Despite its name, a sunroom should offer more to a home than somewhere you can only enjoy when the sun is shining, especially if you live in an area that gets plenty of cold, grey weather. Unlike a conservatory, which is traditionally a fully glazed addition to the house, a sunroom is a permanent structure that acts as a transitional room between the home and the yard.
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[ctt template=”4″ link=”1K57c” via=”yes” ]A sunroom you can use year round is a permanent structure that acts as a transitional room between the home and the yard. [/ctt]
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A sunroom offers a lot of light without being made entirely from glass. Usually, several parts of the room are fully or partly made from brick, blockwork, or timber, with large skylights and windows, like the ones from New Rochelle Window. Here’s what you should consider in the design stages.
The Four-Season Sunroom
Unlike some conservatories and sunrooms, the modern, four-season sunroom is designed to be used all year round. This means that the design will need to take into account heating and cooling so it can offer comfortable living during both the summer and the winter months.
Doing this is, however, a bit more expensive to build as your budget will need to take into account some extras that will come with keeping the sunroom both warm and cool. Try to make the room as energy-efficient as you can to help with this.
As part of the process of designing your sunroom, you will need to think about how adding the room will impact on adjoining rooms. Modern living means that smaller, individual rooms have been swapped out in favour or larger, more open spaces. The kitchen and family area are now often the hub of the home.
This hub is an ideal place to build your sunroom as a continuation of this space. You could make the sunroom open plan into your kitchen, dining, and living area to create a natural progression into the garden, or close it off with connecting doors. Whichever you choose, the sunroom should feel as though it has always been part of the house.
Consider orientation. Sunrooms are usually located on the southern side of the house so they can catch the most light but also keep sheltered from bad weather. Whether you are a morning or evening person, you could choose between positioning the sunroom so it will catch south-east or south-west facing sun.
Light From Above
Bringing natural light into the sunroom should be one of your considerations when planning your space. There are a few different ways to get natural light into the room from above, whether this is through a bank of roof lights, a roof lantern, or clerestory windows. There are lots of options that could suit your space.
If you live in a Conservation area, bear in mind that you might be restricted with regards to the kinds of window that you can choose. However, there are lots of window suppliers who can help you decide.
Depending on the design that you choose, sunrooms are usually built of brick and blockwork, timber, glass, or PVCu, or a combination of a few materials, like timber and glass. Unlike conservatories, sunrooms often have a convention roof, with glazing brought in through roof lights, large windows, and glazed doors leading out to the garden.
As a sunroom ought to be an addition to your home, the materials that you use should match or complement your existing building. If you match your roof tiles, bricks, or cladding to your home, this will help your addition to feel like part of the house.
Think about the materials for windows and doors. An aluminium structure for the glass doors and windows is the strongest of the most commonly used materials, which are aluminium, timber, and PVCu. Aluminium is strong and lightweight, so it can support larger glass panels and allows for slimmer frames, so more natural light can be let in.
If you want a sunroom but don’t want the hassle of onsite works, or if you don’t have the time for a big construction project, then a pre-fabricated sunroom might be a great solution. There are a few companies that supply easy-to-install, factory-fabricated sunroom lintels which will be delivered to your home, and just need a builder to finish off.
If you want even less hassle than this, there are some companies who make a custom build sunroom to your specific style and budget and deliver the whole thing to your home, where they will fit the sunroom for you. This will save you time and inconvenience.
Opening Up To The Outside
In your sunroom, how you get into the garden will be important. The doors that you choose will depend on the style of your sunroom and how much light you want to have entering the space.
If you have chosen a more contemporary design, bi-fold doors are an ideal choice. Doors like this offer full-height glazing and can often be opened up to provide uninterrupted views. Bi-fold doors can also be styled to suit more traditional schemes if you paint them to match your interiors, giving you doors that can fold back to allow access to the garden.
Traditional sunrooms usually work best with French doors, which could be made with wooden frames for an authentic look. If you have a large sunroom, you could opt for two sets of doors at either end of the room.
You can fo even further to blur the boundaries between inside and outside by opting for level thresholds and choosing floor tiles that can be run from the sunroom to the outside terrace to create a real indoor/outdoor room. If you do choose to level the household, make sure you think about any drainage issues to avoid water getting into your home. You can lay exterior paving to fall in a way that encourages water to run off.
A sunroom is a great way to add more space to your home, that can be used to enjoy the sun all year round, as long as you make the right design choices.
This is a contributed post.
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