Sunroom vs. Screened-in Porch: Which is Right for You?

Enhancing your home with a sunroom or screened-in porch is a big decision. You know you want the benefit of beautiful natural light and extra space for entertaining or relaxing, but do you add an enclosed addition or a screened-in porch? Or, if you already have a screened-in porch, should you take the leap and enclose it?

Maclin Security Doors is your Memphis-area expert for sunrooms, screened-in porches, carports, entry doors and other residential upgrades. We’ve worked with countless home and business owners in the greater Memphis area, and we know how to break it all down so YOU can make the right decision for your property. Read on for a comprehensive side-by-side that
stacks up the perks of sunrooms versus screened-in porches. And no matter where you land, the final step is the same: get in touch to learn more and get your space off the ground.

Sunroom Pros & Cons

A sunroom is an enclosed, insulated room that usually has tempered, UV-protected glass. The walls are also insulated to keep you cool in the summer months and warm during the winter ones. Sunrooms typically have lots of windows and let in lots of natural light while also serving as an extra living space.


  • Temperature-controlled indoor living space suitable for year-round use
  • Extra, enclosed space for entertaining friends and family
  • Built properly, increase your home’s square footage and property value
  • Energy efficient
  • Enjoy a high level of customization from Maclin Security Doors


  • Can be more costly to build than screened-in porches
  • Additional permits and clearances are required
  • It’s an indoor room – not a porch
  • Less of a sense of being in nature – no birdsong or breeze
  • Not suited for truly “outdoor” parties

If you have a screened-in porch already, you may want to transform it into a sunroom or three-season room — both turnkey options should you decide to go this route. From day one, you’ll enjoy these and more benefits, with less temperature control and insulation issues — the structure is already in place.

Screened-in Porch Pros & Cons

A screened-in porch is the perfect place to relax or, simply, to enjoy a morning cup of coffee on a breezy spring day. If you’re looking for additional entertaining space, but aren’t concerned with temperature control, a screened-in porch may be exactly what you’re looking for.


  • A sheltered, protected area to relax away from bugs and harsh sun
  • More economical than a sunroom
  • Less permanent / reduced commitment
  • Quick and easy to install
  • Reduces porch maintenance – no leaves or pollen to sweep
  • A new outdoor entertainment space suitable for some seasons


  • No temperature control – can’t be used in cold weather or bad storms
  • Reduced need for permitting
  • Doesn’t add to the square footage of your home (less impact on property value)
  • No additional living space for your family – not suitable for TVs and other electronics

How to Decide Between a Sunroom and Screened-in Porch

If you want a new living space, a sunroom is a no-brainer. However, sunrooms cost more to build and require additional permits that you may have difficulty obtaining, depending on your HOA and community.

Another downside for some homeowners is that a sunroom prevents them from feeling like they’re outdoors. There’s less fresh air, for sure, and you won’t feel like you’re outside on your porch. One way to combat this is by choosing a style that has lots of tall windows, ideal for letting in tons of natural light. We can also install screens so you can easily open them to let that
breeze and fresh-mowed grass smell trickle in.

The final consideration for many homeowners is budget. A sunroom is more expensive, but since it’s enclosed, it also adds to the square footage of your home. In terms of resale value, a sunroom is going to give you the best return on investment. A screened-in porch won’t add much to your property value, if anything, and it doesn’t increase the square footage of your home – but it also requires less permitting and construction time.

The best way to decide? Consider what’s most important to you. Are you looking for a seasonal entertainment space? Do you want to expand the square footage of your home and increase its value? Do you want an added room so your family has more space? Think about what you hope to achieve from the project, and get in touch with us to discuss your options. We’ll schedule a free consultation where we’ll inspect your property, discuss your goals, style preferences and budget, and help you make a decision you feel good about.