Archadeck of Columbus breathes life into this new home in Westerville, OH, complete with all the trimmings

020Picture this: A table full of mouth-watering appetizers, the smoker in high gear emanating a to-die-for aroma and your family and friends laughing around this beautiful custom-built fire pit. You may be surprised to know that when Archadeck of Columbus first consulted on this project, the lot only contained a beautiful new construction home surrounded with barren earth.

Westerville OH outdoor living space designs

This project was a true test of building from the ground up. With not even a single blade of grass on the property, we enjoyed designing how the landscaping would complement the hardscape design and how the hardscape would complement the home.

Westerville OH fire pit builder

This multi-function living this hardscape patio is chock full of design elements that are as functional as they are cohesive to the overall design. From the retaining wall that provides extra seating room to the extra wide fire pit cap for resting your beverage, this space was designed to deftly host larger groups as well as host intimate gatherings. All can enjoy the perfect countryside setting with this delightful outdoor space nestled within this woodsy yard.Westerville OH terraced stone retaining wall

Maximizing curb appeal was a must. The landscaping included a unique stone wall using chunky limestone of varying size. The landscaping includes terraced beds and select tree plantings creating a serene yet elegant feel in this space.

Westerville OH Patio Builder

This Columbus hardscape patio and fire pit was designed and built using Unilock Beacon Hill flagstone pavers with a charcoal Holland stone border giving life to the true rustic nature. The hardscape includes two distinct outdoor living areas including the seating area and the versatile outdoor living area anchored with the custom built fire pit. The deep neutral tones of the hardscape create a rustic elegance for this space.

Westerville OH Covered Porch Builder

The design continues to the open porch on the back of the home. The porch provides a covered outdoor living area for those days where some sun protection is needed. A covered porch also provides a small amount of rain protection and keeps falling leaves out of sandwiches on the porch patio. Notice the complex roof attachment that was made to look easy through this design.Westerville OH Covered Porch Builder

We truly enjoyed starting fresh on this blank canvas of an outdoor space. With the freedom to design the patio, landscaping and open porch we were able to keep a cohesive theme throughout. If you’re looking to maximize your outdoor spaces give Archadeck of Columbus a call (740) 879 – 3730, or email us at We look forward to connecting with you.

Archadeck of Columbus team
The Archadeck of Columbus team.

When the architectural design solution is not as simple as it seems…

Our finished screened porch project in Delaware proves that screened porches aren’t “one size or style fits all”.

This is what the deck looked like before we converted it to a screened porch.
Delaware screened porch and patio underneath
Our screened porch project in Delaware is finished and the homeowners are elated!

Not so long ago we covered a project we were working on in Delaware where the homeowners wanted to convert their existing deck into a screened porch. At first glance, this request seemed simple enough. The obvious choice was to just place the screened porch where the deck was using a gable roof to match the home’s existing gable style jut outs which were on the back of the home. Sometimes when really looking at roof connections and house connections the design and construction isn’t as simple as it appears to be.

Stunning view from Delaware screened porch through structural details
The view and the design of this screen wall, are breathtaking. Can you imagine having your morning coffee looking into this each morning?

After looking at the roof connections, it became apparent that the drainage from the two adjoining gables would cause water to drain from those gables directly into the screened porch so we needed to find an architectural solution to overcome that obstacle. When other contractors would have told these Delaware homeowners the space wasn’t workable, we made it work with careful specifications and well thought out design.

The large elevated screen porch was placed in the location of the homeowners existing deck, which includes a walkout below and serves as a patio underneath the porch as well. The scope of the job was to remove the old deck and build a screened porch that encompassed an area of about 12 x 14. We had to design a porch 13′ in the air for the roof tie in we were looking for. Because the home was part of a condo association, we had to ensure every facet of the new structure matched the existing home, this included the trim, exterior finishes, and everything else that was included in the new space.

In matching the design to the existing home we wrapped the column supports with Pawlonia. We also used a kneewall with hardy plank for the exterior finish. On the interior, the customer chose PVC ply bead and an enclosed rafter system with a beadboard finish. We installed four Velux skylights that provided lots of can lights, low voltage lighting, and a stunning ceiling fan. The flooring is Trex in saddle and so are the wide stairs leading down to the patio below. We used white vinyl railing to compliment the landing and stairs. Underneath the porch we installed a underdeck drainage system called Dry Snap.

Delaware screened porch interior
To add even more light and a chance to enjoy the clouds as they roll through a blue sky, we installed 4 Velux skylights.

Archadeck of Columbus loves working with the client, the lot, the area we have to work with and any nuances or challenges we have to overcome to deliver you a finished product you are seeking.

Interior details of Delaware screen porch
Interior details of the finished porch.

The finished screened porch is a beautiful, functional use of the space allocated by the previous deck’s location. The porch looks as though it was original to the home and boasts some of the most amazing views into the backyard. These Delaware homeowners could not be more pleased.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Contact Archadeck of Columbus today if you have been told by other builders that the outdoor space you desire isn’t possible, we would like to hear your ideas and your vision. More often than not, we can make your dream a reality. Call for a free consultation: (740) 879 – 3730

You can see more stunning screened porches that double as works of art by visiting our screened porches photo gallery located on our website.

