Homeowners who want to add living space to their homes without the expense or hassle of an addition often look outside. Exterior home improvements like porches, decks, and 4 seasons rooms cost far less than a home addition and can provide additional living space, boost curb appeal, and increase a home’s value. Homeowners enjoy increased use of their property and a pleasant way to enjoy the outdoors.
But if you’re like most homeowners, you can’t do all three; you need to choose which home improvement to invest in. How do you choose? Sometimes it comes down to the space that is available. Setbacks, easements, the design of the home, or the shape or physical characteristics of the yard may make some choices impossible and others obvious. Budget usually plays a role, but the most important factor in deciding which type of exterior home improvement to choose usually comes down to homeowner preference or need. How do you want to use your space? Where can outdoor living space provide the most value and use to your family? What does your home need?
These are just some of the questions you’ll consider as you mull over your project choices. To help you make the best decision for your situation, we’ve assembled a few benefits of porches, decks, and 4 seasons rooms for consideration as you explore your options.
Benefits of Front Porches
Front porches are a classic feature in American home design. When you think of a traditional American home, chances are a front porch features prominently. There’s a reason for this. Front porches serve multiple functions; they provide an outdoor entertaining spot, they provide shelter from the elements, they boost curb appeal.
- Outdoor Entertaining. Front porches are the perfect place to chat with neighbors, enjoy the weather, or keep an eye on kids playing out front. They often act as a neighborhood magnet to become the place where everyone hangs out to catch up. Larger porches can be outfitted with patio furniture, ceiling fans, and even lights to create an outdoor room.
- Protection. A covered front porch provides a welcome retreat from rain or snow as you or your visitors enter your home, not to mention protects the front door and hardware from the elements. Larger porches that span the entire front of the home or wrap around the house, also protect the interior of the home from the hot summer sun and offer a nice, shaded retreat.
- Curb Appeal. Front porches that are well-maintained and decorated are simply charming. They make a home look loved and well cared-for and complete the look of the home to enhance curb appeal. A front porch can completely transform the front of your home, changing it from a boring flat front to an eye-catching design that complements the home’s architecture.
Benefits of Decks
While porches are traditionally found on the front of the house, decks are typically located in the back. Decks are usually larger than porches and may incorporate many different features like built-in seating, a gazebo, an outdoor kitchen, and more. Some have roofs or overhangs, others are completely open to the skies above. They come in all shapes and sizes and can even be multi-level. Low-maintenance materials like composite decking make decks even more attractive.
- Entertainment Value. Host a party, enjoy dinner, BBQ for the neighbors…and keep it all outside. Decks promote casual entertainment, making it easier to host gatherings. Since they are located adjacent to one of the home’s entry points, there is a seamless transition from inside to outside, which can be handy if the party gets a little too big to be confined indoors!
- Outdoor Living Space. Decks make it easier to enjoy time outside. Think of those warm summer days when the ground is still wet, but the sun beckons you outside. A deck makes it possible to enjoy the fresh air without tearing up your lawn. Or outfit the deck with comfortable seating, lighting, umbrellas, and tables to create a fully functional outdoor room. A traditional 10′ x 20′ deck provides an extra 200 square feet of living space!
- Quick Build and Budget-Friendly. Decks can be built faster than a home addition or 4 seasons room and cost less too. Since all construction takes place outside the home, there is very little disruption to your living situation. No wiring, plumbing, or electrical work is necessary, which simplifies and speeds up the process.
Benefits of a 4 Seasons Room
4 seasons rooms are the most complex and most expensive of the three projects covered in this post, but they are also the most useful. This is because they can be comfortably used year-round. That is not the case with porches and decks, at least not here in Chicagoland! 4 seasons rooms are fully enclosed and protected from the elements. They are sometimes called sunrooms because they feature 3 walls of windows, often have skylights, and have a sliding glass door leading into the room from the rest of the house. All of this glass lets in plenty of natural light regardless of the season. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors without having to actually be outside.
- Year Round Use. 4 seasons rooms are temperature controlled. They have heat; they may have A/C but more likely have large windows that open, and ceiling fans to keep the area cool in summer.
- Versatile Space. These rooms are incredibly versatile. They can be used every day as a secondary living room, a dining area, a home office, a year-round entertainment space, or a multi-function room that adapts to your current need.
- Bring the Outdoors In. Enjoy the outdoors no matter the weather. You won’t be bothered by bugs, wind, rain, snow, or the sun in a 4 seasons room.
Explore Your Exterior Home Improvement Options With Erdmann Exteriors & Construction
If you are considering an exterior home improvement, contact Erdmann Exteriors & Construction in Arlington Heights! We have been helping Chicagoland homeowners improve their homes since 1982 and would love to help you explore your home improvement options. We specialize in bringing living space outdoors to help homeowners make the most of their properties!