Category Archives: Screen Porches

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.

Exactly where should I build my Kansas City screened porch?

Velux skylights Overland Park KS screen porchCustom screened porch and deck design is not a career field with lots of easy, all-purpose answers. That’s where the “custom” part comes in. Having said that, I do have some experienced guidance to help you along in the thought process of adding a new screened porch to your home. The really short answer to this common question is, “It depends on how you plan to use your porch.”

When you first started considering a new porch for your home, what got you thinking about that option? Did you go to a really enjoyable party at a friend’s house and find yourself thinking that you would like to host events like that? Perhaps you were watching a home improvement show and were really taken with the way a screened porch allows you to enjoy the best of being inside and outside at the same time. Maybe you were eating dinner in the yard one night and found yourself annoyed by insects or unexpected rainfall. Start with the activity that first inspired you and then start making a list of what you want to do with your new porch.

Your plans for using the space will be one of the primary driving factors in both location and design. If you want to eat lots of meals outside, it makes the most sense to try to locate the porch near the kitchen and to have some space available outside the porch for the grill or outdoor kitchen. If you envision your guests spilling out onto the porch from the living or family room when they come over to watch the Chiefs or the Royals play, you will want to have direct entry to your interior entertaining areas.

Some homeowners see their porch as a quiet retreat where they can curl up with a good book before bed or enjoy a cup of coffee and then newspaper first thing in the morning. In that case, the ideal location for the porch might be adjacent to the master suite. We do recommend some additional consideration on this location. Attaching a porch to your sleeping area will pretty much ensure that the owners of the master bedroom are the only ones that ever use the porch. This seems like a great idea if your view from the bedroom is overlooking a tremendously scenic area. One concern, and this is a serious concern, is that you are far from the coffee maker, the Lenexa screened porch and AZEK decktoaster, and the refrigerator. If you’re going to relax in your own private porch, you will often likely want to take a snack, a cup of coffee, or a cold refreshment with you. While it’s only a hop, skip, and jump to the kitchen, this may keep you from spending as much time out there as you originally thought.

One porch lover that seems to have no preference about location is the family pet. Regardless of the kind of companion animal you have, except perhaps fish, your pet will love spending time on your porch regardless of where you build it. They are some of our most satisfied customers.

Keep in mind that none of these plans excludes any of the others. Your porch will almost certainly end up being a mixed-use area. Once it is complete, you will find yourself looking for opportunities to go outside and enjoy it. You should also be aware that the other major deciding factor of location of your porch will be the layout of your home and available yard space. Don’t be alarmed or upset if a site inspection dictates that your porch has to go in a different area than you originally planned. It is still going to be a wonderful addition to your home.

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, 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.

This new porch and deck combination in Leawood KS make sense on so many levels

Kansas City screen porch attached Evergrain deck lrThe best outdoor living area projects reflect the values and lifestyles of the homeowners. This was the case with a recent project. Our clients decided to tackle a huge project: building a dual-level screened in porch and patio.  These owners love the fresh air, enjoy being outside and want to bring that feeling into their own living space.  This is an addition that has completely changed the character of the property and how they spend their leisure time.

This two-story porch in Leawood KS replaced an old two-level cedar deck and bedroom space that had seen better days.  The owners wanted to keep the same footprint, but change how the space is used.  The new construction is all screened porch on the first floor and a combination of screened porch and deck on the second level.  The upper level porch is accessible directly from the second story of the home.  We refer to the connected open area as a balcony deck because it has no other access point than Kansas City 2-level porch lrfrom the screened porch.  The lower level porch adjoins the kitchen and has access to the first floor of the house along with the exterior doors and stairs to the yard.

Two obvious advantages of having such an extensive screened in living area are the ability to avoid mosquitoes and protection from the elements.  We designed a special roof connection and drainage system on the top that not only keep the upper porch dry, but funnel water away from the lower level porch and the balcony deck.  This allows the family to use “any porch in a storm.”  In addition to the those benefits, the screening adds a great deal of visual privacy from the street.  When you look out from the inside, you have a great view of your surroundings.  Looking toward the house, you see the screen and some shadows.  The porch railings add a level of visual obscurity from the outside, as well as safety.

