With the temperate weather in Minnesota, you may be considering enclosing your patio or deck into a sunroom to extend your ability to enjoy the outdoors. Enclosed porches offer protection from inclement weather and bugs, so you can sip your chardonnay during a summer rainstorm without worrying about mosquitos, or look at the stars through your skylight on a chillier spring evening.
Depending on your plans for how and how often you will use the room, what features you want to include, and your budget, you will need to decide between a three-season and a four-season room. If you have an existing deck, you can turn your deck into a four-season room.
At Dupont Construction and Remodeling, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners with enclosed porches, each one customized to their preferences and needs. Let’s look at the key differences between a three-season and a four-season porch to help you decide which option will be best for you.
What is a Three-Season Porch?
A three-season porch is typically usable in spring, summer, and fall, but not in winter. It’s an enclosed room with usually a lot of windows, a roof (often with skylights) and sealed doors. Often there are large ceiling fans, and the windows are on tracks that can be opened up to the outside.
Often called a sunroom, a three-season porch uses the power of the sun coming through the many windows to heat the room in colder temperatures, and the ceiling fans and cross-breezes through large screened windows to move the air when it is warmer. It’s relatively easy to turn an existing deck into a three-season room, and the project can often be completed in a few days.
As you can probably tell by these descriptions, three-season rooms do not have heating or cooling, which is why they are good for three seasons, and not four, at least in climates that aren’t warm year-round.
You can extend the usable time of a three-season room with a gas fireplace, for example, but at some point, it will not be comfortable to spend time there in winter. Similarly, it may be too warm on the hottest and most humid summer days, when all the windows create a greenhouse effect that your plants will love, but you may not.
OK, So What’s a Four-Season Enclosed Porch?
A four-season room can be used all-year round, even when the weather outside is frightful. Four-season rooms have insulated walls, floors, and roofs, and double-pane thermal protection glass windows and doors. They also tend to have both heating and cooling systems installed to control the temperature. While a three-season room is air and watertight when fully closed, a four-season room includes weather-stripping and other materials for energy-efficiency.
A four-season room needs footers and a foundation and is finished in all the ways any home addition would be. That means it must adhere to all the building codes and regulations for an addition. It will also cost more than a three-season room, but it truly is a full extension to the square footage of your home and is considered finished space, unlike a three-season room.
What are the Benefits of a Four-Season Room?
If you’re considering turning a deck into a four-season room, converting your screened-in patio to an enclosure, or starting from scratch to build, you’ll want to be sure you hire a knowledgeable and reputable contractor. Dupont Construction and Remodeling is a full-service general contractor, and their professionals have designed and built hundreds of four-season rooms over the past 18 years.
While a four-season room is more costly than a three-season one, there are many benefits to a four-season room. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Let’s start with the obvious benefit. Four-season rooms have air-conditioning and heating, so you can use them year-round, no matter how blistering or frigid it gets outside. There’s something quite lovely about sitting in your sunroom watching a blizzard while being comfy and cozy with your cocoa, fuzzy socks, and thermostat.
Bring In the Light
Sunrooms help you get natural light and to feel less like you’re cooped up inside through the darkest days of winter. Studies show that natural light is critically important for our emotional and physical well-being. A four-season sunroom can help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) by providing ample sunlight. It also makes a great place to grow plants year-round, helping bring the outside in and fighting off the seasonal blues.
Add Space and Function
Four-season sunrooms often become the most popular room in the house. With a four season room, you can leave the door(s) to the sunroom open from your living room so you can freely go in and out as an extension of your home.
People love to curl up on a comfy chair in the sunroom to read a good book, enjoy their morning coffee, afternoon tea, or evening cocktail. Four-season rooms can be furnished like any room in the house, without worrying about temperature variance. That means you can even have your grand piano in a four-season room and play under the stars.
Improve Your Home’s Value
While both a three-season and a four-season room tend to improve your home’s beauty, functionality, and value, only a four-season room is considered additional square footage to your home. A four-season room is no longer a porch, but an actual room on your home. Typically, you’re able to recuperate the cost of home additions when you sell your home, so the four-season option ends up paying for itself.
Let’s Get Started
If you’re ready to convert your screened in patio or begin turning your deck into a four-season room, give us a call at (763) 753-9796 or complete our contact form. Our friendly and knowledgeable professionals will schedule an appointment to view your property and provide a free estimate for the four-season room of your dreams.
At Dupont Construction, our work is our word, and you’ll get personalized service, including project supervision by our owner-operator, Justin Dupont. We’ve constructed countless four-season rooms for happy customers all over the Twin Cities’ area. A new four-season room will improve your home and your quality of life. Let us help you with yours, today.