It wasn’t so long ago that screened porches were built with utilitarian purposes in mind. Their job was to keep the bugs, and the rain, off of you. Historically, in rural areas and before air conditioning became commonplace, many people used a screened porch as a bunk room (sometimes referred to as a sleeping porch) on particularly sweltering summer nights.
Digging a little deeper into the archives, you will learn that the use of window screens started as soon as people began framing windows. References to window screens can be traced back to 1823. The earliest screens were made of wood, ceramic and stone. Their purpose was to provide protection from animal and human intruders but still allow some light and ventilation into a building. Cloth screens came along and provided protection from dust and insects and allowed some light to enter. During the 1840s, Gilbert and Bennett Manufacturing Co. of Redding, Connecticut, invented affordable wire mesh window screens.
I myself can remember fishing trips I enjoyed in my youth and the way the fishing camp I frequented utilized a screened room as their bait station. The structure consisted of a wooden floor with simple framed posts with screened openings. The sole purpose of the porch was to keep bait safe from flies. Definitely not a place you would want to spend the night!
Fast forward to the modern screened porches homeowners crave today. Yes, they keep out bugs, allergens, debris and rain. However, they have become an extension of our homes and an oasis for outdoor living. Modern screened porches are now designed to include many comforting and convenient amenities like fireplaces and televisions, much like you would find in any other room of your home. The screened porch is essentially a more relaxed, casual room addition to the rest of your home.
Anyone who has experienced one has to admit that a screened porch is a wonderful addition to any house. A screened porch offers the breezes, scents, sounds and sights of being outdoors – but without the bugs and the blazing sun. Rough and tumble has its own charm, but these days most homeowners enjoy relaxing under the ceiling fan while listening to their surround sound audio system.
Contact Archadeck of Columbus today to discuss our stunning porch and screened porch designs. Our consultation is completely free. You can reach us at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at email@example.com. We look forward to your call.
As part two of our 3-part series exploring top design trends, Archadeck of Columbus explores the top 16 trends in decks among homeowners in our region, and all across the country.
Archadeck of Columbus is in what many would call an enviable position. We have the opportunity to meet with homeowners around Columbus throughout the year and get to hear what they like, what they are looking for and what type of things they are contracting us to build in their backyards. As 2013 will soon be drawing to a close, we would like to share some of the trends we’re seeing on the front line.
As part two of this 3-part series exploring top design trends, Archadeck of Columbus explores the top 16 trends we’ve seen in our market.
#1) The use of roofed structures on top of decks – Currently, we are seeing a high demand for roofed structures on decks. Roofed outdoor structures include covered porches, screened porches and even 3- and 4-season rooms. The trend toward these covered structures indicates that homeowners are entertaining more and investing in their home’s living space more via the outdoor room. Having a roofed structure adds both shade and comfort to a deck space.
#2) Combination of a deck with other structures such as a patio or porch -The great part combining your deck with a porch or patio, is that it is the perfect add-on to give you those multiple outdoor living areas that you really want. A patio can be added with a new or existing deck at any time. Adding a patio to your deck is a great way to spice it up and put that spark back into your outdoor entertaining as well enhance the beauty in your backyard. Adding a porch will extend the function of your outdoor space and provide shade and shelter from inclement weather. If considering a screened porch and deck combination, you will also gain protection from hungry insects too!
#3) The availability of more affordable composites for your deck – Up until recently, all high-quality composites came with a price tag to match. There has been a new addition to the composite line called TimberTech Terrain. Terrain is a wood and plastic capstock product that is similar in many ways to the popular Earthwood Evolutions line. The Terrain line features a thinner profile, similar to the TimberTech Reliaboard line, but with the same attributes that makes homeowner’s flock to the Earthwood Evolutions line at about 30% lower cost.
#4) More available decking board textures – New synthetic decking materials have a little more cleft in them which replicate more of a natural wood texture. Many decking companies are doing their best to make synthetics look far more like real wood than in years past.
#5) Contrasting color choices – Combining contrasting rails and decking add character and style to your deck. Even if you are considering a deck built with wood, you can stain your railing a different color to add contrast.
