How much does a screen porch cost?

In our long list of the most common questions, how much does a screen porch cost is right up there!

The answer depends on many factors. The biggest factors are size, materials, and accessory items. Many people ask us for a price per square foot. The answer is not that simple. They often follow up that question with something like, “does that include lighting? Does that include shades?, Does that include mounting a TV?” Do you catch my drift here?

Let’s start with the basics as this is somewhat of a process. A shed roof is a roof line that simply slopes from your house out down away from the house and is the least expensive to build. If you have an existing patio or deck, most of the time if they are in good shape, they can be used as the “flooring” for the screen porch. If not, a patio or deck would need to be constructed to hold the roof structure and provide an area to live on. If you include roof shingles, gutter, ceiling, screening, paint and stain, installing a ceiling fan (labor only and usually the consumer buys the fan), put in a flood light and an outlet….you could be looking at an average of $15,000 – 30,000 depending on size and material selection. This price can go higher if you include different and more expensive building materials and accessories!

On the higher end of the screen porch pricing, you may want to integrate an outdoor fireplace, have “skirting” around the perimeter if it’s an elevated porch, create a dry space under the porch, install speakers, a TV, recessed lighting, tongue and groove ceiling, and even an outdoor kitchen with a vent hood inside the porch? Now you are pushing the price from $40,000 to even $100,000 depending on size and so forth.

This blog is meant to educate you on the possibilities and how they drive the cost of the project. For a more exact estimate, go to charlotte.archadeck.com and sign up for a free consultation.

EZE Breeze screen porch with a difficult roof connection built by Archadeck of Charlotte

EZE Breeze screen porch with a difficult roof connection built by Archadeck of Charlotte

Does Archadeck of Charlotte have bad reviews?

Social Media is a trend that is not going away anytime soon. I recently attended a very interesting seminar on the Social Media and its effects on small businesses.

As you might guess, it’s a double-edged sword. For VERY small businesses, they can have 2 – 10 reviews, get all A’s, and grow their business substantially with little to no investment. The other side of that coin, if it’s a very small business and they only have a few reviews and they are not A’s, that could be the last time the phone rings!

Larger small businesses are equally effected but in different ways. These companies have already grown, made investments in people, products, marketing, etc… Today’s consumer looks at online reviews in more than 75% of their purchases. That is a staggering number.

When consumer’s decide they either don’t care for the product or service, did not like a particular company representative, or just felt like they could use social media as a bargaining chip with a contractor, they go right to social media.

Have they really gained? What was in it for them? Is the consumer so altruistic that they really believe they are doing it to help others avoid the bad experience they had? The speaker went on to say that in studies, more often the respondents admitted they did it out of spite and for punishment!

Archadeck of Charlotte is a 27-year old family run local business in Charlotte, North Carolina. We have been fortunate with great employees and vendors over the years and have survived downturns in the economy, health of employee issues, jobs gone wrong, and so forth. We have prided ourselves on ALWAYS doing the fair thing for the employees and customers and have maintained an A+ rating every year since we have been in business with the Better Business Bureau .

This organization ensures that companies respond to consumer complaints and that is exactly what we prefer to do. We are not perfect and when we err, all we ask is for the opportunity to correct the error. Once we do this, we are amazed that people still want to use Angie’s List, Yelp, and other sites to bury us and others?

The speaker claims this would not happen if they really understood the damage this causes to companies…or would they? We only want to serve and serve effectively as Eric Kent Archadeck Charlottewe have over 20,000 customers who would testify! Most do not want to take the time to go on social media to say so though. We have nearly 100 Archadeck of Charlotte testimonials on our website. Click here to read them and then give us a call at (704) 944 – 1350 for a free consultation on your upcoming project.

How effective are online reviews and what are the consequences?

Here is a hot topic for all small businesses. Online reviews can make and break companies. We have been in business over 27 years and do well over 2,000 projects annually. We do have a franchisor that independently surveys all of our customers and we score quite well. When it comes to social media and online reviews, the game somehow changes.

I sit on several business boards and have a chance to meet and listen with business owners across various industries. There is a common frustration today with the power and severity of  consequences that are associated with online reviews. There is a cliche in business that when someone is happy with their purchase, they may tell someone. When someone is unhappy, they will tell everyone they know.

Social Media has taken the is concept to a whole new level. People are so venomous that they often try to destroy a company single-handedly and do not realize the damage they do not just to the owner of the business, but also all of the employees, vendors, and even down to local charities that are supported by these companies. The reviews often stop potential prospects from even contacting a company if the reviews resonate.

What is the answer? Online reviews do serve a purpose. When done well, they are very constructive and informative. The downside is the highly inflammatory nature of many of them and even to the point where consumers use reviews as a “bargaining chip” or what legal experts refer to as “extortion”. It would be wise if people took into account the damage they may cause and really think through the end goal. Is it to be informative and constructive, or to be destructive? There is way too much negative in our society and I for one will NEVER post a negative online review as I am painfully aware of how damaging they can be. My path is to deal directly with the vendor and work through challenges. Any responsible company would gladly work with me!

These sure aren’t your Grandmother’s porch railings!

Times do change. With time we see everything from fashion changes to technology changes. Change is happening quickly and it does not discriminate by product or industry.

