If you are considering an outdoor space, you are probably doing your research.  Do you want a sunroom?  A patio enclosure?  Something else? There are so many terms out there that it can often be very confusing to determine what each term refers to, let alone what would work best for your home.

Let’s start with the basics.  A patio is a “paved” area of ground adjacent to, or near, your home.  It can be made of poured concrete, pavers, bricks, or some other material meant to grant a flat, steady foundation.  Think of it as an outside platform.

Sometimes, the term patio is used interchangeably with the term porch—when in fact, they are two very different structures.  A porch is constantly positioned at the entrance of a residence, and is typically covered.

People often decide to modify an existing patio to create a more functional space.  A common choice is to enclose the patio.  This can be done in a variety of different ways—adding screens to screen in the space, adding a supporting structure and material drop curtains, or converting into a sunroom/patio enclosure.

So…what makes a room a sunroom?  A sunroom has inflexible frames, many windows, and is developed as an extension of the home–not a freestanding structure. Beyond the basic definition, sunrooms are often referred to as patio enclosures if they first started out as a paved outdoor space.  A true sunroom is built from scratch.  Beyond just sunrooms and patio enclosures, homeowners can also choose to retrofit existing decks or porches to convert them into outdoor spaces closely resembling sunrooms or patio enclosures.

Regardless of which structure you choose, you have a lot of choice when it comes to customizing your sunroom/patio enclosure.  Two of the first items you will need to consider are the roof, and your climate control choices.

  • Roof
    • Gable: a solid roof where two intersecting roof pitches meet at a triangular shape in the middle. A gable roof is what you most often see on a standard home. If you have a gable roof on your sunroom, it would most likely mimic the style and shape of your home’s current roof.
    • Studio: this is a single roof where the pitch has only one slanted angle.
    • Glass: this is a popular choice if you want to maximize sun exposure. A glass roofed structure is often referred to as a conservatory or solarium.
  • Climate Control:
    • Four-Season Rooms: if the room is heated and cooled by the same HVAC unit as the rest of the home, it is regarded as a four-season room and will also include insulated frames and energy efficient windows.
    • Three-Season Rooms: these rooms either have an independent heating/cooling system, or are not temperature regulated.

If you are ready to maximize your outdoor space with a new sunroom, patio enclosure, porch enclosure, deck enclosure, patio cover, or much more, we can help!  As Southern North Carolina’s outdoor space professionals, we have customized additions, porch window systems, porch wall systems, patio covers, and more for countless homes.  Contact us today for a free no-obligation educational estimate where we can talk you through the many options that you have to determine what is right for your home—980-477-1783 or office@valverax.com.