Benefits of Adding a Screened Deck to Your Home

screened deckIs a screened deck right for your home? If you’re looking for a new indoor/outdoor living space, a screened porch or deck is just one of your options. Here at Structurally Speaking, we can create a custom design just for you. Our goal is to construct the perfect additional living space, based on your family’s specific needs and your home’s design.

Screened Deck Advantages

Adding a screened in porch or deck gives you an additional living space for entertaining and relaxing. You get some additional benefits as well:

  • A screened living space allows you to bring the outdoors in, so you can enjoy your backyard with some protection from the elements.
  • Unlike open decks, a screened in deck is a safer option for young children and pets, since you can keep the door locked.
  • You don’t need to build a new room onto your home. We can add screens to your current deck or porch.
  • With the screens, you are protected from bugs, which is especially helpful on summer evenings when mosquitos can make enjoying your yard unbearable.

Additionally, adding an outdoor space can be a great home improvement investment. According to Remodeling Magazine, you can recoup over 70% of your costs if you add a deck, for example. In other words, the value of your home will increase, so that someday when you sell, you’ll be able to ask a higher price. You will also typically be able to sell your home faster, since buyers often look for an indoor/outdoor space when searching for a home.

Beyond Decks: Other Indoor/Outdoor Space Options

Instead of a screened deck, you may wish to consider a different type of living space that brings the outdoors inside. Each has its own advantages.

First, many homeowners love the versatility of adding a sunroom. A sunroom typically has large windows, but also has heating, cooling, and electricity. You can use this space all year long, even during the coldest parts of winter and hottest parts of summer.

You can also consider a three-season room. Unlike screened porches and decks, these rooms are completely enclosed with glass windows for added protection from the elements. However, these typically don’t have heating and cooling like a true sunroom.

Some homeowners may also want to consider a traditional porch, patio, or deck instead of a screened-in option. You can add on to an existing porch or deck, or we can build one from scratch. These spaces are less versatile than a room with windows or screens, but they are a budget-friendly option.

The Budget for Your New Deck

Speaking of your budget, you might be wondering how much to set aside for your new indoor/outdoor living space. The short answer is: it depends.

At Structurally Speaking, we create a custom design for every homeowner. You’ll start the process with a no-obligation meeting where we discuss your design preferences, along with budget. We think it’s extremely important to start on the same page. We’ll never design a space you can’t afford.

To keep the price in your budget, we can look at the size and complexity of design for your new deck, as well as the materials. We don’t sacrifice quality, but some materials are just naturally less expensive than others. For example, composite decking typically costs more than wood. We’ll also ensure the screen material, roof material, and other materials fit into your budget.

How We Create the Perfect Deck Design

The budget isn’t the only thing we discuss during your initial consultation. This is a meeting you’ll have with Jim, the owner of Structurally Speaking. Jim oversees every deck, porch, and sunroom project from start to finish.

If you have clear deck or porch ideas, Jim can bring life to the picture in your head. However, if you aren’t sure what you want, he can help. He’ll look at your existing deck or porch if you have one, as well as the overall space and design of your home. He will also go over features you can add, such as a hot tub deck, pergola, fire pit, built-in planters, and more. By the end of this meeting, Jim will have a good idea of what will work best for your home and family.

Next, we’ll schedule a design presentation. During this second meeting, Jim will show you drawings of his designs for your space. You can make changes to the deck or porch design at this point, so the final result is exactly what you want.

Once you are completely happy with the design, we’ll start the building process. Jim oversees the team to ensure that his drawings are translated from paper to real life. You don’t have to worry about the deck or porch cost inflating at this point; the price we quoted at the design presentation is the price you get. We don’t give you a surprise bill at the end of the project.

FAQs about Screened Decks

Every screened-in porch or deck is different, but here are a few frequently asked questions about this kind of outdoor living space:

  • Is a screened-in deck heated or cooled?

Typically, no, though it is common to have a ceiling fan. If you want a climate-controlled space, we recommend a sunroom.

  • Can screened decks have a fire pit?

We don’t recommend most fire pits under a roof. However, you can still have a fire feature! There are fire features that are safe under a roof, such as outdoor fireplaces.

  • Does a screened porch or deck add to the square footage of your home?

This area is usually not calculated as square footage if you sell the home, but it is a bonus space that buyers love to see.

Do you have more questions about screened decks or other outdoor living areas? Contact us today! Give us a call at 919-786-4825. We’re happy to answer any of your questions and set up an initial meeting so you can speak to Jim about your deck project.

