Tag Archives: How to get more function from your Columbia screened porch

Looking for more function from your porch? Maybe a porch-to-room conversion is the answer!

Custom deck and porch combination in Lexington.

Custom deck and porch combination in Lexington.

A porch or screened porch provides a wealth of benefits to make the most of the time you spend outdoors. From giving you a shady spot to escape the sun, or a pop-up summer shower, to lingering at dusk with no worry of mosquitoes thanks to screens. But what if you could take the benefits you enjoy from your covered porch or screened porch to another level? What if you could use the space to your heart’s content without limitations for three, four or even twelve months throughout the year? Archadeck of Central SC wants you to know that in most cases we can convert your existing open or screen porch to a 3-season, 4-season room or sunroom and extend the use and versatility of your space.

If the idea of a porch-to-outdoor-room conversion sparks your interest, here are some points that will have to be addressed:

Use a professional

It is crucial to hire an outdoor structure professional who is knowledgeable about porches, outdoor structures and conversions. Hiring a professional ensures the safety, quality and satisfaction of your project.

SunroomCan your porch take the weight?

The first consideration that has to be addressed is the structural integrity of your existing porch. The substructure must be able to accommodate the weight of added walls, in the case of a covered porch, or windows in the case of a sunroom conversion. In either case, the foundation of the porch will have to extend all the way to the corners of the structure. In cases where the foundation does not extend to the corners, amendments must be made to extend the foundation, and new footers will have to be added in order to safely support and hold the weight. Archadeck of Central SC can perform an inspection to determine whether your porch fits the criteria for a conversion. Depending on these results, we will discuss our recommendations as to how to proceed with getting the porch structurally compatible to withstand a 3-season, 4-season or sunroom conversion.

Archadeck of Central SC Screened Porch Addition

Previous permitting

South Carolina, like many areas of the country, requires everything a builder does to be properly permitted and inspected. This means the previous structure you have, if it passed inspection, should have been deemed sound as a porch. Even if this is the case, it still may not be structurally sound enough for a conversion. Be aware from the beginning that most builders will only warrant the framed portion of the structure that they build. This means if something goes wrong with the substructure as a result of amendments, you cannot use their warranty anymore. This is why we recommend reinforcing the foundation on all the porches we build.

Interior view of four season room in Columbia, SC.

Interior view of four season room in Columbia, SC.

What suits your fancy?

Once the heavy work has concluded and the structural integrity of your porch is deemed a good candidate for a conversion, the question is what do you want? Deciding which type of outdoor room conversion best suits your needs can be difficult. In most cases, this choice will depend on your budget, geographical location and what you plan to do with the room. For example, a four-season room or sunroom conversion serves as an extension of your home’s living area as well as an extension of your outdoor living area. These outdoor rooms give you unobscured views of nature through the extensive use of windows. Sunrooms can be enjoyed year-round even in the event of snow. A sunroom is considered to be a “conditioned space” because it requires an HVAC system just like that of an interior room addition. A four-season room differs from a sunroom in that it is not considered an interior room addition. However, four-season rooms can be outfitted with amenities that provide comfort, such as ceiling fans, space heaters and the like, which can be turned off when not in use.

Central SC Sunrooms give you a front row seat to Mother Nature

Choosing the best fit for your home’s architecture, your desired function and your budget are also important. Archadeck of Central SC is the premier outdoor room builder serving Columbia, SC, and the surrounding area.

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu.

We can determine if a porch to outdoor room conversion is the best fit for you. Contact us to learn more by calling (803) 603 – 2160 or email us at centralsc@archadeck.net.




For this Forest Acres homeowner change is good as evidenced by a new and unique deck design by Archadeck of Central SC

Columbia SC Forest Acres deck builders

Part of being an outdoor structure specialist also involves being able to envision the potential of a particular outdoor living space. Having the ability to transform a homeowner’s outdoor space to make it more functional based on the homeowner’s needs and the characteristics of the exiting home and lot makes the final outcome more rewarding for us as outdoor structure builders. Knowing that we were able to improve their outdoor living experience makes it all worthwhile. We recently completed a project in the Forest Acres community of Columbia, SC, that serves as a good example of overcoming challenges with creativity.  The homeowners had an existing outdoor living space which they could barely use because of the proximity of the space to that of the next door neighbor. With a little design ingenuity and creative thinking we were able to transform this backyard into an area they now cherish.

Columbia deck builders

This unique deck design delivers access into the homeowner’s beautifully landscaped yard which wasn’t easily accessible prior to the addition.

When we initially met with these Forest Acres homeowners we learned that their lot falls from front to back on a downward angle and they also own a full lot next door to their existing home which was inaccessible with no doorway out to it. The homeowners had to go out the front door of their home and go around in order to access this portion of their yard. To change the traffic flow of their existing space, and make all areas of their yard easily accessible, they decided they really wanted to add a new deck approximately 10 x 20 with stairs that would allow them easy entry into their beautifully landscaped side yard. They also wanted to change out the master bedroom window to a door to gain access to the deck.The design Archadeck of Central SC  came up with provides the homeowner with all of this and more.

Louvred privacy wall from the side of deck in Forest Acres Columbia SC

Notice how the deck wraps around this home in Forest Acres. The design fits like a glove to the home and the yard.

We took the new deck design a step further by wrapping the deck around to the rear of the home in order to connect to the homeowner’s existing screened porch, giving dual access to the deck. Up until this point, the homeowners expressed they rarely used their screened porch due to access and privacy reasons. Part of the role Archadeck of Central SC played in transforming their outdoor space was to remedy their traffic flow to and from the porch in order to utilize the space as intended. In addition to the new deck we also designed a  4′ walkway that extends down the backside of the perimeter parallel with the brick facade of the home to add character and more viable outdoor living space.

