Sunrooms are a wonderful addition to any home because they combine the comfort of the indoors with the uplifting energy of natural sunlight. You have several options when it comes to a sunroom starting with weather or not you want a custom-designed room or one purchased as a kit. Once you have made that decision, you will have many more to make!
Sunrooms require a lot of planning. Before you make any major decisions, it’s important for you to consider how you are going to use the room. You may want to add a sun room to your living room or kitchen, or you may want to install a hot tub or create a solarium for your plants. Either way, the construction requirements will differ depending on the exact use you are intending on.
Finding The Best Location For Your Sunroom
Once you decide how you plan to use your sunroom, you will need to figure out the best location for it. You want orient your sunroom so that it receives the best sun exposure. The main windows in the room should face south. It often helps to watch how the sun moves across your house. In certain cases, you may decide to construct your sunroom elsewhere to create a more shaded area.
Sunroom Walls and Roof Options
The next step in your planning should involve the roof and the sides of the room. Generally, sunrooms consist of a glass roof and sides. However, special circumstances often dictate exactly how the roof and walls are constructed. For example, if your sunroom is exposed to extreme amounts of sunlight, you may benefit from having a partial overhead glass roof or by having just the sunroom walls made of glass. Partial overhead glass roofs also come in handy when the top of your sunroom experiences having snowfall.
The walls of your sunroom can either be full glass or if you want your sunroom to have a more enclosed, roomy feeling, you might consider a knee wall. A knee wall is just a short wall about knee height. It provides a more structured feeling and can also be used to run electric lines.
In addition to the construction of your roof and walls, skylights can be added. Skylights bring additional sunlight into a room and create an open, airy feeling. However, if you are planning to house a hot tub or plants, you may want to consider enclosing the entire room with glass to get the best sun exposure. Unfortunately, a fully enclosed glass sunrooms are an expensive option. Also, hardware stores don’t typically carry the type of double-pane tempered glass needed. You can, however, find the right glass at a specialty store.
Sunroom Window Options
Sunroom windows are one of the most important choices you'll make when it comes to your sunroom addition. There are many things to take into consideration such as window style, window shades and screens, glazing options, and also ventilation options. We have listed the most common options when it comes to windows and doors for your sunroom.
- Operable Windows (inexpensive ventilation)
- Outside Shade Screens (filters out sunlight)
- Glazing Options
- Single Glazed (doesn’t provide sufficient insulation)
- Double-glazed (two layers of glass filled with air or gas, U-value ranges from 2 to 2.5)
- Triple Paned Glass (three layers of glass filled with air or gas)
- Low E Glazing (coated with thin layers of metallic oxide, rejects energy wavelengths and greatly reduces heat transfer)
- Polymer Coating (repels dirt)
- Argon Filled Glass (reduces the amount of temperature in a room and provides better insulation)
- Tempered Glass (also known as safety glass, breaks into small pieces instead of large shards)
- Tinted Windows (can reject unwanted heat and UV rays)
- Sliding Doors (recommended to seal out weather and emit light)
- Swinging Doors
- Installing Vents
- Installing Vents and a Ceiling Fan
- An Exhaust Fan
- Installing Ceiling Lights
- Extra Electrical Switches and Outlets
Looking For More Information About Sunrooms?
Sunrooms can be an excellent way to add value to your home. You'll want to make sure you are choosing the right sunroom for your home and your budget. We offer Free Sunrooms Quotes from local, reliable contractors.
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