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Chris Breen

Chris Breen

Chris Breen, Principal Owner of Legacy Decks and Outdoor Living and has been serving families in Upstate South Carolina since 2005.

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3-Season Room Vs. Screened Porch: Which Is Better?

Imagine lounging in a chair, sipping a cup of tea, surrounded by the peaceful sights and sounds of nature, without worrying about pesky insects or inclement weather. For homeowners seeking this idyllic scenario, there are two main options: a 3-season room and a screened porch. Choosing between these two appealing alternatives can be quite challenging. We are here to make it a bit easier by summarizing the similarities and differences between the two, as well as guiding you in choosing the best option for your home.


3-season roomsa screened porch

3-season rooms and screened porches serve the same purpose: to provide an additional living space where families and friends can enjoy nature without being fully exposed to the elements. These rooms offer a seamless connection between indoor and outdoor spaces, converting your backyard into an extra living room.

With either a 3-season room or a screened porch, you have an excellent location for entertaining. These covered spaces provide a wonderful area for family activities such as board games, casual meals, or just enjoying each other’s company. They are great spaces for children to play, protected from the sun yet still close to nature. Shifting your home office out here could be a refreshing change, with a breathtaking view to keep your work stress at bay.


3-season porches and screened porches vary in their build, the protection they offer from various weather conditions, and how much you can use them throughout the year. Let’s dig into these differences.

3-Season Rooms

3-season rooms with vinyl windows

What makes 3-season rooms special is their vinyl windows. These can be either opened or closed as per your needs, giving you a lot of control over the room’s ambiance. While they are not 100% waterproof, these rooms help to shield you from many weather elements, including rain, wind, and snow. More importantly, they offer a cozy space to enjoy outdoor scenery in colder weather. As their name suggests, these rooms are perfect for use in the spring, summer, and fall.

Screened Porches

screened porch

On the other hand, a screened porch features fixed screens instead of windows. These screens let in the breeze while keeping out insects, birds, or other undesired visitors. While they may not offer much insulation against cold weather, they do protect from bugs and rain. Moreover, they ensure an open feel which many homeowners prefer.

Choosing the Right Option for You

So, which one is best for you? Are there any drawbacks you should keep in mind?

When To Choose A Screened-In Porch:

porch examples

If your priority is to keep bugs at bay while maintaining an open and airy environment at all times, a screened porch is an ideal choice. These screen enclosures are designed to ensure minimal obstructions between you, the surrounding environment, and the view – it’s like having front-row tickets to the changing seasons! 

While screened porches provide some protection from the elements, they won’t offer much warmth unless coupled with additional features like outdoor heaters, fireplaces, or fire pits. They are best suited for warmer climates as the screens allow for natural airflow but don’t provide insulation from cooler temperatures.

When To Choose A 3-Season Room:

Vinyl windows shield for different weather conditions like wind and rain.

If you live in an area with significant variations in weather and wish to use your outdoor space throughout most of the year, a 3-season room may be the best option for you.

The main benefit of 3-season and screen rooms is their enclosed design. Vinyl windows shield you from a variety of weather conditions like wind and rain. Meaning even on colder days, you can indulge in the great outdoors from the comfort of your 3-season room. On warmer days, you can invite a cool breeze just by opening the windows.

Something to keep in mind with 3-season rooms, though, is that open windows can let bugs in. However, this can be addressed by installing screens on the 3-season room windows.

What About Sunrooms or 4-Season Rooms?

Sunrooms, also commonly called 4-season rooms, are another great option, although they are more expensive and fall into a different price category. Unlike 3 season rooms, sunrooms use glass windows and are more like a home addition. However, they offer year-round use and typically incorporate a thicker construction with better insulation. This makes them more energy efficient in winter than 3-season rooms.


3 season rooms examples

Choosing between a 3-season room vs. a screened porch ultimately depends on your individual preferences and circumstances.

If you prefer an open feel and want to enjoy the fresh air while avoiding annoying bugs, a screened porch might be your best option. 

For those interested in a more sheltered space that allows you to enjoy the beauty of nature in colder weather, a 3-season room may be the way to go.

If you live in Greenville, SC, and would like to add a screened porch or 3-season room to your backyard, our team at Legacy Decks is ready to help you. Request a free estimate today.