Tag Archives: Screen Porches

Top 5 reasons to build your new Kansas City screened porch in the fall

Which month is one of the most ideal months to build a screened porch? Here are the top 5 reasons that the fall is a great month to get started on adding a screened porch, 3-season porch or sunroom to your home.

  1. Have it ready for spring
  2. Outdoor enjoyment in the colder months
  3. Minimal interruption of your landscaping
  4. Avoid new  year price increases
  5. Get started sooner

Screened porch design Overland Park KS ArchadeckHave your porch ready for spring

The weather in Kansas City is different every year. While some years it’s not hot enough really enjoy the refuge of a screened porch until spring, in other years you may be ready to begin enjoying your porch in very early spring. Building your screened porch in the fall ensures that your new screened porch is ready for enjoyment no matter when the temperatures heat up for spring.

Enjoy your porch in the colder months

Many of our customers tell us that they enjoy their screened porch well into the colder months. There are many great electric and natural gas space heaters on the market that will provide enough heat to enjoy your porch in cooler months. If you have a multi-season porch, year round enjoyment is made possible with the help of a space heater.

Be good to your landscaping

The optimal time to do landscaping is later in the fall so it’s not so hot and your new landscaping is going to take root best. Building your porch in the fall helps to ensure that you have minimal interruption of your landscaping. In the fall, the ground is firmer because of less rain resulting in less disruption to your landscaping.

New year may mean new prices

As the housing recovery accelerates which it’s doing which it’s doing around the country, prices of building materials go up. The longer you wait, the higher materials will be priced. They’re based on supply and demand on national level which is highly dependent on the housing market. Building materials manufacturers often announce their price increases at the first of the year. By building in the fall, you can take advantage of the lower prices.

Get started sooner

Everyone wants to build their new outdoor room in the spring. As you can imagine, the construction schedule for reputable builders may require project start dates that are weeks out delaying the time you can begin to enjoy your new porch. In addition to longer wait times in the spring, long bailout times are accentuated by heavy rain which is more prevalent in the spring.

Fall into spring

Another consideration is to sign up in the fall to start building early in the coming year. This allows you to get ahead of the spring rush, allows you to build while the ground is still firm, and we may be able to take advantage of the lower costs of building supplies if you sign a contract before the new year.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom – Kansas City deck and porch builder

If you are considering adding a porch or covered room to your Kansas City area home, give us a call. Our consultation is completely free. Give us a call at (913) 851 – 3325 or email us at kansascity@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

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 is not a screened porch is not a screened porch

Screened porch and deck in Overland Park KS

Screened porch and deck in Overland Park KS

You’ve heard the old adage. If all screened porches were the same, it would go something like this. A screened porch is a screened porch is a screened porch. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not only do screened porches vary based on the size, shape, and roof style, they vary by all the components within. Imagine putting together a car. Imagine if all LX or EX models were exactly the same. Sure, those packages indicate a number of upgrades but that package only specifies a small number of options that are standard with that model. These could include power windows or doors or leather seats. But what about paint color and 2-door vs. 4-door. What about automatic transmission vs. manual transmission? What about carpet colors and dashboard packages? Radios, navigation systems, power seats… I could go on and on.

Unlike a car, a screened porch is truly custom through and through. Here are some of the things that differ. I’ll discuss both exterior and interior.

On the exterior, here are some of the styles, shapes and sizes to consider. The first one is the roof shape and style along with the roof overhang and soffit overhang. I wrote a blog post earlier about roof styles. Fortunately a good custom builder can help make that decision a lot easier. You don’t want your screened porch or any other outdoor room addition to look like an appendage. As much as possible, you want to make it look original to the home. So, by emulating your home’s roof style, that often creates the best aesthetic look for your new outdoor room.

Screened Porch with Lattice Skirting and Pergola in Overland Park, KS

Screened Porch with Lattice Skirting and Pergola in Overland Park, KS

One of the next considerations is what the support columns will look like. Again, your home may have columns either in the front or the back but we can help you make the best selection to fit your home, your tastes and your preferences. Attached to the supports will be the type of screen. There are a few choices here including metal, vinyl/woven or fiberglass/mesh.

A good custom builder will also walk you through one of the biggest exterior options which is the type of trim. These include the screen trim, post trim, and roof trim. Options include cedar, pine, man-made trims, vinyl, and more. They all have different characteristics and prices.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

The best thing to do when you start considering building a screened porch for your home is talk to a good experienced builder that is willing to guide you through the choices that best suit your style, personal preferences, uses of the room, and budget. To discuss adding a screened porch to your home, give us a call or send us an email. (913) 851 – 3325 or kansascity@archadeck.net

Screened porch or sunroom? Here are some things to consider.

A large screened porch with open gable roof

A large screened porch with open gable roof

Last week, we talked about deciding between a deck or a screened porch. Deciding whether you want a covered structure is one of the first decision. You may already know you want a covered structure or that you want an enclosed room but you may not be sure what’s right for you.

The answer can often be found by thinking of all the ways and the most common way you will use the room. Here are some questions for you to consider.

  • Are you focused on being outside in the summer or do you want to be inside but enjoy the brightness of the summer sun?
  • How many months of the year do you plan on using your room?
  • Do you need more room in your house?
  • Are you seeking just the outdoor ambiance in the summer months or more of a full year sort of ambiance?
  • What other activities do you want to do on the porch? Specific activities dictate how the porch is going to be used.
  • Are you going to use the room for parties?
  • Will you put a TV out there?
  • Will the whole family be using the room?
  • Will the kids be using the room?
  • Will you be using the room for adult activities like card parties or book club?
Leawood Kansas Sunroom

Leawood Kansas Sunroom

3-season vs. 4 season

You may have heard the terms 3-season and 4 season rooms and you may be wondering about the difference. A 3-season room does not have glass to block wind, nor insulation or heat.

