Want More Living Space? Build a Sunroom

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Homeowners who want to pursue a major home improvement project can expand their living space. A spacious house helps minimize clutter. What’s more, it allows little ones and pets to roam around freely and play using the wide, open space.

If you’re looking for a new space that you and your family can enjoy throughout the year, consider building a sunroom.

What is a Sunroom?

Homeowners can build a sunroom to entertain guests coming over to their house. | Photo by Wapster via Flickr Creative Commons

A sunroom is a structure that provides a versatile space to enjoy the outdoors without the annoyance of pesky insects. It’s also a great place to entertain and impress visitors.

Sunrooms typically consist of glass with screened openings that you can open or close. Homeowners often build this type of structure to extend their original house and create a wonderful interior living space. You can think of a sunroom as a modern-day porch.

A Look at the Types of Sunrooms

This living space comes in a range of styles to suit the diverse preferences of homeowners. Some of the popular sunroom options include the following:

Wall System Sunroom

Homeowners can create this structure out of a modified porch. This type of sunroom features huge glass windows reminiscent of a traditional sunroom. It may also qualify as a screened-in porch or a screened room, depending on the design.

Straight-Eave Sunroom

This classic model comes in different names, including single-slope, studio and shed sunrooms. This defining feature of this living space is that the roofs have no peak. This means that the homeowner can create a secondary roofline (just like a porch) or follow the existing roofline.

Conservatory Sunroom

This style showcases an all-glass design supported by structural beams. A conservatory sunroom delivers a dramatic statement piece for any house, as well as spectacular panoramic views. This model is suitable for high-end residential properties, as well as homes near rivers and green spaces.

Curved-Eave Sunroom

Also known as a solarium, this all-glass structure comes out from the roof of the main residential property in a straight line. It then becomes a row of rounded windows. A curved-eave option is great for homeowners who are on the budget, but want the 360-degree views of a conservatory sunroom.

Cathedral Sunroom

Sometimes called a vaulted or gable sunroom, this living space features a high, peaked roof. Homeowners have the option to build drywall, partial glass or complete glass on the interior. All options, however, will form a dramatic and classic shape you can find in gothic cathedrals.

Why Build a Sunroom

Think of a sunroom as a blank canvas you can design and decorate however you want. | Photo by Jessa via Flickr Creative Commons

A sunroom is a wise investment for any homeowner.

Here are the benefits you’ll enjoy when you pursue this exterior home improvement project:

The Freedom to Design a Space However You Want

You call the shots on the features, furniture and accessories you’d like to incorporate into this room. You could, for instance, install a ceiling fan, construct a built-in storage unit or grow plants to reflect your design tastes.

Improved Curb Appeal

A sunroom can boost the curb appeal of your house. This is ideal if you’re planning to sell your home in the future. You could highlight this structure to buyers who want this feature in their dream home.

A Space for Every Family Member

When properly insulated and heated, this space is one that every member of the family will enjoy. A sunroom can function as a playroom, entertainment area for guests, a home office or however else you’d like to use it.

An Increase in Home Value

Just like other home improvement projects, the construction of a new sunroom can bump up the value of your home. A report from SFGate revealed that homeowners could recoup an average of 47 percent on a sunroom addition to their house.

Factors to Consider Before Building a Sunroom

You could hire professionals to build your sunroomor you could do this project yourself by buying a prefab kit. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision. | Photo by Anthony Shkraba from Pexels

If you’re planning to build this structure in your home, you’ll need to consider a range of factors. This way, you can construct a sunroom that fits perfectly for your home and suits your preferences.

Here are a few of the elements that you should take into consideration when starting this home improvement project:

Cost

According to figures from HomeAdvisor, a majority of sunroom additions cost between $8,000 and $80,000. You can expect to shell out approximately $25 per square foot for an uninsulated space. If you’re building a four-season structure, the cost per square foot could reach as high as $300.

If you’re looking to take a DIY approach to home improvement, you could get a prefabricated sunroom kit. The product alone costs between $5,000 and $30,000. This option is ideal if you’re not looking for a custom addition and want to save some cash.

Although affordable, the DIY route does come with potential drawbacks. Mistakes in the building process, for instance, can undermine the structural integrity of your sunroom. This poses danger to anyone staying in that space. Also, your build may take longer if you lack the experience or skill to pull off this project.

If you have the money, though, consider letting professionals build your sunroom. Construction labor typically costs between $4,000 and $20,000.  When hiring contractors and other professionals, make sure to obtain a detailed bid and place all expectations in writing.

Sunroom Material

Having a good grasp of the components that will go into building this structure will help you choose the type of space you want.

A few materials that you could consider are the following:

  • Wood – This structural material is appropriate for screen rooms because it allows you to easily attach screen mesh to the timbers. Wood also acts as a great insulator.
  • Aluminum – This material is both sturdy and lightweight. Many homeowners choose aluminum, as this allows them to construct bigger windows. What’s more, this material comes in a range of colors. This lets you create a new sunroom that seamlessly matches your existing home.
  • Vinyl – This is your best bet if you’re looking to build an all-season sunroom. Vinyl is also affordable and requires minimal upkeep.

Location

Choosing the area of your sunroom is critical when planning a screen or glass addition. If you want this space to receive as much sun as possible throughout the day, build this structure on a south-facing section of your residential property.

You could consider other directions, as well. A west-facing room lets you enjoy the late afternoon sun and sunset. On the other hand, an east-facing space is perfect for family members who want to watch the sunrise.

Tips When Decorating a Sunroom

Cactus is one of the plants that you can grow (and use as decoration) in your sunroom. | Photo by Scott Webb from Pexels

Once you’ve built the structure, you’ll need to add furniture, accessories and other elements to beautify this living space.

If you’re not sure where to begin, follow these suggestions when decorating a sunroom:

Choose the Right Plants

If you want to turn your sunroom into a designated gardening hub, choose plants that will thrive in this structure. A few of the best plants you could grow include:

  • African Violets – This desk plant thrives well in indirect sunlight.
  • Cactus Plants – No green thumb? No problem. This plant doesn’t require a lot of water to survive. Also, it loves direct sunlight.
  • Peace Lilies – These little beauties serve as a natural air purifier. They’re also easy to maintain.
  • Passion Flower – This plant smells good and comes in a range of gorgeous colors. It’s a great way to inject life into your sunroom’s interior design.

Pick the Appropriate Indoor Sunroom Furniture

When you want your new room to be a dining space or an entertainment area, you need to decorate the space with the right sunroom furniture. A good example is to purchase furniture that comes with fade-resistant fabrics. This is ideal if you’re going to build your sunroom in a location that receives a lot of sunlight.

Alternatively, consider buying wicker furniture. This material is both durable and sustainable. If the furniture sustains damage, you could easily repair the rattan and wicker.

Give Your Sunroom a Personal Touch

This is your sunroom, so take your time to personalize this space. Add your favorite accent furniture, pillows, artwork and accessories to create a cozy and pleasant atmosphere.

A sunroom is a great choice for homeowners looking to expand the living space in their property. If you want to pursue a home improvement project that brings more light, space and joy to your house, put sunroom installation at the top of your “to-build” list.

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