From Porch to Sunroom

Retractable screens convert a patio to a sunroom.The appeal of a sunroom for homeowners is very strong.  Most people love the idea of having a space with window screens or panes that look out at the world around their residence.  Porches, both front and back ones, offer such opportunities, except that they are usually wide open to the insects. Even patios can be included as such spaces, because a well-placed patio screen can help transform the area into a sun room.

Porches, Sunrooms, and Wintergartens

Porches started out as an extension from the front of a house over the entryway, in order to protect those coming in and going out from precipitation or blazing sun. Since most people would have to pause at the threshold to unlock or simply open the door, such protection was very desirable. Gradually, that extension was stretched further across the front of the structure, making it a lounging space.

The porch became a place where work clothes could be taken off so that dirt from outside was not carried into the house. But the inviting space also became a social focal point, where the homeowners could sit and view the activities of the neighborhood. But there came a point where the view from the back of the house was more appealing, shifting the attention to back porches and patios.

The construction of a sunroom, also called a solarium or conservatory, was a popular home addition in Britain. This enclosed space usually had many windows to allow in so much light is was almost like being out of doors – except, of course, you had the protection that windows gave from weather and insects. In Germany, a similar construction was called a wintergarten, which indicates the “all weather” aspect of this sunny spot. The desire to let summer breezes into the space led homeowners to add things like window screens and a mesh screen door to these structures.

Changing the Patio to a Sunroom

The decline in porch structures in more recently built homes marked an increase of creating patio spaces at the back (or less public) area of the house. These often consisted simply of an open space around the back door which was paved or floored in some fashion. But because the patio concept itself originated in Spain with a basically dry climate, it usually is not covered or more enclosed than a small courtyard. The modern American adaptation of it tends not to be bounded by walls. The house often has patio screen doors leading out to the space.

Because of their desire to spend more time out of doors, many homeowners have started making more use of their patios. In Southern California, where there is a lot of direct sunshine, people often put a canopy of some sort over the patio. Once a canopy has been added, it becomes much easier to start visualizing turning the patio into a sunroom.

Retractable Screens for Walls

Once a patio has a canopy of some sort over it, especially if it is a permanent structure, it is a small step to consider adding walls of some sort to the structure. If you are planning to change a back porch half that job is already done. Many people often have a retractable screen door leading out to the patio or back porch. Retractable screens as the “walls” for the patio conversion to sunroom could be an ideal solution for the conflicting desires of complete openness while avoiding flying annoyances like bugs.

Make Your Plans

Converting your patio or back porch to a screened sunroom requires some planning. An expert can measure the space and deliver custom sized screens that best suit your space. Retractable screens in particular have many advantages besides their roll-away nature. The materials available for retractable screens include sun-blocking fibers that make excellent solar screens to cut the intensity of the sunshine, as well as fine filaments and weaves that can keep even very small insects outside while not obstructing the view of the property. As you make your plans to add screen walls to your canopied patio, discuss your preferences with your professional screen consultant. Then look forward to hours of pleasure in your personal sunroom.