Author Archives: archadeckkansascity

About archadeckkansascity

Archadeck of Kansas City had been designing and building custom outdoor living spaces since 2001. Locally owned and operated by Bonnie and Dan Hall, we serve families throughout the Kansas City area, designing decks, porches, and screened porches for the way they want to use them.

Read some reviews and testimonials about Archadeck of Kansas City

Selecting a contractor to build a porch, deck, patio or other outdoor living space is a huge decision. The great news is that it’s much easier to do due diligence now than it was in the past. We recommend that you visit some of our existing customers to see actual projects and meet homeowners that we have worked with. We also encourage you to view our reviews on Angie’s List and do other research online. At Archadeck, we also utilize and post-job survey tool. Our clients are sent an email in which there are only two questions. The first question is for a rating on a scale of 1-10. The second question is solicits comments on what the client liked or didn’t like about the job. From this survey, below are some results.

“The quality of the materials and craftsmanship and the strong work ethic of everyone associated with the project.”

Charles & Dianne C;  Shawnee, KS

“Our deck project was a fairly large job and it was done in a timely manor. The crew who worked on it were polite and always here on time and worked hard. Our deck is beautiful and we love it.  Steve was very professional and helped design our stairs to perfectly walk down to our new patio.  We were very happy with the outcome and would highly recommend Archadeck to anyone. We look forward to enjoying it for years to come.”

Barry & Jill K; Leawood, KS

(What did you like?) Absolutely everything!!! The project turned out exactly as we planned. The quality of work was exceptional!

Ronald & Jeanne P; Olathe, KS

“The construction process and the end product are the best we’ve ever experienced in all of the home improvements projects we have completed.”

Tim & Julie S; Lenexa, KS

“Finish work was excellent and all work done in a timely manner. The workers were fantastic to work with and always on time.”

Steve & Carla M; Olathe, KS

“Excellent crew that took our concepts and produced them.  Steve added some additional suggestions for a gorgeous deck and screened porch area for us.”

Maureen Purcell; Overland Park, KS

“Process from start to finish was explained well, completed in a timely manner and results are outstanding.”

Bradley & Rebecca D; Overland Park, KS

“High quality design, built on time, honest and detail-oriented professionals”

Jeffrey B; Leawood, KS

“Great crew, great materials, great execution. It was a very good experience.”

Steven & Pamela M; Overland Park, KS

“We practically LIVE in our screened porch. We requested a place for a doggy door and they happily accommodated. It’s so nice to still be able to just open the door from the kitchen and let the dogs out in the morning. The materials they used were top notch and we can’t say enough about this new addition.”

Mark & Barbara B; Overland Park, KS

“Very well built, both from a functional and design perspective. Owner is wonderful to work with; responsive before, during and afer the project was completed. We have received many many compliments on the look and design.”

Rodney & Nikki J; Lenexa, KS

“The whole experience of working with Archadack, Steve and the whole crew was exceptional. The deck turned out to be everything we expected and more. Steve was very precise about how things would be from day one. He kept us informed every step of the way. The deck itself is done with such precision that would be hard to match. Every single board is precise to the nth degree. We have already had many wonderful comments, many saying it is the best looking deck they have ever seen. His crew was very clean cut and pleasant. To date we have never hired an any work done at our home that we have been happier with. We would highly recommend Archadeck to anyone without one single hesitation. Archadeck is simply the best you will find anywhere. Thanks, Steve,and crew!”

John and Gloria H; Shawnee, KS

“The screened porch looks like it has always been part of the house. The quality of the work is exceptional.”

Charles & Colleen P; Lenexa, KS

“I like the quality of the work and the professionalism of all employees. Archadeck wants their customers to be happy and that is evident by the way they treat their customer’s property.”

Briana M; Olathe, KS

“The quality of the porch is outstanding. All of the owners and employees are good listeners and communicators so that the design and work is truly a collaborative endeavor. There were no surprises because of this. The integrity of the company is impeccable.”

Susan Y; Overland Park, KS

“The whole experience was positive – from the planning phase, to the construction, and then finally the finished project. We’re extremely happy with the result. The crew was very professional and worked quickly, especially considering the hot weather.”

David L; Overland Park , KS

“Total professionalism, workers are courteous and clean up daily, workmanship is of the highest standards, Archadeck in my opinion is the best Kansas City has to offer.”

