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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please take a look at more screened porch pictures and synthetic deck pictures on our website.
Take a look at this Overland Park home before and after adding this new screened porch
You might not think this is the case but sometimes the longer the fine print, the less you’re getting. There can often be hidden costs to look out for in the specifications list, warranty, or other details found within your proposal or contract. Here are a couple of things to watch for. You want to be careful if the list of specifications or details about a component are too confusing/not written in a clear and straightforward manner, too vague, or stated verbally.
1) Confusing and/or not written in clear and straightforward manner
Beware if you receive contracts, estimates, addendums, specifications sheets or other documentation that is confusing or is not written in a way that is easily understandable and digestible. For example, if there are multiple options with associated prices within your contract, it may be difficult for you to designate what your selections are and which selections you are not choosing. In contrast to the next point, be wary if there is too much fine print or the documentation is confusing. This may be done intentionally to slip in hidden costs or specifications that are not in agreement with your expectations.
2) Too vague or purposefully vague
Think about all of the construction materials that it will require to build your new porch or deck or outdoor structure. Imagine those materials being delivered and sitting out in your back yard. Now imagine the options available with each of those materials. There are a number of different types of wood that can be used. There are a number of different screws that can be used. There are hundreds of options in construction materials that differ greatly. Has your contractor discussed these options with you? Now imagine that same set of building materials and imagine the number of different ways those can be assembled. In addition to materials, there are construction details that need to be specified.
Look for items in the specifications that are purposefully vague such as “48 feet of standard railing”. Even a railing has lots of facets including pickets, posts, and even screws. Insufficient explanations of choices and options may indicate the contractor is going to use the cheapest options to get the price down but this reflects on durability, upkeep, maintenance.
3) Stated verbally
Watch out for verbal promises that your new porch or deck will be “the same” as someone else’s, or the same as another picture. Beware if they continually lead you to focus on the size of the structure and not the hundreds of variables that are included.
You may feel that you are not qualified to read and understand all of the details or fine print in your construction contract and at first, the details may seem foreign to you. But, it’s your job to ask lots of detailed questions. Sit down with your contractor and the contract. Go through the contract and other details line-by-line. A reputable contractor with nothing to hide will gladly discuss each detail as well as other options that are available. This also creates an excellent opportunity to make any critical changes before the project begins.
In addition, do your due diligence. Research how these different methods and products perform and why they perform this way. If the contractor tries to pressure you to sign the contract before you’ve had time to do your due diligence, beware that there is likely a reason.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
Give us a call to discuss your next backyard project whether it be a porch, sunroom, deck, pergola, or other outdoor living area. Call (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at email@example.com
Once you decide on what you want to build for your outdoor living enjoyment, the next round of decisions you need to make are material selection decisions. Choosing whether to use wood or composite for your decking boards is not a simple decision. Both wood and composite have pro’s and con’s. Simply stated, composite will perform better and cost more. Wood still performs well but certainly not as well as composite. Wood costs significantly less. Here are 5 questions to ask yourself to aid you in your decision.
1) How long are you going to be in your home?
If you are planning on being in your home for another 10 or 20 years, then a composite wood warranty will still be in effect. Composites cost more but most carry a 20 or 25 year warranty that protects against things like blistering, peeling, flaking, cracking, splitting, cupping, rotting, and decay from bugs or fungus. Each warranty is different but these are the sorts of protections that will be covered in composite warranties. Natural wood may have no warranty or a limited lifetime warranty. But, this does not mean that a wood deck will suffer from all the maladies covered by a composite warranty. Wood decks can still last 15 or 20 years and still look good if properly maintained. Because composites are low maintenance, carry such a long warranty, and will look the same in 10 years as it does today, composite is a good investment if it makes sense for your budget.
2) How do you feel about painting, staining and sealing?
Do you get crabby just thinking about staining, painting and sealing? Or, does the annual deck maintenance fall into the category of just another outdoor task for each summer? I’ve found that people generally either don’t mind this at all or or simply won’t invest in materials that require annual maintenance. In order for wood to look good from year to year, it will require annual maintenance. In addition, this annual maintenance will have a cost that includes material and possibly labor if you choose to have someone do this for you.
3) How authentic do you want your decking to look?
