Archadeck of Kansas City is proud to have won the Angie’s List Super Service Award TEN years running – 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018!
This very important designation is based on our actual clients’ reviews – maybe your review helped us receive this year’s appointment as a Super Service Award company. We are grateful to our customers, who review us on Angie’s List, each having gone through a verification process, to submit a review on behalf of Archadeck of Kansas City. Angie’s List is one service, who does not accept anonymous reviews, to ensure that each reviewing party is an actual client of the business being reviewed. Your reviews not only allowed us this very important tenth-year achievement, but are also helpful to potential clients, who are searching for a trusted outdoor builder!
Read our online reviews or leave one of your own!
Many have found out the hard way that due diligence is key when choosing a home improvement building contractor. We encourage all potential clients to do their homework. It is very important to us that we keep our reputation in good standing. We strive to completely meet the needs of each client, no matter the scale of the project, and we likewise encourage our them to offer an unbiased review of their own. You can find our reviews, or leave one of your own on a number of online reviews websites, such as Google, BBB, and Houzz in addition to Angie’s List.
We appreciate your consideration in choosing an outdoor building contractor, and much of that is based on our consistently positive online reviews with the reputable sites mentioned above. In addition to online reviews, we will offer names and contact information of past clients, who are willing to answer questions for anyone, who is considering hiring us for their new outdoor living project. We understand the importance of being able to ask someone particular questions about our company and our process!
At Archadeck of Kansas City, we have an enduring passion for excellent customer service and building capabilities. We take very seriously our online reviews, and those offered personally by our past clients, as they are a direct reflection of our commitment to providing the best service in our industry in the Kansas City market.
If you’re looking for an outdoor building contractor, we hope to work with you soon! Give us a call at 913-851-3325, or email us to begin your journey to your ideal outdoor living space.
Will a deck add value to your home, more so than a porch or patio? This is a common question among homeowners, who are considering adding a new outdoor living space to their home, whether for their own enjoyment, or as an investment before selling. What are true value-added outdoor living solutions?
To quickly answer a part of the bigger question, it is estimated throughout the building industry that adding a deck to your home will give you an average of 80% return on investment. That means if you spend $10K on a new deck for your home, and you sell the home, you can expect up to or even beyond an $8K return. This is a much higher average return than adding a room to your home, which comes in at an average of less than 70%. Keep in mind that there are other factors that play into these calculations, and returns could be higher or lower depending on the size of the deck, geographic location, cost to build, materials used to build, and many more.
Specific to the Kansas City area market, adding an outdoor living area to your home before selling is the standard, as builders are now adding covered decks and even screened porches to new homes. If you list your home for sale, you will be competing with the inventory of new homes in the area, and potential buyers will want to see outdoor living amenities.
A deck can add value to your home.
But what does “value” mean when it comes to outdoor living?
As an experienced deck builder, we can offer a better explanation about adding value to your home with an outdoor living space, or an addition to your existing outdoor living space. Over our years of experience, we have learned that “value” is subjective. Each of our clients has different needs for their outdoor living space. Some host large parties, while others use it solely as a personal retreat. Adding value to one’s outdoor living space is based on improving their desired use of the space. Overall, however, we have keyed in on one very common value-added addition – a roof.
The roof of this covered patio is a valuable home addition.
If you currently have a deck or open patio and find that you are not getting ample use of your space due to excessive sunlight or lack of rain protection, a roof, first and foremost will add value to your space. We have built many roofed structures and pergolas for this very reason. It is also very likely that a roof would add value to your space for resale, as it is a common value-added solution across the board. With one addition, you have expanded use of the space by protecting yourself from the elements. More hours of use and better use equate to value-added.
A pergola can be a valuable addition to a deck.
What about outdoor amenities, like TVs, lighting, and fireplaces?
A common misconception about adding resale value to your outdoor living area is that if you include more elaborate amenities, such as a fireplace, or electrical for TVs, lighting, and the like, you will get a bigger return on your investment. This fallacy comes from the fact that even though these things might add much value for you, the current homeowner, it is impossible to know if a potential buyer would use the space in the same way that you do. If someone prefers to spend time outdoors only in 75-degree weather, or above, they will have little use for an outdoor fireplace. If a potential buyer prefers watching TV inside, lounging on their favorite recliner, they will not see themselves using a screened porch equipped with a TV. So, if your focus is adding resale value, the general rule would be to keep it simpler.
Conversely, if you would like to add these custom amenities to your outdoor space, because they would offer you more use of your space, then, yes, you should add them. If you are not getting enough use of your open porch, because of insects, adding screens will add value for you. If you are planning a new screened porch, and intend to use it in cool weather, adding a fireplace will add value for you. The list goes on!
Screened-in spaces can add value to the way you live outdoors.
Are you ready to add value to your home with a new outdoor living space?
Whether you are ready to add a custom space to your home based on your needs, or for resale value, Archadeck of Kansas City can help. We offer personalized outdoor living solutions for any lifestyle, any home, and for any reason. We can help you plan, design, and build your ideal porch or deck, or combination of spaces that will add value for you or for potential buyers.
Add a deck and porch combination for valuable time outdoors.
Are you ready to add value to your home with a new outdoor living space? Give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
What are the elements of good design? Are the decisions you make based on color, size, and shape alone? While all those are crucial to a great design result, they are not necessarily true design decisions. At Archadeck of Kansas City, we believe in the idea that form follows function – that function should be the foremost consideration in all outdoor living design.
Good design is individualized. It is specific to each of our outdoor living clients, and a great design for one family is not necessarily good for the next. Each family or individual, and their home and yard will require very specific design elements based on their needs. As n experienced deck builder, Archadeck of Kansas City will listen to your outdoor living needs to design a space that fits your size, budgetary, usage, and desired maintenance level requirements. We will help you decide the space you need based on the size of your home, yard, family, and entertainment aspirations. If you have a smaller home and family, and only plan to host a few loved ones from time to time, an over-sized outdoor living space will not best serve you. If you have a large home and yard with plans to host big parties, cookouts, or holidays, we can custom-tailor an expansive outdoor living space to accommodate your needs. At Archadeck of Kansas City, experience has shown us that one design or size does not fit all!
Good design is about form and function.
Once the needs mentioned above are outlined, and your outdoor living design begins to take shape, Archadeck of Kansas City can help you make decisions to ensure you love living in your new space and that it fits your needs and wants. Here are some key considerations for your design options.
Shade, sunlight, heat?
Imagine you have decided that a new screened porch will best suit your needs. We work together to determine the orientation of your porch. If it receives too much sun, it might be too hot to use and enjoy it. You also don’t want a space that’s too dark and shaded. If your porch is poorly situated, and open to direct evening sunlight, you will not be inclined to use your porch during those hours. Archadeck of Kansas City can plan the orientation of your porch based on location and situate it to eliminate over-exposure to intense sunlight. We can position walls or fireplaces in a manner that will deter excessively uncomfortable light entry during any time of day. Keeping you outdoors comfortably during hours of would-be harsh sunlight is good outdoor living design.
See screened in porch ideas by Archadeck of Kansas City.
TVs, lights, outlets?
If you are planning to use your new outdoor space as an extension of your indoor space by adding lighting, ceiling fans, and other electrical elements, Archadeck of Kansas City can help you plan these options. We can make recommendations regarding placement of your TV. For instance, we can create a TV wall to specifically keep the grill deck out of sight from your screened porch. By finishing your ceiling, we can obscure electrical wiring, and install lighting and ceiling fans cleanly. Will you be decorating your space for holidays, or parties? By placing outlets in the ceiling, you can easily hang strings of lighting for those uses. If you will be using lamps, we can place outlets based on your intended furniture layout, where lamps will be located.
Finished ceiling complete with electric and TV wall created to obscure the grill deck
Outdoor fireplace plans?
Part of your great outdoor living design plan will be determining the most useful placement of your outdoor fireplace. As mentioned above, we can plan your fireplace’s location based on blocking sunlight, or possibly giving you privacy from close neighbors.
Custom screened porch with outdoor fireplace in Overland Park, KS
Maintenance and durability?
Suppose you love the look of a wood deck, but do not have the time or inclination to perform periodic maintenance to keep your wood looking great. In this case, we would recommend selecting a low-maintenance decking material, such as AZEK or TimberTech, which will keep you from having to sand or stain your deck. Archadeck of Kansas City can recommend a low-maintenance deck product that will give you the look of a wood deck without the drawbacks of yearly maintenance, that will have you enjoying your outdoor living space, rather than working in it!
Low-maintenance TimberTech deck in Overland Park, KS
New products that match your original home?
It is of the utmost importance at Archadeck of Kansas City that we design and build an outdoor living space that looks original to your home. We have many years’ experience and will create a space that looks and feels like it’s a natural extension of your home. We can specifically use siding, trim, shingles, masonry, and paint colors that will perfectly match or complement your home and create a cohesive design aesthetic. Additionally, the shape and size of your new outdoor living space should be complementary to your original home, and we can create custom shapes and sizes that fit the style of your home.
Low-maintenance deck and screened porch in Overland Park, KS appears original to the home
As your trusted Kansas City area outdoor living experts, Archadeck of Kansas City knows that the depth of good design is much more complex than most clients realize. We can deftly guide you through an outdoor living design to achieve the best outdoor living space for your home, family, and lifestyle. We can work to create the most beautiful and usable space you have imagined living in.
If you are considering adding an outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
When it comes to designing your custom outdoor living space, Archadeck of Kansas City can design and build your project.
There are a couple of reasons you may not want to hire an architect for your next outdoor project. First, depending on the builder you choose, that outdoor builder may include architectural design as part of the service you are purchasing. All of Archadeck’s projects are design/build construction, and come complete with architectural drawings, blue prints, and your build out. Outside of possibly over-purchasing by paying an outside architect to design your new space, there are a couple more reasons you may not want to hire an architect.
Screened porch, deck, outdoor fireplace, and outdoor kitchen design in Overland Park, KS
First, architects can design an outdoor living space, but they do not specialize in outdoor living structures nor have specialized knowledge in outdoor living spaces and materials.
As outdoor building is all we do, we are versed in outdoor material choices, such as low-maintenance decking and stone fireplace facades. We serve as your comprehensive provider for your outdoor living project. Hiring a specialist makes sense. You wouldn’t go to a general practitioner to perform a very specialized surgery. This may be the case if you hire a general practice architect. When we are contacted by homeowners that have already hired an architect for a design, we need to change a number of elements and often must scrap the design altogether, once we have explained the benefits of particular materials and addressed overlooked budgetary goals from the architect’s plan. With outdoor building, important design considerations include your budget, material selection, and maintenance levels to name a few. Your best bet is to work with a designer that has built hundreds of your type of project instead of an architect that may have just a handful of your type of project under his/her belt. If you hire an architect prior to hiring Archadeck to build your project, re-design will be required and it will add time, rework, and a much more significant investment to get your project underway. Prior to designing your outdoor living project, Archadeck will address product selections based on maintenance levels, as well as your intended use and design aesthetic – all the while being cognizant of your budgetary goals.
Design renderings and blueprints are an important part of the design/build process.
Archadeck of Kansas City will help you visualize your finished outdoor living addition with custom project renderings. At Archadeck of Kansas City, we know that homeowners want to see what their project will look like. We provide 3-dimensional design renderings for your specific project and your home.
Outdoor living design by Archadeck of Kansas City
In addition to design renderings, we create blueprints. Architectural plans for all Archadeck projects are built to meet or exceed local building codes.
Beautiful custom deck design by Archadeck of Kansas City
Custom covered porch design by Archadeck of Kansas City
If you are planning a new outdoor living addition to your Kansas City area home, and have wondered whether or not you should hire an architect ahead of hiring a building contractor, we would like you to know that we are both your outdoor living design firm and building contractor. Archadeck of Kansas City is your turn-key outdoor living provider – from concept through completion.
If you are considering adding an outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
As a trusted Kansas City deck builder, Archadeck of Kansas City builds with low-maintenance composite decking, and we would like to address this very important question to further inform our clients of the benefits of the new generation of composite decking.
As with any new innovative product technology, composite decking came onto the outdoor living scene more than 20 years ago with high expectations and some skepticism. Low-maintenance, long-lasting decking products made from post-consumer materials seemed to finally be the answer to traditional wood decking, which required maintenance in periodic staining and sealing and had other less desirable qualities, like splintering, cupping, cracking, and potential damage from termites. Were these composite products really the answer? Yes…eventually. Composite decking materials of today, like AZEK and TimberTech are answering the call.
Low-maintenance AZEK composite decking in Lee’s Summit MO
Upon wide acceptance of earlier composite decking products, builders and consumers began to see some unfortunate problems during and after installation. First, the product itself, made of discarded plastics and wood fibers, did not often exhibit the same strength as wood. The product required additional deck framing support, which raised the initial cost to build, married with an already higher product cost. The next issues came after installation. Reports started to surface about mold, mildew, product break-down, and discoloration in as little as six months after installation.
The proverb says, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” The need to eliminate these problems in post-consumer decking products bred the new composite and PVC products that are widely used today. It was an evolution, however, and each generation of new composite products became better, stronger, and even more beautiful than before!
Beautiful and low-maintenance TimberTech composite deck in Lee’s Summit MO
Ten years after the introduction of composite decking, new technologies in manufacturing began to address the issues of strength, weathering, and mold. First, stronger product mixtures were created with PVC and organic materials. Secondly, and very importantly, a new “capping” technology was introduced. This basically meant that the compacted materials that formed the decking board were protected with a stronger plastic shell.
In composite decking boards of today, you will find that many are covered with a cap – some on three or even all four sides. This protective shell creates a fantastic weather barrier and a decking product that resists color fading, scratching, impact, and mold. Capping not only protects the decking board but makes cleaning any sort of dirt, grime, or mildew build-up very easy. As your trusted Kansas City deck builder, Archadeck of Kansas City largely builds with AZEK and TimberTech composite decking; both products boast true low-maintenance benefits, along with heat dissipation and the advantages mentioned above. What’s more, these products come in a wide array of beautiful wood-look finishes and color choices to accommodate any deck building project.
Archadeck of Kansas City uses only the highest quality PVC and composite decking. We aim to give you a true low-maintenance, long-lasting, and beautiful deck. TimberTech and AZEK composite and PVC decking products are backed by manufacturer warranties and guarantees. If you have questions about product capabilities and characteristics, we can help guide you through choosing the product that is right for you.
