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Old 11-15-2008, 06:00 PM
94 posts, read 217,095 times
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We noticed a lot of homes we are looking at online are advertised having screened in porches. This is a new concept for us. Can you tell us the appeal? Is it something we will want to look for when looking for a home?

We have spent most of our lives living on the west coast and Las Vegas, where not only did we not have screened porches, we didn't even have screened windows. We are relocating to Charlotte after a short stint in Houston. We have become familiar with the need for screened windows due to the mosquito population, but I don't believe screened porches are common here. With that said our BBQ days and dining outside during summer and fall months have been over due to living in such humid conditions.

Do you use the screened porch as an outside room to avoid bugs? Is it a place to eat after cooking outdoors in an outdoor kitchen (which I am familiar with) or BBQing? Or, do you use it like a morning sunroom for reading and relaxing? I am just wondering if this is something we should look for because it will be a room we would use often. We are coming from climates where heat was tuned on a dozen times a year, but we ran a/c year round. It would have been too hot to sit outside even if bugs were not a factor. So please describe the attractiveness of the screened porch and why you use that room or is it wasted space?

Thank you,
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:10 PM
Location: State of Being
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Screened porches are the penultimate Southern fixture, LOL. The sound of a slamming screen door (on a screened porch) is singular w/ Southern life . . . and is a sound described by many a Southern author . . . So a screened in porch embodies a certain romance of the South. There is a long history of porches here . . . screened in and open, as well.

As far as use . . . well, I guess that depends on what you find comfortable. Yes, screening keeps the bugs away, but we never really thought that much about them being for mosquitoes - more to keep flies out of the house. A screened in porch keeps out all sorts of critters, from flies to chipmunks to lizards to snakes to toads to squirrels.

How you would choose to enjoy your porch . . . well, that would be a matter of style. When there was no A/C in years past . . . a screened in porch was the haven for the whole family during the evenings. When the sun went down, people would open the door to the porch and w/ some fans going, it helped cool off the house.

I am a year-round porch sorta gal. I want a heater to put out on my deck, cause I enjoy being outdoors in the middle of winter, sipping my coffee, wrapped up in a quilt, LOL.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:10 PM
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Yes, screened porches are common here. Not too many new builders put them on houses though. It's used mainly as kind of an outdoor sunroom. Protects from the bugs in the summer (lots of mosquitoes here espec. if you have woods behind your house). People put patio furniture out there and relax, have outdoor dinners, or use it as a shady play area when it's too hot to be in the sun in the summmer for small children.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:27 PM
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I adore screened porches. We keep a table & chairs and storage for magazines etc. out there. When we have had them (Florida mostly) the DH and I had coffee together every morning outside before starting our day. In the evening he will read out there and smoke (we don't smoke in the house) and not worry about bugs. And for people like me with indoor cats, it's the ideal way for my inside cats to safely be outside with us. Having an enclosed porch allows you to extend your living space outside. Screens in the windows and around the porch allow fresh air in without creepy crawlies. Here in Carolina I would prefer a screened sunroom, that can be enclosed in the winter but open in the warmer weather.

We have actually been looking for a rental house here and I am surprised at how few rental homes have screened enclosures.

Last edited by Damemeow; 11-15-2008 at 06:38 PM..
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:28 PM
Location: Right where I want to be.
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I would love to have a screened porch!! You do get more used to the heat and humidity but not the mosquitoes. There are many summer mornings/evenings that I would rather sit outside and enjoy breakfast/dinner but the bugs are relentless and I guess I taste pretty good because they bite me more than anyone else. We would use it a lot, maybe not on the hottest or most humid days...but at least we wouldn't have to scurry back in the house after grilling to eat indoors when it is nice (but too buggy) outside.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:40 PM
156 posts, read 450,734 times
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Bramca, we just moved to the Charlotte area in July after 12 years in Houston (from Sugar Land), so I know the heat you are talking about. While it does get hot and humid here, there is no comparison to Houston. My in-laws live in Raleigh and added a gorgeous screened porch to the back of their house. They have a sitting area as well as a dining area. My mother-in-law uses it to entertain guests, or as a reading room. It gets used spring, summer and fall. I think it's a lovely feature, and would love one on the back of my house someday .
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Old 11-15-2008, 07:20 PM
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
9,114 posts, read 15,670,466 times
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A screened in porch will be the next major purchase for my house when the time is right....love them....
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Old 11-16-2008, 01:57 AM
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I was raised in a home with a screened porch ... rocking chairs and a porch swing. My parents home had a porch across the front of the house and down the side ... the front was open and the side was screened.

My husband and I have a screened porch on the back of our house ... vaulted ceiling with fan ... rocking chairs ... porch swing ... chaise and a table that seats six. We had outdoor carpet installed and it's easy to keep clean. Our screened porch gets lots of use. When our kids visit we cook out and eat on the porch ... even preparing a meal in the kitchen we will take it on the porch ... no bugs and flies. LOL

Oldest daughter will stop by sometimes after work and crawl in the chaise lounge with a book. I'm a 'rocker' myself ... I like my morning coffee in my rocking chair especially in the spring ... we have blue bird boxes out back and hummingbird feeders ... it's peaceful.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:07 AM
889 posts, read 2,850,054 times
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I use mine for all the various reasons you have stated. I did not grow up with one, really never knew about them but i would now NEVER,ever be without. I love my screened in porch!!!
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:52 AM
94 posts, read 217,095 times
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Thank you everyone!!! It sounds wonderful, we will definitely look for a home with one or space to put one in later.
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