shutterstock_48328072Do you love the outdoors but hate some of what comes with it? For example, do the warmer months have you fighting off bugs and smothering heat while the cooler months leave you longing for the indoors?

Maybe it’s not your comfort you are concerned about. If you have plants, you want to make sure they have the elements they need, while not being cooked or frozen by extreme temps. To have the perfect environment all year long, you should consider adding a sunroom or screening in your porch. If not, read on to learn more about their individual benefits.

Benefits of Screened-In Porches

Screened in porches can provide you with significant protection from insects. Especially if finished off with a black aluminum screen, they can create a virtually seamless barrier between yourself and the outdoors for a particular aesthetic appeal.

They cost very little to enclose and are easily reversible. They are also low maintenance. A screened in porch is naturally self-cleaning (thanks to the wind and rain) or if desired, it can easily spot cleaned with a damp cloth. Best of all, if damaged, holes that animals (or humans) poke through can easily be repaired with clear nail polish, tape, and self-patching wire mesh kits sold at tool stores.

Disadvantages of Screened-In Porches

While screened-in porches are great, they are not effective at protecting you from extreme temperatures or elements. They also aren’t effective at keeping cold winds, blowing rain, or even the blazing sun off you. A screened-in porch may not come equipped with heating and cooling, and may not have any electricity to have a light or ceiling fan.

Benefits of Sunrooms

Sunrooms, on the other hand, are effective in keeping out pests and insects. They also can be used throughout the seasons, especially during times of extreme heat and cold, provided a central HVAC is run into the room, or portable units can be utilized for taking the edge off. Sunrooms are also durable, thanks to their steel or aluminum welded construction, and options for double pane windows.

Disadvantages of Sunrooms

While many people prefer sunrooms, there are some drawbacks. Running electricity for heating, cooling, or a ceiling fan can be costly, namely because of the all-around exposure of these rooms. Their price is also a concern for many. Three-season sunrooms can be moderately priced whereas four-season sunrooms and solariums can be more expensive.

Choosing What’s Right for You

When choosing between a sunroom and screened-in porch, it’s important to keep in mind not only your budget but the desired benefits of installing it in the first place, as well as the climate in which you live.

While long term, a sunroom can provide you with added value for your home, it can’t be relocated to another home and can significantly increase electricity costs. However, the value of providing an option to experience the great outdoors, without the negatives that can come along with it, for many homeowners, far outweighs the cost.

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