How To Enclose A Patio Without Breaking Into A Sweat

how to enclose a patioThe pandemic restrictions have forced many Americans to spend more time at home. Now, families are attending school, working, and vacationing at their residence. Moreover, industry experts expect trends in improving and utilizing outdoor spaces to continue. This development has led many homeowners to research how to enclose a patio to extend their living space.

With homeowners now considering outdoor spaces an indispensable extension of their interior, many are searching for reliable, skillful contractors. Structurally Speaking has established itself as a leader in the construction of outdoor living spaces. Since 2008, we have been helping homeowners create unique and functional outdoor living spaces.

How To Enclose A Patio Isn’t A Simple Procedure

Undoubtedly, enclosing a patio is a complex process. Unless you have experience in design and construction, it’s best to leave enclosing a patio to the professionals. A poorly constructed structure can actually devalue your home and become an eyesore. Furthermore, any enclosure failing to meet your building codes will cause legal issues when you try to sell your home.

Moreover, hiring an experienced contractor brings workmanship guarantees and warranties to protect your investment. Plus, a skilled contractor can get the job done quickly, allowing you to enjoy your new space faster. You’ll also avoid costly mistakes in design and construction.

For example, when developing your design, you need to consider aesthetics and functionality. Your enclosed structure should match the rest of your home seamlessly. Additionally, you need to consider the flow of the room when adding an exterior door. Finally, you may have to account for any physical obstructions when adding screens.

Often, your inexperience may lead you to make some mistakes. For instance, most patios cannot handle the additional weight of a roof. A patio with a shallow foundation will cause cracking in both the foundation and the enclosure’s roof. Moreover, building a roof and framework for the screens can be complicated. Mistakes in framing can lead to moisture issues and structural damage.

Which Is A Better Option, Screens Or Glass Windows?

Your patio or deck offers a great outdoor space until the mosquitoes start biting or the clouds start rolling in. Then it’s time to head for the indoors.

However, enclosing your outdoor space with screens or windows can increase your enjoyment. With a roof over your head, you’ll have protection from the sun and rain. Likewise, screens and windows will keep out those pesky little critters.

Certainly, screens are the most cost-effective means of enclosing a patio. With the air passing through, you’ll feel like you’re outdoors without the bugs. However, a screened-in enclosure is less than ideal in the colder months.

Undoubtedly, an enclosure with glass windows offers much more protection against the elements. Glass window structures can be either a 3 or 4 season room. Both can extend the usage of your enclosure beyond a screened porch.

FAQs About Patio Enclosures

Often, homeowners have many questions about how to enclose a patio. Below, we’ve answered some of those more commonly asked ones. For additional information, call us at 919-786-4825. Our staff would be happy to answer any other questions.

Do I Need A Permit?

Many home improvement projects require a permit in NC. You may even have to consider local zoning ordinances. Setback restrictions, size limitations, and building codes need careful consideration.

Thankfully, Structurally Speaking is a local contractor. We know how to design and build your structure to meet all rules and regulations. Plus, we can handle all your building permit paperwork to get construction started as soon as possible.

How Much Does It Cost To Enclose My Patio?

Certainly, creating additional living space in your home can be priceless. Your enclosed patio provides room to spread out so that everyone isn’t on top of one another. While you can’t put a financial value on your peace and happiness, you still must consider your expenses.

Undoubtedly, the best way to determine the cost of your project is to make an appointment for our free estimate. During our meeting, we’ll discuss your plans and budget. We’ll explain how each factor will affect your cost:

  • Size
  • Material
  • Design
  • Amenities

Jim Brennan, our owner, personally meets with each new client. Moreover, Jim presents 2 customized design recommendations using a 3-dimensional computer program to envision your new space. Our priority is to design an enclosure that you love within your budget.

Should I Choose Single Or Double Pane Glass?

Ultimately, the answer to this question lies in your planned usage of the enclosed patio. Both can be a good choice depending upon the purpose of your structure.

Comparatively, single-pane windows are much cheaper. However, these are basic windows with little insulating properties to protect you from extreme temperatures or noises.

On the other hand, double pane windows have a layer of trapped gas between panes for insulation. Thus, you can heat and cool your room for year-round use.

What Types Of Amenities Are Available?

Including amenities in your screened patio allows you to enjoy the outdoors in comfort. We can draw from your style and planned usage to include those “must-have” elements:

  • Fireplace
  • Storage cabinets
  • Lighting
  • Ceiling fan
  • Electrical wiring

At Structurally Speaking, we can design any type of enclosed structure from simple to grandeur. If you want a deck, screened porch, hot tub deck, sunroom, or pergola, we can create a unique, functional structure.

