While sunrooms date back as far as the 17th century, they gained popularity in the 19th century when materials such as glass panes and metal became more affordable. They started out as porches with large windows, but dust and dirt made maintenance a headache.
Today, sunrooms have evolved into the perfect way to unwind and relax in front of a beautiful view of the outdoors without being exposed to the elements. During the day, you have the luxury of enjoying plenty of natural light, while at night you can enjoy an uninterrupted view of the stars.
Modern sunrooms often have additional comfort features such as central heating and air circulation thanks to their connection to the rest of the house. Their versatile construction makes glass ceilings possible, further contributing to the warm, airy and open feel. You can even incorporate curtains, chandeliers and a variety of other comfort features.
What Can I Use a Sunroom for?
One of the many things that make a sunroom great is that they have almost limitless functionality. The abundant amount of sunshine makes them ideal for an indoor garden. The benefit here is that you can grow a variety of different plants and not have to worry about them being damaged by pests, weather or any other outdoor elements.
If you don’t have a green thumb, you can turn your sunroom into an entertainment area for get-togethers or simply create a personal space for yourself with a couch, hammock or bench and a bookshelf. Add a fireplace, coffee table and a shelving unit for speakers or a television and you have yourself the perfect space to relax after a long day. Sunrooms also make excellent art studios, as there is plenty of natural light.
Using a Sunroom All Year Round
Lower quality sunrooms are not always suitable for use once the weather gets colder. Cheaper sunrooms with polycarbonate roofs can’t keep the heat in and in winter, they are very cold. They are also unusable in hot weather, as they heat up fast and turn into a glass oven.
The best way to make your sunroom usable in every season is to pay extra for a quality installation. The roof is where most of the heat is lost, so look for a sunroom with a well-insulated roof. Talk to any companies you are considering using and find out what materials they use for a roof. Glass roofs are attractive, but too much glass has similar problems to polycarbonate. For a sunroom that you can use all year round, it is worth paying extra for a solid roof, perhaps one with roof lights to let extra light in.
If you want to heat your sunroom in winter, underfloor heating is a good option. This can be installed when the concrete floor is laid but you can add it retrospectively if you choose to install tiles. The other option is to fit a stove, which can be used to burn logs and other fuel. However, this requires professional installation, so don’t try and do it yourself.
What Materials do I Need?
Sunrooms generally feature a brick or concrete base to support the large glass panes. Insulated glass or storm windows are ideal for the “walls” of a sunroom as they trap heat while still letting in an ideal level of sunlight. Depending on the design, you can choose from a standard roof similar to that of your home, or go for a glass roof.
As for flooring, tiles or concrete are ideal to prevent water from seeping in. Of course, you can always add an additional layer of wood for a more homely feel. If you’re looking for a cost-effective and reliable way to build a sunroom in your home, check out The Home Design Group. They offer free in-home consultations and a variety of great services.
How Can I Decorate My Sunroom?
With a sunroom, there are really no limits. While it has an outdoorsy feel, a sunroom is completely protected from the elements. This means you can incorporate any type of furniture or decorations that you desire. Some people have even turned their sunrooms into gyms, swimming pools, dining rooms, restrooms, and bedrooms.
As you can see, a sunroom is a perfect solution for adding more space to your home without compromising on what you can do with that space. Regardless of the type of space you want, whether it’s a dining room or a place to relax, a sunroom is sure to do the trick.