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.

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.

Our Team Can Bring Your Screened In Porch Ideas to Life

screened in porch ideasA 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:

  • Sunrooms (aka four-season rooms)
  • Multi-level and single-level decks
  • Combination porch/decks

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!

Screened-In Porches Provide Five Amazing Advantages

 

screened-in porches

Screened-in porches are the perfect home improvement project for North Carolina homeowners. Our year-round mild weather is something all residents want to enjoy at home. A screen porch is the best of both worlds – inside and outside. A homeowner can enjoy numerous benefits from a screened porch. Best of all, porch design ideas are limitless and fun to consider and implement. Structurally Speaking will design and build the porch of your dreams. We provide unique designs, reasonable pricing, quality project management, and unmatched customer service. Contact us at 919-786-4825 to start your screened porch project.

Benefits of Screened-In Porches

Screened-in porches are immensely popular in North Carolina as they provide numerous benefits to southern homeowners. Without further ado, here are the top five advantages to adding on a screened-in porch:

  1. Adds value
  2. Provides additional space
  3. Ability to enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather
  4. Great space for pets
  5. Numerous ways to utilize the space
  6. No insects can spoil your relaxation

Adds value to your house

When taking on a home improvement project, it is always important to consider if it will add value to your current residence. According to a 2017 study completed by the American Institute of Architects, outdoor living spaces remain the most popular requests homeowners are inquiring about to builders. The study stated outdoor living space addition requests increased for the sixth year in a row.

Outdoor living spaces include screened-in porches, patios, decks, hot tub decks, pergolas, three-season rooms and sunrooms. Adding usable space to a home will always increase a home’s value. A screened-in porch as an outdoor living space addition adds usable space; therefore, it adds value to your home. Structurally Speaking has the experience and skill to design and build all of these additions to your home. Let us discuss the needs of your family and the options available during a free consultation.

More space to play and relax

Adding more space not only increases your home’s value, but gives you and the family more space to spread out. A screened porch will be another area of your home for playing, relaxing, entertaining, or whatever you choose to do in that space.

Enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather forecast

One of the best features of a screen porch is that its occupants will enjoy the outdoors while still being ‘indoors’ enough to not get wet from rain or scorched from direct sunlight. Not only does it keep out the elements, but also pesky bugs will not be able to get through the screen.

Great space for pets

People not only enjoy the porch area, but pets will also love the space. Indoor cats typically do not get to enjoy the outdoors other than an occasionally open window. However, a screened-in porch changes that completely! Dogs will also love feeling the breeze and smelling the fresh air through the screen without being on a leash.

Endless ideas for usage

Of course, the ideas for how to use a screen porch are limitless. Here are a few suggestions on ways to use a screened-in porch:

  • Dining area
  • Parties or entertainment
  • Home office
  • Reading nook
  • Study spot
  • Homeschool room
  • Outdoor-style movie room
  • Playroom
  • Garden or arboretum
  • Outdoor kitchen

No insect worries

You can relax and serve food without worrying about mosquitoes, flies or any other uninvited guests invading your outdoor space! Best of all, no mosquito bites to spoil your fun!

Ideas for Year-Round Screen Porches

Now that you know all the benefits of a screened porch, it is time to start considering must-have additions to ensure you can utilize it year-round. Spring and fall are always the perfect temperatures in North Carolina, so a screen porch is flawless the way it is. However, summertime in the south gets toasty. Therefore, an important and almost necessary addition to a screened in porch is a ceiling fan. Depending on how large the porch is, sometimes you may want to add more than one fan to the ceiling. While winters are mild in North Carolina, it still gets cold. In fact, it is usually too cold to enjoy being outside for long. But, adding an outdoor fireplace is a great way to add warmth on cold evenings on a screened porch. Another option is using outdoor heaters.

Porch Design Ideas

The most enjoyable part of any home addition is the design phase! A screen porch is no different. From furniture to lighting, it is important to consider all aspects in your porch design.

Fabulous Furniture for Relaxing and Entertaining

These are a few ideas for your new porch furniture:

  • All-weather patio furniture – wind, sunlight, and rain gusts will impact the furniture’s life, so you want something that will survive the elements.
  • Porch swings
  • Swinging daybed – perfect for those who want a sleeping porch.
  • Synthetic wicker furniture
  • Sectionals
  • Table & Chairs – great to turn the porch into a dining room option.
  • Hammock
  • Desk – during these days when many of us are working or schooling from home, an extra place to have a work/study area is almost a necessity!

Looking for more furniture and design ideas? Check out these pictures on Houzz for more screened-in porch design ideas. Once you decide which furniture you want, next up is deciding how to arrange it all in this new living space.