Nothing looks more like wood than wood itself. Composites have come a long way and they’re looking better all the time. They are adding more streaking and ridges but this is one category where they will be forever be chasing the real thing – natural wood.
4) What sort of wear and tear do you expect your deck to have?
Some wear and tear will come directly from the environment with the sun being the biggest offender in this category. Other wear and tear issues are general use and moving objects around on the deck such as chairs and tables. A composite deck will resist wear, tear and environmental degrade better than wood.
5) Do you prefer to pay more now and less over time or less now and more over time?
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
Regardless of all of the features and benefits of composite, it has to make sense for your budget. A well-maintained wood deck can last a good 15-20 years or longer however wood will wear and tear over time. Wood will having some cracking and splintering and other wear and tear issues as time goes on.
The bottom line is the only right decision is the one that’s right for you. Based on your answers to the above questions, you should have a good sense whether wood or composite are the best material selection for your new deck.
Screened Porch, Pergola and Outdoor Fireplace in Overland Park, KS
These days we’re seeing more and more homeowners building multiple outdoor living spaces into one environment. This often includes some combination of deck, patio and porch as the primary structures and often other structures such as pergolas are added in to complete an outdoor environment. As nice as this would be to build all at once, taking on this expense all at one time may not make sense from a budgetary perspective.
Have you thought about building in phases or stages? If you look at the picture above, you will see an entire outdoor living environment complete with screen porch, elegant stairs, a pergola, a patio, a fire pit and a water feature. All of these elements blend seamlessly as if they were built all at once. In fact, these elements were built at different times. The back porch was the first thing we built for these homeowners. You’ll notice that the beautiful stairs with flared bottom are a perfect compliment to the patio. When we first built the screen porch years ago, the patio did not yet exist. But, it was part of the staged construction plan and thus the reason why we built the stairs as we did. The pergola was added in a second phase and the patio in yet another and yet they look like they were all built at one time.
While it’s still fine to add on to projects in future years without having an original “grand plan”, there are some key considerations we take into account when planned growth is in the picture.
Leawood KS Screen porch deck pergola and patio
Deck now, patio later
Many people will start with a deck with plans of adding a patio later. These structures compliment each other beautifully and having both creates multiple distinct living areas. Some of the considerations we take into account knowing future plans of adding a patio are things like shape, access, traffic flow, how the stairs will transition from the deck to patio, and also the size, shape proportions of the patio.
Deck now, roof in future
If you are thinking about adding a roof to your deck in the future, we need to consider the structural support that will be required for a future roof. In addition, interesting deck shapes are not practical with roof structures so this helps determine the size and shape of the deck.
Open porch now, screened porch or sunroom in future
Screens and windows come in specific sizes that require particular column spacing and column layout. Knowing there are future plans of enclosing an open porch allow us to build the porch with room for growth.
Plans for future amenities
You may be planning to add an amenity such as a hot tub in the future. In this case, we would take spatial considerations and structural support into consideration when planning your new deck.
So what happens if you decide at a later point to add on? Or, what if you planned to add on but never do? Any of these scenarios are fine but you can see from reading above that if you’re thinking about phased growth or future additions, it’s often best to take them into account while planning your initial project with us.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
Top 5 things to check before selecting a home improvement contractor
If you’re thinking about a home improvement project, ask around in your community for contractor recommendations. Search the internet for contractors. You may quickly find one or two names rising to the top. That’s already a good sign. Here are some of the characteristics you should look for when evaluating the contractor’s reputation.
Conducts business with professionalism
Committed to high-quality standards
Respected in the community
Stable and financially sound company
2) History of satisfied customers
A good contractor will encourage you to check references, read reviews, and visit websites such as Angie’s List and the BBB. We find that our best customers are the ones who spend the most time researching us. Make it one of your absolute requirements that the contractor will provide references for you to check. Take some time to check references over the phone and if possible by reading testimonials on web sites.
3) Licensed and insured
Legitimate contractors should carry both general liability insurance and worker’s compensation insurance. They should be able to provide you with a certificate of insurance.
Make sure your contractor is fully licensed in your locality. Johnson County KS has some of the strictest requirements in the area. Kansas City MO is very strict as well. We have been licensed for years in in both areas.
4) Written specifications and agreement
Your contractor should be willing to put incredibly detailed specifications in writing to you. With a home improvement project you deserve to have in writing exactly what you’re going to get. It’s very common with some contractors to not give specific details so they can make lower cost substitutions of materials or specifications.
5) Strong written warranty
It’s common for some builders to give some type of warranty protection. In almost every case, this warranty protection is based on the builder still being in business and having the motivation and decency to honor their warranty. Unfortunately as builders routinely go out of business, their warranty protection does not survive them. At Archadeck, our warranty protection is at a completely different level. Here is what our warranty includes.
Guarantee of project completion. We have one of the only independently funded supplemental warranty in the business including guarantee of project completion and guarantee that it remains in effect if the builder goes out of business.
12 months workmanship warranty
60 months structural warranty
Ask lots of questions. Check lots of sources. Review many references and testimonials.
After checking the items on this list, you should be well informed and confident about who to choose as your contractor for your project.
If your house was built before 1978 and you are doing renovations, you must work with a licensed contractor to test for lead-based paint. Lead-based paint was used in more than 38 million homes before it was banned by the EPA in 1978. If your home was built before 1978, you may have lead-based paint buried under layers of paint, siding or shingles.
Children are at greater risk if exposed to lead. It’s highly toxic and can affect major organs and in very high levels and rare circumstances lead to death. Children are exposed to lead by eating paint chips or through dust of disturbed paint.
I want to share the top 5 questions I receive about lead-based paint.
Does this mean you should forget about your project altogether for fear of disturbing lead-based paint?
The good news ismany pre-1978 homes don’t have any lead-based paint so this should not be a consideration in whether to move forward with desired remodeling plans.
Does this mean your renovation cost will go up significantly to test according to and comply with EPA standards?
There is a fee for testing by a certified inspector and there is a removal cost if lead-based paint is found. The financial ramifications can be between a couple hundred and a couple thousand dollars. However, this should not keep you from renovating or disturbing paint inside or outside your home. I recently worked with a family in Overland Park. After performing testing, there was no lead-based paint and we were able to continue building as planned.
Can any builder test my home for lead-based paint?
No. You will need to work with a builder or contractor that’s trained and certified to work with lead-based paint. That’s why it’s best to choose a lead-based paint certified contractor when doing renovations on a pre-1978 home.
If I have lead-based paint inside my home, is it a guarantee that I have it outside my home as well?
The good news is that having interior lead-based paint does not mean you have exterior lead-based paint.
What’s involved in removing lead-based paint if it’s found?
The certified contractor must follow a specific regiment including area containment, protective clothing and face covering, proper clean up, proper disposal and re-testing. If your building contractor is certified to work with lead-based paint, then you don’t need to hire a second professional for this.
When these Overland Park homeowners called us, they had a nice outdoor area in their back yard but it wasn’t doing what they wanted it to. They had a nice pool they used extensively for grandchildren and family. They had small patio with no shade adjacent to the pool which was next to a gravel landscaping area that wasn’t very attractive.
The outdoor living area had no sun protection so they wanted to have a partially shaded structure for those not swimming to enjoy the pool without as much sun. They didn’t want any screens on the porch, just an open view to enhance the ambiance of their outdoor living. They wanted the porch to match their house and look like an extension of their home.
AZEK pool deck with open porch and bench Overland Park KS
Thinking about the flow from the house to the covered porch, there are a couple of things that are important. One is to have the walk-out from the house at the level of the house. Someone carrying food could easily trip if there’s a big step up or down. Another consideration is whether you want continuous shade or protection from the elements in that transition. To this end, we connected the open porch roof to the house so they can walk directly under the porch from the house.
The patio is well finished. It has ceiling fans, lights, and even heaters attached to the painted beadboard ceiling.
The owners wanted to add an extended outdoor living area with a view of the pool that did not include sun protection. So, continuing from the floor of the open porch is a low elevation deck. The deck and the attached bench are made of AZEK in the brownstone color. This light color also has a cooler surface. The deck is raised slightly so there is air flow under the deck to make the deck even cooler and easier on the feet on hot days.
