Sunrooms were originally developed from farmhouse porches and have become increasingly common in recent decades. Today technological developments have made sunrooms and screened porches even more popular. With modern advances in resilient outdoor fabrics, heated flooring, and electronically controlled blinds, sunrooms are gradually becoming more and more comfortable every day!
Sunrooms and screen rooms are a great way to expand your living space and enjoy the outdoors while protected from the elements. They allow you to comfortably relax in your backyard no matter the weather or temperature. And while these two types of enclosed outdoor rooms offer varying degrees of shelter from wind and rain, they both provide superior protection from annoying insects.
Whether you’re contemplating installing a brand new sunroom or converting a porch to a screened room, it’s important to think through your options. Sunrooms and screened porches are similar, but they do offer distinct benefits and drawbacks.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of a sunroom is that it’s typically warmer than a screened porch. Sunrooms offer complete protection from precipitation, wind, and cold temperatures, and their window glass actually intensifies the sun’s rays to heat the room further. With new heated floors, a sunroom is great for year round use! However, keep in mind that the heat of summer can be concentrated by your sunroom; for summer comfort, make sure the windows open so you can vent extra heat. Sunrooms do tend to be more expensive than screened porches, though, so not everyone considers their benefits worth the cost.
The primary benefit of a screen room is that you feel closer to nature with only screens between you and the great outdoors. However, this feature can also be a drawback, because you’re also more exposed to the elements. A screened porch provides a great deal of shelter from the weather, but it doesn’t keep out cold temperatures. And if it’s really nasty outside-think raining or snowing horizontally-the screens don’t offer much protection. For this reason, screened porches are generally recommended for three season use or for homes in warm climates. However, screen rooms are usually less expensive to install than sunrooms, so some people consider them a better value than sunrooms.
Once you’ve decided whether you want a screened porch or a sunroom, the next decision is prefab or custom. Most sunroom installation companies offer both systems, so you many want to consult a professional before you make your selection. Prefab sunrooms or screen rooms are usually more affordable than custom-built ones, but extra features aren’t always an option.