Composite floor Kansas City screened porch lrAs with all our projects, we gave close consideration to what the best materials would be for this job and for these clients.  We used a ceiling called DrySnap which is a vinyl/nylon/stainless steel drainage system.  The screening is our ultra heavy duty vinyl screening which is known for wind resistance, long-term durability and for its privacy.  We used composite flooring for its strength, low level of maintenance and for the ability to match the color to the existing home–both levels are Evergrain flooring.  The railing was created from composite and metal tubes with composite cross connections.

Our clients are delighted with their new living space.  She calls her upper porch “Southern style” and enjoys the access she has from the master suite.  The lower porch is decorated with darker, traditional furniture and it’s just a few steps from kitchen to table.  We are so pleased that when they went looking for a Leawood KS porch builder, they chose Archadeck.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering adding a new deck, porch, or other outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or drop us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net.

Modern screen porch with timeless materials in Shawnee KS

Shawnee KS Archadeck vaulted ceiling porch with fireplace lrThis Shawnee KS screened porch seamlessly brings together timeless, traditional, and modern. Integrating a rich Ipe Brazilian floor and a ceiling finished with tongue and groove cedar, the room gets it warm and rich contrast to the bright and airy walls and fireplace. The fireplace has a light-colored stone fascia. The railing walls creatively mix together a low kneewall as well as railing. This wall provides some privacy along with visibility into the yard. The furniture continues the theme of contrast and simplicity with lightly colored sofas and a bright focal chair.

Taking a look through the screened area in the photo above, you’ll notice that the fireplace was strategically placed on the wall. A fireplace will will obstruct a view so it’s important to design the fireplace in an area of the room where you might want to block the view. This fireplace placement obstructs the view of the immediate neighbor’s house while Shawnee porch with outdoor firepalce and TV lropening up the view to the yard and landscaping. In this picture, you’ll see how the screen placement also provides a view to the homeowners’ hot tub area that was incorporated into the outdoor portion of this dream outdoor living space and to the children’s play area.

The fireplace wall has a TV mounted above the gas ventless fire box. This room truly mixes together timeless, traditional and modern. For a tour of the exterior portion of this Shawnee outdoor living space, read more about the Ipe hot tub deck and patio.

The open gable roof creates a bright and airy feel in the room. Also notice the electrical amenities of lighting and installed speakers.

The open gable roof creates a bright and airy feel in the room. Also notice the electrical amenities of lighting and installed speakers.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering adding a new deck, porch, or other outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or drop us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net.

This screened porch with outdoor fireplace is designed for how these Kansas City homeowners want to live

KC screened porch fireplace AZEK floorThere is no perfect outdoor project – in a vacuum that is. The perfect outdoor living space for one family will likely be completely different than the perfect outdoor space for another family. The perfect space neither has the ultimate features nor the most features — but it has the right features for that family.

This family wanted a porch that would provide a wide range of family entertainment. They wanted it to be suitable for dining but also for entertaining. As is quite common now, they wanted distinct areas of the porch both for eating and for seating. This makes your porch a multi-functional space that allows different uses at the same time. If you want to curl up with a book in front of the fire but someone else in your family wants to sit at the table with a newspaper and cup of coffee, this screen porch will accommodate both objectives.

KC screened porch with outdoor fireplaceIn addition to a multi-functional area, this family was certain they wanted an outdoor fireplace both for warmth and for ambiance. They wanted bug protection while enjoying their space. They had a lot of trees on their lot and they wanted protection from debris. Across the board, a large screened porch fit the bill for how they wanted to live outdoors.

When we went to work, we demolished their old deck and built the new gable roof screened porch in its place. We always pay special attention to making sure the structures we build look original to the home. There are several areas that factor into that equation – one of which is the roof. The family was looking to re-roof the entire house and we were able to arrange to have a contractor roof the porch and the remainder of the house at the same time.

KC stone outdoor fireplaceTheir porch floor is made from AZEK Silver Oak color. This PVC floor is low maintenance and carries a 25 year warranty. It will neither need to be painted nor stained. It will not need the annual maintenance that a wood floor often requires. The outdoor fireplace is the showpiece of this porch. It’s a natural gas outdoor fireplace finished with a stone veneer. Natural stone is used for both the mantle and the hearth.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a custom outdoor space that’s designed for how you want to live, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or drop us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net.

Our consultation is no charge. We look forward to your call.