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.

Your Guide to Three Season and Four Season Sunrooms

four season sunroomsDo you want to spend more time outside enjoying your yard, or do you prefer the view from inside your home? The Structurally Speaking team can help you design and build the perfect combination indoor/outdoor space. Four season sunrooms, three season rooms, enclosed porches, and decks can all be part of your new addition. Let’s talk about the different types of spaces you can consider and which is right for your home.

Different Types of Indoor/Outdoor Spaces

When it comes to indoor/outdoor spaces, your main question should be whether you want the space to be more indoor or more outdoor. There is no right or wrong answer here; it just depends on how your family wants to use this new space.

Sunrooms

First, we encourage you to consider a traditional sunroom. This is the most versatile indoor/outdoor option. Often called a “four season sunroom” or an “all season sunroom,” this type of space has not only windows so you enjoy more natural light in your home, but also electricity, heating, and cooling.

So, what makes it different than any other room in your home?

With a sunroom addition, we’ll focus on maximizing the sunlight with very large windows. Most sunrooms have floor to ceiling windows on at least one wall if not on two or three walls. Moreover, it adds to the square footage of your home, thus giving you additional heated/cooled space when it comes time to sell and when you want to have the maximum size floor plan. The fact that it is an insulated room, the same as the rest of the house, gives you an additional room that has a wide range of uses.

Three Season Rooms

A three season room, also called a “three season sunroom,” “three season porch,” or “seasonal sunroom,” is similar to a four season sunroom, but it does not have heating and cooling. Like the four season version, this type of indoor/outdoor living space uses very large windows to let in as much light as possible.

Some three season rooms have electricity, while others do not. Although there is no HVAC unit controlling the three season room, many homeowners opt for ceiling fans to keep the room/porch functional during the summer.

Solariums

A solarium is a type of glass sunroom. It can have a glass dome ceiling, as well as floor to ceiling windows. It can have heating and cooling, as would a four-season room, but most are three season rooms without a built-in HVAC unit.

You might hear some people call their solarium a “conservatory.” Essentially, these two types of rooms are the same thing, but a conservatory’s main function is to grow plants – sort of a mini greenhouse. Most people do use their sunrooms for plants, but if that is the main function you could also call it a conservatory.

Florida Rooms

Sunrooms are extremely popular in Florida, giving rise to the term “Florida room.” In most cases, people talking about a Florida room are referring to a three season room (i.e. a sunroom that does not have heat or air conditioning). However, a Florida room can also be a four season sunroom, complete with an HVAC unit.

At the end of the day, a Florida room is just another term people use to talk about their indoor/outdoor space. In other words, a Florida room isn’t something different from a sunroom. It’s the same thing, just a different term.

Enclosed Porches

Enclosed porches, also called “screened porches” are very similar to three season sunrooms. Usually (but not always), an enclosed porch starts off as a normal porch attached to your home. Then, as the name implies, we enclose it using screens and sometimes glass.

With an enclosed porch, you typically don’t get those floor-to-ceiling windows. Instead, there is often a railing that closes it off or it may have a half-wall. It depends on the existing porch that you are enhancing. The design may include a door leading to the backyard or to a deck.

You can create an enclosed porch from scratch, instead of enclosing an existing porch. Traditionally, an enclosed porch would be more of a narrow place to sit that runs the length of your home, rather than a larger, more square room. However, we can design the perfect size space for you, regardless of its name!

Decks

Last, but certainly not least, a deck is an outdoor platform that is not enclosed or heated/cooled. It is the most “outdoor” option, since it doesn’t have a roof and walls in most cases. Keep in mind that this means you won’t be able to use your deck during inclement weather. However, it is the least expensive option for most homeowners.

With your deck, we can include options to make the space more functional even when it is raining or hot. We have pergola options, for example, and can explore partial roof options such as pavilions and awnings to protect you from the harshest overhead rays of the sun.

Benefits of Four Season Sunrooms

Of all the indoor/outdoor living space options, a four season room is the most versatile. Because this space has heating and cooling, you can use it all year, even during North Carolina’s summers when it feels like the surface of the sun outside and winters when it drops below freezing.

Because it has temperature control, a four season sunroom adds to the square footage of your home. This is extremely valuable if you sell your home, since a larger home typically sells for a higher price. Additionally, many buyers are looking for sunrooms or enclosed porches, so it can help you sell your home faster.

