As porch designers, we often caution clients about building a detached screened porch, but with this home in Bellemeade, TN, it works. The clients’ koi pond became the unifying element—as well as being a focus element in its own right. Not only did The Porch Company design and build this exquisite screened porch, we also created an elegant breezeway connecting the new porch to the home. And along that breezeway the homeowners can visit . . . you guessed it . . . the koi pond.
A detached porch is one you cannot access directly from within your home. Whether you have to walk across a driveway or out into the back yard, a detached porch tends to see less use than other porches. It becomes a destination rather than a room used daily.
This Bellemeade detached porch has one advantage most of them don’t, however. It has a covered breezeway providing all-weather accessibility to the screened porch and to . . . the koi pond. While the breezeway is open along both sides, its roof allows the homeowners to venture out and view their koi pond anytime, regardless of weather. Their new screened porch is equally accessible in any weather because of that covered breezeway. Even better, they can view the koi pond from within their screened porch (which is what they had in mind from the beginning). We predict these clients will enjoy using this screened porch quite frequently.
The homeowners wanted to know if we could build the screened porch over a section of their patio. Because their patio was in good shape, we were able to use it as the floor for the porch addition. The patio at this home is quite large and is bordered by a low brick wall. Even with some of the patio’s square footage now taken up by the breezeway and screened porch, the homeowners still have ample patio space.
Before we could use the patio as the porch floor, we had to cut through the patio to add footers beneath it. The low brick wall bordering the patio had a footer, so we were able to use that brick wall as a foundation wall. After we cut through the patio for the remaining footers, we patched it up and added a new top coat to hide the patches.
The posts you see supporting the breezeway roof and the porch roof are our Porch Company large box columns. We make the columns with wood and use PVC for the base moldings. PVC is a material that works very well outdoors; our PVC products last for years, withstand the weather and requires very little maintenance.
The owner requested a standing seam metal roof for its durability and beauty. The screened porch has a hip roof which allows for overhang and gutters on all sides. The hip roof is the most sheltering roof style which helps to keep rain off the porch. The breezeway has a simple gable roof to tie the porch to the house.
The ceilings of these two structures are also similar but different. Each ceiling is made of tongue and groove V-groove boards, and the homeowners chose to paint them both light blue. We designed a vaulted ceiling with exposed rafters inside the porch. We love how the white rafters add a stunning contrast against the blue ceiling there. The breezeway has a flat blue ceiling, equally striking in its contrast to the white soffits running the length of breezeway.
The breezeway has an extra design feature: custom privacy panels made of PVC. From a distance, they look like small-pane windows and mullions, but they contain no glass. Isn’t it interesting how we can play tricks upon the eye? What you see is more “space” than “panel,” but the panels break up the view nevertheless.
Within the screened porch, we used an open screen design facing the patio—meaning no knee wall panels or infill along the lower screen sections. This allows anyone on the screened porch better visibility looking out over the patio. On the side of the porch that meets the brick wall, however, we included pickets in the screens’ lower sections. The reason for this is the increased distance from the screens to the ground outside because of a slope. We needed a barrier preventing falls on that side. You’ll also see pickets in the lower section of the double screen doors leading from the porch to the breezeway. The homeowners requested we add pickets to the screen doors.
Always a favorite, the wood-burning outdoor fireplace with chimney makes the porch feel cozy whether nor not the fireplace is in use. We designed this fireplace with a beautiful stone mantel and hearth. If you’ve read our project descriptions before, you know an outdoor fireplace cannot truly keep a porch warm when it’s chilly outside. That’s what infrared heaters are for! We install Solaria infrared heaters on most of our porch projects because we’ve found them to be very effective. This porch has four of these heaters mounted on the headers up near the ceiling. No one is going to be chilly on this porch!
Also mounted on the headers are farmhouse light fixtures for illumination over the dining table and comfortable seating arrangements. For a more intimate ambiance, the homeowners also have eight small accent uplights above the headers, casting soft light up onto the vaulted ceiling. The effect at night is stunning. All of these lights are on dimmer switches with the farmhouse lights on a different switch that the uplights. The homeowners have the ability to customize the lighting depending on the occasion.
Because of this room’s square shape, we installed one ceiling fan, so we made sure it was a large one!
In addition to interior lighting, we added lighting to the exterior posts facing the koi pond. No matter the weather, no matter the time of day or night, our clients will be able to view the koi pond from the breezeway or from within the screened porch.
Are you ready to let The Porch Company design and build the perfect porch for you here in the Nashville area? We are the porch specialists who can incorporate existing structures seamlessly into your new porch design. Call us at 615-663-2886 or visit our design studio. We would love to meet with you to discuss your porch needs!