Category Archives: Pergolas

Leawood KS Screen Porch with Custom Pella Doors, AZEK Deck and Pergola

Screen porch and AZEK deck Leawood KS

Screen porch with AZEK double deck and pergola in Leawood KS

Just like in our homes, it’s important to have individual spaces for different uses. There are different and distinct rooms for eating, cooking, sleeping, and relaxing. The same can be done with your outdoor living area as well. At this Leawood KS home, we worked together with the homeowners to build a screen porch flanked by two AZEK decks and a pergola. Each of these spaces fulfilled the need for different types of outdoor living. Equally as important, family members and friends could enjoy time simultaneously in the different areas doing different things. For example, someone could be inside the screen porch reading while another person or small group are gathering on one deck area and another person is separately grilling on the other deck area.

Leawood KS screen porch with custom Pella french door entrance

Leawood KS screen porch with custom Pella door entrance

The screen porch

Because this was a one-story home, the porch had a roof connection to the home. Based on the placement of the porch, a new connection was made from the home to the porch. We carved out a large entrance area and installed custom-made doors by Pella. The screen porch adjoins the great room in the home so it’s a nice extension of the great room. This allows the owners to keep the doors open depending on the temperature and allow air flow through the porch into their home.

Leawood KS screen porch builder designed for maximum air flow

Leawood KS screen porch builder designed for maximum air flow

The 18′ x 14′ porch’s interior has a custom tongue-and-groove cedar ceiling. The screen porch is designed to allow for a good air flow. Instead of a kneewall, divider walls were used to allow air flow under the divider rail. The gable is open to allow screens for air flow. And finally there is a large ceiling fan to increase the air flow.

Another thing that’s very important to consider is entrances and exits from your outdoor room. This screen porch has three. There is an exit to the decks on both sides and the entrance to the home as well.

Screen porch and AZEK deck Leawood KS

The AZEK deck on this side of the porch includes built-in benches and lattice skirting.

The large double decks

Both of the decks are built with AZEK acacia low maintenance PVC decking. The Acacia colors compliments the home’s subtle hues and is also quite popular right now. The seating deck not only has room for a large seating area but also has built-in benches for more seating. The deck is low to grade so no railing is needed but the benches add a nice natural rail area where the landscape would prohibit a walk down to the back yard. This deck also is nicely finished with a lattice skirting.

screen porch AZEK deck cedar pergola and patio Leawood KS

AZEK deck with pergola and eating area

The deck on the other side of the home can be used for seating and eating and also has the cooking area. In the corner, a pergola surrounds the grilling area. Along with the patio, the family essentially now has 4 outdoor rooms in which to live, dine, relax and enjoy.

As you can see, every design is as different as every home. But the design considerations for youroutdoor structurewill take a good bit more into account than the aesthetics. We will spend time with you identifying how you want to live outside. How many people do you expect will be spending time in each space? How often? How are you going to live in those spaces? Is it going to be an eating area and how large is your furniture? These are just a few of the questions we will ask you when we meet for a free consultation.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give us a call to schedule a free consultation. We would love to work with you to discuss adding an outdoor living space or spaces to your home. Call us at (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at

To see more photos on our website, please visit a couple of our photo galleries

Kansas City screen porch photo gallery

Kansas City decks photo gallery

Or, visit our website to submit a consultation request.

What is the difference between a pergola and a roof?

Kansas City Pergola

This pergola in Kansas City is attached to the home and supported by the concrete patio

Many people think of a pergola as a roofed structure. At least as it relates to building codes, a pergola is almost always not considered a roof. This is because a roof, by it’s nature, prevents water and other elements from passing through it. By design, water and elements pass through a pergola to a varying degree. It’s important to think about building codes and restrictions as well as HOA restrictions when deciding on an outdoor structure for your backyard.

WeatherBest Composite Deck with Painted Treated Wood Pergola with Custom Gate and Lattice

WeatherBest Composite Deck with Painted Treated Wood Pergola with Custom Gate and Lattice

Outside of the technical answer that a pergola is not a roof, from a functional perspective, there are a lot of similarities. For example, a pergola provides shade. The nice thing about a pergola is you can have a good bit of control on the amount of shade protection by the pergola design. Factors like cross beams, layers, and beam spacing will have a very significant impact on the amount of sun protection. Ninety percent of sun will come through pergola at noon whereas, as the sun sets at a certain angle, hitting the bars of the pergola provides varying degrees of shade

Unique Fan-Shaped Pergola

Unique Fan-Shaped Pergola

In addition, although not a roofed structure, a pergola can add limited protection from other elements such as items falling from your trees such as leaves, pine cones and such. And, your pergola will also provide a limited amount of wind protection – again depending on the design.

In order to determine if a pergola is the right structure for you and what type of pergola to design, you really always want to go back to the most basic questions. These are the considerations you need to really think about before ever deciding or even considering what to build in your back yard. It’s so easy to see a beautiful structure in the neighborhood or in a magazine and think of how well that would complement your house or how beautiful that would look. But you want your custom outdoor space to be designed for living. Aesthetics are definitely important but how you live out back is the most important consideration.

EverGrain Deck and Rail with Pergola over Hot Tub

These owners wanted some protection for their hot tub spa. Notice how the pergola allows them to put a ceiling fan over their spa for circulation.

  • How do you want to use it?
  • What do you want to use it for?
  • How much shade do you want?
  • Do you want weather protection?
  • Do you want to get wet?
  • Do you want wind protection?

If you have a decided that a pergola is the right structure for you, then there are a lot of choices again both aesthetically as well as functionally. From a functional standpoint, decide how much light you are looking for and at what times of the day do you want to have light pass through.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Are you considering building a pergola purely for its aesthetic value like a pergola at the end of a long pool? Are you thinking about hanging things from your pergola such as plants?

There are many options, many considerations to take into mind and many benefits in adding a pergola to your back yard. Give us a call to talk about ideas and options. (913) 851 – 3325.