Dear Kelly Kellogg, The Appraisal Expert,
We are getting ready to put our home on the market and have a porch that was enclosed and want to know if the enclosed porch can be included in the main living area under AC. What qualifies the enclosed porch to be part of the main living area of the house?
In order to be considered living area, a finished enclosed porch must have air conditioning, be located under the main roof of dwelling or have a similar quality roof, and have finishes (floor, ceiling, walls, electrical) that are similar or better in quality compared to the main living area. To further clarify, an "AC" means an AC vent or an AC unit with a vent that blows cooled air and hot air into the finished enclosed porch or room must be located in the finished enclosed porch/room.
Appraisers define the porch as finished or unfinished. A finished enclosed porch can be counted or included in the main living area of the house. An unfinished enclosed porch is not considered in the main living area of dwelling. For example, an enclosed porch that has vinyl windows and an aluminum patio style roof is considered “unfinished”. Another example of an “unfinished enclosed porch” is a porch that has thin glass windows, aluminum patio style exterior wall siding and no finished flooring.
A finished enclosed porch has good air conditioning vents where the temperature stays the same on a very hot or cold day when you walk from the main living area into the finished enclosed porch area. The floor, walls and ceiling are finished with quality and workmanship that are similar to the main dwelling. The finished enclosed porch must have good flow and good functional utility.
If your porch is an unfinished enclosed porch, it will not be included in the main living area, however, an appraiser may give it value, assuming it is considered a usable feature or amenity and has positive market appeal.