What is the difference in a screened porch, a 3-season room and a sunroom?

Screened porch and deck, the dynamic duo

The Screened porch and deck, the dynamic duo.

If you’re reading this post, you’re probably thinking about adding an outdoor room to your home and wondering how much “room” you need. Will screens suffice? Should you add a way to heat the porch? If you have a porch with an outdoor fireplace, will that yield enough heat?

You may have heard about 3-season rooms and 4-season rooms. It is hard to decipher what the differences are between the various choices. Screened porches, 3 -season rooms and sunrooms are very popular in the Piedmont Triad area. We are going to help you decipher which may be right for you.

Custom screened porch interior

Custom screened porch interior

Screened Porches and 3-Season rooms

Screened porches, also referred to here in the South as “sun porches”, are a covered porch that has screened openings instead of windows. The screen serves as a barrier from bothersome insects and inclement weather. Having a screen porch will give you the opportunity to have an “outdoor” room without the exposure to the harsh elements. Since screened porches are shade structures because they are built under the cover of a roof, they also offer superior protection from the sun and heat on those humid North Carolina summer days. Screened porches can be outfitted with a plethora of amenities much like an interior room. Ceiling fans, recessed lighting, and even a place to mount your outdoor TV have become common among homeowners building a screen porch. You can even upgrade your screen porch by adding more luxurious amenities such as an outdoor fireplace and adding sliding window conversions such as an Eze Breeze sliding panel system. These panels enable you to turn your screened porch into a 3 -season room to better utilize the area for more time throughout the year. Eze Breeze works by allowing you to control the amount of screen you leave exposed, from half screen and half sliding panel, to closing the panels completely and creating a room with the “feel” of a sunroom without the extra installations required to have a sunroom. With an enclosure system such as this paired with a space heater you can make use of the screened porch up until late Fall and early Winter.

3-season room with Eze Breeze windows

3-season room with Eze Breeze windows

Screen porches and 3-season rooms can be finished in a variety of interior details such as tongue and groove flooring which creates an interior room feel to your space, beadboard ceilings and much, much more.

custom sunroom interior

A sunny yellow washes this sunroom interior in sunshine inspired style.

Sunrooms and 4-season rooms

A sunroom (also referred to as a 4-season room), is a room that functions as an interior room but allows you to take in the vistas of the outdoors year-round. You can enjoy a cup of cocoa from a warm and cozy nook inside you sunroom and watch the snow fall in the winter undaunted by the chill of Mother nature. A sunroom, in essence is an interior room with many windows. Sunrooms are more complicated because they require the same construction fundamentals that an interior addition requires, such as HVAC systems , meaning they have to be insulated, heated and cooled. Choosing a sunroom does however open up a greater realm of interior finishing choices that you cannot get with other outdoor living structures. The materials include ceramic tile, hardwoods, wooden detailing and moldings, and more. Since the use of sheetrock comes into play with a sunroom, you can use paint, faux finishes, wainscoting, and even wallpaper to show off your personal style. The possibilities are endless. A sunroom will often have dual entry from the interior of your home as well as the exterior via a patio or porch to offer you the ultimate in convenience for indoor/outdoor entertaining.

Sunroom ceiling

Sunroom ceiling

Choosing the best fit for your home’s architecture, your desired function and your budget is important. Archadeck of the Piedmont Triad has been in the business of building outdoor structures such as these for over 20 yrs. here in the Piedmont Triad area. We can help you choose the perfect outdoor structure for you with our expert design team and experience in building. Contact us to learn more.

Call for a free consultation: (336) 664 – 1332 piedmonttriad@archadeck.net

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