A 3 season porch, sometimes called a sunroom, is a great way to have additional enjoyable space in your home. You’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors comfortably, providing you the perfect balance between indoors and outdoors. You’ll be able to use the space for a variety of uses including parties, reading books, or simply enjoying a hot cup of tea on a rainy day.
Cost of Building a 3 season Porch
You may be considering building a 3 season porch on your own. There are kits you can purchase that allow you to build out the frame of your porch easily. Make sure you get a high quality kit if you go this route. Another option to help simplify a DIY porch is to purchase plans. This will help you in the planning phase of the project.
If you cannot build one on your own, you can always hire a well-reputed contractor or construction company to build one for you. Because a 3 season room is not heated, it tends to be a less expensive addition than a 4 season or an all-season porch.There are so many factors that come into play while determining the cost:
- location of project
- foundation and structure
- type and quality of material used
There is a wide range as far as cost goes for building a 3 season porch. You could spend as little as $15,000 and upwards of $75,000 depending on size, scope, and materials. If your property includes demolitions or any other structure changes, the cost could be even higher. Think about making adjustments according to your budget.
Make sure to keep in mind footings, framing electrical costs, drywall, insulation, windows and moldings. Consider finishes that can withstand the elements. Without considering these, your 3 season porch may not have a strong foundation to stand on.
Building It Right
If you’re planning on adding a 3 season porch, start with choosing the right space. You could convert your shed or garage into a sunroom. Or simply use the extra space on your patio to build one. Some people opt for a second-floor porch. It’s also important to keep practicality in mind. Since the room is outdoors, it’s more prone to dust and dirt. Consider adding screens or interchangeable or combination windows (standard or acrylic) to give you more protection from the elements. This will allow you to enjoy the sunlight and weather. Consider transom windows and skylights too for airflow and light.
Decorating Your 3 Season Porch
Another important thing to consider in your 3 season room is decor. Keep in mind that sunlight and weather exposure can affect the interior you choose. Floors need to be moisture resistant and fade resistant, so consider a hardwood. Carpeting is also a great option because it gives a cozy look to the room and does not fade. Just make sure you are mindful of water damage should you ever have a leak. Tiles are also a good alternative if you need easy maintenance. Concrete floors, on the other hand, imitate a cabin appearance which looks great in the fall.
If you’re adding plants to your decor, choose Russian Sage or Lavender because they grow best in direct sunlight. If your 3 season porch is small, always work in lighter tones when designing the interior. This will give your porcha are larger appearance.
Moreover, if the sun directly hits the sunroom or the weather gets extremely warm, then it’s best to add window treatments. Also, be sure to add a fan to the room, because despite windows, you’ll need proper ventilation and cool air in the summers.
The major difference between a 3 season porch and a 4 season porch is that the latter is insulated properly to remain warm even in cold, harsh weather. This is an added cost which is why many people opt for a 3 season porch. Fortunately, the good news is that with some DIY measures, a 3 season porch can also be utilized in the winters.
Firstly, you can integrate your sunroom’s heating with your house’s HVAC control system. This, of course, is the more expensive option that not everyone can afford and involves turning your 3 season porch into a 4 season one.
Quick fixes for winter insulation include closing and locking all windows firmly. Make sure all cracks are properly covered so that the air is trapped inside and stays warm. The same goes for the doors of the sunroom. The best material to use for this is plastic because it’s a bad conductor so it will firmly seal all cracks.
On the other hand, there are a number of options for less expensive heat sources. Installing a fireplace is one, which is not too costly when the sunroom is being built. Consider an infared heater. As an alternative, if your 3 season porch is already built, you can opt for a ductless heating system. This is also known as a mini-split system which is very reasonable in terms of pricing. However, these systems only control the cold weather to an extent. If you live in an area where you experience snow, they will not be too effective and your only option is a proper HVAC system.