Tag Archives: Archadeck of Kansas City

Enter the Archadeck of Kansas City Dream Backyard Makeover Contest

Are you thinking about adding on to your backyard this spring? If you are, it makes sense to give us a call early to discuss ideas for  your backyard upgrade. In addition, you might want to consider entering our Dream Backyard Makeover Contest. Archadeck is sponsoring a backyard makeover contest where one lucky recipient will win a backyard makeover worth up to $70,000. This contest is co-sponsored by Archadeck partners TimberTech and Belgard.

In order to enter, you simply visit our Archadeck of Kansas City facebook page and click on the blue “Win a Backyard” contest button. You can also get to the page by clicking on this direct link to the contest. When you get to the page, you will need to provide your name, contact information, post an image and enter a 250 word description of your dream backyard. The contest is open for submissions through April 22, 2013.

TimberTech Deck with White Low-Maintenance Composite Railing

TimberTech Deck with White Low-Maintenance Composite Railing

Dreaming up the perfect backyard may be more difficult than it seems. Here are some ideas. You might want to consider adding a porch. This can be an open porch, a screened porch or a porch with vinyl windows to allow use of your room for more time throughout the year. Your porch could then open up to a composite deck using TimberTech. To add to those 2 outdoor living spaces, you could also add a Belgard paver patio for a third outdoor living space. Combination outdoor living spaces are very popular whether you add them at one time or whether you have a multi-year staged home addition plan.

Consider some enhancements to both your deck and patio. For your deck, enhancements can include a bump-out section for your grill. It could also include built-in benches or planters. You might want to consider a metal railing. Enhancements to a paver patio might include a seating wall, retaining wall, built in pillars or columns, or even decorative features such as using an alternate color or paver for your patio outline.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

There will only be one lucky winner nationwide so if you’re thinking about backyard upgrades,  give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325. We look forward to your call.

How do you make your new screened porch look original to your home?

There are several factors that go into selecting the best design and architectural features to make your new porch or other outdoor structure look original to your home. Take a look at the photo below. You almost need to look at it for a few minutes to recognize that it’s the same home. The new screened porch was designed to work with the home and to look like it’s original to the home.

Lenexa KS screened porch before and after

Here are some of the ways we make the new structure look original to the home.

From an architectural perspective, one of the first key factors is evaluating the correct roofline for the addition. This house had multiple rooflines as is often typical of custom homes. In our design, we came up with a roof that complimented the home and one that worked in durability, drainage, size, and shape. This home has both gable roof lines and hip roof lines. Our new porch incorporated a gable peak into the roof to blend the porch perfectly with the architecture of the home.

Because this project was very high in the air – 13 or 14 ft, and the roof is well over 27’ or 28’, it was important to take into account how the height reflects the scale because things look different at that height than from the ground. Height does affect scale and this was an important consideration with the design.

Lenexa custom designed screened porchIn order to compliment the house, the homeowner agreed we needed something other than ceiling and screens. We felt we needed kneewall to blend into the house. We used half kneewall and half railing. That lends to the architectural look on the outside as well as on the inside. In the picture above, the area between the supporting posts and the screen is the interior kneewall of the porch. The picture to the left shows how this combination kneewall and railing looks. The railing has Deckorator balusters and a custom built cedar railing. This particular porch has a beautiful custom fireplace integrated into the porch which allows the homeowners to enjoy their screened porch a little longer throughout the year.

The screened porch exterior has custom siding trim and is painted to match the exterior of the home. All of these elements such as roof design, scale, trim, color, and kneewall contributed to making this porch look original to the home.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a screened porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net

To see more pictures, visit our screened porch photo gallery on our Archadeck of Kansas City website.

The price to build next summer could be significantly higher than building now

Leawood KS screen porch builder designed for maximum air flow

Leawood KS screen porch builder designed for maximum air flow

Unlike things that you purchase at retail, building material and lumber prices are extremely subject to supply & demand. If demand increases and supply remains unchanged, a shortage occurs and this leads to higher prices. Supply and demand vary throughout the year and from year to year. If nothing else changes, we have reason to expect building materials prices may increase this Spring.

Here are some reasons why we believe the demand for building materials will increase in 2013.

Seasonality

Certain Materials prices tend to be higher in spring and summer. This often includes the price of lumber and building materials.

State of the economy – It’s improving!

The overall level of economy and the growth or decline of new home building has an effect on demand. As new home building grows, the demand changes. Now it has turned the corner and more and more new home construction is underway than last year or year before. Growth is happening here at home in the Kansas City market and nationwide.

Weather

Natural disasters or weather disasters that cause destruction of homes and businesses will increase demand and put pressure on the supply.  In particular, recent hurricane Sandy is going to generate a tremendous amount of rebuilding/reconstruction over next couple of years. As more and more building materials are ordered on East Coast, the demand is sharply higher and therefore prices will increase. The price of raw materials is affected by changes nationwide. Even though we are far from the East Coast, the nation will be affected by this increase in demand.

