This Gaithersburg screen porch and deck combination takes memorable to a new level

Gaithersburg screen porch

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The slideshow above gives a glimpse of what our design meeting will be like. When we propose and illustrate a solution to our clients, we show them a true-to-life rendering and show it from the various important angles so the homeowners know exactly what they will be getting.

Gaithersburg screen porch builder

This Gaithersburg screen porch and deck combination lends plenty of room for rest and relaxation

These Gaithersburg  homeowners came to us with a full walkout basement on their 18-20 year old existing home and asked that we create a screened porch and deck combination that they can enjoy everyday. They wanted the type that would transport them back to a time when the days moved a little slower and the pressures of the everyday were non-existent. They wanted the design to provide functionality and style. We were able to give these homeowners both with a rustic screen porch that is reminiscent of the screened porches we enjoyed when we were all children. The kind of structure that takes you back to a time of fewer worries, more fun and a lot more time to relax.

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This angle of the custom design rendering shows how Archadeck of Central Maryland and Archadeck of Montgomery County solved the roof height concern.

When we first began construction on this Gaithersburg screened porch, we were concerned because the roof lines were a challenge with the garage roof being one story and the existing home being a two-story roof. Wherein lies the challenge that half the roof was over the garage and half was over the home.  We love the challenge in overcoming even the most difficult challenges to find a design solution. We utilize design software to help us illustrate these challenges once we create a design solution to fit the homeowners’ needs and design challenges.  We were able to present these Gaithersburg homeowners with a professional design rendering that encompassed everything they wanted and more. This is perhaps the most fun part of the job – being able to come up with creative solutions.

Gathersbur screen porch with attached deck

The new location of the stairs adds more accessibility into the backyard.

Our solution was to re-structure the homeowners’ existing deck to support the weight of the screened porch. We then enlarged the deck to provide a barbecue area adjacent to the screened porch.We usually find that when homeowners add a screened porch to their deck area they don’t need as much of an open outdoor area as they would if they did not have the advantages of a screened porch. Homeowners end up utilizing their deck space for a barbecue or grilling area and additional seating and dining. We then relocated the stairs to provide access to the backyard. The enlarged deck was then  re-decked with TimberTech composite decking in beautiful twin plank in redwood. This color choice adds to the rustic charm of the entire structure. To complement the new deck, we used black Deckorators balusters.

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This Gaithersburg screened porch is big on rustic detailing and style

The screened porch is designed with an open screened gable to provide ample light and ventilation. This open and airy design element is further carried out with the use of open, exposed rafters. The combination of the exposed rafters and the open design of this screened porch gives it a country casual, rustic feel that is really popular among screen porch owners right now. Rustic never goes out of style, they are just more detailed versions of the beloved screen porches our parents had growing up.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandIf you are ready to be transported back in time to a time period when you could breathe easier and time seemed to stand still, the addition of a magical outdoor structure may be the answer. Contact Archadeck of Central Maryland and Archadeck of Montgomery County to plan, design and build an unforgettable outdoor structure to make new memories within. (301) 926 – 3001
montgomeryco@archadeck.net or centralmaryland@archadeck.net

Columbia MD deck gets transformed into a screen porch. Can your deck be transformed into a screen porch?

Screen porch builder Columbia MD deck builder

This design rendering shows what the anticipated completed Columbia, MD structure will look like.

Who doesn’t love spending time on their deck? Decks are great for entertaining, grilling out and soaking in the sun. However decks are “time sensitive”, meaning when the winds grow colder, or the autumn showers come to call you are deprived of many hours of enjoyment if a deck is your sole outdoor structure. One Columbia, MD porch builder is changing the way we look at decks by taking a portion of your deck, and in some cases the whole area, and turning it into an enclosed, insect free, rain-friendly haven screened porch or 3-season porch where you can welcome the beauty of the changing seasons without the harshness of the elements.

Columbia, MD deck before the transformation began.

This image shows the Columbia, MD deck before Archadeck of Maryland began the transformation.

That’s right. If your deck’s foundation is built to support a roof, you can covert all or a portion of your deck into a screen porch, open porch or enclosed room with a minimal amount of fuss. In this story Archadeck of Montgomery County and Archadeck of Central Maryland is converting a section of this Columbia, MD homeowners deck into a screen porch. We also go a step beyond a screened porch by using a convertible enclosure system that will extend this Columbia, MD homeowners enjoyment and use time well into the colder months.

This "before" photo shows the area where Archadeck of Maryland will be extending the overhang to accomadate the screen porch.

This "before" photo shows the area where Archadeck of Maryland will be extending the overhang to accommodate the screen porch.

