Tag Archives: Kansas City porch builder

What is your porch fireplace profile?

screen porch builder Leawood KSDo you love the idea of gathering with friends and family around shifting, crackling logs as you watch the sparks meander up the chimney? Perhaps you have fond memories of splitting logs out in the backyard with your dad and have always wanted to recapture that in your own home. Some people revel in the natural ambience created by a “genuine” wood-burning fireplace, complete with keeping the kindling pile stocked and with the necessary chore of sweeping out the ashes. If these scenarios sound familiar, you are a great candidate for a Kansas City fireplace built into your screened porch or sunroom.

Other people really respond to the warm, romantic mood created by the presence of a fire crackling nearby, but don’t want to have to do a lot of work to get it. What is better than flipping a switch on a wall or, even better, clicking a button on a remote, to bring a bright and cheery fire to life in your outdoor space? If you think  gas is the way to go, you have something in common with 95% of our customers who choose gas fireplaces over wood. Many love the value and convenience that gas provides.

Lenexa custom designed screened porchWho doesn’t want an outdoor fireplace? Believe it or not, fireplaces are not for everyone. Although they offer wonderful benefits in terms of helping you extend the usable season of your porch by keeping the space warm in all but the coldest months of the year, there are some practical considerations that might argue against installing a fire feature. You may want to maximize the panoramic porch view and don’t want to give up window space to a fireplace. Some properties don’t have good access to a gas line. Some homeowners prioritize spending their money elsewhere. Of those interested, we find that cost is the number one reason clients choose not to include a fireplace on their porch.

If you think you fall into group one or group two, give us a call and we will gladly discuss options for making a new fireplace the focal point of your Kansas City porch. We can show you options at a few different budget points. We can also discuss some fun decorating options for lighting, mantels, fronts, and surrounds. There are many, many ways to create a space your whole family will love.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you’re considering adding a sunroom, or screened porch or other roofed structure to your home, give us a ring. Our consultation is free. We can discuss options, provide design ideas and of course give you a price quote to consider. Give us a call or send us an email. (913) 851 – 3325, kansascity@archadeck.net or visit our website at kansas-city.archadeck.com

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.

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

Screened porch interior designs in Kansas City

Kansas City Screened Porch by ArchadeckWith an interior house room, the floors and walls aren’t typically the hallmark features of the interior design. The design is often created through furniture selection, wall hangings and other things that are added to the room.

With a screened porch, the central features of the interior design are often the structural components of the porch itself. While your porch will be an extension of your home from a living perspective, it will have its own design identity. It will have different flooring, walls, and ceiling than the other rooms of your house.

While screened porches of the past may have had a simple exposed wood construction with quite a rustic look, screened porches of today have a myriad of material selections which dramatically affect the finish and thus the interior design of your screened porch.

Here are some of the options.

Kansas City screened porchFlooring

There are many flooring, colors, textures, and products available. We build floors with various types of soft wood and hard wood. We also build porches using composite flooring. Composite is very popular right now followed by wood as a flooring choice.

Railings

Popular railing selections include wood, metal and composite and these vary by colors, thicknesses, and style. Dark colored metal railings are very popular now because of the visibility they provide. The thin spindles and the dark color encourage your eye to look past the railing into the yard.

Kansas City screen porch with wood floorWall Columns

There are many wall column options. Columns vary greatly in size, type, color and finish. The columns affect the ambiance of interior design. Right now cedar and pine are very popular. Some homeowners like painted white columns and some want them stained. These choices are both popular

Ceiling

Although you might not think there are many ceiling choices, in fact they are many including ceiling trim, colors, and type of trim. The ceiling can be painted, stained, wood toned, or white. The traditional classic white ceiling is always popular but some people want more of an outdoorsy cabin style look and might go for wood-toned look.

Velux skylights Overland Park KS screen porchStructural Elements

There are structural elements that can be used for architectural emphasis such as beams and trusses.  These architectural elements can serve a functional or aesthetic purpose.

Roof

Although the roof is an exterior component, it has a dramatic effect on the interior. The roof style and height contribute to the feeling of openness. With our customers, more than 99.9% of the ceilings we build are vaulted.

Because your roofed structure component choices will be so critical in the overall design of your new room, ask lots of questions of your prospective contractor. Ask about options and the pros and cons of the various options. A good contractor will be patient and enjoy the process of helping you with these selections.

Our consultation is free. Give us a call today to discuss your ideas for your new Kansas City area porch.