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How would you add a screened porch

Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
7 months ago
last modified: 7 months ago

The white addition is 12’x16’and will be re- sided attractively in a different color and the wood deck removed. The existing addition is off the DR and will have French Doors into it and be a Den . We can change windows and doors but not its size. We need some gravel driveway area up there to use for turning purposes and the tree stays. I really want a screened porch accessed somehow off the Den , and the screened porch will be a simpler style in keeping with the little house.

Here is a pic of the rear area described above



The window in the adjacent brick stays it’s a bedroom. Thanks for ideas and size suggestions

Sample porches



This is the color scheme Wool Skein for siding and trims and Tricorn Black for doors



Comments (47)

  • Jinx
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    That is going to be a wonderful addition! Really like both your example pictures. Building is not my forte, I’m sure others will have good suggestions. I want to start decorating it. :D

    I also like your color selections! Those are great.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Jinx
  • Tina Marie
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    A screened porch could be built where the deck is now. You could access it from a door from the addition. Also, you might could have the window removed from the brick area and replaced with a single french door, allowing access from that room. I would love that, especially if it's the master bedroom.


    ETA - I would probably keep the screened area the size of the deck, but extending it down to the corner of the house. I love that little stone eating area in the first picture you shared. If there were a way possible to add that (might interfere with driveway), I would try.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Tina Marie
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  • OutsidePlaying
    7 months ago

    That is going to be so nice. I think something along the lines of your second photo with the less-steep roof is going to be best. You will need to pay attention to the drainage from the steeper roof into the new roof valley where they meet, and perhaps ensure your new gutters and drainage can handle the runoff. Make sure it will be away from the house. I’m sure your roofer will be familiar with ice and water shield underlayment installations for your climate.

    I am no expert but have had to have conversations with roofers for our condo association when I was on the Board there. I learned a lot in the process.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked OutsidePlaying
  • mtnrdredux_gw
    7 months ago

    I adore screened porches, nothing like it. Will it make the adjoining areas too dark? Can you add a second window in the BR for example?

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • Eileen
    7 months ago

    It would look nice to landscape around it like in the photo, which would mean orienting the turn-around to the right in the lawn area instead of behind the house.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Eileen
  • 3katz4me
    7 months ago

    I love screen porches - how wonderful that you are adding one. I think it would be easiest if you can extend it straight out from the white addition toward the tree because then you could have the same roof line and you're not adding a roof over a different room's window. However it sounds like you can't do that. I guess that leaves the space where the deck is which it seems would require a structural change to the roof line of the addition to incorporate one higher peak that accommodates both the porch and the addition. Otherwise it seems like you'd end up with a kind of odd shaped, partially flat roof.

    We have a laundry room window at our lake place that looks out into the screen porch. It probably does make the room a bit darker but it's not a showstopper.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked 3katz4me
  • just_terrilynn
    7 months ago

    Great idea's, a 13 x 20 -ish is a nice size for a screened room for a small home. Not too big and not too small. That size would allow for a covered grill to be stored on the long end during the winter and have good walk around space for the outdoor furniture.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked just_terrilynn
  • lyfia
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    I think there would be some issues with tying in the roof if a screen porch was added where the deck is unless you do an almost flat roof with just a little bit of an angle. Like 2katz4me said extending it out from the existing addition would be easier. I would drop the roof a little bit as it would be easier to add than having to redo the part to tie it into the existing roof. Does the parking area have to be behind the house or can it be just to the side if you extended it.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked lyfia
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Thank you everyone for the ideas. @Tina Marie the deck is tiny so we have to go bigger than that for sure. It's like 6x9 or something.

    @OutsidePlaying Our roofer is the best. He did our house we are now in and was so amazing at suggesting what was best and his crew is so neat as well never know they were there.

    @mtnrdredux_gw and @3katz4me that is a small bedroom so not too worried about the light but the way we dealt with it here in this house was 2 skylights so we can always do that if needed. We have 2 windows in our DR that look out onto the screened porch here and as Mtn said before the window light is amazing.

