Adding a Sunroom to Your Home: What to Know First

With sunlight and cozy furniture, a sunroom is an ideal place to unwind with a drink and a good book. These spaces, whether screen- or glass-enclosed, connect your home with the outdoors while offering protection from the elements. With a sunroom, you can enjoy the best parts of outdoor and indoor living at the same time. If you’re considering adding one to your home, it’s important to know your options. With different types of seasonal rooms, budget concerns, and material options, there’s a lot to consider. To help you out, we’ve created this guide of everything you need to know before adding a sunroom.

Sunroom Styles

There are many different forms of sunrooms, but here are the most common types:

  • Standard Sunroom (solarium or conservatory): This style of room is a glassed-in space usually attached to the home and accessible from the indoors. It’s designed to be used as an additional living room space during mild weather. Because sunrooms aren’t typically connected to your home’s cooling or heating system, they may not be comfortable during harsh summers or winters.
  • Four-season room: This style is closely related to the standard sunroom, but it’s designed to be heated and cooled. As a result, it can be utilized and enjoyed year-round.
  • Attached greenhouse: These feature the same basic structure as a sunroom or four-season room. An attached greenhouse offers temperature, light, and humidity levels specifically designed for plants.
  • Screen room/porch: This option utilizes mesh-screen walls or windows instead of glass, which offers fresh air without the insects. Similar to the sunroom, it is habitable when the weather is agreeable. The material is relatively inexpensive, therefore, this is a budget-friendly option for a sunroom.

Where should you add your sunroom?

Picking the best location for your new sunroom is the first critical step when planning a screen or glass addition. Consider the climate where you live and the direction your sunroom windows will face. In northern climates, choosing an area with southern exposure is optimal because it will receive the most light each day. However, in the South, southern exposure means additional cooling will be necessary for comfort–which could be expensive.

Selecting an area with eastern exposure will lower cooling needs by providing sun during the morning hours, and shade the rest of the day. A western orientation might expose you to harsh afternoon sun and require added shade.

A northern exposure will offer partial shade most of the day. In the North, this may cause the room to be uncomfortably damp and cool, but it can be ideal in the South–where it can eliminate the need for additional cooling.

Sunroom Materials

sunroom

Comprehending the components that go into a seasonal room will assist you in selecting the type of space you want.

  • Vinyl is the most frequently used material for the supports of a sunroom. It’s the least expensive, offers the highest level of strength and insulation, and requires little upkeep. The majority of vinyl supports are “multiwalled”, which means they have an internal reinforcement.
  • Aluminum is not as good at insulating as vinyl and is typically more expensive. However, many rooms that utilize vinyl-coated vertical supports for aesthetic purposes or for added insulation, also have aluminum as the roof structure which adds strength.
  • Wood is the more expensive choice for sunroom material, but it is also definitely the appropriate choice for screen rooms as they easily allow you to attach the mesh-screen material to the timbers. Wood will require periodic maintenance.

Go with a dependable, quality contractor

Choosing the right sunroom contractor is a major thing to consider when planning this addition. The Country Creek Builders licensed contractors are dedicated to making your project dreams a reality—on budget and on time. With decades of experience, we know exactly how to properly manage and complete your project. Our specialties include additions, basements, kitchens, and bathrooms. Visit our website to request a free estimate, or give us a call at (952) 484 9812—we’re happy to answer any questions!

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