Category Archives: three season rooms

Do you want a screened porch, 3-season room or a sunroom for your Kansas City area home?

The most important question I always ask my clients is how are you going to use the room? What is the purpose of this room? Does it need to be accessible in all months of the year. It’s about what works for you and your situation.

You want to make sure you get the space that provides all the elements or practicality for how you will use the space. In this stage of the planning, you need to be asking the right questions. We can help you by asking the right questions which will then lead to key decisions. Because we’re custom designing every space we build, we’re able to tailor it to your exact usage.

Here are some good starter questions. Do you plan on spending time in the room primarily in the warmer months or do your plans include spending time in the room year round? Do you envision having your morning coffee there year round? Do you envision closing it off in the colder months? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether a porch, 3-season room or sunroom is right for you.

Screened porch (usable @ 7 months/year)

Overland park screened porch ipe floor

Overland Park KS screened porch addition

A screened porch does not have any solid windows (such as glass) and there is no insulation. In the Midwest a screened room is typically usable 7 months of the year or maybe longer. Because of the screened windows, rain or moisture might come in. With a screened room, you need to make provision for moisture and rain blowing in. The screen room may have the same size, same shape, and same roof as an enclosed room, but a lot of other things are different. For example, you will not want to use hardwood or wall-to-wall carpet in a screened room.

3-season room (usable @ 9-10 months/year)

A 3-season room has glass which separates it from a screened porch which has no glass. The type of glass is important. If you’re going to try to use it 8-12 months of the year, you probably want double-paned windows to keep the cold out even if you’re going to get a space heater. The cold will go right through single-pane windows. With a space heater, you can extend the usage but you’re not going to make a 10-12 month room out of it. That full year room requires a full insulation package.

Sunroom (usable all year round)

Leawood Kansas Sunroom

Leawood KS Sunroom with attractive wood flooring

A fully functional 12-month room is fully insulated and has double pane glass, probably with low-E glass. With a sunroom or room that’s going to be used all year, the room probably also has some type of heat or cooling. With sunrooms, you also need to consider solar gain. The room can get way too hot. It depends on the direction of the room, the size of the windows, solar rating of windows, roof overhang, tree shade, etc. The temperature could make you feel like the inside of your car on a hot summer day.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

We can help make these key decisions easier. With our experience in working with homeowners on deciding what room is right for you, we can help ask the right questions to help you determine what works best for you. Give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. See more pictures by visiting our our screened porch photo gallery, 3 & 4 season room photo gallery, and our sunroom photo gallery at http://kansas-city.archadeck.com.

This Olathe KS Sunroom was the perfect replacement for an old tired deck

Olathe KS sunroom with double set of Pella French doors

Olathe KS sunroom with double set of Pella French doors

We have seen a trend in the past few years for the consumer to convert their previous deck space to a roofed room of some type. This may be a screen porch, a sunroom, a 3-season room or a 4-season room.  There are so many choices and so many different names to these structures but generally this is how we look at the various structures. A deck has no roof or walls and thus has exposure to bugs, sun, and rain among other elements. A screen porch includes a roof and screened walls and affords protection from bugs and some limited protection from other elements. A 3-season room generally has insulation and single pane windows but does not have heating, cooling and ventilation. A 4-season room has temperature protection since it includes not only insulation and double-pane windows but it also includes heating, cooling and ventilation. Every design is custom so there can easily be variations on these configurations.

Olathe KS sunroom with white painted walls

Olathe KS sunroom

These homeowners in Olathe KS wanted to convert their old and tired deck into a room but they weren’t sure exactly what that room would look like. We enjoy the design and specification process where we combine our experience and the customer’s desires to come up with a structure that’s tailored just for them.

In this case, these homeowners knew they wanted to use the room as much as possible in both winter, summer and in all weathers.  We suggested a fully insulated room with auxiliary heat and cooling and with low-e double pane energy efficient windows to maximize comfort and year round occupancy. The owners wanted new French doors from the living room and from the kitchen and they wanted to keep them open a large part of the time. We installed both sets of French doors that you see in the photo to replace older doors. In order to give a unique architectural look to the room, tongue and groove cedar ceiling trim was selected with painted beadboard wall trim. Outside, there is an upper deck for cooking, and a larger lower deck under the room.

