Spending time on porches is always nice especially when the weather is nice and the views beautiful. Normally one of the biggest decisions to make when you want to start a new porch project for your home is to decide between open or screened porches.
Both these options have their own unique benefits and drawbacks. It is important to compare the main pros and cons of each option before making a decision.
The Pros of a Screened Porch
Pro: It keeps insects out
Those warm summer nights are ideal for sitting outside and enjoying the breeze. The last thing you want is to in turn be enjoyed by mosquitos that leave you itchy. Breakfast on the porch sounds like a great idea until you have flies competing for your food. These are some of the main reasons people invest in a screened porch as it keeps out insects and gives you a peaceful time outside.
Pro: Less cleaning needed
If you leave the doors and windows to your house open all the time you will have to clean your house a lot more. This is the same for your porch. The screens keep out leaves, debris, seeds and dirt from blowing onto your porch. It will even keep pollen out to a degree. Some dust might still penetrate the screens but you will have to clean your porch a lot less than without the screens.
Pro: No uninvited furry guests
Without the screen to keep them out your porch can become the local hangout for the neighborhood rodents and wandering pets. Cats, rats, raccoons, and opossums will quickly find any unattended food left on your porch and use your furniture as a bed. A screened porch lets you leave items and food out without a worry, unless your own furry friend gets at it.
Pro: You can enjoy it throughout the year
Normally your days and evenings on the porch are reserved for pleasant days with good weather conditions. With a screened porch the weather matters less as you can kit it out for comfort throughout the year. Screens keep those ice winds out and you can install a fireplace or heaters to warm up your closed porch in winter. You can install fans for the hot summer days and the enclosed space makes your heating and cooling efforts more effective.
Pro: Allows for more features and electronics
Many of the elements are kept off your screen porch by the screen and this means that it stays dry and fairly clean. You can therefore safely install electronics such as audio systems and TVs. Even the furniture you select does not have to be waterproof but rather designed for comfort on a covered porch. Screen also offers a level of security for your electronics and free access is not available.
The Cons of a Screened Porch
Con: The screens can block your view and feel boxed in
One of the biggest appeals to spending time on the porch is to enjoy the views of your surroundings and garden. You want to see everything nature has to offer and enjoy your labors in the garden. Although your screen will not block your view it will obscure it and it does not feel like you are sitting outside. Screens on a small porch can also make it feel boxed in so speak to your porch builders for advice.
Con: It is more expensive to build
Adding a screen to your porch means adding more materials to the project. It therefore will cost more, but you also get more utility and benefits in return. If you do not enjoy insects buzzing around your head you will never use your open porch anyway and the screen becomes worth the extra bit of money. It is worth working with professional porch contractors who will give you an accurate estimate of the costs involved so you can make an educated decision.
The Pros of an Open Porch
Pro: Cheaper to build
An open porch does not require any additional screens and materials and is less costly to build. It is a simpler process to add an open porch to your home and will be quicker and cheaper.
Pro: You get clearer views
Just as avoiding insects is one of the main reasons people get a screened porch, being able to fully enjoy the beautiful view of your surroundings is the major reason most people opt for an open porch. Sitting on an open porch makes you feel like you are in nature as you can hear and see everything clearly and you are in essence sitting outside. You will be able to see the birds and butterflies flying by and fully enjoy watching sunrises or sunsets. If views are a driver for you, remember to position your porch for the best visibility.
Pro: You have less maintenance
Open porches may require more frequent cleaning due to the lack of screens, but this also means that you have less components to maintain. Screens have to be cleaned and maintained to remain looking good and working well. These tasks may not take long, nor do they need to be done often but it still adds to your maintenance to do list. Selecting the right material before construction can also assist in lessening the maintenance requirements of screens, but if you would prefer to avoid this all together then an open porch is the way to go.
The Cons of an Open Porch
Con: It’s exposed to the elements
An open porch is at the mercy and fully exposed to the weather and forces of nature. You will need to select furniture that can get wet and items that are heavy or can be weighted or tied down so it does not blow away in the wind. You might need to dust before you use your porch to get rid of dust and pollen. This does limit the use and frequency you would want to use your porch.
Con: You get any and all unpleasant sights and sounds
Getting a full view and experience of your outdoors can be a great experience unless your surroundings become unpleasant. Your neighbor decides to do construction on their home and you have full exposure of the machines, site and noise. You might be living close to a busy road and have to deal with a lot of road noises. Screens may not block noises, but they do lessen or dull them and offer a more obscured view of any unsightly elements.
Con: Allergens have full access
Without a screen as a layer of filter and protection against airborne allergens and insects you are the mercy of nature. Allergic reactions such as itching, inflamed sinuses, wheezing, and exhaustion can take the joy out of spending time outside and ruin many great sunny days for you.
There is no right or wrong answer, nor a one size fits all situation when it comes to choosing the porch that is right for you. You need to look at your preferences, surroundings, and requirements and then weigh up the pros and cons of each option. A porch is a great idea and enlarges the living space of your home. Whether the porch is open or screened in depends entirely on how you want to use your porch.
Should you need more information, advice or a consultation session feel free to contact DuPage Decks construction today. We are ready to start planning your porch building project and our professionals will assist you every step of the way. We make it easy for you to understand your options and make the required choices so you can have the porch of your dreams.