Advantages of A Screened In Porch Raleigh NC Contractor

Screened In Porch Raleigh NCCOVID restrictions have put everyone at home making for cramped quarters. Trying to meet everyone’s needs can be a real challenge. One way to expand your living space is with a screened porch. Porch enclosures protect against weather elements. Plus, our mild southern winters allow for longer use. When searching for a screened in porch Raleigh NC contractor, choose Structurally Speaking.

Our owner, Jim Brennan, started out working for one of those large national porch and deck builders. Dissatisfied with the lack of personalization and customization, he left and began his own company. Today, we’re one of Raleigh’s premier custom designing and building companies for outdoor structures.

Benefits Of A Patio Enclosure

A screen room can serve many functions. You can use the extra space as a family room, playroom, dining area, home office, or entertainment area. The enclosure offers shade on the sunniest days and protection for the rain on wet days. In addition to extra living space, you’ll appreciate some other additional benefits:

  • Increased home value
  • Extra entertainment area
  • Freedom from bugs
  • Privacy
  • Visual interest

While open porches and decks are great for adding outdoor living space, they can’t protect you from pesky bugs. With a porch enclosure, the screens prevent bees, mosquitoes, flies, and all manner of annoying insects away from you. Plus, you’ll enjoy some added privacy from your neighbors.

A bonus is the visual interest a screened room adds. An enclosure adds dimension and depth. For many buyers, a screened porch is a must-have option.

Is A Screened Patio Expensive?

Having additional outdoor living space is invaluable. Sometimes, you just can’t put a price on having an extra room for entertaining, working, or relaxing. However, as a homeowner, you do have a certain budget to work within. Thus, many people want to know how much enclosing a porch will cost.

Your porch enclosure is entirely customizable so pricing widely varies. With this in mind, certain choices do affect your cost:

  • Size
  • Materials
  • Roofing options
  • Flooring
  • Amenities

When considering the size of your enclosure, be sure you have enough space to use it comfortably. Start by deciding on the main function of your enclosure. Think about the type of furniture that will occupy the space.

Additionally, you have many choices when it comes to choosing your materials. Screens, roofing, and flooring options are varied and plentiful. Plus, you can add many different types of amenities:

  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fan
  • Electrical outlets
  • Fireplace
  • Speakers

It’s best to sit down with a general contractor, like Structurally Speaking, and discuss your ideas and budget. Your contractor can help you choose the best options for your needs and enjoyment of your outdoor space.

How Can I Winterize My Enclosed Porch?

During the warmer months, you can enjoy the fresh air wafting through your enclosure while you remain protected from insects. Yet, when the days turn chilly, your screen porch becomes a neglected room. However, if you winterize your enclosure, you can enjoy your room all year round.

One easy way to winterize your enclosure is with clear vinyl curtains. Curtains are an inexpensive way to keep the chill out of your enclosure and heat in. Plus, vinyl curtains can block snow from accumulating on your porch floor without obstructing your view.

Adding vinyl curtains creates an environment similar to a greenhouse. Light energy enters your enclosure, converting to heat energy once inside. However, the heat energy cannot escape, warming your enclosure. Often, your porch can be 30° F warmer than the outside air.

Moreover, you can add a space heater or fireplace for more warmth. Moreover, a fireplace adds ambiance and makes your space feel more like your interior.

Some FAQs Regarding Screened Enclosures

Many homeowners have the same questions as you do regarding enclosing a porch. We’ve answered the most commonly asked ones below. If you have any other questions, give us a call at 919-786-4825 and we’ll be happy to help.

Can I Enclose An Existing Porch, Deck, Or Patio?

The general answer to this question is yes with certain considerations. First, the existing structure must be sound and in good shape. Next, the existing structure needs to be strong to support the additional weight of the enclosure.

Finally, you must comply with local ordinances and zoning laws. Hiring a local contractor knowledgeable in this area saves you a lot of trouble. Structurally Speaking is a local Raleigh based company with over 20 years of experience in designing and constructing outdoor enclosures.

Are Screened Porches Customizable?

Yes! We start with our free no-obligation consultation discussing your needs and wants. During our initial meeting, we’ll also review your budget to ensure our design is within your means. The price we quote is the price you’ll pay.

Plus, we individualize our designs so that your project is unique. Likewise, if you change your mind during the designing stage, we can easily adapt to those changes. As we discuss your usage needs, you may decide on a 3-season room or sunroom. We’re flexible and want you to be completely happy.

How long does the installation take?

All home remodeling projects are unique. Size, scope, and weather all impact the finish date. Similarly, if you’re not familiar with the rules and regulations in construction, you may face more delays.