Olathe KS sunroom design details

Olathe KS sunroom design details

In addition to designing the room, it’s important to use materials that will stand up to both the elements and the test of time. The products we used Were Pella windows and doors, AZEK decking, Fortress railing, TimberTech Radiance rail posts.

To see more photos to get ideas for adding more living space to your home, please take a look at the photo galleries on our web site:

Steve Folsom - owner of Archadeck of Kansas City

Kansas City sunroom photo gallery

Kansas City 3- and 4-season room photo gallery

Kansas City screened porch photo gallery

Please give us a call for a free consultation. Whether you’re thinking about building now or in the Spring, good planning is important and the best time to start planning is now. Call (913) 851 – 3325.

Top 5 reasons you don’t want all glass sunroom

Leawood Kansas Sunroom

Leawood KS Sunroom

When I first sit down with my customers who are looking for a new sunroom, one of the things most people say they want is an all-glass sunroom. There are many reasons why an all-glass sunroom is not a good idea but I will share the top 5 of them here.

1. You will bake

Remember that experiment we all did as kids where we put a leaf under a magnifying glass in the hot sun and if we did it just right the leaf started to shrivel or even get a burn hole in it? Now imagine you with an all-glass roof in a room in the heat of summer. A sunroom should be designed so you can enjoy the view of your yard and a certain amount of sun. But you want to enjoy the warmth and not the baking effect that the sun can have. You want to enjoy light but also want to have a place to hang shades or window cover for when you’re looking for a little more privacy in your sunroom.

2. Your furniture will not age gracefully

Are you considering putting indoor furniture or wooden furniture in your new sunroom? Are you considering having fabric covered chairs, sofas or table covers? Nothing will fade furniture and fabric faster than prolonged exposure to hot sun. Even when the sun doesn’t feel very hot outside, the elevated heat as a result of the glass windows will put your furniture and upholstery aging on overdrive.

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lees Summit MO

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lees Summit MO

3. Working the heater overtime in the winter will work over your budget as well

On the flip side, as much as glass holds heat in the summer, so does it fail to hold out cold in the winter. There is a direct correlation between the number of windows, the low temperatures, and the cold that comes into your sunroom. This does not by any means indicate that you shouldn’t use much glass. There are many things that can be done to still use plenty of glass but to use it in better sizes and in better places.

4. You will have far fewer months of the year that you can use your room

Following points #1 and #3, having an all-glass sunroom may keep you out of your room for a good part of the summer and a good part of the winter. Most of my customers hope to spend 80+ percent of the year in the sunroom. By having a more moderate amount of glass, you will extend the winter and summer hours that you can enjoy your room.

Olathe Kansas sunroom by Archadeck of Kansas City

Olathe Kansas sunroom by Archadeck of Kansas City

5. Golf balls, hail balls, falling limbs and other objects will not be your friends

Our hail out here in Kansas City can be very strong. None of us want to think about how a glass ceiling would hold up to hail balls, golf balls or any other falling objects. Limbs and other objects can easily fall on the roof of your sunroom just as they do on the roof of your house.

Here are some things you should consider to afford you the most enjoyment in your room for as much time as possible without suffering the effects of above.

The best “top” for your sunroom is a roof. We will design your roof to match your existing roof style and materials. There are many different roof styles that can be used. To maximize sunlight and give an airier feel, a gable roof is often a nice option.

Consider a knee wall. The knee wall is the solid wall below the window line. This knee wall provides a lot of protection from the cold and gives us a great place to wire your electrical outlets.

Take your contractor’s advice on windows and doors. He can recommend the right glass to control temperature and control price.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Read our blog for more articles and how-to’s. Please send us questions. We’d love to answer them and will get back in a very timely manner.

