3 Ways to Let the Sun Shine In: Differences Between a Screened-In Porch, Three-Season Room, and a Sunroom
Spending time in nature reduces stress, promotes healing, and supports peaceful living. But when uncomfortable temperatures or precipitation prevents you from venturing outdoors, you need a protected space that includes natural elements. What better way than with a seasonal room? Three types of seasonal room additions allow you to enjoy the outdoors without going outside. Depending on your needs and your budget, let’s see which one is right for you.
Things to Consider
If you want a space bathed in natural sunlight and cool breezes but are unsure which option to choose, it helps to explore a couple of questions.
How will you use the space?
Do you want a place for you alone to curl up with a good book or movie? Or, do you enjoy hosting the entire family for an afternoon barbeque? And what kind of creature comforts do you need? Running water, power, or heat? Do you want a space to use only during the warmest parts of the year or year-round? Knowing the answers to these questions will help guide you in your design and budget.
Will you add on or repurpose it?
Perhaps you have an existing deck or patio you’d like to enclose. Alternatively, maybe you want to build an addition to your home. Either way, a professional design-build firm experienced in home additions will ask you targeted questions to gather enough information to make recommendations suitable for your home and proposed use. Then, knowing how you want to use the space, how much room you have to work with, and your budget, they can suggest the right plan of action. Not only that, their expertise includes designing the space to fit your lifestyle and personality, so you feel as comfortable in the new space as you do in the rest of your home.
Three Ways to Let the Sun Shine In
Once you’ve decided on a size and purpose and know whether you’ll add on or cover an existing space, it’s time to determine what your new sunny spot will look like. Typically, sunrooms come in three different styles, each suitable for various reasons. But, again, your design-build team will help you choose the option right for you.
A screened-in porch is a porch or patio area enclosed with screening. While giving you a clear view of your backyard and allowing for a gentle breeze, screens keep the bugs outside. While a screened-in porch is limited to fair-weather use, the pros of adding one are numerous. A screened-in enclosure is:
- The quickest and easiest addition project to build
- Your most affordable option for extending your protected outdoor living space
- The perfect space to enjoy warm weather protected by the sun’s rays
- A great place to eat al fresco
- A protected area to house a hot tub or game table
Depending on the amount of sun and rain exposure, your home’s design, and the square footage, you can furnish a screened-in porch with weather-resistant furniture for dining or relaxing. Additional options include:
- Added lighting for evening use
- Electronics to increase the use of the space
- A gas or electric heater to keep the chill off on cool evenings
- A television for game day viewing
- A wet bar for entertaining friends
For a seamless result, keep the overall design of your home in mind when creating the new space. Work with a professional to ensure any changes to the existing deck or patio are fully functional and structurally sound.
Three season room
A three-season room provides more use than a screened-in porch because you have solid windows to protect you from the rain. Choose between vinyl screen covers or single-pane or double-pane windows, depending on your location, intended use, and budget. And while impractical to use the whole year, the pros of adding one abound. A three-season room:
- Provides more use than a screened-in enclosure
- Protects from the rain so you can upscale your furnishings
- Offers more options for locating electronic devices
- More budget-friendly than a sunroom
- Can be insulated
A three-season room makes the perfect playroom for small children or spill-over for company. Fill it with plants and other natural elements, and you’ll barely notice the transition to the outdoors. When designing your three-season room, position it for the best views and sun exposure. Also, work with a design-build team to ensure a seamless design that matches the rest of your home.
The final option for letting more sunshine in your home is the sunroom. Also called a four-season room, a sunroom is an addition that includes an expansive view of the outside. One design option for the sunroom consists of a knee wall that allows for baseboard heaters, electrical outlets, and other utilities with continuous, wrap-around glass in the upper portion.
Or, for a more sophisticated style, a sunroom includes a centrally-located picture window surrounded by other large windows and French doors leading to an outdoor living area. Both options give you maximum visibility to the outside while keeping the room comfortable for four-season use. Sunrooms may hit the high end of the budget as a complex renovation project, but the following benefits make it worth every penny.
- Includes all the creature comforts like HVAC, electricity, and plumbing
- Fully insulated as any room addition
- Unlimited options for furnishings, floor and wall coverings, and other design elements
- Provides a transitional space to the outdoors, with access inside and out
A sunroom can be anything you and your family desire. Taking advantage of the sunlight, filling the room with plants creates a natural habitat for your family to relax, play games, or entertain friends. Confidently choose furnishings that reflect your personality and design style because the space is as protected as the rest of your home.
When you partner with a design-build professional with experience in building sunrooms, they help ensure the best location and position of the room for both sun exposure and the most beautiful views possible. They will also be equipped to advise you on the best options for heating and cooling, floor coverings, windows, and more.
Work With a Qualified Design-Build Firm Like Riverside Construction
If you know you want to include more natural elements in your home but need some guidance, Riverside Construction is ready to help. The award-winning team at Riverside Construction has served discerning homeowners in the Lafayette, West Lafayette, and all of Tippecanoe County since 2008.
Riverside’s go-to professional design-build team specializes in seasonal rooms, kitchen and bathroom remodel, room additions, and basement finishes. They excel at listening to your dreams and making them come true. They can help direct and guide you and will walk with you every step of the way to ensure your seasonal room is everything you imagined.
View their extensive portfolio of stunning home additions, then schedule a consultation with an expert design-build professional. In the meantime, subscribe to their monthly “Designed for Life” newsletter. It’s full of current remodeling trends and home addition design inspiration.