Our customers always tell us that their porch is their favorite room in the house. We even had one family tell us that they wished they had not remodeled their basement before adding their porch because they now spend all their time on the porch. So why is it the porch the ultimate oasis?
The ultimate place to get away from it all
When you get out of work or you’ve had a bad day, you want to get away from it all. Your house is the place you can put on your sloppiest clothes, kick off your shoes, and just let go. It’s the ultimate place to get away. But, if you hang out inside your house, you might still notice something that needs to be put away or some work that has to be done at home. Your porch seldom disappoints in being the ultimate place to unwind. The porch carries all the benefits of being the ultimate hang out and it probably doesn’t remind you of work, duties, and responsibilities.
Your porch is like a great dog
Your porch is like a great dog. It’s happy to see you every time. It expects very little of you. It puts a smile on your face. It never disappoints.
It fulfills its purpose in life
Most people don’t think of adding a desk or dishwasher to their porch. In fact, we often remind our customers to include outlets for laptop cords.Very few things in life has a singular purpose. But if your porch is one of them, it’s sole purpose is a place to relax.
There’s just something about the great outdoors
When you hear the words great outdoors, perhaps the first thing that comes to mind is taking a deep breath and smelling the super fresh air. Then you probably think of the breeze against your skin. Your mind quickly moves to the sun and both the warmth it delivers and the brightness. There’s just something about being in the great outdoors. There’s no other room that combines the benefits of both the indoors and outdoors than your screened porch. You’re not sacrificing creature comforts for sun and breeze and vice versa. And, you’re leaving the bugs outside!
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.
This Overland Park screened porch has enclosed rafters along with lighting, a ceiling fan and skylights.
At Archadeck of Kansas City, roofed structures have become one of the more popular structures we build. This is likely because there’s so much more outdoor living that can be done with a roof than without a roof. This reminds me of Beyonce’s song when I tell my customers that if they want to do more outdoor living, well, they just have to put a roof on it.
While decks and patios are the perfect place for eating, relaxing, and gazing into your backyard, they don’t provide sun protection nor protection from rain and other falling elements. Here are some of the additional benefits you get when you put a roof on it.
If your furniture is under an open porch, it will have a good amount of sun protection and will also have some protection from rain. This opens up more options for your outdoor furniture. But even more options are provided when you add screens. Screens provide a fair amount of protection against rain and also provide protection from falling debris such as leaves. Today’s outdoor furniture weathers the outdoors much better than it used to.
Lenexa Open porch with trimmed columns, lighting and TimberTech floor, Westbury Aluminum rail
furniture. But, in the harsh sun and when rained upon, outdoor furniture will not last as long or stay in shape the way it will under a roof or in a screened porch.
When you’re considering which paper plates to purchase for your upcoming barbeque, do you consider whether you’ll need something to weigh down the plates because of the wind? Do you need to make sure all your outdoor serving pieces have lids because of the bugs? When your outdoor eating area is on a screened porch, you don’t need to worry about these things. In fact, you can likely feel comfortable using your indoor dishes.
There are more options having neighbors and friends over for dinner or coffee if under the protection of a roof or behind screens. You can still enjoy the sounds and smells of outside. You can still enjoy the fresh air. But, there are no worries about a leaf falling in your cold drink or about an early evening get together will be quickly shut down if the mosquitoes are biting. With a roof, you also have the option of having ceiling fans for better air circulation.
There is a distinct difference between a deck or patio and a roofed structure. It’s hard to put your finger on what that is but it just feels differently. Perhaps it’s the feeling of protection that a roof provides. Perhaps it’s because you can do more indoor activities outside. But by putting a roof on it, you can do more living outside.
Outdoor living often becomes much more enjoyable with protection from both sun and bugs. If you want to enjoy a lot of the benefits mentioned above, then you may need to put a consider a roofed structure.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
If you are considering adding a new screened porch or open porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (816) 228-3325 or drop us an email.
There are several factors that go into selecting the best design and architectural features to make your new porch or other outdoor structure look original to your home. Take a look at the photo below. You almost need to look at it for a few minutes to recognize that it’s the same home. The new screened porch was designed to work with the home and to look like it’s original to the home.
