Whether you call them sunrooms, conservatories or solariums, enclosed spaces with large areas of glass to let in outdoor light have always been popular. In the 1960s, home renovation contractors began to design ways to turn a porch into an enclosed room.
This fostered the return of the popularity of the sunroom to standard suburban homes that often followed a cookie-cutter design scheme. Back porches everywhere could now be turned into comfortable sunny spots for entertaining, container gardening or art studio space. Here is how to make your own unique sunroom.
Decide the Room's Purpose First
When you decide to build a sunroom addition, decide in advance what it will be used for. Do you want a room with plenty of natural light to use as an art studio for painting or sculpture, or do you want a room to hold a large hot tub that you can enjoy year round without ever having to go outside? Maybe you want a nice spot to have your morning coffee with your spouse or relax with friends on a summer evening. Deciding the room's main purpose first helps you in choosing its size, flooring, lighting and even privacy shading to accommodate your needs.
Consider Ventilation Needs
If you are having a sunroom built that has glass for a roof, it is going to get very warm in the summertime as the glass creates a greenhouse effect. This is perfect for container gardening, but it will be too hot without adequate ventilation built in. To address this issue, Four Seasons Home Products and similar companies build sunrooms using Conservaglass Plus that is cooler in the summer yet warmer in the winter.
Sunrooms have large areas of glass, and you want windows that can be opened to allow cross-ventilation. Ceiling fans and an exhaust fan built into the sidewall up high can help to remove hot air and keep you cool on the hot days. Some prefer to air condition their sunrooms while others prefer to have large screened windows that can be easily opened for ventilation.
If you live in a climate that has cold winters and you want to use your sunroom comfortably year round, then supplemental heating will be necessary. Though a sunroom could be connected to an existing furnace system, most choose to add a separate electric heating system.
Electric baseboard heat or under the floor heat are possible options. You just turn up the heat when you are using the room. Sunny winter days will heat up a sunroom quite well, and heat loss can be minimized by having good insulation in the floor and any sidewall areas.
Furnishing Your Sunroom
Choosing furniture suited for outdoor spaces is best due to the amount of sunlight a sunroom lets in. Sunroom glass choices can control various parts of the ultraviolet light spectrum, but a standard living room couch is not made of materials designed to absorb that much sunlight and not deteriorate.
However, the good news is that outdoor furnishings available today rival the comfort of the most plush living room furniture on the market today. Plus, this furniture is easier to keep clean with much less worry of spills and dirt ruining a fabric. You can relax when your sunroom is packed with people who have food and beverages, and you do not have to worry when the cat and dog decide to lounge on the couch with you in the sunroom.
Anica is a professional content and copywriter from San Francisco, California. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica on Google+. If you are looking to build a sunroom, Anica suggests you check out the services of Four Seasons Home Products.