This dream outdoor space in Shawnee KS includes a porch, deck, patio and outdoor fireplace

before lrWhen these Shawnee KS homeowners initially called us, they knew they wanted to build the right outdoor living space for exactly how they wanted to live outdoors. Because it was an investment, they wanted to make sure to use carefully selected materials that would both be long lasting and ones that would be low maintenance.

Their existing outdoor space included a second-story deck connected only to an interior room. They also had a small concrete patio. In theory, decks or porches that connect only to a particular interior room are a good idea. It would be delightful to take your morning coffee and newspaper out on your own private deck to enjoy the early morning sun. But, in reality, the coffee and newspaper are downstairs and you’re likely enjoy your morning routine more on the main floor where you have access to other things. The other challenge with a private deck is that other family members or guests cannot as easily or comfortably enjoy it. You probably don’t want people traipsing through your room to go out to the private deck.

Shawnee KS ipe deck porch outdoor fireplace lrThis family was ready for that change and they were also ready to invest in their dream outdoor living space. The first component of the new outdoor living space was a first-story screened porch. We demolished the deck and built the porch in its place. This required closing up the area where the deck door previously lived. This also required a keen eye and bit of expertise to match the home’s exterior finish to a tee. Our goal is to make outdoor room additions look like anything but additions. You’ll note that we matched the stucco and also matched the tile roof. You’d never know that the screened porch was an addition. We even made the knee wall exterior in stucco to match the house.

The next thing the family wanted was a deck. One of the key decisions when planning your new deck is the deck material. This family wanted an easy-to-maintain deck material that would be incredibly long lasting. They also liked the look of real wood. Nothing fits that bill better than Ipe Brazilian hardwood. It’s durable and can last 50 years or more. For more on Ipe, read our blog about Brazilian hardwoods. They wanted their new hot tub to live on the deck. The yard slopes down quite a bit to the back so we built solid Ipe skirting to hide the underdecking area from the lower parts of the back yard.

The deck railing is low maintenance black aluminum. The black railing contrasts nicely with the deep rich color of the Ipe deck. This sort of contrast is very popular with railings today. Please take a look at the post about Kansas City deck railings to read about some popular new railing combinations. The new deck adjoins a Pavestone patio complete with seating wall, a water feature and a custom fire pit. The new space looks like it has always been there. Because of the low-maintenance materials they used, it will be there for many, many years to come. Look for a post next week highlighting the interior of the screened porch.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering adding a new deck, 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