Your beautiful patio enclosure is just a phone call away! Request your free no-obligation consultation by dialing 919-786-4826.

Why Homeowners Love Outdoor Screened In Porch Ideas

outdoor screened in porchGenerally, modern builders include porches when constructing new homes. Although the porch’s original purpose and design have changed, its popularity is still high among homeowners. Ultimately, homeowners want to connect with nature without dealing with bugs and bad weather. An outdoor screened in porch bridges the interior of your home with the natural world.

Originally, homeowners constructed porches to escape the heat from their homes. Later, the porch became a gathering place to exchange news with your neighbors. Porches moved to the back of the house when automobiles became popular making the front porch too noisy to relax.

Around the 1920s, two factors helped boost the appeal of backyard porches. The first was the invention of the mesh screen. Also, at this time doctors recommended sleeping in the fresh air to strengthen the immune system.

Nonetheless, Americans lost their interest in the screened porch for a short time. Electrical fans and air conditioning made staying indoors more comfortable. However, drawn toward nature, present-day homeowners are re-imagining the porch with modern updates.

Why Should I Consider Enclosing My Porch?

A deck or a patio is a great addition to any home. Both give you additional living space for entertaining and relaxing. However, neither can offer any protection against insects and bad weather. By enclosing your structure, you can enjoy the outdoors on cooler days or even when it’s raining outside.

Moreover, today’s buyers are actively seeking homes with an enclosed porch. Drastic life changes due to the pandemic have more family members home more often. With space at a premium, homeowners are looking to expand living space as much as possible. The enclosed porch offers a solution.

Customize Your Outdoor Space

The outdoor screened in porch of today takes many forms. Some families still prefer a simple place to relax. Others want an elaborate room with many amenities. Many of today’s enclosures are stylish extensions of the interior of their homes.

Indeed, screened enclosures are functional spaces with many uses. When designing your enclosure, think about how you’re going to use the space. Do you want an extra living room to use all year round? Or, do you prefer an additional dining area for the warmer months?

As you consider your usage, take into account your budget. Make a list of those elements that are “must-haves” for your specific lifestyle needs. Then contact Structurally Speaking to discuss your design ideas and budget.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Building An Outdoor Screened In Porch

Typically, home improvement projects generate many questions. Below, you’ll find some of our most commonly asked ones.

How Much Will It Cost To Convert My Deck To A Screened In Porch?

Often, if you have an existing deck, you can convert it to an enclosed outdoor space. Generally, this will save you some money. An experienced contractor will look at the condition of the deck to see if this is possible. The contractor will also need to check the deck’s foundation to make sure it can support the roof and screens.

Your contractor will consider other factors to determine your cost:

  • Square footage
  • Design
  • Materials
  • Accessories

Certainly, the best way to determine your cost is with our free, no-obligation consultation. Our owner, Jim Brennan always personally meets with clients to ensure your design meets your budget and needs. Unlike other contractors, Jim presents at least two design recommendations. Moreover, Jim also personally oversees every home improvement project.

Are Screened In Porches Customizable?

Any time you undertake a home improvement project, you want to consider your home’s existing architecture. Integrating the colors, siding style, and even hardware are important for a seamless look. Of course, you also want something unique that’s different from everyone else.

Notably, Jim designs each project with your specific needs, function, and aesthetic goals in mind. Thus, he’ll continually adjust the design until it’s the exact plan you envision for your home. This includes amenities such as a fireplace, ceiling fans, or lighting.

Moreover, Jim presents your design on a laptop computer for a 3-dimensional view. Construction will not begin until you are completely satisfied with the plans.

What Are The Best Type Of Screens?

One of the most important design choices you’ll need to make is the type of screen. Today’s screen choices offer different colors and materials. Ultimately, choosing your screen depends on your usage and needs such as:

  • Visibility
  • Privacy
  • Shade

Typically, fiberglass is the most popular screen choice. It’s cost-effective, easy to install, and available in many different colors. Generally, fiberglass screens are invisible, offering protection from bugs without interfering with your view. Moreover, choosing a darker color screen will offer privacy from neighbors while providing shade.

However, metal screens are more durable and longer-lasting. Aluminum is a preferred option, but premium metals such as stainless steel, copper, brass, and copper are also available. Typically, metal screens offer fewer color choices than fiberglass.

Can You Do Other Home Improvement Projects?