Here are some of the ways we make the new structure look original to the home.
From an architectural perspective, one of the first key factors is evaluating the correct roofline for the addition. This house had multiple rooflines as is often typical of custom homes. In our design, we came up with a roof that complimented the home and one that worked in durability, drainage, size, and shape. This home has both gable roof lines and hip roof lines. Our new porch incorporated a gable peak into the roof to blend the porch perfectly with the architecture of the home.
Because this project was very high in the air – 13 or 14 ft, and the roof is well over 27’ or 28’, it was important to take into account how the height reflects the scale because things look different at that height than from the ground. Height does affect scale and this was an important consideration with the design.
In order to compliment the house, the homeowner agreed we needed something other than ceiling and screens. We felt we needed kneewall to blend into the house. We used half kneewall and half railing. That lends to the architectural look on the outside as well as on the inside. In the picture above, the area between the supporting posts and the screen is the interior kneewall of the porch. The picture to the left shows how this combination kneewall and railing looks. The railing has Deckorator balusters and a custom built cedar railing. This particular porch has a beautiful custom fireplace integrated into the porch which allows the homeowners to enjoy their screened porch a little longer throughout the year.
The screened porch exterior has custom siding trim and is painted to match the exterior of the home. All of these elements such as roof design, scale, trim, color, and kneewall contributed to making this porch look original to the home.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
If you are considering adding a screened porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at email@example.com
When these Overland Park homeowners called us, they had a nice outdoor area in their back yard but it wasn’t doing what they wanted it to. They had a nice pool they used extensively for grandchildren and family. They had small patio with no shade adjacent to the pool which was next to a gravel landscaping area that wasn’t very attractive.
The outdoor living area had no sun protection so they wanted to have a partially shaded structure for those not swimming to enjoy the pool without as much sun. They didn’t want any screens on the porch, just an open view to enhance the ambiance of their outdoor living. They wanted the porch to match their house and look like an extension of their home.
AZEK pool deck with open porch and bench Overland Park KS
Thinking about the flow from the house to the covered porch, there are a couple of things that are important. One is to have the walk-out from the house at the level of the house. Someone carrying food could easily trip if there’s a big step up or down. Another consideration is whether you want continuous shade or protection from the elements in that transition. To this end, we connected the open porch roof to the house so they can walk directly under the porch from the house.
The patio is well finished. It has ceiling fans, lights, and even heaters attached to the painted beadboard ceiling.
The owners wanted to add an extended outdoor living area with a view of the pool that did not include sun protection. So, continuing from the floor of the open porch is a low elevation deck. The deck and the attached bench are made of AZEK in the brownstone color. This light color also has a cooler surface. The deck is raised slightly so there is air flow under the deck to make the deck even cooler and easier on the feet on hot days.
AZEK brownstone color deck and porch in Overland Park KS
In the design process, our goal is to translate the goals of how you want to live into an area that meets each of those needs whether this includes a light decking color with ventilation for a cool surface temperature or a more elevated roof to a covered porch for a more open an airy feel. Share your outdoor living goals and desires with your contractor so they can truly come up with a custom solution that meets your needs and how you want to live. For a free consultation about creating an outdoor living area or area to compliment your home and outdoor living goals, give us a call (913) 851 – 3325, email us firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to view more pictures and submit a request for a free consultation.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall
The devastating Tsunami in Japan seems so fresh in our minds but also so long ago. When we are hit with a major devastation, the feelings and emotions seem so fresh in our minds yet we know intellectually that these events happened much longer ago. I watched an episode of 60 Minutes a week ago that surprised me. Japan is not in the rebuilding stage but yet rather still in the cleanup stage. What this means is that soon raw building materials are going to be in tremendously high demand on the International market. What this means for us domestically is prices are getting ready to increase.