If you are considering adding a composite deck to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
You’ve heard this advice everywhere. Everyone, and many professional publications concur that you should get 3 quotes. The question is, why? Why not 4 or 5? Why not 1 or 2?
Comparing custom projects
Are you SURE the projects you are comparing are the same?
It’s probably safe to say that the logic of securing 3 quotes has to do with being able to confirm that a contractor is providing a similar price to what other contractors quote for the same job. If that’s the case, how certain can you be that contractors are quoting the same job? Unless you provide very detailed specifications on a very simple project, you will never be able to be certain that both jobs are the same. In fact, you can almost certainly count on the fact that what multiple contractors have quoted is quite different than each other.
Homeowners often assume that all 12 × 16 porches are the same or that all 20 × 30 decks are the same. This assumption is made because they have the same square footage and because each contractor is quoting the same structure. This doesn’t take into account materials, the height of the project, framing style and materials, trim and finish packages, paint or stain, amenities, or even the type of screws. The price of a project will vary dramatically based on just that small list of options listed here. Many homeowners have shown us quotes provided by other contractors asking us to provide a quote for the same thing. In those quotes, there are often so few details and so little information that we have no idea which materials, methods and building techniques or standards they are using.
If you cannot compare apples to apples, what are you going to achieve with getting multiple quotes?
How much free time do you really have on your hands?
Do you want to spend hours upon hours and many weeks just to get the requisite number of suggested quotes?
The process of securing a quote from a contractor is time-consuming. After you reach out to them, you have to find an agreeable time to meet. After meeting, there will be one or more follow-up meetings. Each of the meetings may take a couple of hours. Do you really want to spend all that time securing additional quotes just because everyone says you should secure 3 quotes?
It can easily become overwhelming and counterproductive
When you’re speaking with multiple prospective vendors about a complex custom building project, you will discuss different details, choices, options, and methods with each of them. At some point, details will run together and you may not be completely certain about which details, answers or suggestions came from which prospective contractor.
Would you prefer to find a very efficient way to select a contractor?
Reviewing online reviews saves time while providing feedback from actual customers
Pre-internet, you had no choice but to meet or speak personally with contractors to find answers to your questions. Nowadays, with online reviews, you can find the answers to those questions online along with feedback from other homeowners who have worked with those contractors. If you do your vetting online before calling contractors, you may call only two or perhaps only one contractor and will have saved yourself a whole bunch of time.
The title of this article suggests that you should not get 3 quotes. That might be the right number of quotes. But, likely, after doing the proper research online, you will meet with the right number of contractors to find the fit in terms of capabilities, experience, expertise, positive testimonials and other important factors.
If you are considering adding an outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
Take a look at this beautiful new deck and open porch in Johnson County KS. You’ll never believe what this deck looked like before the rebuild. Scroll down to see the before & after.
If you’re having a hard time imagining how your old deck would look if it was rebuilt, see the dramatic transformation in the before and after photo below.
If your deck is old, tired, and requires annual maintenance, you may want to consider a new deck utilizing updated low-maintenance materials. These homeowners in Johnson County KS selected low-maintenance synthetic AZEK decking for the deck. The narrow-profile black aluminum railing pickets ensure maximum visibility from the deck to the yard beyond. In addition to replacing the deck, these homeowners also decided to add an open porch to cover a portion of the deck, leaving other areas of the deck open to full sun exposure.
The ceiling of the covered porch is tongue & groove pine. The porch has an open gable end to allow maximum light into the space while still providing the sun protection they desire. Notice the way the column trim matches the home’s color. At Archadeck of Kansas City, we work to ensure your new space looks original to your home.
This synthetic deck and porch combination project has a couple additional features you might not notice at first glance. There are 2 sets of stairs. When designing outdoor living spaces, we help you consider traffic patterns and access from your new space to other areas of your home or your yard. The deck has an uncovered section for the grill. That section of the deck is tucked back continuing to ensure great traffic flow through the space. While the yard has a significant grade drop, we were able to elevate the deck to make sure the deck and porch could be accessed from the living story of the house.
If you are considering adding a new deck or open porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
This deck and porch project was unique in many aspects. The scale and style of the multi-level home called for unconventional planning and execution. We built a truly unique and beautiful outdoor living space, which specifically accommodated the homeowners’ requirements, and allowed us to demonstrate why we are a leading Olathe deck builder.
We had to first consider the style of the home and ensure that our deck and porch additions complemented the Victorian design. It is always important to create a usable space, but also one that yet new, appears original to the home. Of further importance, was to produce a high-end product to suit the home’s beautiful details. One of the ways we achieved this was by using 10”x10” trimmed support columns to create a bold, stately aesthetic. Additional details in the decking and the addition of skirting also helped us produce a truly custom outdoor living space.
AZEK deck builder in Olathe, KS
AZEK composite decking was the choice product for this project, in two complementary warm walnut brown tones. Autumn Chestnut, a softly-muted brown, was installed as the main decking boards color. Acacia, a more richly-toned and saturated brown, was utilized as parting boards to eliminate perpendicular seams and as ribboning for a more custom, visually appealing finish. As a premier AZEK deck builder in Olathe, KS, we can design such custom options that will set your new deck apart.
Olathe deck builder
We installed black low-maintenance aluminum railings by Fortress Railing Products, in a slender-profile design, which offers an unimpeded view from the deck. Lighter colors tend to draw the eye directly to the railings, in high contrast with their surroundings. We aimed to achieve the opposite effect, inviting us to see beyond them.
We chose to build the screen porch with an open gable to encourage natural air and light to flow throughout the space. In designing the porch roof, we had to consider the arrangement of the home’s many rooflines, and more specifically the porch’s roofline, as to not block the view from the third-story windows above it. Interior porch ceiling detailing includes tongue and groove pine to achieve a custom, sophisticated finish, where no detail was overlooked.
Smart Siding was applied to hide unsightly areas beneath the deck.
Also unique to this project, was a complex second-story bump-out roof connection. Many times, contractors might disqualify a project due to the difficulty of the connection of the new structure to the existing home. We met this challenge head-on and achieved a seamless result. As the second story is the main living level of the home, it was imperative that we connected the outdoor living space to that level. This will allow the homeowners to carry food and beverages in and outside without trudging up and down the stairs. Ease of access will encourage the them to utilize their outdoor living space much more than they might if scaling stairs to carry supplies was required.
At Archadeck of Kansas City, our goal is to always meet the challenges of any project, providing innovative solutions to specific design and building requirements. We believe this beautiful project is a testament to that statement. Do not be dissuaded if another contractor says, “It can’t be done.” We can help you attain the stylish and usable outdoor living space you have always dreamed of having.
If you are considering adding a new outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the ultimate outdoor living space for your home.
When we work with homeowners to design their new outdoor living space, the process is very collaborative. Our goal is to utilize our knowledge and experience with building outdoor spaces to help guide homeowners in determing the type of space they want, the size, the materials and the amenities. We provide information from our experience about the design and material detail options for a new space. Many times, the homeowners have very specific design and feature ideas. That was certainly the case with these Overland Park homeowners. Let’s take a tour.
Overland Park custom screened porch and deck
When we originally met these Overland Park homeowners, their outdoor space consisted of an existing open porch along with 2 decks. The owners acknowledged that the current design was flawed and clumsy. They wanted to start from scratch and build their dream outdoor living space. Their new space includes a screened porch with an outdoor fireplace, an AZEK low-maintenance deck and an outdoor kitchen. Let’s take a look at each of the spaces and some of the great design details.
From plain open porch to fabulous screened porch
Looking at the screened porch in the picture above, you would never imagine that it was just recently added on to the home. In fact, the architectural details, materials and colors are so well matched, we might have a tough time convincing you that the construction for this new porch was very recently completed.
Early on in the design process for a new screened porch, one of the key decisions is the shape of the roof. We suggest that the roof shape either match or complement the roof shape(s) of the existing home. This home has a number of hip rooflines. We designed this porch to include a hip roof. Another key exterior porch design feature is the stone chimney facade. The owners wanted a stone facade both on the chimney’s interior and exterior. Often, homeowners will finish the interior fireplace facade but may leave the exterior chimney finished less formally. Since the family’s new AZEK deck abuts the exterior chimney, they wanted to also cover the exterior with stone.
Screened porch interior
Moving inside the screened porch, you’ll note a few great design details and amenities. First, you can see how beautiful the stone facade looks from the interior of the porch. The porch has AZEK low-maintenance flooring and beautiful slender profile black railing pickets allowing great visibility to the yard beyond. The ceiling is tongue and groove painted white pine. The natural wood trusses are a stand-out feature with the way they contrast the light-colored ceiling. They are built using reclaimed barn wood.
The posts are wide creating a very grand and statuesque feel. Radiant heaters are installed in the porch interior. The heat generated from these high-performance heaters along with the heat generated from the fireplace can likely keep this room at a comfortable temperature 10 or 11 months out of the year. A beautiful chandelier ties together the dark design accents including the sconces on the fireplace.
Large AZEK low-maintenance deck with more amenities
Moving outside, you’ll see the very large AZEK low-maintenance deck. This deck has a completely different footprint from the two original decks. The overall square footage of this deck is 3 – 4 times larger than before. The decking is in the warm Brownstone AZEK shade. The same decking is used for the flooring inside the porch. The deck design includes an outdoor kitchen complete with a Big Green Egg. The railing from inside the porch is also used on the deck to tie the spaces together.
If you are considering adding a new outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the ultimate outdoor living space for your home.
When we’re working with new homeowners on determining the details of building their new deck or porch, homeowners often ask about the best time to build. Is it summer? Winter? Now? Next year? The unfortunate truth is that 5 years ago was the best time to build.
courtesy of edsarenski.com
Many homeowners don’t know about the tremendous inflation in the cost of building materials. As you can see from the graph above, the cost of building materials increased steadily from 1992 until 2006 when it began a downward cost spiral until 2012. Even though there was much economic recovery after the recession, building material costs continued to stay low for a number of years. Over the last 6 years, building materials costs have done nothing but rise. While we can’t predict the future, this graph shows us that we should expect costs to continue to rise unless there is a national economic setback.
Are all materials costs increasing?
While you may not be surprised that the cost of framing lumber is increasing, you may be surprised to know about other material cost increases. Not only have the costs of large items increased such as the cost of railings but even the cost of nails and other small materials costs increased. Unfortunately, materials costs are not the only consistently increasing prices. Labor costs have increased as well as other necessary costs such as building permits and insurance have increased.
The outlook is not all grim
While it’s frustrating to know that the outdoor project you’ve been dreaming of may be getting more and more expensive, now is a better time to contract your project than next winter or the following spring. If you’ve been dreaming about your new porch, deck or outdoor fireplace; now is absolutely the best time to build.
Give us a call now for a free design consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to helping you plan and build the outdoor space you’ve been hoping for.
If you’re considering adding a new porch to your home, undoubtedly you’ve wondered whether your existing deck can be utilized in the construction of your new porch. After all, it’s in the correct place, it’s the correct size and it’s strong enough to hold up walls right? Unfortunately, it’s likely that none of those assumptions are true. We’ll start with the last one.
1) Is it strong enough and built correctly to support the extra load of a roof?
When your deck was built, the structural requirements required that it be able to hold a modest number of pounds, enough for a railing, people and furniture. We can guarantee it was not engineered to hold the weight of walls and a full finished roof. While decks can be modified to accommodate the very significant weight of walls and a roof, you are probably money ahead to build a new deck instead of trying to retrofit an existing deck to meet those new structural requirements.
2) Is it really in the right shape?
Adding a new porch is a significant expense. Most decks were not designed in a shape that will accommodate a roof. Depending on the porch and the amenities, your new porch will likely cost a minimum of $30,000 and up depending on the number and type of amenities. Do you really want to hang that investment on an old deck?
3) Would that nullify your warranty?
At Archadeck, all of our projects come with 3 warranties. These include a warranty of completion, a workmanship warranty and a warranty of structural integrity. Further, several of the material manufacturers may also provide warranties. Unfortunately, building a structure atop an unsuitable foundation would nullify all the warranties.
4) Does the old deck need repairs?
If you were to build a new porch atop an old deck, there would be costs involved in removing the railing, possibly re-sizing the deck, replacing boards, and making other repairs just to the deck surface, not to mention the under structure. The multiplicity of repairs to an old deck can easily exceed the cost of replacing it.
5) Is your deck the size you want your porch to be?
You may want to walk out onto your deck and envision walls on every side and a roof. Think about the activities you hope to enjoy on your porch and the furnishings you’ve imagined. Can those goals be met within the confines of the size of your existing deck? Most likely you would want a porch with a larger footprint from your existing deck.
6) Is your deck where you would want your porch to be?
Many homeowners envision their outdoor living space existing in the same exact position as their existing deck. When adding a custom outdoor living space, one of the valuable freedoms is choosing the most ideal placement on the back of your home. Perhaps you enjoyed having your deck outside your breakfast room but you may desire your new porch to be outside of your living room or den. Perhaps the previous builder placed the deck in an area that was easy but did not attach the deck in an area that made sense for how you want to live outside. If you’re investing in adding a room where you intend to spend a good deal of time, the best thing to do is work with your builder to identify where you want your new porch to be.
7) Are there obstructions that would prevent you from having your porch in your deck’s current location?
Depending on the type, shape and dimensions of the roof you are considering for your new porch, that configuration may not work with the part of your home where your deck currently resides. Your new porch will have a roof that elevates the vertical profile of that space. Your current second-story windows or other roof lines may restrict the design of your new porch roof.
8) Does your current deck have a landing?
While this is a minor point, it further illustrates the number of reasons why you should demolish your existing deck instead of trying to use it for your new porch. A porch requires a landing outside the door. Likely your current deck doesn’t have a landing where your door would be. Adding a landing would likely require dismantling your current stairs. Many building codes require a landing outside your door.
As you can see above, there are many reasons you should not consider using your existing deck as the foundation for your new porch. At Archadeck of Kansas City, we are passionate about working with homeowners to design space for how they want to live outside. During the design consultation, we share many different ideas and options to help you select the space that meets all your outdoor living goals. Give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325.
