Most of us want to enjoy the outdoors and the sights, sounds and freshness that goes along with being part of nature. But outside the home are things we don't like: insects, ultraviolet rays, rain and cold. So being very adaptable a compromise with the outdoors is often reached and one of these is having a sunroom.
A sunroom is an addition to the home that enables the homeowner and family to enjoy nature while retaining the comforts of home. This can be as simple as a screened-in porch or, on the other end of the scale, a glassed-in environment. In most cases it is a room addition with floor to ceiling windows. Many sunrooms have extra features like garden doors and removable doors that can be swapped out with large screen doors. The cost of a sunroom can range from approximately $10,000 to over $40,000 depending on the size, style, added features and foundation requirements.
Types of Sunrooms
Not all sunrooms are the same. Many are just a glorified deck with a roof or a huge, glassed-in atrium.
Traditional Sunrooms: In days gone past when cars were scarce homeowners had a front porch that was used as the summer recreation place. The large windows could be taken out and replaced with screens. As the hustle and noise of the towns increased these areas were abandoned and the people built patios in the back yard. However, patios were very seasonal and had to be abandoned when the weather go too cold. Traditional sunrooms often resemble standard room additions and have a roof that is tied into the home's roofing system in some way.
Conservatory: The older sunrooms were built with wood frames and sometimes the pillars were brick-faced. In large Victorian mansions there were conservatories made of a wrought-iron skeleton containing hundreds of panes of glass. Newer model sunrooms are made with a powder-coated aluminum framing for a corrosion-proof frame that needs very little maintenance.
Solarium: Also called a Florida room or enclosed patio these sunrooms usually have a glassed-in roof that is an extension of the aluminum wall supports. Unlike a separate room like the regular sunroom these can be attached to the side of home and come in sunroom kits that a handy do-it-yourselfer can put together. The advantage of a solarium is that there does not have to be any structural change in the home.
Advantages of Sunrooms
Recreation: Sunrooms can add hundreds of square feet to your living space that can be used for everything from a reading study to entertaining guests. For the more adventurous a full-sized swimming pool can be housed in a sunroom.
Passive Solar Heating: In areas of the country that have a long winter a well-placed sunroom can do a lot to subsidize heating costs. The winter's sun heats the tile or stone floor and these substances will absorb the heat and release it into the home after the sun is gone and the outside gets colder. A small fan can then disperse the heat into the area and even beyond that which will prevent the heaters from clicking in for a while longer.
Indoor Garden: Just imagine having tomatoes and other vegetables for the Holidays. All varieties of fruit and vegetables can be grown in a sunroom as well as flowering plants and shrubs.
Selling Feature: A sunroom facing a well-manicured landscape and tastefully lined with hanging flowers and other plantlife will be a great advantage to a homebuyer. What they see is a low-maintenance, extra living space with a great ambiance.
Easy to Build: Unless you are planning tp build a huge conservatory, sunroom kits are available for anyone who is handy with tools. For the larger ones that require a roofline change leave it to the professional. They may also have to pour concrete for a knee wall to support the structure.
Personal Relaxation: A sunroom can be used to house a hot tub, spa or current pool. In addition small gyms and even bedrooms are put in sunrooms.
Requirements for a Sunroom
It doesn't matter how big you want a sunroom you should get some free estimates before starting. Different sunroom contractors will have separate ideas on the project so it's best to get a few to sort out. In addition, depending on where you are, the pricing spread may also be quite large.
Depending on what you want in the sunroom a foundation will be either built or poured from concrete. Utilities will go under the floor and the floor can be infloor radiant heat for more efficiency. Once the foundation has been installed the work goes quite quickly, especially if the sunroom is prefabricated.
For more information on sunroom contractors look in our Contractor Directory or post your project online and contractors will contact you.Posted by: TrustedPros