Illuminating Lighting for the Entire Porch Area

After determining the design for the porch, it is crucial to decide what type of lighting you want to set the ambiance on your porch. Below are a few popular lighting options for screened-in porches:

  • String bistro lights
  • Small lamps
  • Stand-up lamps
  • Outdoor chandelier
  • Carriage lanterns
  • Candles
  • Ceiling fan lights
  • Outdoor lanterns
  • Wall-mounted task lamps
  • Christmas string lights
  • Sconces

Consider the use of the porch area before deciding on lighting. If it will be a study or home office space, then you will want something that gives off a lot of light. Or, if it is for entertaining you will want fun lighting that sets an exciting atmosphere. Do not be afraid to mix lighting up either. There is no rule that says you can only use one type of lighting while designing your new outdoor living space.

Utilize the Ceiling

Do not forget about the ceiling. There is a centuries-old tradition to paint porch ceilings in a pale blue color. People thought the color scared off ghosts and evil spirits and kept them from entering the home. They thought the blue resembled water that spirts could not cross, or the sky which spirits could easily pass through. Consequently, that is how the color got its name, haint blue, which is an alternate spelling of ‘haunt’ during the early days in southern history.

Other Outdoor Room Choices

There are a few more selections to consider when designing your new screened-in porch. Whether you select a sectional sofa or individual chairs, having a fun or classy pillow is a must-add choice. If your backyard is in view of other houses, then privacy might be a concern. One option to add more privacy would be to add some draperies or awnings over each screen. These also keep too much sunlight from coming through a screen when the porch is in direct sunlight.

Rugs are a great choice to place over decking for comfort, especially if you love being barefoot on your porch. Click here for some great tips on how to choose the right rug for your porch or patio spaces. If you plan to use your new screened-in porch for parties or entertaining then be sure to invest in a nice, outdoor-friendly, bar cart. For those that want to make another kitchen space out of their porch, use this Louisiana house screen porch as an example. They add a grill and counters in a beautiful fashion.

Lastly, a final option to consider is what type of screen door you will add to the screen porch. It is important the door always has some type of hook or lock to keep it closed when not opening or closing the door.

Keeping it Clean

Does the thought of keeping your screened-in porch clean make you cringe? Do not worry, it is not too complex. The biggest thing to keep in mind is to conduct regular cleaning as well as seasonal maintenance. Be sure to read this article with tips and tricks on how to easily keep your porch sparkling.

How Much Does It Cost?

Are you excited about the idea of hiring a porch builder for your new screened-in porch yet? You are probably now wondering how much it costs to build a screen porch. There is no exact cost or answer to this question as it greatly varies depending on many factors and the scope of the project. Here are a few aspects that impact cost when building a screen porch:

  • Decking materials and screen fabric
  • Screen size and quantity
  • Size of the space
  • Length of time the project takes
  • Electrical needs, if adding wiring
  • Adding outdoor grill and/or counter tops

These are only a few factors to consider when pricing a screen porch addition. Our owner, Jim Brennan, provides all potential clients with a free, no-obligation initial consultation to discuss the project and pricing. Call us at 919-786-4825 to request yours and begin planning your dream porch.

Enclosed Patio: Screened-In Porch Versus Sunroom

As you read earlier, there are many types of outdoor spaces to add onto your home. Are you struggling to decide between a screened-in porch or sunroom? Are you not sure which patio enclosure is right for you, your house, or your family?

First, it is important to understand the differences between the two. A screened-in porch is an enclosed porch with screens. Whereas, a sunroom typically has glass and walls which does not put inhabitants in direct contact with the elements. It is, in effect, another room added to your home and has heat and air conditioning.

There are various factors to consider when deciding between the two.

Do you already have an existing deck or patio that you can easily enclose with screens? If yes, this choice could save you money.

Is your budget flexible? Sunrooms tend to cost more to build, so if you have a bigger budget this might be a great option.

Are you wanting to enjoy the breeze and fresh air? Then, a screen porch is the way to go.

Read this article for more questions to ask yourself when deciding between a sunroom and screened-in porch.

Why Structurally Speaking?

Structurally Speaking is committed to designing and building high-quality outdoor living spaces for our Raleigh-area clients. Our owner, Jim Brennan, worked with the largest United States deck and porch builder for over a decade. He proved to be one of their top designers in the Raleigh division. In 2008, he started his own business, Structurally Speaking, to provide Raleigh area homeowners with his unique approach to designing porches and decks. His porch ideas are unique for every project and not a cookie-cutter approach. His designs will complement your home’s style and location.

