Out of all the possible home extensions and improvement projects that you could undertake this summer, nothing beats turning your tired old porch, patio or deck into a screen room. Dollar for dollar, it’s one of the best investments you can make; the cost of the materials is cheaper than building a whole new set of walls and foundations, but you still get the benefit of a brand new room to expand into during the warmer months. You’ll create a gorgeous oasis that allows you the benefits of being outside, such as the fresh and scents of summer, without any of the drawbacks, such as the bugs or harsh direct sunshine.
One of the biggest drawbacks of living in Calgary in the summer is not the bugs or the heat – it’s the high wind speeds that rip through the streets bringing dust and destruction with them. It’s a proven fact that Calgary is one of the windiest cities in the whole of Canada which is all due to its unique position so close to the Rockies and the westerly wind flows from the Pacific. These two factors combine to push air at high speeds at all times of year.
Benefits of a screen room for wind protection
These incredible wind speeds throughout the city make sitting outside during the summer a sometimes unpleasant experience. This doesn’t have to be the case, and a screen room is the perfect combination of low budget, quick installation speed and high protection against the wind. Completing this home extension project with Desert Sun Patios will give you these three screen room benefits that only people in a windy city will understand:
- Nothing blows away – if you enjoy hosting parties outside in Calgary, you’ve either got a large set of heavy plates and dishes or you have young children who don’t mind chasing paper plates and plastic cups across the yard all afternoon. While a screen room won’t completely block out the wind, it will reduce it’s intensity making your new screen room the ideal place to host your summer parties.
- Filters bugs and dirt – another perennial problem facing Calgary residents during the summer months is the sheer amount of bugs and dirt that get blown around. In some cases, sweeping and wiping down your patio or deck can be a daily chore, and one that gets boring very quickly. A screen room eliminates the bug problem instantly as they will be too big to fit through any screen mesh. The amount of dirt and dust that gets blown in will depend on the size of your mesh, but you can also reduce this by putting solid panels at the base of your screen windows. This will also help to reduce wind speed.
- Help plants to survive – finally, high wind speeds make growing plants in containers and pots difficult. Not only can the pots get blown over, but it’s easy for the plants themselves to be bent or broken before their stems get strong enough. Keeping your plants in your screen room until they’re ready to go outside will dramatically increase your chances of success, while also bringing some delightful greenery and raised oxygen levels to your new hybrid indoor/outdoor space.
You can also increase your wind protection using these very same plants as they grow bigger. Simply plant them strategically as a windbreak outside your new screen room. Even smaller plants will help to slow down the air speeds, but you’ll get better wind protection from larger plants and shrubs. You should avoid planting trees near to your screen room due to the risk factors associated with tipping over and blocking your view through the screen room windows.
Screen room construction for wind protection
Your typical screen room is a simple post and beam structure with large mesh windows and a sturdy roof. It will feel like an extra room in your home and you’ll want to spend as much time out there as possible during the warmer months. However, that pesky wind can ruin the best laid plans, so you’ll want to think about how to construct your screen room to give you the best wind protection:
- Choose solar mesh – not all screen room mesh is created equal, especially when it comes to wind protection. Solar screen room mesh is designed to give greater protection against the sun’s UV rays with darker fabric and smaller holes. These smaller gaps in the mesh also offer much better against strong winds as well as trapping and blocking more debris.
- Install higher panels – a typical screen room structure typically has a low set of wooden panels or frames around the base of each external wall. These provide more stability to the overall structure as well as protecting the mesh from accidental damage. An easy way to increase your protection against Calgary’s strong winds is to build higher panels that are solid. This creates a natural block against the wind and will help to frame the view out of your mesh windows.
- Use wind patterns – finally, you will want to spend some time with your contractor looking at how the wind blows around your backyard before you start to design your sunroom. In an ideal situation, you will want to construct your sunroom so that the smaller walls face into the wind. This will reduce the amount of the wind coming into your screen room. This isn’t always possible, especially if you’re building on top of an existing deck or patio, so in these cases you could build a slightly smaller screen room to achieve the same effect.
Building a screen room represents the ultimate in multi tasking for Calgary homeowners. You get extra space around your home for entertaining and relaxing, and you get all of these wind protection benefits for free. Make this year the year when you finally stop worrying about everything blowing away and start to truly enjoy your backyard space.