Category Archives: Outdoor fireplace

The Solution to Cool Weather, an Outdoor Fireplace

Is the cold weather keeping you inside your Olathe home? It doesn’t have to!

When we designed this versatile outdoor living space, we kept two things top of mind: what factors were keeping the family inside and what amenities could draw everyone outside. This customer already had an old deck, but it was surrounded by quite a few trees that shadowed the deck and drew insects to the area. The family also found that during the spring and fall they found themselves keeping to the house because of the chill..

And outdoor fireplace was built to take the edge off – but first…

KC screened porch fireplace AZEK floorThe first step in creating this showcase Olathe Cedar Creek porch with outdoor fireplace was to demolish the old deck. That gave us the flexibility to enlarge the project footprint and the opportunity to switch from pressure treated pine to low maintenance AZEK decking in silver oak. By upgrading from a deck to a covered screened porch we captured a number of benefits. Cleaning yard debris and battling bugs are non-issues now. Instead of spending valuable time caring for a deck, they are enjoying relaxing on the porch.

The new gable roof porch creates a vaulted ceiling that lets lots of light into both the porch and the rear of the home. A centerpiece of this porch is a built in outdoor fireplace. This Olathe KS porch fireplace is as beautiful as it is functional. Because it is powered by gas, it ignites with the the flick of a switch and you never have to haul or stack wood. It features a cultured stone fascia. Both the mantle and hearth are solid stone and add tremendous warmth and style to the room. We designed and installed a custom lighting combination of track lighting and recessed downspouts to highlight the fireplace.

Outdoor living home upgrades are ultimately value-added improvements!

KC screened porch with outdoor fireplaceThe client wanted to use this project as an opportunity to make some other upgrades to their home and we were happy to oblige. We designed a roof that worked well with their existing roof lines and then arranged for the whole home to be shingled at once. The result looks terrific, was less trouble for the homeowner, and was certainly cheaper than breaking the project into two phases. We also replaced a sliding door with a better looking, better insulating set of French doors. We finished off the porch with painted 4×6 posts that match the house trim and 100% aluminum railings by Westbury. They are durable, easy to care for, and blend in with the screening.

Also read: Is an outdoor fireplace worth it?

What will it take to get you outside? Is it a toasty Olathe KS porch fireplace? The promise of a spacious dining area that you don’t have to sweep before each use? The opportunity to throw open your French doors and let the fresh air in without welcoming the bugs? Whatever you want, we can create the custom solution that will meet your outdoor living needs and exceed your expectations.

Also read: Enhanced Outdoor Living with an Archadeck Design

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering adding a sunroom, or screened porch or other roofed structure to your home, give us a ring. Our consultation is free. We can discuss options, provide design ideas and of course give you some price ranges to consider. Give us a call or send us an email. (913) 851 – 3325 or

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 We look forward to your call.

Top 5 porch trends we saw in 2013

Over the last year, we continued to see trends in outdoor living spaces. Below we note the top 5 porch trends we’ve seen in 2013.

  1. Outdoor fireplaces
  2. Low maintenance
  3. Accessories
  4. Outdoor TV
  5. Separate outdoor cooking or grilling area

Outdoor fireplaces (gas or wood)

Kansas City porch with outdoor fireplaceThis has been the year of the outdoor fireplace. We’ve built several outdoor fireplaces for our clients here in the Kansas City market.  Homeowners now view their porch as an outdoor living room. They want the whole experience where they can enjoy the ambiance of indoors in an outdoor living space such as a screened porch or open porch. In addition to elevating the ambiance of a porch, the outdoor fireplace serves an additional benefit of moderating the temperature allowing homeowners to spend more months during the year on their porch.

Low maintenance

Many of our clients want to use some low maintenance materials on their new outdoor structures. What does this mean? It generally means that those components are easier to clean and last longer than other materials. As it relates to porches, our customers are looking for low maintenance, permanent flooring. They want low upkeep in all kinds of weather.


As noted above, homeowners are not only moving outside by building outdoor living spaces but they also want to do more living in those spaces and want some of the creature comforts they have indoors. On their porches, homeowners are asking for things like custom lighting and wiring for various amenities such as outdoor sound systems. They are also looking for more outlets in different Lenexa KS TV mounted in porchplaces to plug in the types of amenities that are often used inside such as lamps, laptops, deck lamps, etc.

Outdoor TV

Homeowners want outdoor televisions. They want to watch the game, pop in a good movie, or turn on educational shows for the kids. And, homeowners are mounting their TV’s on the wall to get the most out of the living space.

