Screened porches and decks are our most popular building projects at Archadeck of Kansas City. Clients, who have decks, often ask, “Can I screen in my deck?” Perhaps the better question is, “Should you screen in your deck?”
As little as 10 years ago, the most common outdoor living space in the Kansas City area would have been a deck. Today, while decks remain a staple in outdoor living, we have seen a surge in popularity of screened porches. Even new home communities are being built with screened porch additions in the Kansas City market. If you currently have a deck, you might be wondering whether you can convert it to a screened porch. It all depends.
Can you screen in your deck?
Even decks that were built a few years ago, might not be up to code today. If you want to convert your deck into a covered porch or screened porch, it might not be possible, because your deck is no longer within the new structural codes. Whether your deck does or does not meet code, it can potentially be brought up to current standards before adding screens and a roof. Therein lie more questions.
Thinking of screening in or adding a roof to your deck?
Is there unseen damage beneath your deck?
When it comes to existing deck structures, there could be more than meets the eye. While we can see most of the structure and make it stronger to accommodate screens and a porch roof, there are parts that we cannot see. Are those areas in good shape? Is there potential wood rot or termite damage beneath structural connections? If we cannot see it, we simply do not know. For this reason, Archadeck of Kansas City recommends tearing out your deck structure before building a screened porch.
Should you completely rebuild your structure before screening in your deck?
What will it take to bring the structure up to code?
When it comes to screening in an existing deck, and making it code-compliant, it could entail everything from replacing footings and repairing flooring, to removing and replacing railing. All things considered, it could cost nearly as much to rework the existing elements of your deck as it would to tear it down and replace it. Archadeck of Kansas City recommends building a new structure for your new screened porch. This will not only ensure that your space is built up to current codes, but it is also important if you wish to make your porch bigger and/or a different shape than your deck.
Railings, repaired flooring, and updated footings can be as costly as building new.
Is there value in saving aging elements of your deck?
Will it be worth it to save certain elements of your deck that are 10 or 15 years old, even if they are not in disrepair? When portions of your new screened porch are already well-aged, they could require replacing in a few years’ time. Is it really worth it to save those elements now, and have to tear them out later? Probably not. We don’t purchase brand new vehicles with tires that have 40K miles on them. Archadeck of Kansas City highly recommends building all-new, so your entire porch is the same age.
Build an all-new screened porch with Archadeck of Kansas City
While there are scenarios, where we could screen in your deck, we just don’t recommend doing it. At Archadeck of Kansas City, our goal is to give you the best outdoor living space for your needs and budget. Our custom screened porch designs range from simple to extravagant, and everything in between. If the main reason you wish to screen in your existing deck is to save money, know that any small amount of money you save now could be more than expended for repairs or replacements later.
Let’s talk about the perfect screened porch for your needs and budget! Get in touch with the award-winning designers at Archadeck of Kansas City for a design consultation at (913) 578-8990.
Archadeck of Kansas City is an Angie’s List Super Service Award winner 11 years running!