Welcome back to our This or That series. If you are a new reader, the goal for this series to showcase home trends we see every day. Whether we are helping to sell or to buy a home, we see these different aspects of the home that have both benefits and disadvantages. Each week, we will highlight a trend a discuss it with our readers.

I know you have seen the signs pop up in department stores everywhere. All signs point to Spring. I walked into Target this past weekend, and they were showcasing bathing suits and patio furniture. Lowe’s and other home improvement stores are highlighting grills and gardening needs. You may have even seen those “cute” little placards (that make me cringe) reading, “Spring has sprung!” If those were not enough clues, Easter is two weekends away. All signs point to warm weather. This week, our This or That series will dive into screened porches versus sunrooms.

Screened-in porches are very prevalent in Eastern North Carolina. A screened-in porch is extremely cost-effective. Anyone that has spent a spring or summer in Pitt County knows that the one deterrent of enjoying the beautiful weather is the bugs. A screened-in porch provides low-cost protection from those pesky flying insects. When the weather permits, a screened-in porch provides shade and protection.

However, the words in that previous statement are, “when the weather permits.” When the weather gets too hot, or it is too cold, a screened-in porch is rendered useless. A screened-in porch exposes the homeowner to the elements, both favorable and unfavorable. Basically, your use of a screened-in porch is in the hands of the weather gods. It is impossible to heat or cool, leaving you only a couple of months of actual use. Yet, because of its cost-effectiveness, a screened-in porch might be exactly what you need.

A sunroom, sometimes called a Carolina room, provides additional space for homeowners. Similar to a screened-in porch, a sunroom also provides protection from annoying bugs. Since sunrooms use windows rather than screens to enclose a space, Carolina rooms offer more protection against the elements. In comparison to screened-in porches, a sunroom can be utilized in colder temperatures. The windows trap more heat, therefore allowing the homeowner to use this space is colder temperatures. On breezy days, you can open the windows, and enjoy the space. Some homeowners even choose to heat and cool this space, allowing the space to be used more.

The biggest drawback for a sunroom is the cost. Compared to screened-in porches, a sunroom is more of a financial burden. To add a Carolina room to a home, a contractor will have to pull permits in order to build. Since the windows trap heat, if you decide to cool the space, it can be expensive to cool. The same can be written about heating the area. The room is not insulated like other rooms in the home. Since a sunroom is void of insulation, it can also be costly to heat in the winter.

As we stroll into the warmer months and then into football weather, many people desire to be outside while in the comfort of their own home. Tyre Realty Group sees a lot of both in our area. There are pros and cons to each space. Hopefully, we were able to outline both options to help our readers decide which decision is best for their home and families.