Connecting with a screen porch expert is an important as connecting the porch to your home

Our design series on screened porches continues with an in-depth look at roof styles and the importance of choosing the correct connection to your home.

Are you looking for a backyard experience without the rain, bugs and dangers caused by the sun?A screened porch is the perfect solution. Enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells without the bugs, rain, and too much sun.

A lot of our customers look for our guidance on the type of screen porch roof and where to attach a new porch to their home. Consulting an experienced builder is the key to success in this area. Your existing home’s structure will often dictate where we can tie in and what type of roof will work best for your project. Existing roof lines, dormers, windows, existing skylights, bump out areas such as bay windows and many other factors are considered.

Selecting the right roof style

The three most common roof styles are gable, hip and shed. It is not always necessary to make your screened porch roof an exact match to the style of your existing home. Often different roof styles can be combined to complement one another. Shed roofs are usually not as complex as a gable or hip roof, and are the least expensive to build.

  • A hip roof has 3 or more sides that all slope downward from a common point
  • A gable roof is the most popular. It looks like a triangle with two sides sloping down from a center line
  • A shed roof is a flat roof that slopes in one direction from the home

This Arlington screened porch has a shed roof which unifies the modern lines of the existing home. It also features a unique spiral staircase.

Arlington, OH screened porch with spiral staircase shed roof with tie-in

This lovely screen porch features a hip roof.

Hip roof screen porch Archadeck of Charlotte

A side wall connection and gable style roof adds to the charm of this screened porch.

Columbus gable roof screened porch with sidewall connection

Making the right connection

The next determination is where to attach the screened porch to your existing home. This can be achieved through a roof tie in or a sidewall connection.  Indeed in most situations a roof-tie in connection is more expensive than a sidewall connection. Roof tie-in connections require greater experience and expertise to make the connection structurally sound and water tight.  It is important to make sure your contractor is or employes a roofing specialist when hiring them to attach a structure to your home.

This screen porch was built with a gable roof and  also includes crickets. Crickets are used to tie one roof line cohesively into another and also aid in diverting water away from the roof.

gable roof with crickets

This sidewall connection includes a cantilever which aids in the support of the 2nd story overhang and deflects the weight from the roof tie-in, to the structural framing of the porch.

gable roof with cantilever

Because this home has a flat roof we used a shed roof with a roof connection.

low grade shed roof

This roof connection also connects to the wall on the other side.

this roof connection also connects to the wall on the other side

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

Archadeck of Columbus is a national company. Our engineers design all the structural details of how each project is to be built whereas a lot of companies let the carpenters make the decision. In the field is where theory turns to practicality and having the right contractor can ensure the integrity of your new porch and your existing home. The goal is to have a cohesive design that looks original to your home. A successful project ends with a quality structure that harmonizes with all the elements of your home and landscape.

Contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn more about our custom screen porch designs and quality construction standards. Call us for a free consultation today (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

See more screened porches that were built with originality and  expert craftsmanship at their core by visiting our screened porch gallery located on our website.

Columbus screen porch exterior choices by Archadeck of Columbus

As part three of our exclusive design series we explore the importance of choosing the right exterior finish for your covered outdoor space.

Columbus screen porch matches existing home perfectly
The exterior finish of this screened porch matches the existing home to a T.

I know that your screened porch inside is what you see on a regular basis. With that in mind, the exterior of your screened porch effects the view of your home as a whole. Our goal  on each project we design is to create a space that looks and feels original to your home.

Columbus screened porch with stucco exterior
This screened porch exterior is finished in stucco in the same color and texture as the house and looks original to the existing home.

Making it all match…

How do our designs make it all come together? The first step is to take cues from your existing home. A good option is to have the exterior of your space stained or painted to match the color of your home.  We can also match the fascia, trim, soffit and gutters to your homes existing hues.

9' walls with wrapped columns
The columns on this screened porch are painted to match the existing home.

