5 Tips For a Better Screened-In Porch

August 21, 2013

One of the requested additions to a custom home is often a screened-in porch. Most customers know they want a bug-free place to sit in the summer, but they may not realize you can give them more than a box with screens on the sides.

Here are five improvements you can make for a better screened-in porch:

Overhead Fans

Overhead fans make a huge difference when there are no breezes around. They also help keep any bugs that got past the screens of the occupants.

Multiple Outlets

More than one outlet gives more than one option for any electronic use, from accent lighting to computer or tv to crockpot and more. It can also power tip #3.

Water Feature

A water feature adds coolness, the soothing sound of trickling water, and perhaps fish or plants. Some folks even try aquaponics on their porch if it is big enough.

Space and Easy Home Access

Easy access to the kitchen and room for a table with seating makes dining al fresco a regular luxury. Very few homeowners wish their screened-in porch was smaller, but lots of homeowners would like it to be larger once they see how cramped it feels with the picnic table plus the people and the food.

Optional Window Panels

Optional window panels can be planned for and turn a screened-in porch into a three-season activity space. With a southern exposure, it even becomes a place to sit in the pale winter sunshine.

When you are discussing plans for a screened-in porch with your clients, ask them how they anticipate using that space, what furnishings they expect to fit into it, and how they may wish to improve it later. It can be helpful to have the floor plan of the porch on graph paper with templates of porch swings, table options, porch rockers, and various seating choices as well as plant stands, clotheslines, or any other furnishing they are thinking of. The reality of the templates helps plan the size of the porch, even if they have to wait for features.

Wiring can be run for the ceiling fan to be installed next year, or the screens built to hold future window panels. The custom home builder who helps the homeowner envision their future renovation and plan for it often is the one that homeowner calls when they are ready to have more work done.