If you’re considering adding a new outdoor living space to the back of your home, no doubt you have stood behind your house and imagined where the new space would go, how it would connect to your home and what it would look like. It’s normal to try to determine what’s feasible before going down the path of selecting a contractor. After that process, your mind’s eye probably has some sort of picture of how you would access the new space from inside your home. What if we told you that vision may be all wrong? Our goal is never to change your mind about what you want. Our goal is to utilize our experience to share some of the benefits and downsides of the new porch’s house connection, size, placement and other design details. With our prospective clients, we share the full range of options and also share our experience when homeowners have selected that option.
For example, if you have a deck and are considering converting it to a porch, you likely have a good mental picture about how that will work and about how you will gain access to the space. These Shawnee homeowners had a very different idea and a very different vision. We were able to work with them to create the outdoor living space to meet their objectives. They had an existing deck which they wanted to tear down. They wanted a new open porch in a different place from where the deck was. In addition, they wanted to access their open porch in a different way. They had an interior wall that included a door going out to their old deck, windows and an interior fireplace. They wanted to remove that entire wall – fireplace and all. They wanted us to reconstruct that wall 2 feet farther from the house with all new windows and a new door. They had a very specific vision and we were able to make that come to fruition.
These Shawnee homeowners further wanted a very large open porch and had very specific ideas about the materials and colors. Because the porch was so long and because the porch now needed to support the house wall, extra engineering, supports and architectural techniques were required. In addition to reinforcing the supports, the new open porch is elevated which was another consideration. The new porch is generously sized at 16′ × 25′.
It was important to the homeowners to have a low-maintenance outdoor space. They selected ipe Brazilian hardwood for the flooring and low-maintenance alumium railing. The generously sized porch allows for a full seating area and also a full eating area allowing multiple outdoor living opportunities and plenty of room for friends, guests and to host family gatherings.
If you’re considering adding a new outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to providing a design consultation to help you envision your new outdoor living space.
Here at Archadeck of Kansas City, one of the things we’re very passionate about is ensuring that homeowners make the best decision for their home improvement contractor. We want homeowners to make the best investment decision for their needs, wants and budget. Over the last 18 years, we’ve met with thousands of homeowners over their kitchen table or in their living room. We’ve heard many, many questions. We also realize that sometimes homeowners don’t ask all the questions they should or they don’t ask the right questions. Homeowners may feel uncomfortable asking certain questions. We want you to know that you can and should ask any qualifying, evidentiary and background question you have.
Here are the 5 questions we think homeowners may be afraid to ask the prospective contractor, but should not be.
Is the contractor licensed & Insured?
This is a tricky question because contractors may have one particular license but may need to have several different licenses to operate in all the areas they build. It’s important to ask the contractor what kind of city and/or county licenses are required of a contractor building the project the type of project they’re building in the area where they’re building it. In order to build your contract, your builder may need to be licensed both with the city and with the state. In addition, the subcontractors such as electricians and plumbers are also required to be licensed. It’s fair game to ask about the subcontractors and ensure they are also properly licensed for your project.
How many years have you been in business?
As gracious adults, we often think it’s in poor taste to ask questions about someone’s background. When you’re making a significant investment, it’s not in poor taste at all. In fact, if the contractor has great experience, they’ll be delighted to share their past professional experience with you. What is the right answer? You want a contractor with quite a few years of experience. That might be 10 years, 12 years or more. But, determine the number of years’ experience you are looking for before you ask the question.
How long will it take to build my project from start to finish?
When you ask this question, you want to look for some sort of reasonable and believable response. If the builder begins by telling you they have other projects they’ll be working on or that they don’t know when subcontractors will be available, you might want to be somewhat skeptical. At Archadeck, we have long-established relationships with the various key subcontractors such as electricians and roofers. We are able to estimate time frames wisely. Another thing we do at Archadeck of Kansas City is staying one job until it’s finished. A lot of projects can take only 2 -3 weeks since we don’t stop working on a project until it’s completed.
How many of that type of project has that builder built before?
This is absolutely a fair question. Would you trust your new deck project with a company that has built only 3 decks? Only 10 decks? Like the question above, determine the experience level you are looking for before you ask. At Archadeck of Kansas City, we’ve built hundreds of outdoor living spaces right here in the Kansas City market. Be specific about your question. If you’re building a porch with an outdoor fireplace, ask the contractor how many porches they’ve built that include an outdoor fireplace. The contractor may be an experienced outdoor builder but may not have experience with the type of project you’re seeking.
Ask for references, and check them!
Many, if not most, contractors will be gracious and engaging when they’re discussing your project with you. You want to be confident that the entire project will go that smoothly and will be that enjoyable. Ask the contractor for a few references and make sure to call them. Determine a few good questions ahead of time. You may want to ask those homeowners to confirm the answers the builder told you to the questions above. Since you’ll also have a work crew in your backyard for a number of weeks, you’ll also want to ask other homeowners about their experience in having that crew in their yard for a period of time.
When you’re making an investment in your home, you owe it to yourself to secure answers to all the questions you have. If the contractor is unwilling or unable to answer important questions, it might be a sign to move on and look at other options.
If you’re considering adding an outdoor living space to your Kansas City area backyard, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to discussing your project with you.
If visions of Mahogany, Cypress and Dark Hickory decking colors weren’t enticing enough to stir up dreams of a new deck for you, how about three more choices? Coastline™, English Walnut™ and Weathered Teak™ are AZEK’s new decking colors, doubling the options in their top-of-the-line Vintage Decking Collection.
Just as its name suggests, the English Walnut color is the darkest of the three and has a more formal appearance. If elegance is your goal, AZEK’s English Walnut decking will accomplish that for you. This bold color contrasts beautifully with AZEK’s white railing system. If your home’s siding is any shade of brown, a new deck in English Walnut would complement that nicely.
You don’t have to be at the coast to appreciate AZEK’s new Coastline blend. Variegated shades of lighter gray mixed with occasional darker gray accents make this a more relaxing and casual color for the ultimate in deck relaxation. This new color offers a deck with textured shades in an appealing subtle hue. If your home’s siding is a dark gray color, the Coastline deck will work well for you. Outdoor furniture cushions that pop with color will add a bit of fun to this laid-back outdoor color scheme.
The name “Weathered Teak” brings a lush tropical setting to mind, and you don’t have to be anywhere near the tropics to enjoy the golden warmth of this new deck color. Just as rich but a little lighter than AZEK’s Cypress decking boards (also in the Vintage Decking Collection), Weathered Teak is a very warm brown reminiscent of walnut. This deck color would offer a pleasing contrast to a home with siding in a dark sage or other earth tones.
AZEK durability with wood-like texture
Archadeck of Kansas City builds our share of decks with AZEK low-maintenance capped PVC decking boards, and our experience has been that AZEK always exceeds our clients’ expectations. With the introduction of these three new colors to their Vintage Decking Collection, the company has also changed the surface texture of this line of decking to increase its wood-like appearance. It’s a little less glossy with more streaking, giving it a slightly rustic texture. Variegation in the new colors resembles that of freshly stained wood, and the degree of variegation varies from board-to-board and color to color.
What has not changed about AZEK’s Vintage Decking Collection are its qualities of durability, stain and scratch resistance. This line of synthetic deck materials is still covered by a 30-year limited fade and stain warranty and a limited lifetime warranty. Also, the AZEK Vintage Decking Collection maintains a Class “A” Flame Spread rating, reducing the risk of spreading fires.
Whether AZEK’s new Coastline™, English Walnut™ and Weathered Teak™ colors strike your fancy, or you’ve always been—and still are—intrigued by the original Mahogany, Cypress and Dark Hickory colors, Archadeck of Kansas City can help you select the perfect materials and colors for your new deck or porch.
As you begin planning your new deck, make sure to select an experienced Kansas City AZEK deck builder. Particular building requirments must be met to ensure the warranty remains valid. Archadeck has been working with AZEK for many years and always builds according to AZEK’s required building standards.
If you’re considering adding an outdoor living space to your Kansas-City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to discussing your project ideas, goals and budget with you to ensure you get the project you are seeking.
If you’re considering adding a new porch, we know it can be difficult to envision what your home would look like with a room addition. You may find it difficult to envision how a porch would attach to your home so that it doesn’t look like a sore thumb. When these Leawood homeowners originally called us for a new screened porch, they probably would never have imagined that their porch addition would look like it was built with their home. At Archadeck of Kansas City, we know how important this is to homeowners.
There are a couple important design techniques that ensure a room that’s added on looks original to the home.
One of the first design considerations is the roofline of your new outdoor room. Often the new roofline will match the roofline of your existing home. If your home has a gable roof, we may also recommend a gable roof for your new room. Sometimes the roof shape will complement the existing roof shape or shapes. We take into consideration not only how the room will attach to the home but also whether the roof would obstruct the view from second-story rooms.
Another important design technique when making a new room look original to the home is finding matching roof shingles. In the majority of the cases, matching products are available but there are a few cases where a match is not available.
Paint, trim and soffits
Looking at the picture above, you can see how the exterior of the porch is painted in a color identical to the home. The gutters and downspouts are painted to match. Even the style of the soffits matches the existing home.
Let’s take a quick tour inside this new porch.
The porch flooring is low-maintenance AZEK decking installed on an angle for visual appeal and a custom look. The focal point of this porch’s interior is an outdoor fireplace finished with a stacked stone facade. The fireplace hearth has a custom rounded design and is also finished with stacked stone. The porch’s screened openings are wide ensuring tremendous visibility out into the yard. The dark-colored slender profile railings are low-maintenance aluminum pickets. The slender profile and dark color draw the eye out into the yard. The ceiling has a great rustic feel with tongue & groove cedar finishing the interior ceiling.
If you’re considering adding a new outdoor fireplace, screened porch or other outdoor living space to your Leawood or Kansas City home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to your call.
Since 2001, we’ve seen a lot
We’re in the design-build business. We’ve done many, many quotes and we’ve seen consumers make home improvement contractor decisions in many different ways. We’ve also seen the outcomes of those decisions. Whether the decision is about features, materials or contractor selection, we hope our experience helps guide you when you make a choice to select a contractor for your next home improvement project.
Top 5 mistakes
- Too many bids
- Insufficient research
- Overly Internet-dependent
- Communication issues surrounding goals
- Communication issues surrounding budget
Are you getting too MANY bids?
You’ve heard it many times. Make sure you get at least 3 bids. But have you ever asked yourself why? Why is 3 the magic number? What is the reason for looking at multiple contractors? Is it because the likelihood of finding a good one should happen if you ensure you see 3 people? Is it in order to see a couple different design options or get differing design perspectives? Is it to get the lowest price? What we’ve heard is that those same people who tell you to get 3 bids will tell you the reason is to get 3 prices and take the lowest price.
If the criteria is just price, you will eventually find the lowest price for the worst service and the worst quality work. Low price doesn’t come by accident – typically it comes because the builder cannot sell his projects on any other basis because he doesn’t have either the reputation, the positive reviews, the skill set, the knowledge, or the expertise so he is forced to sell only on price. The builders that do have skills, reputation, quality people, quality planning, organization are not going to sell on price – they are going to sell on quality. The good news is that it’s easier today than it ever was.
If you’re attributing “successful” research as securing 3 bids, you’re way off track
If you’re adding a porch or deck to your home, you want to make the right choices. As it is a significant investment, you can’t afford not to do the right research. Many builders won’t tell you which questions to ask because they don’t want to give a leg up to other contractors who have longer track records, better reviews or who otherwise fare better when being evaluated against hard criteria. We care about the homeowners we work with. We don’t expect every homeowner to choose us. We do hope that every homeowner makes the right decision and the most educated decision. We’ve put together a due-diligence list for you to follow when choosing a contractor.
- How long has the company been in business?
- How many projects have they built like the one you’re seeking?
- Have they ever built a project similar to the one you’re building? This applies to more sophisticated projects. If your project has many components, upgraded materials and design complexity, you may want to ask for pictures of projects similar to the one you’re envisioning.
- Are they licensed?
- Are they insured?
- Do they warranty that the project will be completed?
- Do they warranty their workmanship?
- Can they provide a number of references?
- Can they start tomorrow or next week? If so, run, don’t walk.
- Are they in a rush to secure a contract?
- Do you like them? You’re going to have the contractor and their team at your home throughout the building process.
After using the due diligence list above to vet possible contractors, it should be easier to select the right contractor for your project.
Are you being overly Internet dependent on your due diligence?
Believe it or not, not everything you read on the Internet is true.
Don’t be too Internet dependent. You also need to do research the old-fashioned way. Talk to homeowners who have built with that builder. Ask for and call references. Years ago, there was an old saying “you can only believe half of what you read”. Internet reviews can be manipulated. If there are hundreds of reviews, it’s tough to manipulate. If there are just a few reviews online, this can be manipulated. Also, a lot of important information about the builder is not on the Internet. Consumers don’t publish everything they experience and everything they think. In fact, it should be odd that a project worth quite a few thousand dollars is summed up in an online review of 50 – 100 words. Does the review capture everything from scheduling to the quality of work to the craftsmanship to the way they left your yard every night?
We are in a service business and sometimes it’s difficult to discriminate levels of service while just reading reviews. Homeowners often concentrate on product and not on service. How long did the project take? Was there dead time? The #1 most common complaint we hear is that it takes a long time but they were only there working for a short period of time. Was the builder true to their word? It’s important not to be too Internet dependent. Any good company should provide ways for their prospective customers to be not too Internet dependent. Use the Internet but recognize what it is and what it isn’t.
Communication issues surrounding goals
How well are you conveying your vision, wants and needs?
You can have many kinds of goals like the cheapest project, the highest quality project, the most unique design, or the fastest timeline for building your project. These are only a few goals and all homeowners will feel differently about what is most important. Outside of the timeline and price, what are your true goals for the project? You didn’t begin the process of selecting a contractor merely to see how low of a price quote you could secure. You began seeking a contractor because you wanted an outdoor living space and because you had specific activities you wanted to enjoy in your backyard.
Your goals may be as simple as a place to relax outside or a shaded area to relax. Your goals might be to have a place outside your home to steal away for romantic dinners and nestling together with throws to watch a crackling fire outside. Your goal may be to have a place to watch the family in the pool or to create the best reading spot in the house. Most homeowners are looking for an outdoor area that accommodates both eating and lounging outside. If you don’t do a good job of mapping out what is in your head, your builder will be able to build the project you have in mind.