Sometimes we try to match the colors used on your screen porch door to those of the windows and doors of your home. A good example of choosing a veneer which will tie your structure into your existing home from a design standpoint is through the knee wall portion of your porch. A knee wall runs the perimeter of your exterior space. Even a small scale knee wall takes up an area from 18 to 36 inches and can be a key area of your exterior finish focus. If your home is stucco, we would recommend finishing the knee wall with the same stucco on the outside finish. This is the same with a home that is vinyl, hardy plank or even brick, using the same materials as your home’s exterior on your knee wall will make the exterior cohesive with the exterior of your home. With brick and stone veneers sometimes it is difficult to get an exact match because specific colors of stone and brick are often discontinued. If this is the case we can match it to as close to the native veneer of your home as possible.

Columbus close end gable roof screen porch
This Columbus gable roof screened porch is a perfect example of a close end, finished design that adds continuity to the style of the porch and existing home.

Many homeowners are choosing to go with low-maintenance exterior finishes by using vinyl and PVC products on the trim, roof posts and roof beams. These elements offer ultra-convenience. Even small areas can be matched to keep the colors cohesive such as the aluminum framed screen inserts used in screen porch construction. If your home’s windows are trimmed in white we can special order the screen inserts in white as well.

Colors aren’t the only way to create a covered porch or screened porch that delivers a design in keeping with your home and architecture details. Taking advantage of shape, such as creating screen porch openings which match the shape of your home’s windows is another good way to pick up elements filled with originality and pulling them into your outdoor space. On a gable or gable-end roof design you may choose to keep this area open and screened or closed ended and finished to match the cues set forth through your home. It is all up to you.

Columbus contemporary screen porch exterior details
This contemporary style screened porch looks original to the house because the exterior is finished in the same style as the home. From color to roof style the space looks like it has always been there.
Columbus screened porch painted to match existing home
This exterior was painted to match the adjacent home, even down to the screened openings.

Think outside the box adds flair and pizzazz

Another viable option for keeping the originality of your design in focus is to compliment your homes color and architecture as opposed to replicating an exact match on the entire exterior. This can be achieved by adding new design elements such as fluted columns with extra trim which can be wrapped and finished in a complimentary color of your choice. With screen porches many homeowners like to go with a rustic, vintage cabin style design in all wood tones. Choosing a unique exterior for your screen porch design can add character and charm to your home, and many homeowners just don’t want everything to match. These one of a kind exterior finishes turn out wonderfully.

Columbus Timbertech XLM Sandridge Colored Deck with Screen Porch and Patio
This outdoor living combination includes a screened porch, twin decks and a stunning hardscape patio. Notice how the exterior finish compliments the entire backyard and the home.

While most of the screened porches we build are attached to the home, we build a small number of freestanding or detached porches. A good example would be a covered patio, or screened room that doubles as a poolside retreat. In these cases there is not as much need to match your home perfectly. We can pull out important elements to compliment your home and introduce new details in as well. Outdoor spaces such as these offer more design freedom than those that are in close proximity to your home in a side-by-side attached construction.

Open porch Columbus
Look closely at how the siding on the gable end of this covered porch matches that of the existing house.

Our goal is to deliver a space that delivers aesthetic and structural harmony by using compatible design elements. You never want your space to stick out like a sore thumb. You want a space to boost the appeal of your home and landscape and unify your surroundings.

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

If you foresee a covered porch, or screen porch in your horizon contact Archadeck of Columbus to help you choose the design that best suits your needs, your function and your lifestyle. Call for a free consultation today (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

You can see more inspiring  covered porch and screen porch designs by visiting our covered porch and  screen porch galleries located on our website.

Important considerations when deciding where to place your new Columbus screened porch

As part two of our design series, Archadeck of Columbus discusses the ideal place on your house to attach your screened porch.

Columbus OH Screen porch with flat ceiling
Placing your screened porch in the right spot is crucial to its function and aesthetics.

