Climate Control
The sun can make any house sweltering in summer, especially if the home you live in is in Kansas and faces west. So Kenna and Russ Byram, of Olathe, Kansas, decided to add two porches to their 25-year-old, west-facing brick ranch, including the one that's shown here. The Byrams opted for timeless, classic materials. The list includes 12-in. structural architectural wood columns and wood railings, 3/4-in. tongue-and-groove Douglas fir flooring painted a traditional gray and hand-split cedar roof shakes - all from local suppliers. They invested about $10,000 in the porches and saved money by doing part of the work themselves under the watch of friend Bill Yeamans, a remodeling contractor who also worked with them. "Building each porch was as simple as building a covered deck," Yeamans says. First, they poured four 12-in.-sq. concrete-pier pads, and then used pressure-treated 656 posts and 2x10 joists set 16 in. on center for the framing. To keep the porch from overpowering the house, Yeamans and the Byrams followed the outline and scale of an existing courtyard. They also left plantings in place so the new porch looks as if it was always there. The Byrams achieved their goal of making the house cooler, and also cut their electric bill by not having to use the air-conditioning as much. The family now also has a place to stow boots and umbrellas on rainy and snowy days. The additional 250 sq. ft. of summer-living space is another welcome bonus, as is the curb appeal that distinguishes their house from the four other brick ranches on the street.
Ask TOH users about Curb Appeal

Contribute to This Story Below