After a long, chilly winter, the warm weather can’t come soon enough for most New Englanders. And when it finally does make its much-anticipated appearance, it never seems to linger as long as we’d like it to. That’s why so many homeowners enjoy extending their time outside with sunrooms, 3-season rooms, and screened porches. Now is a great time to think about building an outdoor living space. But which one is right for you? Here is some information to help you decide.
Sunrooms: Experience the outdoors year-round
A sunroom, an interior room surrounded with insulated windows, allows homeowners to experience a sense of the outdoors year-round. Because it requires the same construction as any other addition—including a foundation and footers, insulation, and electrical and HVAC systems, it’s your most expensive option for bringing the outside in. You have a lot of design options with a sunroom and can incorporate most of the elements used in other interior rooms—from hardwood floors or tile, to built-in furniture and shelving, to custom trim and mouldings.
3-Season Rooms: an extension of your home
If a sunroom is out of your budget, consider a 3-season room. Like a sunroom, it has insulated windows. “But because it lacks a central heating system, it doesn’t add square footage to your home,” explains Brad Sawler of Oxland Builders. However, by adding interior detailing and your own personal decorative touches, this space will feel like an extension of your home. Many New England homeowners are able to use their three-season rooms through late fall and early winter with the addition of a small space heater.
Screened Porches: enjoy the outdoors on a budget
A screened porch allows you to extend your time outside without overextending your budget. “These are popular additions because they allow you to enjoy an indoor environment outdoors, without the threat of annoying insects,” Sawler notes. Its roof will protect you from the blazing sun of summer and the rain of spring and fall. Like a three-season room, a screened porch doesn’t add square footage to your home because it lacks central heating. But that doesn’t mean you can’t experience the many benefits of an interior room with amenities such as electricity, space heaters and fireplaces, ceiling fans and decorative lighting, wall-mounted TV’s, and more.
Adding an outdoor living space with a plan for the future.
Anytime you remodel or add on to your home, it’s good to think about the future since overtime, your wants and needs could change. For example, that new screened-in porch you’re adding now could become an office or craft room in the future. “If there’s any chance you might convert your outdoor living space into a true extension of your home at any point in the future, there are a few steps worth taking now,” Sawler points out. Some of these considerations include, insulating your roof, installing some electrical outlets to code, and building your new outdoor space at the same level as your main living area. “Before starting your home addition project, we will have this discussion with you. It ensures you get the best value for your investment,” Sawler adds.
Sunrooms, 3-Season Rooms, and Screened Porches in Seacoast, NH and Maine
Are you dreaming about adding an outdoor living space to your home? Give us a call at 603.772.2260 to discuss your project. Our design-build team can help you select the best option for your home and budget.