I know you have heard the phrase “location, location, location” in the world of real estate. Location is just as important in the addition of adding your new screened porch to your home and yard. When considering the addition of any outdoor structure to your home there are several factors to take into consideration. In essence about 95% of the screen porches we build are located on the back of the home; the remaining 5% are built as freestanding or detached structures or in locations other than the rear of the home.

Columbus OH Screen porch with pine tongue and groove detail
Notice the bay window through the window of this lovely screen porch, and the location of the door that enters into the home. All were important factors in determining where to place this porch.

Where, oh where on my house should my new screened porch be?

The most important consideration in deciding the best location for your screen porch is to address the spatial and functional needs that are important in regards to your lifestyle. If you are going to use your space for dining, for instance, you may choose to create an area within close proximity to your interior (or in some cases) your outdoor kitchen. Functionality is important in choosing placement that is ideal for your individual needs, but structural influences will usually dictate the most realistic area your screened porch should be.

A good exercise is to go into your backyard with a tape measure and think about where you want your boundaries to be and where you want to begin the screened porch. We recommend centering your back door in the space as a good place to start to get a good idea of  your desired starting and stopping points.

Structural influences such as doors and bump out swill dictate where your screened porch should begin and end. Utilities can also play a role in placement of your screened porch. Typically, when houses are built utilities like A/C units, water spigots, gas meters and vents are placed in the most inconvenient places in terms of adding on. In many cases we can work around the utilities or we can help to get them relocated.

Columbus OH Screen porch with skylights
By adding skylights to your screen porch you add an open, airy feel to the space and also let much-needed light into interior rooms in close proximity.

A consultation with a qualified and reputable builder is key when considering a screened porch addition because many times the design of your house and roof will dictate how and where the screened porch will tie into your home. If roof lines are an issue, a sidewall connection is the answer. A licensed professional will also consider the details that are often overlooked when considering the addition of a roofed structure such as loss of light within the home. Adding a screened porch can impact the amount of natural light that flows into your home. The roof for your new outdoor addition will likely affect the area within the home’s interior that is the closest in proximity to the new porch; this can many times be amended by the addition of skylights within your screen porch. We take all these factors into consideration when designing your new space because overlooking the smallest nuance can mean the difference in falling in love with your new outdoor space or leaving you with regret over the small things you should have considered before construction began.

If you are considering the addition of a combination outdoor structure that includes a screened porch and deck or patio combination then you need to consider additional factors such as harmony and flow and how each structure will function together. With combination structures the grade of your lot is also an important consideration. If you have a relatively flat area then consider adding a patio or deck. Patios are less expensive to build on a flat grade than a deck. If you have a steeper grade then the opposite is the case because a patio would require more aggregate and retaining walls.

Columbus Timbertech XLM Sandridge Colored Deck with Screen Porch and Patio
This outdoor living combination includes a screened porch, twin decks and a stunning hardscape patio. Notice how the structures, and the existing home harmonize as one.

No matter where you decide as the most advantageous location for your new screened porch it will likely become your favorite room in the house, and the space you gravitate to during the outdoor living season. With fall in the air now is the best time to begin your screened porch addition. You may even get to enjoy some of the colors of autumn from your new screened porch before the arrival of winter.

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

Contact Archadeck of Columbus to help you decide on the perfect porch, or outdoor living combination as well as the perfect way to tie it all together. Call for a free consultation: ( 740) 879 – 3730 Email:westcolumbus@archadeck.net

You can get more ideas for the perfect placement of your screened porch by visiting our screened porch gallery located on our website.

How do outdoor furnishings dictate the design of your Columbus screened porch?

Archadeck of Columbus explores the importance of outdoor furnishings in a screened porch design as part one of a two part series on decorating and interior design of outdoor structures. The area you envision may be quite different than the reality of that space without the guidance of an outdoor living expert.

This Zen inspired screen porch in Upper Arlington, OH
This Zen inspired screen porch in Upper Arlington, OH is a great example of good space allocation in regards to furnishings and spatial harmony.