However, when you hire Structurally Speaking, you won’t have to worry about any local legislative hurdles interfering with your timeline. We’re a local company. Thus, we know how to cut through the bureaucratic red tape so that our project finishes on time.

The Screened In Porch Raleigh NC Contractor Trusted By Many

Extra space in a home is always a welcome addition. Enclosing a porch is a great way to extend your living space. When searching for a screened in porch Raleigh NC company homeowners love, choose Structurally Speaking.

We offer personalized custom design, competitive pricing, and professional project management. Better yet, we can also build you a new deck, pergola, hot tub deck, 3-season room, or sunroom. Combined with our experience and excellent customer service, we guarantee your complete satisfaction.

Why wait? Call us at 919-786-4825 for your free consultation. Spring will soon be here. Let’s have your project completed to enjoy those pleasant, warm days.

Top Covered Back Porch Ideas for Homeowners in the Triad

covered back porch ideasAt Structurally Speaking, we love helping homeowners turn their outdoor living space dreams into reality. We can help you refine your sunroom, enclosed porch, deck, or covered back porch ideas to create the perfect design for your family. When you work with our team, you can rest assured that you will absolutely love the new addition to your home.

The Benefits of an Outdoor Living Space

Here in North Carolina, you can enjoy an outdoor living space during most months of the year. Even in the dead of winter, we tend to have some mild days. So, if you live here in the Triad, you’re going to get a lot of use out of your porch, deck, or sunroom. Here are a few other benefits you may not have considered:

This is a Great Investment

Studies show that building an outdoor space is one of the best ways to invest your money if you’re looking to make home improvements. Someday, when you sell your home, you’ll be able to sell it faster and get a higher sale price. Here is a list of some of the top outdoor improvements to make if you want to see a return on investment.

Your Party Will Have More Space

An outdoor space is perfect for entertaining, even if you need to be cautious. Social distancing is easier and a small gathering is safer when you are outside. Even after we no longer need to social distance for health reasons, no one likes a crowded party. If you love to host, having an outdoor space like a covered porch or enclosed porch gives you room to invite more people.

Adding a Porch or Sunroom Gives You Flexibility

This space can act as a second living room, office, breakfast nook, etc. The possibilities are endless. Your family will love having space to spread out and use the porch in the way that makes the most sense for them. Our porch design options offer flexibility.

Porches Offer Protection

A back porch can help you enjoy your yard in ways a deck does not. Even when it is raining or even snowing, you can enjoy time on your porch. It also provides shade when the sun gets too hot. If you enclose your porch or opt for a sunroom instead, you also have a protection from mosquitos.

A Porch Offers Options for Plants

If you have a green thumb (or an aspiring green thumb), a porch or sunroom is the perfect place for potted plants. You can more easily control the sun/shade and water your plants receive with a covered porch.

Your Kids and Pets Have a Safe Place to Play

Porches offer a playroom option for kids and pets that is a bit safer than most backyards. Even if your yard is fenced, you may not feel comfortable with your kids playing outside alone. A porch is a great stepping stone so they can enjoy time outside without fully leaving the house.

These are just a few of the benefits of adding a porch or sunroom to your home. Different families find various benefits depending on individual needs. For example, maybe you have a teen who really wants to enjoy a sleeping porch in the summer. Or, maybe you and your spouse love to sit on the porch to watch the sunset after a long day at work. The sky is really the limit.

The Structurally Speaking Process

If you feel confused about your outdoor living space options, don’t worry. You are not alone! Most homeowners feel overwhelmed trying to choose the best option for their budget. That’s why we guide you through the process from start to finish.

We’ll create a custom design for your covered back porch or other outdoor space. This process starts with an initial consultation. During the consultation, you’ll sit down with Structurally Speaking’s owner, Jim Brennan, to discuss your specific covered back porch ideas and needs. Yes, Jim oversees every design consultation and the entire process. You get individualized attention and a custom design, not a cookie cutter outdoor space.

We meet some clients who know exactly what they want and others who have no idea. Most people fall somewhere in the middle. Regardless, Jim will show you multiple examples and ask all the right questions to understand what you want and need in your new porch.

From there, Jim will design options and schedule a design presentation. At the design presentation, you’ll get to review what Jim believes will be the best options for your home and lifestyle. At this point, you can still change your mind. There is no obligation, and we can make tweaks to your porch design. If you aren’t happy, we aren’t happy.

Once we nail down the design together, we’ll start the building process. Once again, Jim oversees the construction part of the project. We don’t subcontract the work to a team that doesn’t understand the design or cuts corners to get done more quickly. Jim ensures that the design pops from the paper to real life so you can enjoy your beautiful backyard complete with new porch.

