Category Archives: Open porch

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.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

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.

 

 

What makes a porch the ultimate room in the house?

Ipe cedar screen porch Overland Park Archadeck

Ipe floor screened porch floor in Overland Park

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.

buddyYour 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!

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

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.

If you want it then you have to put a roof on it

Overland Park screened porch with cedar floor and deck posts

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.

Furniture

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

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.

Dining

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.

Socializing

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.

Living

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.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

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.

How do you make your new screened porch look original to your home?

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.

Lenexa KS screened porch before and after

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.

Lenexa custom designed screened porchIn 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.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

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 kansascity@archadeck.net

To see more pictures, visit our screened porch photo gallery on our Archadeck of Kansas City website.

Key considerations when deciding about an open porch or screened porch

AZEK pool deck with open porch and bench Overland Park KS

This open porch adjoins with the pool deck allowing ease of movement between the 2 living areas.

Open porches and screened porches have many similarities in that they are both roof structures, can both be attached or detached, and both provide sun protection. Here are some key differences you may want to consider if you’re determining which you want to add to your home.

One consideration is bug protection. An open porch, sometimes called a covered patio, will not provide bug protection without the addition of a bug protection device such as mosquito curtains. Depending on your yard and the elevation of the porch, mosquitoes and other bugs may or may not be a problem. If your open porch will be at the second-story level or above, bugs may not be an issue. They tend to stay lower to the ground.

Lenexa Open porch trimmed columns Timbertech floor Westbury Aluminum rail

This open porch in Lenexa provides a great view of the back yard.

Another consideration is that an open porch feels different. Without the screens there’s slightly more visibility and less privacy. But, if the porch is adjoining to a deck or patio, you may not want a screen wall obstructing easy communication or access between both living areas. Another reason you may not want to restrict access if you are entertaining in both spaces. The ambiance is different if the 2 spaces are separated by screens.

On an open porch, you have more trim work and column options. Posts can be trimmed to have a more finished look. They can also be farther apart allowing for different spacing between the posts. Columns become an option when you do not need to attach screens.

Lenexa KS open porch TimberTech

This TimberTech open porch in Lenexa KS has a very stately open feel and the design integrates into the style of the existing home.

If you are considering addition a porch to your home, give us a call for a free consultation. We enjoy working with homeowners to provide information that will help in making decisions. Give us a ring at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Take a look at more pictures in our open porch photo gallery or screened porch photo gallery on the Archadeck of Kansas City website.

Steve Folsom, owner

Archadeck of Kansas City

An AZEK deck and open porch in Overland Park KS

Before picture

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 http://kansas-city.archadeck.com/ or visit our website to view more pictures and submit a request for a free consultation.

Why the rebuilding in Japan means you should build your new porch or sunroom right now!

Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall

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

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.

Now is the best time to build your new porch, sunroom or room addition.

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

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.

Steve Folsom - owner of Archadeck of Kansas City

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 kansascity@archadeck.net.

To see more examples of our work, check out or photo galleries.

Kansas City sunrooms photo gallery

Kansas City 3-season and 4-season image gallery

Kansas City screen porch picture gallery