Rodney H; Overland Park, KS

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering the addition of a porch, deck, patio, outdoor fireplace or other outdoor living structure, give us a call at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Planning, strategy and consideration are often the most important parts of designing a new Kansas City porch

Lenexa screened porch with TVIf you’re reading this blog post, you’re probably considering adding a porch to your home. You probably have lots of ideas about what you want your new porch to include. You may envision a mounted flat screen TV, a railing that’s easy to see through and perhaps large screened areas with minimal posts for the best view of the yard. Those are all good and important considerations. Before those considerations, we need to look at how you plan to use your porch. If you plan on using your porch mostly for eating, we may suggest mounting the TV in a different area. If you want to add an outdoor fireplace to your porch, do you want that to be the focal element of the seating area or do you want to be able to enjoy the fireplace from either of two living areas such as a seating area and an eating area?

In addition to considering how you want to live in your new space, we will need to look at any architectural challenges the back of your home presents. Things like roof lines, number of stories, elevation, second story windows, and other architectural features have bearing on where and how your porch attaches to your home.

Overland Park porch looks original to home lrTake the porch featured to the left. Archadeck of Kansas City’s biggest challenge on this job was integrating the new deck and porch beautifully and seamlessly into a house that had three different roof lines and a second-story window that needed accommodation. The easiest path would have been to use a simple shed roof, but we wanted a design that would be harmonious with the existing gable roofs. We built a shed roof with a featured gable that increases the feeling of openness on the porch, provides good drainage, and is a great stylistic fit with the rest of the rear facade.

Another very important consideration is maintenance. Remember the days of old when annual painting just went with the territory for deck owners? Now, low-maintenance materials abound. You can have a deck that you never need to paint or stain. You can have columns or siding of high tech manufactured materials that will reduce the need for painting, repair or replacement.

AZEK deck and flooring on Overland Park open porch lrOur clients at this particular home wanted to make sure that their new Kansas City open porch would be a haven of relaxation, not an source of extra household chores. We made that desire part of the design by working almost exclusively with low-maintenance building materials. The AZEK flooring requires almost no upkeep and has an industry-leading warranty. The AFCO aluminum railing is similarly easy to care for and provides little visual distraction from the yard and garden.

Day, night or in between?

Today’s porches are anything but “sun porches”. They’re great in the day but they are also wired for enjoyment in the evening and for longer months throughout the year. We build in electrical outlets, wire ceiling fans, mount TV’s, install gas fireplaces, and add all the amenities might hope for in your new space.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering the addition of an open porch – or a deck, patio, outdoor fireplace or other outdoor living structure – to your Kansas City area home, give us a call at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

 

 

Here’s what we see in custom upscale Kansas City porches

Kansas City 2-level porch lrIf you’re thinking about adding a screened porch on to your home this coming year, don’t you wish you had an uncle or friend in the business to give you the scoop on what you may want to incorporate into your porch? You want really good insight without being sold. You want someone to point you in the direction of who to call, where to look, and what to expect. At Archadeck of Kansas City, our clients will tell you that our only focus is in building a porch or outdoor space for how you want to live. In fact, if you call us for a free consultation and your first question is whether you should use wood or composite, we won’t answer you – at least at that point. We will ask you how you plan to use the porch, how long you’re going to be in your house, and whether or not you want to paint or stain every year or every couple years. We will ask if you plan on eating on your porch, watching the fire or TV on your porch, and how many people you plan on entertaining. If we build a space that looks pretty and uses lots of nifty materials but you never use it, then we have failed. But, once we work through how you want to live in your new space, here are some things we’ll share with you about the types of porches we’re building for our local area clients.

Lenexa screened porch and AZEK deckFlooring

Synthetic decking  offers tremendous advantages over traditional wood floors. Some of these products have extensive factory warranties. They are available in a wide variety of colors to suit almost any taste or design scheme and they require very little maintenance. Complete the room with a few throw rugs and you have a floor that looks like one that could easily be in an interior room.

Kansas City screen porch attached Evergrain deck lrCeilings

Do you love the airy, expansive feeling of vaulted ceilings? They used to be almost unheard of on screened porches completed 20-30 years ago. Now a vaulted ceiling style seems to be the most requested. Clients who have similar ceilings inside their home often like to carry the style into their outdoor space. Alternately, people who have flat interior ceilings may enjoy having the extra space and light they provide on their porch.

Railings

Railings used to be an afterthought on many outdoor living projects, but they too have improved dramatically by the development of synthetic building materials. The railings are typically right up against screens and are one of the first areas of a porch that get wet from the rain. This makes railings another great candidate for using a synthetic material.

