Building Your Sunroom
Building Your Sunroom – Thanks to innovations in technology and materials used in building sunrooms, they’re not just for plants and casual sunroom furniture anymore. Yes, they are ideally built so that you and your loved ones can enjoy the warmth and beauty of the outdoors even in the dark of winter, but you no longer have to limit your use of a sunroom to the idea of a fern filled, wicker furniture sitting room. Today, home owners are recognizing the benefits of using sunrooms for a number of living spaces that go beyond the traditional sitting room. Whether you’d like to create a bedroom, kitchen, dining room, office or even a bathroom in the form of a sunroom, the building materials now exist that will allow you to create the sunroom of your imagination that will retain the comfort of an indoor environment.
The two basic types of sunrooms
When discussing sunrooms, there are two basic types of sunroom additions that are usually offered. However, each of these types can come in a number of different designs. The first type is known as a three season sunroom because it is normally comfortable for three seasons out of the calendar year. Usually, this means that only in the coldest winter season will the room be unusable. Of course, this varies from climate to climate and region to region. Some homeowners will be able to use a 3 season sunroom more than an actual nine months out of the year. However, the fact is that these sunrooms are not connected to your home’s climate control system. The heating and air conditioning system that controls the temperature of the rest of your home is not extended to include the sunroom area. This has some benefits, as these sunrooms are normally less expensive to build. In fact, many sunroom companies actually sell do it yourself kits that will let you install the sunroom on your own!
Then, you can use ceiling fans, area fans, portable heaters, or even portable air conditioners to keep the environment as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
The second type of sunroom is known as a four seasons or all seasons sunroom. In this type of sunroom addition, the structure is designed to be used during the entire calendar year. This means that it is normally connected to your existing heating and cooling system. Because of this, these sunrooms will usually be more expensive. In fact, you will want to consider opting for the highest grade of insulation and window materials available when you are constructing this kind of sunroom so that it is as energy efficient as possible. The savings you will gain in energy efficiency will likely more than make up for the initial cost of the higher quality materials.
Different sunroom designs
Depending on how you plan to use your sunroom, there are a number of different structural designs available in each of the two basic types of sunrooms. Many companies will custom design and build a sunroom that meets your specifications and matches nicely with the existing architecture of your home. While the term ‘sunroom’ generally implies that at least 3 of the room’s walls will be made of glass, there are options for the ceiling as well. You can choose to have a few skylights in your sunroom, or you can intensify the amount of light that is let into the room by having the entire roof constructed of glass. This type of sunroom is called a conservatory, from the types of rooms that were typical in Victorian homes. If you select a conservatory for your sunroom plan, realize that you will want to concern yourself with the type of glaze that you put on the roof glass.
The type of material that is used to build your sunroom can make a great deal of difference in how easy it is to maintain. If you choose wood, for example, it’s important to realize that you’ll need to paint or refurnish it from time to time. But a vinyl or aluminum siding with vinyl coating is less maintenance intensive.
Next steps in building your sunroom addition
One great place to start is in local sunroom contractor showrooms. If you visit a number of them you will certainly get a range of ideas and see a number of different plans that appeal to you. By visiting the showrooms you get to physically experience what your sunroom will be like. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your sunroom addition with a variety of companies. Price is one factor to consider, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Be prepared to ask a number of questions regarding their licensing, material quality, insulation ratings and warranty offerings so that you can make an educated decision.