2018 Trends in Indoor/Outdoor Living: Sunrooms, Screen Rooms and Patio Enclosures

By: Ted Cligrow, Owner, Carolina Home Exteriors, Grand Strand, South Carolina

A Sunny History

The first sunrooms showed up in the 17th century when wealthy Lords throughout Europe were looking for grand ways to improve the livability of their castles. They gained significant popularity by the 19th century around the world, when materials such as steel, manufactured screening, and large panes of glass were more affordable and readily available to common folk.

When insects, critters and dirt and debris became distractions that no longer that needed to be tolerated, but could be eliminated from daily life, sunrooms evolved from screened-in porches, to something more substantial, allowing views of the outdoors without all the mess.

In the U.S. our concept of the backyard radically changed once World War II veterans came home and built in the suburbs. In the 1950s, the backyard became an extension of the house, designed for relaxing, recreation, cooking and entertaining. Outdoor living areas became an affordable luxury and many postwar families sought to create their own, personal, country club in the backyard. The patio became the perfect place for a barbecue grill and backyard enjoyment. Homeowners could create outdoor rooms suited to a variety of needs for the family. Exterior enclosures, whether a sunroom, screen room, pool enclosure, pergola or gazebo expanded living areas becoming the “second living room” in the home.

The Benefits

These multi-purpose, highly functional rooms increase the livable foot print, increase home values, are a lower per square foot investment as compared to other home additions, and add to the resale value/appeal. A Four Seasons room adds year-round enjoyment in all climates, and comes with new technology to enhance the atmosphere of the space. With extreme durability today’s sunrooms are low maintenance and versatile, custom designed to meet individual homeowners’ needs, tastes and budgets.

What do the Experts Say?

Metrostudy, an expert on residential construction data and a sister company to Remodeling Magazine, says “favorable economic conditions point to nearly a 5.0% increase in the number of outdoor living areas that will be installed this year compared with 2017.”

A 2017 Houzz Study, which surveyed over 1,000 Houzz users, says “85% of homeowners undertaking an outdoor renovation opted for a major or a complete overhaul of their exterior living area. Of those who chose a complete remodel, 55% spent more than $15,000 on their project.”

According to a recent AIA Home Design Trends Survey, “69% of architecture design firms reported an increase in activity for design or construction of projects related to outdoor living.”

In fact, according to the 2017 National Association of REALTORS’ Profile of Home Staging report, they found “the desire to see outdoor spaces staged when selling a home was at 63%.”  It was not even mentioned in the previous survey.

Additionally, according to Architectural Digest “adding an outdoor screen room is among the top five outdoor features that will add value to your home.” Your investment in an indoor/outdoor living space will not only give you the lifestyle you’ve dreamed of, but will pay off when the time comes to sell and move into a new home, but you may find you never leave.

Design Features & Trends

The old standard patio, deck or porch enclosure doesn’t fully satisfy today’s more demanding customers. Clients are looking for a more luxurious, fully incorporated design that can transform their backyard, bringing it to life.

Our job is to interpret a homeowner’s vision, and bring it to life with our design team assistance creating a personalized outdoor living oasis. We all desire resort-style living with all the amenities. Recent trends in indoor/outdoor living design show the patio becoming the most important “room” in the house as it incorporates modern elements:

Traditional vs Contemporary

Traditional                                                  Contemporary

Patio Grill                                                    Outdoor Kitchen with Entertainment Bars and Seating Area

Fire Pit                                                         Masonry Fire Place

Concrete Slab                                             Colored Floor Stamped Designs, Patterns and Shapes

Basic Sliding Door                                    Folding Glass Wall System

Separate Exterior Area                            Cohesive Seamless Livable Space – One Home Experience

Aluminum Ceiling Panels                       Wood Beam and Tongue & Grove Ceilings

Stationary Wall                                         Retractable Screen Wall Systems – Remote Control

Solid Roof                                                  Retractable Roof Systems – Remote Control

Propane Heater                                        Built-in Radiant Heaters & Cool Misting Systems – Climate Control

Wall-mounted TV                                    Outdoor Theater Space with Hi-Fi Surround Sound Systems

Pressure-treated lumber                        Synthetic Deck Boards for multi-level lounging area

Spot lights                                                 Landscape lighting sets a specific atmosphere or mood

Water Fountain                                        Incorporated a waterfall or pond feature for relaxation

Carolina Home Exteriors’ Tips

Design it to be Connected – Blur the line between indoor and outdoor living, allow for a seamless flow to create a unified backyard escape with multiple access points creating a courtyard around the existing home.

Design it to be Comfortable – Create your resort-style living oasis by incorporating designated areas such as a sunroom, outdoor kitchen, pool enclosure, pergola to entertain, lounge, dine and relax.

Design it to be Covered – Protect family and friends from the elements and incorporate retractable glass or screen wall systems, automated roof panels, awnings, or solar shades while creating a comfortable atmosphere with built-in radiant heaters & cool misting systems.

A Summery Summary

Summer is just around the corner, and now is the time to schedule your no-obligation, free design consultation. We are seeing big trends in outdoor living remodels and sunroom designs. When you begin to plan an outdoor remodel consider your entire backyard space, the amount of entertaining you do, as well as your family’s lifestyle and budget. When it comes to remodeling your outdoor living space your choices in design and style are endless. Make your outdoor living space as inviting as your indoor space and you will have created a new favorite living area for your entire family, and you will have increased your home’s value. It’s a win-win.

Why Carolina Home Exteriors?

We are celebrating our 39th Anniversary in 2018, and we’ve served over 10,000 customers in the Carolinas.

Our primary focus is on custom designed outdoor living areas: Sunrooms, Screen Enclosures, Patio Lanais, Pool Enclosures, Porch Covers, Pergolas, Gazebos, Decks, Awnings, Motorized Screens, Replacement Windows and Doors, Solar and Hurricane Protection and Contemporary Home Additions.

Visit our in-house design center or on-line gallery to preview our full line of tailored outdoor living area designs.

Make the most of your existing home and yard by transforming your outdoor space into a natural extension of your most valuable asset; your home. We will design a custom area to relax, play, and entertain family and friends that will serve you trouble-free for decades.

Contact us at (843) 651-5614 for a free, no obligation consultation.


Carolina Home Exteriors

11730 Highway 17 Bypass, Murrells Inlet, SC 29576