Category Archives: porches

What makes a “Goldilocks” porch? How to design a Kansas City screened porch that’s “just right” for your home and family.

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.

When you are making plans for your new porch, in your mind, it is always “just right.” This porch has plenty of room for lots of people, all your furniture fits perfectly and the porch is not so large that it looks disproportionate to the rest of your home.  There are several factors that go into making the porch that’s “just right” for your family, your home, and how you want to live on your porch. We put together a list of a few things you’ll want to consider to determine the porch that’s just right for you.

What size Kansas City porch do you want? First, think about how you are planning to use the porch. Do you plan to eat out on your new porch? If so, will this just be for casual impromptu meals such as deciding to take your sandwiches outside and enjoy the fresh air while you eat? Or, do you plan on entertaining and regularly having over screen porch and patio Overland Park KSyour 2-3 favorite couples for dinner parties on the porch? What about relaxing on your porch? Do you plan on sneaking out with your favorite book every now and then or do you plan on having the family cozy up with blankets to watch a good movie on fall evenings in front of the outdoor fireplace with outdoor TV mounted atop?

Archadeck takes great pride in creating outdoor living spaces that, when we’re done, look as original to your home as possible. Considerations include the size, shape and proportions of your yard and your house. Once you’ve decided how you want to live in your new space, share that with your builder. During the consultation, you and the builder can walk outside and “eyeball” any opportunities or challenges based on the porch addition and the size of your home, yard, etc. We will look at what size porch will “fit” on your home?

Kansas City screen porchRoof style is an important consideration. We will consider different roof options. Certain roof sizes, styles, and angles may work better than others. There are several factors to take into account as it relates to the roof style you select. Your new roof should complement your current one for the best overall exterior appeal. If you have a second story, the roof will need to work with and not block anything on the second story including the windows and any other architectural elements.

Traffic flow is another design consideration some people miss but is critical to a successful porch addition. Where will people enter and leave your porch? Consider entrances and exits from the house and the yard. If you plan to include a fireplace or even a wall mount TV, those should be part of your traffic plan too. Doors, walls and fireplaces can be expensive to move so they may impact your decision about porch size.

If you are interested in having more than one living area on your porch and you own a multi-story home, you might take a look at expanding your project to a second story. Take a look at this two-story porch and deck in Leawood Kansas. Another option for multiple outdoor living spaces would include a porch and deck combination or a porch and patio combination.

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 a porch – or a deck, patio, 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’s on your wish list for your Overland Park porch?

Overland Park open porch builder lrI don’t think of myself as a deck or porch builder per se. I create personal outdoor spaces where people can connect with friends and family in a way that is meaningful for them. This distinction is very important. Any builder can take a set of mass-produced plans and recreate them in your backyard. I listen to how my clients talk about how they want to live outside. No two customers are the same– every Overland Park porch should not be either.

This Overland Park porch project that is a testament to the clients’ love of the outdoors. They wanted to replace an older existing area with a light, airy porch that let them be in the yard while offering protection from sun and rain. We didn’t screen it because bugs are not an issue for them; they value openness. They also envisioned this Open porch with deck Overland Park KS lrspace as being a “second dining room.” The porch is just a few steps from the main eating area inside and has a small adjoining deck for grilling. It couldn’t be more convenient.

They wanted a very compact stair configuration so as to not eat up yard space so we used the smallest footprint by aligning the staircase with the deck. Next to the stairs, we left some beloved trees untouched. A few years from now those trees will provide additional shade and privacy.

Combination shed and gable roof Overland Park porch lrThe home’s existing lines and window configuration suggested a combination shed and gable roof. The gables give the space additional light and airiness. The ceiling fan can create a breeze if there is none that day. We also painted the posts and columns to match the home and the Afco powder coated aluminum rail blends beautifully with the furniture the customers selected. The slender profile, dark color railings, draw your eyes up and into the yard.

The finished beadboard ceiling makes the porch feel like an interior space even while it is completely open. The canister lights add to that impression. The tongue-and-groove look of the beadboard has a clean, classic look that doesn’t distract from the yard view. The AZEK Silver Oak flooring fits in easily with the lines and colors of the rest of the porch and is a snap to maintain.

As outdoors-focused as this project is, our clients still want to be able to watch the occasional game or show from their porch, so we mounted a TV out there as well. For this family, that was it.  We hit all of the items on the wish list. The porch matches the style of their home and their lives. They have a wonderful new space that enriches their lives everyday.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

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.

 

 

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.

Accessories

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: kansascity@archadeck.net
Visit our website at kansas-city.archadeck.com

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!

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

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.

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.

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 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.

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
kansascity@archadeck.net

Visit our website: kansas-city.archadeck.com

Top Five Reasons To Plan Ahead For Your Kansas City Porch

Deciding to add a porch to your home is a big decision. A new porch doesn’t only add to your home, after all; it enhances your lifestyle. For many people, it becomes their favorite room in the house.

Lenexa KS outdoor fireplace on porch Archadeck Kansas City

Lenexa KS outdoor fireplace on porch Archadeck Kansas City

To find a reputable builder you can trust with such an investment, we suggest two things: research and patience. A quality porch takes time. It takes planning and it likely comes with a waiting list. For these reasons, you may need to begin your project several months prior to your porch’s construction.