Challenges in placement and roof style of adding a porch or sunroom to the back of your home. A case study in Columbus.

Do you know all the factors that affect where you can build a deck or porch or other structure on the back of your home? Read this article to learn about these factors.

Oh, the challenges we face.

Many of my customers decide they want a new structure whether it be a deck or porch or sunroom. They go to the back of their house and decide exactly where they want it to be. Then I show up and often feel like the bad guy because I have to present a list of reasons why that won’t work. I don’t want to be a downer but my job as a professional builder is not to jimmy rig something to fit where it doesn’t fit but to tell the client why that will or won’t work. When deciding where to place an outdoor addition, we need to consider existing windows and roof lines so the new structure will work aesthetically and functionally.

Windows as challenges in attaching new roofed structures.

When attaching a new structure, we cannot attach the roof where windows sit. Often the placement of the second story windows makes this a huge challenge especially as it relates to attaching a roof. Depending on the style of roof (Gable, Hip or Shed) we have to accommodate this by either keeping roof line below the window(s) or building the new roof to cover them.  Another aspect homeowners should consider is how much light will be obstructed with a new roof.

Consider the sun

Another big consideration is the direction of the back of your home. Will your new structure get lots of sun or very little? How will that sun affect the light that enters the back of your house? You may love the way the light pours through the windows on the back of your house – at the very spot where you want your new sunroom or porch to go. The porch will then enjoy that streaming sunlight but your light inside the home will be affected. But I want you to be happy year after year in your new porch or sunroom. I don’t want you to feel like you made a mistake because of how it changes the amount of light in your favorite room. I don’t want to build it in such a way that the sunlight is so overwhelming on one side of your porch that you only want to use it at certain times of day. I treat you like I would my brother or family member. I want to use my experience to guide you in making the best decision.

This one was REALLY a challenge

Take a look at the picture below showing the back of this home. The family wanted to convert their deck into a screen porch. Looking at the back of the home, it’s pretty much of a no brainer right? The obvious choice would be to put the screen porch where the deck was. And, also obvious was to use a gable roof. We always want to make the roof style fit with the home. In this case, you can see 3 gable roofs on the back of the home so using a gable style would fit right in. In addition, using a gable was perfect because it would extend over the existing half dome window and not cause any problems with other windows.

Columbus conversion to screen porch
The customer wanted to convert this deck into a screened porch

As it turns out, there was quite an architectural challenge in designing this screen porch. The first challenge was that the gable roofs on either side were a different heights and pitches so we needed to design something to work well with both adjacent gables.

One of the larger challenges that an inexperienced contractor might not think of was water drainage. If you look at the adjacent gable roofs and imagine the screen porch abutting up to them, the water coming off those other roofs is going to flow right down into the screen porch.

In this scenario, water would drain right down from the adjacent roof into the screened porch

Take a look at how this design would work if no accommodation was made for the water flow and appropriate drainage. In order to fix that problem, we engineered cricket roofs to divert running water away from the screened porch.

Cricket roof diverts drainage water away from screen porch
Cricket roof diverts drainage water away from screen porch

As noted above, working with architectural elements on the home can be a challenge and is a major factor in the design. This home not only had a large elevated half-round window that they wanted to keep but they also had a vent on the back of the house that we needed to work around.

As you can see in the final design below, we were able to accomplish all of the architectural challenges while still creating a stunning structure that would look like it was built with the original home.

Delaware townhome screen porch with gable roof Columbus OH Archadeck of Columbus
You can see how the gable roof fits in beautifully with the architecture of the home. You can also see how the screened porch is finished to match the look of the room to a tee.

Our work at this Delaware home is in progress so we look forward to sharing pictures once we’ve finished. One thing that isn’t apparent in this picture is matching the materials. Often one of the first questions people ask me is “Can you make it look like it was made to go with our home?” The answer almost all of the time is yes. We hunt down roof shingles, paint colors, siding, gutters and other materials to match your new structure to your home.

The deck of this home used Trex composite decking. We were able to extend the stairs by using the same decking material for a perfect match.

On this particular home, we are working with a stucco exterior. Stucco is a challenge because it is thin mortar and is brittle. When attaching the structure to the home, very special care and attention is paid to working with the stucco on the home’s exterior.

As we mentioned before, adding a roofed structure to your home will affect the light into your home. In many of our screened porches and sunrooms we add Velux skylights. These not only bring more light into your new room but allow for more natural light into the adjoining room in your home.

As you can see, it’s really important to work with an experienced outdoor builder. You might not want to work with a general contractor unless they have extensive experience in building outdoor roof structures. It’s a fair question to ask specifically how many screen porches or how many sunrooms they have built. When you are meeting with the builder, make sure they ask you a lot of these types of questions. Any contractor that takes a quick look at it and says “yup I can do it” is almost certainly not one you should work with. Also make sure that your builder is going to give you a design drawing. One person’s interpretation of specs can be a lot different than another’s. You want to make sure that you and your builder are on the very same page.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

We build throughout the greater Columbus area and would love to talk to you about a screen porch or another outdoor addition you are planning for your home. Give us a call at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at. Please also feel free to take a look at our website. You can see hundreds of great pictures of all sorts of outdoor projects.