Conversely, a 4-season room can also be called a 12-month room. It is really a room addition to your home. If your desire is to have a really bright room with lots of windows, then a 4-season room is probably the best for you.

Kansas City Sunroom

Kansas City Sunroom

Other considerations

What about privacy? Will you be using the room in early morning for your morning coffee? Will you be using the room in the evening when you may have already changed into your night clothes? In this case, just as in your house, you may want an enclosed room where you can have shades or blinds or another window covering for privacy.

Another consideration certainly is price. Screens are cheaper than windows. Insulation and heat make the price substantially higher. There are no exact guideline because there are so many other variables. There will be more of an investment for a 12-month room over a 6-month room. A lot of the finishes and trim items also make the price higher. For example, you can put a hardwood floor in a glassed in enclosure but not in a screened enclosure.

Give me a call if you’re considering a new screened porch, sunroom, deck or other back yard extension. (913) 851 – 3325. kansascity@archadeck.net.

Deck building materials-Lots of choices

One of the facts of life in the current century in the United states is we have multiple choices for everything we do.  We go to the grocery store and are overloaded with 100 types of bread or cereal.  The building industry has seen the same type of explosion of choice over the last 15 years.   What used to be a relatively simple decision on what kind of material to use to build your deck or porch is now much more complex.  Even more complex is the issue of locating a contractor who actually has expertise in a wide variety of materials.  A great many contractors regularly build with only one or two materials, and therefore aren’t  up to date on the specifications and requirements of more specialized materials.  For example when composite decking boards first appeared on the market in the late 1980’s there were only a few brands to choose from, and there was little difference between brands.  At the time all of the products used very similar technology and manufacturing processes.  Today the situation is entirely different, especially with composite decking and railing.  There are over 60 brands on the market, and new ones are being introduced every year.   Many  companies have developed proprietary manufacturing technologies and systems, with multiple different ingredients.    Some companies do a great deal of product development and testing, and some companies do very little.   In the last few years several composite companies have gone bankrupt, and other have been acquired and changed products.   The end result of this is a very confused marketplace for the potential homeowner and consumer.   Today there are substantial differences between brands of composite decking materials.   There are multiple price levels (some 2-3 times the price of others), multiple warranty periods, and major track record and history differences between brands.   Quite a few brands have experienced lawsuits, consumer complaints, and caused a lot of grief to people who purchased them without sufficient research.    There are differences in color fading, stain problems and scratch sensitivity….. in addition some brands are harder to clean than others.  The decking industry, just like any other industry, has its low quality players and its high quality players.   If you are considering a composite deck, do your research and make sure that your contractor has experience and a track record with the material you are interested in.

Steve Folsom

TOP 10 Reasons To Build a Screened Porch

Frequently we field questions from clients about their roof options on a deck,  and the decision to leave a deck open or to go for a full screened porch option.  The following are the major reasons our clients build a screen porches.

1.   The shade provided by the roof and screens makes the harsh summer sun easier to live with.   When you combine a roof, screens,  and a ceiling fan summer temperatures are much more controllable.

2.   Screen porches are much more private, especially when neighbors views look right at your backyard or deck area.   The combination of roof and screens partially blocks the view.  Additionally optional heavy-duty screening is available that provides even more privacy from neighbors.

3.  I love to sit outside in the summer rain!  Multiple people have told us they really enjoy being outside in the rain during the summer.   There is a feeling of connection with nature, without being wet.

4.  We can dine outdoors without the bugs and flies.   Obviously in this part of the country bugs, flies and mosquitoes are common.  These annoying pests can really diminish enjoymentof an outdoor dinner, but the screened porch allows you to minimize them.

5.  I have  a place for my kids to play, but not be in the house and under foot.   The porch allows a sheltered play area, protected from the weather.

6.  I don’t have to worry about my furniture getting wet.  Many people would like to use a better grade of furniture or cushion, with more style, and the porch allows this.

7.  It’s a great area for entertainment!  Most guests love the outdoors.

8.  I can have lights and a TV outside, without worrying about damage.

9.  My cat and dog love the porch!  Many pets really enjoy sitting outside on a porch.

10. ” It’s the best room in my house!” For all the above reasons and more we have had many clients exclaim this when we were all done.

Porches Kansas City

Kansas City Porches

I was at a customer’s home this week and they wanted to build a new porch on the back of their Kansas City home. Their house was on a pie shaped lot that became narrower as it went back and came to a point in the very back. When I measured the distance from the corner of the new porch to the rear property line it was only 12 feet from that point. I checked with the city the project was in and they indicated that it was too close and could not be built.

This reminded me of several other projects that were complicated by setbacks and utility easements. A setback is the distance that a completed project must be from your property line. Side setbacks can be anywhere from zero feet in some older sections of town to as much as 15 feet in others. Rear setbacks can be even more diverse. Some cities do not require setbacks for low level decks but can be as much as 30 feet for porches or sunrooms in other cases. In addition, some cities require a percentage of the total lot length not to exceed a certain amount of feet.

These setbacks can also vary within the same city. Some subdivisions require greater setbacks than others.  Villas and town homes generally have different setback requirements than single family homes. In most cases the city planner is the person to check with on regulations regarding your property. There may be a variance process in place where you can get permission to build your porch if the setback is an issue. In most cases a recent survey will be required.