Thirty years ago, prices on raw materials such as wood were influenced by domestic demand. Now, the prices of raw materials in the States are widely determined by world demand. Many of us are staying in our homes because of the challenge in selling our homes right now at any sort of attractive price. We’re also vacationing less because we want our dollars to last longer than the span of a vacation. We want to invest those dollars into creating a relaxing or seemingly luxurious space at our own homes. What better way to do this than to build a porch or sunroom to both expand our home and enjoy a greater view of our yards and a better connection with the outdoors. Visibility to our yards and to more sun has a relaxing effect and our porches or sunrooms can give us the feeling of vacationing at home.
Kansas City Screened Porch with Screened Gable Roof and Sky Light
Prices of raw materials are getting ready to go up. I always tell my prospective customers who are thinking about building in the Fall or Winter that it might be one of the best times to build because of impending first-of-the-year price increases. The material manufacturers not only commonly increase prices at the first of a new year but some get a jump on the annual price increase by raising prices at the end of the year. Where do the rebuilding efforts in Japan come into this equation? Many of us suspect that the effects of the increased demand on raw materials from Japan’s rebuilding have already been felt. Instead, Japan is nearing the end of their cleanup and is forecasted to have a surge in demand at the beginning of 2012 at which time raw material prices may likely increase.
In addition to material prices, there are a few other reasons why now is the best time to build your new porch or sunroom.
Least amount of landscape damage
When you are building a backyard structure, there can be literally hundreds of trips from your backyard to front yard. If we are demolishing your old deck or structure or replacing parts of it, the materials need to be carried out of your yard by a person. In addition, the material is carried through your yard with many trips from front to back. The best time for lots of traffic across your yard is when the grass and plants are dormant and the ground is harder. It’s easier for the lawn to recover.
Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lee’s Summit MO
Easier for the carpenters
We all have this scene in our minds. Carpenters sitting on a hot roof or in a chair drinking a Gatorade and wiping sweat of their face This is not for being lazy. The heat of summer not only necessitates more hydration breaks but it also slows the carpenters down.
Much shorter waiting list
We all know the best people are busy. When we’ve heard about a great new doctor or landscaper, we expect to be put on a waiting list and we’re ok with that. We expect a waiting list from the best. In the Spring, any reputable contractor is going to have a substantial waiting list. If you call in April, it may be highly likely that your project cannot be started until early summer. As a matter of fact, if you call a contractor in the Spring and they can start right away – buyer beware. In the Fall and Winter, reputable contractors will still likely have a waiting list but it will be substantially shorter.
Ability to control your schedule
Now comes the frustrating part of building in the Spring. You’ve signed up to have your project built and you anxiously wait to hear when the contractor can start only to find that’s the week you will be on vacation or the couple of weeks when you are going to have loads of people in your back yard and cannot have builders around during that time. Similarly to the point above, shorter waiting lists mean a better ability to control having the building done at a time makes the most sense for you.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
When you call for a free consultation, we can help you determine what makes the best sense for you. The disruption on your lives and back yard will be much less. And, you’re likely to pay significantly less.
Call us now for your free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at email@example.com.
To see more examples of our work, check out or photo galleries.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about adding on to your home. This might be a new room, a sunroom, a covered porch or a screen porch. When we say home addition, we’re referring to adding a room with a roof. Roof structures require cutting in to your house to attach the room. The thought of having a contractor cut into your home to attach a room or porch is very scary. A scary vision of water leakage and durability probably come to mind. You are right to consider not only the positive possibilities of enjoying more space but also to consider the possible problems.
Are general contractors better or worse than specialized contractors? Are all contractors the same? What should I base my decision on?
When considering whether general contractors or specialized contractors are better, it’s best to compare it to a general practitioner vs. a specialized doctor. Would you want the emergency room doctor to operate on your spine or would you prefer they bring in the doctor who operates on spines all of the time? This brings us to an important point. Have you ever gone in for a medical procedure and asked how many of those procedures the doctor has done? You know the doctor that answers this question with “hundreds” or “thousands” has more to offer than just repetition of experience. That doctor has also seen many different scenarios, done a lot more research, and likely tried different and improved methods.
