3-Season Hybrid Porch

Creating a 2nd story porch among the treetops in Chaska.

Lead Carpenter Earl Drangstveit

Carpenter Tyler Seamons, Chris Gilbertson

Project Summary 

This remodel started out as a simple deck replacement.  Most, strike that, ALL remodels have a tendency to start out with a conclusion.  They tell us they want a new this or that.  Simple right?  And insufficient for the task at hand. That's when we start digging.  We started asking why. And we keep asking.  We do that to uncover the real motivation and desires that need to be satisfied.  It’s how we define a meaningful scope of work.  

Almost anyone can slap on a new countertop or replace an old deck.  But if you want a new space that literally changes the way you live, that’s on a whole different level.

After several lengthy conversations, these homeowners realized they wanted something that was more of a living space they could use most of the year.  But they also wanted it to be integrated into the surrounding nature and reflect the unique eclectic architecture of the house.  And of course, they love to entertain, so it had to be inviting, comfortable, and mosquito-free.

Initial conclusion: we want a new deck.  Final scope and design: we gave them a 3 ½ season bug-free porch with a panoramic view, a breeze on command, and a tree house to entertain in.

The Porch Windows Direct venting panels (not glass) provide unobstructed views with collapsible screens in multiple configurations to control the amount of airflow into the porch. The 18 x 20 footprint is large enough for large gatherings. The decking inside is Dektek concrete tiles with a beautiful stunning glaze and remarkable durability. On the outside, it's Wolf synthetic decking made of 94% recycled materials.


In this short summary video, Chaska homeowners Sue and Joe explain the "why" behind their remodel and show off the most important aspects of their remodel completed by Murphy Bros. Design Build Remodel.

New large 18 x 20 porch looks out on Lake Minnewashta.
AFTER: New large 18 x 20 porch looks out on Lake Minnewashta.

Before Remodel and Progress

Before remodeling pictures snow-covered 2nd floor deck.
BEFORE: Exterior deck and stairs. Plenty of view and all the weather that goes with it!
Before image of stairs off 2nd floor deck.
Before image of interior just inside main entrance
Before image of elaborate ceiling beams
Before image of living room just off of deck entrance
Before image of kitchen view of entrance to deck
Before image of living room ceiling beams

Interior of home leading to the original deck enterance.  We matched the distressed work in the original ceiling beams.


It is always a challenge to integrate the old with the new, especially when it involves roofing design and materials.  The cedar shakes needed to be a heavy hand-split full inch thick and the gutters required a 6-inch width with a custom blocking and a water diverter to properly channel downpours so as not to overwhelm the system.

After image exterior venting panels and gutters, LED light
AFTER: Continuous venting and special gutter blocking to accommodate larger gutters.
After image of new porch addition exterior in sunlight and colorful fall trees
AFTER: Exterior showing porch and stairs which face the lake.
After images (2) of porch addition exterior deck stairs and view of lake
AFTER: Wolf decking (Black Walnut) and powder-coated aluminum railings.
After image of porch interior dining table and seating area in blue cloth
AFTER: Porch interior showing room enough for lounging and dining.
After image reverse angle perspective looking back toward porch entance and TV on brick wall
AFTER: DekTek™ flooring.
After image close up view of Sunspace panels, 8-inch baseboard trim and DekTek cement floor tile
AFTER: The base of the porch was raised some 8 inches to minimize the aluminum railing required by code and keep it out of the sight line.  Venting unit panels are shown lowered here for maximum air floor.
After image of DekTek cement floor tiles next to blue cloth chairs
AFTER:  Beautiful glaze on DekTek Tile™.
After image of hand-distressed ceiling beams in new porch addition
AFTER:  Our lead carpenter distressed the ceiling beams by hand to match what was in the living room of the home.
After image of helical pier footings from Goliathtec
AFTER: Goliathtec helical pier footings carry the weight of the new porch and the concrete DekTek tiles.

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