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Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

Posted by sunbird (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 16, 09 at 14:16

We live in Minnesota, and have lots of mosquitoes. Our deck is falling apart. I actually do not use it much due to the bugs. My husband has a grill on it and that's all we do with the deck. I'm debating what to replace it with: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom. We are just starting to look at the alternatives and don't know how much each option would cost. We can do a lot of work ourselves, but will probably hire someone to do the footings, roof, or other heavy or complicated work. Any suggestions or inputs will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

Your situation is similar to ours so I can't be of much help. I've come to the conclusion it's a personal decision - what works for one might be different than for another. It's unlikely anyone on this site will recommend screened porch vs. 3 or 4 season sunroom because lifestyle, cost & setting determine a lot.

We have a 16x18 deck in relatively good shape that never gets used but needs sealing again. I got a bid for a 3 seasons room, initially bid at $23,500 but then we made a couple modifications & price went to $25,000. Current footings would probably work, shingles would match the house & this does not include any electrical or final flooring. This is from a business that focuses on sunrooms. We're in NE Nebraska. We'd like to get a bid from a local contractor but in our small rural area they're hard to come by (few in number & always busy).

In our situation I don't want to reseal the deck (lot of work for me on something we don't use); husband doesn't want to put on the sunroom as says the bids too high and he'd prefer a year-round addition; I don't want to go to all the work of an addition or change the house footprint---so we're at an impasse. Good luck with your project.


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RE: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

Obviously cost depends on size, materials, how much you do yourself, etc. But as a ballpark, and to give you an idea of relative cost, you're probably looking at $10K for a deck, $15K for a screened porch, $20K for a 3-season room and $25-30K for a 4-season room addition.

It sounds to me that you wouldn't use even a new deck much, so at least go with the screened-in porch.


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RE: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

Sunbird,

We faced a similar decision back in 2005 and were all set to add a 4 season sunroom to our home as part of a larger expansion here in upstate NY. The bids for the rest of the project came in over our budget so we decided to scale down from a sunroom to a screened porch. We are really happy we did. A screened porch has a completely different feeling from a sunroom, which is essentially interior space. With the screen porch you really feel like you are outdoors. Granted we can only use the porch about 6 months of the year, but that works for us. Just my opinion. Good luck.

Marty


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RE: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

We wrestled a few years ago about this same situation. In the end, we went with a three season porch complete with a crawl space foundation that added an extra storage space we can access from the basement. We decided against the screened-in porch because I knew the dust and dirt as well as the elements of the weather here in the northeast would drive me crazy. We also opted against the four season room because in our area, once you add heat and air, it becomes taxable square footage. We added a small deck off of the room and a stamped concrete patio to complete the look. All in, the project cost us $44,000 in 2004. It is a "stick built" 2X6 room with Andersen casement windows and a 10 foot french door slider and cathedral ceiling with boxed out beams and beadboard ceiling. I think if you changed out some of the extra details -- crawl space, window type, ceiling finish, patio -- you could probably come in below our budget.


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RE: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

We wrestled a few years ago about this same situation. In the end, we went with a three season porch complete with a crawl space foundation that added an extra storage space we can access from the basement. We decided against the screened-in porch because I knew the dust and dirt as well as the elements of the weather here in the northeast would drive me crazy. We also opted against the four season room because in our area, once you add heat and air, it becomes taxable square footage. We added a small deck off of the room and a stamped concrete patio to complete the look. All in, the project cost us $44,000 in 2004. It is a "stick built" 2X6 room with Andersen casement windows and a 10 foot french door slider and cathedral ceiling with boxed out beams and beadboard ceiling. I think if you changed out some of the extra details -- crawl space, window type, ceiling finish, patio -- you could probably come in below our budget.


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RE: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

Part of my deck is enclosed. I have window screen underneath the enclosed area to keep bugs out. Sliding doors on 3 sides of the enclosed area. Since it's on the sunny side of the house, it gets warm enough to sit in when outside temps are above freezing. I do put thin sheets of foam insulation down to block the draft between floor boards. Would be even warmer if the enclosed area had been insulated.


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RE: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

This is a very good thread and I thought I would resurrect it with a question. Maybe I am unclear but what is the difference between a screened in porch, 3 and 4 season sunroom?

I thought a screened in porch was just a deck with framing and screens around it. I though a three season porch was the same but with flooring (tile, pergo, carpet, etc) and glass windows along with screens. And I though the four season is like the three season but with heat and HVAC.

Am I correct in these definitions? Thanks.


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RE: Deck, screened porch, or 3 or 4 season sunroom

We were mulling over the same question a few years ago. We started out thinking screened porch but then realized how much we needed a 4-season gathering space when we entertained. Friends who had gone the 3-season route told us they were essentially 'no season' rooms because they were too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter (you know Minnesota extremes). So we decided to ante up for a 4-season room and we are so glad we did! We went 16'x24', put in 2 sliding glass patio doors to the deck, plus 8 good-sized windows, and a double French door to the dining room. It is a room of light all year round! We followed our furnace guy's recommendation to put in a gas fireplace for heat and a ductless minisplit for air conditioning. They both work splendidly and we can just turn them off and shut the door to the rest of the house when we're not using the room. We love the room in all seasons. With the help and advice of some very skilled siblings, we did almost all the work ourselves and it cost around $40,000.


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