Tag Archives: screen porch 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.

Three key ingredients in this Overland Park screened porch

Every job we build is different because each one is based on each homeowner’s distinct needs and wants. So while there’s no “recipe” for the perfect project, there are a few key components or ingredients in this project that that mark the Archadeck difference.

  1. Custom roof solution
  2. Stunning, high quality materials
  3. Looks original to the home
Overland park screened porch ipe floor

Overland Park KS screened porch addition with challenging roof connection

Often times, customers will call us and indicate that based on their unique roof configurations or architectural constraints, other builders said that adding an addition to the back of their home simply couldn’t be done. In most cases, we are able to design and build a unique solution to attach a roof to their home. If you look at the picture to the right, you’ll noticed a couple roof lines that attach to the gable roof of the new screened porch. This was a complicated connection where we connected to the back wall, to a side roof and to a side wall. We had to design the screened porch specifically to do all of these difficult connections.

Ipe cedar screen porch Overland Park Archadeck

Notice the beautiful Ipe wood screened porch floor in this Overland Park screened porch

The second key ingredient in this screened porch was the high quality materials. The flooring of the porch is Ipe which is an exotic hardwood. In addition to being beautiful, this porch floor is ultra durable, will never rot, and requires minimal maintenance. The homeowners were looking for a natural product that was “the ultimate in durability and aesthetics”. In addition to the Ipe floor, we also used cedar wall posts and a beadboard ceiling.

The final key ingredient to this great screened porch was the degree to which this porch addition looks original to the home. The gable roof compliments the gable roof lines of the existing home. In addition, the exterior of the porch is painted gray to match the house. Other more subtle details like matching gutters and soffits also make the new porch look like it’s original to the home.

screen porch and patio Overland Park KS

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 ring for a free consultation at 913-851-3325. We look forward to your call.

Why the rebuilding in Japan means you should build your new porch or sunroom right now!

Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall

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

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.

Now is the best time to build your new porch, sunroom or room addition.

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

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.

Steve Folsom - owner of Archadeck of Kansas City

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 kansascity@archadeck.net.

To see more examples of our work, check out or photo galleries.

Kansas City sunrooms photo gallery

Kansas City 3-season and 4-season image gallery

Kansas City screen porch picture gallery

Is the inside of every screened porch the same?

Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall

Overland Park KS Screened Porch with Treated Wood Floor and Knee Wall

Last week we wrote a post about whether all screened porches are the same and the degree to which they can differ. In that post we focused primarily on the outside of the screened porch. This week’s I’d like to focus on options and considerations for the interior of your screened porch. The primary components of the interior are the floor, the railing, the ceiling,and the electrical package.

Screened porch flooring options

Let’s look at flooring first. There are so many more flooring options today than you may think. These primarily include woods, composites, tile, and concrete.

To tailor to a more traditional look, you can use the wood floor. Natural wood floors are less expensive than composite floors but do require substantially more maintenance. Where a composite floor is close to maintenance free, a wood floor will need attention every couple of years depending on the wear and traffic. There are some things you can do to keep your natural wood floor looking fresher for longer. One option is to paint your floor. This will provide some level of protection from wear. Another really simple option is a nice large floor rug. Outdoor rugs have also come a long way in recent years. Remember the green outdoor rugs that looked like astro turf? Today a number of companies make rugs designed to withstand some rain and other elements. You’ll want to read the labels to see the degree to which these rugs withstand the elements. Your screened porch will get a minimal amount of water inside as compared to an open porch but water will be a factor.

Leawood KS Screened Porch with Cedar Trimmed Roof and Slate Tile Floor

Leawood KS Screened Porch with Cedar Trimmed Roof and Slate Tile Floor

There are some tropical hardwoods that are traditionally used for outdoor. One particular tropical hardwood we used is Ipe. Ipe has a a great number of advantages over pine and pine and still looks very, very rich. It will need to be maintained, either stained or sealed to maintain its rich color.

People are also using tile for the floor of their screened porches. There are colors or textures available that you can’t get with wood or composite and tile can have quite a finished look.

Kansas City Screened Porch with Screened Gable Roof and Sky Light

Kansas City Screened Porch with Screened Gable Roof and Sky Light

Railing and knee-wall options

For your interior porch railing, material options primarily include wood, metal, composite, fiberglass, and vinyl. Like the other components, the differences include the cost and the amount of maintenance. Wood is going to cost less but is going to require more maintenance. Man-made materials such as composite, fiberglass and vinyl will cost more at the onset but very little maintenance is required. Many people don’t want any aspect of their screened porch to require work. They want to rest, relax and minimize any necessity for cleaning and maintenance.

Knee wall is also an option. Knee wall introduces a measure of wind and rain protection. Knee wall also serves another couple of benefits. The knee wall can be painted to match other aspects of the house and pull the structure into the overall aesthetic of the house. Knee wall also adds a moderate degree of additional privacy based on the position of your screened porch and the proximity to the areas you would like some privacy from.

Ceiling and electrical packages for your screened porch

Screened porch with beadboard ceiling and exposted rafters

Screened porch with bead board ceiling and exposed truss design

For the ceiling, we can design open or covered rafters and have a variety of great choices for the ceiling including cedar, pine, bead board, plywood, tongue and groove, and vinyl/PVC. As you’ve begun to plan your screened porch and selected various design elements you like, you may not have thought of the aesthetic differences the different ceiling options can make. A vaulted roof creates a grand, open and airy feel. Traditional screened porches had flat ceilings but today the popular option is the opposite.

In my experience, one of the most common upgrades, if you will, is how you configure your electrical. Most screened porches will have a ceiling fan. In addition, you can add built-in ceiling lights, we can wire in and install mounted ceiling speakers, and you may want a number of additional outlets for plugging in things like table lamps, floor lamps, laptop computers and televisions.

When you begin to dialogue with a builder, you will quickly know based on your rapport, how they listen and how you feel about their trustworthiness whether that builder will be a good match for you. Before you have a contractor come out, check their BBB rating. Check their reviews on Angie’s List, and review their website to see pictures of their work.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give us a call for a free consultation. We would love to discuss your ideas and propose the best solution for what you’re looking for. (913) 851 – 3325.