For many homeowners, home improvement is a series of sequential steps rather than one-off big projects. This is often due to budget and time constraints about how long a certain area of the house can be out of bounds for, but it can also be a way of testing the water to see if you like a particular design or feature. This is especially true when it comes to upgrading your patio or deck to something more serious. Going straight from a paved patio or a wooden deck to a four-season sunroom can feel like a massive step and there’s always the risk that you may not like it or use it. The first step many people take is to install a patio cover: a structure either free standing or attached to the house that provides shade from the summer sun and makes the patio feel more like a porch.
Once you’ve spent enough time under your patio cover, you’ll have an idea about how you to change it further. One of the most common uses is to create a screen room and planning how to upgrade a patio cover to a screen room is something you will likely want professional help to do. There may be building and planning regulations that your contractor will help you work out, and the skill of making everything straight, plumb and tight fitting is a job best left to those with industry experience. However, you will want to plan out the following pieces to start thinking about your screen room upgrade:
- External doors – not every screen room has an external door (i.e. a door that leads out from the screen room into your yard) so you’ll need to think about what your screen room will be used for before you decide. An external means that you’ll see an increase in foot traffic from both your guests and family, and you’ll need to plan the furniture placement accordingly.
- Railings – a typical sunroom set up has a railing about a third of the way up the wall. The primary purpose of this is to split the mesh screens into smaller pieces making them harder to break. However, you can also use it as a way to frame the view out of the screen room, especially if you opt for solid boards below the railing. This has the added benefit of reducing the wind speeds into your screen room and makes it feel more like an extra internal room than an addition to your outdoor space.
- Lighting – it’s likely that you’ll have been using candles or a firepit for lighting under your existing patio cover, but a screen room allows you to add light fixtures. A traditional look is to install a ceiling fan with light fixtures, but you can also opt for uplighting on the external wall of your home or a series of lamps for a more romantic feel.
Another more simple upgrade is to add a screen wall to your patio cover. A screen wall is a large mesh screen on one side of your patio cover and works well for houses where the wind blows in one specific direction or where the house gets strong sunlight during the day. The screen wall provides shade and a windbreak without the cost and planning permissions of a screen room. For either project, get in touch with Desert Sun Patios to start your patio cover upgrade today!