What is a Sunroom?

Do you love the outdoors? Of course you do! Sunrooms offer a great way to experience the relaxation of the outdoors without having to deal with all the things that make the outdoors uncomfortable. Extreme heat or cold, rain, snow, those pesky little bugs, noise, pollution and other nuisances often make us stay inside. A sunroom provides the comfort of the indoors with the benefits of the outdoors.

For those of you more technical, The textbook definition of a sunroom is a room or porch that is designed to allow as much sunlight in as possible. Sunrooms can use a large number of windows and glass panels on the walls and the roof. Homeowners can choose how much sunlight to let in by incorporating solid roof panels and solid wall sections into the construction of their sunroom. It is also referred to as a patio room, solarium, or patio enclosure. Sunrooms should be designed to fit the style and look of your home. Sunroom additions are a popular means of home improvement. They are an affordable way of adding space to your home. Sunrooms let you enjoy the outdoors in comfort. Depending on the style you choose, your sunroom can be a 3-season or year round room, increasing the enjoyment and resale value of your home.

Evolution of the Sunroom

Think of a sunroom as a modern-day front porch! Farmhouses and urban row homes featured a covered porch as a place to sit and relax at the end of the day. With the suburbanization of America, families moved to their back patios for their rest and relaxation. But rain made patios un-usable, and bothersome bugs sent people running for cover. This motivated many families to cover and screen in their patio.

As the window industry evolved, it became possible to purchase storm windows and attach them together to enclose a patio, getting even more use from the outdoor space. In response to homeowners’ desire for a better looking, more functional outdoor room, the patio room industry was born.

During the 1960’s, companies developed affordable systems to enclose a patio or deck, offering design, installation, and full service warranties.  Patio rooms featured lightweight, engineered roof panels, single pane glass, and aluminum construction.

These versatile patio rooms extended the outdoor season, provided protection from rain and bugs, and gave homeowners extra space. As consumers became more energy conscious and building technology advanced, patio and sunrooms became available with insulated glass, vinyl framework, and more elaborate designs.

How a Sunroom can be used

Sunrooms offer a great way to add space to your home. Almost all homes are ideal candidates for a sunroom, and sunrooms are custom built to match the look of your home. A sunroom can be used as a living room, family room, recreational room, home office, breakfast nook, or any other number of living spaces. Sunrooms can increase the size of an existing space or enclose an open area, such as a porch or patio. Sunrooms are purpose-built, so that they let in only the amount of sunlight that you desire. Sunrooms are also a great alternative to “conventional” wood construction as they are typically built in days rather than weeks.

Here are just some of the many ways homeowners enjoy using a sunroom:

  • Extra space to your home
  • Bring the outdoors inside
  • Breakfast Room
  • Dining Area
  • Playroom for kids
  • Place to work
  • Exercise room
  • Place to read, relax and nap
  • Place to enjoy a spa
  • Entertaining for holidays, and special occasions
  • Place for pets to enjoy sun and fresh air
  • Sunny place to grow plants
  • Watch TV, listen to music
  • Game room

Size and Location of Sunroom

First think about how you will use your new sunroom. Then, decide on the best location. Finally, decide on a size that will best fit your needs. Developing a budget may you help answer these questions.

Deciding the optimum location for your sunroom depends on how your sunroom will be used, and on your regional area. Sunlight exposure varies throughout the day and directional orientations will yield different effects. However, most homeowners install their sunrooms to the back of their homes.

Most people use sunrooms for leisure, relaxation, and casual dining. Many sunrooms are built off the kitchen or family room because these are the most often used rooms in the house. Consider the traffic flow of your home when deciding where to position a sunroom.