Take some time to write a list. Here are some outdoor living objectives you may have on your list. You want to have 3 -4 neighbors or family members over on weekends so you will need space to fit a table with 6 chairs. You plan on having book club and girlfriend time on a regular basis with your 8 closest friends. Your child wants a secluded reading nook of their own on the new porch or deck. Think about how you want to live outside and how many people will be participating in the different key outdoor activities.
Communication issues surrounding budget
If you let your contractor know your budget, they’ll spend every last penny right?
Inability to set a budget range can ensure that you don’t get what you’re looking for with your project. Having accurate budget information allows the builder to recommend options that more affordably accomplish your goals. With accurate budget information, he can recommend specific designs, specific products, specific sizes, and suggest certain cost-effective measures to help make your project the best for what you want to spend. With a reputable builder, you can benefit from the builder’s knowledge and experience to point you in the best direction for each of the key decisions such as size, shape, features, materials and design. There are additional costs that you don’t see such as permits, product and labor. Your builder can better factor in options with your real budget.
It comes down to trust. If you don’t trust your builder at all, then you shouldn’t hire him. If you trust him, you should trust him to make recommendations and suggestions to help you hit your goals.
If you’re considering adding an outdoor living space to your Kansas-City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to discussing your project ideas, goals and budget with you to ensure you get the project you are seeking.
Archadeck of Kansas City is proud to have won the Angie’s List Super Service Award for NINE years in a row — 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017!
This award is especially important because it’s based on verified customer reviews. Angie’s List does not accept anonymous reviews, and their verification process prevents reviews provided by the business that is being reviewed. Actual customers have written or called Angie’s List to report on their excellent customer service experience with Archadeck of Kansas City. Your reviews have encouraged other homeowners to consider us when they’re looking for a contractor to build their outdoor living structures.
Due diligence is essential; no one should engage a contractor without first researching the business’s track record and reputation. Thorough due diligence includes reading as many reviews as possible on many different online review sites such as Google, Houzz and the BBB. Finding consistencies in those reviews will reinforce what kind of experience you can expect with that contractor.
Once you have obtained the name of a contractor with consistent, positive reviews, the most direct way to gather additional information is to ask the contractor for references. Any ethical contractor will be willing to provide names and contact information of past customers. By speaking with prior customers directly, you will be able to get more in-depth information about the builder’s communication style, their design process and what they are like to work with.
At Archadeck of Kansas City, we have a passion for service and building excellence. We’re proud of our online reviews and strong personal references because they reflect our hard work and commitment to providing the best service in our industry in the Kansas City area.
If you’re looking for an outdoor living contractor in the Kansas City area, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or email us. We’ll be happy to provide references. We look forward to discussing design options for your new outdoor living space.
Here in the Kansas City metro market, outdoor fireplaces are becoming more and more popular. Homeowners are choosing to integrate an outdoor fireplace into their screened porch or even adding an outdoor fireplace to their deck. When you decide to add an outdoor fireplace, there are many considerations and decisions to make about materials, maintenance level, facades and how your fireplace will be powered. We wanted to share 3 great reasons for why you should choose gas or wood powered and one reason you might now want that fire source for your new outdoor fireplace.
The mesmerizing flame of an authentic wood burning fire
When natural wood burns, the flames ascend from logs and embers ad different heights. Unlike the flame from a gas fireplace, flames from wood burning dance reaching different heights and different shapes constantly as your fire burns. Like watching the ocean, watching dancing flames can be mesmerizing and can easily take your mind off your cares and troubles.
The scent of logs slowly becoming beautiful red embers as you gaze
Whether you burn treated firewood that you purchase in a bundle at the store or if you burn cedar or wood cut and cured in your own backyard, a wood burning fire comes with an authentic scent that’s sure to reminisce about time spent camping as a child or memories of a wood-burning fireplace at your home.
That crackling sound the dancing flames create
Not only do your nose and eyes delight in the presence of a wood-burning fire, but so do your ears. The crackling sound of wood as it slowly burns and the sound of logs as they move is relaxing and enjoyable. Wood burning is, well, authentic.
Authenticity, traditional, different emotional feel
Here’s why you might not want to choose wood burning for your outdoor fireplace
A wood-burning fireplace is significantly more expensive than gas burning. There are codes, restrictions, material requirements and distance requirements to attend to. A chimney equipped to serve a wood-burning fireplace must meet fire codes and other inspections. It could be substantially more to support having a wood burning fireplace vs. gas-powered.
There are other drawbacks to wood burning including moving wood, storing wood, being careful of embers. Wood burning is actually prohibited or regulated in some states because of sparks, soot, and other are air pollution. But if the authenticity of wood is what your heart desires, we will ensure to build to all local building codes and will ensure your fireplace passes all inspections to ensure it’s a feature of your porch that you enjoy for many years to come.
If you choose a gas firebox for your outdoor fireplace, you won’t have any of the maladies and nuisances that come with wood. You will have no piles of wood that can be infested by snakes, cockroaches, mice, etc. You won’t have to clean up after carting wood inside and won’t have to scoop up embers after the fire. No smoke. No soot. And, it’s also clean from environmental perspective
Don’t worry about a lighter. You won’t have multiple attempts to light it. No extra kindling or paper is needed to coax a fire to life. If your toes are cold, you can start warming them in minutes with your instant-on gas-burning fireplace. No work is required and there’s no waiting. Many gas-powered fireplaces even come with a remote ensuring you don’t even need to get up to turn it on. Click on the TV, select your favorite movie and then click on the fire below the tv mounted atop your outdoor fireplace. It’s also instant off. No waiting for the fire to burn out. Just flip the switch and there isn’t another care to worry about.
Since they don’t have chimney requirement, they are usually less expensive. We are careful to say usually because there are always facade options, mantel options, built-in TV cabinets, hearth options and a number of other options that could add up. Exterior trimmings aside, gas is substantially less expensive.
Here’s why you might not want to choose a gas-powered outdoor fireplace
As we’ve said in other blog articles, nothing is more like genuine fire, than a genuine wood-burning fire.
Can you have an outdoor fireplace on your deck? We can integrate a new outdoor fireplace into your new deck. You will have to make the same key consideration about fire source as you would with a porch inside your screened porch. In addition to the factors mentioned above, If the fireplace is wood burning, you have to think about where sparks are going. Often, gas may be your best bet because of the benefits mentioned above and because there are no sparks or embers making gas burning far more practical.
If you are considering adding an outdoor fireplace to your Kansas City screened porch, read our web page to learn more. If you’re looking for outdoor fireplace ideas and inspiration, check out our outdoor fireplace photo gallery. Give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or email us. We look forward to discussion design options for your new outdoor living space.
Here in the Kansas City market, low maintenance materials are becoming ever more popular. Some of the low maintenance decking materials include synthetic PVC decking and a number of synthetic railing materials such as aluminum or vinyl. Natural low-maintenance deck and railing materials include aluminum railings or steel cable railings.
While homeowners who choose low-maintenance materials appreciate that they will not need to perform maintenance annually or bi-annually, they often don’t think about how their deck will look 10 years out as a result of upgrading to low-maintenance materials.
Lee’s Summit MO AZEK low-maintenance TimberTech deck with low-maintenance railing and deck lighting
If you’ve ever owned a wood deck, you know the maladies that natural wood suffers under the pressure of the sun beating down on it day after day for years. Other factors that quickly age wood are the frequent freeze and thaw cycles we experience during the winter and regularly getting wet through rain and snow. Wood deck owners expect cracking, twisting, warping, cupping and other effects of aging wood.
What if you owned a deck built with low-maintenance decking? Low-maintenance PVC decking will not be faded by sunlight, is impervious to water, and will not crack, twist, cup or warp. It is also impervious to damage that could be caused by insects. Essentially, your deck built with synthetic PVC decking can look nearly as good 10 years or even 20 years out.
It’s important to realize that there are other factors that will determine whether your new deck still looks great a decade or more out. These factors include railing selection, workmanship, structural support materials and installation techniques.
Kansas City MO AZEK composite deck with black aluminum railing
Let’s look at railing first. There can be a misconception that railing is more immune to effects of weathering and aging because it’s a vertical structure. This isn’t true. If you choose wood railing, it will still suffer under the constant pressure from sun, precipitation and freeze/thaw cycles. It will still fade, splinter, crack, cup, twist and warp the way any wood used for outdoor building will withstand the test of time outdoors. To make it worse, it can be difficult to perform railing maintenance. This may require ladders to maintain the outside edge of the railing and is often difficult to powerwash, stain and seal each of the individual spindles. When you choose low-maintenance railings such as vinyl, aluminum, iron or cable, these materials will not suffer the degrading effects of being used as outdoor building materials.
There are more materials used on your deck that should be considered for using low-maintenance materials. These include the railing posts, fascia, and stairs to name a few.
Lee’s Summit MO TimberTech low-maintenance stairs, deck posts and TimberTech stair railing
To ensure your deck looks nearly new in a decade or longer, you will also want to select a contractor with experience and expertise in workmanship and installation techniques. If you select a contractor that is inexperienced working with low-maintenance materials, that could be a very costly mistake. There are construction techniques that need to be followed in order for low-maintenance materials to function properly and in order to qualify for the manufacturer warranties. For example, synthetic decking manufacturers require a specific distance between the joists. A builder not experienced in working with these materials may not follow these necessary installation techniques.
When you are speaking with prospective contractors, ask them to share the pros and cons of a number of different building materials. You might want to be wary of any contractor that indicates that only one particular material is best. Unlike 30 years ago, there are many different deck construction materials for every part of your deck all the way down to the screws and fasteners.
If you are just beginning or in the process of selecting a contractor for your new deck, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or email us. Click to read more about selecting a contractor or read some of our reviews. You may also want to view our low-maintenance decks photo gallery or our ipe exotic hardwood deck photo gallery.
Ideas for your new screened in porch design
Whether you are considering adding a new porch to gain more space or to provide extra outdoor living opportunities, the process of designing that new space can be fun but also overwhelming. Often we have general ideas about certain aspects of the home improvement such as general size or a general feeling of the space. You may know you want a generously sized outdoor room that’s filled with light and has a very airy feel. We hear this from many homeowners. Below are a few design ideas and considerations to help you visualize your new porch.
Screened in porch ideas come in 2 forms – built-in features and decorative or accessorized features
Accessories and decor
Thumb through any home decor magazine and you’ll see that outdoor furniture and decor has come a long way. The aesthetics often rival that of indoor decor although the style of outdoor furnishings and accessories use materials that are more frequently used outside. For example, rattan and teak are very popular outdoor furniture materials. Outdoor throw rugs are generally less plush and often more vibrant.
Outdoor furniture considerations
Customers often ask us if it’s a good idea to consider or even purchase furniture before their porch is completed. It is absolutely a good idea to consider your porch furniture before you decide on the design and dimensions of your new space. In furniture planning, the most important questions to ask yourself are these. First, do you want to regularly eat on the porch, relax on the porch or both? Secondly, how many people are going to regularly eat or relax on the porch? If you want to accommodate both an eating area and a seating area, we will want to consider the layout of the table with chairs and the same for the seating area. You may want enough room for 3 – 4 people to share frequent meals outdoors but may want the seating area to regularly accommodate 6 – 8 because you entertain frequently. The last thing you want to do is build a new space and then not be able to use that space with the number of people and types of activities you choose.
Porch design amenities
In addition to furniture, you’ll want to consider other items you want to use on the porch. Do you want to watch TV out on the porch regularly? Do you have a sizable outdoor heater that you’ll want to make room for? If you have pets in the home, you may want to consider where their dog or cat bed will go.
Built-in design ideas for your porch
After deciding on what will go on the porch, another thing to consider is the amenities. One very popular built-in option is an outdoor fireplace. If you add an outdoor fireplace to your porch, you’ll absolutely want to consider which wall of your porch you want to spend the most time looking toward. A porch fireplace will be the focal element of the room and you will likely orient your furniture and other accessories around the outdoor fireplace. Other built-in design ideas include lighting, ceiling fans, fanlights and electrical amenities. Lighting is a key consideration. Do you want built-in lighting that’s substantial enough to accommodate a task such as eating or reading? Or, will subtle table top lamps do the trick? How about air flow? While there may be a nice breeze outside, you’ll likely want a ceiling fan or two to ensure air moves around your porch. Don’t forget electrical amenities. A very important electrical amenity is outlets. If you want to use your electronic devices on the porch, you’ll likely want to plug into a charger. Do you want to hang whimsical string lights or seasonal lights during the year? It will be important to have outlets in strategic places.
So many decisions
From reading the blog above, you’ll see that a great deal of thought needs to go into design considerations before you start determining things like square footage and roof shape. At Archadeck of Kansas City, we work with our clients throughout the design process to explore options and considerations. We’ve built porches in many different shapes and sizes with any number of different amenities. We enjoy helping our clients explore these important decisions during the design process.
If you are considering adding a screened porch, roofed structure, outdoor fireplace or deck to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325, drop us an email or fill out the form above. We look forward to connecting with you.
Here in the Kansas City area, outdoor rooms are very popular. With an outdoor room, you have a couple choices in terms of whether you want a traditional porch, a 3-season room or a full sunroom. A sunroom is a true room addition. It has heating and air as well as insulation and full glass windows. A screened porch does not have windows, insulation or heating/air but is still a room addition to your home available for use generally for 9 or 10 months of the year.
After learning about the differences between a sunroom and screened porch, most homeowners realize they are looking for a screened porch because of the benefits of choosing a screened room compared to the costs associated with a room addition. To help you make your choice, here are some questions to consider.
Sunroom in Olathe KS
Do you want a room to use year round regardless of the weather, even when it’s 10 below zero? If you are looking for a room that you can enjoy in the very low temperatures often associated with the dead of winter, then you will need a heated room with insulation and glass windows which is a sunroom.
Are you looking to add additional interior space to your home? If so, a sunroom serves as a true room addition and can provide the additional space you are looking for throughout the entire year.
Screened porch with outdoor fireplace in Leawood KS
While the benefits of having a room that could be used 12 month/year sound nice, it’s important to note that those options really add to the cost. A screened porch doesn’t provide temperature control. While you can influence the temperature of the room with an outdoor fireplace, stationary heaters or a couple of ceiling fans, you will not have absolute temperature control. However, here in the Kansas City market, you can often comfortably use your screened porch up to 9 or 10 months out of the year.
