Having a porch or patio is something of a gift. Without even realizing it, it can extend your house in ways that make it much bigger and gives you a lot more pleasant to live in. For example, you can turn your porch or patio into a four-season sunroom that can be used and enjoyed year-round. Imagine a room that is cozy and warm in the winter, or breezy and cool in the summer with lots of windows to enjoy the view! It’s a perfect spot to have your morning coffee while listening to the birds and leaves rustle in the wind. But, before you decide to transform your space into a sunroom, you have to take a few things into consideration. In this article, I will go over several things to keep in mind before you begin the construction.
Heating and cooling
To be able to enjoy your room all year round means having to consider keeping it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. What you have to keep in mind is that you are going to have a lot of windows in there that will heat the place up in the summer. These windows will help keep it warm in the winter, too, but it isn’t always as warm as you would like to be able to keep comfortable. To combat this, you have to have a system for every season. In the winter, a small ethanol fireplace is ideal since it will heat the room without it getting too hot like a wood fireplace would. You can see some examples at the Soothing Company. In the summer, you definitely will at least need a ceiling fan or two and the ability to slide those windows open to allow some air to breeze through. Otherwise, you will need to have some blinds that block the direct sun that can then be opened when it passes overhead and is not as intense.
Where to position it
If you already have a porch or patio that you plan to transform then the issue of where to place it has already been solved. Otherwise, you can be more selective about the space so you can get the most out of it. The best idea is to position it facing South to get the most amount of sunlight possible. Find the part of your house that is the most southerly facing and start there. This is if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, of course. If you live in the South then you may want to position the room to face more northerly or at least be in a shady spot so the sun doesn’t overheat your room and make it uncomfortable to use. Also, decide when you plan to mainly use the room when trying to configure it. For instance, if you face it East, then you will have the sun in the morning. Face it West and enjoy it in the afternoon.
What material you decide to use to make it is going to mainly depend on your budget. Wood is going to be the most expensive material to frame the room. And if you want the roof to be glass as well as the walls, then this also adds to the cost. You can spend less by using vinyl for the supports and frames. It is cheap but also strong and durable. Aluminum or galvanized steel are also options but it will cost more than the vinyl. Double glazed windows are a must unless you want to be heating or cooling the outside. Anything less will be the weak point of insulating your sunroom.
This is your chance for your sunroom to reflect your personality. It is the fun room of the house and can be decorated with industrial chic items like vintage signs or a country-style house with loads of natural elements. Patio furniture works as well as traditional so you have a lot of options for couches and chairs. Though, it is best to be understated than to have it be over the top since it is supposed to be a room where you go to unwind and enjoy the room for what it is. Let the light be the star of the show so adding too much will take away from the space. Lots of plants are always a good idea and they will thrive in the sun-drenched space. Get plants that do like the sun as some fragile leafed plants may dry out. It is like a greenhouse, after all.