Category Archives: Screen Porches

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.

Hitting the sweet spot for Kansas City porch size

If you play golf or tennis, you’ve probably found yourself hoping that your next club or racket will be “the one”. Hopefully it will be that magic tool that solves all the little problems that have been keeping your game from reaching the next level. Kansas City deck and porch sizing is a little like that. Many homeowners think that there is a “perfect size” that, once found, will allow all the other design details to fall into place.

Kansas City screen porch attached Evergrain deck lrSadly, there is no perfect size. Just as there is no ideal size for a home, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for determining the best deck, porch or patio size for everyone. There are, however, some guidelines that we use to make the best recommendation for our clients. Not surprisingly, the first thing we do is take measurements of the home and yard. If your yard is only 20 feet across, you can’t have a 25’ deck. Existing landscaping, roof, wall, and window considerations will be key factors too.

You’ve probably heard the maxim “form follows function.” Size is a primary component of form and we always ask our customers detailed questions about how they plan to use their new outdoor space. It’s not because we are nosy. We want to understand the job that your new addition will perform. If you and your beloved pet will use the screened porch for relaxing in the evenings after work, that’s one thing. Tailgate parties for 45 people throughout football system are entirely different.

Kansas City porch with outdoor fireplaceThe topic of function dovetails into the furniture you plan to use. Roughly 80 percent of our customers put a dining table on their porch. With a dining area, you have to include space around the table for chairs and movement around the table. Some people like to push back from the table after dinner and stretch out a bit– this may take up another 2 feet or so. Two feet doesn’t sound like much, on paper, but in reality, it can make a tremendous difference in comfort and traffic flow.

If this sounds like a lot to wrap your head around, fear not. As Kansas City’s premier custom porch and deck designers, it’s our job to take into consideration everything from code-related issues like property setbacks to how much space to allow between door openings and walls. We will help guide you to making the right choices for your project. One blanket piece of advice I do have is that it’s better to go a little bigger than too small. No one ever comes back after an installation and reports that they have too much space. But in fact I was recently stopped by a past customer who noted he wished he had agreed to the recommendation for an extra 2 feet on his porch.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering adding a sunroom, or screened porch or other roofed structure to your home, give us a ring. Our consultation is free. We can discuss options, provide design ideas and of course give you a price quote to consider. Give us a call or send us an email. (913) 851 – 3325 or kansascity@archadeck.net.

 

An elegant solution to a longstanding problem

gable roof screened porch Lenexa KS lrWhen it comes to water, we all need it, but we only want it in very specific places. One place where no one wants water is leaking into their home and causing expensive damage. This was the persistent and intractable problem that we were asked to assist with in one Lenexa KS stucco porch. The family’s existing porch had a leak that resisted effective repair for more than 10 years.

As with all of our renovation jobs, we assessed the old porch to see if there was anything that could be salvaged. In this case, there wasn’t much. We completely gutted the old stucco porch and built a new gable ceiling porch with low maintenance AZEK flooring and Westbury aluminum railing. The new porch is larger which gives the family more Lenexa KS gable roof porch lrspace for entertaining friends. The gable roof lets in lots of light and expands the scenic view of the golf course and lake.

We also created a new lower patio which is enclosed by a stone knee wall and landscaping. The Lenexa paver patio backs up to the newly repaired stucco wall. We collaborated with a professional stucco company on this job to ensure that all the structural and cosmetic damage was repaired. Step out from the French doors on the ground level and you have easy access to the sloping green lawn and patio.

elevated screened porch Lenexa KS lrBack on the upper level, we redesigned the deck that pairs well with the screened porch. It has new joists, new columns, and new railings all designed for easy upkeep and minimal maintenance. There is plenty of room for seating and for a grill. The stately lower columns are wrapped, trimmed, and painted. The cedar roof wall posts could be painted or stained, but currently everything coordinates to the existing home exterior and trim colors.

It’s easy to see from the photos that our clients now have three distinct, well-designed and executed spaces for outdoor living and entertaining. On the upper level they can enjoy their screened porch with attached raised deck. The lower level features the covered patio. But the most important result: there have been no leaks. Even through multiple torrential downpours this spring, the new porch, roof, and drainage system did their jobs flawlessly.

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.

Making your screened porch “just right”

Leawood KS porch with outdoor fireplaceIf you are going to go to the time, effort, and expense of adding a Kansas City screened porch to your home, you want to make sure you get the details just right. Often, the key component of achieving the right design, and therefore, the right cedar porch for you and your home, is to go over all of the small details with your contractor before you break ground.

The cedar screened porch Archadeck designed for a customer in Leawood reflects how the customer’s satisfaction with the product reflects the time and care we put into thinking about the project up front. They were replacing an old cedar deck. It wasn’t large enough, it wasn’t the right shape for how the family used it, and it was past its prime. Tearing down and starting from scratch solves the age issue and it was easy to rethink size and shape. The couple likes the traditional and natural look, smell, and feel of cedar, so we kept that as our primary building material.

The client wanted to add a fireplace on the porch. The chief questions that we ask when building a fireplace are: what will it burn, where will it sit, and what kind of façade do you prefer. Some people have a side of the room or a view that they would like to block or don’t mind blocking. In this case, the couple enjoys the look of their whole yard. That led us to suggest a corner-mounted, gas-burning fireplace. Corners have obstructed views anyway and gas fireplaces generally have smaller footprints, so that option made the best sense for them.

elevated screened porch Leawood KSNote one more detail about this fireplace. Since it sits in the corner along the slope of the roofline, we built the stone façade so that it angles up with the ceiling. Most people who walk onto the porch won’t notice that, but it is a custom feature that adds to the fit and finish of the job. You may also notice that we used Deckorator black aluminum balusters. They offer minimal obstruction of the view and they coordinate well with the style of furniture selected by the family. The porch also boasts skylights in the roof to compensate for some of the sunlight blocked by the yard’s mature trees.