In addition to the significant cost savings of selecting a screened porch over a sunroom, there are some additional benefits. A screened porch with no glass is cooler. Having any glass, even if it opens, still traps heat and makes the room hotter in the summer.
If you are looking for a covered room, another option is an open porch, also called a covered porch. This room has a roof and may even have railings depending on code but it does not have walls or screens. This is a great option if you don’t want any obstructions between you and the fresh air. The roof will provide sun protection and some level of rain protection but the room has no bug protection. Here in the Kansas City market, most homeowners want bug free outdoor living which requires enclosing your room with either screens or glass.
Covered/open porch in Overland Park KS
In determining which outdoor space is right for you, the best place to start is to determine how you want to live outside. Do you want to eat outside? Are you looking for a bright and airy seating area? Do you want a space where you can do both? Do you regularly want to entertain in your outdoor room or will you mostly use the space for your family?
At Archadeck of Kansas City, we are passionate about building spaces for how you want to live. During our free consultation, we work with you on these questions as well as with other design and cost considerations to recommend the best space for you with the right amenities and options for your family.
Give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email.
For those with homeowners associations, it can be difficult to get home improvements approved. With a townhome association, it can be even more difficult to get a home addition approved. We just completed a screened porch working with townhome owners in Leawood KS. It’s important to select a builder that not only takes care of all the necessary permitting, but to select a builder that will work with your HOA to gain approval for the home addition. Often times this will require multiple visits and some revisions. When you select a contractor, make sure you work with a contractor that is experienced with handling all the drawings, permitting and inspections.
Beautiful screened porch built onto Leawood KS townhome
These homeowners were particularly discerning as they both are in the home improvement industry. You’ll appreciate their attention to detail in the design and material selections they made for their new screened porch and outdoor fireplace.
The homeowners carefully selected a number of beautiful materials for use on their new screened porch. Selecting materials for your new outdoor project is fun yet challenging as there are many different options for each component of your new space. The material options range in quality, price and maintenance levels.
These homeowners chose a couple low-maintenance materials for their porch. The low-maintenance flooring is AZEK in dark hickory. The contrasting railing is iron railing from Fortress. Natural materials beautifully contrast the low-maintenance materials. Cedar is used for the posts, for the headers and also for the tongue-and-groove ceiling.
The final key material selection is the stone used for the fireplace facade. The hearth is capped with concrete slabs. The mantle and corbels are also concrete.
You may notice that the porch is long and narrow. There width of the addition was restricted so this porch has a generous 20’ length.
If you’re considering adding a porch, outdoor fireplace, deck or other outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation. We want to help as you make your choices and explore any restrictions such as HOA’s, building codes, setbacks or other restrictions. Call us at (913) 851-3325 or email us.
An outdoor fireplace is the perfect focal element for your new deck
This deck has an outdoor fireplace and a television outside too!
Perhaps it’s because of the proximity of wood to outdoor fire features that elicits questions about whether these spaces can live harmoniously, and safely, next to each other. This stunning new fireplace sits atop a low-maintenance AZEK deck, has stunning cedar columns to each side and a wood pergola atop. While it is possible to have wood close to your firepit, it’s critical that it’s built safely by a qualified and licensed builder that will pull all the permits and ensure all the inspections are completed.
AZEK deck with a pergola covered outdoor fireplace in Winterset Woods
Let’s take a closer look…
As we zoom in on this outdoor fireplace, you’ll notice not just the adjoining pergola but loads of small details.
Here are just a few of the great design details. The fireplace is a gas insert firebox with a cultured stone facade. Genuine stone corbels hold up a stone mantle. Behind the built-in closet doors is an outdoor TV. Built into the face of the outdoor fireplace are a couple outlets. Once you start to really live outside, you’ll want to be able to plug in your laptop, portable speakers, a lamp, perhaps a heater and maybe even a smoothie maker. Importantly, the choices are yours and they’re endless since this space is wired to accommodate your needs and desires.
Mounted below the pergola is a large ceiling fan to circulate fresh air in the deck area. Mounted atop one upper edge of the pergola is a rolled screen which can be used for privacy or temporary sun protection. At Archadeck of Kansas City, we will work with you to understand how much sun you want in your new space and help design the space to suit those needs.
Important design considerations when adding an outdoor fireplace to your deck
How will it look from all sides?
When adding an outdoor fireplace to a structure such as a screened porch, open porch, deck or patio, you’ll want to think about how it looks from the front and from the back.
Lee’s Summit MO elevated deck with stone columns
These Winterset Woods homeowners not only took into account how the backside of the fireplace would look, but also considered how the columns that support the large and elevated deck would look. Just as the fireplace wall is faced with stone, the oversized stately columns are wrapped with the same stone.
Above is a close-up picture of the columns that support the deck. Notice how well the stone-wrapped columns complement the large stepping stones at the base of the stairs and down the path. Take a look at how these colors work together. The AZEK decking is a rich dark brown color. Both the black railings and the white stone serve in stark color contrast but work beautifully together. Notice the edge banding for the side of the deck ensuring no unsightly joists are in plain view.
Are you considering adding an outdoor fireplace to your new deck or porch?
If you’re thinking about adding a new outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation. We’ve built hundreds of outdoor living spaces for homeowners throughout the KS and MO areas within the Kansas City metro market. Give us a call at (913) 851-3325 or email us. Take a look at our outdoor fireplace and firepit photo gallery or read more about outdoor fireplaces on our website. We look forward to your call.
Many homeowners who are deciding about adding a new outdoor living space ask whether a roofed porch will have the feeling of an interior room. The answer is a resounding yes. There are many elements that make a roofed porch, particularly a screened porch, feel like an interior room while still keeping the benefits of the sights and sounds of living outside.
Here are some of the elements that make your covered porch feel like an interior room. Of late, one of the big factors is decorating. Just a couple years ago, you never saw people using rugs with beautiful interior aesthetic qualities. Now indoor/outdoor rugs come in just about every size, shape, color or pattern. A beautiful indoor/outdoor throw rug warms up the room and gives the room a nice interior feel. In addition to rugs, you now have access to any type of indoor/outdoor furniture which can withstand the outdoor elements. Fabric cushions and throw pillows on a beautiful dark wicker seating set beautifully transform any space. In addition, today’s porches are decorated with numerous other traditional indoor amenities including lamps, televisions and even storage furniture.
Decorating elements such as rugs and furniture do a great job of transforming any outdoor space whether it’s a patio, deck or roofed porch. What makes a screened porch different than a deck or patio? Screens. The screening in your screened porch doesn’t only serve the function of providing protection from bugs and other elements. Screening creates a layer and a feeling of privacy.
At Archadeck, we use a very high-grade screen for your screened room. This makes it harder to see into the room from the outside. While your backyard BBQ chef is able to see into the screened porch to ask for some more cooking supplies, likely most neighbors cannot see in. This creates the privacy that you experience inside your house. The view from 100 ft away is different than the view from standing in the yard. The people who are farther away have a completely different light. They are looking through at an angle and at an angle, the heavy grade high-quality screen obstructs the view to the interior.
There are some additional factors that allow your roofed porch to feel like an interior room while still being exposed to the exterior. One of these is the roof. The roof gives your room a distinct feeling of privacy that is achieved in an interior room. An open deck is not very private. It’s wide open for everyone to see what’s going on. As soon as you introduce a roof, neighbors that are at a higher elevation have their view obstructed. Unlike a deck, with a roof and screens, you have a distinct inside and outside.
Even though this Lee’s Summit porch is open, it has a luxurious interior room feel with the beautiful furniture
If you are trying to decide between adding a roofed structure or to add a deck or patio to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. You may want to take a look at some of the photo galleries on our site for ideas and inspiration. Please enjoy browsing through our porches photo gallery, covered porch photo gallery, screened porch photo gallery or our outdoor fireplace photo gallery. We look forward to providing you with a free consultation.
Stevel Folsom, owner
Archadeck of Kansas City
When these Lee’s Summit MO homeowners came to us, they had a small existing second-story deck. They wanted a larger footprint for their outdoor space and they also wanted a covered area for some sun protection. In addition, they wanted to utilize low-maintenance materials to ensure their time would be spent enjoying their new space instead of maintaining it.
Lee’s Summit MO elevated open porch with attached AZEK deck
As you can see above, this new space includes both an open deck area and a covered porch area. With the new design, the footprint for the porch area was pushed out 4 feet to the outer boundary that the setback would allow. This provides a spacious covered area that will easily accommodate generously sized outdoor furniture. The new porch has a gable roof to complement the gable on the existing house. The owners selected cedar for their post columns and for the header.
_Design rendering for new second-story covered porch and deck
In the design rendering above, you can see that the long stairs empty onto the lower level concrete patio where the family has another outdoor living area including a hot tub. You can see the AZEK Morado deck from this design rendering. The AZEK decking was used uniformly throughout the entire elevated outdoor living space.
Beautiful large cedar posts give a majestic quality to this space
Square solid-welded Fortress aluminum railing pickets are used in this porch. The pickets are dark-colored and slender drawing the eye out into the yard. Take a look at the excellent visibility into the yard that this railing syle allows. The ceiling is finished with tongue and groove pine.
If you are considering updating an existing space or adding a new outdoor living space to your Lee’s Summit area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325, email us or fill out the form above and we will contact you.
Take a look at more Lee’s Summit outdoor living spaces on our website.
When these Leawood KS, homeowners called us, they were looking for a porch off their master bedroom and also a porch off their primary living area. It’s not unusual for homeowners to request a deck or porch off their bedroom. Most often though, we advise against this.
As long-time builders of outdoor spaces, we care not only about building the best looking outdoor space but we also care about building a space that fits how the family wants to live outside. We want to make sure the room is designed to be used for the living functions the homeowners enjoy most. If the homeowners enjoy eating together frequently and want to dine outside, we make sure the porch is designed to accommodate not only room for a table but also room for the right size table depending on whether they entertain often. If the family loves watching sports or television together, we propose solutions to integrate a television in their new space. Whether they want to entertain, read outside or have small family meals outside, we help design the perfect space for them.
In addition to ensuring the design accommodates how the family wants to enjoy their outdoor living, access to and from the space is a crucial consideration. Some homeowners may ask for a porch connected to a level of their home that is not the primary living level. For example, if you have a steep grade drop in your back yard and your lower level basement feeds out into the yard, it doesn’t make sense to build the porch connection at that lower level. Imagine family and guests grabbing a few trays of freshly prepared food ready to move to the porch to enjoy together. Imagine then that they have to go down the stairs to the basement and through the basement before they get to the porch. A similar consideration must be given to having a deck or porch off a master bedroom. While it would be great to roll out of bed and open a set of French doors to take a deep breath of the morning air, you want to make sure that’s not the only way your guests and other family members can get to your porch.
In this new porch, notice that this space is large enough to accommodate both eating and seating.
This porch was customized to ensure proper mounting and placement of an outdoor television. The family knew they wanted to watch TV outside so an important consideration was to ensure the television stays as dry as possible. Often times there is a place on the house wall that works well for mounting the TV. If not, we design solutions that will keep the TV dry. On this porch, one section of the screened area is enclosed creating the perfect protected spot for the TV.
Take a look at the close-up picture above to see the porch extension which creates a walkway to the main porch area. The homeowners have their own private access while everyone else has access from the main living area. Perfect!
If you are considering adding a porch, outdoor fireplace or other outdoor space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325. Or, drop us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.
-Steve Folsom, owner
Archadeck of Kansas City
Take a peek into the backyard of this Olathe KS home. What was existing? What was added on? Exactly!
The home pictured above had a beautiful existing patio. The patio has a unique footprint that curves and winds its way around the back of the home. The manicured landscaping follows the charge. The paver patio adds flair and pizazz to this home but there are a couple functions it does not serve. While it functionally serves some furniture for eating and seating, it doesn’t create an outdoor room. It doesn’t provide sun protection in the warmer months. It doesn’t provide any warmth as the weather cools down and it doesn’t feel like a room.
Take a look at their open patio addition. This particular roofed structure has so many different names. It can also be called a covered patio, covered porch, patio cover or open porch. This family knew what they wanted. They wanted a space that was open to the back yard. They wanted cover. They wanted the feel of an outdoor room and they wanted an integrated outdoor fireplace.
Here are a few design features. The posts have a stone covered bases. The stone matches the fireplace facade. The fireplace uses a gas insert which eliminates the need to have a flue. We mounted a TV above the fireplace. You can see that this porch fireplace is the focal feature of this new space.
Looking at the image above, you can see that the porch area extends past the patio. The undulating patio shape created a challenge for where to end the roofline. We decided to take the porch out past the patio giving the homeowners a chance to add to the patio in the future if they desire.
Take a look at some more open porches, screened porches and outdoor fireplaces on our website. If you are considering adding a porch, outdoor fireplace or other outdoor space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325. Or, drop us an email. We look forward to hearing from you.
-Steve Folsom, owner
Archadeck of Kansas City
In an earlier post, we shared information about the top porch roof style options including gable, shed, flat and hip roof styles. We noted that the gable roof shape is one of the most often requested roof styles. A gable roof has a high point and descends down on two sides from that high point. Here are some reasons why this shape roof is so popular.
This Shawnee KS porch has a beautiful roof that is shingled with terra cotta to match the existing home
It’s important to note that a gable, by its nature, is just a very pleasing shape. It creates the shape of a triangle atop the more linear room it crowns. If you ask any young child to draw a house, they will first draw a square to represent the house and then a triangle to represent the roof. This configuration is visually pleasing.
Notice the way the screened open gable roof creates a beautifully vaulted ceiling
What are some more concrete reasons people are enamored with gable roofs? There are two important reasons and they both have to do with light. This roof style creates a vaulted ceiling inside the room. It’s important to note that the vaulted area can be closed off by a flat ceiling but many homeowners are looking for a porch room that’s filled with natural lighting and prefer the vaulted ceiling. High ceilings allow more light to concentrate within the space of the room making it feel more open and airier – both of which are pleasant sensations. Finally, with a gable roof style, you may be able to have one or two open ends depending on the orientation of your room. The open end can be enclosed with glass, screening or both.