Don’t worry; even if you aren’t looking to sell anytime soon, a four season room can still have major benefits to you:

  • Your home will appraise higher, meaning you can qualify for a larger home equity loan or line of credit if you ever need it.
  • A sunroom addition gives you an extra living space, which can be healthy for your family if you have several people working or attending school online from home.
  • Pets love sunrooms! It’s a great way to give them a little access to the outside world without actually allowing them outside where they may hurt themselves.
  • Likewise, a sunroom is a great place for the kids to play “outside” without really being outside. It’s a safer option for small children and also an option kids of all ages can use even when it is raining.
  • If you like to entertain, a sunroom can help give your guests more space. Many homeowners use a sunroom for extra seating if your dining room table isn’t large enough to accommodate everyone.
  • Sunrooms can help you grow a wider variety of plants. Even if you don’t have a full solarium with glass ceiling, the large windows will allow plants that need more sunlight to thrive. Here are 6 plants that do very well in sunrooms to help you start your garden.

The biggest benefit is knowing that you can enjoy your home more. Many of our clients tell us that they’ve always dreamed of having a nice sunroom where they can enjoy their morning coffee in pleasant surroundings or read a good book while watching the sunset. You should enjoy every aspect of your home Let us help you turn your sunroom dream into a reality!

Heating and Cooling Your New All-Season Sunroom

The main thing that sets apart a four season room is the heating and cooling. You have several options to achieve this with your sunroom addition.

If your main HVAC system can handle the extra square footage, you might simply need to ensure you have ductwork and vents in place. This is a simple solution if your HVAC unit is large enough.

Another option is to add a mini-split unit. These smaller HVAC units mount to an exterior wall and don’t require ductwork as with larger units. This is a great solution if you want to create a new heating/cooling zone in your sunroom. They can be economical, since you can choose when you need heat or cooling in that one area of your home. Keep in mind that they do require an exterior wall. So, if you were going for floor to ceiling windows, you will need a normal wall section to mount this unit.

Another option, of course, is to use window AC units with radiators or baseboards for heat. This is a good solution if you do not currently have forced air heating and cooling in your home. Keep in mind that you will need one of your windows that is able to accommodate an AC unit, which may obstruct your view slightly. You’ll also need to remove the unit in the winter. Although this is a relatively inexpensive solution, it does require a little more work.

If these solutions don’t seem like good options for you, we can also talk to you about a three season sunroom instead, without heating and cooling. Some homeowners get more use out of a seasonal sunroom through the use of fans and space heaters. During your initial consultation, we’ll go over these options.

The Structurally Speaking Process

When you work with Structurally Speaking for your new four season sunroom or other indoor/outdoor living space, we design options specifically to meet your needs. Every project we complete has three phases:

With our team, you don’t get a boring, template design that looks the same as all of your neighbors’ homes. During the initial consultation, our owner sits down to talk to you about what you and your family want most out of a sunroom or other living space. Jim Brennan has decades of experience with deck, porch, and sunroom design. He built his reputation on unique, custom designs and oversees every project personally. He’ll consider what will work best for the space you have available, along with your family’s habits and personal style.

Then, Jim will get to work designing options that meet your needs. During the design presentation, you can review the various custom sunroom options and make tweaks based on what will work best for your family and home. We don’t begin project construction until you are 100% happy with the sunroom design.

As we are building your new indoor/outdoor living space, Jim will be there to oversee the entire process. We don’t leave you hanging with a bunch of unqualified subcontractors. Our in-house team completes the work with Jim at the helm. This means we take on fewer projects than other companies. However, we believe every client deserves the white glove treatment.

Our high-quality deck, porch and sunroom creations are well-known throughout the greater Raleigh-Durham area. By working with a local company, you know that customer service is paramount. Our clients spread the word about our work ethic and high standards and we work hard to earn their praise.

What People are Saying about Structurally Speaking

We think our design process is the best, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are some real reviews from actual Structurally Speaking customers:

“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

“Now that our deck is complete, I want to thank you and your team for the high level of craftsmanship and professionalism. We gave you a tight deadline for completion of the deck before a major social event and your team hit the target perfectly. The back and forth exchange of ideas and suggestions for the materials and design were most productive and our collaboration produced a beautiful deck area. As you know we connected immediately with the sense we could work well together and the whole process was well-explained and executed to perfection. The experience you possess showed itself many times over from the easy inspection approval to the look of the deck design from all viewpoints. Your crew was hard working and very highly skilled…a rare combination that shows in the final product. Thanks for a great job and many more beautiful decks are in your future, we are certain.” – Rob and Sheila Roszell

You can read more reviews here.

Are you ready to start the design process? There is no obligation. Simply schedule your free consultation by filling out the form above.

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.