    @Eileen can you tell me more about how you would orient the driveway turnaround ? DH says

    "it's just a tree"....sigh. It is the only tree in the 1/3 acre yard. It's so beautiful. Any way to keep it and have a size like @just_terrilynn suggested would be great.

    @lyfia that is a great question about parking /turnaround. The driveway is steep and is right at a stop sign so there is no way anyone is going to back out. So we have to have a turn around . Thinking about how to reconfigure and also lot lines set backs is going to be important.

    Also there is a slope back there that is hard to tell but is significant enough that we are going to be putting in some kind of a retaining wall as well.

    Lots to think about.

    Maybe I am asking the impossible. I do have an architect on board. She is amazing and lives just up the street in a 1970's ranch and is remodeling it. He kids play with my grandson and she is new in town. She is so excited and charges by the hour a very very reasonable fee and loves to do both construction advice as well as decorating so she is going to be a great asset I think, Meeting with her in February. Any pictures anyone can post for ideas would be very welcome too. c

  • Eileen
    7 months ago

    Trailrunner, from the photo angle it looks like you could widen the end of the driveway into a turnaround at the corner of the house and free up all the area near the deck for landscaping and any other uses that would be nice to have close to the house.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Eileen
  • just_terrilynn
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    I love the possibilities here and I know I'm endanger of going overboard on my thinking. However, wouldn't it just be dreamy to raise the roof on the addition and tie that and a high patio roof into the whole? That addition space would look so huge with a very high ceiling. Sorry if this was already mentioned.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked just_terrilynn
  • Yayagal
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Like this: This is a slan

    A Modern Lake House · More Info


    A slanted roof would work fine. We have that roofing. Your house is very pretty.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Yayagal
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @Eileen you have raised an interesting idea we could actually swing out to the left first and then park facing the tree sideways at it were to the rear of the house . DH says there is plenty of room.

    @just_terrilynn you are " getting above yourself" LOL! @Yayagal that's beautiful but it is such a modest house that I have to reign myself in. I appreciate the ideas and as DH says we just have to wait till we are actually able to concentrate on the area and measure measure measure. Plus our contractor and our roofer are so great and we have worked with them before on this house so I have full confidence that they will have ideas and I am excited about working with an architect who also is a woodworker and has design experience to round out her portfolio. Thank you , c

  • summersrhythm_z6a
    7 months ago

    Not a pro. I think the easier way is to cut down the tree, to extend your den's roofline. A lot of people don't stay long with screened porch, their next step is to close the porch, to keep the weather outside. So maybe deep down you want a sunroom instead a screened porch? :-) You could also have a big patio next to the den and sunroom, and have an outdoor kitchen there.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked summersrhythm_z6a
  • Tina Marie
    7 months ago

    @summersrhythm_z6a makes a good point. Which brings another question and suggestion from me. What is in the "addition"? Our sunroom is built on to our house similar to the addition you show. Down at the end of the house our extra large, long garage extends and then there is a curved patio that runs between the two. I'm just wondering what the addition will be used for. If you have room, could that addition be used as a sunroom? You could redo the windows, making the room basically 3 walls of windows. You could use it as a sunroom, den, etc. but you could also do as we did, our windows in our sunroom are all sliding windows which enable us to use the room as basically screened when weather permits. Which is not long around here LOL. Our sunroom is basically a "den" for us but we do enjoy the screened windows at certain times of year. If that would work in your house, you could then have a deck or patio off the addition. Just a thought! Can't wait to see how it all works out.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Tina Marie
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @summersrhythm_z6a this is the screened porch we added 3 yrs ago to our house .. never looked back 😊.



    We are screened porch folks😊. Our DR is used as the sunroom and the French Doors are open whenever the weather is fine.


