on open porches whereas this is much more restricted with a screened porch, 3-season room or 4-season room when window sizes restrict the column spacing opportunities. The elevated porch below has a flat ceiling. Flat ceilings can be selected for a number of reasons including preference or even roof height limitations. The commonly stated concern about a flat roof is the amount of light that will enter the space. You can see that even with this heavily wooded back yard, this porch is flooded with natural light.

There are so many design options for your open porch. As you can see in the image below, beautiful finishing touches such as a beadboard ceiling or recessed lighting do not need to be spared because the environment is open. Below you’ll also note the exceptionally wide opening from the porch to the adjoining uncovered deck area. Notice the beautiful inset gable in this shed roof covered porch. This combination shed/gable roof has tremendous custom design flair with the added bonus of inviting in even more natural light.

Below you can see the exterior view of the porch pictured above. You’d be hard pressed to guess this porch was added on if you didn’t know it was newly added to the home. Roof tiles, roof pitches, paint colors, soffits, gutters and other details are carefully matched to the original home.

If you’re considering adding a porch or other outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email at We would love to discuss ideas to add a phenomenal new outdoor living space to your home to help you enjoy outdoor living exactly the way you want to live outside.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – owner Archadeck of Kansas City




Are you thinking about adding an outdoor fireplace to your Kansas City area screened porch or open porch? What are the top 5 questions we hear?

At Archadeck of Kansas City, we love building outdoor fireplaces. We’ve been building outdoor fireplaces as part of new screened porches and open porches for quite some time. As we talk to local homeowners who are considering adding an outdoor fireplace, here are the top questions we hear.

  1. How much does an outdoor fireplace cost?

The cost of an outdoor fireplace varies considerably depending on design and amenities. There are a couple key decisions you will make that will influence the cost. You will need to choose whether you want a wood-burning fireplace, a gas insert fireplace or an electric insert. Of these options, gas-insert is most often what our customers choose. A gas ventless fireplace insert has the appearance of a wood burning fire but does not have the smoke, ash, soot and other byproducts of burning natural wood. Choosing a gas firebox will eliminate the need for a functioning chimney which significantly reduces the cost.

If you are considering adding an outdoor fireplace to your home, you are probably looking at $5,000 – $10,000 or higher in addition to the deck/porch/patio cost. Some other options that will determine your cost include the facade you choose. Stone is one of the most popular options currently for a fireplace facade. Additional options that will influence the cost of your fireplace option are amenities including whether you want a mounted TV, cabinetry, a hearth, a mantle and which materials you choose for those.

2. Will my outdoor fireplace heat up my porch or area?

It certainly will, especially if it’s gas or wood. It won’t heat an entire screened porch especially if it’s large. But your outdoor fireplace absolutely will put out heat.

3. What regulations or codes apply to my outdoor fireplace?

There are quite a few regulations to be followed when building a new outdoor fireplace including a number of inspections. Wood burning fireplaces have extensive building code chimney regulations. They are regulated for safety and to make sure they have the right drafting. Gas fireplaces bypass those recommendations but there are other regulations for gas line safety. That’s why it’s important to work with a builder that has worked with local code and a builder that will do all of the required inspections.

  1. Is my outdoor fireplace different than an indoor fireplace?

Yes, an outdoor fireplace is very different than an indoor fireplace.  The fire box is designed to be used outdoors and is designed to be exposed to moisture. Most outdoor fire boxes are stainless steel to be moisture resistant.

5, What is the most popular type of outdoor fireplace?

The most popular type of outdoor fireplace is natural gas, instant-on, This type of fireplace is cleaner and in some cases even puts out more heat than wood. An instant-on fireplace has more convenience with a switch and it pollutes less than wood-burning. A gas fireplace is very clean burning and environmentally friendly. There is no soot, no smoke, and no air pollution.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you live in the Kansas City area and you’re considering adding an outdoor fireplace as part of a new outdoor living space in your backyard, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325, drop us an email at or visit our website. You may want to take a look at our outdoor fireplace photo gallery or read more on our outdoor fireplaces website page. We look forward to discussing options for your new outdoor project.

An Overland Park cedar deck was transformed into a large screened porch and low maintenance deck

overland-park-azek-deck-and-porch-750When these Overland Park homeowners called us, they had an aging small cedar deck. They wanted a screened porch with an attached low maintenance deck. The new porch was designed to fit where they old deck was – connecting to the house at the logical connection. We mention logical connection for a reason. A porch is an extension to your home. It’s a great place for overflow and a great place to extend the living your do in a high use room in your house. Often the best place to connect to your home is from the kitchen or common living room such as the den. This porch is attached outside the family’s breakfast area.

There are many other factors to consider when it comes to designing how a new roofed structure is attached to your home. For example, roof connection is another factor. There may be a limited number of places a roof connection can be made with your existing home. There may also be constraints further dictating the roof shape and how/where it is attached. This particular home had a very steep sloped gable roof. The family was concerned about the amount of runoff from the steep slope. We designed a roof that would ensure smooth continuous water flow from the house roof in order to achieve the best drainage

screened-porch-overland-park-painted-ceiling-750To add visual appeal to this porch, we added an inset gable. Take a look at how beautiful and visually appealing the inset gable is. The ceiling was finished with beadboard that the homeowners painted off white. The homeowners wanted an extra large fan that required special wiring which we designed and installed the circuitry for. The flooring for the porch is AZEK low-maintenance decking. The attached deck and stairs also use this AZEK decking.

The attached deck has attractive black aluminum railing. This color is a nice contrast to the lighter decking color. It also provides nice visibility from the deck out to the backyard. In addition, the deck has lighting for evening enjoyment.

double-stairs-on-overland-park-screened-porch-750Paying continued attention to traffic flow, the deck has two sets of stairs. One descends toward of the front of the home and a steeper stair set descends to the backyard. There is yet another steep stair set descending from the far end of the screened porch out to another area of the yard. You can see how the yard’s asymmetrical elevation is managed with the elevated porch and stair sets with appropriate grades out to the yard.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a porch or deck to your Overland Park or Kansas City area home,  drop us an email or give us a ring at (913) 851 – 3325. We look forward to working with you to design your new outdoor addition.