A sunroom is also called a sun parlor, sun porch or sun lounge and it’s a structure usually built onto the side of a house. It allows you to admire and to enjoy the surroundings and the views while being sheltered and protected from rain, wind and other weather conditions.
The name is very suggestive actually. Since this room has large windows in order to allow panoramic views, the sun gets through and the room is filled with light and warmth.
There are numerous different types of designs for the sunroom. It can be constructed out of a variety of materials. For example, you can have a brick sunroom if you prefer a more rustic décor. You can also build it out of wood to make it feel warm and cozy or, if you want to emphasize the views, you can build it out of glass. The roof can also be made of glass so you can admire the sky and enjoy the weather to its fullest.
Types of Sunrooms
1. Three seasons room
A three seasons sunroom is designed with almost no insulation and is usually constructed using glass that’s not that energy efficient. The lack of insulation also makes it unsuitable for any HVAC system installation.
The entry door, which is located between the sunroom and the house, has a sturdy construction in order to keep cold air outside of the house. It is also a more budget-friendly method since it doesn’t require investing in insulation.
2. Four seasons room
Compared to a three seasons room, a four-season room is greatly insulated, just like a normal room inside your house. Even if these structures do not require an entry door, a lot of people choose to install some sort of patio entrance.
Because of the higher level of insulation and the fact that there’s usually a HVAC system that runs through this type of room, a four seasons room is more expensive.
Gables are a type of sunroom that are constructed using 2 roof panels. These panels have a center beam that supports them, creating slopes in both directions, similar to what you’d expect to see in a cathedral ceiling. Screen walls that can be used in place of glass walls if desired. Structures can be simply customized to complement the style of the home.
Solariums are similar to conservatories in that they are made up of a polycarbonate or glazed glass roof and glass walls. The roof is divided into sections by wood or aluminum beams.
Solariums are lean-to buildings with a gable or single slope roof. A continuous curve connects the roof and the walls of the building. Knee walls can be designed for incorporating exterior finishes from the home in order to create a cohesive look between the two buildings.
Sheds are also known as studios, and they are designed with a single-pitch roof that slopes away from the house. If you’re not a huge fan of glass walls, you can also opt for screens.
Conservatories have a more traditional appeal to them, but they aren’t exactly a sunroom by definition because their role is similar to that of a greenhouse. They are usually built with roofs made from glass or polycarbonate, and have segmented sections divided by wood or aluminum beams.
You can opt for knee walls to incorporate exterior home finishes for a greater sense of cohesion with the conservatory. You can also choose to build your conservatory as a freestanding structure.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a Sunroom?
Sunrooms can range from a modest prefabricated extension to a completely insulated four-season room. Three-season and four-season sunrooms are the two primary varieties. A three-season sunroom is an enclosed structure that connects to your existing home but lacks insulation, which means the cost can be anything between $10,000 and $40,000.
A four-season sunroom is a fully insulated extension to your home that frequently includes plumbing, HVAC, and electrical. According to Home Guide, these upscale constructions range in price from $25,000 to $80,000.
The majority of contractors will provide you with a quote depending on the square footage of your future sunroom. This pricing will very certainly cover both materials and labor, but it’s a good idea to double-check before proceeding. The average cost per square foot of a sunroom is between $80 and $230 for a three-season room and between $200 and $400 for a four-season room.
Sunroom vs. Conservatory
While they are both structures designed to soak up the sun, sunrooms and conservatories are two very different structures.
Conservatories are characterized by their glass ceilings that let in the most amount of natural light, making them the ideal spot to lounge and relax. The room, reminiscent of a greenhouse, is defined by big windows and typically has a glass roof. Since conservatories are not the same as sunrooms, they do offer a distinct set of benefits.
Sunrooms are a popular home addition because they provide a multipurpose space for entertaining friends, relaxing, or simply enjoying the outdoors without being plagued by annoying insects and scorching heat. If you’re unfamiliar with the term “sunroom,” it’s possible that you’ve heard it referred to as sun porches, garden room
While conservatories are mostly designed to house plants, sunrooms provide a lounging spot for people. Conservatories also have more glass in their construction (so that plenty of light can come in and aid plant photosynthesis).
Sunroom vs. Patio
A sunroom has rigid framing, numerous windows, and is built as an extension of the home, not as a separate construction. Apart from that, sunrooms are frequently known as patio enclosures if they began as a paved outside space.
A real sunroom is constructed entirely from scratch. Apart from sunrooms and patio enclosures, homeowners can modify existing porches or decks to create outdoor living spaces that closely resemble patio enclosures or sunrooms.
A patio is an area of ground that has been “paved” close to or near your home. It can be constructed using poured concrete, bricks, pavers, or any other material that provides a level, stable foundation. Consider it an external platform.
Individuals frequently choose to renovate an existing patio in order to create a more practical environment. Enclosing the terrace is a popular option. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways: by adding screens to the space, by incorporating a supporting structure which could be paired with drop curtains, or by transforming the space into a sunroom.