Screen porch with kneewall and gable matching home
This is similar to choosing a specialized outdoor contractor to build your outdoor room, sunroom, screen porch or the like. We’ve done over 600 projects in the 11 years we’ve been building in the Kansas City market. We’ve build with so many different trim designs, floor designs, trims, materials, etc.
In addition to specialized experience, here are some things to consider and research when selecting a contractor for your attached outdoor room.
Cold, hard credentials:
Make sure the contractor is licensed and insured. Ask for references and don’t assume because they were readily provided that they’re good. Make the calls. You’ll be glad you did. Check their BBB report. Do they hold an A+ rating? This rating level is only available to contractors that have been in business for a period of time. In addition, you have to have no complaints to get the A+ rating. If you are a member of Angie’s List, check the contractor’s references on Angie’s List.
Specific experience building roof additions to homes:
As I mentioned before, adding a roof to an existing home requires very specialized experience. It is even very different than building an initial roof on a home. But, in addition to knowing how to tie a new roof into an existing home, the contractor needs to have specialized experience in determining the structural details of the foundation. This depends upon a variety of factors – size, shape, elevation, and roof type. Different roof types require different support structures.
One size roof doesn’t fit all
Screened porch and deck in Overland Park KS
Many less experienced contractor will only build one style of roof. Often this is a gable roof which is the roof that makes the shape of a triangle. This is a very popular roof style and it may be the perfect style to fit your home’s architecture and other factors. But, an experienced specialized builder will take other factors into consideration. These include the window placement on the back of the house and how a roof might interfere with that placement, the style of roof on your home and even factors such as drainage. We want to make your room look like it was build with your original home. Another factor is how the roof will affect the light inside your house. Less light will enter the adjoining room(s) because of the addition. We will walk you through what’s best for you.
Design capabilities and length of experience
There may be anywhere from dozens to hundreds of choices for each element of your room. These include indoor trim, outdoor trim, gutters, siding, screens or windows, flooring, doors and so much more. Here is where experience really counts. If one contractor has been in business for ten years, there’s a reason they’ve been in business so long. If a contractor has done hundreds of jobs, you can take comfort in the fact that hundreds of other homeowners chose that contractor.
Finally, as I’ve said in previous posts, make sure you like the contractor. Do you feel comfortable when they come to your home for the consultation? Are they courteous and respectful? Opening up your home and yard to people who will be doing a project can be uncomfortable. Go with your gut on the trust and likability factor.
Our consultation is free. Give us a call if you’re considering adding on to your home. (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Many customers ask me if the fall is a good time to build their new porch or sunroom and here’s what I tell them. The fall is actually a really good time to build for these reasons.
Less Competition – You’ve planned and saved. You’ve looked at pictures and have a list or ideas of the specific features you want. It’s mid Spring and you’re looking forward to enjoying your new room all summer long. Here’s the problem. Everyone else wants the same thing. Although we work really hard to build all of our projects in the timeliest manner humanly possible, there is simply more on our to-build list in the Spring and Summer than there is in the fall. Good reputable builders get swamped in the springtime so builders that are doing top quality work are going to have a waiting list in the springtime. In fact, if you have selected a builder in mid Spring to build your new sunroom and he says he can start tomorrow, be very wary.
Months of missing out – Here in Kansas City, we traditionally have very nice weather throughout the fall and even early spring. If you are having a sunroom built, you can enjoy that throughout the entire summer. You can be putting off enjoying your new outdoor room for more than a half year by waiting until Spring.
Permits take longer – All additions require permits. This is something that any reputable builder will do for you. But, just like builders are swamped in the Spring and Summer, the folks in the permitting offices are swamped also. This adds even more time that you have to wait for your new room to be built.
You may pay more next Spring – Just as all prices go up at different times throughout the year, prices for materials go up as well. Often times, building supply companies will announce their new price list at the first of the year. So, you could be paying a couple to a few more percentage points for waiting until after the first of the year.
You won’t ruin your landscaping – spring is the wettest season of the year and it’s the hardest to work around for yard and landscaping damage so it’s easiest to avoid some of the grass damage when it’s soggy. When you have it dry, it doesn’t pose as many problems. The wetter it is, the harder it is to keep your grass in good shape.
