Of course, we’d all like to utilize every area of our homes year-round. Even though northern Virginia is considered the “south,” the weather is often uncooperative and forces us to stay indoors even during the spring and summer months. With that unpredictability, how does one plan for a three-season room? What is a three-season room anyway?
Let’s answer the last question first. A three-season room is just that – a room that can be used for three seasons out of the year. It’s a screened-in porch or an enclosed deck and it has a set of doors that close it off from the rest of the house. It’s usually closed up in winter because it would require heat to be comfortable. It can be turned into a heated room, if you change your mind. It could be converted into a four-season room. Technically, the definition of a four-season room is one that is added on the interior of the house and requires all the same energy needs as the other rooms. It opens into the rest of the house and is often called a sun room or a Florida room.
Consider your purpose. If you were to turn your space into a screened-in porch with screens or windows on any of three sides, you could enjoy it for most of the year. If your purpose is to have access to light and fresh air, be able to enjoy the outdoors without the annoyance of bugs and be sheltered from rain, then a three-season room gives you all of these advantages. You can insulate and have heat in the winter if you wish – it simply becomes more than a three-season room and requires it be up to a higher building code standard. Speak to your custom builder and be clear about your purpose. Either option is a significant investment of time and treasure. Make sure you’ll end up with a room you’ll treasure no matter what the season.