Category Archives: Screened porch

A screened porch in Overland Park by Archadeck of Kansas City

Screened porch design Overland Park KS ArchadeckThese Overland Park homeowners had a beautiful backyard shaded with lots of trees. They had an existing deck that unfortunately would get covered with dirt and other items that fell from the trees. They were looking for an enclosed dining area that was protected from everything falling from the trees. They wanted to make sure they continued to have natural light on their new porch.

When considering building a screened porch or other room, It’s important to know whether you plan on using your porch for dining or seating or both. This family wanted a room for dining with their grill right nearby. They had an existing deck that was not stable so we tore it down. In addition to the porch, we added a small deck for grilling and that allows room for a small table and chairs.

Overland Park screened porch with cedar floor and deck postsFor the interior of the screened porch, we used cedar for the flooring, the wall posts, and the railing. The owner liked the authentic look of real cedar wood so he wanted to use a bit of it. For the ceiling we used white beadboard with built-in lighting and 2 Velux skylights for that extra natural light.

We used the same railings on the deck portion and inside the screened porch which was Deckorator aluminum balusters. It’s important that the porch looks original to the home so the exterior of the porch was painted to match the exterior color of the house.

You can see from the interior view that the family can still enjoy the view of their wooded backyard while keeping their eating area protected from leaves and other things that fall from the trees. They can also enjoy bug protection with the screened room.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a porch, deck, or other outdoor living area to your home, give us a ring at (913) 851 – 3325 or drop us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to hearing from you.

A key consideration if your screen porch will be used for dining

Have you considered adding a porch to the back of your home? If so, have you started to consider where they would go in relation to the back of your home? There are many factors that determine where your outdoor living area should be in relation to your house and those factors are different for every house. Those factors include everything from the location of windows on the back of the home to the direction the home faces and many factors in between.

Overland Park screened porch AZEK deck

The deck that adjoins to the screened porch accommodates a grill to be placed outside of the porch for easy access.

If you plan on doing a bit of dining on your screened porch, then the proximity of the porch to your kitchen will be an important consideration. When you know you will have your hands full with items being transported from the kitchen, it’s ideal if the porch is in close proximity to your kitchen. Our customers often ask us about the best place to put a screened porch and there is another reason that having it near the kitchen is a good idea. The most used room in modern houses is the kitchen when it comes to entertainment purposes. So, adjoining the porch to the kitchen will give the room more dining and entertainment value.

The elevated porch you see here is attached to a new deck made of AZEK’s Morado color. This color is a light-to-medium brown and is very popular right now. AZEK is a cellular PVC decking board that’s one of the lowest maintenance boards on the market and carries one of the longest warranties.

Gable screen Porch Overland Park Fortress steel rail AZEK deck

This elevated gable roof screen porch in Overland Park KS has an adjoining AZEK deck with Fortress steel railing.

The deck includes Fortress steel railing. The steps are also made of AZEK Morado with the Fortress iron railing. The steps are designed to connect down to the concrete patio.

The enclosed screened porch has an open gable style roof. The open gable allows for more light and air circulation. The roof has a custom roof connection into the side wall.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a porch, deck, patio or other outdoor living structure to your home, give us a ring for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you. We can be reached at (913) 851 – 3325 or via email at kansascity@archadeck.net. Please take a look at more screened porch pictures and synthetic deck pictures on our website.

Overland park screen porch before after Archadeck Kansas City

Take a look at this Overland Park home before and after adding this new screened porch

Why is every one of our porches different?

It would seem that a builder that has been building a great product in a specified market for over a decade would have the design perfected. After all these years and hundreds of screen porches, might it be logical that there’s a great “universal” design? What is great is that we refuse the concept of universal design because not only is every home different but every family is different. The first question we ask on a consultation is how do you want to live in your screen porch? This seems like an easy question. Most people would say they look forward to having an extension of their home where they can enjoy the breeze, fresh air, closeness to sunlight, and easier access to the sights and smells of their back yard. But this doesn’t answer how you want to live on your screen porch. Here are a couple of key questions:

  1. Do you plan on dining on your screen porch?
  2. Do you plan on having a seating area on your screen porch
  3. Do you plan on having both dining and seating?
  4. What direction does the back of your home face?

The answers to these questions will help determine the size of the porch, the placement of the porch, and may even help determine the flooring material.

We could go on and on but instead, take a look at a few pictures of screen porches we’ve built in this area over the last decade:

Why the rebuilding in Japan means you should build your new porch or sunroom right now!

Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall

Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall

The devastating Tsunami in Japan seems so fresh in our minds but also so long ago. When we are hit with a major devastation, the feelings and emotions seem so fresh in our minds yet we know intellectually that these events happened much longer ago. I watched an episode of 60 Minutes a week ago that surprised me. Japan is not in the rebuilding stage but yet rather still in the cleanup stage. What this means is that soon raw building materials are going to be in tremendously high demand on the International market. What this means for us domestically is prices are getting ready to increase.

Thirty years ago, prices on raw materials such as wood were influenced by domestic demand. Now, the prices of raw materials in the States are widely determined by world demand. Many of us are staying in our homes because of the challenge in selling our homes right now at any sort of attractive price. We’re also vacationing less because we want our dollars to last longer than the span of a vacation. We want to invest those dollars into creating a relaxing or seemingly luxurious space at our own homes. What better way to do this than to build a porch or sunroom to both expand our home and enjoy a greater view of our yards and a better connection with the outdoors. Visibility to our yards and to more sun has a relaxing effect and our porches or sunrooms can give us the feeling of vacationing at home.

Kansas City Screened Porch with Screened Gable Roof and Sky Light

Kansas City Screened Porch with Screened Gable Roof and Sky Light

Prices of raw materials are getting ready to go up. I always tell my prospective customers who are thinking about building in the Fall or Winter that it might be one of the best times to build because of impending first-of-the-year price increases. The material manufacturers not only commonly increase prices at the first of a new year but some get a jump on the annual price increase by raising prices at the end of the year. Where do the rebuilding efforts in Japan come into this equation? Many of us suspect that the effects of the increased demand on raw materials from Japan’s rebuilding have already been felt. Instead, Japan is nearing the end of their cleanup and is forecasted to have a surge in demand at the beginning of 2012 at which time raw material prices may likely increase.

Now is the best time to build your new porch, sunroom or room addition.

In addition to material prices, there are a few other reasons why now is the best time to build your new porch or sunroom.

Least amount of landscape damage

When you are building a backyard structure, there can be literally hundreds of trips from your backyard to front yard. If we are demolishing your old deck or structure or replacing parts of it, the materials need to be carried out of your yard by a person. In addition, the material is carried through your yard with many trips from front to back. The best time for lots of traffic across your yard is when the grass and plants are dormant and the ground is harder. It’s easier for the lawn to recover.

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lee's Summit MO

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lee's Summit MO

Easier for the carpenters

We all have this scene in our minds. Carpenters sitting on a hot roof or in a chair drinking a Gatorade and wiping sweat of their face This is not for being lazy. The heat of summer not only necessitates more hydration breaks but it also slows the carpenters down.

Much shorter waiting list

We all know the best people are busy. When we’ve heard about a great new doctor or landscaper, we expect to be put on a waiting list and we’re ok with that. We expect a waiting list from the best. In the Spring, any reputable contractor is going to have a substantial waiting list. If you call in April, it may be highly likely that your project cannot be started until early summer. As a matter of fact, if you call a contractor in the Spring and they can start right away – buyer beware. In the Fall and Winter, reputable contractors will still likely have a waiting list but it will be substantially shorter.

Ability to control your schedule

Now comes the frustrating part of building in the Spring. You’ve signed up to have your project built and you anxiously wait to hear when the contractor can start only to find that’s the week you will be on vacation or the couple of weeks when you are going to have loads of people in your back yard and cannot have builders around during that time. Similarly to the point above, shorter waiting lists mean a better ability to control having the building done at a time makes the most sense for you.

Steve Folsom - owner of Archadeck of Kansas City

When you call for a free consultation, we can help you determine what makes the best sense for you. The disruption on your lives and back yard will be much less. And, you’re likely to pay significantly less.

Call us now for your free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net.

To see more examples of our work, check out or photo galleries.

Kansas City sunrooms photo gallery

Kansas City 3-season and 4-season image gallery

Kansas City screen porch picture gallery

What do a screen porch and the perfect outfit have in common?

Have you ever seen someone that makes you comment that they are “incredibly well put together”? When we see these people, we don’t just mean that they have a great outfit. We don’t just mean that their hair looks just right. We don’t just mean that their accessories match. What we mean is it all works. And it all works together. We know this from decorating the rooms in our house. How many of us have bought that perfect new bed or perfect new bedding set only to realize that they look totally out of place with the rest of our existing furniture or with the style of the room?

One of the very first questions customers ask me when they’re looking for a new screen porch is can I make it compliment their home. The simple answer is yes. It can compliment your house. There are a number of factors that go into making this end result happen.

Roof style

Kansas City screened porch with exposed shed style roof

This home has both a gable roof and a shed roof. The shed roof matches the shed roof above it.