Kansas City porch with outdoor fireplaceOutdoor Fireplaces

Although still a significant expense, improvements in fireplace inserts have made an outdoor fireplace more affordable. If you decide to add a gas fireplace on your porch, you have a choice between vented or ventless and can choose from several different heat-resistant materials for the front. Brick, stone and wood are all options that can be used for your outdoor porch fireplace. Regardless of the type you pick, the fireplace will extend the season for using your porch and add to the room’s warmth and ambiance.

Wire it for sound, and amenities

Consumer electronics are available almost everywhere we go and the porch is no exception. Surround sound speakers, televisions, and custom lighting can all be incorporated into the design of your porch so you can enjoy your favorite activities inside or out. Your music, TV, lights, and even your gas fireplace can all be controlled via remote – very convenient.

Leawood KS screened porch

Creating kitchen access to this Leawood KS porch required removing a wall and installing a large custom sliding door.

Custom furnishings

Many of today’s custom screened porches can provide protection from roughly 90% of inclement weather. This allows our customers much more latitude in choosing furnishings for their new living space. Both traditional and all-weather wicker are attractive, affordable and low-maintenance. You’ll see sofas appointed and accessorized with beautiful all-weather outdoor fabric from companies like Sunbrella. In addition, your protection from the elements also allows you to freely use more decorative touches like baskets and candles.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering the addition of an outdoor fireplace – or a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living structure – to your Kansas City area home, give us a call at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Do yourself a huge favor before hiring a contractor to build your Kansas City porch or deck…

screen porch builder Leawood KSAs a homeowners, you’re very fortunate to have a wealth of good due diligence information at your fingertips. As fast as you can type (company name) reviews, you can start reading what real customers have to say about that company. If Angie’s List and the BBB don’t come up upon searching, make sure to visit each of those to learn more about a contractor you might be considering. We are very proud of our BBB A+ rating and of winning the Angie’s List award in 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and counting. Members of Angie’s List leave detailed reviews covering everything from the initial consultation to the friendliness of the contractors and more.

At Archadeck, we have an additional review system we’ve implemented. We work with an independent company called Listen360. After each job, every customer receives an email requesting a rating on a scale of 1-10 and one simple question about how we did. Here are some reviews we’ve received from our customers here in the Kansas City area.

“High quality design, built on time, honest and detail-oriented professionals”
Jeffrey B., Leawood KS

“The quality of the materials and craftsmanship and the strong work ethic of everyone associated with the project.”
Charles & Dianne C., Shawnee KS

“Our deck project was a fairly large job and it was done in a timely manor. The crew who worked on it were polite and always here on time and worked hard. Our deck is beautiful and we love it.  Steve was very professional and helped design our stairs to perfectly walk down to our new patio.  We were very happy with the outcome and would highly recommend Archadeck to anyone. We look forward to enjoying it for years to come.”
Barry & Jill K., Leawood KS

“Absolutely everything!!! The project turned out exactly as we planned. The quality of work was exceptional!”
Ronald & Jeanne P., Olathe, KS

“The construction process and the end product are the best we’ve ever experienced in all of the home improvements projects we have completed.”
Tim & Julie S., Lenexa KS

“Excellent crew that took our concepts and produced them.  Steve added some additional suggestions for a gorgeous deck and screened porch area for us.”
Maureen P. & David H., Overland Park KS

“Process from start to finish was explained well, completed in a timely manner and results are outstanding.”
Bradley & Rebecca D., Overland Park KS

“I like the quality of the work and the professionalism of all employees.  Archadeck wants their customers to be happy and that is evident by the way they treat their customer’s property.”
Briana M., Olathe KS

Here are some links to read more reviews. We want you to do your due diligence. We want you to be confident in your decision.

Archadeck of Kansas City on Angie’s List

Archadeck of Kansas City on the BBB

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering adding a new outdoor space to your Kansas City area home this winter or next spring, give us a call for a free consultation at at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

 

 

Exactly where should I build my Kansas City screened porch?

Velux skylights Overland Park KS screen porchCustom screened porch and deck design is not a career field with lots of easy, all-purpose answers. That’s where the “custom” part comes in. Having said that, I do have some experienced guidance to help you along in the thought process of adding a new screened porch to your home. The really short answer to this common question is, “It depends on how you plan to use your porch.”