Are Sunrooms and Three-Season Rooms Better than Porches?

As we walk you through the design options, you might be wondering if a porch is really the best choice. Along with porches, we also build sunrooms and three-season rooms (also sometimes called three-season sunrooms or three-season porches). The truth is that it just depends on your goal for this new outdoor living space.

Adding a sunroom is like adding a room to your home. They might have a wall of windows, but they also have heating and cooling. It’s the most functional option, even during the coldest days of winter and hottest days of summer. That said, a sunroom feels least like an outdoor space and is also typically the most expensive option.

A three-season room is like a sunroom, but typically does not have built-in heating and cooling, beyond a ceiling fan in some cases. They do provide a lot of protection from the elements, but you may not be able to enjoy these rooms year-round. Unlike an enclosed porch, these spaces are typically larger and have floor-to-ceiling windows or screens. However, many people use these terms interchangeably, which can be confusing. That’s why we’re so heavily involved with the design and construction process. We want to make sure you get exactly what you want, regardless of the terms you use to describe your vision.

Both traditional sunrooms and three-season rooms offer more benefits than a simply covered porch. However, these options are a bigger undertaking as well, requiring a bigger budget, more planning, and more space. Jim can talk to you more about all your outdoor room options during your consultation.

Enclosing Your Back Porch

If you already have a back porch, we can help you enclose it using windows or screens. In both cases, enclosing your porch can make it more functional. We can also add other features such as blinds, a ceiling fan, or even an outdoor fireplace.

But is enclosing your back porch the best option for your family?

First, consider how you currently use your porch. Enclosing your porch, especially if you choose screens instead of glass, can obstruct your view slightly. Some people also like the more open feel for a normal back porch.

However, it’s also important to think about how you could use the porch in different ways once it is enclosed. An enclosed space has more options. You can use a space heater or fans to control the temperature slightly. The windows/screens also prevent bugs from crashing the party. Most homeowners find that an enclosed porch is more functional.

If you’re not sure which option is right for you, Jim can walk you through the pros and cons during your consultation. Additionally, we can show you porch design examples so you can envision how a screened porch might look on your home.

Keep in mind that you don’t need an existing porch or to add an enclosed porch to your home. We can upgrade your back porch or wraparound porch, but we also have experience with porch construction. Our team can build your porch from scratch. We can also build a traditional non-enlcosed porch that could be upgraded to an enclosed porch later.

Covering a Deck

Instead of a traditional porch, you may instead wish to build a covered deck or cover you existing deck. A covered deck may or may not have railing like a porch. You can cover just part of your deck or cover the entire deck.

The first option is an awning, which attaches to your house. Awnings are typically made from fabric. They are low-cost while still looking great. Some awnings can be raised and lowered to meet the needs of the day while others are permanently raised.

Another option is to install a pergola. With a pergola, you get protection from the sun without blocking out the sun completely. Pergolas are a great choice if you like to garden, since you can easy train climbing plants to grow on the pergola. This provides even more shade over time.

We can also build a full pavilion over your existing deck. Pavilions provide a roof with full protection from the sun and rain. We don’t recommend this option if you enjoy using a fire pit on your deck. However, we can incorporate an outdoor fireplace instead if you want a fire feature that is safe to use under a roof.

Indoor/Outdoor Combination Spaces

If your head is spinning with the options and you don’t know which to choose, don’t worry. You also have the option to incorporate multiple ideas into a design for a true indoor/outdoor space. For example, maybe you want to enclose part of your porch, but have it lead to a traditional open porch. Or maybe you want a sunroom that leads out to a deck.

Because we design each porch to perfectly suit your needs, you don’t have to choose from a handful of pre-fabricated solutions. Your indoor/outdoor space will be fully customized to meet your needs.

We’ll also help you determine what porch size works best for your home. We look at how you intend to use the space, the size of your house, and the size of your backyard. Even a small porch can add a lot of pizazz to your home.

Top Decorating Tips – Covered Back Porch Ideas to Maximize Your New Space

Before you decorate your new back porch, we have to build it. However, to get a head start, here are a few ideas to keep in mind:

  • Remember to use outdoor fabrics for pillows, seat cushions, curtains, etc. This type of fabric won’t fade as quickly in the sun and may be resistant to mold and mildew.
  • An outdoor rug can make the space look cozy . It also helps to prevent your family from tracking mud and dirt into the house.
  • Think about storage for some basic outdoor items, such as outdoor toys and smaller gardening supplies.
  • Provide lighting in areas that will need it most. An enclosed porch will get a lot of sunlight. However, you’ll still need task lighting during the day.
  • Add plants to help bring the outdoors into your home. Many plants do well in pots, especially if they’ll be getting a lot of sun, as is the case with a porch. You can even successfully grow some species of trees in pots.