#6) The use of thin profile aluminum or cable railing – Thinner, lower profile railing will not impede visibility into your backyard or outdoor space.These include architectural rail such as Feeney Cable rail and many others. Not only will using less obtrusive railing open up the view, it gives your deck an upscale elegance with a contemporary feel. If using wooden decking, you can also get the same effect by using more upgraded pickets.
#7) Integrating different colors within the deck itself – Today’s decks aren’t always one color. Archadeck of Columbus is constantly asked to integrate additional colors into homeowners’ decks through picture framing and parting boards. Additional colors are sometimes used to highlight a specific part of the deck, such as a dining or living area. By adding colors you can also accentuate the dimensions of your deck. By thinking outside the box when using colors, you can turn your outdoor living space into a one-of-kind work of art!
#8) More use of exotic woods such as Ipe and other Brazilian hardwoods – There is a growing trend among homeowners choosing to build their deck with Brazilian hardwoods such as Ipe. Ipe is simply beautiful. Along with the rich wood tone and natural streaking that sets this exotic hardwood apart from all others, it is also strong – so strong in fact, holes need to be pre-drilled prior to installation. Ipe looks the part, and performs the part. It requires less maintenance than other hardwoods and when left untreated will weather to an elegant dove-gray over time.
#9) Deck lighting is a big trend – Lighting adds safety and ambiance to your deck. We install a huge amount of LED lighting into deck risers and posts, rail posts and even integrate lighting into the floor of the deck. Deck lighting will extend the function of your deck into the evening hours and give your space a romantic feel that invites you to linger a while longer.
#10) Stairs – Stairs are now wider and more decorative than the minimum code of 3 feet. We also design stairs that are more aesthetically interesting like flared stairs or landing with integrated seating. The reason behind this is because homeowners want wider stairs to create more seating options. It also helps balance larger and more elaborate deck designs.
#11) Multiple stairs for traffic flow – Archadeck of Columbus thinks about the flow of your entire backyard, not just the simplest way to get from here to there. We place heavy consideration on exactly where your stairs should be placed to offer the most benefit, and many times we integrate more than one set of stairs to add function and harmony to your space.
#12) Under deck systems for elevated decks – More and more, homeowners are looking to utilize the “under deck” so their elevated decks become viable outdoor living spaces. By implementing an under deck rainwater carrying system such as Dry Snap, or outdoor ceiling systems like Inside Out into an elevated or 2nd story deck, you can create a under deck space that functions like a covered porch or patio.
#13) Balusters – Options for balusters are huge! In terms of distinction and design, balusters come with a myriad of design options. These include balusters topped with decorative finials, arches, baroque styles and even integrated lighting with the baluster itself Archadeck of Columbus uses a lot of Deckorators balusters because they are a high-quality product that offers many options to the homeowner.
#14) Lattice is out – and so is skirting – Skirting is sometimes requested, but we do not recommend it because it takes away from the view and surrounding landscaping. In addition, a skirted portion of your under deck space can inadvertently become the perfect spot for wildlife.
#15) We foresee the trend towards more electrical considerations – Homeowners are now asking for some hardwired plugs within their new deck. These outlets are installed for varied purposes including plugging in space heaters, laptop computers and even to operate holiday lighting along their deck railings. As technology advances, so does the increase in varied places available to utilize those technologies, including outdoor spaces.
#16) Gorgeous outdoor furnishings and accessories – Even though we don’t build it, we would be remiss at not mentioning the benefit eye-catching furnishings and accoutrements add to your completed outdoor living space. Just like the suit is said to make the man, outdoor furniture makes the deck. Finishing out your space with comfy couches and chairs featuring oversized pillows is hugely popular, as is using pillows and cushions covered with weather resistant Sunbrella fabrics. Many of today’s contemporary outdoor furniture designs also use streamlined design with deeper seating with less of an emphasis on a slender leg. Stacked resin furniture is wildly popular right now. The trend we see throughout outdoor furniture design is taking the comfort and easy feel of your living room into the exterior. Homeowner’s are leaning toward outdoor furniture that mimics the comfort and loftiness of their favorite couch or easy chair but with low-maintenance outdoor fabric choices.
If you are starting to think about adding a new outdoor space to your Columbus area home, give Archadeck of Columbus a call for a free consultation. We can help you plan and design an outdoor space that suits your individual function with a cutting edge deck, patio or porch addition.
(740) 879 – 3730 firstname.lastname@example.org
Take a look at our extensive deck photo galleries by visiting our website today!
