A screened porch is a great way to add an indoor/outdoor combination space to your home. However, as you are planning this new addition, the options can seem overwhelmingly endless. Here at Structurally Speaking, we have experience with helping homeowners navigate the building process. We’ll help you figure out the best screened in porch ideas for your home. Then, we’ll turn your design into a reality!
Porch Options for your Home – Which is Right for You?
First, keep in mind that a screen porch is just one of the options if you want an outdoor living space. We also have experience building:
Typically, a sunroom is the best option if you like spending most of your time inside. On the other hand, a deck is the best option if you like spending most of your time outside. An enclosed porch is the best of both worlds. You can keep it warm with some heaters or a fireplace and cool with some fans. However, unlike a sunroom, you get more fresh air and natural light through the screens.
Our process starts with an in-depth consultation. We’ll talk about your budget, your family’s habits, and your ultimate wish list. Our goal is to figure out what is most important for your new screened porch.
You’re in good hands! Our owner, Jim Brennan, oversees every project, so you get the exact porch design that is right for you. Jim has been working in the deck and porch design field for over 20 years. After working for the largest deck and porch builder in the United States, he founded Structurally Speaking in 2008. Jim gives every family a customized, competitively-priced screened porch design. Rather than an overpriced, cookie-cutter solution, you’ll get a porch, deck, or sunroom that you really love.
How Can You Use a Screened Porch?
When we create your screened porch, sometimes called a three season porch, we can build it from scratch or we can enclose your existing porch. If you have a porch already, you don’t lose any function by enclosing it with screens. You can still sit on your porch to enjoy a nice breeze as you relax. However, adding the screens gives you several other ways to enjoy your porch!
First, our clients love being able to use their porches at night without worrying about mosquitoes. Let’s face it – the evenings here in North Carolina can be pretty buggy. Screens prevent the bugs from eating you alive…and that’s always a good thing!
Because the screens keep out the bugs, this is also the perfect solution for picnics. You’ll have a place to spread out the food without worrying about a fly diving into the dip or a bee buzzing around the barbecue.
Another awesome function of a screened in porch is to provide a protected place for anyone who wants to get out of the sun. When you have a party or picnic in your outdoor area, older family members may need to take a break. Instead of going inside, where they can feel disconnected from the rest of the family, they can enjoy the enclosed porch.
With a screened porch, you’ll also have a safe outdoor living room where your children can play. If you have small children, you might not feel comfortable sending them outside by themselves, even if your yard has fencing. As an added bonus, they can play outside even in the rain!
This just scratches the surface when it comes to screened in porch ideas. You can read about more benefits here! Jim will speak to you about how you plan to use your porch. Then, he’ll design the porch or porch/deck combo that will work best for your family.
Creating a True Outdoor Room
Yes, your screened in porch can function as an outdoor living space, especially in the summer. Some people even turn their screened porch into a “sleeping porch” during the summer because it is the perfect place to sleep when the weather is warm. You can add a small day bed or other comfortable furniture to enjoy the feeling of camping out without having to pitch a tent.
To make your screened in porch feel like a true outdoor room, here are a few ideas you can consider:
- Install a ceiling fan to help you stay cool, even when there is no breeze.
- Consider adding some curtains, shades, awnings, or even shutters to give you some additional privacy when needed.
- Add features to make your porch feel cozy, such as an outdoor fireplace. This is especially helpful in keeping your screened in porch functional well into autumn.
- Choose flooring that is both easy to clean and comfortable for walking barefoot. We have some great composite decking and wood options, and you can also consider other materials.
- Keep the porch swing if you love it, but also add other furniture pieces with weather-resistant fabrics and finishes. Use wicker furniture, bamboo and other materials that provide an outdoor ambiance.
As part of the porch design process, Jim will talk to you about how to create a space that is most functional for your family’s needs.
Screened In Porch Ideas for Decorating
We recommend thinking about your decorating preferences when you start the design process. This allows you to choose features like flooring and finishes that make sense for your overall aesthetic. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to decorating! However, here are a few questions to consider:
- How is the rest of your home decorated? Typically, you’ll want rooms to flow nicely, including your porch. (That’s not to say your porch can’t be a departure if that’s what you want! After all, it is your space!)