Cedar deck w/ meatl rails

Cedar deck w/ metal rails

Industry conditions

Conditions in the industry can have a couple effects. If a large producer shuts down or goes bankrupt, it affects the supply and frequently causes other producers’ prices to go up.

Based on the above, we anticipate the building materials costs will increase throughout 2013 if not longer. It’s not unusual to see those double or triple for a period of many months until the demand changes back. In the past, we have seen a sheet of plywood that normally costs $10 go up in cost to as much as $30.

On Dec. 7th, 2012 Bloomberg reports “Lumber futures rose to a six-year high, extending a 2012 rally that is one of the biggest among commodities, on mounting signs of tighter supplies as U.S. home construction rebounds.”

We frequently hear questions from customers asking when is the best time to build to get the best price. The answer is to build now. Any time you postpone, you are taking the risk of higher material prices.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

The sooner you get started with your outdoor project, the better. Now is the best time to give us a call for a free consultation. We look forward to your call. (913) 851 – 3325.

Visit our Archadeck of Kansas City website to see more pictures of our work.

Top 5 Considerations for adding an outdoor fireplace to your Kansas City screened porch

Lenexa KS outdoor fireplace on porch Archadeck Kansas City

Lenexa KS outdoor fireplace on porch Archadeck Kansas City

We get a lot of questions about the feasibility of having an outdoor fireplace in your roofed porch. This can include either your open porch or your enclosed porch. Many people love the ambiance of a fireplace in an outdoor porch because of the atmosphere and aesthetics it adds to your outdoor room. An outdoor fireplace can also be a great way to add some heat to your room although that’s not always the primary purpose.

When roofed porches are designed from scratch it’s feasible to design a fireplace into it. Most commonly these are natural gas and not wood burning because natural gas zero clearance fireplaces are readily available, approved by code if they’re properly installed  and are usually going to be more convenient and easier to use as well as less expensive than wood burning.

Here are the top 5 things to consider when adding an outdoor fireplace to your new screened porch:

Fireplace location on porch

The size and shape of the porch would be reflective of where the fireplace would sit in the porch. Depending on the type of fireplace you have, codes may also determine how close the fireplace can be to the house and/or which wall it will need to go on.

Lenexa 2nd story screened porch fireplace Archadeck Kansas City

Lenexa 2nd story screened porch fireplace Archadeck Kansas City

View from the porch

A fireplace is a large structure. One of the things to consider is whether or not the fireplace would block the view in a particular direction and if that’s ok with you.

Source of gas

If you go with a gas burning fireplace, one of the things to consider is the accessibility of tapping into the gas line. Is the gas line readily accessible or is it at the other end of the house where it will be expensive to get gas to the new fireplace?

Budget

An outdoor fireplace is a big budget item which can easily add $5,000 to $10,000 to your budget depending on the type of fire box, the trim surround, and other components of the fireplace. Pricing is all over the board and dependent on several factors. For example, the firebox itself varies depending on the type you get and alone it can be $2,000 – $5,000.

Elevated screened porch shed gable roof Kansas City

Elevated screened porch shed gable roof Kansas City

Codes and inspection

It is important to understand local building codes as they apply to outdoor fireplace installations. When using an experienced contractor, they will be familiar with the local codes which is important.

While an outdoor fireplace is a substantial expense, it’s important to consider how often you will use the porch and what you will use the porch for. If you are adding a fireplace to an enclosed porch, you may use that room a good percentage of the year. Our customers often tell us their porch is their favorite room in the house.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re going to invest in adding a porch and you are considering adding a fireplace, take the benefits as well as the items we’ve mentioned into consideration. Then give us a ring for a free consultation at (913) 851 – 3325 or drop us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. To see more Kansas City screened porch photos, please take a look at the screened porch photo gallery on our website.

Switching out a Lenexa KS cedar deck for Ipe

This Lenexa family had an old cedar deck that was rotted and had problems. It was time for a new deck. They liked having a natural wood deck but they wanted something that was exceptionally durable. They were also looking for a larger deck for entertainment and to fit more people.

ipe deck Lenexa KS with sealer lr

This large Ipe deck is sealed to maintain the beautiful color

Ipe is one of the most durable woods available. It’s durability and strength come from it density and hardness. Various woods’ hardness is measured on a scale called the Janka hardness scale. Western Red Cedar has a hardness rating of just under 600 – 800 whereas Ipe has a rating of about 3700 on the same scale making Ipe the perfect choice for these homeowners looking for a durable natural wood.

Lenexa KS ipe deck by Archadeck

This close-up of the Lenexa KS Ipe deck shows the beautiful dark color and the color variety in the different boards.

As you can see in the picture above, Ipe has a strikingly dark and rich color. This family really liked the dark color. One consideration to make when selecting a decking material or other materials for your outdoor living space is maintenance. Natural wood is beautiful and as I always say nothing looks as much like real wood as wood itself. But unlike composites or other synthetic outdoor building materials, natural wood requires sealing and may require staining based on personal taste preferences. The maintenance frequency will depend highly on weather, the amount of direct sunlight affecting the space, and use or traffic on the space. Wood decks whether cedar, pressure-treated pine, or Ipe may require maintenance every 1-2 years. Treating and maintaining Ipe is a little different than other natural woods. Ipe is treated with an oil that seals the wood and helps it to maintain its rich dark color.