Whether it be a front porch or a back porch or a screened in porch, we have seen the most dramatic railing changes when it comes to the traditional wood railing picket. What we have known for years is the 2×2 pressure-treated wood picket that was either painted white or stained in a natural wood tone. Today, that style of picket is rare.

The first question is why? There are a few simple answers.

1. The traditional wood picket does block some view more than newer offerings

2. The traditional wood picket often warped over time or simply was not installed properly

3. The wood also could shrink leaving gaps where the 2×2’s were fastened to the 2×4’s making them unsafe and unsightly

Today’s most popular porch rail picket or balluster is a black round powder-coated aluminum picket. We have found this solves all of the above aforementioned concerns. It is thinner than the traditional wood picket and therefore opens up the view. It is never going to warp or shrink and therefore performs better. Finally, it is a nice architectural detail even when combined with a traditional pressure-treated wood rail.

Additional choices for porch rails that we have found appealing to our customers include composite rail, such as Trex (we often mix the aluminum ballusters with the Trex composite rail). Stainless steel cable rail is popular where you have a water or mountain view due to the low profile of it. There is even glass rail today that offers the least obstruction to a beautiful view. To see the various options on actual decks, go to charlotte.archadeck.com

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Multi-level deck with stone outdoor fireplace by Archadeck of Charlotte

Archadeck of Charlotte designing and built this beautiful Trex deck and rail with a stone outdoor kitchen and screen porch

Archadeck of Charlotte designing and built this beautiful Trex deck and rail with a stone outdoor kitchen and screen porch

How to select the right contractor? A contractor’s perspective!

Choosing the right contractor is often a challenge. There are many published articles and opinions on this so we thought we would share the questions you need ask to consider which contractor is right for you?

1. What is the scope of the project? Large or small? Does the contractor have extensive experience doing what you want done?

2. What are the key criterion for you? Design? Quality? Service? Price? You won’t get the lowest price with the best design and best quality typically. What is really important?

3. Can you rank the order of importance?

4. How can you get the best value or “bang for the buck”? The best contractors will walk you through various options

5. Does the project require a building permit and is the contractor taking care of it?

6. Is the contractor providing ideas to help facilitate a final design?

7. Does the contractor have the appropriate license and insurance?

8. Can the contractor readily provide references? Can they provide more than 10? This is important! Even if you don’t call all 10, if they cannot provide 10 – 100, are they really that experienced?

9. Do they have a physical location? Can they be found if something goes awry?

10. Are they BBB rated?

11. Do you like the person you will be dealing with?

These are some suggestions as to how to formulate a plan when selecting the appropriate contractor for your project! You can find more information on Archadeck at http://www.archadeck.com

4 Reasons you DON’T WANT to use Archadeck

Why would you not use the largest and most experienced outdoor living design/ build firm in the Carolina’s?

Travertine stone raised porch with metal rail and brick columns in Waxhaw, NC with a pool

Travertine stone raised porch with metal rail and brick columns in Waxhaw, NC with a pool

Here are 4 reasons:

1. If you are only interested in the lowest price, as opposed to value, there are many other options. What you are really searching for is not a design consultation but rather a very small operator who may or may not be in business the following year but can meet or beat any price by a large margin.

2. If you don’t care if the project is built to code. This ties back to point number one, if truly do not care about the safety of the project, there are alternative contractor options.

3. If have an insured and licensed contractor is of no value. These two points insure the project will be built correctly and insure that when you resell your home, you do not have additional challenges.

4. If the quality of the materials are not important to you. The quality of the building materials have a wide range of costs associated with them. If this does not matter, there are contractors that regularly shop for inexpensive alternatives.

Trex Transcends Spiced Rum photo at Lake Norman in North Carolina with Trex Transcends black rail and a custom bench

Trex Transcends Spiced Rum photo at Lake Norman in North Carolina with Trex Transcends black rail and a custom bench

Archadeck of Charlotte was established in 1988 has designed and built over 23,000 projects in and around the Charlotte market. It is a fully licensed and insured remodeling contractor that has a beautiful show room and human beings that answer the phone 6 days a week. If the above information sounds like a good fit for your need and you would like a free design consultation, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com where you will find a complete photo gallery and a submission form to set up an appointment!

What time of year do you stop building in the Carolinas?

North and South Carolina are very transient markets, meaning we have a huge influx of people that move here from the North and Midwest. This leads many people to ask the question, “when is the best time of year to build”? or when do you stop building due to the cold weather in the Carolinas?

The quick answer is we build all year around. That is not to say that there aren’t days or perhaps up to several days that it is just too cold for things like concrete, paint and stain, and sometimes even for the carpenters to build.

The most common affected trades are the masonry crews and paint/stain crews as the products often require temperatures to be above 50 degrees to be effective. The good news is that our coldest month seems to be January and even then we average 50 degrees for the month.

Common sense is a best practice for considering when and when not to build. Most screen porches and decks get built each and every day of the year unless we have percipitation. There may be breaks in the work due to weather but for the most part, time of year should not be a factor if you are concerned about getting your project done. The advantage of building during January and February is that often that is your lowest cost basis since lumber prices tend to be lower in these months! To have your questions answered by the pros, go to http://www.charlotte.archadeck.com

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this brick screen porch with EZE Breeze windows

Archadeck of Charlotte designed and built this brick screen porch with Eze Breeze windows