Author Archives: archadeckkansascity

About archadeckkansascity

I have owned Archadeck in Kansas City for 10 years. We specialize in designing and building decks, screen porches, sunrooms, and room additions.

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 kansascity@archadeck.net.

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 kansascity@archadeck.net. 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 kansascity@archadeck.net. 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 kansascity@archadeck.net 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.

When you can’t decide whether to make improvements to an existing room or add a new one…

When these Prarie Village homeowners initially called us, they were unhappy with an interior room and wishing that room was larger and had more light. They were looking for a screened porch to have a bright and airy living space – the sort of open and cheery feeling that their current living room did not have. Together with the homeowners, we put together a design that would open up their living room as well as give them the sunroom they wanted.

Porch builder Prarie Village KSThe exterior wall of their living room had a fireplace flanked with custom built-in bookcases. Although attractive, it made the room dark and gloomy. By removing the built-in bookshelves and replacing them with doors, we could extend the size of the room to include an entire screened porch. The doors would also allow light to enter into the once darker living room.

The new doors we installed are full-glass inserts allowing the maximum amount of light to dance between the two rooms. From the porch side, the brick chimney is visible. The family was able to use the chimney as a design feature by mounting a TV on the fireplace exterior.

gable roof porch Prarie Village KSAlthough extending the living space was a challenge, it was relatively easy compared to the complicated roof connection the new space required. We had to extend and match an existing hip roof, change it to a gable roof, wrap it around a chimney and custom flash it to the chimney. In the picture, you can see where the chimney protrudes from the roof. The exterior house wall previously ended there. That small protruding section of the home had a hip roof. The new screened porch would have a gable roof to add as much light as possible to the porch and the adjoining living room. We also had to ensure that the space works in conjunction with the existing house rooflines to make it look as if the space was original to the home.

Prarie Village KS screened porchLooking at the room from the inside, you’ll see a generous cathedral ceiling. The gable roof had to be high in order to match and complement their existing hip roof. To reduce height inside, we installed a drop down collar tie ceiling. This provides feeling that it’s not excessively high.

The ceiling is finished with recessed lighting and a ceiling fan built in. The decking is AZEK for low maintenance.

At Archadeck of Kansas City, our goal is to build spaces that are solutions to how you want to live outside. Because the family wanted a brighter space than their living room, we were able to make their living room brighter and create a walkout to a large new porch for the ultimate double living room.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give Archadeck of Kansas City a ring for a free consultation or 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.

Take a look at dozens of screened porch photos in the Prairie Village and Kansas City area market on our Archadeck of Kansas City website.

Should you give your outdoor contractor your “real” budget?

We all know that contractors don’t have a standard price list. We know there is a degree, if not a lot, of wiggle room in the pricing. We know that everything is negotiable when working with contractors. What we don’t know is the degree that contractor’s use this to their advantage to inflate profits and line their own pockets. And we don’t know the degree to which this has changed over the years. What is the “real” price? Are you paying too much?

Here are 3 things you need to know.

  1. There are trustworthy contractors and not-so-trustworthy contractors
  2. You must work with a contractor you can trust
  3. You will get more for your money if you’re honest with your contractor about your budget

There are trustworthy contractors and not-so-trustworthy contractors. You have a lot more to worry about if you don’t trust your contractor.

We don’t want to say there are less-than-honest contractors. Even more, though, we don’t want good contractors to have to take the rap. Most importantly, it’s important you have confidence in the trustworthiness of your contractor. As it relates to your budget, here’s why.

Kansas City porch with outdoor fireplaceImagine preparing a budget for a wedding dress. Imagine you have $1,000 to spend. You know there are dresses for $100 that will accomplish the same task. You know there are $200 that may look nearly as nice. But you have saved $1,000 and you want the best dress for that amount of money. What could possibly make two dresses that look similar have one that’s 5 times more expensive? Often we pay more for a good brand name because we are confident that the quality is built in. Perhaps we want a particular lace or silk that is only available in the higher price grouping. But perhaps what we really want is the dress that meets all of our objectives within our budget. Are we going to find that? If we’re being honest, we know the dress that meets all of our objectives will most likely not have every last detail we want. We trust that the sales person has the knowledge to get the absolute most out of our budget utilizing tools in their time-tested arsenal of getting the best product to the buyer.

This is exactly the same with your outdoor porch or deck contractor. There are a number of different elements involved in your custom space. Take a deck for example. Decking options range from standard pressure-treated pine all the way up to Ipe Brazilian hardwood and its similar price rival – PVC decking. Choosing the higher end decking alone could easily exceed your budget. Then there is railing. Again, there are less expensive wood options and a multitude of low-maintenance options ranging from aluminum to iron or PVC. Again, going with the high-end railing option could quickly exceed your initial budget. There are a number of additional options including custom shapes, upgraded stair designs, lighting and many more.

What if you are honest with your contractor about what you are looking for and what your budget is? What if you share all of the options you would like? Is it possible that your contractor has intimate knowledge of whether that particular upgrade is worth the additional investment? Is it possible that your contractor can recommend a number of alternatives that meet the same objective but leave you more flexibility with upgrades in other areas? Is it possible that your builder can suggest a construction design alternative to a material upgrade based on their experience and expertise? The answer is a resounding yes. The answer is yes if you work with a contractor you trust.

You will get more for your money if you’re honest with your contractor about your budget

large AZEK deck Shawnee KS by Archadeck lrContractors who have been in the business for many years are successful because they help people design and build the best project that balances their wants and what their budget allows. Your trusted contractor is in the building business because they love building great home additions for people based on their wants and needs. Your trusted contractor has years of experience and expertise in selecting and working with any number of material and design options. Further, that trusted contractor has strong established relationships with subcontractors they can trust. This includes plumbers, electricians, painters, etc.

Should you give your outdoor contractor your “real” budget?

If you want the best project for your budget, you absolutely should.

How do you know that contractor is reputable, trustworthy, talented, experienced and successful? One of the best ways is to learn from what their past customers have to say. Make sure the contractor is willing to provide references. Check their online reviews. Scour the online reviews. They either tell a story or they don’t. Low ratings at online review sites should give you pause. Few or no online ratings should give you pause.

At Archadeck of Kansas City, we are proud of our:

Angie’s list Super Service Award for 9 years, our A+ rating at the Kansas City Better Business Bureau and our 5-star rating on Houzz.

What’s your best option in considering contractors for your next Kansas City porch, deck or other outdoor project? Do your research. If you talk to more than one contractor, give them each the same information about your budget and your list of wants and needs. Carefully evaluate the proposed project and materials. Then do some more online research to confirm your contractor selection.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give Archadeck of Kansas City a ring for a free consultation or drop us an email. (913) 851 – 3325 or kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to working with you to design your new outdoor addition.