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Old 02-11-2009, 08:32 AM
Location: Beautiful Raleigh, NC
525 posts, read 2,437,292 times
Reputation: 395


We have a 12 x 34 deck on the North side of the house that we currently only use to access the grill. We are thinking about converting most of it into a Sunroom. Leaving part of it for grilling. Our thinking is with glass windows in addition to screens we can use the room without having deal with the yellow pollen, rain or the bugs.

I've read many posts preferring a screened in porch over a sunroom and I was wondering why?
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:06 AM
Location: SW Durham, NC (27713)
1,040 posts, read 3,123,452 times
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Depends on when you will be using it (Spring, Fall, Summer) and how much space in your home you actually have.

Our home is pretty large, so I love our screened in porch. Unfortunately in the dead of summer it is not really usable, but nights like tonight, I look forward to eating out on the porch.

My 2 pennies,
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:21 AM
Location: Ellicott City MD
2,264 posts, read 7,795,946 times
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We screened our porch a couple of years ago, and when I first suggested it to my husband he was not keen on the idea because he thought I was suggesting a sunroom. He had grown up with a sunroom and considered it essentially an extra room that is not climate controlled and is too hot in summer and too cool in winter. He hugely prefers our screened porch, because it basically is like being outside without bugs. Rain does not come in unless it is blowing, and we do use it when it is raining. We get a little yellow pollen, but that is brief. We have kids and can use the porch for all our messy crafts, which is great.
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Old 02-11-2009, 10:46 AM
140 posts, read 370,670 times
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We actually first screened our deck in and found we didn't use it often enough because there was too much pollen is spring, too hot in summer, too cold in winter and we were often out in the fall. Also we both worked so noone was home to use it during the day. Then when we did get a day to use it, it was normally dirty so unless we had time to clean it we didn't use it. So we closed it in and made it a sunroom style room and now use it all the time. Our room is not all windows like one of those patio rooms you see advertised but we do have windows all along the back and part of the side. When the weather is nice and we open the windows it is almost like being outside. It is not heated or air conditioned but on all but the coldest and hottest days we leave the main house open and there is enough air circulation to keep it comfortable. On the most extreme weeks we close it off completely and it helps insulate the rest of our house.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:19 AM
24 posts, read 96,611 times
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Can't you count square footage for a sunroom? If so, that would be a great investment, but it's still your personal preference.
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Old 02-11-2009, 11:38 AM
Location: Oxxford Hunt, Cary NC
4,042 posts, read 9,264,020 times
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I'm looking to put a screened porch on my house because I want to enjoy my backyard without being eaten alive by mosquitoes. The idea of a sunroom doesn't really appeal to me because I don't need more indoor space. I think it does count as additional square footage though, so that is a plus.
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Old 02-11-2009, 12:04 PM
Location: NH Lakes Region
333 posts, read 1,337,357 times
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I had a 10' x 14' screened in porch on the back of my house, but I found that there were a lot of times when it just wasn't comfortable out there - driving rain with wind meant the flooring or any furniture got wet, October through May it was too cold, wrapping it to keep snow out in the winter, and picking the pine needles out of the screens and floor every year was a pain.

I ended up insulating under the floor and over the ceiling, ran recessed lighting, and did put windows throughout (all along two sides are 4'-wide French Casements, so when you open them up there is no center frame and you still have the feel of an open screened in porch), so I can use it all year round now (small propane fireplace for winter or those very chilly spring and fall evenings). The cross-breeze is great on any stuffy summer evenings, too. This now helps insulate my dining area in the main house, but you still definitely feel like it's a porch and not a room (ceramic/stoneboard tiles add to that feeling).

It is counted as living space in my house plan, and I find that I spend twice as much time out there because I am no longer limited by temperatures or weather.

It's all preference, however... it by no means has the feel of a "camp" porch like it did before, but is now a light and airy addition to the back of the house.
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Old 02-11-2009, 03:19 PM
Location: Wilmington, NC
261 posts, read 1,033,233 times
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Default Snafu: Did you convert the porch to a sunroom yourself?


Did you convert the screen porch to a sunroom yourself? Or did you hire the work done?

I love our screened porch and practically live out there many months of the year. I love to start my day sitting on the porch, drinking coffee and reading the paper. In the evenings, after work, the family congregates on the porch to talk, read, or play games. It's too cold though during the winter months though for me. And the icky pollen mess is highly annoying in the spring.

The way you described your sunporch is exactly what I have in mind. It would be wonderful to have operative windows that open wide enough so that we could have the feel of a screened porch when we want.

While its worth every penny to pay a company who specializes in converting screen porches to sunrooms, the prices are expensive. Is it possible for a handy person (my husband is meticulous and really good at most things) to do a reasonably good job?
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Old 02-13-2009, 09:40 PM
Location: Wake Forest
28 posts, read 118,152 times
Reputation: 24
To count the square footage you have to run electricity and HVAC to it, and build it to indoor codes (I'm not a builder, that's just what we were told). My screen porch at my old house was useful about 4-6 months out of the year. We thought about converting it for extra use, but the screen porch feels really good at the right times of year.
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Old 02-14-2009, 04:36 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
178 posts, read 1,086,619 times
Reputation: 126
"We have a 12 x 34 deck on the North side of the house that we currently only use to access the grill. We are thinking about converting most of it into a Sunroom".

You'll need to have the foundation checked to see if it was built to carry a heavier load. If not, it may be necessary to deconstruct the deck in order to install one that will pass the building code in your area.
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