Merging the indoors with the out, a three-season porch -- often called a screened porch or a sunroom – can add usable square footage to your home while providing longevity in enjoying the heavenly outdoors. Whether you’re seeking extra shade on a hot summer day, a serene view, extra dining/lounging space, a wind/rain shelter on a cooler day, or a hiding place from bugs, a three-season porch gives you a savvy and serene escape, stretching the luxurious pleasures of summer from spring into fall.
A three-season porch doubles as living space and outdoor space, adding increased value as well. Additionally, three-season porches are simpler and less expensive to build than a full addition, as they don’t connect to heating and air conditioning or other systems (like a four season porch would).
Though a three-season porch should be carefully customized to fit the layout and style of the home it’s being attached to, here are some tips to consider as you begin the design process:
Warm Things Up: The location of your three-season porch will be decided in part by the current layout of your home, but ideally a three-season porch that faces south will capture the sun's rays for heat during the cooler months. Skylights are also a wonderful way to draw in light and natural heat.
Keeping It Cool: Of opposite concern, make sure your porch is built with sufficient ventilation (consider small windows on the upper wall) to allow hot air to escape in the warmest of months. Ceiling fans are often utilized in a sun porch to create coveted airflow.
Smooth Transitions: Make easy accessibility and a natural flow from your home a high priority in the design process. Ensure the floor level of your new enclosure is the same as the flooring height in your home to avoid falls and allow wheelchair as necessary. Make sure your door or entrance to the porch is roomy for furniture-moving and enjoyable entertaining.
Window-Savvy Options: Three season porches can take on a variety of looks, from full walls of windows/screens to a more standard architectural blend with your home. Massive windows and screens are beautiful and allow more light and air flow, though they can be on the higher end price-wise, often being custom-fitted. Alternatively, using standard window and door-frame sizes (often with a partial wall on the lower portion of the room) is an amiable option if you’re looking to cut costs.
Design Details: Though three season porches are relatively simple to build in comparison to a full addition, it doesn’t mean yours has to look simple. Adding architectural features such as arches over screen panels, textured walls (such as lattice-work or bead-board), or interesting ceiling accents (like beams) will enhance the appearance and add value to your new indoor-outdoor room. Also consider unique flooring that has an outdoor-feel -- interlocking deck tiles for instance can provide a wood, slate, or stone look and wear well.
If you can feel that warm breeze in your mind, and you know that having extra interior space spring through fall will benefit your family and lifestyle, then a three-season porch might be just the step you’re ready to take. Need more inspiration? Check out the fun design factors of these porches featured by Better Homes & Gardens.
Ready to consider a three-season porch / sunroom for your home? Contact us at Excel Builders for a design consultation. Make summer last at your home this year! Excel Builders offers quality building and remodeling services throughout Minneapolis and the Twin Cities area.