A porch equipped with screens or windows is a fantastic way to still enjoy the outdoors during extreme weather, and to avoid being an appetizer for summer mosquitoes. If enclosing a porch is on your short list of most coveted home improvement projects, there are many decisions to be made before you begin. As with any project requiring multiple decisions and a considerable outlay of cash, there are several missteps you can make when enclosing a porch that will result in your dream porch becoming a nightmare.
Failure to take your area’s weather and geography into account when deciding on enclosing a porch is a costly mistake. A screened porch is a perfect choice for homeowners who still want to feel the breeze. However, if your home is situated in an area which has frequent tornadoes, or is populated with short rooted pines, then a solid roof with partial walls may be a sturdier, more practical choice. At the beginning of the home improvement project, give some detailed thought to the weather and other factors that may affect the porch’s longevity.
The depth of the foundation must be able to handle the weight of the new enclosed porch’s roof, walls, and window treatments or efforts at enclosing a porch will fail. A porch’s foundation is often more shallow than the house’s foundation. Adding to a structure without making certain the foundation is adequate will cause cracking in the foundation and the roof, usually where the porch meets the house. Trying to cut costs by foregoing a foundation inspection can end up costing big money for repairs, and can cause re-sell issues. Hire competent, reputable porch builders to inspect the foundation and advise you on the type of structure it can support. Your bank account and stress level will thank you for it.
Local building codes govern improvement projects such as turning an outdoor space into part of the home’s heated area, adding heating and cooling, and installing electrical outlets. Housing additions are treated differently than outdoor living spaces, and it’s advisable to educate yourself on the difference. If any of these items are part of your plan, you will need to take the time to obtain a permit. How will this impact your efforts at enclosing a porch? Don’t stick your head in the sand and move forward with these projects without consulting local building codes. Foregoing adherence to building codes can end up causing your home to be completely unsellable in the future.
An enclosed porch can be a wonderful addition to a home, offering outdoor living space the entire family can enjoy. On the other hand, rushing into the project without planning or forethought can turn the porch into a money pit backyard nightmare. Taking a little extra time to ensure it’s done right is worth the effort in the long run. Save some headaches and avoid these pitfalls.
If you’d like more information about enclosing a porch, please contact us online or call us at 770-781-4641. If you already have ideas about your dream porch project, you can also request a quote. We would love to discuss your home improvement project and make your screened porch dreams a reality!