As a top Raleigh porch builder, we are committed to four major values for every project. Those are:

  1. Customized design
  2. Competitive pricing
  3. Expert project management
  4. Excellent customer service

What else can we do? In addition to building top-quality screened-in porches, we also provide these services as well:

  • Deck
  • Sunroom
  • Pergola
  • 3-Season Porch
  • Hot Tub Deck

Your Call to Action

Picture this… a calming breeze flowing through the screen, happy birds chirping, and a warm cup of coffee in your hand. All of that can be yours if you build a screened-in porch for your house! At Structurally Speaking, our goal is to put you in the screened porch of your dreams. We want you to have a space you absolutely love. Give us a call today at 919-786-4825 or fill out our simple contact form to request your free, no-obligation consultation.

Enclosing A Screened Porch Can Be A Simple Process

enclosing a screened porchDuring the long, cold winter months, you counted the days until spring. However, the warm days also bring the annoyance of bugs, especially mosquitoes. Instead of relaxing in the lounge chair, you’re constantly swatting the insects away. This was not how you envisioned spending your summer. Enclosing a screened porch provides you with freedom from insects and protection against rain showers.

Raleigh, NC ranks #6 on a list for the 20 worst cities in the United States for mosquitoes. While many times a mosquito bite results in an itchy bump, some people are allergic experiencing more severe reactions. Also, mosquitos carry deadly diseases that they can transmit through a bite. Malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile, and Zika are some common illnesses you can catch from mosquitos. Moreover, mosquito season lasts from April to October, the time most of us like to be outdoors.

Many people turn to citronella candles or insect repellants when spending time outside. However, a study has shown that many repellants simply do not work. Even if you use an effective product, you need to apply it in sufficient concentration to reduce insect attraction. This study also found that citronella candles did not repel mosquitoes at all.

Does this mean you should avoid the outdoors entirely? Of course not! You can enjoy the outdoors by building a screen room onto your home. The screens are a barrier against all insects while allowing fresh air into your room. If you’re looking for a design specialist for your screen room, call the experts at Structurally Speaking. Our owner, Jim Brennan, personally meets with each client. He’ll give you a detailed consultation focused on your function and aesthetic goals. And there’s no obligation with our estimates.

What’s A Homeowner to Do?

When the warm days are beckoning outside, what should we do? Brave the mosquitoes outside or remain inside shut up in our homes? A better solution is to build a screen room. Then you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors without the threat of insects. Plus, your roofed structure will protect you against sudden summer storms.

Many people love feeling connected to nature. Protected living spaces give homeowners the feeling of outdoors without the inconveniences of bugs and inclement weather. No longer will you have to worry about flies or wasps interrupting your dinner. You’ll be able to enjoy the view outside and pesky mosquitoes won’t be able to reach you.

Do you have an existing patio or deck space? Are you constantly sweeping leaves, grass, and other debris off? A patio enclosure will keep nature’s debris from your outdoor living space. Plus, the overhead roof will protect your furniture from harmful UV rays as well as any bad weather.

Should I Choose A Deck, Screen Room, or Sunroom

When considering your options for extending your living space to the outdoors, you have several choices. Begin by thinking about how you plan on using the additional space. Will you be hosting many outdoor parties? Do you want an additional dining area or family room?

Primarily, your budget is always your first consideration when considering any home improvement project. Knowing how much you can spend will determine the scope of your project. For example, a deck is much cheaper to build than a 3-season room. And a screen room is less expensive than a sunroom.

However, you need to balance your budget against your needs. How do you plan on using the additional space? If you plan on entertaining, you’ll want tables and seating with space to maneuver around. You may even want a screened-in area for protection against insects and bad weather. And if you plan on using the room throughout the year, you’ll want a sunroom.

The Differences Between Each Structure

So, which structure will be best for your needs? Each one is slightly different with varying price levels. Structurally Speaking can help you create, and design a deck, screen room, or sunroom perfect for your needs and budget. Let’s take a look at the basics of each construction.

Decks are generally elevated structures attached to a house. They can be different levels, sizes, and shapes. Typically, builders construct decks from pressure-treated wood, hardwoods, or composite wood. Most decks don’t have roofs to provide shade and protection from the elements.

A screen room is a roofed structure attached to your home. You can build an entirely new structure or build an enclosure around a porch or a patio. Screen panels keep insects and debris out while letting fresh air in. However, you can’t use this type of enclosed structure once the weather turns chillier.

Sunrooms can give be either 3- or 4-season rooms, depending on the windows, insulation, and heating system. Builders construct 3-season rooms with glass windows. Glass provides added protection against the cold for longer use. However, 3-season rooms usually have single-pane windows without insulation or a heating system. Thus, you can’t use your room during the coldest winter months.

Contractors build 4-season sunrooms with double-pane energy-efficient windows and insulation. With insulation, the homeowner can heat and cool the room. This allows for year-round usage.

Options to Consider for Your Screen Room

Once you’ve decided on the structure you want, you can think about extra options. These are amenities you can add to make your space more usable, inviting, and comfortable. When your room is more welcoming, you’ll use it more often.