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.
This lovely screen porch features a hip roof.
A side wall connection and gable style roof adds to the charm of this screened porch.
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.
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.
Because this home has a flat roof we used a shed roof with a roof connection.
This roof connection also connects to the wall on the other side.
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
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.
Our finished screened porch project in Delaware proves that screened porches aren’t “one size or style fits all”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
Have you ever been flipping through your favorite home and garden magazine and seen an image that makes you wish you could have something just like it? If you are a proactive homeowner that is always looking for ways to improve upon your home or landscape then the answer is most certainly yes. These Powell, OH homeowners recently turned their dream of having a screen porch into a reality.
It all began when we initially sat down and met to get an idea of what they were looking to build. They told us that what they wanted most was a unique structure and they even gave us some pictures they had clipped out to use as a starting point for their project which showed a very finished structure that had wrapped beams and lots of architectural reveals on the inside and outside. The pictures provided valuable insight into developing the concept of the screen porch’s design. (see picture of clipping below). With the homeowner’s requests in mind we were ready to begin the design process.
The finished porch boasts an abundant 16′ x 16′ sq. feet of blissful outdoor living space which includes 9′ high walls which are higher than standard screen porch walls. High ceilings are becoming more and more popular and we like to build the walls of our outdoor structures to match the the walls inside the house on the adjoining room. Your outdoor room is truly an extension of your home.
In terms of trimming out this screen porch, we used “build-up” columns in the screen porches interior. In essence this means we actually build them up to make them appear larger and more finished. By having thicker columns in the middle, we were able to put sconce lights in the interior and these more robust columns add to the elegance of the entire room. When working with certain interior design aspects of an outdoor structure, bigger is usually better, it gives your finished room a richer feel.
We used Paulownia trim on the posts which comes ready to paint upon installation. On the floor the homeowners chose a pressure-treated pine floor laid on a diagonal pattern. Using pine adds a rustic, natural ambiance to a room like only real wood can, and choosing the diagonal patterning conveys a sense of creativity by steering away from the traditional pattern commonly seen in screen porches. These Powell, OH homeowners played on the rich lines and wood within the flooring and took it a step further by choosing an unfinished cedar tongue and groove ceiling. Also included were some little creature comforts and extras. These included a wall mount system for the homeowners TV, ceiling fans, and ample electrical outlets on those hearty posts.
Of course, the quality and sense of exclusivity was carried on to the exterior as well. We put architectural reveals on the outside with the use of additional trim that creates the appearance of a more layered look which shows shadow lines. We also installed siding on the exterior of the porch and painted it to make it look natural to the house. We used aluminum screen inserts and also placed white reveals around the screens to add character.
If you are looking for a builder that can deliver you a “picture-perfect” outdoor structure, contact Archadeck of Columbus to get started today call us at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Archadeck of Columbus explains when is the most opportune time to build your new deck and why.
Many of our Columbus homeowners ask me when is the best time to build a new deck? Many of you may think that the best time to build a deck is the spring, but the truth is, the best time to consider building a new deck may be in the winter. The best way to explain the reasoning behind a winter deck construction is what i would refer to as the “give and take” of the project. Give and take refers to the use of pressure treated wood during the winter months. The give refers to the woods expansion, and the take refers to the woods contraction that is caused by the effects of varying outdoor temperatures on the wood itself.
The first thing you have to remember when considering building any type of deck or other outdoor structure, whether the decking boards you choose are composite, PVC, vinyl, IPE or hardwoods the foundation of your structure will be constructed using pressure treated pine or another pressure treated wood. Wood curing is important to understand in relation to the wood’s natural tendency to “give and take”, and curing which occurs over the winter months offers many important benefits.
Pressure treated wood has a 50% moisture content when you initially build. This fresh lumber is sometimes referred to among builders as “green”. The winter has less humidity and thus the pressure treated wood will stabilize itself and dry more consistently and evenly when you build in the winter. On the other end of the spectrum a summer deck construction exposes the pressure treated wood to higher humidity conditions. In addition, when drying in the hot sun, pressure treated wood will undergo expansion and contraction which can cause cracking, warping and other damage to the wood itself. Due to the orientation of the sun during the winter months, the sun doesn’t beat down on your deck, and the pressure treated wood that holds the key to your project’s structural integrity will not undergo these negative effects.