    This new purchase will be the home for my BIL so he won’t need anything too fancy. Its the only tree on the property we will have to figure out a way to keep it and add the modest porch. Its always something isn’t it??? Thank you for your thoughts! c

  • l pinkmountain
    7 months ago

    Just one question, what kind of tree is it, and why is it so important? I can't tell for sure, but it looks like a Norway maple, which is easily replaced and fast growing. But maybe not, kind of hard to tell from the distance of the photograph. I'm a tree lover, but some trees are easier to replace than others, and Norway maple is not only fast growing, but it is short lived, and if it is indeed a Norway maple, it's approaching the end of it's viable life. They get hollow and then become very prone to wind and other storm damage. If you've lived on a property or in an neighborhood with old Norway maples, you know what I'm talking about. So that's why I would replace it, because of the ease of replicating its adult look rather quickly in tree-life terms. Also, it's an invasive species and doesn't play nice with other trees, shrubs or garden plants, so not particularly valuable unless you want a pretty fast growing tree, then it shines so that's why it's used to much in suburban landscaping.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked l pinkmountain
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Will find out . will post pic up close so you can identify. will be after 26 th. thank you!

  • summersrhythm_z6a
    7 months ago

    Lovely porch Trailrunner! :-)

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked summersrhythm_z6a
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    @Tina Marie y’all make a good point! The room currently is unshowable… trust me its really awful! It was built just to enclose the exterior concrete basement steps! Yep all that slab poured and an unconditioned room to make the stairway indoors . OK OK…I’ll show you but your eyes will never be the same !😬🤦‍♀️




    Yep awful concrete hole. We are covering over the hole . Then y’alls idea of making it a 4 season room is great! Way less expensive and a nice patio outside. Brilliant Brilliant. DH will be thrilled

  • Tina Marie
    7 months ago

    It's not that bad! Yes, you can definitely cover the hole and then make it into what you want!

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Tina Marie
  • lyfia
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    I think you've come to a great conclusion and it really doesn't look too bad now. Don't get me wrong it needs help, but it isn't scary.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked lyfia
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    GW does it again! DH said ” your imaginary friends just saved us a bundle of $$$$$! ” . Haha.. you guys are the best. Now I need to look on porches forum and find the company that was referenced that has the convertable windows. Of course if you guys have a solid company let me know. THANK YOU! https://www.virginiasweetpea.com/converting-a-screened-porch-to-a-sunroom/ love these windows . And this would be weather proof and we can count the sq foot into the home as it will be heated and cooled when we are finished.

  • just_terrilynn
    7 months ago

    But will it save money on your car insurance lol? That really is a brilliant idea of making that area a sunroom.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked just_terrilynn
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @just_terrilynn it is !! @Tina Marie and @summersrhythm_z6a get the GOLD prize :) Thank you . Stay tuned. Will be Spring before anything gets started. In the link above I love the color which is a bit lighter than the one I showed but in the same family. I love the way it goes with the red brick. c

  • l pinkmountain
    7 months ago

    I want to turn my screened in porch into a sunroom, so I don't think you will regret going straight for the sunroom, particularly with the way people are cocooning more at home.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked l pinkmountain
  • just_terrilynn
    7 months ago

    I agree Pink, I’m sitting in the screened room right now, I spend most all my free time in this spot. I’m in Florida and can use it year around though. A sun room would be next to the best thing if I lived in a cold climate.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked just_terrilynn
  • Tina Marie
    7 months ago

    @Trailrunner Zone 7a VA It's been a long time since I've won the gold prize for anything!! LOL Glad to help! We love our sunroom/screened room because we are able to use it in any weather and we can have regular furniture in the room. I even have some antique pieces in our room (of course LOL). We also have a ceiling fan in that room. It is nice to spread the fresh air through the house.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Tina Marie
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    You will have to add an antique trophy case 😊🙏. @Tina Marie.

