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!