One of the biggest factors to matching your screen porch to your home is the roof style. If your home has a gable roof, it is ideal to try to use a gable roof with your screen porch. The reason I say ideal is that sometimes the window placement or other factors on the back of your house do not support a particular roof style. For example, if we want to build a gable roof and the height of this roof extends vertically up to the second floor, there can’t be any windows or doors or other architectural features on that adjoining house wall as we can’t have the porch ceiling obstruct the view from second story windows. In this case, we may likely need to choose an alternate roof style.

Wrap-Around Screened Porch Overland Park

Wrap-Around screen porch in Overland Park

Sometimes choosing a roof style is even more complicated. Your house may have two or even three roof styles. You may have a gable roof along with a hip roof and possibly even the addition of another roof style. This allows more flexibility in choosing the roof style for your screen porch. As you can imagine, the roof style can make the price vary quite a bit.

Size

Scale is very important when designing a screen porch to match your home. If you have a huge screen porch with a smaller home or a tiny screen porch with a larger home, the simple scale of the two will not compliment the home the way you wish.

Footprint of the back yard

What kind of footprint is in the back yard? There might be jogs and jigs where the kitchen or other rooms jut out. Look at how the shape of the porch will compliment these. Is there any landscaping, trees, or things you don’t want to move? All of these elements help dictate how we can design the screen porch to match your home.

Archadeck Kansas City screen porch matches house

Archadeck Kansas City screen porch matches house

Exterior colors and trim work

Does your home have a particular type of siding? What color is it? Matching the exterior of your screen porch with the materials from your home’s exterior is a huge factor. In this picture, you will see a number of elements that aided in matching this screen porch to the home. You will note that the gable roof matches the gable-shaped window set on the back of the home. The porch trim matches the trim of the house. And, the siding on the kneewall matches the siding on the house.

Elevation

Screened Porch with Lattice Skirting and Pergola in Overland Park, KS

Screened porch with lattice Skirting and pergola in Overland Park, KS

Based on the elevation of your back yard, you may need an elevated screen porch. See how this screen porch in Overland Park is elevated to match the home. You will also notice that no knee wall is used so the elongated vertical screen shapes match the elongated vertical windows of the home.

Outside your porch

There are ways outside of your screen porch design to blend your porch into your home. Landscaping has a big impact on blending something with your house. What it tends to do soften the lines of any addition whether deck, porch, etc. and makes it flow better into your yard’s footprint.

Read More

To read more in our article series on screen porches, here are a few more.

Screened porch designed to fit the home's architecture

Screened porch designed to fit the home's architecture

The top 5 reasons to build your screen porch in the fall

Is the inside of every screen porch the same?

A screen porch is not a screen porch is not a screen porch

Screen porch or sunroom? Here are some things to consider.

Call us to talk about building a screen porch on your home (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net

Please visit our screen porch photo library on our Archadeck of Kansas City website.

Steve Folsom,

Archadeck of Kansas City

Top 5 reasons to build your new porch or sunroom in the fall

Screened porch and deck in Overland Park KS

Screened porch and deck in Overland Park KS

Many customers ask me if the fall is a good time to build their new porch or sunroom and here’s what I tell them. The fall is actually a really good time to build for these reasons.

  1. Less Competition – You’ve planned and saved. You’ve looked at pictures and have a list or ideas of the specific features you want. It’s mid Spring and you’re looking forward to enjoying your new room all summer long. Here’s the problem. Everyone else wants the same thing. Although we work really hard to build all of our projects in the timeliest manner humanly possible, there is simply more on our to-build list in the Spring and Summer than there is in the fall. Good reputable builders get swamped in the springtime so builders that are doing top quality work are going to have a waiting list in the springtime. In fact, if you have selected a builder in mid Spring to build your new sunroom and he says he can start tomorrow, be very wary.
  2. Months of missing out – Here in Kansas City, we traditionally have very nice weather throughout the fall and even early spring. If you are having a sunroom built, you can enjoy that throughout the entire summer. You can be putting off enjoying your new outdoor room for more than a half year by waiting until Spring.
  3. Permits take longer – All additions require permits. This is something that any reputable builder will do for you. But, just like builders are swamped in the Spring and Summer, the folks in the permitting offices are swamped also. This adds even more time that you have to wait for your new room to be built.
  4. You may pay more next Spring – Just as all prices go up at different times throughout the year, prices for materials go up as well. Often times, building supply companies will announce their new price list at the first of the year. So, you could be paying a couple to a few more percentage points for waiting until after the first of the year.
  5. You won’t ruin your landscaping – spring is the wettest season of the year and it’s the hardest to work around for yard and landscaping damage so it’s easiest to avoid some of the grass damage when it’s soggy. When you have it dry, it doesn’t pose as many problems. The wetter it is, the harder it is to keep your grass in good shape.
Screen room with tile floor in Leawood KS

Screen room with tile floor in Leawood KS

If you know you’re going to build a new room on your house but building in the Fall just won’t work with your schedule or budget, still go ahead and call in the fall or winter. When we get ready to build in the Spring, our booked projects get built first. It’s on a first-come, first serve basis. One of the best things to do is plan, design, and contract your new room in the fall or winter. It will allow you to split up your budget and make sure you are first on the books to be built after the new year.

