The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

A Bitch Slap Regarding Arizona Rooms

One of my favorite business tips bloggers, Erika Napoletano, who writes Redhead Writing, does a regular feature called The Bitch Slap. This is where she gives her readers the hard truth and doesn’t pretty it up to save feelings.

I’ve decided the homeowners of the state of Arizona need a Bitch Slap, and I’m prepared to hand it out this morning.

The topic we need to have a little heart-to-heart about this morning is: Arizona Rooms. You know what these are. In Florida they call them Florida Rooms. They’re the backyard patios that have been turned into sort of outdoor rooms. Like you walk out the sliding glass door from the living room and you’re actually in another room, usually with windows and another exterior door and some kind of modified outdoor flooring. Often there is a little window A/C unit because otherwise the room would turn into a giant oven in the summer.

OK, people, here comes The Bitch Slap: these Arizona rooms are a horrible idea. No one likes them. Not even your Great Aunt Gracie who doesn’t really like to be outside but sort of likes to pretend she’s outside sometimes, actually thinks they make sense. Even Great Aunt Gracie thinks Arizona rooms are hideous, stupid and a giant deterrent to resale.

That’s right. I know you think you saw a well-done Arizona room once, or you knew someone who walled in their patio and it kind of worked, but you’re wrong. Or you’re lying. Or you’re stupid. One of those three. Arizona Rooms are crimes against architecture and good taste.

I guarantee I have not ever, in my almost seven year career as a Realtor, had a client walk into a house, spot the Arizona Room off the back and say, “Wow! Look at that! I have always wanted a poorly constructed homemade room with rancid outdoor carpet instead of a back patio! I love how it cuts off all natural light to the living room and kitchen area and makes the whole place feel more like a cave. And I bet that little wall A/C unit totally keeps this tiny green house nice and cool in the summer and isn’t a complete eyesore from the remaining, although constricted, backyard!”

Not one. I promise.

I almost get why you think it might be a good idea. You’re from some other state where people like to sit on their back porches (because they’re called porches in that state) and admire their backyards and relax. You think you will miss this in the summer because it’s just so hot in Arizona. So you think if you wall in the patio and air-condition it then you’ll be able to enjoy both the backyard and not die of heat exhaustion.

The logic is almost there, I’ll give you that. But just so much a lot of: NO. No one who lives in Arizona wants to sit and look at the heat waves rising off the ground in our backyards in July. We’re happily content to sit outside and enjoy the weather November through March. We prefer the comfort of the true insides of our houses when the weather is brutal. Did people sit on their porches all bundled up to watch the snow fall in the winter in whatever godforsaken part of the country you’re from? No? Well you live in Arizona now; it’s time to adjust.

Also? You’re not a contractor. You don’t have home building skilz. I don’t care how much HGTV you watch, you cannot build your own sort-of-addition and not have it come out as pretty as a steaming pile of poo. No one wants to sit inside DIY rooms that do a poor job of keeping moisture out and an even worse job of keeping the small amount of cool air the ugly ass window A/C unit you bought on sale at Home Depot generates in.

The point is, if you ever had the fleeting thought that it might be nice to turn your patio into an Arizona Room, please immediately reach for the nearest fork and stick it in your own ear. Then go back to enjoying the legitimate inside of your actual house.

The Realtors of Arizona thank you for not totally effing up your resale value.

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