If you have decor ideas that you want us to incorporate into your design, just let us know. We are happy to include an outdoor kitchen, built-in outdoor furniture, water features, fire features, special pavers, built-in planters, and more. Our goal is to create a beautiful backyard oasis that you use every day.

Book your free consultation now by filling out the form above.

How to Enclose a Porch for Winter: What You Need to Know

how to enclose a porch for winterAs fall turns into winter, you might be wondering if you can get more use out of your outdoor living space. A porch seems like a great feature until the temperature dips and you’re stuck in the house. If you’re interested in how to enclose a porch for winter, we can assist! The Structurally Speaking team has a few ideas to help you enjoy your porch all year round, including both permanent and seasonal solutions.

Enclosing Your Porch: Easy Screened Porch Solutions for Homeowners

First, let us start by mentioning that some homeowners get a lot of value by simply enclosing their porch with screens. Screens won’t create a warm environment, but they will help keep wet leaves and snow from blowing into your porch area.

Enclosing your porch with screens also has a number of other year-round benefits:

  • You’ll be able to enjoy your porch with fewer insects in the spring, summer, and fall.
  • Screens are relatively inexpensive and work with most porches.
  • Your porch will be more secure with added screens. If you have problems with theft of outdoor furniture or decor, this might be the right solution for you.
  • A screened porch is a more secure option for pets and young children.

With a screened porch, you can still heat it during the winter with the use of outdoor heaters. Electric wall-mounted heaters, outdoor table heaters, and lamp-style patio heaters all work well with a screen porch. You’ll want to stay away from a traditional propane patio heater or fire pits, as these are not meant for use in a covered area like a porch.

Click here to learn more about our screened porch options.

Weatherproofing Your Enclosed Porch

A step up from screens, you can also install a storm door and windows instead of screens to create a barrier between you and the elements. This will create an enclosed porch that stays dry and protects you from the cold wind we get here in North Carolina from late fall to early spring.

Some people call this kind of enclosed porch a “three season room” or “three season porch.” Typically, this is because the temperature remains comfortable for three seasons – spring, summer, and fall. If you want the room to be functional in the winter as well, you can use a space heater as needed. This is a great option if you use the room from time to time during the winter, but not every day.

A three season room can also be comfortable in the winter if it is positioned on the side of your house that gets the most sun during the time of day you use the porch. For example, if you love to use your enclosed porch as a breakfast spot, you’ll want it to face the east so it gets a lot of passive solar energy in the morning as the sun rises. Still, you will likely need a space heater to comfortably use your three season porch during the coldest weeks of winter.

Keep in mind, space heaters use a lot of electricity and can be dangerously hot if you have small children. Thus, this is not an option we recommend if you want a fully functional living space you can use every day of the year. This article has some great information about the pros and cons of space heaters, as well as the different types.

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Three Season Porch Warm

While we can also turn your existing porch into a sunroom with built-in heating (keep reading to find out more), we also have a few tips and tricks for keeping your existing porch warm. Even if you don’t have an HVAC system for your porch, you can keep this outdoor living space warm enough to use during most of the year.

First, when the temperature starts to drop, you can install plastic sheeting over all the storm windows to provide a layer of insulation. Sheeting is extremely inexpensive and easy to install. This is especially helpful if you have older windows that are drafty.

Next, we recommend some curtains. Guided PVC curtains can be helpful if you want an unobstructed view at all times. Like plastic sheeting, they give you an extra insulating layer without blocking the windows.

However, curtains made from a heavy cloth might serve you better. Open them as the sun hits your porch to warm the room as much as possible. Then, close them when the sun is no longer hitting your porch to add a layer of insulation.

If you have outdoor furniture on your porch, you can also bring the cushions inside when you aren’t using them. Then, simply take them outside only when you’re using them. Subsequently, they’re more room temperature when you need them. This will give you a warmer place to sit when you do want to enjoy your porch. Choose wicker or wood furniture instead of metal when possible to avoid a super cold seat during the winter.

Last but not least, if you currently have an old enclosed porch that is extremely drafty, we can help! We can renovate your porch so it is in better condition to use all year long.

How to Enclose a Porch for Winter (with Climate Control!)

If you want a truly functional enclosed porch, we recommend turning your porch into a sunroom. A sunroom is like a three season room, but it has heat and air conditioning, just like the rest of your house. Essentially, this is an indoor/outdoor living space for people who love outdoor living and want to feel like they are outside even if the temperature is below freezing.