Sunroom Decorating Ideas
Bright and Spacious
Cozy and Quaint
Vaulted Ceiling Sunroom
Privacy and Natural Light
A Grand Existence
A Sunroom for Entertaining
Olive Sprig and Teak Blinds
Sunroom to Live In
Calm and Cool
The sunroom is usually furnished with comfortable armchairs, lounge chairs and sofas. It’s a space where you can entertain guests or simply relax with the family. To emphasize the brightness of the room you can paint the walls while. Skylights are also common in sunrooms. Also, if you want to create a stronger connection with the outdoors, you can add plants and flowers.
Parquet Floors and Wood Beams
Custom Built-in Blinds
A Killer View
Crisp and White
Quirky and Fun
Mid Century Modern
In Love with Mint
Cozy and Functional
Masculine and Chic
View the Great Outdoors
Deep and Rustic
Artificial lighting is not very important in this room as you mostly use it during daytime and natural light plays an important role in the décor. The windows are large and let in plenty of light. you can use a pendant light or wall-mounted fixtures for a cozy and comfortable atmosphere.
Materials for Sunroom
Wood is, most likely, one of the most popular materials for sunrooms. The elegance of wood-framed constructions is difficult to match. Additionally, wood is resistant to temperature fluctuations.
The disadvantages of timber sunrooms are their high cost and vulnerability to termite attacks and rot. Wooden sunrooms are typically more expensive and require regular care such as refinishing or repainting to avoid deterioration.
If you live in a humid environment that receives a lot of rain and would prefer to avoid the required maintenance, wood may not be the ideal choice.
Vinyl and aluminum
Vinyl and aluminum have become quite popular sunroom materials in recent decades. Vinyl is a low-maintenance material that is inexpensive, lightweight, and resistant to moisture and insect damage. Additionally, it is an excellent insulator and comes in a range of colors.
Furthermore, aluminum is lightweight and extremely sturdy, allowing for slimmer frames that allow for larger windows. And, like vinyl, it is impervious to warping, swelling, decay, or termite attack. Aluminum’s primary disadvantage in the past was poor insulation quality, making temperature control in the sunroom more difficult.
However, manufacturers have significantly improved their goods over the years, integrating composite materials to enhance thermal performance. Many modern sunrooms are now constructed using a combination of vinyl and aluminum to maximize the benefits of each material.
How to Build a Sunroom
If you have a way with tools and would love to contribute to the overall value of your home, building a sunroom shouldn’t be a complicated task. While it’s a bit time-consuming and maybe difficult for those who never help a hammer, it is a fun project to try.
Building a sunroom means that you’ll first have to establish whether the structure will be constructed on an existing deck or porch, whether you’ll be using a prefabricated kit or building it from scratch, whether you’ll be using a plan, etc.
Here is what you have to do if you want to build a sunroom on an existing porch.
Step One: Window selection
When it comes to windows, you’ll first have to determine whether you need insulated or non-insulated glass. If you intend to utilize your sunroom year-round, insulated windows are recommended. Other factors to consider are tempered versus untempered glass and the type of window framing, such as double hung, bow, hinged, bay, etc.
Determine the size of the windows you require and create layouts accordingly. While floor-to-ceiling windows provide the most light, they also contribute to the sunroom’s heat build-up.
Step Two: Electrical requirements
Existing porches are frequently equipped with electrical components such as lighting and outlets. However, you may wish to expand your electrical options in order to accommodate lighting, switches, or fans.
Because a sunroom is primarily made of glass, you’ll need to determine the location of the electrical features in order to frame the structure appropriately. We strongly advise you to call and deal with a skilled electrician who can assist you not only with the electrical work but also with the design process.
Step Three: Flooring options
Considering the condition and construction of the existing floor, you may wish to replace or repair the subfloor. The sub-floor is where the flooring material will be installed.
Again, depending on the foundation of your porch, you may need to reinforce some of the components, such as the beams or posts. You may choose to consult a trained contractor to check that your porch foundation is capable of supporting the added load.
Adding a layer of outside plywood over the old porch floor is frequently sufficient; nevertheless, you should speak with a qualified contractor again. You have several material options to choose from, ranging from concrete to brick.
Step Four: Frame construction
Once the three aspects mentioned above are pre-established, it’s time to consider the frame. If you have a porch balustrade, you’ll likely have to remove it. The frame is typically constructed considering the size of the windows chosen.
Step Five: Installing components
Depending on the selected doors and windows, you’ll want to carefully follow the installation instructions because there are a lot of differences between the brands currently available on the market.
When you’re done with framing and installing your windows, you want to run electrical wiring. Note that, in some cases, you might have to install wires before you install the windows, depending on the type of sunroom in question.
When electric wiring is complete, you can install switches and fixtures.
Step Six: Finishing touches
When all of that is done, you can start working on the finishing details. Some people choose to add exterior trim work while others prefer installing siding.