This “in progress” transformation in Columbia, MD is proof positive that a screen porch doesn’t just need to be a screen porch.  This particular deck is located under the 2nd story overhang. We are expanding the overhang to accommodate the new living space and we will also be installing an accordion style folding screen door that will completely open up the area. In another portion we are going to be using an Artistic Enclosures system with sliding windows that also open completely. The homeowner wanted the enclosure to have the capability of being removable and also sliding. This is accomplished using the ScreenPlus contemporary system we are using to define the new space.

This area will encompass the  new Columbia, MD screened / enclosed porch.

This area will encompass the new Columbia, MD screened / enclosed porch.

Once completed this Columbia, MD home will have the capability for enjoyment for 3 if not 4 seasons. The combination of outdoor structures will also be conducive to entertaining on a grander scale with areas for conversation, dining or whatever these homeowners  have in mind.

This "before" photo shows the side of the  Columbia, MD home prior to  Archadeck of Maryland starting construction.

This "before" photo shows the side of the Columbia, MD home prior to Archadeck of Maryland starting construction.

You may ask ” is my deck able to be transformed in the same manner”? And, the answer lies within your deck’s structure itself. Archadeck of Central Maryland and Archadeck of Montgomery County discusses the idea of converting your deck into a screen porch, or enclosed porch and gives valuable insight and technical  advice on doing this at your home.

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Design rendering showing view from the side upon completion of Columbia, MD structure.

Can I Convert?

You may be able to convert with minimal effort, but in many cases the foundation will have to reinforced. In a screen porch scenario for example, you must have the capability to support the perimeter because that is where all the snow loading and roof load areas come into play. In this situation we will need to add footings at the perimeters where the walls attach. If your original deck was a permitted project to begin with, then there is a  possibility that you won’t need additional foundation reinforcement. A licensed, custom builder will be able to address any foundation concerns before you begin your conversion.  If you are building onto a deck that has decking boards that have gaps, then we install screen under the structure to keep insects out and may install skirting around it as well. When building a porch from the ground up and making it convertible, you will probably want to choose a flooring which contains no gaps. You also want to choose a material that ensures your boards won’t succumb to cupping, this is important when considering a lower grade material. Ventilation is also important when choosing your flooring material.

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This alternate view shows the completed structure in all its glory.

As you can tell, many consideration go into turning your deck, or a portion thereof, into a screen porch, covered porch or enclosed porch. A strong firm foundation is the important factor when deciding to transform your deck. Archadeck of Central Maryland and Archadeck of Montgomery County  can make sure your structure is strong from the ground up and can turn your deck into an all season place of refuge and enjoyment. Contact us today to learn more about deck to porch conversions and deck and porch combination outdoor structures. You can call us at (301) 926 – 3001 or send us an email at montgomeryco@archadeck.net or centralmaryland@archadeck.net

John Barrett Archadeck of Maryland

Top 5 reasons to build your screen porch this fall

Archadeck of Maryland outdoor space with gazebo, firepit, grill area, privacy fence and much more

This outdoor space has it all, a screened gazebo, fire pit and grill area all of which can add the utmost enjoyment during the fall months.

Fall comes into our lives each year like a daydream with visions of crimson and amber leaves set adrift on a fall wind, and the pleasant feeling of acorns falling from majestic oaks that play party to scampering chipmunks and squirrels. As one of the most dramatic seasons, autumn is best enjoyed as a front row spectator. The aromas, the mild temperatures and above all the flurry of colors can serve as an inspiration to your daily life from your very own outdoor structure. Imagine curling up on your chaise lounge with your favorite throw while enjoying a  cup of chai tea and witnessing the magic of the season up close and personal from your new screened porch. This scene is delicious, especially when you are flipping through a current issue of your favorite home and garden magazine and realizing the images within the pages don’t hold a candle to the beauty that is present in your very own backyard from your stunning custom outdoor structure with mother nature’s imagery as your backdrop.

Archadeck of Maryland screened porch

This screened porch by Archadeck of Maryland offers a vantage point to watch the leaves change.

Imagine the amount of fun and family memories that can be made in the fall while making smore’s on your very own outdoor fireplace or fire pit. The cool breezes, the warm enticing glow of the fire and the warmth of your loved ones around you. Fall is the perfect season to build your outdoor structure for many reasons, we have broken these reasons into a list of the top 5 to serve as much for inspiration as for guidance.

Top 5 reasons to build your outdoor structure this fall

#1) There is still time to enjoy- There is still plenty of time to enjoy your new structure this season. The upcoming weeks still hold the promise of nice enough weather to be able to enjoy your new structure.

