A screened-in porch can add a lot of enjoyment to your home. Designing it so it can be built in stages over time makes it more affordable.
Screen Porch Design
My family loves being outside, so when we built our home a few years ago, we made sure to include plenty of outdoor space options.
We have a large front porch (with my favorite porch swing), a covered deck, a patio, and our screened porch turned three-season porch.
This porch didn’t begin as a three-season porch, Instead, this was a project that evolved over time.
The original home plans called for an open back porch on this corner of the house. Before beginning construction, we decided to adjust the design plans just slightly to turn this space into a screened-in porch.
This corner of the house has the best views, so we definitely wanted to capitalize on that and create a space that could get the maximum amount of use.
Since we already had a large porch on the front of the house, and a covered open deck at the back, adding screens seemed like an easy way to give us another type of outdoor living space without spending a lot of money.
Fireplace & Additional Features
Screened-in porches are a great way to enjoy time outdoors at night because they provide extra protection from bugs.
This thinking made the idea of the fireplace come to mind.
How nice would it be to enjoy a crisp evening on the screened porch with a fire going?
In no time at all, the builder had the wood frame for the fireplace roughed in on our existing porch.
During this process, we also added a few additional features like a ceiling fan, dimmable recessed lighting, and WiFi speakers in the ceiling for music.
We were all set to begin enjoying sunsets like these in our new screened-in porch.
EZE Breeze Windows
It was about this time that we visited a big home show downtown and came across EZE Breeze Windows. It didn’t take long for us to realize that these adjustable windows would be a great addition to our space!
Here is what EZE Breeze has to say about their windows:
It’s a bit indoors, a bit outdoors. It’s an exceptional product that’s also exceptionally simple. Just configure. Order. Receive. Install. And relax. It’s a place to escape without leaving your home. Your new favorite space.
I couldn’t agree more. It was definitely the best choice for our needs.
And it was quite affordable, coming in at around $3k total cost for the windows. That’s not bad for the size of our space and the quality of the product. These aren’t cheap materials!
The windows come in floor-to-ceiling quarter panels. You can raise them all the way up, all the way down, or somewhere in between.
They are a great way to let in plenty of fresh air and natural light, while also being able to keep out the bugs, wind, and rain as needed.
From Screened to Three-Season
We added some outdoor furniture to create a cushy seating area with throw pillows on the wicker chairs, a coffee table for propping up our feet (and for coffee, of course), a dining table for summer suppers, and a few decorative items.
For a portion of the year, we were able to use it as an extra living room and dining room. It was a great place to enjoy morning coffee, and evening dinners without swatting bugs away from our food.
The EZE Breeze windows allow us to adjust them as needed to block the wind and precipitation. It’s even a relaxing place to sit during a rain storm with no worries of getting wet, but still being able to enjoy family time outdoors-ish.
“2.5” Season Porch
At this point, our porch was functioning more like a “2.5” season porch rather than a three-season. We live in Iowa, and it can get awfully cold.
Thanks to the EZE Breeze windows, we were able to enjoy our porch for most of the spring, summer, and fall, but there were still many days that were just too cold and windy for the porch to hold enough heat to be comfortable, even with the fireplace going.
To make it a true three-season porch, we decided to insulate the floor and prevent the wind from coming through the open spaces between the cedar planks.
Last year, we took the next step in this evolving porch project and completed the final step of insulating and sealing up the underside of the porch floor.
The material costs were right around $1500, and labor was about the same. We hired the insulating part out, but my husband finished off the trim work himself.
If you’re handy, this could easily be a DIY project.
Wait, there’s more!
With the insulated floor and the fireplace going, we can easily warm the room into the 60s. Adding a portable space heater raises the temp even more.
Once we got the temperature to remain comfortable, we found ourselves enjoying even more time in the porch and decided a TV would be a nice feature 🙂
We already had two outlets on the porch, but none were in the right location for the TV mount. No worries, for just a couple hundred bucks, an electrician was able to add one for us, and we were in business!
When we can’t truly be outdoors, the porch is now the perfect space to enjoy “outdoor” activities of all kinds: dining, relaxing, hosting guests, reading, and even watching television.
The interior design is my favorite part of this project. I have a great time changing up the color scheme and overall look for the various seasons.
You can visit the posts below to see some of the best screen porch ideas:
Even if you’re working with a small budget, this outdoor project can be affordable if you complete it in phases as we did.
Making additions to our porch over the course of about 4 years, was an affordable way to create a space that we now use literally every day.
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