When you think of your ideal outdoor space, what do you envision? Certainly an empty space doesn’t come to mind. Outdoor furnishings make your outdoor room a living breathing space full of function and beauty just like the contents of our interior rooms are the things that truly make our house a home.

The most important thing when designing a screen porch  is determine exactly how you will use the room. With our interior rooms, we don’t have this flexibility. Our only option is to work with the space and layout that “comes with the house”. But your new screen porch can and should be designed completely to suit how you want to live.For example, are you planning on using your porch for dining, seating or both?

Powell Ohio Screened porch
This Powell, OH Screened porch uses the classic lines of wicker furnishings and dramatic interior reveals to make a bold design statement.

When we work with homeowners, once the homeowner determines the main use of their screened porch, we then discuss the furnishings that they wish to include. And we discuss this in detail. You’ll see why this is so important.

For example, deciding what shape and size you anticipate your outdoor dining table to be will determine the amount of space you need down to the square footage. Ample space for furniture pull-out room and creating enough space for good path and traffic flow is crucial to the enjoyment you will get out of using your space. Too much furniture, or furniture that is too big for your outdoor space will crowd the space and make it less livable and enjoyable. This is the reason that many times I walk the homeowners into their interior living rooms where we take measurements. This gives them an example of how much room they need for seating and eating.

Columbus screen porch with classic wicker furnishings
Notice how this Columbus, OH screened porch leaves plenty of room for pull out room to comfortably use the dining table, as well as traffic flow.

Utilizing experience and some math, we can determine the minimal square footage you will need to accomplish your outdoor living goals.

Here’s an example. As a general rule of thumb a standard outdoor dining table encompasses an area 6 feet long and 42 inches wide. Each chair will add an additional two feet to this. Ample pull out room for each chair will add another two feet per chair. This adds up to a space that takes up a 12′ x 12′ area. In addition to dining tables, most homeowners want a place for seating as well, which will take up additional space. Once you add side tables and accompaniment pieces, you are looking at more space than most homeowners had anticipated for their furnishings.

Screen porch with Chippendale panel details
This Screen porch with Chippendale panel details features an open airy design with plenty of room for entertaining.

One of our goals as an outdoor living structure expert is to provide you with an outdoor space that will fit your furniture as well as your lifestyle. The furnishings you choose aren’t the only factor that dictates the size of your screened porch. How it attaches to your home and proper placement is also a crucial factor of how large your area can be.

Having your furnishing ideas in mind before you meet with your contractor is very important. You don’t have to purchase prior to our consultation, but it’s great to have some specific ideas about how you want to use the room and what furniture you will add. For example, if you are thinking of adding a table that seats 4 but want 6 chairs, that will add a couple feet of needed space to accommodate the use of those chairs.

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

Contact Archadeck of Columbus to learn more about choosing the right size outdoor space to suit your needs. We can customize a screen porch design that will become your new family room. Call for a free consultation today (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

See more examples of well-designed  screen porches that offer plenty of function and beauty by visiting our screen porch and outdoor living photo galleries located on our website.

A design conversation with our own design expert sheds light on creating good overall space design for your outdoor living structure

Our own design and installation expert, Rob Mitchell, discusses the elements of creating a memorable outdoor structure, or combination of outdoor structures, in your backyard.

Patio, deck and fire pit combination in Dublin, OH
This patio, deck and fire pit combination in Dublin, OH shows the use of curves to achieve harmony, flow and beauty in the overall design.

Recently, our resident patio and hardscape expert shared some of his thoughts on the fundamentals of hardscape design.  Rob Mitchell is our patio and hardscape expert and is truly a craftsman.  He shared with me the basics that go into creating a magical outdoor space, and also the key elements that need that go into the recipe for aesthetic appeal, good function and convenience. In many instances our customers bring some of their own ideas to the table, Rob is able to take these ideas and translate them into the design in ways that are quite impressive. In design, every space is different, and should be treated as such.  We like to see something develop and enjoy working with homeowners through the entire process.

