Many homeowners are expanding their living space to include outdoor areas, but how about bringing the outdoors inside? A screened porch or patio can give you that outdoor feeling with indoor protection.
Before air conditioning, most homes featured a screened porch as a matter of necessity to offer respite from intense heat, and a safe, cool place to rest in the evening. The popularity of screened porches has waned in the last few decades, but they are beginning to make a comeback in new homes and in home remodels.
The screened porch is re-emerging with gusto as homeowners imagine different ways to incorporate outdoor living. Outdoor kitchens, dining, and living areas are very popular, but most don’t offer much protection from the elements or bugs. Mosquitos represent the number one pest concern for homeowners because of the Zika virus, Lyme disease, and other infectious illnesses they may carry. The screened porch is a functional alternative to outdoor living while being safely indoors.
Here are a few tips to consider when designing a screened porch for your home:
Screened porches provide the greatest enjoyment when they take advantage of nature, light, and views. Most screened porches are located near the kitchen to serve as a eating/living area. Look for a spot that gets a nice breeze. Try not to block the natural light flowing into adjacent rooms, and if necessary, consider a detached screen porch to maintain the light in the rest of the home.
A screened porch doesn’t get much protection from the elements, so all materials and furniture should be weather resistant and made for outdoor use. Extend the eves 2-3ft away from the roof to decrease rain coming in through the screens. Staple screening to the floor joists before laying a top surface to keep bugs from crawling up from under the floor. Try weather-resistant flooring such as flagstone, porcelain, teak or cedar. If you need something a little fancier to flow into a formal dining or entertaining area, try polished granite or Carrera marble.
Even screens have evolved and there are many options to choose from. Screens now have a finer mesh and can cover much larger areas so as not to break up the outdoor view. Some screen doors are completely retractable, sliding on hidden tracks in the floor, and even others are automated, sliding open with the touch of a button.
If you haven’t seen outdoor furniture in a while, be prepared to be impressed. Outdoor furniture is no longer basic and uncomfortable, and is often indistinguishable from interior room counterparts. You can find any style or color you can imagine. And it doesn’t stop with furniture! You can deck out your screened porch with rugs, fireplaces, TVs, dimmable lighting, portable heaters, art, window treatments, and more – all made for outdoor use!
We recently bought a house that does not need any fixing up. Anything we remodel is completely optional, which is nice. We are planning to put a screened in porch on the house next summer. We like to be outdoors at times, but hate all the bugs that come with it!
My best friend’s parents had one of these when I was growing up. It was great for summer sleepovers, and they adults liked enjoying drinks and the breeze in the evenings. In the winter, it can be closed off or the screens covered with shutters to make it a nice relaxation room. Also, as the article said, outdoor furniture is really nice and not limited to plastic tables and deck chairs. Pier One is my favorite place to go for outdoor furnishings, and I love their combined papasan/ swing.
Does anyone else have a favorite place to shop for outdoor furnishings?
Well, I actually considered the idea of adding a screened patio to my house once I buy it, it definitely looks amazing and it’s really classy, for sure.
How does a screen stapled to the floor joists prevent bugs from coming from under the floor? Is it the mesh?
In some cases, the screen under the flooring of a screened porch is unnecessary. It will depend on the type of foundation and the type of flooring you are installing. For a raised foundation and a deck-style flooring, the screen will prevent bugs from crawling up in between the small cracks between the floorboards.
So spacious! My future home should have a porch as roomy as that. You hardly see porches in the city these days. It’s all about pads and lofts. I’d rather live in a typical home and have a porch where you can relax and mull over things. There’s an emotional advantage for having a porch.
You’re right, but it definitely depends on the person because most of the times you don’t even have time to sit on your porch, it’s sad.
I love a good screen porch. We have one at our cabin way up north, but it is actually a little annoying just because there are so many bugs and mosquitoes up there. In a more urban setting though, I can definitely get used to having one of those.
Getting used to it is the easiest part, the main objective is for you to enjoy and have a good time in your porch, indeed.
I’ve always loved an enclosed or screened porch… and these are beautiful. I especially like the first picture! We had an enclosed porch before we moved and bought this house and now we don’t. 🙁 It’s really the only thing I don’t miss about the other house.
The best memory I have of it is when we had some of our intense summer thunderstorms. The house was rural, and watching a storm from that porch was nothing short of spectacular… and a little scary at times because it felt so open, but definity thrilling.
It was really interesting when you explained that outdoor screens now have a mesh that is finer. This kind of mesh seems like it would be ideal for keeping out bugs since they wouldn’t be able to fit through the openings. It seems like you would want to get this kind of mesh if you are wanting to have a screened porch that can keep annoying bugs out.