Revenue from home improvement retail will reach $409 billion in 2019. Some homeowners will invest in conventional projects like kitchen renovations and new flooring. Others will upgrade their outdoor living areas.
Are you considering improving your outdoor area with an enclosed porch? We understand that this home renovation can seem daunting. Make sure you research porch enclosures before jumping in.
We’ve put together a list of the top five things to know before investing in your porch enclosure project. From planning your space to selecting materials, we’ve got you covered.
Read on to learn more about enclosing a porch and how you can make the best decisions for your needs.
1. Consider How You’ll Use Your New Space
Before you research local companies and schedule a consultation, think about how you’ll use your new space. An enclosed porch is unique because it combines the comforts of indoor living with the beauty and openness of being outside. This gives homeowners the flexibility to use enclosed porches in a variety of ways.
Some homeowners use their patio enclosure as a sitting area separate from their den or living room. Others include dining furniture for hosting guests or enjoying family breakfasts. You may want to use your porch enclosure as an exercise space, extended living room, or game room.
Whatever you prefer, know that this choice will affect the decisions you make moving forward. You’ll want to design your new space around its intended function. Keep this in mind as you move through the project.
2. Porch Enclosures Feature Various Wall Options
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make is what type of patio enclosure you want. Closed-in porches can have screened walls, screens, and large windows – or glass windows and sliding glass doors. Your choice should depend on how you plan to use your space.
For example, a screened-in porch may be best if you want to use the space as a comfortable addition to your outdoor living area. If you want it to feel more like an interior addition, consider using traditional walls and windows. You can even add a door and use the area as a guest room or private office.
The types of walls you choose for your structure may also depend on the typical weather in your area. A screened-in porch is best in mild, pleasant weather, so it won’t work if you live in a place that’s often rainy or cool. A space with walls and windows can let you use your enclosed porch year round.
3. Think about Temperature Control and Energy Efficiency
One of the main reasons homeowners enclose their porches is to create extra living space protected from the elements.
The level of protection depends on the type of design you choose for your porch enclosure. There are different home temperature control solutions for each design.
A screened-in porch, for example, may only need a ceiling fan. For glass walls and windows, there are single and double pane options, insulated and tinted glass. You can also invest in shading systems or zoned heating and cooling systems to further moderate the temperature.
Consider the directional location of your enclosed porch too. Will that space get direct sun during the day when you plan to use it as an office? Or are you going to spend time there in the evenings when the sun is on the other side of your home?
Energy efficiency will be especially important for this project. You won’t regret investing in energy efficient windows and other solutions. Homeowners can save up to 30 percent on their energy bills after making this kind of upgrade.
4. The Price of Patio Enclosures Varies
As with all home renovations, the cost of enclosing a porch varies depending on the details of the project. Of course, the size of your porch enclosure and the materials used will influence the price too.
Traditional room additions use materials like wood and masonry. Porch enclosures call for less expensive materials like vinyl, wood, or aluminum for the frame. The rest of the cost depends on whether you choose screens, glass, or a combination of the two.
If you have a more flexible budget, you can include customizations in your design. Your enclosed porch can be constructed to mimic the look and feel of the rest of your home. This may call for custom manufacturing of parts and materials.
5. Who You Work with to Complete Your Porch Enclosure
Anyone who has ever invested in a large renovation project knows that the key to success is partnering with the right contractor. You can research companies on your own, or ask others who have porch enclosures about the contractors they hired. Take your time as you search for the ideal contractor.
Look for an experienced, reputable contractor. Check their licensing and insurance, and consider their rating with the Better Business Bureau. You should also ask about the types of materials they use.
The right contractor can take your idea for an enclosed porch and make it a reality. They can help you keep your project on budget, and recommend the ideal choices for your needs. With all the knowledge you have beforehand, you’ll feel confident working right alongside them.
There’s Always More to Learn
We’ve covered some important things to think about before you begin your project. But with patio enclosures and other home renovations, there’s always a wealth of information available. If you still have questions, you’re in the right place.
Browse our blog to read more about porch enclosures and sunrooms. We can help you understand the difference between a sunroom and solarium, and even show your spouse that a sunroom is a good idea. We’re your source for all things glass, including sunrooms, windows, and more.