If you enjoy nature, you may want to add a screened enclosure or sunroom to your home to experience the outdoors from a protected spot. Both screened enclosures and sunrooms expand your living area into the backyard, yet provide protection from mosquitoes, other critters and rain. Which one appeals most to you depends on your lifestyle, budget and how you plan to use the space. Hopefully, by outlining the benefits of each, you’ll be able to make a decision between a backyard patio enclosure and sunroom.
Benefits of a Screen Patio Enclosure
In climates like Florida’s with pleasant weather most of the year, screened patios can serve as a multi-purpose activity area. Building a patio will help you relax, entertain and enjoy nature. Children can use it as a playroom when it’s raining or too hot to play in the sun. Whatever the use, a screened in porch serves as a transition zone between the inside and outside.
A screened in patio typically has a roof, a door from the main house to the porch and a door from the porch to the outside. If you already have a patio, you can use that as a foundation. Screen is installed around the three sides of the porch to create a patio enclosure.
Screened patios are relatively inexpensive to build. Primary building materials may include aluminum frame with screen, concrete or brick pavers for the floor and aluminum panels or shingles for the roof. Floors of a patio screen enclosure can be any of a variety of materials, such as concrete, brick, tile or stone. Screened in porches are not air conditioned or heated. They may include a ceiling fan and lights, which require some electrical work. You may also want to install additional electrical outlets to run other equipment, but this depends on how you plan to use the space.
Screened enclosures cannot be used year-round. Seasonal cold weather or blowing rain makes them uncomfortable. Furniture needs to be protected during the humidity of summer months and the sun, if you have them near the screen. However, using solar screen cuts radiation and protects furniture and belongings. Adding roll-up curtains also protects from rain and sun.
Benefits of a Sunroom
Sunrooms are also called four-season rooms because they are protected from the elements and can be used year-round. Rather than screens forming the walls, the sides have windows made of acrylic, vinyl or glass. Sunrooms provide additional protection from heat and cold all year long. The large windows optimize the amount of light entering the room. Windows can be opened to enjoy the breezes when the weather isn’t too hot or cold. Sunrooms are usually heated and air conditioned.
Although sunrooms can be used throughout the year, they take you further away from the natural environment. The space feels more like being indoors. In addition, the intense light adds heat to the space. This can make it uncomfortable to use during the hottest times of day and expensive to cool.
Building a sunroom can be double the cost of a screened enclosure. However, creating a sunroom from an existing screened-in porch lowers costs because the space is already underneath the home’s roof structure. To reduce air conditioning and heating costs, double-pane windows are usually installed, which also increases the price.
Ultimately, the decision about whether to build a screen patio enclosure or sunroom is yours. If you want to be more intimately connected with nature and keep costs down, enclosing a patio will do just fine. If you want an all-season room that expands your living space, then building a sunroom makes sense. Whichever option you choose, make sure to also choose a patio contractor.
Dulando Screen & Awning can work with you to come up with design ideas for your patio enclosure or sunroom that complement the architecture and landscaping of your property. Call us today at 407-862-6060 or fill out our online form for a free estimate. One of our design consultants will be happy to meet with you and discuss the many options available to you. Our goal is to create an additional living space for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.