Contact us for a free consultation (913) 851 – 3325 kansascity@archadeck.net

Top 10 things you would not be able to do if you didn’t have a sunroom

Too all linguists, I apologize in advance for the double negative in the title. But, when thinking about things you would miss out on, it’s easier to talk about them this way. Many people might think of a sunroom as a room you enjoy in the milder months of the year. We think about enjoying the sunrise and sunsets of longer days at winter travels into spring. We think about looking out the windows and watching the green trees change their color during fall. But how often do we imagine spending wonderful winter moments in our sunroom?

Four-Season Insulated Room in Shawnee KS

Four-season insulated sunroom

Perhaps it’s because the name of the room that we imagine using the room to enjoy the sun. But, sunrooms are also popularly called 3-season rooms and 4-season rooms. A 4-season room will have insulation and heating so that it can be used throughout the year. A 4-season room is essentially a room addition to your home. Everything from the roof style to gutter style as well as interior details ranging from color to materials will be matched to fit your home. We always build to make the rooms look original to the home.

So here we go.

Winter moments in your sunroom.

  1. At the crack of midnight, toasting your beloved while watching glistening snowflakes fall from the sky
  2. After the kids are asleep, noticing the moon keeping an eye out for you as you play Santa and wrap the children’s gifts at Christmas
  3. Sitting in your sunroom in early evening on Thanksgiving day with a turkey sandwich and a plate on your lap since the food coma from the Thanksgiving meal finally wore off and turned to the grumblings of hunger again
  4. Sitting in your robe and slippers with your feet on the ottoman watching the sun begin to rise through the steam from your very hot morning coffee
  5. That second cup of coffee that your spouse notices you need and delivers to you with a breakfast treat before the sun has completely risen into the sky
  6. Watching your teenaged daughter talking to a young suitor near your pool at the back to make sure all “intentions” are good
  7. Sitting on your sofa loveseat with your laptop playing on the computer while you listen to the rain outside the windows
  8. Setting up the family puzzle on the table in the sunroom and greeting family members as they drop by, put in a piece or two, and tell you a little bit about their day
  9. Enjoying a cup of afternoon tea with a beloved grandparent and lingering as you listen to stories of old
  10. Having a room with windows on 3 sides to watch the birds, the snow, the moon and watch grass grow
Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lees Summit MO

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

With a limited view of the outside from many of the rooms in our homes, we often don’t think of all of the things we could do if we could enjoy a full view of the yard whether day, night, hot or cold. Many romantic and timeless memories could be made and shared if you had a sunroom/4-season room to enjoy throughout the colder months.

Consider adding a new sunroom to your home to enjoy the winter moments as well as those in the fall, winter, and early spring.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give us a call to discuss for a free consultation. We welcome and look forward to the opportunity to speak with you about adding a 4-season room to your home. (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net.

Take a look at some of our photo galleries at our website:

Kansas City sunroom pictures and photo gallery

Kansas City area 3-seasona and 4-season pictures and photo gallery

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.

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

A large screened porch with open gable roof

A large screened porch with open gable roof

Last week, we talked about deciding between a deck or a screened porch. Deciding whether you want a covered structure is one of the first decision. You may already know you want a covered structure or that you want an enclosed room but you may not be sure what’s right for you.

The answer can often be found by thinking of all the ways and the most common way you will use the room. Here are some questions for you to consider.

  • Are you focused on being outside in the summer or do you want to be inside but enjoy the brightness of the summer sun?
  • How many months of the year do you plan on using your room?
  • Do you need more room in your house?
  • Are you seeking just the outdoor ambiance in the summer months or more of a full year sort of ambiance?
  • What other activities do you want to do on the porch? Specific activities dictate how the porch is going to be used.
  • Are you going to use the room for parties?
  • Will you put a TV out there?
  • Will the whole family be using the room?
  • Will the kids be using the room?
  • Will you be using the room for adult activities like card parties or book club?
Leawood Kansas Sunroom

Leawood Kansas Sunroom

3-season vs. 4 season

You may have heard the terms 3-season and 4 season rooms and you may be wondering about the difference. A 3-season room does not have glass to block wind, nor insulation or heat.