- Do you want to have a theme? Some people like to give their enclosed porch the feel of a beach retreat, mountain cabin, tropical paradise, etc.
- What colors will complement your home and the outdoors? Think about the yard, street, or other landscape you can see from your porch.
- Where is your porch in relation to the sun? As you are placing seating, plants, and other items, you’ll want to keep the sun in mind. No one can enjoy a nice cup of coffee in the morning if the sun is directly in their eyes.
- Who will be using the porch the most? Is it a space for the whole family, an area more for adults, a playroom for the kids, or a hangout spot for teens?
- Consult various websites for decorating ideas. You will find many resources with specific porch decorating ideas.
As you consider how you want to decorate, we can make recommendations for the types of screens, as well as other things we will be installing, such as flooring and railings. Throughout the process, we are mindful of your budget. We won’t start construction until you are completely happy with both the design and the price tag.
Turning Your Porch into Something More
Many clients find that an enclosed porch is just the first step in creating the perfect indoor/outdoor living space. This is especially true if you are converting or building a back porch, where more people have more space. Instead of a porch alone, we can also create a full screen porch plan that connects to a beautiful deck. This gives you ample additional living space under a roof, while also adding true outdoor space perfect for relaxing and parties.
Our porch/deck combos can be as complex or simple as you want. We have clients who have a small porch that leads to an effortless, uncomplicated deck. However, some clients prefer large porches that have a screen door leading to a large multi-level deck. Some of the features that add function and beauty to a deck are pergolas, built-in seating, planters, and more. We have even built custom hot tub decks for our clients!
If you’re not sure what you want, we can show you a wide range of options that fit your budget and space. Our goal is to narrow down what will work best for you. You don’t have to worry about an overbearing sales pitch when you work with Structurally Speaking. We never talk you into features you don’t need just to raise the price of the project. At the end of the day, it’s most important to us that your final porch area is exactly what you want.
Adding Value to Your Home
One of the other main advantages to a screened porch that we haven’t yet discussed is the increase in home equity. HGTV lists creating an outdoor space as one of the 10 ways you can add value to your home. Even a small screened porch will make your home more attractive to buyers if you ever sell.
If you aren’t thinking about selling anytime soon, adding a screened porch, either as a front porch or back porch can have other financial benefits. Down the road, if you ever need a home equity loan or line of credit, an outdoor living space can lead to a higher appraisal.
Additionally, if your family grows, an enclosed porch gives you extra living space without having to build onto your home. Sometimes, it is nice to have multiple places for people to relax, especially if, for example, one person is trying to study, another is trying to watch television, and another is trying to work. Even a big living room with a vaulted ceiling can feel small when people are trying to do multiple activities in one space.
It is also easy, relatively speaking, to convert a screened porch to a full sun room (aka four- season room). So, if you want to upgrade, we can help you complete that project in the future. The project will be easier with your existing porch than it would be to build a new sun room from scratch.
Structurally Speaking – Builders You Can Trust
We’ve mentioned how our owner Jim is heavily involved with the design process for every client. But what about the building process? Can you trust our crew to create your dream?
The short answer is yes!
Jim doesn’t just oversee the design step of the process. He also keeps careful watch over our construction crew. Here are our promises to you:
- We don’t hire unknown, unreliable subcontractors to finish the job. Jim oversees our trusted team of specialists who have experience building custom decks and porches.
- Our crew will respect your property. We don’t leave a messy worksite at the end of each day. Additionally, we take care to disrupt your landscape as little as possible. We’ll do our best to impact your life minimally as we complete your project.
- Also, we will respect your time. Our team will show up bright and early, ready to work, based on the schedule we set. Sometimes, unavoidable weather delays happen, but in these cases, we always stay in touch about an updated timeline for your porch project.
- Quality is important to us. We use the best materials on the market and take pride in impeccable work. If you are not satisfied with any aspect of your enclosed porch, we’ll make it right. We’re not happy until you’re happy.
Are you ready to learn more about how we can help you create a beautiful screened in porch? Click here to contact us via phone or fill out the form to schedule a free design consultation. We look forward to working with you!