Separate outdoor cooking or grilling area

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.

Homeowners are now looking to have their outdoor cooking area off their porch. They want it close but not in the porch where it would interfere with other things going on. Grill decks have become popular. These are small decks attached to an exterior porch door designed to hold the grill and grilling apparatus.

Reading the above, you can tell that today’s porches are a good bit different than they were even a few years ago. Today’s outdoor rooms area designed to enjoy the outdoors while not giving up on the great creature comforts of indoors.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you are considering adding a low-maintenance roof structure to your backyard, give us a call for a free consultation. We will walk you through all the various materials and considerations to help craft the best custom porch for how you want to live outdoors.

Give us a call: (913) 851 – 3325
Drop us an email:
Visit our website at

This screened porch with outdoor fireplace is designed for how these Kansas City homeowners want to live

KC screened porch fireplace AZEK floorThere is no perfect outdoor project – in a vacuum that is. The perfect outdoor living space for one family will likely be completely different than the perfect outdoor space for another family. The perfect space neither has the ultimate features nor the most features — but it has the right features for that family.

This family wanted a porch that would provide a wide range of family entertainment. They wanted it to be suitable for dining but also for entertaining. As is quite common now, they wanted distinct areas of the porch both for eating and for seating. This makes your porch a multi-functional space that allows different uses at the same time. If you want to curl up with a book in front of the fire but someone else in your family wants to sit at the table with a newspaper and cup of coffee, this screen porch will accommodate both objectives.

KC screened porch with outdoor fireplaceIn addition to a multi-functional area, this family was certain they wanted an outdoor fireplace both for warmth and for ambiance. They wanted bug protection while enjoying their space. They had a lot of trees on their lot and they wanted protection from debris. Across the board, a large screened porch fit the bill for how they wanted to live outdoors.

When we went to work, we demolished their old deck and built the new gable roof screened porch in its place. We always pay special attention to making sure the structures we build look original to the home. There are several areas that factor into that equation – one of which is the roof. The family was looking to re-roof the entire house and we were able to arrange to have a contractor roof the porch and the remainder of the house at the same time.

KC stone outdoor fireplaceTheir porch floor is made from AZEK Silver Oak color. This PVC floor is low maintenance and carries a 25 year warranty. It will neither need to be painted nor stained. It will not need the annual maintenance that a wood floor often requires. The outdoor fireplace is the showpiece of this porch. It’s a natural gas outdoor fireplace finished with a stone veneer. Natural stone is used for both the mantle and the hearth.

If you are considering adding a custom outdoor space that’s designed for how you want to live, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or drop us an email at

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Can I include a TV in my screened porch?

Lenexa screened porch with TVAdding large screen TV’s to porches is becoming more and more popular here in the Kansas City metro market. Homeowners want to get a lot more use out of their screened porch than they can get out of other outdoor living areas such as their deck. The addition of creature comforts such as outdoor TV’s and outdoor fireplaces is one way to have outdoor living with some of the interior amenities we’re used to. The whole outdoor living trend encourages people to do more indoor activities outside.

What are the logistics of having a TV on your screened porch?

Lenexa KS TV mounted in porchThe first item to consider is a power source. You will need electrical run to the area where the TV is mounted.

The next consideration is placement. You will want to mount the TV away from the screened area. It shouldn’t be in an area where water may blow in. There are outdoor rated TV’s but at this point, they are still very expensive. They can be several times more expensive than indoor TV’s. There are other options. Some of our clients tell us they take their TV’s in for the winter but others tell us they leave them out year round.

The final consideration is installation. For our clients, we help with running the wire, installing the brackets, and installing the TV.

This Lenexa screened porch and deck combination

Lenexa AZEK deck screen porch with TVAt this particular home in Lenexa KS, the homeowners wanted both a deck and a screened porch. They had an old deck that was beaten up and really wanted an enclosed space as well as a new deck. They wanted low maintenance floors and railing to reduce the overall maintenance required for both the deck and the porch.

We tore down everything they had because they wanted to change the layout, size, and shape of the space. We created a new space, added a new gable roof, and then built a new deck attached to the porch. The deck is all made with AZEK low-maintenance PVC decking. This deck has black aluminum railing by Westbury. The dark colored and slender profile pickets allow excellent visibility beyond the deck.

Lenexa screened porch and AZEK deck

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you are considering adding a new outdoor living space, give us a call for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing how you want to live in your outdoor space and in working with you to design your ultimate outdoor living space.

(913) 851 – 3325

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