A sunroom addition can be one of the best things you can do for your home and your family. Most owner’s say that their sunroom is the most used and enjoyed area of their home. A commonly heard statement is “I wish we would have done it sooner”.
Natural light provided by a sunroom can transform a house, improving the health and well-being of every person and pet, living within. Natural light is mother nature’s anti-depressant, making us feel happier, more energetic, reducing stress, and eliminating those nasty “winter blues”.
Adding a beautiful, year round sunroom can be one of the best investments you make in your home. Statistics show that a good quality addition has an 80% – 120% return. Not only are you adding living space but a well designed sunroom adds a “wow” factor making your home more desirable than others.
5 Key Questions When Considering a Sunroom:
How will I use it?
Before starting to plan your room, you need to imagine how you are going to use the space, what furniture and where it will be placed, this will help determine the size.
There are many different styles, and each one is unique to the person or family that will be using it. While most sunrooms start with one purpose in mind, they often end up being a multi-functional room. The use of your new room may even change from season to season.
Where will I put it?
When considering the location of your addition, consider the relationships and traffic routes in regards to both the interior layout of your home and your exterior entertainment areas: the deck, the outdoor kitchen.
If there is not an existing door, one can usually be added or walls can be removed to create a door.
The intended use of your new room can play a role in its location on the house. An exercise room or reading room off the master bedroom makes sense, where an entertainment room or dining room off the master bedroom does not.
For most sunrooms, a general rule of thumb is the closer to the kitchen the more you will probably use it as the kitchen is the center for all family activity.
What Style do I want?
Sunrooms come in many different shapes and styles:
• Patio enclosures
• Traditionally framed rooms as described by the industry association.
There are many factors that will determine the style of room that is right for you: your wants, your needs, your budget, your house, the size and the intended use. For most people the main goal of their sunroom is to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors while controlling the weather, so maximum light, maximum view, and maximum air flow… also provides maximum enjoyment.
To get that outdoor feeling, many believe an all glass roof is a desirable feature, however some have concerns: Will it get too hot or cold? Will it leak? How do I clean the glass on the roof?
These are all very legitimate concerns and that is why it is important to find an experienced manufacturer that can design an all glass sunroom offering year round comfort no matter what is going on outside.
When designing the walls of your sunroom, providing maximum ventilation will ensure you get to enjoy the relaxing sounds, smells, and feel of the great outdoors.
While there are many different types of windows options available, large sliding windows tend to offer the most view and the most ventilation possible. Selecting the right location for the door will help minimize traffic through the center of the space.
Heating and Cooling
Properly designing the heating and cooling for your sunroom is a major factor in determining your overall satisfaction.
A common mistake made with many sunrooms is using the existing furnace to control the temperature of your room. Running ducts off your existing furnace may be a simple solution and minimize initial costs however often becomes a long term problem effecting comfort in your new room.
Other heating and cooling options include; Fireplaces, stand alone heat pumps, radiant floor heating and many others. An experienced sunroom designer can advise you on the options available for your sunroom or you can consult a professional HVAC contractor.
There is not one simple answer for properly conditioning a sunroom. Each addition needs to be looked at individually, considering the direction it is facing, the amount of glass it contains, the thermal quality of that glass, and the desires of the homeowner.
Lighting is also a very important factor in a sunroom in that it creates the mood of your sunroom. Too much interior light and you can’t see outside, too little light and you can’t see.
When planning your lighting, you need to consider both ambient lighting, used to create a mood and task lighting that provides a functional purpose.
Ambient lighting usually focuses on soft in-direct lighting such as candles, wall scones, white Christmas tree light on plants, soft table lamps or the moon.
Outdoor lighting on an adjacent deck, in surrounding gardens or shining on a water feature is also a great way to set the mood inside your sunroom.
Task lighting creates the multi-purpose functionality of your sunroom. Lights from a ceiling fan, track lighting, or tri-light bulbs in your lamps will provide additional lighting when using your sunroom to complete office work, play cards or serving dinner to guests.
Why Buying Quality
A sunroom can be very unforgiving…so do it right or not at all.
Buying a sunroom which has high performance glass, 100% thermally broken extrusions and a properly designed heating /cooling system will ensure you are comfortable on those cold winter nights and hot summer days.
A well manufactured and installed sunroom has less maintenance and repairs. Ensuring your sunroom has glass with a long seal life and is backed by a good warranty can avoid significant service costs in the future.
Lower operating Costs
Investing more upfront for a high performance glass can significantly reduce your heating and cooling costs for the entire life of the sunroom.
Better return on your investment
The quality of your sunroom will determine whether it was a good investment or a liability. If your sunroom still looks new and performs well when you sell your house, it will prove to be a very good investment.
Your peace of Mind
Well planned, well designed sunrooms built by a reputable company with a quality warranty will leave nothing but enjoyment on your mind.
Sunroom additions like many large purchases, must put quality ahead of price, after all you only want to do it once!