Notice the multiple gently sloping shed rooflines on this home as well as the large second story window
As noted in the previous blog, a gable roof style will not work for every home. This is particularly the case if you have a number of second story windows in close proximity to where your new porch will be. You will not want the roof from a new room to block your view from the second story. There are additional reasons a gable roof may not work. This is the case if it presents a challenge in designing a porch addition that looks original to your home. The roofline, or multiple rooflines, of your existing home may make a porch with this roof style look out of place, like a sore thumb. You may have multiple elevations with varying grades of shed roofs. Notice the image above that illustrates that scenario.
Above is a fun creative option for integrating a gable motif into a shed roof style design
If your heart is set on this roof style for your new porch and the constraints of your existing home will not accommodate making it fit with your house, we have a creative alternative. We can create a combination roof style that integrates a shallow gable into a shed roof. In the image above, the roof design is a fabulous complement to the existing home’s roof design. Nearby the porch are two gable-topped elevations. This roof motif both complements and adds visual interest.
If you are considering adding a porch or room addition to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325, drop us an email or visit our website. To see a number of porches with different roof styles, visit the screened porch photo gallery on our website. We look forward to your call!
Can you have a TV on your porch? Does that TV have to cost a fortune?
You absolutely can have a TV on your screened porch and it doesn’t need to cost a fortune. Find a wall within your porch where the TV will not be placed directly in front of a screen. This allows you to use an indoor TV which is more reasonably priced than one that is rated for outdoor use. Televisions rated for outdoor do exist but are quite cost prohibitive. For the price, you could purchase 2 or more indoor televisions. Our recommendation is to find the driest place in the porch to mount your TV. Mounting the TV on the house wall is often a great option.
In most porches, people can find a place where they can shelter the TV – sometimes a section of screen is turned into a solid wall which keeps water from blowing in on that section. Some homeowners choose to enclose the TV in a cabinet or to mount the television over the outdoor fireplace. All are great options.
Can you have a fireplace on your screened porch? Does it need to be wood-burning?
You absolutely can have a fireplace within your screened porch. There are building codes that affect the installation but we ensure your porch fireplace meets all codes. Your outdoor fireplace can compete with every aspect of your indoor fireplace. Choose the facade you prefer. Stone facades are quite popular. You can choose the hearth and mantle you prefer just like you can inside. We can build a gas-burning or wood-burning fireplace but the wood burning one can be cost prohibitive. A gas fireplace starts with an insert which is finished with a surround, chimney and running gas to the fireplace.
Can you really have fabric furniture on your porch?
You absolutely can have upgraded furniture. While outdoor furniture has come a long was in aesthetics since the days of stacking chairs, there are still some limitations with outdoor furniture that benefits being inside an enclosed roof and walls. Although you won’t want to use indoor fabric, take your pick of furnishings that utilize outdoor fabric such as Sunbrella solution-dyed acrylic fabric. Furniture used on your porch doesn’t need to be 100% waterproof and you won’t need to stand up the cushions to remove pooling water. Another benefit of fabric covered porch furniture is that it doesn’t suffer the extreme abuse of the sun’s rays the way it does when in direct sunlight.
What about lighting? What else can the porch be wired for?
There are table lamps and floor lamps that are designed to be outdoor/waterproof. They look almost identical to indoor table lamps and floor lamps. They are outdoor rated. You can use them for reading and for other uses when a ceiling fan doesn’t provide enough light. We can wire your porch for a sound system; however, today’s most advanced systems are completely wireless. These systems are not only higher quality but easier to connect in a porch.
An experienced screened porch builder will also work with to determine how many outlets you should have on your screened porch. There are quite a few electronics you will want to use on your new porch. These include everything from furnishings such as floor lamps to electronics (like charging your laptop or iPad) and also to creature comforts that can include a cup warmer to keep your coffee warm while enjoying your porch in the colder months of the year.
How about other decor items?
Indoor/outdoor rugs are a great accessory/furnishing for your new porch. They’ve changed a lot over the last few years. Outdoor rugs are refined and improved with nicer patterns and many have a more indoor rug type feel. Indoor/outdoor rugs can be water resistant, mold resistant and resist other problems that face outdoor furnishings that suffer from prolonged direct sunlight and pooling water.
If you’re considering adding an outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325, drop us an email or fill out the form below and we will get back to you right away.
If you’re considering adding a screened porch to your Kansas City area home, you no doubt have a visualization of where on your home you would like your new porch and the general shape and size of your porch. You may have a sense of whether you want a small or large porch, whether you want a vaulted ceiling, and what exterior finish you prefer. Almost without exception, when Kansas City area residents initially call us, they are looking for a room that provides a lot of light. Ceiling style, among other factors, plays a role in the amount of light a new room will receive. Another very common request we receive is for a vaulted ceiling which comes from a gable roof style. Because roof style is such a popular question, we’d like to share some information about each below to help you begin to envision a porch addition to your home. There may be some factors that limit your options which we will also describe below.
The starting point
What roof style or styles do you already have on your home? Do you have a gable roof, multiple gables, a shed roof or a combination of shed and gable roof lines on your existing home? When we add a porch addition to a home, our goal is to make the porch look original to your home. Your home likely has a couple roof lines. Your new porch should either match or complement those roof lines in order to look original to your home.
What is the layout of the back of your home? Is your home one story or two stories? If two stories, what is the configuration of the second story? Is the second story lined with windows? If so, this will significant limit your options as a porch generally should neither cover nor block the view of the existing second-story windows. Let’s look at each of the roof styles.
Gable roof screened porch
A gable roof is the triangular roof style. It can have different pitches and can be oriented in different directions. By far, the gable roof is the most requested. The triangular shape of the roof is very pleasing to the eye and it creates a vaulted ceiling within the room. The gable end or ends can be left open (screened) to allow even more lighting into your porch.
The porch below has an open gable allowing a great deal of visibility from the porch and creating a very light and airy space.
Depending on the orientation of the gable, some porches will have a closed gable on the house wall and an open gable on the exterior site.
Shed roof screened porch
If your home has a number of second story windows or other second story architectural elements limiting your options for a vaulted ceiling, a shed roof may be a great option. A shed roof slopes downward from the house wall. The degree of the slope depends on a few factors but is limited by any obstructions on the second story of the home. While some people fear a shed roof will not provide enough light, the exterior sides can be left open allowing more light into your space. In addition, there may be opportunities to extend the height of the roof to allow more lighting into the room.
Flat roof screened porch
There are a number of reasons why a flat roof is the best roof style. As you read above, the second story configuration may require it. But, you may want a second story structure on your porch. You may want an open porch on the first level and a screened porch on the second level. As mentioned with a shed roof, one way to bring more light into the space is elevating the roof which may be possible depending on the back-of-home layout. One common question we receive about flat roofs is whether or not they drain. Flat roofs are not completely flat. They are slightly pitched to ensure proper draining and normally require special roof material.
Hybrid porch roof style
At Archadeck of Kansas City, one roof style is fairly popular. This style includes a combination shed/gable. On the exterior side of a shed roof, an option is to add a small gable for visual interest. If you are engaging a professional contractor to build your porch, you may want the custom look presented with a unique design solution.
The gable on the roof below does a great job of complimenting the gable roof lines of this home.
A combination roof style provides a good amount of visual interest to the inside of your porch.
Hip roof screened porch
A hip roof slopes down in 4 or more directions from a high point on the roof. This may be a good option if you have hip roof lines on your home.
It’s important to work with an experienced custom builder. This builder will be able to provide the options as well as the benefits and drawbacks for each. Give us a call for a free consultation for your Kansas City area porch. Call (913) 851-3325.
At Archadeck of Kansas City, more and more clients are adding an outdoor fireplace to their new porch construction and they’re doing so for a number of reasons.
The warmth that a fire provides is a strong benefit of having an outdoor fireplace within your screened porch. Here in the Kansas City area, there are several months throughout the year that a screened porch area would be unusable due to the temperature. Your porch will undoubtedly be one of your favorite rooms in the house. Not only is a porch designed for relaxation, but the sights and sounds and smells of the outdoors lend themselves to an even more enjoyable outdoor living environment. With an outdoor fireplace on your porch, it will be usable for more months throughout the year.
Leawood KS outdoor fireplace on a screened porch
The sounds of the crackle of a fire, for most, bring back memories of childhood camp outs, many nights around a grill roasting marshmallows, and other enjoyable experiences. The sound of a crackling fireplace creates a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. In addition, there is the sight of a fire. As most of us now have gas fireplaces, the view of the dancing flames is both mesmerizing and relaxing. Your cares drift away as you watch the flames in a fireplace. If you love using your indoor fireplace, you no double can imagine the even better experience to be had with having a fireplace built in to your porch.
Olathe KS outdoor porch fireplace
If you take a look at the some of the images in our outdoor fireplace photo gallery, you will notice that the fireplace is the focal point of the room. In fact, after looking at those porch images, it may be difficult to imagine how different those rooms would look without the fireplace. A fireplace adds majesty to a room like few other architectural features can.
What is the best time of year to add an outdoor fireplace?
Back to the question at hand. What is the best time to build an outdoor fireplace? If you are considering adding a screened porch, that is a great time to consider adding an outdoor fireplace to your new porch. In terms of time of year, the spring and summer may be the best times to start thinking about it. When you work with a reputable builder, you know it will take time to get on the production schedule. Add to that the build time, you will want to allow plenty of time to have your porch fireplace ready to enjoy during the next fall season.
If you are considering adding an outdoor fireplace to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325.
Wood or composite? Composite or PVC? PVC or capstock?
If you’re reading this, you’re probably thinking about adding a new deck or porch to your home. You’ve probably begun your online research evaluating shapes, colors, sizes, materials and numerous other options. Once you begin that process, you’ll likely realize there are even more options than you think. For this blog, we’d like to provide information about synthetic decking to help you narrow that choice. Do not worry if you can’t make a final selection by reading multiple websites and looking at the dizzying array of colors. Any reputable builder will help you walk through some of those final decisions.
If you’re still wondering whether to build a wood or composite deck, there is one very important consideration. How much maintenance do you want to do? Do you want to strip, paint, stain, seal and otherwise maintain your deck approximately every year? Wood decks require maintenance. The frequency of that maintenance may vary slightly based primarily on how much direct sunlight your deck receives. Rest assured, to keep your wood deck looking good, it will need maintenance on close to an annual basis.
Do you want to throw away your garage powerwasher and your deck sealant brushes or at least never look at them again? Low maintenance decking doesn’t need any regular maintenance. It does not need to be stained, sealed or otherwise maintained to continue looking good. Is it no maintenance? Nothing is no maintenance. A spill will need to be cleaned up just like it needs to be cleaned up off your kitchen floor. If your dog tracks mud across your deck, you will need a garden hose to remove the mud. But that’s all.
The flipside of this decision is price. Composite and synthetic decks can be significantly more expensive than natural wood decks. Sometimes a good litmus test is to evaluate this purchase decision against how long you are going to be in your home. If you plan on being in your home for the next 20 years and never have to perform maintenance on your deck, then any upfront increase in cost pays off fairly quickly. But, if you know you will only be in your home for another 5 years, you may want to choose a wood deck with the corresponding cost of annual maintenance.
Composite, PVC or capstock?
Believe it or not, composite decking has been around 20 years or more and it sure has evolved during that time. Not only has it improved over time but the range of manufacturers, colors, and styles have grown along with it. When composite decking first came out, recycled plastic was mixed with wood fibers – hence the composite name. There were a few problems with those early iterations including some mold problems. Today’s composites have a great combination of high quality resin and wood fibers. Not only are they made in just about every imaginable color and texture, they are also made by a number of manufacturers. Although a really solid product, most customers are now opting for one of the next couple choices.
Solid PVC decking
Composite decking comes with some tremendous performance characteristics. It will not rot, splinter, chip, cup or suffer the other maladies that befall wood over time. PVC decking provides the added bonus of warrantied stain and fade protection. The manufacturer warranties all of the above for 25 years so you can be confident that it lives up to its promise. Solid PVC decking such as AZEK XLM comes at a bit higher price than composite decking.
h3. A happy medium – capstock decking
Recently a new product has come along that marries the best qualities of composite and PVC. As you can imagine, the price is more moderate than PVC but more than composite. Capstock decking is composite with a PVC cap on the boards. This way you get the strength and protection of composite with the added protection of the PVC stain and fade warranty.
Which is right for you? Let us help you decide. Our job is to walk you through the options not just for decking boards but for all the other options and considerations required in planning your new deck or porch. We have the benefit of experience and have built nearly every combination you can imagine. Give us a call for a free consultation to discuss planning and building a new outdoor space for your Kansas City home.
We’re quickly approaching the colder season. How did that happen? Not too long ago we wouldn’t think about turning off the air conditioning and now we can’t seem to get warm. There is no better way to take away the edge of physical cold and cheer your mood than a fire.
As any perusal of home improvement and real estate articles will tell you, outdoor fireplaces are growing more popular all the time. They frequently appear on “must-have” and “nice-to-have” lists as some of the most desired home additions. If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor fireplace in the coming months, here are some considerations to think about.
The first question you need to ask yourself whether you should choose a wood burning or gas fireplace? Gas is the more popular of the two because it is less expensive, less messy, and is less work overall to use and maintain. You won’t need to order and stack wood, transport it, store it, or keep it dry. Still, there are some that have a deep connection to the smells and sounds of a genuine wood fire. The three key factors to consider when making this decision are cost, preference, and space. Both types of fireplace will be a visual focal point in the room.
Who will build/install your fireplace? Make sure you select a builder with ample experience and quite a few positive reviews as a local outdoor fireplace builder. An outdoor fireplace on your porch is no small investment. And, your home is too valuable to allow just any contractor or a too generalized contractor to build your new porch fireplace.
You will also need a builder with knowledge and experience about local regulations and codes. The builder will handle arranging for the additional necessary inspections and hiring subcontractors like a plumber (to install the gas line if using gas) or a mason (if you will use brick or stone for the chimney). The builder will also ensure that the fire box you purchase is rated for the outdoors.
The cost of an outdoor fireplace is typically in the $7,000-10,000 range, but can vary depending on your choices for gas vs. wood, trim, fascia, and chimney. If your home is not already connected to the gas main, that may increase your costs as well. On the value side of the equation, a fireplace will extend the season that you can use your porch, sometimes by months each year. That may translate to more evenings at home rather than going out.
There are many options and design possibilities available and it’s important to find the one that is right for you. You can opt for custom mantel pieces as well as custom hearths. There are a variety of materials to use for these as well as for the fireplace facade..