Here are five reasons why you should plan ahead for your porch with Archadeck of Kansas City:

  1. A waiting list is a good sign. Well-regarded builders have waiting lists for good reason: a porch is an investment in your home, and you need to entrust it with a respected builder. If you envision enjoying a brisk Kansas City evening on your porch in October, then you’ll need to begin the process three to four months prior.
  2. The best price is now. Because of a resurgence in building – due to an improving economy and post-storm renovations – prices for building materials are expected to continue to rise. In addition the new year is typically when materials’ suppliers announce price increases for the new year. By beginning your porch project now, you may secure a rate you won’t be able to get in several months.
  3. Time your landscaping. When planning ahead for your porch, think about timing the landscape adjustments to your yard’s new footprint. By planning ahead, you can time planting for the most natural and opportune time. Fall is usually an ideal time for landscaping, when the ground is ripe and temperatures are mild.
  4. Advance planning is key. “A man who does not think and plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door,” said Confucius. Giving your contractors time to plan your porch will result in a higher-quality porch, a design that better fits your needs, and a smoother building process.
  5. Wind, rain, and acts of God. The part of the process we cannot control is the weather. By beginning your porch months early, we can compensate for unforeseen extreme weather conditions.

Waiting a few months for a high-quality porch built by a trusted builder is a worthwhile use of time. Let’s start the process of building your porch now, and within a few months, you just might have your new favorite room.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you’re considering add 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 drop us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Kansas City porch design options including finish, color, amenities and more

In traditional porches from 30 or 40 years ago, ceilings were mostly flat and thus the ceiling was flat as well. Today most of our clients prefer a vaulted roof to give the room an open and airy feel.

The porch ceiling design options are affected by the height, shape, and design of the roof. The design options are also closely tied to whether you want a finished or unfinished ceiling.

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.

Exposed or enclosed rafters

Some homeowners like the look of structural rafters showing but that may introduce some complications with electrical wire or conduits that are not easily hidden. Having covered rafters solves that problem because they allow more options for material choices to cover the rafters and achieve a different ambiance. Covering the rafters does not mean that a vaulted ceiling will be flat. It simply means the actual rafters will not be seen.

Ceiling finish

Archadeck porch Lenexa KS Fiberon floor

Lenexa KS porch with stained wood ceiling

If you are covering the rafters, there are a couple choices in how to treat a wood ceiling. The classical ceiling look is a white ceiling. It always gives a bright open feel to the porch and compliments just about any color design. Wood stained ceilings are still very popular and they give more of a lodge/cabin/outdoor feeling to the space/room. To give it more of a natural or rustic look, some people find natural wood tones to be very attractive. There are several natural woods that can be used including pine, cedar, fir, or other wood choices. Cedar is the most popular in the Kansas City area. In terms of texture, beadboard ceilings have a classical look that is complimentary to many different designs.

Other ceiling design factors and options

screened porch ceiling Kansas City

This white porch ceiling has exposed architectural elements that are wrapped for a finished look

Some roof construction will require beams or trusses depending on the load bearing design of the structure. Even if the roof requires beams or trusses, these can still be covered or “wrapped” for a nice finished look. In terms of amenities, your ceiling can include lights, fans, speakers, sound systems, custom lighting, track lighting and more. In addition to electrical amenities, your roof can include a skylight for additional room light.

 

 

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

If you are considering adding a porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation. We can be reached at (913) 851 – 3325 or by email at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

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.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

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 kansascity@archadeck.net

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

Your new outdoor living space should be all about putting the pieces together to fit your family

Lenexa KS Porch deck pergola by Archadeck

Looking at the picture above, you’ll notice quite a transformation. What you might not notice at first glance is the large custom garden shed built to fit perfectly under the deck. This was one of the goals of the homeowners and this is one of the benefits of working with a custom design and build contractor.

When we first met with these Lenexa KS homeowners, they had an old deck with a garden storage shed off to side. They wanted a screened porch, a larger deck, a pergola over the deck, and a new garden shed designed to fit under the deck. We completely redesigned in size and footprint to include all these elements.

In addition to knowing which structures they were looking for, these homeowners also knew they wanted low maintenance materials including composite flooring for and metal railings for strength, durability, and low-maintenance. After considerable looking, they selected Fiberon Ipe color as the deck and porch flooring. They selected low-maintenance Fortress iron railings in black for both the deck and porch.

Archadeck porch Lenexa KS Fiberon floor

We built a gable roof screened porch for a light and airy feel. The wall posts are cedar and the T-111 ceiling is stained to match the ceiling. They wanted ceiling fans, outlets, etc. which we built into the porch. We used our standard heavy-duty screen. You’ll notice how nicely the black railings allow for visibility. Not only are they slender, but the dark color also moves your eye past the railing. The outside porch is trimmed with low-maintenance smart trim.

Cedar pergola Fiberon deck Lenexa KS by Archadeck

The deck on the adjacent porch has a cedar pergola over it for shade. Both the deck and stairs are in Fiberon’s Ipe color which has beautiful markings to look like real exotic hardwood.

Garden shed integrated into deck Lenexa KS ArchadeckThe garden shed is fully waterproof. We custom designed the shed out of Hardie siding and trimmed it with low maintenance Smart Trim.

 

 

 

If you are considering adding an outdoor living space, give us a call at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners

Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners