Tag Archives: Kansas City patios

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

Leawood KS Screen Porch with Custom Pella Doors, AZEK Deck and Pergola

Screen porch and AZEK deck Leawood KS

Screen porch with AZEK double deck and pergola in Leawood KS

Just like in our homes, it’s important to have individual spaces for different uses. There are different and distinct rooms for eating, cooking, sleeping, and relaxing. The same can be done with your outdoor living area as well. At this Leawood KS home, we worked together with the homeowners to build a screen porch flanked by two AZEK decks and a pergola. Each of these spaces fulfilled the need for different types of outdoor living. Equally as important, family members and friends could enjoy time simultaneously in the different areas doing different things. For example, someone could be inside the screen porch reading while another person or small group are gathering on one deck area and another person is separately grilling on the other deck area.

Leawood KS screen porch with custom Pella french door entrance

Leawood KS screen porch with custom Pella door entrance

The screen porch

Because this was a one-story home, the porch had a roof connection to the home. Based on the placement of the porch, a new connection was made from the home to the porch. We carved out a large entrance area and installed custom-made doors by Pella. The screen porch adjoins the great room in the home so it’s a nice extension of the great room. This allows the owners to keep the doors open depending on the temperature and allow air flow through the porch into their home.

Leawood KS screen porch builder designed for maximum air flow

Leawood KS screen porch builder designed for maximum air flow

The 18′ x 14′ porch’s interior has a custom tongue-and-groove cedar ceiling. The screen porch is designed to allow for a good air flow. Instead of a kneewall, divider walls were used to allow air flow under the divider rail. The gable is open to allow screens for air flow. And finally there is a large ceiling fan to increase the air flow.

Another thing that’s very important to consider is entrances and exits from your outdoor room. This screen porch has three. There is an exit to the decks on both sides and the entrance to the home as well.

Screen porch and AZEK deck Leawood KS

The AZEK deck on this side of the porch includes built-in benches and lattice skirting.

The large double decks

Both of the decks are built with AZEK acacia low maintenance PVC decking. The Acacia colors compliments the home’s subtle hues and is also quite popular right now. The seating deck not only has room for a large seating area but also has built-in benches for more seating. The deck is low to grade so no railing is needed but the benches add a nice natural rail area where the landscape would prohibit a walk down to the back yard. This deck also is nicely finished with a lattice skirting.

screen porch AZEK deck cedar pergola and patio Leawood KS

AZEK deck with pergola and eating area

The deck on the other side of the home can be used for seating and eating and also has the cooking area. In the corner, a pergola surrounds the grilling area. Along with the patio, the family essentially now has 4 outdoor rooms in which to live, dine, relax and enjoy.

As you can see, every design is as different as every home. But the design considerations for youroutdoor structurewill take a good bit more into account than the aesthetics. We will spend time with you identifying how you want to live outside. How many people do you expect will be spending time in each space? How often? How are you going to live in those spaces? Is it going to be an eating area and how large is your furniture? These are just a few of the questions we will ask you when we meet for a free consultation.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give us a call to schedule a free consultation. We would love to work with you to discuss adding an outdoor living space or spaces to your home. Call us at (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net.

To see more photos on our website, please visit a couple of our photo galleries

Kansas City screen porch photo gallery

Kansas City decks photo gallery

Or, visit our website to submit a consultation request.

With composite woods, if you’ve seen one, you haven’t seen them all

Kansas City TimberTech Deck with White Low-Maintenance Composite Railing

Kansas City TimberTech Deck with White Low-Maintenance Composite Railing

Are you considering building a new deck, patio or other outdoor living area in your back yard? If you’ve talked to friends or done some research, you’re likely very familiar with composite woods or you’ve heard a good deal about them. Likely you’ve formed some sort of opinion and likely feel that composite would be ideal for your new project. Like  everything that lasts longer, composite is more expensive. And, for the most part, you get what you pay for.

The composite wood industry is almost 20 years old. Some of the composite companies are actually on their 4th or 5th generation of product cycle. They’ve added new colors, new materials, new styles and new features.

Kansas City Evergrain Composite Spa Deck with Storage Bench

Kansas City Evergrain Composite Spa Deck with Storage Bench

Here are the the primary benefits of using composite woods:

  • Termite warranty
  • Rot warranty
  • Boards will not split
  • Lower maintenance

Previously, the composites were not warrantied against stain and fade. Composites are now just coming on to the market with stain and fade warranties – and long ones too. TimberTech is coming out with a new product called TimberTech Earthwood Evolutions which has a 25-year fade and stain warranty. AZEK and Fiberon are also addressing the fade and stain problems with composites.

Warranty is one big difference you will find among composites. But, the other big differences are price and the composite characteristics. Price will vary for market to market based on a variety of factors. But even composites that look somewhat similar can have very different characteristics. One company’s cedar shade may be very different from another. Another company’s grain pattern or texture may be different than another company’s product.

Kansas City WeatherBest Composite Deck with Painted Treated Wood Pergola with Custom Gate and Lattice

Kansas City WeatherBest Composite Deck with Painted Treated Wood Pergola with Custom Gate and Lattice

So, how do you decide? Everything is a balance. Weight what is important to you as it relates to warranties, required maintenance, price and the aesthetic appeal of the composites you are considering. Then, during the specification and design phase, find an experienced contractor with strong familiarity across many of the composite lines to discuss the pros and cons of the top composites you are considering. A qualified, experienced professional outdoor contractor will be glad to take the time with you to review the choices and considerations when selecting the composite that’s right for you.

I’ve been an outdoor builder in the Kansas City market for over 10 years now and used many of the top composites including EverGrain, TimberTech, AZEK, and Fiberon.