Adding a patio sunroom to your home
If you want or need to expand your living space but are hindered by a small budget, underground obstacles or local building codes, a sunroom addition or patio enclosure might just be the solution to your problem. Plus, with perhaps the highest return on investment of all home improvements, a patio sunroom is a great way to increase the resale value of your home.
Sunrooms—also called solariums, conservatories or Florida rooms—are structures made up mainly of windows that allow homeowners to enjoy the sunshine and landscape of the outdoors while remaining protected from the elements. Generally, these rooms are constructed on the side or back of a house, and those designed mainly for the purpose of collecting sunlight should obviously be placed where they will get the most light for the longest part of the day.
Traditionally, sunrooms were constructed of a wood or brick frame supporting large, clear sheets of glass. Some included sliding patio doors that led onto a deck, yard or garden. Roofs were generally made of clear glass panels or semi-transparent plastic to allow in additional light, though sometimes they were simply regular, shingled roofs.
Today, most sunrooms are made of tempered glass panels within an aluminum frame. High-end options are insulated, and many include skylights within a traditional roofing structure. It is also more common now for sunrooms to be designed to match the rest of the house, whereas in the past they were often distinct looking, clearly additions.
Although the easiest sunroom plans are square or rectangular, these additions can also be rounded or polygonal. There really are numerous possible designs, so which you choose will depend on your particular space and the look you want to create.
While you can of course hire a contractor to build on your sunroom addition, many sunroom manufacturers now provide kits with everything you need to add on a sunroom yourself. This includes all of the materials and step-by-step assembly instructions. You will likely have to supply your own tools, though.
Numerous sunroom designs are available in kit form, and sunroom kits are generally designed to be easy for even the most casual do-it-yourselfer. They can also save you a considerable amount of money on both design and installation.
Once your sunroom has been added on, you will probably want to furnish it. Many people use their sunrooms like an indoor patio, decorating it with plants and patio furniture, such as patio sets, wicker or rattan chairs, or chaise lounges. However, you can also treat your sunroom like an additional living space, populating it with regular living room or dining room furniture, or even electronics, depending on how the room will be used. Just make sure that if the sunroom's not insulated, any furnishings you put in it can withstand the temperature changes. Also keep in mind that sunlight will fade fabrics and may also damage some materials—be sure that whatever sunroom furniture you choose will be able to stand up over time.