Yes. Structurally Speaking specializes in custom decks, sunrooms, hot tub decks, and pergolas as well as screened enclosures. Every project we undertake receives the same attention to detail. We’re not happy until you’re satisfied.

Sure, many contractors can build you a deck. However, not every contractor can offer competitive pricing, expert project management, and a personalized approach. These are just some of the reasons why many of our previous customers refer us to a friend.

Notably, the days are quickly passing. Don’t miss an opportunity to get greater enjoyment from your porch. Call us at 919-786-4825 to find out how much it will cost to enclose your porch.

Enclosed Patios – Designs for a New Indoor/Outdoor Space

enclosed patios designedWhen it comes to enclosed patios designs are sometimes extremely simple or fairly complex. It’s most important that the design fits your family. Here at Structurally Speaking, we don’t have cookie cutter solutions. Instead, we design custom indoor/outdoor living spaces to meet your specific needs.

Benefits to having an enclosed patio include the following:

  • More space to entertain
  • A safe area for kids and pets to play, even if your backyard isn’t fenced
  • You can enjoy the outdoors without the bugs
  • The roof gives you plenty of shade, even on the hottest summer days
  • Your family gains an extra living space

This isn’t a complete list of benefits, but suffice it to say enclosing your patio is a great option! Here’s what you need to know about enclosed patios, screened porches, and other indoor/outdoor living space options.

Is Enclosing Your Patio Possible?

If you have an existing patio that you’re thinking of enclosing, the first question you may have is if it is even possible. From a structural standpoint, the answer is probably yes! However, it depends on your specific situation. The good news is that we can give you the space you want through our personalized design approach, even if enclosing your current patio isn’t the best plan.

First, we’ll look at the foundation for the existing patio. On the ground floor, many patios sit directly on the ground using concrete, but this may not be the case with your patio. We need to make sure that your patio can support the weight of walls and a roof, and that this would be legal based on the city/county building codes in your area. The same is true of a second or third floor patio or balcony. It has to be able to bear the weight of the enclosure. Before we start, we’ll do a full assessment to ensure that enclosing the patio would be safe.

Next, we need to check any rules set forth by your homeowner’s association (if you have one). Most of the time, enclosing a patio is not a problem. However, you may need to submit paperwork for approval. You don’t want to get halfway through the first day of construction only to have an angry HOA president knocking on your door because you didn’t get approval!

Depending on your existing patio and your exact location, you may need a construction permit. Like with HOA approval, this is usually not an issue, just a step we need to take. We’ll handle this for you based on the patio design and your local requirements.

If we determine that we cannot safely enclose your patio, don’t worry! We’ll sit down with you to determine what we can do that will give you the same affect. For example, maybe your patio was built without a strong foundation. In this case, we can remove the old tiles or pavers and build an enclosed patio from scratch. We take pride in finding creative solutions to make our clients happy.

Enclosed Porches and Enclosed Patios – Designs You’ll Love

With our unique consultation and design process, we can create the porch or patio enclosure you really want. Here’s how it works:

Step One: Your Free Initial Consultation

Building a new piece to your home can be stressful if you work with a company that isn’t a good fit. Before we commit to your project, we sit down for a full consultation with you. We’ll discuss your ideas for your enclosed patio, porch, or other outdoor living space. Additionally, we’ll give you some of our own ideas about how you can make your space truly shine.

This consultation is completely free and there are no strings attached. We want to make sure we are the right design team for you. You need to feel confident that we can bring your patio or porch ideas to life. Not sure what you want? We can help in this case as well! During your consultation, we’ll ask questions about how you plan to use the space, as well as look at the existing architecture. We can help you form the best patio or porch design plan for your home.

Additionally, during this consultation, we’ll talk about your budget. We don’t give you a surprise bill at the end of your project. When you work with Structurally Speaking, you’ll know upfront how much your enclosed porch or patio will cost. We don’t think it’s fair to quote a low price and then suddenly run over budget before the project is even halfway done. So, we talk about money upfront and make sure that our designs fit your budget.

Step Two: Your Design Presentation

After the initial consultation, we get to work designing your new covered patio. Depending on your design consultation, we can also create plans for a sunroom, three season room, screened porch, hot tub deck, or other indoor/outdoor space. Some of our clients start off thinking they want one thing, but quickly realize they want something else. We’re flexible and will design the perfect space to meet your needs.

Our owner, Jim, designs every single project himself. We don’t use the same design for every client or outsource the work to someone who’s never seen your home. He uses everything you discuss in your initial consultation to design options for your new space.

