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Porches are very popular, but a screened porch is a must-have for some because of bugs and weather that is more worrisome than before. Screened porches offer an outdoor sanctuary in an age of increasing concerns about pest-borne diseases, which is one of the reasons they have been increasing in popularity over the years.

They will provide protection against bugs, but also offer shade from the sun and shelter from the rain. Additionally, a screened porch will lower ground temperatures, saving on cooling costs in the summer. A screened porch will also reduce the sunlight that reaches adjacent interior rooms.

Lighting options are greatly increased as well. During the day, you can still rely on the sun, but at night, you can use recessed lighting, pendant lights or even a ceiling fan to give the room even more light and comfort.

Sellers or those who recently purchased a home might even consider building an entirely new porch if there is space available, say between the garage and house. But keep in mind that it doesn’t add to the home’s total square footage.

If you do decide to go this route, there are numerous options when deciding on the materials to build with. A quick look around the web will provide advice on designing the porch in three phases: flooring, exterior materials and interior trim. Everything from pressure-treated Yellow Southern Pine to vinyl and to up-cycled composites can be considered.

When getting started, know what you want in the look of your ceiling from the beginning. Flat ceilings can give a screened porch that interior room feel, whereas a vaulted or cathedral ceiling is spacious, allowing for better ventilation.

Also, think about doors carefully. Do you want one leading directly to the house, or do you want it to wrap around the side for easier entry from a pool or outside entertaining area? Aluminum doors are highly recommended because wood doors tend to warp over time.

While this might seem like a project you might want to tackle yourself, using a professional contractor is probably best, as they will know the zoning laws, can deal with any issues of wires that might pop up, and can create something in less time.

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