Screened-In Porches Make for Versatile Additions

by Marc Dickinson

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Have you ever wanted to relax on a nice summer day without being exposed to all those outdoor nuisances? Do you ever have the desire to sit in a rocking chair and relax away the hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon, just like your grandparents did generations ago? Though the concept of screened-in porches was developed centuries ago for warmer climate regions of the country, they are starting to make a nostalgic reemergence that can be seen in every part of the world due to their historic charm and practical function.

Practical Protection
A screen porch lets you to have a defense against outdoor elements, such as rain and sun exposure, while still creating an open-air feeling that allows for a nice open breezeway. Plus, you never have to worry about insect bites, citronella candles, or that vicious bug spray smell. It's like having the benefits of the indoor world outside. Though screened porches aren't fully tamper-proof, they do give the home an added feeling of protection with locking storm doors and by providing an additional layer of entry into the home. All these pragmatic features make these outdoor areas great for entertaining. They provide natural light, fresh air, and a casual outdoor atmosphere yet they also remain cozy and safe from outdoor annoyances.

Versatility
Due to constant innovations over the years, screened-in porches can now be adaptable to fit your personal needs. With simple glass inserts, you can transform a screen porch into a sun room, allowing you to use the area during cooler seasons. You can buy retractable screens in order to convert the enclosed space into a more traditional open-air deck. If you want to use this room during torrential rain storms or on sun-scorching afternoons, simply install shades and window treatments over the porous screens. Plus, if your kids are having sleepovers and you don't want them camping out in the backyard unattended, turn your screened porch into a sleeping porch. If the home doesn't have central air conditioning, on hot nights simply put down sleeping bags or cots in this area so the whole family can enjoy the cool breeze while they sleep.

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Screened In Porch

Make It Part of the Home
Screened-in porches can raise the value of your home as long as you take the proper design steps to make it beautiful and comfortable. As you design this area, plan to blend it in with the rest of your house. There is nothing worse than an addition that looks like an addition. They can be an eyesore if they are improperly designed. So make these rooms as formal or rustic as you see fit. Remember, although screened-in porches have an old-world charm, they no longer have to be old-fashioned. Make them formal with elegant patio furniture that is able to withstand the outdoors. Create ventilation by installing ceiling fans. Add trim work, durable hardwood floorings, or modern storm doors. In any case, make the place your own. If you don't make it comfortable as you see fit, then the space will go to waste. Try to think of your own inventions in order to make things as relaxing and tranquil as possible. Redefine the idea of a "screened-in porch" and transform this exterior area into an actual functional room that just happens to be located outside your house.

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Marc Dickinson has worked in both the general contracting and landscaping trades and is currently a home improvement freelance writer with over 300 articles published.