Let the Sun Shine In! Creating the ultimate sunroom- By: Jamie Mathwig
Sunrooms and solariums come in many shapes and sizes – from a small room to grow precious orchids and other greenhouse pleasures to a full-length addition to the home.
These glass-enclosed environments can provide year-round enjoyment in daylight and provide a calm, relaxation spot in the evening.
It all began with …
In days gone by, sitting on the stoop (or porch) on a sunny day was a relaxing way to spend an afternoon or evening. As the weather changed, or when the mosquitoes and other bugs were too annoying, people needed another way to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. Shortly thereafter, the sunroom was created.
The evolution of sunrooms began with screened-in porches, some with removable windows for the cold weather. Early versions of these add-ons were marketed as patio enclosures in the 1960s, servicing the thousands of suburban homes that were springing up all over North America.
Today, having a sunroom is a great way to increase the value of a home and offers a place to relax and renew in a hectic world.
When you are ready to design and/or build your sunroom, have a clear picture of what you want in the finished result. Here are some tips to get you started:
- When planning your sunroom design think about the design of the sunroom. Will it match the architecture of your home? Look through magazines, web sites and catalogues to find the right one for you.
- Are you going to build it yourself or purchase a pre-made sunroom kit? These kits come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. They also include step-by-step instructions and all materials required.
- Make sure you are proceeding within regulations of local building codes.
- Decide if you want to use it year round. Can your electrical system handle heaters for the winter? Will your sunroom be insulated properly?
- Do you want your windows and doors to slide open or fold back completely?
It is important to remember that the cost of building an average sunroom is similar to any traditional room. As with most construction projects, it is wise to add a 10 percent contingency to your budget for items that invariably come up.
Invest in the highest quality of products, or the best kit you can afford for your sunroom. Buying a cheaper version that is poorly constructed will cost you more in the long run. You may even have to replace the whole thing within a couple of years.
Furnishing your sunroom:
Homeowners often choose outdoor-style furniture for their sunrooms. It is important to choose high quality, fade-resistant products, as this room will enjoy an abundance of sunlight.
If your sunroom includes a spa or hot tub, investing in weather-resistant, outdoor furniture would be a wise move. This will prevent moisture problems associated with this type of environment.
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