Conversely, a 4-season room can also be called a 12-month room. It is really a room addition to your home. If your desire is to have a really bright room with lots of windows, then a 4-season room is probably the best for you.

Kansas City Sunroom

Kansas City Sunroom

Other considerations

What about privacy? Will you be using the room in early morning for your morning coffee? Will you be using the room in the evening when you may have already changed into your night clothes? In this case, just as in your house, you may want an enclosed room where you can have shades or blinds or another window covering for privacy.

Another consideration certainly is price. Screens are cheaper than windows. Insulation and heat make the price substantially higher. There are no exact guideline because there are so many other variables. There will be more of an investment for a 12-month room over a 6-month room. A lot of the finishes and trim items also make the price higher. For example, you can put a hardwood floor in a glassed in enclosure but not in a screened enclosure.

Give me a call if you’re considering a new screened porch, sunroom, deck or other back yard extension. (913) 851 – 3325. kansascity@archadeck.net.

Are you trying to decide between a screened porch or a deck? Here are some considerations.

Kansas City screened porch

Kansas City screened porch

Roofed enclosures are one of the biggest items we sell. There are advantages to both open decks and patios as well as roofed enclosures. But, often there are just simply more advantages to roofed enclosures because there are more lifestyle objectives than can be met with a roofed enclosure. For example, relaxing on a deck is a great way to enjoy your yard and the sun and watch the kids play. But, it’s only ideal in ideal weather. Once it rains, or the sun is too strong, or the bugs come out in full force, the deck won’t be your ideal living area all hours of the day. Don’t get me wrong. We sell a whole lot of decks and they are a great outdoor living space, It depends on how much outdoor living time you are looking for and what protection you desire from the elements.

Screened porch design Overland Park KS

Screened porch design Overland Park KS

We have a job we’re just finishing up now in Overland Park, KS. These homeowners had a deck exposed to lots of sun facing southwest, They wanted protection from bugs, and they wanted to be able to eat outside without the bugs. They also wanted shade for deck and for some hot windows to house. They wanted some privacy because they back up to the lake and the street and they also wanted weather protection.

Screened porch with stained ACQ treated lumber in Overland Park KS

Finished! Screened porch with stained ACQ treated lumber in Overland Park KS

We replaced their old deck with a new screened porch. We bumped out their old deck space several feet giving their new screened porch a very comfortable size – 17 x 21. The owners wanted a wood structure that they could paint. They are using lots of stains and colors. We look forward to posting the finished picture. The porch is built using ACQ treated pine. On the exterior we used a low-maintenance smart trim which is rot resistant.

ACQ porch Overland Park KS

Here's another picture of the finished screened porch in Overland Park

“Not only were we impressed by the workmanship of our new screened porch we were extra impressed by the construction crew. Thomas and Alex showed up every morning at 7:30 sharp and stayed until 5:00 until the project was complete. The worksite was cleaned and lumber restacked everyday before they went home. Steve Folsom was in constant communication during the project to made sure all details were to our satisfaction. The roofers, gutter installers and electrician were also helpful and easy to work with. We are very proud of our porch and it seems to be the point of interest in the neighborhood. Thank you Archadeck.

John and Penny”

For screened porches, we use a woven fiberglass material. We found years ago that screen porch conditions are tough because we are one of the 10 windiest cities in the country so we use one of the strongest screens available on the market. Here is a recent email we received from one of our customers which will show how strong the screens are.

Hi Steve, I just want to let you know that are porch screen made it thru the hail storm just fine. My window screens were destroyed. My roof have a lot of damaged also. I had several people out to look at the roof and they are all amazed the screen in the porch survived.

Chuck

Call or email us to talk about adding a screened porch as a room or with a deck.

(913) 851 – 3325

kansascity@archadeck.net

or visit our website to enjoy many pictures of our work from all around the Kansas City market.