#2) A front row seat to fall- The leaves in some areas are just now getting their tinges of fall color, with many weeks of beauty that lie ahead. Wouldn’t you rather see the season unfold from the comfort of your outdoor structure as opposed to looking at it from a window in your home. Fall is the definitely the prettiest time of the year to build.

#3) Get in on the savings- Undoubtedly, prices on low maintenance building materials are destined to go up again in 2012. Indeed they go up at the beginning of each year. If you start your construction in the fall, you will have the edge on saving money because you will have begun before prices rise again in the upcoming new year.

#4) Avoid the rush- You can avoid the rush on building during the spring when everyone else decides to get things started. In the fall there is not a long waiting period to begin your project, and come spring you will be “sitting  pretty” in your completed structure, while everyone else is still waiting to begin construction on theirs.

#5) Stop and smell the flowers- Many seasonal perennials can be damaged when the soil around them is disturbed during the extreme cold of winter or the excessive heat and humidity of summer. Uprooting or disturbing the soil and roots of plants like Rhododendrons and Azaleas which are commonly used as foundation plantings can damage the plant and leave the plant susceptible to disease, fungus and insects.

Outdoor fireplace on screened porch

An outdoor fireplace used within a screened porch can add warmth as well as offer an intimate setting for chilly autumn nights.

Another great benefit of building your outdoor structure in the fall is being able to take advantage of all those end of-season discounts on accoutrements  and accessories for your outdoor space such as outdoor furniture, grills and decorative items. Autumn is the time for deep discounts on these items and can give you the ability to stretch your dollar further than if you were purchasing these items in peak season.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandIf you are ready to jump into fall, and get a head start on enjoying the benefits of an outdoor structure such as a screened porch, covered porch, covered patio, deck or outdoor fireplace, contact Archadeck of  Central Maryland  and Archadeck of Montgomery County to learn more. (301) 926 – 3001
montgomeryco@archadeck.net
centralmaryland@archadeck.net

An open porch/covered porch or screened porch – that is the question. See what these Highland MD owners chose.

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Archadeck of Maryland captures the charm and beauty of a by-gone era in covered porch design

When I think of the concept of an open porch design my mind drifts to the grace of a structure constructed with white columns where you spend the late afternoon relaxing and sipping iced tea. This image takes me back to a time when things were simpler and the world moved a little bit slower.  The covered porches of today encompass that same great architecture that we remember from an era gone by. Round columns used in an open covered porch are still hugely popular and are considered quite upscale. When you look at a screened porch, the first thing you notice are these columns, which is part of the covered porch’s appeal and charm. The columns are used to make an architectural statement as well as laying a firm foundation for the structural integrity of the structure itself.

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This gabled roof lends clean design lines in this covered porch by Archadeck of Maryland

We enjoy designing and building both screened porches, and covered or open porches. If you’re thinking about adding a new porch to your home, how do you decide which is best for you? I’ll talk about several factors that may help you decide whether screens or open air are best for you.

Shape

In terms of shape, screened porches, because of the screens and the architectural limitations of making a screened structure, usually end up with a boxed structure, either square or rectangular. The dimensions are usually kept within certain confines to make the screened porch functional and in ratio to the existing house. Covered, open porches are very different in the aspect of what can be done in terms of shape. An open porch gives you more design flexibility by the use of columns. Covered porches can also be built in different shapes, like a half octagon, or even a full octagon reminiscent of a gazebo style design. The use of decorative columns is beautiful and is always popular.

Open porch by Archadeck of Maryland

With round columns and a beautifully detailed ceiling design this covered porch has it all

Columns

Round columns, Georgian and Roman style columns, capital base and trim and even ogee ends halfway up the columns are commonly used in the construction of covered or open porches. Because screening does not need to be attached, column options are greater. The type of columns you choose should complement your home’s architecture, but in the same token, you can choose a design that will have a striking impact on the appearance of the entire back of your residence. With a custom designed and professionally built covered porch you can transform your average looking backyard into something truly magnificent.

Protection from the elements

With an open porch design you will get the same amount of sun protection that you would with a screened porch and you get a little better breeze because there is nothing to impede the air flow. There are drawbacks though, to choosing a covered “open” design versus  screened design. This would be the insects. The insect barrier within a covered porch is non-existent without the luxury of an independent influence. Ceiling fans are commonly used on covered porches to help circulate the air and they provide some minimal insects protection. Insects are less likely to land on you when there is a constant flow of air. A covered porch is an ideal choice for people who want the open feel as well as the endless design possibilities, and those who have a higher tolerance level for insects or those who incorporate pest control into their landscape.

