Sunroom or Screened Porch? Decide Which is Right for You.

Extending the outdoor season is always a plus, especially when Midwest weather can change on a dime.

Both sunrooms and screened-in porches allow you to enjoy the environment while avoiding the elements. Expand your living space and savor the sun longer, with specific advantages and disadvantages based on your wants. So, which one is right for you?

Read on for our comparison, detailing the features, benefits, pros, and cons of each.

Sunrooms: Your Year-Round Oasis

A sunroom is a fully enclosed space with insulated walls and plenty of windows, usually on three sides.

Sunrooms offer the best-of-both-worlds scenario, allowing you to enjoy the pleasure of being outdoors without the hassle of bugs, rain, and extreme temperatures.

What are the Pros of Adding a Sunroom?

Four Seasons of Comfort: Sunrooms are an extension of your structural home, insulated and often equipped with heating and cooling systems. This makes them usable all year round and impervious to weather conditions. Imagine admiring your green lawn during the summer without the heat. Envision savoring fresh-fallen snow during the winter without the frigid cold. It’s a reality with a sunroom!

Bask in the Sunshine: If you love the rays, a sunroom is your personal paradise. The abundance of windows lets in ample natural light, giving your space a bright, airy, and open feel.

Very Versatile: Need a home office, a playroom, or a plant haven? Sunrooms are versatile spaces that can serve various purposes, making them a great investment for your home’s resale value. You can also customize the space with trim, door, and window choices.

What are the Cons of Adding a Sunroom?

Price: Let’s be real: sunrooms can be expensive. The extra structural work, insulation, and HVAC components come at a cost. With that said, the addition can pay off with a huge return on investment, increasing both your home’s square footage and property value.

Upkeep: With any structural addition comes the need for regular maintenance—including window washing, gutter clearing, and roof inspection—to clean and ensure structural integrity and longevity

Screened Porches: All Breeze. No Bugs.

Screened-in porches are enclosed with screens rather than windows. Unlike a sunroom, they aren’t insulated and don’t provide heating and cooling.

Screened porches strike a balance between indoor and outdoor living. If you love the idea of fresh air and shade without a cloud of gnats and mosquitos, a screened-in porch might be your perfect solution.

What are the Pros of Adding a Screened Porch?

It Won’t Break the Bank: Screened-in porches are generally more budget-friendly than sunrooms. If you’re looking for an affordable way to extend your living space, this could be the answer.

Experience Breezy Bliss: Feel the breeze, hear the birds, and enjoy the smells of the great outdoors—all without swatting bugs.

Easy Installation: Compared to the more complex construction of a sunroom, adding a screened-in porch is a quicker and simpler process, often taking only a matter of days.

What are the Cons of Adding a Screened Porch?

Seasonal Limitations: While a screened-in porch keeps out the bugs and provides some shade, it won’t shield you from the cold, rain, and extreme heat.

Less Privacy: If you’re craving solitude, keep in mind that screened porches offer less privacy and peace & quiet than fully enclosed sunrooms.


Ultimately, the choice between a sunroom and a screened-in porch boils down to your lifestyle, preferences, and budget. Looking for a four-season retreat with all the comforts of home? A sunroom might be the way to go. Prefer a budget-friendly, breezy escape to extend your outdoor season? A screened-in porch could be your new favorite spot.

As your exterior experts, Tri-County can help you decide on the perfect choice and bring your dream sunroom or screened-in porch to life. Contact us today or stop into our showroom to discuss options, review projected timelines, and receive a free project estimate.

Compare & Contrast

Chart Comparing sunrooms to screened-in porches. 
Sunroom Pros: Fully insulated and climate-controlled environment, Enjoy all four seasons, Provides a fully livable and workable space, Increases home value. Sunroom Cons: High cost, depending on specific needs, Comparatively longer planning and construction timeframe, quires regular home maintenance.

Screened-in Porch Pros: Open to nature, allowing you to enjoy the breeze, Comparatively affordable, Easy and fast installation (typically within a week), Get more use and value from an existing space. Screened-in Porch Cons: Not insulated or climate controlled, Susceptible to the elements, including rain, heat, and cold, Limited Privacy.

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