Screen room with tile floor in Leawood KS
If you know you’re going to build a new room on your house but building in the Fall just won’t work with your schedule or budget, still go ahead and call in the fall or winter. When we get ready to build in the Spring, our booked projects get built first. It’s on a first-come, first serve basis. One of the best things to do is plan, design, and contract your new room in the fall or winter. It will allow you to split up your budget and make sure you are first on the books to be built after the new year.
Don’t wait. Give us a call now to discuss building your room addition whether it be a porch or sunroom. (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at email@example.com.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
This Overland Park Kansas Open Porch has a warm and inviting feel
Technically, open porches never went away.
But, we do typically build quite a few more screened porches in a given year. I will talk about how practicality is a substantial determining factor in this decision but I also sense that the changing times have had an effect on our sense of having a more open environment at our homes. I personally have a large open front porch reminiscent of the open porches of yesteryear. It used to be that families would stroll down the street at night and stop to talk to neighbors hanging out on their open porches. Or, the neighbors would be having a cookout and invite you and your family over for dinner because they saw you outside. Many would say we’ve gotten away from that. With our busy lives, we have become accustomed to living very much in the privacy of our own homes. But perhaps because of the political environment or just a migration back to good old fashioned values, many of us are spending time outside and enjoying opportunities to see our neighbors or invite them to talk or spend time together.
There are really 5 considerations to make when considering what you want for your porch and whether you wanted a screened porch or an open porch.
Aesthetics and Ambiance
Structure and Style
This TimberTech open porch in Lenexa KS has a very stately open feel and the design integrates into the style of the existing home.
You have likely seen many screened porches that have a very plain cookie cutter design. Perhaps the physical shape of these is a perfect square. Perhaps the roof of the screened porch is a gable roof but it does not match the roof style of the home. Perhaps the porch even looks like it came out of a kit. You have probably also seen custom screened porches that look like they are original to the home because the materials and architectural details down to the roofline fit the home. Custom designs often fit nicely on the back of the home vs. looking awkwardly placed or looking “added on”. One of the first things you will need to consider is whether you want a custom design or more of a “stock” design.
Shelter. Shelter from the storms. Shelter from the neighbors. Shelter from bugs. It’s also important to be very practical in this decision by considering your preferences and sensitivities to these issues.
EverGrain Deck and Porch Combo in Overland Park, KS
Shelter from the storms. Do you want to spend a tremendous amount of time outdoors and not want your outdoor enjoyment time to be thwarted by rain storms or even strong wind? Screens reflect a certain amount of the rain because the rain will bounce off. Roof design, overhang and soffits, along with amount of wind, will influence the rain.
Visual shelter from the neighbors. As nice as it may be to open ourselves up to neighbors when we’re spending time out on our screened porch, for some of us, we want this room to be our oasis. Screens introduce a measure of privacy. Many of us don’t immediately think privacy when they think of screens. The screens we use quite commonly make it difficult for the neighbors to see in from a couple hundred feet away. Today there are also screens that have additional benefits such as UV protection
Bugs. How much do the bugs bother you and your family. Do bugs often keep you or your family members from spending time outdoors? If so, screens might be a good option for you.
Aesthetics and Ambiance –
Screens tend to make it feel more like an enclosed room. A screened room is still outdoors and has a tremendous amount of light and air but screens feel a little more like a wall and therefore more like an enclosed room.
An open porch, on the other hand, still has an enclosed feeling but by subtracting the screen, there’s much more of a connection to the outside. The view is opened up even more so. The feel is really slightly more connected to the outdoors. It’s going to be brighter because the screens block 10-20% of the light.
Evergrain open porch and deck in Olathe Kansas
Structure and Style –
You can generally put columns further apart if you don’t have screens. You can do different types of columns because there are no screens interfering. There are also some design details that are open to you when you have open columns with no screens interfering.
Ah, this guy always rears his head in any decision – especially in building an important addition to your home. Budget is really one of the first considerations you need to make. Without understanding your budget, your builder really can’t help you explore the options that are right for you.