Porch enclosures are becoming more and more popular as the prices for them fall. Once in the realm of the upper classes, a porch enclosure is now attainable by most homeowners. The fall in prices is largely due to porch enclosure materials, which are often pre-manufactured in bulk.
A whole industry has sprung up around building porch enclosures, making the pre-fab designs cheap with a quick installation time. But, porch enclosures don’t have to rely only on one material or style. There are many ways to enclose a porch.
Choosing Functional Enclosure Materials
The materials that will make the best enclosure for a porch are largely dependent on the materials used to build the rest of the house, the size and style desired, and the overall budget of the project. Porch enclosure materials don’t have to be made of the same materials as the house, but they should mesh well with the overall style of the house.
A porch enclosure that is made up mostly of screens will not have the same style considerations as many other enclosure types. Screens will go with most home styles and are inexpensive materials as well. They allow a natural flow of air through the enclosure, and allow some outdoor time spent without worrying about bugs.
In more inhospitable regions, wood is a popular choice among porch enclosure materials. Wood works particularly well with older homes, as it can be made to match the architectural style and design of the home itself.
Wood is an attractive material, but it does require regular maintenance, however. It will likely need to be painted every few years, and may need to be sanded before being painted. This can add considerably to the total expenses associated with the enclosure.
But, many homeowners are looking for a much lower maintenance material. Aluminum siding makes a fast and inexpensive porch enclosure material. It requires very little maintenance and comes in a wide variety of colors and textures. It also takes very little time to install.
Siding can be installed by the homeowner, or by a professional installer. The quick nature of the installation means lower labor costs. The low cost of the material and the low labor costs make aluminum one of the most popular choices today for porch enclosures.
Materials Inside the Enclosure
A porch enclosure is an indoor room, but using porch enclosure materials such as screens or enclosures with windows that will be open much of the time have to take the materials used inside the enclosure into account as well. Porch enclosures set up with screens and open windows can expect some level of moisture to infiltrate the room periodically.
Weatherproof materials are a must for these rooms. There are some woods, such as teak, that will withstand moisture without becoming damaged. But increasingly people are turning to simulated hardwoods to provide weatherproof materials at a lower price.
The flooring is one porch enclosure material that must be taken into consideration when weather and moisture may be creeping in. Using tile for enclosure flooring is one way to ensure a weatherproof floor that won’t be damaged. But if tile isn’t in the budget, decorative concrete is fast becoming an accepted alternative.
Concrete can be stained and etched in any number of designs. It can also be styled to look just like tile. Concrete does have a tendency to crack, but it is a sturdy, weatherproof material that will last for a long, long time.