Tag Archives: Archadeck of Kansas City

The top 5 ways to make your new porch look original to your home

One of the first questions people ask when they’re considering adding a porch to their house is to what degree we can make it look original to their home. Nobody wants a new porch that looks “added on” or an addition that looks like a sore thumb. Here are the top 5 ways to make your new porch look original to your home.

Overland park screened porch ipe floor

Overland Park KS screened porch addition with challenging roof connection

Roof style –

Using the correct roof style to match or complement your home is one of the biggest factors in determining the degree to which your porch will look like it was built with your house. If you close your eyes and envision a typical porch, a rectangular (gable) roof or perhaps a flat roof may come to mind. But, one shape certainly does not fit all. There are many factors that help determine which roof is best for your new porch. One of these factors is matching or complimenting the other roof lines of your house. Your house may have a gable roof or a hip or shed roof. Likely your house has a couple different roof lines. But other factors come into play such as the placement of second story windows where you want to build your porch.

Other roof factors we consider when designing your porch roof are the pitch, soffits and overhang. All of these factors affect the look. We work to match or complement each of these elements.

Screened porch design Overland Park KS ArchadeckSize/shape/proportions

If the new porch is too big or too small or the proportions don’t fit to back yard and to house, it is going to look odd. Other factors include the size of your house, the size of your yard, and the relative proportions of the space available to work in and how the porch will be used. All of these factors come into play when we design the size, shape, and proportions of your new porch.

Color/texture/materials –

The aesthetic choices including the color, texture and materials will be a determining factor on whether the new porch looks like it was built with your house. This is especially true on the outside but also on the inside. Some of these factors include the trim materials, the types of paint/stain, and the look of trim compared to type of trim used on house.

Flow from the porch to the back yard

In certain yards, there is a distinct reason to put steps in one area vs. another. These reasons may include the proportion, size, or shape of steps. Other factors to how the porch steps transition to the yard include the angle of the steps and the connection to any primary destination in yard if there is one.

Landscape design –

Landscaping has a big impact on how things look when they’re finished. Adding landscaping around the porch that is complimentary to the existing landscape design will help in making the new porch look like part of the existing house.

As you can see, there really is no way for one solution to fit all situations. Every home is different and every homeowners has different wants and needs for their new porch. That’s why it’s important to work with a design and build company that listens to what you are looking for and designs a room to fit all of your needs including aesthetic, lifestyle, and more.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a porch 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.

Key considerations when deciding about an open porch or screened porch

AZEK pool deck with open porch and bench Overland Park KS

This open porch adjoins with the pool deck allowing ease of movement between the 2 living areas.

Open porches and screened porches have many similarities in that they are both roof structures, can both be attached or detached, and both provide sun protection. Here are some key differences you may want to consider if you’re determining which you want to add to your home.

One consideration is bug protection. An open porch, sometimes called a covered patio, will not provide bug protection without the addition of a bug protection device such as mosquito curtains. Depending on your yard and the elevation of the porch, mosquitoes and other bugs may or may not be a problem. If your open porch will be at the second-story level or above, bugs may not be an issue. They tend to stay lower to the ground.

Lenexa Open porch trimmed columns Timbertech floor Westbury Aluminum rail

This open porch in Lenexa provides a great view of the back yard.

Another consideration is that an open porch feels different. Without the screens there’s slightly more visibility and less privacy. But, if the porch is adjoining to a deck or patio, you may not want a screen wall obstructing easy communication or access between both living areas. Another reason you may not want to restrict access if you are entertaining in both spaces. The ambiance is different if the 2 spaces are separated by screens.

On an open porch, you have more trim work and column options. Posts can be trimmed to have a more finished look. They can also be farther apart allowing for different spacing between the posts. Columns become an option when you do not need to attach screens.

Lenexa KS open porch TimberTech

This TimberTech open porch in Lenexa KS has a very stately open feel and the design integrates into the style of the existing home.

If you are considering addition a porch to your home, give us a call for a free consultation. We enjoy working with homeowners to provide information that will help in making decisions. Give us a ring at (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

Take a look at more pictures in our open porch photo gallery or screened porch photo gallery on the Archadeck of Kansas City website.

Steve Folsom, owner

Archadeck of Kansas City

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

The hazards of fine print in your porch or deck contract – top 3 things to watch for

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.

Steve Folsom - owner of Archadeck of Kansas City

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 kansascity@archadeck.net

Wood or composite? Top five questions that will help you decide…

Kansas City composite deck builder Archadeck of Kansas CityOnce 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?

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

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.

Building your outdoor living space in phases

Screened Porch, Pergola and Outdoor Fireplace in Overland Park, KS

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

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.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

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.

Our consultation is completely free so give us a ring to discuss your project ideas (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net.

To see more photos of our work, please take a look at some of our photo galleries on our web site:

Decks photo gallery | pool and spa deck photo gallery | porches photo gallery