The term “Florida room” has long been used to describe a type of sunroom even in homes not in Florida. In its beginnings, a Florida room was a simple room with windows all around on one side of a house. With all of the variations, it can no longer be defined with one simple description. The term is used quite loosely today and has worked its way into our language with no official design requirements.
Original Florida Rooms
Old Florida rooms often looked separate from the house. The room provided a way to avoid the bugs and to enjoy the wonderful Florida climate at the same time. It was designed to admit a lot of sunlight and fresh air. Most houses had one. They were plain and square in design. It was a well-constructed, sturdy room built to survive hurricanes.
A screen room can be converted into a Florida room by using vinyl or glass to enclose the area. This provides a living space without adding to heating and cooling costs, because the room can be closed off from the main house with a door. The rooms themselves are often cheaper to build than similar rooms built with conventional materials. A typical room of the same space would require 6 inches of fiberglass, 10 inches of hardwood or 48 inches of brick to equal just 3 inches of polystyrene. The savings in energy costs alone can pay for initial costs.
Screened Glass Rooms
Florida rooms generally have glass windows that can be opened for a breezy, screened porch kind of feel. Clear glass is preferred to filmed or frosted. Outdoor flora and fauna can be enjoyed comfortably from inside. The windows can be closed in inclement weather and, according to the Sunshine Sun Rooms website, “offer air-tight, water-tight, dust free enjoyment.”
Newer Florida Screened Rooms
The "Florida screen room" was born amid the onset of screened structures around pools and the fancy designs like the gable hip roof-style screened rooms and the lanai-type screened rooms. The boxy-design screened room resembles a simple Florida room in its basic design. Some builders advertise fancier rooms that don’t resemble a Florida room at all as being Florida rooms. These can include glass roofs and screened-in and glassed-in structures.
Many Florida rooms today are somewhat separate rooms with a larger connection allowing light to pour in from the outside to the entire house through a much larger opening than simply a door.
- Photo Credit Trees with sunlight image by PinkSkyPhotos from Fotolia.com
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