Extending Your Kitchen Space with a Fantastic Sunroom Addition

kitchen - extension - sunroom - quinju.com

Are you planning a kitchen renovation, but your desired kitchen just will not fit in your current kitchen space?  Well, you are not alone.

Many older homes were designed with relatively small kitchens, whereas newer homes tend to feature much larger kitchens.  Today, even smaller homes, semi-detached homes and townhouses are being designed with large spacious kitchens.

This trend was not a coincidence.  I remember, many years ago in my high school architectural drafting class, being taught that a proper kitchen design should form a triangle connecting the sink, fridge and stove… and that the total distance between those three kitchen features should not exceed 12 feet.  This resulted in small kitchens, even in larger homes.

small traditional kitchen - quinju.com

small traditional kitchen - quinju.com

Now, that logic probably made a lot more sense when mothers were the only ones in the kitchen preparing the family meals (sorry for stereo-typing). Today, however, things have changed.  The kitchen is now the central hub of activities, often with multiple family members in there at once: cooking meals; packing a lunch; getting coffee; doing homework; filling water containers; entertaining guests; or one of my sons standing with the fridge door wide open wondering what to eat next (again, sorry for the stereo-type).

I know my kitchen can, at times, be a crazy place, especially in the morning as six people try to grab coffee, breakfast and a lunch before running out the door. I also know that there is no way to significantly improve the functionality of our kitchen within the current kitchen space. We simply need a bigger kitchen!

A larger kitchen will not only make the house better suited to my family’s daily routines…it will also better facilitate entertaining guests and will make our home much more attractive to potential buyers when it comes time to sell. A nice kitchen is considered one of the most desired features when buying a home and thus a well-planned kitchen renovation can also provide the highest return on your investment.

The challenge is…how do you increase size of your kitchen?  Well, that is simple…you can expand inward, or you can expand outward.

Some homes are conducive to removing a wall separating two rooms to gain kitchen space. Other homes, this option is much more difficult or would greatly impact the functionality of the rest of the home.  For homes in which the later is true, expanding outward may be a better solution.

While a kitchen extension can be a large investment, usually costing more than your entire new kitchen, the results can dramatically change to the potential of your new kitchen and the overall appeal of your home.

Because homes can vary greatly; homeowner’s ideas and desires can vary greatly; and, of course, budgets can vary greatly…so too can kitchen extensions vary greatly.  However, despite all the different designs, looks and materials, there are only two options:  you can hire a contractor to build a kitchen extension or you can extend your kitchen with a high-quality sunroom.

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8 Benefits of using a Sunroom to extend your kitchen

1. Natural Light

Possibly the worst thing you can do to your home is reduce your natural light.  Not only will this make your home feel less healthy, it will also make it harder to sell and thus lower the value. While most contractors can remove your exterior wall and extend your kitchen, their designs will usually include a solid roof with possibly one or two skylights. However, these additions could never provide the brightness that an all glass sunroom can deliver. For more about the benefits of nature light, ready our article, “Natural Light: or a Happier, Healthier Home and Family”.

sunroom natural light - quinju.com
sunroom natural light - quinju.com

2. Appearance

Designers suggest that when planning a home renovation, you should either match the existing house perfectly or go different.  Sometimes it can be very difficult to make your addition match your existing house, especially on smaller additions.  A sunroom is almost always different. While the sunroom might pull in some of the design features of the home, because a sunroom is predominately glass, there is usually less focus on trying to match the existing house.

sunroom exterior view - quinju.com

3. Quality

A “quality” year-round sunroom should meet or exceed all the same building codes as a traditional house addition.  Therefore, you should expect to enjoy your sunroom in “house like comfort”, whether the hottest day of the year or the coldest night of the year. However, not all sunroom can provide that level of comfort, so it is very important that you do your homework and select the right sunroom product from the right company.  In our article, “Sunroom Additions: Designed to Bring Nature’s Best Inside!”, we strongly suggest that a sunroom can be very unforgiving…so do it right or not at all.

4. Space

While both a traditional addition and a sunroom addition can provide the additional space needed for the kitchen of your dreams, a sunroom just makes that space a little more special.

5. View

Many homeowner’s have put a great deal of work, money and pride into creating wonderful “backyard resorts”, with swimming pools, comfortably furnished decks and patios, outdoor fireplaces and soothing water features.  Now imagine enjoying that resort even when you are in your new kitchen. Read our article, “Turn Your Swimming Pool Project into a Backyard Resort”.

sunroom kitchen addition - quinju.com

6. WOW Factor

A beautifully designed sunroom can add a “WOW” factor like no other addition can. Uniquely designed to give you the enjoyment of relaxing on your deck but with perfect weather every day. Whether it is raining or snowing, freezing cold or scorching hot…a “quality” sunroom will always have perfect weather, and no insects.

sunroom kitchen addition - quinju.com

7. Cost

While adding a “quality” sunroom to your home is a larger investment then most people expect, it will always be less costly than moving.  In our article, “A Case Study:  Moving vs Extending with a Sunroom Addition”, we suggest that the moving versus addition decision comes down to one thing…if adding a beautiful sunroom or room addition to your current home will enhance it enough to stay for another 5+ years, stay.  If adding a beautiful sunroom or addition will not satisfy your upcoming needs and desires, move. In the end, your goal should be to achieve balance in your life, that usually starts with your home.

8. Return on Your Investment

When people are shopping for a new home, many of them visit dozens and dozens of homes…all roughly the same size; all roughly the same features (3 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms / kitchen / etc); all roughly the same price; all located in roughly the same type of neighborhood?  They are not comparing what is the same, they are looking for what makes it different…and what makes it different could be a great basement, a beautiful backyard, a fantastic kitchen or an amazing sunroom.  And the real estate market has shown, when that thing that is different is exactly what they want…they will pay almost anything to get it.

sunroom kitchen addition - quinju.com

Conclusion

To learn more about how a sunroom can enhance your kitchen renovation and home, consult a local sunroom professional.  However, before placing the order for your new sunroom, please make sure you are totally comfortable with the following 5 things:

1. The Design Specialist

Do they have the knowledge, experience and integrity needed to guide your decisions?

2. The Sunroom Design

Is it the right sunroom for you and your home?

3. The Company

How long have they been in business?  What do their customer’s say? Will they be here when you need them?

4. Quality of the Products

Are you confident the sunroom will meet or exceed your expectations?

5. The Price is Fair

Remember, you tend to get what you pay for. It is usually better to pay more than you expected, than less than you should!

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