During your design presentation, you can speak with Jim about any changes you’d like to make to the design. Before we start to build, we want to get your new patio, porch, or sunroom exactly right.

Step Three: Time to Build!

Once you are completely happy with your patio design, we’ll start the building process. At this point, you might think you’ll never see Jim again. Wrong! Jim oversees the building process as well to ensure that your patio design translates perfectly to real life.

In other words, we’re part of the entire process from start to finish. We don’t hire subcontractors to finish the job, and we don’t do a sub-par job and then disappear with your money. The design you see on paper is exactly what you get in real life. We’ll make sure of it!

Enclosed Patio Ideas – Common Features Our Clients Love

If you’re not totally sure what you want for your enclosed patio, we can show you pictures of our past projects. While no two clients/homes are the same, you might see some common features that many clients love. This can help springboard your own ideas about what you want in a new patio.

First and foremost, many of our clients decide that they want a combination indoor/outdoor space. This could be a sunroom that leads to a porch, a three-season room that leads to a patio, a screened porch that leads to a deck, etc. In short, your new space will include areas that are enclosed and areas that are open if you choose this option.

If you have an existing deck or patio, we’ll take this into consideration as we design your new space. Sometimes, it makes more sense to add on a sunroom or enclosed porch that leads to your current patio or deck. Other times, it makes sense to enclose the patio you already have and add on a deck. We’ll work with you to figure out what is best for the space in terms of both design and budget.

Another common element among our clients is some kind of fire feature. With enclosed patios designs we can consider including outdoor fireplaces and other features that we can safely add under a roof. You have more flexibility with a deck or patio without a roof. In this case, you can consider adding a fire pit, fire column, fire table, chimera, fireplace, or other type of fire feature. We can even design a space with room for heaters if you want to add warmth without a traditional fire feature.

We also build a lot of spaces that include a place for a hot tub. Hot tub decks and patios are the perfect place to relax after a long day of work. Imagine enjoying a frosty beverage as you sink into the bubbles while watching a movie on your outdoor television. We can make it happen! Just check out this design inspiration from HGTV for beautiful hot tub decks and patios.

Even More Patio Ideas – Decor Tips to Make Your Space Beautiful

Our primary job is to build good bones within your new enclosed patio design. But, we also love to hear details about how you intend to decorate. Decor pieces can give us a sense of your style. We might also have some ideas for built-in features that will complement your decor. So please, show us pictures of the outdoor furniture, curtains, accent pieces, and more during your initial consultation.

One of our biggest recommendations is to pay close attention to how the sun will affect the space. With an enclosed porch or patio, you won’t get as much sun as you have in the past. However, we’ll build the space to let in the natural light. Choose curtains to match how you’ll use the patio. Sheer options will let in a lot of light, but do not give you as much privacy, for example. On the other hand, thicker curtains, shutters, and blinds allow you to block the sun (and the neighbor’s view), but may not give you the breezy, open feeling you want.

You will likely want furniture for your patio. We recommend outdoor furniture, which is easier to clean and resists weather damage. If you have a specific set or piece you plan to purchase, we can build your patio with the dimensions in mind. For example, maybe you want a perfect nook for a little breakfast table and set of chairs. Maybe you want to create a game room complete with a large poker table. Or, maybe you want an area for a porch swing. The sky is the limit!

If you know how you want to decorate in advance, we can also make sure to show you colors that will match the overall vibe. We have options for flooring, and of course many paint colors for your walls. Additionally, we can help you choose stain or paint colors for any built-in features like planters or benches. Neutrals are of course popular, but if you prefer bolder colors, we’ve got that covered too.

How Much Will Your New Patio Space Cost?

As mentioned, we discuss patio costs during your initial consultation so there are no surprises along the way. We can work with most budgets. Since our patios are completely custom, we can’t give you a flat price here on our website, but these are a few things that will affect the cost:

  • The patio size along with any additional spaces we’ll be building, such as adding a deck
  • If you have an existing patio or are starting from scratch
  • Special features, such as adding a hot tub
  • The exact building materials and finishes you choose
  • If you need electrical or plumbing in this space
  • The materials you choose for the windows (screens versus glass)

Remember, one of the biggest benefits of adding any kind of indoor/outdoor living space is that it will increase the value of your home. So, this is a great investment for your family.

We provide a breakdown of the costs and can work with you to find solutions in your budget. Remember, there are no strings attached to start. We recommend booking your initial consultation to get a full picture of the costs.

If you’re ready to get started, click here to contact us. We’d love to add your project to our schedule.

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.