Archadeck_Columbus_paver_patio_architectural_Rendering
No stone is left unturned when we prepare your architectural rendering.

How arc and tangent play a role in good design

The initial thing we try to do with the design of each outdoor structure is to create a grand entrance into the structure, or a grand entrance exiting the structure. This goes back to the old cliché’ that ” first impressions mean everything”. This could not be more true, the first impression sets the tone and expectation for the design in its entirety. We usually achieve this through the staircase that leads you into the structure itself.  We use a great deal of arc and tangent design that incorporate the use of curved lines. Curved lines soften the back of your home, are more intriguing than straight lines, and offer more opportunities within the design to serve specific function. For instance, using curves and circles within the areas that you wish to designate for living and conversation areas versus dining areas. The decks from the past were squares and rectangles, using arc and tangent leaves more room for open creativity and lends the design to connect the curves with no flat spots so the design is seamless and continuous. Arc and tangent promote flow and harmony as you move from one structure to another, or from each area of designated function into another. Circles and curves are more relaxed and easier and more visually appealing to connect to.

The hot new trends are destined to become timeless classics

Design statements can also be made through the use of colors and textures.  Most of the time our customers allow us to pick the colors. In general, with patios and hardscapes, earth tones are very popular right now. We are seeing a trend towards the use of larger pavers with natural stone texture, similar to a rock texture on the top. One of the ways in which we like to add drama to  our hardscape designs is to change direction in which we lay the materials for our patios. Often times, we will lay the pavers soldier course around the patio and have a 45 degree angle. This spices the design up a bit. We also like to use seating walls with lighting and banding. The use of  retaining walls and planters blend especially well with a patio/deck combination structure because it adds height without creating a stark contrast. Thinking “outside the box” , by using arc and tangent when it comes to outdoor living designs offers more flow and harmony within the structure itself and makes it a joy to look at as well.

Columbus_paver_patio_plan
This paver patio design shows the way in which we use arc and tangent.

We are also building a large number of outdoor fire pits and fireplaces to partner with our deck and patio combinations. Letting Archadeck of Columbus design a custom feature such as this promotes continuity of the custom feel and we can pull accents from your home to make it a cohesive design. Rob said, ” if he won the lottery himself, he would build a deck/patio/outdoor fireplace combination in his own backyard.” This speaks volumes on the impact adding an outdoor fireplace or fire pit can make in your own backyard!

The only thing we would like to see people do more with is integrated patio lighting.  Good lighting creates an ambiance, not necessarily in areas that it would perform function, but to create more mood. Adding light to areas such as risers in stairs, beneath seating walls, or even as a banding in the border of a patio will create mood. Unilock pavers actually offer a glowing luminescent  paver to use in borders or as banding, it is not cheap, but the effect is well worth the cost.

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

If you are ready to design an outdoor space that fulfills your every want and need, contact Archadeck of Columbus to design your backyard masterpiece. (740) 879 – 3730 westcolumbus@archadeck.net

See more of our patio and hardscape designs and outdoor fireplace and fire pit designs by visiting our patio and hardscape gallery, and our outdoor fireplace and fire pit design gallery, both located on our website.

The Design Series: Considerations When Finishing Out Your Screened Porch

Part two of our Design Series on screened porches focuses on considerations when finishing out your screened porch. How to use natural light to optimize enjoyment and the importance of envisioning traffic flow.

Where the sun hits your structure during the day for warmth and natural light is an important consideration

Now that you have defined how much space you need for your screened porch it is time to decide how to finish out your space. There are many considerations that come into play when deciding how to finish out your screened porch, one of which is probably one of the most important… where and how will the room receive it’s light?

When planning on building a screened porch or other outdoor structure it is crucial to detect which direction it will be receiving the sun. If your structure is in direct sunlight it will stay too warm, and if it is completely in the shade it may not get warm enough. You want to place your structure for maximum utilization of free light with consideration to how much heat you want from the sun.