The original deck had a very long, steep staircase which we didn’t want to replicate for multiple reasons. First, a standard, straight-line staircase would demand that you walk from the porch all the way to the ground in order to grill. By adding a landing with grill space at porch level, we made the configuration much more cook-friendly. Second, the L-configuration we used has a smaller footprint and minimizes the disruption to the yard space and landscaping. In addition, L-shaped stairs make people feel safer. Just in case there is a loss in footing, the landing ensures fewer stairs to fall. The new stair design is the ideal solution to the design challenges posed by this specific raised screened porch on this property.

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.

Top 9 ways people use their Kansas City area screened porch

Kansas City porch with outdoor fireplaceWe’ve been building screened porches here in the Kansas City market for many years. When we meet with prospective homeowners, the first question we always ask is how they want to use their space. Most of the activities listed below are very common. A couple are unique that we thought we’d add for fun. A screen porch works for every person and furry being in your household. It works for young, old, women, men, as additional space, as your favorite space, during the day, at night and in many more situations.

A screened porch is an enclosed area which has numerous benefits as you’ll see below. Enjoy our top 9.

 

1: Eat, drink and be merry

Have breakfast

Drink your morning cup of coffee – in your pajamas (you’ll have much privacy on your screened porch)

It’s the best bug-free outdoor dinner location around

 

2: Watch

Have small children play while Mom is working in kitchen so she can keep an eye on them

Watch baseball or football game on TV on your porch

Get up close to a summer thunderstorm without getting wet – listen to the rain

 

3: Don’t watch

Send the dogs out when they’re under foot without worrying about them leaving

Send older children out when they’re under foot without worry of them leaving

 

4: Sleep

Take a nap

Sleep outside over night

Kids’ overnight camp out where they’re protected from bugs and/or rain

A great place for teen sleepovers – keep the giggles outside

A great place when your college-aged child brings home 4-5 friends for the weekend

 

5: Work

Enjoy an outdoor afternoon working on laptop catching up on social media and email

Move a desk out to use for paying bills or your remote office on nice days

 

6: Play

Entertain family and guests – food, drinks, both

Girls’ night in? Cigar night? Book club? Poker night?

 

7: Pet porch

Dogs watching for wayward cats and treacherous squirrels

Cats keeping a watchful eye over everything

 

8: Snuggle

Enjoy your outdoor fireplace on a cool crisp fall day

Sit close and hold hands for date night in

 

9: Read

The morning newspaper

Your favorite book

 

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

The most important items on this list are under #10 – the way you want to live on your screened porch. If you’re considering the addition of an outdoor fireplace – or a deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living structure – 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.

 

 

How much should your new porch cost?

We’ve all become used to the luxury of being able to price much of what we want to purchase by doing a few quick searches with keywords online. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could do the same thing with a major construction project such as a new porch? The good news is consumers are finding they have increasing numbers of choices to allow customization of their Kansas City porches and decks. The bad news is that each new choice makes pricing a little more complicated.

I wrote about this phenomenon as it applies to estimating the cost for Kansas City decks and most of the same points apply. If you think of a porch as a souped-up deck, that makes perfect sense. For instance, permitting costs for any significant home improvement project will vary by municipality. Everything I said in that article about materials costs for decks applies to porches too. Porches also have additional factors to consider that make a standard per-square-foot estimate impossible.

Kansas City screened porch with exposed shed style roof

Screen porch with exposed shed style roof

What kind of roof?

Roof selection is driven by three factors: how it will tie-in to the rest of the home, how much it costs, and what style the customer prefers. The first of these trumps the others. In most cases, a single-slope roof is the least expensive, but it might not be possible to use with the existing architecture. Hip and gable roofs are usually more costly. Some cities require a licensed engineer or architect to design the roof. We have full resources to meet all city regulations and requirements, even if your city requires an architect or engineer to approve the roof.

Include a fireplace?

Just as a fireplace makes a huge difference to the design, feel, and use of a screened porch, its presence or absence will substantially change the cost of adding  this amenity to your home. Wood-burning and gas-fueled fireplaces and the materials chosen for the fireplace surround will be important cost factors as well.

Don’t forget electrical.

While you may not be planning on adding an outdoor fireplace to your new porch, you probably are planning on having lights, perhaps a few speakers, and several outlets for a whole host of devices including laptops, table lamps, cell phone chargers, and possibly even coffee cup warmers or the Keurig machine. We work with the various subcontractors such as gas, electrical or plumbing so you don’t have to.

Lenexa KS screened porch AZEK floorEverything else…

There are a lot of pieces and parts of your porch that either aren’t the first design considerations evaluated or perhaps they are important components that you don’t notice or don’t see. For example, what sort of trim makes the most sense for your porch? This answer may depend heavily on the degree to which you want to do maintenance. Do you have special requirements about your screening? Depending on your configuration, different types of wall posts may be needed. What about interior ceiling trim? Custom lighting? How many ceiling fans? Where will they be mounted. If you’re a Microsoft Excel expert, you’re probably wondering if there are enough columns in a standard spreadsheet to list the options and associated pricing. That’s where Archadeck comes into play. We’ve built screened porches with a whole host of different combinations of styles, roof types, trims, posts, ceiling types, and amenities. We will help recommend the best configuration based on how you want to live on your new porch.

Your porch will be part of your home

We’ve never built two porches that are exactly alike. We partner with every client to design the addition to their home that uses the design, materials, shape, size, layout and amenities that are best for them. The moment we connect the porch to your house, it becomes part of your home and that’s something that’s more important and personal than anything that can be pulled out of a table of numbers.

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 – 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.