Room For All Seasons

Room For All Seasons

While outdoor living is hot, many are also looking for ways to enjoy the great outdoors no matter the season and with some of the comforts that come with staying indoors. The solution? Create a sunroom or screened porch.

Expanded horizons
These ever-popular all-season spaces not only expand the time you can enjoy the great outdoors, they also expand the livable square footage of your home and value of your property.

Indoor vs. out
Your first decision is to decide what type of room you want. While industry insiders report a trend toward more elaborate sunrooms with heating and cooling systems and intricate trim work, many people want to enjoy the outdoors comfortably only during certain times of the year, so a screened room can adequately meets those needs.

Ideal orientation
When building a sunroom or porch, one major consideration is the orientation of the room to the rest of the house. If the room is facing south or west, you are likely to be battling heat, unless the room is truly efficient.

Cause and effect

Think your project through. The new space can affect other rooms in the house. For example, if you have a solid roof on your new room, all the rooms behind that space are likely to get darker.

Updating the existing

When upgrading an existing screened patio or sunroom, you may find that some aspects of its current construction are no longer up to code. If this is the case, a contractor should address these issues and indicate how the changes will impact the cost to upgrade. Energy-efficient glass, for example, is one key consideration that can improve both the way the room looks, comfort level and your wallet.

Leslie Williams Johnson contributed to this article

sunroom situation
Before adding a sunroom, you need to make a few decisions about placement and how you want it to function with the flow of your home.
➤    Look at the orientation of the yard in relation to your proposed site. You want a good view that is unobstructed.
➤    Understand where the room will be attached to the rest of the home and how it will affect the look and feel.
➤    Does your local building code have a setback requirement that will interfere?
➤    When designing the sunroom, take the architectural style and design of your home into consideration.
➤    Building a sunroom requires a totally different method of construction. Hire a professional who has specific experience building sunrooms.

­—National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)

a little lux
With all the added hours being spent in multi-season spaces, many are seeking a cozy atmosphere, and they aren’t stopping at furniture. Here are a few popular add-ons for either your sunroom or porch:
➤    Fireplace or pit
➤    Kitchenette/bar
➤    Media elements: TV, stereo, etc.
➤    Game room elements: pool table, darts, etc.
➤    Water features/fountains
➤    Pool or spa
➤    Gym equipment
➤    Enhanced lighting
➤    Accessories

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