Category Archives: Porch construction

If I add a porch to my Kansas City area home, am I robbing the sunlight from Peter to pay Paul?

Homeowners seeking to add a new porch to their home almost unanimously want that bright, airy and sunny room to enjoy a great view of the yard while still within the comfort of an enclosed room. One very important consideration is whether creating a sunny space will rob the sunny adjoining room in your home.

There is no need to worry. Here’s why.

Quite often, I visit a home and notice that the blinds across the back of the home are drawn. The back of that home is likely facing south or west directing a good bit of sun toward the back of the home making it too bright or too warm to keep the blinds open in the heat of the day. In this case, having a porch to diffuse some light from that rear facing room may be the perfect solution.

Leawood KS porch with outdoor fireplaceThe natural question that follows is whether the porch would then have the same problem in receiving too much light at different times of the day. The answer is, it could. But with proper design it will not. When designing your new porch, we have flexibility in the placement of columns, height of the roof and angle of the roof as well as flexibility in the addition or subtraction of screens. Further, there are available screens that provide more sun protection than others.

When loss of light is a true consideration

If the back of your home faces north or east, maintaining sun that enters the back of the home will indeed be an important consideration. If this is the case, there are a number of techniques we can employ to preserve sunlight. These include adjusting the pitch of the roof, adding skylights and even ensuring a brightly colored ceiling. White ceilings preserve sunlight whereas dark ceilings make a room feel gloomier and smaller.

Composite floor Kansas City screened porch lrIn the many years we have been building roofed structures throughout the Kansas City metro, we have encountered many scenarios and we have experience employing a number of techniques to achieve the degree of sun you’d like in both your new room and as this affects the adjoining room of your home.

It is important to note that while these techniques are helpful, there most certainly will be some compromise. Regardless of the design, having a new room added to your home will have an affect on how sun enters the existing room. More often, there is a degree of compromise that must be reached. Rest assured, we have the experience and expertise to recommend and build the best solution to achieve your needs and wants for your new space.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering adding a screened porch or other roofed structure to your home, give us a ring. During our free consultation, we can discuss options and provide design ideas for your new space. Give us a call or send us an email. (913) 851 – 3325 or kansascity@archadeck.net.

Visit our screened porch page on our website or peruse some of our photo galleries including our screened porches photo gallery or our covered/open porch photo gallery.

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.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

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.

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.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

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

How long should it take for your new porch to be built?

Why does it take different builders different lengths of time to build the same project? Is there a formula for determining how long it should take? Believe it or not, the same project in the same place can take 2-3 weeks with one builder and 3-4 months with another builder. Here are some reasons why.

Lots of moving parts
Building porches and outdoor rooms requires a number of people to complete the job including the builder, roofers and electricians just to name a few. In addition to having more people working on the project, there are also more building inspections as most areas require multiple inspections on a roofed porch.

Experience counts
Each of the parts of the design-and-build process is dependent on other parts. A slowdown in one part will throw off the dates for other parts of the process. Further, if the next step requires the use of a subcontractor, that subcontractor might not be available on a date other than initially communicated.

Materials
There are a wide variety of building products which necessitate multiple deliveries from multiple places. An experienced contractor will order in a way that the right building materials are ready at the job at the right time.

Relationships
A reputable builder will have strong established relationships with strong subcontractors. Electrical is a great example. All rooms require electrical and in almost every case, they require a licensed electrician. If the builder doesn’t have an excellent electrician and an excellent relationship with that electrician, that can really drag out the process. If the builder uses a lower rate electrician, that can cause further delays with failed inspections.

Bottom line?
A high quality porch can be built in 2-3 weeks depending on weather conditions if built by an experienced porch contractor. A general rule of thumb is the most professional person and the most experienced is often the quickest. In addition to hiring an experienced builder, it’s also important to hire a builder experienced at building your particular project. For example, there is no roof design that we haven’t already completed in the past.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

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