Considering you will lose a certain amount of sunlight when you install a roof on your structure you have to look for ways to overcome that loss. Positioning the porch where you can take advantage of the light coming in from other windows in relation to your house is an option. A gabled roof will also let more light pass through. Remember the west side of the home usually has the most light, and heat, this will also have to be a consideration when considering placement of your screened porch. When placement of your screened porch is not open to many options there are other ways to obtain that much-needed light, such as skylights. Skylights add beauty and function to your screened porch. There are also many outdoor lighting and ceiling fan designs on the market now that cater to the screened porch. These lights and fans are safe to use outdoors in a screened porch setting and come in enough styles to suit any taste.

A screened porch with good traffic flow

Another key factor of finishing your screened porch is the traffic flow. We typically put the door near the house, but in some cases this may not work. Door positioning is important in relation to your furniture and you have to take into consideration how that furniture will be used and will it be in the path of traffic when in use? You always want a smooth traffic flow around your furnishings whether they are in use or not currently in use. Take into consideration the door swing as well, you wouldn’t want the door to swing open against a piece of furniture. You want a clear, open traffic flow, so you and your guests can move about in harmony throughout your structure for maximum enjoyment.

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

At Archadeck of Columbus we can meet with you to plan your perfect screened porch. We have experience in turning your dreams into a reality. We can help you decide the placement of your screened porch and plan all the little important details. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are here to help you every step of the way.(740) 879 – 3730

The Design Series – Considerations in Constructing a Screened Porch- How Big Should your Screened Porch Be?

Part one of our “Design Series” about considerations when constructing a screened porch. How big should your screened porch be? Archadeck of Columbus gives you helpful hints on ways to determine the best size screened porch to fit your needs and lifestyle.

How big should my screened in porch be? This is a question many of our clients ask us when considering the addition of a screened in porch. We like to meet with our clients in the planning stages so we can devise a plan on the size their particular structure needs to be to fit all their needs.

Large screened porch with fireplace

The first factor we need to discuss when considering how large to build the screened porch is what will it predominately be used for? Will it be used for dining or gathering, or both? What else will it be used for?

A good rule of thumb if you are planning to use the screened in porch as an outdoor dining area is to chart how large it needs to be by going into your dining room and measure it. An addition is sometimes hard to visualize when it’s not furnished, and going into your actual dining room space with furniture will set a realistic goal to judge how much room you will actually need.

Screened porches add outdoor living space

Another question we ask our clients is the size of the furniture which will be used inside the screened porch. If  you will be using it as an outdoor dining area, have you decided upon a table yet? If so, how big is it? If not how big do you want your table to be? You always want to leave a clearance area of about four feet outside the table so you have ample room to walk around the table when it is not in use, and plenty of room to pull out the chairs to a comfortable distance when in use. If you are sitting back after eating, we recommend additional space. These are the sorts of things you may not think about. But, you really have to envision yourself living in the space you are thinking about all the way down to the size of the table and how you and your guests will congregate around the table and the other furniture.

Screened porch used for dining

There are some more things to think about. Will you be adding perimeter furniture such as couches, chairs, tables or decorative furniture pieces? If the answer is yes, then you will want to plan for those additional pieces to fit comfortably and not overcrowd your usable living space. Some of our clients use their screened porch as an outdoor living room. If you are thinking about using your outdoor room as an outdoor living room, go into your living room and measure the room and furniture in the same manner.

Beautiful view of screened porch and patio at dusk

We are always asked the question is there a “standard” or “common” size for a screened porch? They vary quite a bit, but 12×14 and 14×16 are quite common sizes. The dimensions of the screened porch come into play more with a covered area because when you put a roof over it, it becomes defined. The screened porch must be able to accommodate your furniture comfortably and leave enough space in between to be able to flow through the room easily. This is why planning is so important.

Archadeck of Columbus can meet with you and create a design rendering taking all of your individual needs into consideration. We treat each screened porch we design as unique and individual. A design rendering will help  you visualize your dream, and then we can start from there, bringing the dream to life. Give us a call to get the ball rolling (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

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