Turning a porch into a three season room can be an extensive process, but this is one home renovation that can pay dividends in the long run. It’s estimated that a sunroom conversion renovation retains 72% of its value over time. That’s an impressive boost for homeowners who want to enjoy the renovation now, but plan to reap the benefits from a future sale. From extending the utility of your home to creating a relaxing space that can be used for gatherings and hobbies year round, there are many advantages to adding a three seasons room to your home. Here’s how to get there from an existing porch with the right windows guiding the way.
Enclosed Porch vs. Three Seasons Room
First things first, if you’re going to convert your porch into a three seasons room, you need to understand the differences between an enclosed porch and a three seasons room. An enclosed porch can also be called a screened porch, and therein lies the key difference between the two. Where an enclosed porch features walls and a roof around what would otherwise be a patio or deck, a three seasons room also features insulation, windows, and can include temperature control well.
Where an enclosed porch remains largely separate from the rest of the house, a three seasons room or sunroom can be incorporated more wholly into your home’s interior, acting as an extension of the adjacent living space.
Three Seasons vs. Four Seasons Room
The main difference between a three seasons room and a four seasons room or sunroom is the addition of central air. There are a number of ways to heat or cool a three seasons room based on seasonal need, but incorporating new ductwork to link a three seasons room to your home’s central air conditioning unit tips the scale from three seasons to a full sunroom.
For homeowners in the Western part of the country, the need for a room that can handle the worst parts of all four seasons depends on your region. While Southwestern homeowners may not need HVAC solutions, homeowners further north should consider the added utility of fully configured heating and cooling.
Greater Utility With a Four Season Sunroom
When homeowners consider converting a deck or enclosed porch into a multi-purpose sunroom, one of the motivating factors is often a desire to get more use out of an existing space without the need to compromise yard space with a completely new addition. Getting the most out of your converted porch comes down to a few key components.
If you’re looking to create a space that you can use year round, it is important to configure heating and cooling to fit the space. Chances are your existing porch does not have the ductwork required to make this possible, so adding HVAC is one of the more costly elements of this conversion.
Luckily, there are a number of heating and cooling options available that don’t require tying your new three seasons room into your home’s central air system. While they require you to set the comfort level of that room separately from the rest of your home, evaporative coolers, and single-room heating units can save money during this type of renovation. Choosing energy efficient windows that help temper heat loss in the winter and heat penetration in the summer is another excellent way to control temperature in your sunroom.
A major advantage of converting your porch to a three seasons room is the increased utility of the space. Where a primarily outdoor space can really only be used during fair weather, a sun room provides some of the same ambiance with the added convenience of safety from the elements. Sunrooms can be used as a place for social gatherings or be designed to serve as a bonus room, home office, or crafting area. Most commonly, homeowners who convert a porch to a sunroom do so with the intention of the space serving as a common area for the whole family.
A Naturally Lit Haven
A hallmark of a three- or four-seasons room is the incredible lighting. Similar to an enclosed porch, the main design goal of a sunroom is to let the sunshine in. Typically, this includes lining each of the walls with floor to ceiling windows to create a beautifully lit space that feels like being outside without the need to actually be outside. Because windows are the showstopping part of this renovation, choosing the right ones for the job is important.
Windows for Three Season Rooms
Choosing the best window for a porch conversion is about more than mere aesthetics. Yes, the look and feel of long expanses of uninterrupted glass is an important component, but getting the most out of your three season room renovation is also about how the windows function.
Casement windows are one of the most common choices for a sunroom renovation. These windows offer an expanse of glass uninterrupted by a sash or munton, with the ability to swing open at a hinge on the side of the window, making them suitable for natural air flow.
Other windows commonly used in a three seasons room renovation include awning windows, sliding windows and single- or double-hung windows as well. If your converted sunroom opens into a larger outdoor entertaining area, the addition of multi-slide patio doors can create a seamless transition between the spaces. Whatever your final choice, Pella’s window experts can help from our free consultation all the way to installation and beyond.