    We will definitely have a fan overhead. The main wall is the brick from the homes exterior wall but they painted it black ! Its going to be opened into the DR anyway and we have to decide what to do about the kitchen door off of this addition as well. I need the space in the kitchen and have thought to close it off but then the sunroom would be the only rear entrance from the parking so the route for groceries etc. Not sure I like that . So many decisions!!!

    Maybe you can win another trophy for your yet to be purchased case: heres the kitchen with door to left in picture. and the door when standing in the addition showing the painted brick wall.







    I need that real estate in the kitchen because we lose the use of the wall where the range and fridge currently are . We are reopening the basement acess ( under the range ) since we are closing the cement stairs in the addition. ideas ??

  • just_terrilynn
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Can you make that window a door opening ? Since the brick is painted anyway on the door wall, could that be patched brick and painted and have cabinetry there? Or, a base cabinet w/counter and a window above on door wall?

  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Which window? Would like a U shaped kitchen . with the door gone can turn that corner and have my 3rd side since we lose the wall pretty much where the range /fridge is now. The window in the picture isnt in the room. it looks over the backyard.

    You can see it here. wouldnt work to add steps and make it a door

  • l pinkmountain
    7 months ago

    Can you afford to tear off that addition and start over?


    And in an unrelated note, I have two entrances to my screened in porch which is along most of the back of my house, from both kitchen and dining room. We rarely use the dining room one. So one entrance is probably more than enough for a sunroom.


    Also, again looking at the tree, not sure really what it is, hard to tell by form alone, but cutting it down really isn't necessary for almost any arrangement back there, unless you wanted to just go straight out for some distance.

    I am a tree lover, but I will say that unless it is some rare species, that tree could be replaced. It might take 5-10 years to get anything of great substance though, but unless the shade is vital, I'd not go out of my way to plan around just that tree. Once you finish whatever addition you want, you can landscape around it with some fast growing shade trees, like Shademaster honeylocust or some type of fast growing red maple hypbrid, pin oak, etc. Not advocating against leaving it, it is a beautiful specimen. But the house will be around for a long time too . . .

  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    The tree is no longer an impediment and will be an asset when we do a patio area offering shade.


    The addition is fine as far as placement goes. It will be gutted. I am just pondering if we can close off the door from the addition into the kitchen and just use the french doors that will be added from the DR to the addition/ sun room . There will only be one door from the sunroom to the yard as it is now.

    This is the DR kitchen is to the right. Addition is through those windows. They will be french doors into the sun room . The white wall you see beyond the windows is the basement stairwell thats being removed.

  • Eileen
    7 months ago

    I have a deck off my dining room but I wish I had put in a patio instead. The deck requires so much upkeep as it's cedar. A patio can be hosed off or swept.

    In your remodel, I can see an enclosed sunroom and steps onto a flagstone patio with the tree anchoring the patio. I see you have a neighbor close to the area where I imagined your turnaround, but there should be plenty of room to claim some of that lawn if you need it. It sounds like you park at the end of that driveway too.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Eileen
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    Yes the deck will be removed and a flagstone patio as well as retaining wall to prevent some water issues that our contractor forsees with the foundation. There is plenty of room for the turnaround now that we have cancelled the screened porch idea

  • Tina Marie
    7 months ago

    Hmmm I don't think I am going to get another trophy LOL!! I do think you will be fine with only the french doors. That is what we have and then a door that leads outside. I don't think I would like not having a door into the kitchen from outside as you mentioned. : ( I hope you can figure out some way to keep it or relocate so you will have an outside entrance into the kitchen.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Tina Marie
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    The existing kitchen door is inside the addition. There isnt any way to have a totally exterior door to the kitchen. There are two choices :

    1) keep an entrance to the kitchen from the sunroom—- and there will be French Doors as well into the DR



    2) close off the door from the sunroom into the kitchen thus giving the wallspace to the kitchen remodel and have only the French Doors from the sunroom into the DR and then a left turn into the kitchen.

