Category Archives: Outdoor living dream space

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 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.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

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 We look forward to your call.

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