Archadeck Ipe deck Lenexa KS

This Ipe deck has black composite TimberTech Radiance rail

For low-maintenance railing, the family selected black composite TimberTech radiance rail. This railing has a beautiful narrow profile which along with the dark color directs the eye easily to the area beyond the deck. TimberTech Radiance rail comes in several different colors. This family really liked the high-end look of this railing.

Lenexa KS black TimberTech radiance rail Archadeck Ipe deck

Notice the way your eye passes through the railing to enjoy the view on the other side. Dark railing with a slender profile aids in accomplishing this objective.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a deck, porch or other outdoor structure to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation. We can be reached at (913) 851 – 3325 or kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

A new porch and AZEK deck were just what these Lenexa KS homeowners wanted

When we first met these Lenexa KS homeowners at a home show, they had an older existing deck and were looking to replace it with both a covered and uncovered outdoor living space.

Lenexa before after new porch and deck

As you can see in the photo above, the home improvement made a dramatic change both aesthetically and also functionally for the home.

The old deck spanned most of the back of the home. The homeowners wanted to split that space to include both a porch and a deck. One of the challenges we often have in designing a screen porch to attach to a home is deciding where to attach the porch to the home. Often, second story windows obstruct the area where we hope to attach the roof of the new porch. There are usually a few ways an experienced contractor can work with the configuration of your home. At this home, the owners agreed to replace the second story window with a smaller window to allow room for the gable roof over the screened porch. If you look at the top right of both the before and after pictures, you will see how the shorter window allows space for the screened porch roof.

AZEK Sedona low maintenance deck with black Fortress steel railings

The homeowners knew they wanted low-maintenance flooring materials and after consideration they selected AZEK Sedona for the flooring and black Fortress steel railings to enhance view. Slim black railings are a popular choice. Both because of the color black and also because of the slender width, the eye tends to travel beyond the railing to focus on the yard instead of the eye focusing on the railing itself. The owners continued the AZEK decking and the same Fortress railing throughout the screened porch as well.

Lenexa KS screened porch AZEK floor

Many owners select a gable roof design as you see above. With a gable roof, both sides of the roof meet in the middle crating that triangular end shape. Many of our customers screen the gable area to allow more light and more air into the porch. You’ll notice in this picture that the beautiful black furniture compliments the brown flooring and especially the black iron railings. These homeowners’ furniture was between 30-80 yrs old and was willed to them. They sent the furniture off to be refurbished and repainted and it finishes this picture perfect porch.

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 call at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to hearing from you.

Multiple outdoor living spaces add the most to your Kansas City area home

There are two things our customers tell us when we speak with them after they’ve had time to live in and enjoy their new outdoor room. First they tell us they wish they had done it sooner. Secondly, they tell us it’s their favorite room in the house. This has been true throughout the time we’ve been designing and building outdoor living spaces here in the Kansas City market.

Archadeck Kansas City 2 story sunroom screen porch

This design rendering shows what the space will look like after completion

Now there is a new trend we’re seeing. Homeowners are now considering adding multi-function outdoor living spaces. Multi-function spaces include those that are either large enough to include separate living spaces or spaces that actually include multiple outdoor structures. For example, a large deck or screened porch may accommodate both an eating area and enough room for a seating area. A space including multiple outdoor living structures may add multiple living spaces to your home as is the case with a project we are just beginning in Shawnee, KS.

These homeowners wanted a sunroom, a screened porch and a deck. Their yard has a drop-off so they are able to add outdoor living spaces at both levels. On the lower level walkout, we are building a screened porch. The basement door leads to the screened porch.

Kansas City Shawnee 4 season porch sunroom Archadeck

Design drawing of new 2-story 4-season porch over screened porch with adjoining deck

Atop the screen porch will be a new sunroom. There is a walkout from the kitchen and dining area to the new sunroom. Then, one of the side walls of the sun room will lead to a new second-story deck. The deck has stairs leading down to the ground.

For the decks, steps and screened porch floor, the owners chose to use Ipe which is a strong Brazilian hardwood. They wanted a natural product that was extremely durable and long lasting. The sunroom will have hardwood floors.

Shawness KS sunroom over screened porch Archadeck

Our design drawings help our customers envision what their project will look like

The upper level sunroom is actually called a 12-month sunroom. It will have insulation and energy efficient windows so it can be used 12 months of the year. It will also have heat and A/C. The room does have a separate unit because the sun in the sunroom might be dramatically different than in the rest of the house. With separate thermostatic control and a separate unit, they can turn it off when they go out of town.

Here’s a design rendering of the project to give you a glimpse of what the finished project will look like. When complete in November, we will follow up with pictures showing all the details and finish choices.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding an outdoor living area to your home, give us a call for a free consultation. Call (913) 851 – 3325 or email kansascity@archadeck.net