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What is involved in planning a sunroom addition?

Sunroom AdditionOne of the most popular types of home additions is a sunroom addition. This is for good reason. After all, who doesn’t love to enjoy a meal surrounded by beautiful summer scenery – minus those pesky mosquitoes? And who wouldn’t love to spend a lazy afternoon curled up in a favourite chair with a good book in their very own indoor outdoor space.

A modern sunroom addition is not the glassed in porch that your grandmother used to have. These rooms have come a long way and they are now fully useable year round with heat, air conditioning and energy efficient windows.

All this also means, however, that there is more involved in the planning of them. Construction wise, sunroom additions are just like any other type of room addition. The main difference is that it has more windows – a lot more windows. The average sunroom has a minimum of 20 windows plus skylights.

As with any other project in which you are adding space to your home, building permits must be acquired and any building size restrictions must be adhered to.

Where should a sunroom go?

Where you place your sunroom will be dictated in part by the available space on your property.  Since you will likely want to eat in your sunroom, placing it off the kitchen is ideal. If that is not possible, consider placing it off another well-used living space such as a living room or dining room.

Having it off a more private area such as a bedroom is not preferred unless you’re willing to let other people walk through your room on a regular basis.

In addition to considering which room to have it adjacent to

, you’ll also want to think about the scenery. A space that overlooks your pool or garden area will be more appealing than one that overlooks your neighbour’s central air unit!

You’ll also want to consider the light and heat coming through the windows. Would you rather more sunlight in the morning (eastern exposure) or in the evening (western exposure)? Generally speaking, you’ll want to have a minimum of four hours of direct sunlight every day.

Heating and cooling

By making the space a three season room, you could save about 20% on the project but most homeowners find they would rather have the comfort of a four season room.  A three season room would not require energy efficient windows, insulation or HVAC however the result would be a very hot room in the summer and a very cold one in the winter.

One way to save costs and keep the space comfortable year round is to have an independent heating and cooling sources.

Done properly, a sunroom addition is a large project. Once complete however, it can add a new level of enjoyment to your home as well as increase your home’s value. It can be a great place to spend some alone time, as well as an ideal location to visit with family and friends. And who knows? It might just become your family’s new favourite hang-out.

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