Louver detail on deck in Forest Acres Columbia SC

Lattice detail privacy wall on deck in Forest Acres.

We began the transformation by taking out the door to the garage and building a unique catwalk style side deck to take its place.   The new design features a custom-made deck privacy wall to alleviate the view into the neighbor’s backyard space. The privacy wall was built using an intricate combination of lattice and a fiberglass screening barrier, which gives this portion of the deck a Zen-inspired appeal. This new design also provides access to the valuable dry storage space beneath the porch. The homeowner plans to relocate his workshop from the garage to this dynamic storage space in the coming months.

Dry storage space under deck

Convenient and spacious dry storage area under the deck.

The new deck was built with pressure treated pine along with wood railing and a TimberTech rail cap. In lieu of traditional lattice skirting across the bottom of the deck, Archadeck of Central SC came up with a distinct design of louvers that gives more privacy to the storage space under the deck. For added convenience we incorporated deck rail cap lighting and riser lights into the design. We also added lighting to the storage area underneath the porch so it is easily accessible in the evening.

Back deck with cantilevered section Forest Acres SC

The back part of the deck features a cantilevered section that serves as valuable outdoor living space, making it perfect for the location of the grill.

The homeowner’s are elated with their new space; this testimonial speaks volumes about how this project has impacted their outdoor living enjoyment and their busy outdoor lifestyle. We were able to change the flow and feel of their existing space through a new deck addition and a creative traffic flow change, turning the new outdoor space into their favorite spot in the house! We also want to thank the homeowners for the use of their pictures from this project.

Forest Acres new side deck Archadeck of Central SC

New side deck recently completed for homeowners in Forest Acres.

“The owners of Archadeck of Central South Carolina are a pleasure to work with.   They sat down with us and helped design a custom deck.   They made good suggestions about both materials and construction so it would meet our needs and look great!   For example, to enable access to the storage areas under the deck and to allow a cantilevered section at the back, steel flitch plates were used for strength and to span distances.The craftsmen employed were highly skilled and dependable and the owners of Archadeck provided consistent and helpful supervision. Many of our neighbors walking by tell us how good the deck looks and we are enjoying it immensely.”

Archadeck of Central SC three generations of quality outdoor structures

The Archadeck of Central SC team – Mike Reu, Marshall Reu and Tucker Reu

If you have an existing outdoor space that you want to alter or add to make it more suitable for your specific needs and function, contact Archadeck of Central SC today. Our custom outdoor living space designs will make your backyard space the center of attention! Call us for a free consultation (803) 603 – 2160

Visit our decks photo gallery and our composite and PVC decks photo gallery located on our website for more creative solutions to everyday outdoor living space dilemmas

Central South Carolina screened porch considerations

Beautiful vnyl Clad screened porch addition on Lake Murray ,SC by Archadeck of Central SC

Beautiful vinyl clad screened porch addition on Lake Murray SC by Archadeck of Central SC

Making the decision to add a screened porch is loaded with many considerations. It can be a daunting task deciding the appropriate location, placement and tie-in that will best suit your desired function. Function also plays a huge role when deciding which type of enclosure system to use on your porch. Archadeck of Central South Carolina has been servicing the Columbia, S.C., and surrounding areas for over 10 years. We specialize in creating outdoor spaces to heighten the beauty and function of your backyard. Screened porches and three-season rooms are among the most popular outdoor room additions our client base requests.

Interior of 3 season room in Columbia SC by Archadeck of Central SC

Interior of 3- season room in Columbia by Archadeck of Central SC

Screened porch considerations

Traditional screen porches consist of fixed screened openings and provide protection from both insects and inclement weather. They also provide cross ventilation on those humid Carolina afternoons. Here in the Columbia area, we take these elements a step further by utilizing a four-track enclosure system on many of our screened porch additions.

This vinyl fourtrack aluminum three season room with brick exterior blends seamlessly with home in Columbia. SC

This vinyl four-track aluminum three season room with brick exterior blends seamlessly with this home in Columbia. SC

Choosing a four-track screened porch enclosure makes it possible to keep the screens and maintain the comfort. The 4-track system allows you to open up to 75% of the window area for added ventilation and to indulge in better backyard views. This system also enables homeowners to get more use out of their screened porch for longer intervals through the changing seasons. Pollen is a constant headache here in the Central South Carolina area. Pollen not only makes you sneeze, it also leaves a yellowish-green film on all your unprotected outdoor spaces. Cleaning off the pollen in order to use your outdoor space during the spring and early summer can be quite overwhelming.  A four-track enclosure will keep your outdoor room cleaner because it keeps dust and pollen outside where it belongs, and not inside your screen porch area. A four-track system still gives you protection from insects and debris, adjusts in just seconds and allows more use of your porch.

Interior of 3- season room in Columbia SC by Archadeck of Central SC

Interior of 3- season room in Columbia with four track enclosure system.

The four- track panel windows will allow you to keep the screened porch feeling.  If you want to transform your screen porch into a room that you can also use year round, your porch can be completely converted to an all-season sunroom. A four-track enclosure enhances the livability of your screened room. When the panels are closed, they provide shelter from the summer sun and changeable weather. Our four-track enclosure system is also weather-resistant and shatterproof and opens the door to endless outdoor living possibilities.

Mike Reu owner Archadeck of Central SC

Mike Reu owner Archadeck of Central SC

If you are interested in learning more about our screened porches, three and four season rooms including our four-track enclosures, contact Archadeck of Central South Carolina today. Call us for a free consultation (803) 603 – 2160

You can see more examples of our screened porch and three season room additions by visiting our screened porch photo gallery and our 3 and 4 season room photo gallery located on our website.