Design rendering in Highland, MD by Archadeck of Maryland

One of the many design renderings Archadeck of Maryland prepared for the upcoming covered porch and deck combination in Highland, MD

Ceilings and electrical

The homeowner has the same options with a covered porch as with a screened porch. Some examples of these options include open or closed rafters, recessed lighting ,skylights, electrical outlets and the capability to mount entertainment equipment such as TV’s, stereos and speakers. There are even open porch designs that incorporate  the luxury of an outdoor fireplaces or outdoor kitchen as well.

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This photo depicts how the upcoming structure will look from an inside the house, with the aid of our design rendering

Another viable option is to construct a deck and covered porch combination structure. In this structure, the porch sits on a deck and the deck extends a significant distance past the porch area. When designing this type of deck/porch combination, Archadeck of Maryland usually extends the deck surface five feet beyond the room and doesn’t add railings. The absence of the railing opens up the deck area and gives you a nice flow from covered to non-covered area as well as from the deck into the yard. This type of design supports the feng shui principles of “less is more”, and not impeding the visual flow from one structure to another.

This upcoming project we are working on in Highland, MD incorporates these same design principles. We are using Square columns, which are large and square to match the homes existing columns. This will ensure the house will match from front to back. When you walk in the home’s entryway, you will see french doors that will lead into the structure. With the aid of a design renderings, which we provide to all of our clients, the homeowners are actually able to “virtually” experience the views of the design before construction begins.

See  more design renderings at the bottom of this post.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandArchadeck of Maryland can plan, design and build a structure that takes you back to a by-gone era with the modern conveniences of today. Contact Archadeck of Maryland today to find out more about these and other outdoor structures. (301) 926 – 3001
centralmaryland@archadeck.net

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You are able to experience another angle with this design rendering for this covered porch and deck in Highland, MD

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This design rendering showcases the open porch in conjunction with the large double deck in Highland, MD

Building an outdoor structure is a personal thing. How do you translate your ideas to design?

Rockville MD custom upscale screened porch builder

Attention to detail and personal tastes play a huge role in creating an outdoor structure that fits the clients needs and wants

As a  homeowner deciding what type of outdoor structure to build can be a difficult undertaking. Especially when you are starting from a blank canvas. How do you even begin to decide what outdoor structure you want or what you would like the design to be? Most “run of the mill” cookie cutter builders want to enter into the job with all the decisions already laid out for them so all they have to do is go in and build what they are told to build, collect their money and get out as quickly as they can.

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A match made in heaven-the screened porch and outdoor fireplace, by Archadeck of Maryland

Building is an interactive process. That is why it is important for you to hire a custom outdoor structures builder. Any building that includes living spaces, whether it is an indoor living space or an outdoor living space is a very personal thing. The decisions you make as far as design and materials can impact your life and the life of your family for years to come. That is why it is important to get it right the first time. It is important to use a builder whose skill set will translate into your needs. A good builder will have the insight, experience and knowledge to listen to you and help translate your needs and wants into a design and a structure that are right for you and your family.

Porch interior detailing like this reflects these Maryland homeowners personal style and individual tastes

I enjoy meeting with the homeowner and talking with them about what kinds of activities they want their outdoor structure to facilitate for them. I look over any pictures they have collected or any ideas they have compiled and integrate all these things into a design rendering of their outdoor structure. The design renderings can  really speak to you  in a way nothing else can. Homeowners find them extremely valuable in deciding upon a certain outdoor structure. The rendering is very realistic and shows details not visible through an average one-dimensional black and white sketch. This realism gives you the ability to make changes and additions to the structure to better suit their needs before construction begins. It is a truly “custom” feature that has proved invaluable in communicating with the homeowner. Most companies do not provide a design rendering.

Interior porch details

Being able to understand the homeowners needs, likes and style choices goes such much further than just being able to compliment their outdoor living environment. I like to understand what it unique about each homeowner’s taste and preferences so that I may design an outdoor structure as individual as you are and encompassing as many elements of your personal taste and style that I can.

When you are planning your ideal outdoor structure it is crucial to think about using the structure every other day, not just on a “special” day, or for special events. You want your outdoor structure to be an expression of you and an extension of your living area.

John Barrett Archadeck of MarylandI like to meet with each homeowner to discuss the myriad of design choices they have available as well, choices like materials, styles and colors can really help turn their outdoor structure into an extension of their own personalities. I am very passionate about getting to know my customer as well as their likes and needs. My main goal is to help guide them through the process from beginning to end, and end up with an outdoor structure they love.

To set up a design consultation contact Archadeck of Maryland. Our passion is your happiness. We can help design an outdoor structure that is the right “fit” for you and your family and make it effortless from beginning to end. (301) 926 – 3001
centralmaryland@archadeck.net

You can also visit our photo galleries to see more photos and ideas for outdoor living structures  at  http://central-maryland.archadeck.com/#