Last week, we talked about deciding between a deck or a screened porch. Deciding whether you want a covered structure is one of the first decision. You may already know you want a covered structure or that you want an enclosed room but you may not be sure what’s right for you.
The answer can often be found by thinking of all the ways and the most common way you will use the room. Here are some questions for you to consider.
- Are you focused on being outside in the summer or do you want to be inside but enjoy the brightness of the summer sun?
- How many months of the year do you plan on using your room?
- Do you need more room in your house?
- Are you seeking just the outdoor ambiance in the summer months or more of a full year sort of ambiance?
- What other activities do you want to do on the porch? Specific activities dictate how the porch is going to be used.
- Are you going to use the room for parties?
- Will you put a TV out there?
- Will the whole family be using the room?
- Will the kids be using the room?
- Will you be using the room for adult activities like card parties or book club?
3-season vs. 4 season
You may have heard the terms 3-season and 4 season rooms and you may be wondering about the difference. A 3-season room does not have glass to block wind, nor insulation or heat.
Conversely, a 4-season room can also be called a 12-month room. It is really a room addition to your home. If your desire is to have a really bright room with lots of windows, then a 4-season room is probably the best for you.
What about privacy? Will you be using the room in early morning for your morning coffee? Will you be using the room in the evening when you may have already changed into your night clothes? In this case, just as in your house, you may want an enclosed room where you can have shades or blinds or another window covering for privacy.
Another consideration certainly is price. Screens are cheaper than windows. Insulation and heat make the price substantially higher. There are no exact guideline because there are so many other variables. There will be more of an investment for a 12-month room over a 6-month room. A lot of the finishes and trim items also make the price higher. For example, you can put a hardwood floor in a glassed in enclosure but not in a screened enclosure.