When you first started considering a new porch for your home, what got you thinking about that option? Did you go to a really enjoyable party at a friend’s house and find yourself thinking that you would like to host events like that? Perhaps you were watching a home improvement show and were really taken with the way a screened porch allows you to enjoy the best of being inside and outside at the same time. Maybe you were eating dinner in the yard one night and found yourself annoyed by insects or unexpected rainfall. Start with the activity that first inspired you and then start making a list of what you want to do with your new porch.

Your plans for using the space will be one of the primary driving factors in both location and design. If you want to eat lots of meals outside, it makes the most sense to try to locate the porch near the kitchen and to have some space available outside the porch for the grill or outdoor kitchen. If you envision your guests spilling out onto the porch from the living or family room when they come over to watch the Chiefs or the Royals play, you will want to have direct entry to your interior entertaining areas.

Some homeowners see their porch as a quiet retreat where they can curl up with a good book before bed or enjoy a cup of coffee and then newspaper first thing in the morning. In that case, the ideal location for the porch might be adjacent to the master suite. We do recommend some additional consideration on this location. Attaching a porch to your sleeping area will pretty much ensure that the owners of the master bedroom are the only ones that ever use the porch. This seems like a great idea if your view from the bedroom is overlooking a tremendously scenic area. One concern, and this is a serious concern, is that you are far from the coffee maker, the Lenexa screened porch and AZEK decktoaster, and the refrigerator. If you’re going to relax in your own private porch, you will often likely want to take a snack, a cup of coffee, or a cold refreshment with you. While it’s only a hop, skip, and jump to the kitchen, this may keep you from spending as much time out there as you originally thought.

One porch lover that seems to have no preference about location is the family pet. Regardless of the kind of companion animal you have, except perhaps fish, your pet will love spending time on your porch regardless of where you build it. They are some of our most satisfied customers.

Keep in mind that none of these plans excludes any of the others. Your porch will almost certainly end up being a mixed-use area. Once it is complete, you will find yourself looking for opportunities to go outside and enjoy it. You should also be aware that the other major deciding factor of location of your porch will be the layout of your home and available yard space. Don’t be alarmed or upset if a site inspection dictates that your porch has to go in a different area than you originally planned. It is still going to be a wonderful addition to your home.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering the addition of an outdoor fireplace – or a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living structure – to your Kansas City area home, give us a call at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

What makes a “Goldilocks” porch? How to design a Kansas City screened porch that’s “just right” for your home and family.

Overland Park screen porch AZEK deck Fortress Rail

The deck to the left of this screened porch is small but just the right size for a grill and some space to enjoy grilling.

When you are making plans for your new porch, in your mind, it is always “just right.” This porch has plenty of room for lots of people, all your furniture fits perfectly and the porch is not so large that it looks disproportionate to the rest of your home.  There are several factors that go into making the porch that’s “just right” for your family, your home, and how you want to live on your porch. We put together a list of a few things you’ll want to consider to determine the porch that’s just right for you.

What size Kansas City porch do you want? First, think about how you are planning to use the porch. Do you plan to eat out on your new porch? If so, will this just be for casual impromptu meals such as deciding to take your sandwiches outside and enjoy the fresh air while you eat? Or, do you plan on entertaining and regularly having over screen porch and patio Overland Park KSyour 2-3 favorite couples for dinner parties on the porch? What about relaxing on your porch? Do you plan on sneaking out with your favorite book every now and then or do you plan on having the family cozy up with blankets to watch a good movie on fall evenings in front of the outdoor fireplace with outdoor TV mounted atop?

Archadeck takes great pride in creating outdoor living spaces that, when we’re done, look as original to your home as possible. Considerations include the size, shape and proportions of your yard and your house. Once you’ve decided how you want to live in your new space, share that with your builder. During the consultation, you and the builder can walk outside and “eyeball” any opportunities or challenges based on the porch addition and the size of your home, yard, etc. We will look at what size porch will “fit” on your home?

Kansas City screen porchRoof style is an important consideration. We will consider different roof options. Certain roof sizes, styles, and angles may work better than others. There are several factors to take into account as it relates to the roof style you select. Your new roof should complement your current one for the best overall exterior appeal. If you have a second story, the roof will need to work with and not block anything on the second story including the windows and any other architectural elements.

Traffic flow is another design consideration some people miss but is critical to a successful porch addition. Where will people enter and leave your porch? Consider entrances and exits from the house and the yard. If you plan to include a fireplace or even a wall mount TV, those should be part of your traffic plan too. Doors, walls and fireplaces can be expensive to move so they may impact your decision about porch size.

