Feel the Heat

Appears in the January 2024 issue.

The screened-in porch of the Elmhurst home

These days, screened-in porches are an in-demand feature to achieve that indoor-outdoor-living vibe. “Really, almost every home [we are building] gets that 90 percent of the time,” says Steve Buonsante, owner of Elmhurst-based Mondo Builders.

Three-season rooms have quite a following. “Clients love these, and they want to run it across the entire back of the house,” says designer Kristin Petro. “But the only negative about these porches is you are cutting natural light out of the house, so we have to be strategic about the location. [In the Gayan home], we situated it off the kitchen table area, where we felt like the light wasn’t needed as much.”

A hybrid track system with retractable screens and FlexiGlaze vinyl film windows gives the option for the space to be open air, screened, or fully enclosed. “In the summer, we lay out here all the time, and it’s just beautiful,” says homeowner Elena Gayan. “You feel like it’s outside, but there’s no bugs.”

With added elements such as ceiling heaters and a fireplace, the space is actually a bit more than a three-season room. “We can extend the use into December so it turns into a 10-month room—January and February you’re probably not going to use it,” Buonsante says. “Some of these screened-in porches end up being warmer than the actual home; you’d be surprised.”


Photo: Prestige Real Estate Images Inc