Everyone loves screen porches plus before and after pictures! This screen porch was a great addition to a charming home. Fortunately this home was part of a development of seven Williamsburg styled homes that included a shared formal garden. Beautiful formal garden, let me repeat! It is a gift to have a home that is adjacent to a garden and has views of the garden. This home had one window facing the garden in their family room. The family room was cozy but not large enough for their family to comfortably watch TV or have enough space for a table to do homework or play board games. Most importantly the family room did not have a connection to the garden view.
The family decided to enlarge the family room and add a screen porch. The beauty of a screen porch is that screen doors aren’t needed between home and porch. This allows on nice days the porch to be part of the house with the doors wide open! It becomes another room blurring the line between inside and outside. I like to use a set of double sliding doors that allow an opening of between four and even up to eight feet of a “doorway”. The two sets of doors slide open which saves space that the traditional swinging doors use.
Sliding doors! Ugh? I often hear that from clients the first time I mention using sliding doors over French swinging glass patio doors! Sliding doors have come a long way from their overused, filmed and poor hardware days of the seventies. If you haven’t had the chance to see new sliding doors in action stop by a window and door showroom and take them for a test drive. Yes they slide easily, Yes they save room by saving the swing space, Yes you can easily leave them open just a tad for fresh air. Door manufacturers have attractive wood clad sliders available in the French Door Style with a tall wood section below the glass “bottom rail” in contrast to the old metal sliding doors. There are beautiful doors out there!
The location of the porch overlooks the garden and faces south. Southern light is desired as it is sunny throughout the day. It is easy to shade in the summer and nice to have in the winter.
My tips for a screen porch: consider sliding FRENCH doors, think about the view and enjoy the southern sunshine!