    Hope this makes sense

  • mtnrdredux_gw
    7 months ago

    I think choice 2 would work well. Does BIL have any idea how lucky he is? You and DH always make such lovely spaces!

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • Allison0704
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    Another vote for 2. The tiny inconvenience of going through dining room (which will be the only space for eating at a table, so maybe refer to it aa a less formal breakfast room)) will be outweighed by the convenience of having a better, functional kitchen. Is there a way to remove the wall between the two areas and have an island?


    ETA: Have you thought about a trellis, or even a sun sail over the patio so he can enjoy the outdoors? I didn't know your husband and brother were albinos. Would covering somehow allow BIL to sit outside more often?

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Allison0704
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    7 months ago

    Long thread and I haven't read it all, but I speak about decks...


    Want a place outside so you build a deck.

    Love the deck but it's too hot in the summer, so you roof it and make a porch.

    Love the porch, but it's too buggy, so you screen it in.

    Love the screened porch, but you can't use it much of the year so you turn it into a sunroom.

    Love the sunroom, but it's still too cold in the winter so you heat it.

    Love the four season room, but then you realize you want a place outside...

    ... so you build a deck.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Annie Deighnaugh
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @Allison0704 my DIL has suggested the island between the rooms. If we open the wall then I struggle with a place for the fridge as well as making this an ” open ” concept which DH and I are both pretty set against.


    This is a tiny house 1300 sq ft on this main floor. I am thinking of its resale /rental appeal for a 4 person family. There are challenges in keeping away spaces in such a small house besides the bedrooms. I will know more when we get into the house . Thank you for presenting ideas.


    As to the patio it will be morning sun on that side of the house so lovely shade in the afternoon. There is a nice sized covered front porch as well so he can move around from place to place!


    @Annie Deighnaugh haha! no chance of that !

  • tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
    7 months ago

    I would see how it feels when you are walking in the space. Flow can be a huge thing. If I had a screened in porch, I would imagine myself wandering into it with a cup of coffee straight off the kitchen. It just seems natural to me. The flip side of that is I have also lived in smaller houses and know that there is only so much you can accomplish within the limits of the space. If at all possible, I would prefer a door from the kitchen to the sunroom but if not possible, I would still love to have a sunroom even if the door placement was less than optimal.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM
  • lyfia
    7 months ago

    I think number 2 is fine because the way I see it in my head it comes down to a few extra steps if any. But maybe I'm not understanding the arrangement. I see the kitchen as being diagonally opposite from the door into the addition. As it is now if there were furniture there you'd have to walk around that to get to the kitchen door. When you open up the window to French door the person will just make the turn through there to then walk the same distance to the kitchen. I don't think a few steps here or there will be noticeable. It would be different if the kitchen door actually went straight out to the parking space.

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked lyfia
  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    @tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM we do have our coffee on the screened porch and happy hour and lunch… you name it but this time of year ( see my snow pics) not so much!

    We will have the 4 season room aka ” the ugly addition” as the simplest cheapest solution. It will add sq ft to house since it will be heated and cooled and that’s a big plus. When the kitchen is redone hopefully it will be so attractive that a few extra steps won’t be a problem.

    Thank you for your thoughts! c


    Sunny DR and screened room and SNOW! Almost like being outside😊


  • Trailrunner Zone 7a VA
    Original Author
    7 months ago

    @lyfia exactly my thinking now that I have been able to get so many perspectives. Thank you! c

  • Tina Marie
    7 months ago

    Our sunroom is heated and cooled. I will always choose a patio over a deck (although of course it depends on the house). We had our house built, so were able to have the set-up we wanted: one floor (although we do have a full basement), sunroom, patio area, workshop, front porch, etc. We love and use our outdoor areas A LOT. But on snowy days like today, I can enjoy the beauty outside from the warmth of our sunroom. @Trailrunner Zone 7a VA you are smart in thinking this all out and making the best use of the space(s). Can't wait to see as this progresses!!

    Trailrunner Zone 7a VA thanked Tina Marie