There are many names used for indoor/outdoor living spaces and, although they may seem like they’re referring to the same thing, they really aren’t. There is quite a bit of misunderstanding around the difference between a sunroom addition and a three-season room. Similarly, people confuse the terms deck, porch and patio. We want you to understand the terms and when to use which one.
The Difference Between Porches, Decks & Patios
If we really want to cover all the terms that are used loosely to convey the same idea, we may have to include courtyard, veranda, lanai and portico. Each one of these elements are different and, depending upon the region, may have a slightly different definition.
- Porch – A porch is most often an original element in the construction of a home, as it shares the roof with the home. It can be screened in or open. A porch that’s supported by columns is a veranda, so you can consider a veranda a subset of porches. Porticos, which attach two structures (garage and home are the two most common today), are a type of porch as well.
- Deck – Decks are always made of wood. They can be at ground level or several stories in the air. Some have railings (most often determined by code and the distance of the deck floor to the ground) and some have a roof or pergola over them. Decks are always additions to the home, but can be built at the same time or after the fact.
- Patio – Patios have the biggest variations of all these outdoor living spaces. To be considered a patio, it must have a stone or concrete floor, although it can be elevated. They can be covered or not. And, they don’t even have to be attached to the home to be considered a patio. Rarely do they have railings. However, if you are in row homes or the patio is surrounded by walls, it would be called a courtyard. Patios are often called lanais in tropical climates and may be screened in.
Three-Season Room or Sunroom Addition?
Although either can be part of the home’s original construction, today, we’re getting many requests for both the three-season room and sunroom addition. Many homeowners use these terms interchangeably, but they’re quite different. Although both are enclosed with windows that open, the big difference is that a sunroom addition includes heat and air conditioning. There is no way to close off a sunroom from the main living space. Think of your sunroom addition as an additional room in your home. A three-season room, on the other hand, can be closed off from the rest of the home. It’s rarely used in the winter, hence the name. Because a sunroom is insulated and often has higher quality windows for energy efficiency, they are more expensive to build.
No Matter What You’re Looking For, We Can Help
G.M. Roth Design Remodeling can help you with your sunroom addition, new deck or virtually any other type of indoor or outdoor living space. We’re a full-service design/build company with vast experience in southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts. Call us today at (603) 880-3761 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.