Don’t wait. Give us a call now to discuss building your room addition whether it be a porch or sunroom. (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net.

Is the inside of every screened porch the same?

Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall

Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall

Last week we wrote a post about whether all screened porches are the same and the degree to which they can differ. In that post we focused primarily on the outside of the screened porch. This week’s I’d like to focus on options and considerations for the interior of your screened porch. The primary components of the interior are the floor, the railing, the ceiling,and the electrical package.

Screened porch flooring options

Let’s look at flooring first. There are so many more flooring options today than you may think. These primarily include woods, composites, tile, and concrete.

To tailor to a more traditional look, you can use the wood floor. Natural wood floors are less expensive than composite floors but do require substantially more maintenance. Where a composite floor is close to maintenance free, a wood floor will need attention every couple of years depending on the wear and traffic. There are some things you can do to keep your natural wood floor looking fresher for longer. One option is to paint your floor. This will provide some level of protection from wear. Another really simple option is a nice large floor rug. Outdoor rugs have also come a long way in recent years. Remember the green outdoor rugs that looked like astro turf? Today a number of companies make rugs designed to withstand some rain and other elements. You’ll want to read the labels to see the degree to which these rugs withstand the elements. Your screened porch will get a minimal amount of water inside as compared to an open porch but water will be a factor.

Leawood KS Screened Porch with Cedar Trimmed Roof and Slate Tile Floor

Leawood KS Screened Porch with Cedar Trimmed Roof and Slate Tile Floor

There are some tropical hardwoods that are traditionally used for outdoor. One particular tropical hardwood we used is Ipe. Ipe has a a great number of advantages over pine and pine and still looks very, very rich. It will need to be maintained, either stained or sealed to maintain its rich color.

People are also using tile for the floor of their screened porches. There are colors or textures available that you can’t get with wood or composite and tile can have quite a finished look.

Kansas City Screened Porch with Screened Gable Roof and Sky Light

Kansas City Screened Porch with Screened Gable Roof and Sky Light

Railing and knee-wall options

For your interior porch railing, material options primarily include wood, metal, composite, fiberglass, and vinyl. Like the other components, the differences include the cost and the amount of maintenance. Wood is going to cost less but is going to require more maintenance. Man-made materials such as composite, fiberglass and vinyl will cost more at the onset but very little maintenance is required. Many people don’t want any aspect of their screened porch to require work. They want to rest, relax and minimize any necessity for cleaning and maintenance.

Knee wall is also an option. Knee wall introduces a measure of wind and rain protection. Knee wall also serves another couple of benefits. The knee wall can be painted to match other aspects of the house and pull the structure into the overall aesthetic of the house. Knee wall also adds a moderate degree of additional privacy based on the position of your screened porch and the proximity to the areas you would like some privacy from.

Ceiling and electrical packages for your screened porch

Screened porch with beadboard ceiling and exposted rafters

Screened porch with bead board ceiling and exposed truss design

For the ceiling, we can design open or covered rafters and have a variety of great choices for the ceiling including cedar, pine, bead board, plywood, tongue and groove, and vinyl/PVC. As you’ve begun to plan your screened porch and selected various design elements you like, you may not have thought of the aesthetic differences the different ceiling options can make. A vaulted roof creates a grand, open and airy feel. Traditional screened porches had flat ceilings but today the popular option is the opposite.

In my experience, one of the most common upgrades, if you will, is how you configure your electrical. Most screened porches will have a ceiling fan. In addition, you can add built-in ceiling lights, we can wire in and install mounted ceiling speakers, and you may want a number of additional outlets for plugging in things like table lamps, floor lamps, laptop computers and televisions.

When you begin to dialogue with a builder, you will quickly know based on your rapport, how they listen and how you feel about their trustworthiness whether that builder will be a good match for you. Before you have a contractor come out, check their BBB rating. Check their reviews on Angie’s List, and review their website to see pictures of their work.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give us a call for a free consultation. We would love to discuss your ideas and propose the best solution for what you’re looking for. (913) 851 – 3325.