Ceiling fans are always are an appreciated addition to increase air circulation. Choose a fan with a light fixture and you can use your room after the sun goes down. A fireplace can make a chilly outdoor room warm and cozy allowing you to use it late into fall. While the addition of a television will make your room seem more of an extension of your home.

Some homeowners dislike the barrier screens’ presence. Thus, retractable screens give you the choice of removing the screens. Available in both manual and motorized options, your screens can retract to open your room up to the outdoors. With protected inside casing, UV rays, dirt, and the weather can’t harm your screens. Thus, your screens will last longer.

Glass windows are another option that will turn your screen room into a sunroom. Bow, bay, casement, and sliding windows are among the most popular types of windows for sunrooms. Moreover, you may want glass with a low E-coating that reflects heat energy to keep your room cooler.

Which Is the Best Screen Material for My Porch Enclosure?

If you choose to enclose your patio, you’ll have to decide on what kind of screens to use. Today’s screens are available in several different materials. Bronze, stainless steel, aluminum, and fiberglass all make excellent screens. So, which is the best screen material for my needs? It all comes down to your budget.

Generally, bronze and stainless steel are the more expensive options. These premium metals offer more elegance and are suitable for maintaining the architectural integrity of classic homes. Both are strong, durable, and resist corrosion.

Fiberglass is the most popular screen choice for most homeowners due to its low cost. It offers good visibility due to less glare from sunlight. Plus, fiberglass screens come in a wide range of colors so you can match the exterior of your home.

Some homeowners prefer an aluminum screen due to its durability. On average, aluminum screens last 30-40% longer than fiberglass. However, your choice of colors is much more limited. Typically, aluminum screens are only available in black, charcoal, and silver.

Undecided about which screen is best for your project? Let us review your ideas and budget to suggest your best option. Since 2008, Structurally Speaking has been helping homeowners build the enclosed structure of their dreams. We have designed all of these home enhancement structures and will guide you to the unique solution for your home and lifestyle. You can view some of the projects we’ve constructed in the greater Raleigh Durham area here.

What Will A Screen Porch or 3-Season Room Cost?

Like many home improvement projects, your cost depends on several variables. The size, materials, and scope of the project have a direct effect on the price. Rather than trying to figure out costs on your own, it’s better to talk to a professional. At Structurally Speaking, Jim Brennan will personally evaluate your home to give you the addition you need.

Certain factors always drive up costs. A larger project with more square footage will be more expensive than a smaller plan. Likewise, the materials you choose have a big influence on price. We’ve already talked about the different screens you can choose from. But there’s also flooring choice and added accessories such as a ceiling fan. Decorative touches too can raise the price.

Finally, the scope of the project needs consideration. Do you already have an open porch that you want to enclose with a screen? Perhaps you have an unused patio with an existing roof that requires an enclosure? Or do you want to install glass windows in your screened porch for a seasonal room?

Trying to figure out the price of your project can be quite daunting. An easy way is to give us a call for a free no-obligation estimate. After consulting with you on your needs, budget, and design ideas, we present you with a proposal. We will present one that meets your needs and stays within your budget.

A Porch Enclosure Will Increase the Value of Your Home

Most likely, the reason you’re thinking of enclosing your existing porch is for your own use and enjoyment. You want additional outdoor living space without the annoyances of nature. Increasing the value of your home is an added benefit.

On average, the return on your investment for enclosing your porch is 70-75%. A screen room is a nice added feature that can make your home stand out from others. Many prospective buyers actively seek out a home with a patio, sunroom or porch enclosure. Most likely, you probably aren’t thinking about selling your home any time soon; however, it’s still reassuring to know you can recoup most of your costs at some point. It’s a great investment, since you and your family can enjoy the improvement for many years and then receive a good return in the future!

Are You Thinking About Enclosing a Screened Porch on Your Home?

The insects, especially mosquitoes, can be severe during the summer months. Instead of hiding in your house the entire time, call Structurally Speaking. Enclosing a screened porch can offer protection against insects, while giving you additional living space.

Hiring the right contractor for your project can eliminate much of the stress that goes along with it. At Structurally Speaking, we know all the local building codes and take care of all the permits. When you use a local, fully-insured and licensed contractor, you know that you will receive the best customer service and an outstanding result. We want you to recommend us to your family and friends! All you need to do is to decide on the design you like best.

We plan and build decks, screened porches, 3-season rooms, sunrooms, hot tub decks, and pergolas. Serving the greater Raleigh-Durham area, our personal touch is what sets us apart from other contractors. So, call us today at 919-786-4825. Or, if you prefer, tell us a bit about your upcoming project online. Either way, we’ll contact you for your free no-obligation estimate. The warm months pass by too quickly. Let us build a structure to give you greater enjoyment of the outside.