If you are interested in having more than one living area on your porch and you own a multi-story home, you might take a look at expanding your project to a second story. Take a look at this two-story porch and deck in Leawood Kansas. Another option for multiple outdoor living spaces would include a porch and deck combination or a porch and patio combination.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering the addition of a porch – or a deck, patio, fireplace or other outdoor living structure – to your Kansas City area home, give us a call at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Is a fireplace right for my Kansas City screened porch?

This fireplace surround is made of Ipe exotic Brazilian hardwood

This fireplace surround is made of Ipe exotic Brazilian hardwood

We are very lucky in Kansas City to have four distinct, beautiful seasons each year.  Three of them are delightful to enjoy from the comfort of a screened porch, especially if you own a porch with a fireplace.  Once the snow is on the ground, you’re better off relaxing inside.

Understanding that a fireplace should offer you enough warmth to extend your use of your porch earlier in the spring and later in the fall, there are some practical considerations in making the decision to include one in your plans.  First, of course, is price.  A gas fireplace on an open or screened porch could cost between $7,000-$10,000.  It may also “cost” you a piece of one wall as far as real estate on your porch.  If you have one side of your porch where you want extra privacy or you don’t mind obscuring the view, no problem.  If you value a 180-degree panorama outlook, this might be too high a price to pay.

Shawnee KS Archadeck vaulted ceiling porch with fireplace lr

These homeowners had their fireplace strategically placed to create a privacy wall leaving room for a view of the beautiful backyard and street.

As with any other building project, there are also design choices.  Do you prefer wood or natural gas?  Most of our customers prefer gas fireplaces because they are cheaper to build and maintain, have fewer building code restrictions and are easier to use and manage.  If you already have a gas line coming to your home, that reduces the expense further.  With either choice, you get the heat and ambiance that make fireplaces so attractive and add value to your home.

During our design consultation, we also discuss your preferences in trim style for the fireplace.  Do you prefer wood, stone, granite, brick?  Wood is almost always the least expensive choice, but we have some exotic wood and inlay options that are very distinctive and come in at a higher Lenexa custom designed screened porchprice point.  Ipe is a South American hardwood that has a dark red color and makes for a very striking facade. Some customers use a combination of materials, say wood and stone, to create a unique look for their fireplace.

The next question is what would you like to see above or below your fireplace?  Some people are more traditional and like a hearth and a mantelpiece.  These are options, but aren’t required.  Homeowners with a more modern style often choose something more sleek and streamlined in its design.  Nooks for flat screen TVs over the fireplace are very useful and popular.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering the addition of an outdoor fireplace – or a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living structure – to your Kansas City area home, give us a call at (913) 851-3325 for a free consultation or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

What’s on your wish list for your Overland Park porch?

Overland Park open porch builder lrI don’t think of myself as a deck or porch builder per se. I create personal outdoor spaces where people can connect with friends and family in a way that is meaningful for them. This distinction is very important. Any builder can take a set of mass-produced plans and recreate them in your backyard. I listen to how my clients talk about how they want to live outside. No two customers are the same– every Overland Park porch should not be either.

This Overland Park porch project that is a testament to the clients’ love of the outdoors. They wanted to replace an older existing area with a light, airy porch that let them be in the yard while offering protection from sun and rain. We didn’t screen it because bugs are not an issue for them; they value openness. They also envisioned this Open porch with deck Overland Park KS lrspace as being a “second dining room.” The porch is just a few steps from the main eating area inside and has a small adjoining deck for grilling. It couldn’t be more convenient.

They wanted a very compact stair configuration so as to not eat up yard space so we used the smallest footprint by aligning the staircase with the deck. Next to the stairs, we left some beloved trees untouched. A few years from now those trees will provide additional shade and privacy.

Combination shed and gable roof Overland Park porch lrThe home’s existing lines and window configuration suggested a combination shed and gable roof. The gables give the space additional light and airiness. The ceiling fan can create a breeze if there is none that day. We also painted the posts and columns to match the home and the Afco powder coated aluminum rail blends beautifully with the furniture the customers selected. The slender profile, dark color railings, draw your eyes up and into the yard.

The finished beadboard ceiling makes the porch feel like an interior space even while it is completely open. The canister lights add to that impression. The tongue-and-groove look of the beadboard has a clean, classic look that doesn’t distract from the yard view. The AZEK Silver Oak flooring fits in easily with the lines and colors of the rest of the porch and is a snap to maintain.

