Difference Between a 3-Season Room and a Screen Room

A lot of homeowners come into our showroom and haven’t decided on exactly what type of room they want to add on. A common question we get is what the difference between a screen room and a 3-season room is.

A Screen Room is a room that is designed and built to be exposed to the weather on all sides. Instead of walls and windows, a screen room will have screens installed in the openings between the framing. The screens allow for the outdoors to be enjoyed, without the bugs.

All screen rooms are constructed with the same roof as any other room, which allows for relief from the rain and the sun. Screen Rooms are designed and built to be outdoor rooms and are for homeowners who have enough house but want a comfortable way to enjoy the outdoors.

The way TimberBuilt builds a screen room is out of rustic cedar timbers in what is known as post and beam construction. We utilize only the highest quality cedar timbers in our room which gives the screen room a unique, outdoorsy feel. We never frame our rooms out of treated lumber and paint those posts or wrap them. The screen room we built is a true timber frame design.

A screen room is generally built on a pier foundation (although certain municipalities require continuous footing even for screen rooms), with the base being a wood joist floor and decking. Screening should be put below the decking, above the floor joists so insects cannot come up from the bottom side. Decking options can be wood or composites. The roof of a screen room is built the same as all other rooms, traditional rafters with plywood and shingles to match the home. Interior ceiling finishes can be open cedar beams with decorative T&G cedar or can be kept simple with patterned plywood.

A 3-season sunroom is a room that has walls and windows, but is not designed to be square footage added to the home. Unlike a screen room, a 3-season room can be closed up, and the seasons can be extended as the windows keep out the bad weather. 3-season rooms can be insulated, but if the amount of insulation in the room makes the room meet the energy codes, then it is no longer categorized as a 3-season room.

Unlike a screen room, a 3-season room is framed up with 2×4 construction, just like your home. It is trimmed on the exterior to match the home, so the siding matches, the trim matches, the window color matches, which makes the 3-season room look like it belongs. There is little difference between a 3-season room and a room addition in terms of appearance.

So essentially, a 3-season room is any room with a lot of windows, that is thermally isolated from the home that does not meet energy codes. 3-season rooms are weather tight, so traditional furniture is usually utilized and interior flooring such as tile, wood, carpets are installed. Even though they are “3 season”, most customers get close to year-round use out of a 3-season room structure.

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