“It’s amazing what an additional three or four feet coupled with windows can do to transform the livability of a home,” says Al Anderson, President of Four Seasons Sunrooms.
“Since we began in 1973, we have built everything from completely finished sunrooms that earn the Energy Star rating to basic aluminum frame sunrooms that rely solely on solar collection as a method of heating,” added Anderson.
Today’s advanced technologies used to build a sunroom have changed everything from construction materials and methods, giving homeowner’s many options. One of the reasons customers are surprised is because of an out-dated perspective of the market. In the mid-70’s, aluminum porches were introduced as an add-on to a home with the only method of heating being a passive solar collector. In those days, simple aluminum and glass structures relied on sun to heat the room, but were lacking in terms of managing heat gain and/or loss. While there are some products such as that still on the market, the reality is there are a multitude of choices available that provide many more options than traditional construction.
“In fact, when most customers see the variety of building materials and how the designs can cater to the uses of their addition, it takes them a while to digest all of the options and understand how they want to take advantage. Often times, because of the diversity of materials and styles, people have choices they didn’t realize they had. That’s when the process becomes fun,” Anderson smiles.
Anderson recommends the following before you build a sunroom:
Think Windows & Glass — any addition to a home should include considering a full compliment of windows. Windows and glass walls open up your home and create an entirely new dynamic for use and enjoyment. Look for an Energy Star rated product. This will save you money in the long run. Consider sun patterns and how best to manage it’s seasonal and time of day properties. For example, using glazed glass technology helps to maximize heating and cooling capabilities. If you are using glass, be sure to consider safety and durability issues.
Consider the impact of an addition
Usability/Flow — Do you want to extend your sunroom from a kitchen or dining area or add a complete room?
Heating — An extension is thermally included in your home and has a minimal, if any impact on your heating/cooling bill. A more stand-alone structure, if it is to be used year round, will probably require some type of environmental control.
Home Value —Generally, an extension that features thermal inclusion enhances the value of your home. A stand-alone structure can be viewed as a positive or a negative depending on the buyer.
Construction methods can save your yard and landscaping. Using pier footings supported and insulated by foam instead of a concrete slab will save you money.
An addition of a sunroom gives you an area that is light, comfortable, and adds value to your home!