Call Archadeck for a free consultation to design the perfect outdoor fireplace for your Kansas City area home at (913) 851-3325 or (816) 228-3325. We’re looking forward to your call.
Steve Folsom, owner
Archadeck of Kansas City
Gable? Shed? Flat roof? Hip roof?
The roof style you choose for your Kansas City area screened porch is one of the earlier decisions you will make when planning for your new space. You probably have a vision in mind of what your screened porch will look like and for many homeowners that vision includes a gable roof style.
A gable roof has a high point in the middle and slopes down to two sides from there. This is different from a hip roof that slopes down to 3 sides from the highest point. A gable roof is a popular choice because the gable allows for lots of sun to enter the porch. One of the top reasons homeowners want to add a screened porch is to have a bright and airy room to enjoy fresh air while still having some protection from the elements. A gable roof is also very pleasing to the eye and creates a vaulted ceiling from the inside.
How should you determine what roof style is best for you?
There are a number of factors and your builder will help you work through them. The most important factor is how you want to live on your screened porch. Do you want a room that invites the most sun possible? Do you want a room with a very cozy feel that invites you to cuddle up with a warm throw and a cup of hot cider? Do you want a more functional room to add more seating capacity when you have evening guests? How about regular movie night with the family? Do you envision your TV mounted over an outdoor fireplace?
The next factor to look at after determining how you want to live in your space is the layout of the back of your home. You do not want a new roof line to obstruct the view from any second story windows. And, there may be other architectural features you don’t want to or can’t cover up. This may quickly limit your options. If the second story of your home has an abundant number of windows, you may need to choose a lower roof style such as a shed roof or (almost) flat roof. Another important consideration is the orientation of your backyard. Will the space get a large amount of direct sunlight? Based on the direction of your home or the landscaping near your home, does the space need to compete for sun? This will also help to narrow down your choices.
Is a shed roof right for you?
A shed roof style angles down from the house connection.The shed (or slope) roof is a popular option. A number of techniques can be employed to ensure your room still has an open and airy feel.
How about a flat roof?
Another roof style option is a flat roof, although this label is a bit deceiving. In order to ensure proper drainage, the roof may look flat but it is appropriately sloped to ensure proper runoff. A flat roof is a more common option for open porches as you’ll see in the image below. It has a wonderful classic look. The addition of a ceiling fan or two on the roof’s ceiling keep the open air porch circulating air quite wonderfully.
Can you have a combination of different roof styles?
Here comes the fun part. You don’t need to be limited to just one roof style. One of our very popular combination shapes is a shed roof with a partial gable to one or more ends. Take a look at the picture below. What a great way to add custom flair and visual interest to both the inside and outside of your porch.
If you’re considering adding a screened porch or open porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation. We enjoy walking through options and considerations with you to ensure your new room fits exactly how you want to live. Give us a call at (913) 851-3325 and (816) 228-3325.
There is a long list of reasons to consider a custom design for your outdoor living space. One of the items near the top is the time and consideration that a custom builder will give you to help identify the right structure(s) for how you want to live in your new space. Another thing a custom builder will consider is the transition areas between your home, your new space and your yard. It’s important that your Leawood deck, patio or screened porch builder blends your new space with your home and the rest of your property.
We recently completed a Leawood wraparound deck. We replaced an aging cedar deck with a new, larger TimberTech deck that leads down to a pavestone patio area. The owners knew they wanted to connect their deck and patio. We created a design that has a pass-through deck area connecting the spaces.
Low-maintenance Leawood deck with AZEK lighted rail and riser lighting
Looking for a custom, low-maintenance Leawood deck? Call on Archadeck of Kansas City!
We used TimberTech Legacy Tigerwood flooring and AZEK Premier lighted railings. We also included riser lights built into the steps. The multi-level lights help ensure safety for everyone and add a touch of understated elegance in the evenings. The lights also create an easy-to-follow pathway for new guests who may be unfamiliar with the property. The color choices, including the TimberTech Radiance rail infill connection, complement both the exterior of the home and pick up the dark brown of the surrounding trees and mulch.
Leawood deck transition’s subtlety makes it a stand-out
As you can see from the photos, this project could easily be included in any home magazine on the newsstand. More importantly, it is going to stay looking beautiful for many years to come. The low-maintenance, fade-resistant quality of the building materials will stand the test of time almost as well as those large stone slabs we used.
If you are considering adding a deck to your Leawood home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
These Lenexa KS clients’ yard had no deck, but an older patio that they wanted to re-model. They wanted to enclose a section of the deck with a porch to extend their seasonal use of the space. They also wanted to make better use of a very shady sloped area of the yard.
Cozy Lenexa KS screened porch with outdoor fireplace
We designed a long rectangular space that matched well with the dimensions of the house and covered the challenging landscaping area. The next items on the list were spaces to accommodate an indoor porch swing, an eating area, and a fireplace. Fire and swings are not a safe combination, so we put the fire at one end and the swing at the other. In between we sketched out multiple seating areas so that the family could enjoy conversation by the fire and an intimate dining space.
See more outdoor fireplaces by Archadeck of Kansas City!
Lenexa screened porch with IPE Brazilian hardwood
On the inside we designed an easy-access entry from the porch to the kitchen. We typically build these flush at floor height so that you don’t trip as you move in and out with trays of food and drinks. This also adds to the illusion that the porch has been there all along. We installed screened spaces all the way to the ceiling to maximize the sunlight available to the home’s interior. From the outside we created a gable centered in the middle of a sloped shed roof. The style fits with the home’s existing windows and the profile of the rear of the home.
Lenexa KS screened porch looks original to the home.
The interior trim is painted off-white. This neutral palette gives the owners enormous flexibility in furnishing and decorating. It also sets off the focal point of the room: the outdoor fireplace and floor that are constructed with Ipe– the king of exotic hardwoods. At the flick of a few switches, our clients control the wood-wrapped fireplace, the Lenexa KS screened porchceiling fans and various downlights installed around the three furniture groupings.
Other than the freshness of the paint job, there is nothing to give this porch away as “new.” The color, the architecture and the design are all consistent and complementary to the existing home. It’s still the home they love, but better: larger, more inviting and much more useable space for entertaining or relaxing.
If you are interested in a Lenexa KS outdoor fireplace as part of a porch addition, give us a call for a free consultation. Give us a call at (913) 851-3325. Drop us an email at [email protected].
Most new homes come with a deck. The builder often adds on a small deck at the end of the job in order to say the home has a deck. But, those “builder decks” often don’t fit the bill of what homeowners are looking for.
We recently built a new low-maintenance deck for homeowners in Lee’s Summit, MO. Their builder deck was small and tired. In rebuilding the area, their goal was to do it right this time around. They identified what their dream backyard would include and called on us to build it.
TimberTech low-maintenance deck in Lee’s Summit, MO
Does your Lee’s Summit deck need an upgrade for usability and aesthetics? Call on us!
These homeowners decided on an elevated deck that was nearly 2.5 times the size of the original deck. They wanted to combine an element of style and a unique look with low maintenance and high durability so they used low-maintenance materials. The older deck was removed and we built the new deck with TimberTech low-maintenance decking materials.
TimberTech offers beautiful finishes and the benefits of a low-maintenance product with no yearly sanding, staining, or painting.
It’s not only about the deck, though! Look at the lighted deck railings and riser lights on the steps.
For this Lee’s Summit deck, we used TimberTech Pacific Walnut which is a very popular color in TimberTech’s Earthwoods line. They also selected TimberTech radiance railing with metal balusters and custom LED lights. LED lights not only have the best durability of any light on the market, but in addition provide a bright even light with low electricity usage. Black railing is very popular. It contrasts nicely with the deck color but it also provides more visibility to the back yard. Because of the dark color and slender profile, your eye is naturally drawn to what lies beyond the railing.
TimberTech metal Radiance Rail with lighted post caps and LED riser lights make this deck navigable after dark.
This outdoor living space was paired with a lower patio made with Belgard pavers. The paver patio has custom steps leading down to it from the deck.
This family took their time and made sure to do it right the second time. They went from a tiny no frills deck to a full outdoor living area including a deck and paver patio.
Are you ready to replace your Kansas City area builder grade deck with a larger, low-maintenance option? Give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
The most important question we always ask my clients is how are you going to use the room? What is the purpose of this room? Does it need to be accessible in all months of the year? It’s about what works for you and your situation.
You want to make sure you get the space that provides all the elements or practicality for how you will use the space. In this stage of the planning, you need to be asking the right questions. We can help you by asking the right questions which will then lead to key decisions. Because we’re custom designing every space we build, we’re able to tailor it to your exact usage.
Here are some good starter questions: Do you plan on spending time in the room primarily in the warmer months or do your plans include spending time in the room year round? Do you envision having your morning coffee there year round? Do you envision closing it off in the colder months? The answers to these questions will help you determine whether a porch, 3-season room or sunroom is right for you.
Screened porches are usable about 7 months out of the year!
A screened porch does not have any solid windows (such as glass) and there is no insulation. In the Midwest a screened room is typically usable 7 months of the year or maybe longer. Because of the screened windows, rain or moisture might come in. With a screened room, you need to make provision for moisture and rain blowing in. The screen room may have the same size, same shape, and same roof as an enclosed room, but a lot of other things are different. For example, you will not want to use hardwood or wall-to-wall carpet in a screened room.
Overland Park KS screened porch with patio
3-season rooms are usable 9 or 10 months per year!
A 3-season room has glass which separates it from a screened porch which has no glass. The type of glass is important. If you’re going to try to use it 8-12 months of the year, you probably want double-paned windows to keep the cold out even if you’re going to get a space heater. The cold will go right through single-pane windows. With a space heater, you can extend the usage but you’re not going to make a 10-12 month room out of it. That full year room requires a full insulation package.
Sunrooms are usable all year long!
A fully functional 12-month room is fully insulated and has double pane glass, probably with low-E glass. With a sunroom or room that’s going to be used all year, the room probably also has some type of heat or cooling. With sunrooms, you also need to consider solar gain. The room can get way too hot. It depends on the direction of the room, the size of the windows, solar rating of windows, roof overhang, tree shade, etc. The temperature could make you feel like the inside of your car on a hot summer day.
Bright and airy Leawood KS sunroom
We can help make these key decisions easier. With our experience in working with homeowners on deciding what room is right for you, we can help ask the right questions to help you determine what works best for you. give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
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 outdoor 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.
Lenexa KS outdoor fireplace on porch Archadeck Kansas City
Here are the top 5 things to consider when adding an outdoor fireplace to your new screened porch:
1. Fireplace location on the porch
There a quite a few considerations for the placement of your fireplace! 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. Typical placement of the fireplace is off the side of the porch to allow for the fire box to be placed outside your living square footage. Another key consideration for placement is whether you would like to leave a certain area of your porch unimpeded by the fireplace, or even if you would like to block a particular area for privacy or to keep the evening sun at bay.
2. 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 okay with you.
Lenexa 2nd story screened porch fireplace Archadeck Kansas City
3. Source of gas
If you go with a gas burning outdoor 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?
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.
5. Codes and inspection
It is important to understand local building codes as they apply to outdoor fireplace installations. When using an experienced porch contractor, they will be familiar with the local codes which is important.
Elevated screened porch shed gable roof Kansas City
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.
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.
When starting a new custom building project, it’s tough to differentiate the must-haves from the nice-to-haves. With a wedding, there is tested and true advice such as ensuring to really invest in photography because it will last forever.
We’ve built hundreds of screened porches here in the Kansas City market and we want to share some details about the top must-haves to make it easier for you when you start planning a screened porch addition.
- Doors: Traffic flow and patterns are affected by doors. Your exterior door from your porch to your yard will receive quite a bit of use so it’s important to invest in a high quality heavy duty door.
- Screening: this is one of the most sensitive areas of the porch because it’s exposed to potential damage. Standard light-duty screening may provide you with years of headaches so it’s important to consider all available options.
- Electrical: Do you want to have ceiling fans, lighting, and outlets? Do you think you will use of any temporary heating, TV, stereos, speaker systems, or kitchen equipment? Make a list of your electrical needs and share them with your contractor.
- Materials: There are a wide variety of both natural and man-made materials available. This variety applies to areas such as flooring, trim work, railing, steps, roof trim, and more. In each of these categories there are differing types of materials which might impact durability as well as looks.
- Maintenance and upkeep: This is directly related to quality of construction, materials, and the nature of the particular weather conditions in your part of the country. By properly selecting the materials, you not only get the lowest maintenance but also the best looking porch 5-10 years down the road.
- Roof style: On certain houses, certain roof styles work better than others. On some houses, there is more than one choice. Roof style and design not only has to be focused on durability but also interacts with style of your house. A properly designed roof will complement the architecture of your existing home.
- Size of furnishings: There is no one magical size to a porch. Many sizes work with different furniture sizes, uses, and family sizes. According to your plan for all 3, it may impact the size and shape of your porch.
- Zoning: There are many restrictions that cities and counties have about adding roofed structures to your home. They have specific setback requirements you have to adhere to which vary by location. A seasoned contractor will be familiar with the zoning requirements in your area.
- Ceilings: There are a wide variety of trims and looks that are available with varying prices and aesthetics. Vaulted ceilings are very popular on porches so the ceiling may become one of the focal points of your porch.
- Hire a professional: many builders advertise that they build screened porches, however the depth of experience in building porches varies a great deal. Some contractors consider themselves a porch builder if they only build one porch a year. So we recommend that clients always consider the reputation, background, experience, and depth of knowledge as it relates to porch building process. It’s also very important to ask for references and check online review sites.
Are you ready to add beautiful screened porch design to your home? Give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
When we first met these Overland Park homeowners, they had an existing wood deck that was falling apart. They had a few items on their tick list about their new deck. They wanted it slightly larger, more stylish and they wanted to use low maintenance materials. The request for low maintenance materials is very common these days. They are available for everything from decking boards to railings, to even ceilings and other outdoor building materials. If you’re considering having a new deck, porch, patio or other outdoor living project built, you may be wondering whether these low maintenance products are right for you.
AZEK deck in Overland Park, KS
Low maintenance outdoor building materials truly “have come a long way baby”. Years ago you may have heard “plastic wood” or plastic railings to describe the first generation of low maintenance materials. The goal back then was to have building materials that required less cleaning and annual maintenance while being sturdier than wood, having better scratch resistance and better Resistance to other factors such as bugs and molds. While the earlier iterations of low maintenance outdoor building materials couldn’t fit that bill, today there are many choices that can.