We can even add a deck addition if you worry about losing too much of that “outdoor” element. We’ll design a custom deck/sunroom option that makes sense for your family.

HVAC Options

You have a few different options for heating your sunroom. There is no right or wrong method. It depends on your specific heating needs, your current HVAC system, and your budget.

If your current HVAC system is large enough to accommodate the extra square footage, you might be able to heat your sunroom simply by keeping the door open. If there is a nearby vent, this could be the right solution for you. You may also be able to easily add a vent to this new room in your home. Sometimes, the process of adding a piece of ductwork and new vent is very simple. Other times, it is a more labor-intensive and expensive project. If you have baseboards or radiators, rather than a forced air system, this may also be easy to add to your sunroom, or it may be more difficult. It depends on your current set-up.

For more difficult cases, a mini split (ductless) system specifically for your sunroom might be the best choice. A mini split HVAC system provides both heat and cooling, but does not use ducts. It is more cost-effective than using a space heater. To install, you’ll need to mount the unit on an exterior wall. So, if your sunroom is floor-to-ceiling glass, this type of unit might not be an option for you.

No matter your sunroom heating challenges, we can help. Our team of professionals takes everything into consideration when designing your indoor/outdoor living space, including your heating and cooling needs. Even if you think it might be very difficult to heat this space how you want, we’ll come up with solutions for you.

Why an Enclosed Porch or Sunroom Makes Financial Sense

Enclosing your porch or turning your porch into a sunroom can be a great investment. Whether you are planning to move soon, want to upgrade within the next 10-20 years, or plan to spend the rest of you life in your home, a porch enclosure just makes sense.

If you plan to move or upgrade to a new home in then next 5 or so years, a screen enclosure, storm windows, or a complete sunroom with heat can help you sell your home for more money. In general, you can expect to recoup 70-80% of the cost in the sale price. This puts it on par with creating a master bedroom, in terms of an investment. So, you’ll get a beautiful new space to enjoy, and then you’ll recoup some of the costs when you sell.

Additionally, an indoor/outdoor living space can help you sell your home faster. In a seller’s market, homes sell very quickly. However, in a buyer’s market, your home could take several months or even years to sell. Many buyers are specifically looking for a space such as an enclosed porch, sunroom, or deck. It can help your home stand out from the others on the market.

If you don’t plan to move anytime soon, a porch enclosure or sunroom can still help you financially. These features increase the value of your home. In the future, if you ever want to take out a home equity loan or line of credit, you’ll qualify for more money if your home is worth more. Home equity loans or lines of credit can be very beneficial if you ever want to take on a large home renovation project or need money for an unexpected large expense.

The Structurally Speaking Experience

If you’re looking for how to enclose a porch for winter, you’ll see multiple contractor options. So why should you choose Structurally Speaking for your indoor/outdoor space?

To start, our team treats every customer as an individual. Many porch, sunroom, and deck builders have pre-set designs with very little room for deviation. The result? You will probably never be 100% happy with your new porch or sunroom.

Instead, we sit down for an initial consultation with you, in order to figure out exactly what you want in your new outdoor space. Our owner, Jim, has decades of experience designing custom porches, sunrooms, and decks. He specialized in this process for a large company before starting Structurally Speaking as a way to provide even better customer support.

Once Jim gets to know you and your home, he’ll create a few design options based on your budget and preferences. During the design presentation, you can make tweaks so the final project is exactly what you want. We don’t start building until you are completely happy with the design.

Our in-house build team completes your project exactly to the design specifications. We don’t pass the project off to unqualified subcontractors. Jim is fully invested in leading every project. We’ll bring your vision to life.

What People are Saying About Structurally Speaking

We think we’re the best contractors for your enclosed porch project. You don’t have to take our word for it, though! Here are some real reviews from our clients:

“Deck looks great. Thanks for your work and design. I think we will enjoy this set up for years to come, it really preserves the view from the dining room window and opens up to the back yard on the upper end.” – Brian Fork

“Jim and the crew of Structurally Speaking were fantastic. Jim’s ideas for the design worked much better than the ones we had in mind. The work was done quickly and professionally. Our porch looks amazing and our family (especially our kids) spend most of their time there.” – Ofri Leitner

“We could not be more pleased. Jim Brennan has a gift for design, and Structurally Speaking’s crew did an excellent job of turning our vision into a reality. Their attention to detail and their overall workmanship was wonderful.” – Mike Rosenthal

Are you ready to get started with your free consultation? Fill out the form above for a no-obligation quote on enclosing your porch or turning your porch into a sunroom.