Another benefit of building in winter is you will also experience less wait time and backlogs which are typical in spring and summer projects. Our typical waiting list is 8 weeks in the height of the season, during the winter you are likely going to cut that wait time in half. A winter project also causes less lifestyle interruption because homeowners typically spend less time outdoors and less time participating in outdoor activities during the colder months of the year. You will also experience less deterioration of the ground, and less turf damage during the winter months because of the dormancy period that Columbus landscapes experience through the cooler months.
Keep in mind that Archadeck of Columbus can also build your outdoor structure combination in stages. Winter is the perfect time to start the first stage of your desired outdoor living project. If you are considering a deck and patio combination for example, you can take advantage of our staged building option and build the deck this winter and then we can add the patio later into the spring. With Archadeck of Columbus’ staged building the choice is yours. Contact us today to learn more, call us at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at email@example.com
Archadeck of Columbus explores ways to utilize your screened porch well into the autumn or all year through by converting your screen porch into a 3 or 4 season room.
For many homeowners who have a screened porch they look at it as a structure that can only be used during the warmer months of the year and once the weather turns colder they can no longer spend time enjoying their screened structure. Many screened porches are treated much like a seasonal outdoor pool would be, opening in the spring only to close it down a few months later after the warmth of the sun has made its grand appearance and faded back behind the clouds of autumn. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are many ways to convert your screen porch into an outdoor living space that can be used beyond the end of summer and in some cases all year through. These conversions still take advantage of the whole reason you wanted a screen porch to begin with – the freedom and fresh air without the hassle of insects and the suns dangerous UV rays beaming down upon you and your family. These conversions won’t take away all the glory that is the screened porch, only enhance it and make it a livable addition to your home and backyard for extended season enjoyment.
A screen porch does have it’s limitations and in some cases only be used between five and six month out of the year. Screened porches can be converted into 3 and 4 season rooms that can be used for longer time periods throughout the year. If you are considering a new screened porch in your future and think you may want to convert the structure at some point, it is good idea to convey this to your builder so that certain prerequisites for conversion can be met ahead of time, such as the use of standard window sizes to make conversion easier and less hassle in the future.
Here is a look at some of the options available to screened porch owners who are thinking of a conversion:
The 3 season room
Converting a screened porch to a 3 season room can be as easy as adding windows. By adding windows you can take advantage of 3 or more months of enjoyment on your screened structure. All windows come with screens that can be used when that Indian summer arrives. Many homeowners use acrylic inserts that block out the weather and when the temperatures dive into a less comfortable zone you can easily add a space heater to add warmth on those days when the windows won’t block a sufficient amount of the chilliness to keep you comfortable while using your screen porch. Vinyl window inserts such as the Eze breeze porch enclosure system, are on a track system and can be opened and closed depending on the weather. Other manufacturers offer a double-paned insulated window that can also be removed in the spring when the weather turns warm. The advantage of having windows and screens is you can amend how your structure functions season to season, and even day to day and customize how much of the outside you want to let inside. Artistic enclosures makes a wonderful swing and slide window wall that is perfect when considering a conversion to a 3 season room for your screened porch.
The 4 season room
The difference in a 3 season room and a 4 season room is the addition of insulation. These structures can be used throughout most of the year. Insulation is added to the kneewalls, ceiling and underneath the floors. On existing screened porches this requires enclosed walls be re-opened to add the insulation. Making the decision to convert to a 4 season room is based on how often you feel you would use the structure during the cooler months of the year. A 4 season room will still need to have a heating source, whether this heating source is a heat pump or a new MEHVAC unit such as Mitsubishi’s ductless heating and cooling unit, which are engineered to efficiently heat or cool and individual space the functionality of the space throughout the year for you and your family is the deciding factor when thinking of converting to a 4 season room.
No matter how you choose to convert your screen porch, Archadeck of Columbus can help you with our years of experience in converting screen porches to better suit the colder months of our Ohio climate, that can sometimes be harsh. Archadeck of Columbus can meet with you to discuss which conversion would best suit your needs and your lifestyle. Contact us today at (740) 879 – 3730
To see more stunning 3 and 4 seasons rooms by Archadeck of Columbus visit our Columbus screen porch photo gallery.