Category Archives: porch design

When you can’t decide whether to make improvements to an existing room or add a new one…

When these Prarie Village homeowners initially called us, they were unhappy with an interior room and wishing that room was larger and had more light. They were looking for a screened porch to have a bright and airy living space – the sort of open and cheery feeling that their current living room did not have. Together with the homeowners, we put together a design that would open up their living room as well as give them the sunroom they wanted.

Porch builder Prarie Village KSThe exterior wall of their living room had a fireplace flanked with custom built-in bookcases. Although attractive, it made the room dark and gloomy. By removing the built-in bookshelves and replacing them with doors, we could extend the size of the room to include an entire screened porch. The doors would also allow light to enter into the once darker living room.

The new doors we installed are full-glass inserts allowing the maximum amount of light to dance between the two rooms. From the porch side, the brick chimney is visible. The family was able to use the chimney as a design feature by mounting a TV on the fireplace exterior.

gable roof porch Prarie Village KSAlthough extending the living space was a challenge, it was relatively easy compared to the complicated roof connection the new space required. We had to extend and match an existing hip roof, change it to a gable roof, wrap it around a chimney and custom flash it to the chimney. In the picture, you can see where the chimney protrudes from the roof. The exterior house wall previously ended there. That small protruding section of the home had a hip roof. The new screened porch would have a gable roof to add as much light as possible to the porch and the adjoining living room. We also had to ensure that the space works in conjunction with the existing house rooflines to make it look as if the space was original to the home.

Prarie Village KS screened porchLooking at the room from the inside, you’ll see a generous cathedral ceiling. The gable roof had to be high in order to match and complement their existing hip roof. To reduce height inside, we installed a drop down collar tie ceiling. This provides feeling that it’s not excessively high.

The ceiling is finished with recessed lighting and a ceiling fan built in. The decking is AZEK for low maintenance.

At Archadeck of Kansas City, our goal is to build spaces that are solutions to how you want to live outside. Because the family wanted a brighter space than their living room, we were able to make their living room brighter and create a walkout to a large new porch for the ultimate double living room.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give Archadeck of Kansas City a ring for a free consultation or drop us an email or give us a ring at (913) 851 – 3325. We look forward to working with you to design your new outdoor addition.

Take a look at dozens of screened porch photos in the Prairie Village and Kansas City area market on our Archadeck of Kansas City website.

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.

Solving our love/hate relationship with the sun

Screened porch with composite flooring Kansas City

Screened porch with composite flooring

It’s a real challenge to get just the right amount of natural light inside your home. If you live in one of the many houses that has a south or southwest facing yard, the sun can really beat down on the back windows during the summer, forcing you to use the blinds all day and into the early evening. It’s a peculiar problem: having so much sun that you need to keep things dark. One solution is to build a porch or pergola in the yard. You then get the dual benefit of having a fabulous new outdoor living space and being able to welcome a moderate and more comfortable amount of sun into the rear of your home.

When you add a Kansas City covered or screened porch to your house, you are creating a hybrid space that is neither indoors nor truly outdoors. You benefit from sun and rain protection and open up a world of possibilities in terms of adding outdoor amenities like ceiling fans and entertainment systems. You may also realize a benefit from reduced cooling costs in the summertime thanks to the newly created shade.

If you want to protect the rear of your home from the sun’s harshest rays, but are concerned that there might be too much shade, let us know during the design process and we will design to accommodate that desire. We can easily use a gable or skylights to alter the amount of light in the porch area and, ultimately, the usable interior light in your home. Homes that hardscape patio retaining wall pergola Shawnee KSface the east or northeast rarely have the harsh lighting environments I’ve described. Don’t worry if you don’t know your home’s orientation. Making recommendations based on your home’s layout is a key part of our design consultation.

Pergolas are a smaller scale project and investment. They will be less expensive to build and often don’t need building permits. Pergolas can be freestanding or attached to your home and can be oriented in any direction. They are extremely flexible in terms of size, shape, style, and the building material used.

If you want a Kansas City pergola built specifically for its shady qualities, the orientation of the pergola and the kind of rafters it has will be critically important. For more shade, you will want to increase the number or size of the slats. You will need to tweak the spacing between the slats and pick an ideal angle. As the sun moves across the sky each day, the amount of light filtering through will change. We are happy to design a pergola to account for all of these variables and achieve the desired effect for you home and yard.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering the addition of an outdoor fireplace – or a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living structure – to your Kansas City area home, don’t wait. 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 “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.