Low maintenance materials have fairly quickly run through a series of iterations in which there were improvements with each iteration. In addition, more companies have entered the arena which raises the bar even further. Now you can get low maintenance products that have a 25 year warranty guaranteeing even issues like fading and staining. As with any high performance product, there is also a correlating price difference. I tell my customers that if they plan on living in their home for the next 15-20 years and they plan on using the deck a lot, then the should really look at low maintenance materials. On the other hand, if you plan on selling your home in 5 years and don’t mind doing annual staining and sealing on your deck, then you may not want to use low maintenance material.
On the Overland Park deck you see in the pictures, we used AZEK which is solid PVC. Here are some of the benefits.
- Stain resistant
- Scratch resistant
- Split resistant
- Mold and mildew resistant
- Durable and long lasting
- Impervious to moisture and insects
On this deck, we used two different colors. Using color contrasts is very popular right now as it adds to the custom look of your deck. The primary deck color is AZEK Acacia. The parting board and picture frame outline are AZEK Redland Rose. In continuing the design contrast, we used an all aluminum rail by Westbury aluminum. You will notice on the rail posts, we used black TimberTech Radiance railings.
These homeowners will get many, many years of use of their new low-maintenance AZEK deck.
If you are considering adding a new low-maintenance deck to your Overland Park home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the ultimate outdoor living space for your home.
We have seen a trend in the past few years for the consumer to convert their previous deck space to a roofed room of some type. This may be a screen porch, a sunroom, a 3-season room or a 4-season room.
There are so many choices and so many different names to these structures but generally this is how we look at the various structures. A deck has no roof or walls and thus has exposure to bugs, sun, and rain among other elements. A screen in porch includes a roof and screened walls and affords protection from bugs and some limited protection from other elements. A 3-season room generally has insulation and single pane windows but does not have heating, cooling and ventilation. A 4-season room has temperature protection since it includes not only insulation and double-pane windows but it also includes heating, cooling and ventilation. Every outdoor living design is custom so there can easily be variations on these configurations.
Cozy Olathe Kansas sunroom
These homeowners in Olathe KS wanted to convert their old and tired deck into a room but they weren’t sure exactly what that room would look like. We enjoy the design and specification process where we combine our experience and the customer’s desires to come up with a structure that’s tailored just for them.
See more 3 & 4 season rooms by Archadeck of Kansas City!
Beautifully designed Olathe sunroom
In this case, these homeowners knew they wanted to use the room as much as possible in both winter, summer and in all weathers. We suggested a fully insulated room with auxiliary heat and cooling and with low-e double pane energy efficient windows to maximize comfort and year round occupancy. The owners wanted new French doors from the living room and from the kitchen and they wanted to keep them open a large part of the time. We installed both sets of French doors that you see in the photo to replace older doors. In order to give a unique architectural look to the room, tongue and groove cedar ceiling trim was selected with painted beadboard wall trim. Outside, there is an upper deck for cooking, and a larger lower deck under the room.
In addition to designing the room, it’s important to use materials that will stand up to both the elements and the test of time. The products we used Were Pella windows and doors, AZEK decking, Fortress railing, TimberTech Radiance rail posts. Archadeck of Kansas City will assess your personal design and outdoor living requirements to facilitate your ideal outdoor living space. Whether it be replacing an aging deck, or starting from scratch with a blank backyard canvas, we will design and build your perfect outdoor living area, giving you more quality hours living – outdoors!
If you are considering adding a sunroom or any outdoor living space to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
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.
Screen porch with AZEK double deck and pergola in Leawood KS
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 with custom Pella door entrance.
The 18′ × 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 knee wall, 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.
Leawood KS screen porch builder designed for maximum 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.
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.
The AZEK deck on this side of the porch includes built-in benches and lattice skirting.
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.
Read about composite decking materials improvements through the years!
AZEK deck with pergola and eating area.
As you can see, every design is as different as every home. But the design considerations for your outdoor structure will 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.
If you are considering adding a custom screened porch to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
So much has changed. Years ago, the one big question when building a new deck was whether to use pine, cedar, redwood or fir.Most decks were primarily built out of natural wood. Many decks still are. There have been some advances to make the wood last longer and better stand the test of time but the material used in wood decks is not much different than it once was.
The big difference these days is the addition of composite and synthetic decking to the equation. This is not simple by any stretch of the imagination. It would be simple if there was one brand of composite decking and perhaps another brand that had a product a little more advanced than synthetic decking. But, instead industry enthusiasts can easily classify the dramatic changes in feature, function, materials and aesthetics into entire generations of improvements in the composite and synthetic decking worlds.
TimberTech composite deck in Lees Summit, MO
To dramatically over-simplify the “generational” improvements, here are some basics. Composite wood includes a mixture of plastic and wood fibers. Way back when these originally came out, the plastic used in the composites often were recycled plastic materials like recycled garbage bags. You may remember seeing a park bench that mildly resembles plastic but is sort of rough to the touch. That was really part of the first generation of composites. There were problems with those products though. These problems often included fading, scratching, staining, mold, mildew and in some cases sagging.
Evergrain composite deck with pergola
Since that time, not only has the configuration of composites changed but every other conceivable aspect of composite woods has changed. The configurations are better to get rid of the issues from first generation and to make them truly low maintenance. Many new companies have joined the party. Some say there are over 50 composite companies on the market including national and regional companies. Oh, some companies have evolved and others have come into the arena as well as exited the arena. In the last few years, multiple composite manufacturers have gone bankrupt, closed down or been acquired by other companies that have changed their warranty” Some went out of business due to warranty and quality problems. Some closed down because of poor quality product.
Some companies have evolved and others have come into the arena as well as exited the arena. In the last few years, multiple composite manufacturers have gone bankrupt, closed down or been acquired by other companies that have changed their warranty. Some went out of business due to warranty and quality problems. Some closed down because of poor quality product.
TimberTeck deck with Fortress railing
As if that wasn’t enough change, a new generation of composites dawned that included PVC into the mix. This generation includes the addition of PVC decking boards that are solid PVC and composite decking boards that are wrapped or capped with PVC. The PVC and/or PVC capped products enjoy nearly all of the benefits of composite but have even superior stain and fade resistance. But with anything that’s too good to be true – the PVC decking boards are among the most expensive on the market. And, the difference in price can be substantial.n top of that, just about every conceivable deck shade is available. And, the previously flat looking solid color choices now include the addition of streaked product that continues to look more and more like real wood.
So, you may want wood. Or you may want composite, or PVC or capstock.
Evergrain deck and Evergrain railing in Lenexa, KS
We have built with most if not all of these product variations. And, we can tell you that for some people wood is still the best option. For some people, traditional composite is the best option. And for some people one of the newest PVC or capstock products is the best option. How can we help you decide?
Here are the top three questions to ask:
- How comfortable are you with maintenance and upkeep? Staining, cracking, sealing, wood aging, splinters?
- What is your budget? And, do you have a budget that is going to lead you to eliminate some of these options? For example, cheapest low maintenance man-made railing is vinyl – but you might not be pleased with this aesthetically
- What level of quality and craftsmanship do I want?
If you can give us a price range of what you’re willing to spend and an idea of how you really want to live on your new deck, sunroom or screened porch, we can walk you through the options and hopefully help you to decide. Believe it or not, a family pet may help determine what the best option is. Many of the homeowners we work with have pets. Perhaps this pet has wreaked havoc on a wood deck with scratching and you need a stronger decking material that is very scratch resistant. Perhaps you feed your pet outside and the pets food has a lot of oil or other ingredient that stains your deck.
TimberTech composite deck in Lee’s Summit, MO
Perhaps your children like to paint and color outside on the deck and errant paintbrushes and crayons somehow seem to make marks on your deck. Perhaps you envision your family eating out on the deck a couple nights a week and know that a good bit of food will inevitably make its way to the floor and likely become ground in before having a chance to clean it. Or, perhaps you like to keep your deck area drink and food free and you love that traditional and classic grayed out look of a cedar or other natural wood deck.
If you are considering adding a composite deck to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
Are you looking into adding a deck or screened porch to your Kansas City area home? At Archadeck of Kansas City, building the right outdoor living project for your home and lifestyle is our goal. Here, we discuss the differences between the two, while showcasing one of our screened porch projects in Overland Park.
Roofed enclosures are one of the biggest items we sell. There are advantages to both open decks and patios as well as roofed enclosures. Often there are just simply more advantages to roofed enclosures because there are more lifestyle objectives than can be met with a roofed enclosure. For example, relaxing on a deck is a great way to enjoy your yard and the sun while watching the kids play. But, it’s only ideal in ideal weather. Once it rains, or the sun is too strong, or the bugs come out in full force…the deck won’t be your ideal living area all hours of the day. Don’t misunderstand us. We build a whole lot of decks, and they are a great outdoor living space. It all depends on how much outdoor living time you are looking for, and what level of protection you desire from the elements.
Kansas City screened porch
Take a look at this screened porch project in Overland Park, KS. These homeowners had a deck exposed to lots of southwest facing sun. They wanted protection from pests, and to be able to eat in their outdoor living area without the threat of pests intruding their outdoor living area. They also wanted shade, privacy, and weather protection.
Kansas City screened porch design by Archadeck of Kansas City.
We replaced their old deck with a new screened porch. We bumped out their old deck space several feet giving their new screened porch a very comfortable size – 17′ × 21′. The homeowners wanted a wood structure that they could paint. The porch was built using ACQ treated pine. On the exterior we used a low-maintenance smart trim which is rot resistant.
Finished! Screened porch with stained ACQ treated lumber in Overland Park KS
What did the Overland Park, KS, homeowners have to say about their new screened porch
Not only were we impressed by the workmanship of our new screened porch we were extra impressed by the construction crew. Thomas and Alex showed up every morning at 7:30 sharp and stayed until 5:00 until the project was complete. The worksite was cleaned and lumber restacked everyday before they went home. Steve Folsom was in constant communication during the project to made sure all details were to our satisfaction. The roofers, gutter installers and electrician were also helpful and easy to work with. We are very proud of our porch and it seems to be the point of interest in the neighborhood. Thank you Archadeck.
John and Penny
Open and airy screened porch design by Archadeck of Kansas City.
If you are considering adding a screened porch or deck to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
One of the most popular questions this year from attendees at the show was if they can add a sunroom, roof, or screened porch to their existing deck. The answer to this question is usually yes, with qualifications.
Whenever a roofed structure of any type is added to an existing deck area there are several issues that if neglected could create future problems. The first important issue is the building code requirements for a roof. In all cities and counties in the Kansas City area roofs require a building permit, even when added on top of an already existing deck. This permit is required regardless of whether the structure will have screens, windows, or be open. It is a mistake to assume that because the deck is existing the roof is automatically legal at the same size. Some homes have existing decks that were built without permits and are too large or too near the property line to roof the deck without changing the design of the existing deck to meet current code sizes and setback requirements. In addition some cities have different setback requirements for roofed structures than for decks.
Adding a roof to an existing Kansas City area deck first and foremost requires building permits.
The second important issue has to do with the deck strength and its original build quality and design. A great many decks have been built that only adequately hold up as decks, without the additional weight of a roof structure, walls, or windows. In some cases additional bracing, columns or beams need to be added to the existing deck structure to support the added weight of the proposed roof. In other cases it may be less expensive to tear down the deck than to repair it enough so that it can permanently support the new roofed room or porch.
If you are considering a screened porch or sunroom for your Kansas City area home, call on Archadeck of Kansas City!
Deck bracing and additional support columns may be necessary for adding a sunroom to your existing deck.
When a roof or wall weight is added to a structure not designed and constructed to support it can sag, pull away from the house, leak, and or create danger of future collapse. We have been called out to examine many sunrooms and porches built on poorly constructed older decks that have caused multiple expensive problems for the homeowners. The upside is as long as your deck is properly built and is rot free it can usually be repaired or reinforced, if necessary, to use as the base for a roofed structure.
Transforming your deck into a roofed structure will offer you more hours of enjoyment in your outdoor living space each year.
Archadeck of Kansas City is a full-service outdoor living design and build firm, and we can help you transform your deck into a roofed structure.
While we would not advise that such an undertaking be performed as a do-it-yourself endeavor, if you are considering doing this as a DIY project, it could be a good investment to hire an engineer, architect or professional builder to advise you about the structural design and support.
If you are considering adding a roof to your Kansas City area deck, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.
Ipe, also known as ironwood and Brazilian walnut, is the most dense and durable hardwood available for building decks and porches. It has a harder surface and is more dense that Teak and Mahogany.
Usually harvested in Brazil, it is also farm grown in Costa Rica and other tropical South-Central American countries. It has a beautiful reddish-brown color when installed. Ipe will turn a silver gray if not sealed looking similar in appearance to Teak. Here in Kansas City with our strong amount of sun it should be sealed yearly to maintain its natural color.
Sealed Ipe deck in Lenexa, KS
Ipe has a Class A fire rating which is the same as concrete and steel!
Because of its very dense nature it is much more resistant to rot and insect damage than the other popular decking choices in this area of cedar, pine, or redwood. Although it can develop some cracks and checks, it is much more unlikely to do so than the other species mentioned, as well as less splintering.
Too put the difference in perspective, a cubic foot of Ipe weighs 73 pounds while a cubic foot of Western red cedar weighs 23 pounds. Red oak is 43 pounds and Southern Yellow Pine is 36 pounds. A typical deck made from Ipe will last 25-50 years while a cedar deck may last 12. The sidewalk in front of the Treasure Island casino in Las Vegas is even made from Ipe. It gets excessive wear and tear and is exposed to harsh weather conditions and holds up very well.
See more Ipe deck photos!
Unsealed Ipe deck in Lee’s Summit, MO
Many people like Ipe because it is a natural forest product as opposed to the composites made from plastics. It has a beautiful finished look. Ipe is attached with stainless steel screws or with hidden fasteners for a more polished finished appearance. As you can see from these pictures, if you want the best, choose Ipe.
If you are considering adding an Ipe Brazilian hardwood deck to your Kansas City area home, give us a call for a free consultation at (913) 851-3325 or drop us an email. We look forward to working with you to design the perfect new outdoor living space for your home.