Why You Should Build a Sunroom – 9 Benefits for Homeowners

build a sunroomAre you considering adding an indoor/outdoor space to your home? We can build a sunroom, enclosed porch, deck, or combination space custom to your home. Our team has experience turning your indoor/outdoor living space dreams into reality. A custom built sunroom is an extremely popular option, and for good reason! Let’s go over all the benefits to adding a sunroom to your home.

Build a Sunroom for the Ultimate Versatile Space

A sunroom addition is the most versatile indoor/outdoor space because it has heat and air conditioning. Some people refer to sunrooms as four season rooms, since you can use them all year long. Adding a sunroom is a big undertaking, because it is essentially a home addition. However, you can use your new room addition in any number of ways!

  • Create a playroom for the kids.
  • Add a couch and chairs for an additional family room.
  • Use a dining room table to create more seating for a large family.
  • Decorate with plants to bring the outdoors indoors.
  • Add a daybed to create an extra place for guests to sleep or to enjoy sleeping under the stars without going camping.
  • Create a little breakfast nook to enjoy your coffee in the morning.
  • Make a small library with some built-in bookshelves.
  • Use it as a game room, with a special game table and cabinetry to hold board games. If it’s big enough, it could have a pool table!
  • Working and studying at home may require additional home office space.

We can even build a sunroom that has a hot tub or connects to a hot tub deck. There are so many possibilities for your new sunroom!

Enjoy the Outdoors All Year Long, Even During Storms

One of the biggest benefits of having a sunroom is that you can enjoy this space all year long, even when it is raining or snowing.

With a sunroom, we typically add an HVAC system or ensure that your current HVAC system is large enough to handle the square foot increase. If you need additional heating and cooling power, we recommend a mini split! A mini split (ductless) unit uses a very small hole in an exterior wall, instead of requiring a full duct system. It’s a great way to make your sunroom into a special heating/cooling zone in your house.

Keep in mind that since your sunroom is fully inside, it gives you peace of mind when you want to host any kind of outdoor party. If it rains, you have a backup plan. It can also give you a temperature-controlled party space if the sun is too hot or if there is an unseasonably cool day. We can build a sunroom that leads out to a deck so the two spaces can work together seamlessly.

Add More Space to Entertain

Speaking of parties, a sunroom gives you more space for entertaining all year. Remember, you are adding a whole other room to your home. Unlike a guest room addition, a sunroom is more functional when you have people visiting. No more sitting on top of one another in a small, cramped living room.

Since you have more space to entertain, you have more options for placing food, music, and seating areas. A sunroom really allows you to expand the living space to make more sense for entertaining.

A Safe Play Area for Pets and Kids

Even if you have a fenced-in yard, it may not feel secure to allow pets and kids to play outside. At the same time, few of us have the time to spend every day supervising outside for hours. A sunroom is a great compromise.

With a sunroom, your pets and kids can enjoy the natural light while still being safely inside your home. This is an especially good option if you have a pool or water feature in your yard, which can be dangerous for young children. A custom-built sunroom is a fun place to play without the worry.

A sunroom can also be great for older kids. They can use this area to watch a movie, listen to music, or play games without disturbing the rest of the household. As your kids get older, you may not be comfortable with friends hanging out in their bedroom. A sunroom gives them a little privacy to have fun, but they are still within the view of other rooms.

The sunroom option is additionally great for a girls’ night with a few glasses of wine or a guys’ poker night. Your whole family can enjoy the sunroom. We can plan your sunroom away from your bedrooms, so if the kids go to bed early, your guests won’t disturb them.

Your Older Relatives Can Relax without Leaving the Party

If you plan to host outdoor parties for all age groups, it may make sense to have an indoor area where older relatives can get out of the sun. Here in North Carolina, summer parties can be really hot, even in the shade. A four season room gives grandpa a place to cool down without leaving the party completely.

Your custom sunroom can not only have air conditioning, but also a ceiling fan. This allows you to keep a breeze going on days when it is a little warm, but not hot enough to have the air conditioner blasting at full strength.

A Bug-Free Environment

If you have an existing deck, porch, or patio, you might know how difficult it is to host an outdoor party with food. Bugs will attack within minutes, any buffet spread you bring outside. Even the best bug control candles won’t protect that pile of barbecue or your aunt’s famous lemon pie.

Instead, keep the party going outside, but spread out the food inside. Your new sunroom is the perfect place for a party buffet. As an added bonus, you can keep a stocked mini fridge in your sunroom for ice cold beer and mixed drinks. No more lugging bags of ice for the cooler.