AZEK brownstone color deck and porch in Overland Park KS
In the design process, our goal is to translate the goals of how you want to live into an area that meets each of those needs whether this includes a light decking color with ventilation for a cool surface temperature or a more elevated roof to a covered porch for a more open an airy feel. Share your outdoor living goals and desires with your contractor so they can truly come up with a custom solution that meets your needs and how you want to live. For a free consultation about creating an outdoor living area or area to compliment your home and outdoor living goals, give us a call (913) 851 – 3325, email us firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website to view more pictures and submit a request for a free consultation.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
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
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.
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
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.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
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 email@example.com.
To see more examples of our work, check out or photo galleries.
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 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.
At the crack of midnight, toasting your beloved while watching glistening snowflakes fall from the sky
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
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
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
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
Watching your teenaged daughter talking to a young suitor near your pool at the back to make sure all “intentions” are good
Sitting on your sofa loveseat with your laptop playing on the computer while you listen to the rain outside the windows
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
Enjoying a cup of afternoon tea with a beloved grandparent and lingering as you listen to stories of old
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 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.
Bonnie and Dan Hall, Archadeck of Kansas City Owners
Give us a call to discuss for a design 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You’ve probably heard the old saying ” believe half of what you see and none of what you hear”. These words may ring true today more than ever. With the internet, smart phones and all the advanced technology of today we are all receiving information on the “best this” and “worst that”. In this world of information overload, how do you know what information you find online is trustworthy and what information is not?
Whether you’re looking for a contractor or a consumer product, one rule of thumb is a company whose brand name means something in the offline world will most certainly have the same standards in their online world or their online presence. Two referral sources do stand out a little when looking for integrity and reliability when choosing a contractor or even a maid to clean your home. These two forces are the BBB (Better Business Bureau) and Angie’s List.
Beautiful quality and craftsmanship in every inch of this porch ceiling by Archadeck of Kansas City
Both the BBB and Angie’s list strive to provide reliable information from a recognized brand that represents integrity. Both sites give us the ability to research in earnest and unbiased terms the quality of work and service of a prospective company. These two companies work in much the same manner by using information provided by the consumer to allow prospective clients to make informed decisions through the feedback and grading systems of each to find the best company or business to suit their needs.
Ipe deck in Lenexa, KS
Let’s say for example you are looking for a painter to paint your home. Angie’s list is set up to be consumer friendly. For a nominal yearly fee, you as a consumer would have access to all the painters in your area that are on Angie’s list. A business cannot pay to be on Angie’s list. Businesses register on the list for free and consumer’s submit reports and reviews of their experiences with each business. This method gives the consumer a “hands-on” experience summary of other consumers which have dealt with that business. This information can help you decide based on what you learn about the business you are considering on Angie’s list. The list reports the honest truth based on what consumers have to say.
Unique Fan-Shaped Pergola by Archadeck of Kansas City
The BBB also uses positive and negative feedback from consumers to grade each company. Currently businesses are graded using an A+ through an F letter grade, which replaces their previous satisfactory or unsatisfactory ratings system. BBB accreditation is an honor earned by businesses and charities. They use a formula of 8 principles that summarize elements to create and maintain trust in business. They are build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, honor promises, be responsive, safeguard privacy and embody integrity. If a business or charity has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau then it has met their strict accreditation standards.
Both entities are a helpful and trustworthy resource when consumers are looking for help in choosing a company to do business with. These two resources have a wide following and a wonderful reputation in upholding good business practices and helping consumers. The BBB was established in 1912. Angie’s list was founded in 1995, and yes their is a real Angie, she founded the list in 95′ with 1,000 members in Columbus, OH and the list has grown from there.
Archadeck of Kansas City is a proud member of both the Better Business Bureau and are on Angie’s list. With the Better Business Bureau, we enjoy an A+ rating. With Angie’s List, we have been awarded the recognition of being in the top 5% of their contractors for the last 3 years.
as a superior service award company. Our experience with both companies has been wonderful. We highly recommend our prospective clients to use these sites as useful tools to help make an informed decision. Contact us today to learn more about us and how we may build an outdoor structure to transform your backyard. Kansas – (913) 851-3325 (DECK)
Missouri – (816) 228-3325 (DECK) email@example.com