Plan for Sunroom Additions

Sunroom additions add light and space. Construction methods and materials have improved over the years and a sunroom can be a quality home addition that will add to the value of your home.

But What Will You do With It?
As you plan your sunroom addition, consider how you'll use it. Will your sunroom be used as a family room? A place for your tropical plants? A quiet reading area? Each of these uses has different design requirements, and you'll have to plan accordingly.

Choose Your Location Carefully
Sunroom additions are put in place to maximize exposure to the sun. When planning the location of your sunroom addition, look for a location that won't be blocked by tall trees or nearby buildings. If you live on a corner lot, your choices may be limited. A screening fence or shrub border may provide extra privacy.

A location with a southern exposure is ideal for a sunroom, particularly in cooler climates. An eastern exposure will allow your sunroom to capture the morning sun and would be ideal for a kitchen addition. A western exposure will give you great sunset views, but will get very hot in the afternoon sun. A northern exposure will be shaded for the most part, but may worthwhile if it provides a great scenic or landscape view.

Consistency is Important
Sunroom additions that match the style of the home will help the addition hold its value. If you have a homeowner's association, check its guidelines for home additions. When selecting the design of your sunroom addition, try to match the style and color of your home carefully. If you can't find a match, try to find a design that compliments your home or has architectural detail that mimics details of your home.

Construction?
Sunroom additions can be built in a number of configurations. How you plan to use your sunroom can help you decide on some construction features.

Knee walls provide maximum flexibility when it comes to locating outlets and ventilation. Floor to ceiling windows are best if you want to maximize a view or provide an environment for plants.

Glass ceilings provide the ultimate feeling of space, but might not be appropriate for areas with heavy annual snowfall. Tile or stone floors will hold their heat in winter, but will not be appropriate for warm climates.

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Surround yourself with qualified professionals, starting with an architect and a general contract, who can guide you through the addition process. Know what you want and what you're able to spend and save the changes for the finish phase of the addition. Get the details in writing and be prepared for some disruptions and delays along the way.

We're all familiar with the general stages of remodeling and construction. Everyone knows about the framing and the sheetrock and the plaster. Those are all the fun stages when you see a lot of progress quickly and when as a homeowner you are still enrapt with the emerging spaces and the new form your home is taking.

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