As outdoors-focused as this project is, our clients still want to be able to watch the occasional game or show from their porch, so we mounted a TV out there as well. For this family, that was it.  We hit all of the items on the wish list. The porch matches the style of their home and their lives. They have a wonderful new space that enriches their lives everyday.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering building an open porch, screened porch or outdoor room on your house, give us a call for a free consultation at 913-851-3325. We look forward to your call.

 

 

What’s black and white and has rail caps all over?

woodNot your grandma’s porch railing!  Not too long ago, a deck would be a big rectangle with a railing of 2×2 wood pickets ringing the outside.  You’ve probably rested many a drink on the flat board that sits atop one of those wooden rails because they are a feature of so many decks.  They were a great option for DIY deck projects as they matched the rest of the deck (no imagination required!) and they were simple to build (easy!). On the flip side, these wood railings came with plenty of maintenance issues including durability issues, cracking, splintering, and rotting issues as the railings aged.

AZEK Morado Deck with AZEK railing

AZEK Morado Deck with AZEK railing

Today’s homeowners want more options. They want low maintenance options and they want stronger railings. In short, homeowners want to have their cake and eat it too. It needs to look great, work well, and last long. Discerning Kansas City area homeowners are willing to pay for railing that meets these requirements.

Deck material manufacturers have solved many of these durability issues by developing stronger, longer lasting alternatives.  Metal balusters/pickets reduce maintenance costs while giving the the deck a current, more stylish look.  Common metal choices include steel, iron and aluminum. In addition, many composite decking companies now offer composite railing options.

Other non-metal material options include vinyl and fiberglass.  You can mix and match different materials for a unique or interesting look and no-fuss maintenance.  Color contrast rather than color matching is becoming popular.  Using a darker rail material draws the eye past the deck and into the yard.  Black railings are by far the most popular color in the Kansas Lenexa custom designed screened porchCity market, followed by bronze.  One way to update the look of an older, existing deck or porch is to change the railing.  You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes!

Take a look at some of the project photos on our site with an eye on the railings.  Take note of the different colors, shapes and materials.  Then give Archadeck a call to schedule a free consultation on your project.  We will help you select the best materials and design options for your porch or deck– for today and the years to come.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

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 kansascity@archadeck.net.

 

 

South America offers robust wood option for decking

Ipe deck in Lees Summit MO

Ipe deck in Lees Summit MO

It comes from the warm, wet environment of South America.  Its origins make it naturally resistant to rot, decay and insect attacks.  It is Ipe (pronounced “EE-pay”) wood from Brazil. It has other interesting qualities as well.  Ipe is so dense that if you drop it in a pool, it will sink.  It is 8-times harder than California Redwood.  It is also known as Brazilian Walnut or Iron Wood.  A deck made with Ipe can last 50 years or more and still look good.

Whether or not your decking material can float or sink probably doesn’t matter to you, but some of Ipe’s other qualities are very attractive to homeowners considering deck material options.  In the past. Ipe popularity seems to be increasing as we’ve had more requests recently about this super durable wood.  Ipe is very attractive: it has a natural reddish brown color that varies in shade and hue and has a very tight grain.  In order to maintain its beautiful finish, it is typically sealed with an oil-based sealant, depending on how much weather it will experience.

Lenexa KS ipe deck by Archadeck

This close-up of the Lenexa KS Ipe deck shows the beautiful dark color and the color variety in the different boards.

Ipe can be used in many different designs for both outdoor decks and enclosed porches.  It can be used in flooring, railing, and in some cases, trim detail.  Its look and style are very different from the more common North American hardwoods.  It is also distinct from PVC and man made lumbers, though it rivals them in durability.  The promise of a long life and good looks wins many homeowners over.

There are some other things to consider when you are researching Ipe.  It requires more time and skill to work with because it is so hard and dense.  Costs for materials and labor will be higher with Ipe than they will with more common woods like cedar and redwood.  Archadeck is proud to be one of only a few experienced Ipe deck builders in Kansas City.  We are familiar with Ipe and know how to make it work and use it to its best advantage.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

As fun as exotic wood facts are, hardness, durability, appearance, decay resistance and cost are more important to consider.  After you have spent a little time exploring your options, invite us over to answer your questions and give you a free consultation.  We want to help you pick the materials and design that will best suit your project.

If you’re considering adding an 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. For more Ipe deck pictures, please visit the Ipe deck photo gallery on our website.