Of course, when you build a sunroom, you’ll also be creating a living space you can enjoy without bugs, even without food. We all know that feeling when we have to go back inside because of a swarm of hungry mosquitoes! A sunroom gives you a bite-free place to enjoy the sunset.

More Natural Light for Plants

With the right sunroom design, you can create a beautiful indoor garden. Plants love the natural light of a sunroom. With a glass wall facing the right direction, you can even grow more tropical plants that typically don’t survive here in North Carolina. Sunroom windows are the main feature of these rooms, so let the sun shine in!

When you work with an experienced professional sunroom contractor like the Structurally Speaking team, you have options for your sunroom roof. Yes, you can simply add a normal roof that blends well with your existing home. However, you can also have a glass sunroom roof for even more added light. The results of having a glass roof and walls can be stunning.

Increase Your Home’s Value

A new sunroom isn’t just a beautiful place to sit with your morning coffee or enjoy a gorgeous sunset. It’s also an amazing investment. When you add a sunroom, you are increasing the square footage of your home. That measurement includes all rooms that have heating, cooling and insulation. Studies show that homeowners recoup around 50% of the costs when selling. This means it is about as valuable as adding an upscale master suite.

Keep in mind that if you are not planning to sell your home anytime soon, this investment value will only increase as home prices rise, as long as you keep your sunroom in great condition. For the most bang for your buck, consider not only a sunroom, but a sunroom and deck combination.

Having a more valuable home can help in another way. In the future if you ever need a home equity loan or home equity line of credit, you will qualify for more money. These loans/lines of credit are determined based on the total equity you have, so the more your home is worth, the better.

Sell Your Home Faster

If you do intend to sell your home in the next few years, having an indoor/outdoor living space can help you sell your home faster. Right now, it is a seller’s market, which means that in most communities, homes are flying off the market. That isn’t always the case. By the time you sell your home, it could be a buyer’s market. When this happens, it is common for homes to take several months or even years (yes, YEARS!) to sell.

Many buyers are looking for bonus living spaces in the homes they buy. Sunrooms fit the bill, as do other outdoor living spaces like a screened porch or deck. As a homeowner, you may be thanking your past self for deciding to build a sunroom. You’ll be able to sell and move sooner.

Sunroom Costs – What to Expect

You may love the idea of building a sunroom, but can you afford it? Here at Structurally Speaking, building sunrooms, porches, and decks is our area of expertise. We would love to work with your budget to see what option is most affordable for you.

When you work with our team, you don’t get just a prefab sunroom that doesn’t really fit your home well. Instead, we’ll sit down with you to talk about how your family will use the sunroom and what options you like best. Then, we’ll design a custom sunroom perfect for you. This is why we are able to work with a wide range of budgets. Our sunrooms are built specifically for you, rather than using some kind of cheap prefab sunroom kit.

If the sunroom cost doesn’t fit your budget, we can also explore other options. At Structurally Speaking, our team builds decks in a variety of sizes, porches (enclosed and open), and three-season rooms. Additionally, we can even create a patio enclosure. We can also adjust the size of your sunroom based on your budget.

At Structurally Speaking, you also never have to worry about red tape. We do all the work for you. If you need a permit, inspection, or any other paperwork from the city/county where you live, we’ll handle it. We can even help you gain approval from a homeowner’s association. When you work with our team, you never have to deal with this kind of headache.

Why Structurally Speaking

We treat every client like a person, not a number. Not only is your sunroom designed especially for you, but we use your feedback to create the perfect sunroom design before we ever start the building process. If your sunroom design isn’t perfect, you won’t be happy in the long run. We want you to enjoy your sunroom for years to come. When you work with us, we’ll do our best to create a space you love.

Additionally, we oversee the entire building process from start to finish. You won’t wake up to find some unknown subcontractor knocking on your door. We complete the work under direct supervision of owner and designer, Jim Brennan. With decades of custom sunroom experience, Jim’s attention to detail cannot be beat. If you aren’t happy, we won’t stop until you are.

You don’t have to take our word for it. Here are some comments our clients are making about the Structurally Speaking experience:

“We could not be more pleased. Jim Brennan has a gift for design, and Structurally Speaking’s crew did an excellent job of turning our vision into a reality. Their attention to detail and their overall workmanship was wonderful.” – Mike Rosenthal

“I wanted to commend your team on the progress they have made. I got home late last night, and I was amazed at the progress they made on our new deck. I was equally amazed at how much it looks like the actual diagram that we discussed!!! Awesome job!!!” – Brister Gowdy

You can read more reviews here.

Are you ready to start your own sunroom project? Schedule your no-obligation design consultation by filling out the form above. Or, give us a call at 919-786-4825 and speak to an expert.