A sunroom is a functional part of your house that lets you enjoy the outdoor experience inside, from the comfort of your own house. For centuries, Americans have been building porches to enjoy the outside weather. But dust, bugs, and extreme weather can be a turn-off. A sunroom lets you enjoy the beautiful view of your garden and bright daylight inside your house.
Sunrooms improve the quality of your life year-round, and they potentially increase the value of your property. If you have been planning to add a sunroom to your house, this guide will help you understand the types of sunrooms and what you should keep in mind before hiring a contractor.
Types of Sunrooms
Depending on how you plan to use your sunroom throughout the year, you can choose a three-season sunroom or an all-season sunroom.
Three-season sunrooms feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors that allow 60-80% daylight into the room through the walls. The glass windows and doors are made of single-pane or double-pane insulated glass. However, they may not include a proper heating or cooling system, effective insulation, and three-point locking systems that require additional engineering.
These rooms cannot be used in extreme weather when the temperature outside is either too high or low, hence the name three-season sunroom. In Florida, the summers are hot with temperatures ranging from 30 °C to as high as 43 °C, therefore a three-season sunroom can only be used from spring to fall, for three seasons.
To be used all year round, it will be necessary to build a four-season sunroom.
The four-season sunrooms are engineered to include much more than a three-season sunroom. They are equipped with all the facilities such as HVAC, two-point locks, electric supply and are effectively insulated to keep the heat and cold out.
You can enjoy the comfort of your four-season sunroom all year round, so you can place your Christmas tree in the sunroom and spend most of your holiday season in your centrally heated sunroom. In summers you can sip on lemonades sitting in your sunroom on a hot day while the inside of your sunroom is cool and comfortable.
Custom-Built Sunrooms and Prefabricated Sunrooms
A sunroom can be built in two ways. First, it can be custom built from scratch using cement, wood, glass, aluminum frames, etc. The sunroom contractor would listen closely to how you want the sunroom to turn out and customizes everything according to your expectations.
Second, a sunroom can be built with a prefab sunroom kit that is designed and manufactured in a warehouse and shipped to your place. These kits are installed by contractors affiliated with the kit manufacturers. Because everything in a prefab kit is ready and requires assembly only, some homeowners who have technical knowledge build the sunroom themselves. The pieces come together like a puzzle and it is a great DIY project. However, these prefab kits are designed mostly for three-season sunrooms so they may or may not include electrical fittings or support HVAC.
Things to Consider When Building a Sunroom
True Room vs Supplemental Addition:
Depending on how you are planning to use your sunroom, a new sunroom can increase the value of your property. If you plan to have a sunroom to grow plants only, your sunroom will not have electric service or heating and cooling service and will be called supplemental sunroom that will not add much value to your house.
But if you plan to have a sunroom that is just like any other room in your house and will be used as a living room or a bedroom because it will have electric service, insulation, bug proofing, HVAC, and everything that makes it a functional part of your house, it will be considered a true room that significantly increases the value of your property.
Central Heating or Cooling Systems:
A sunroom that has the same heating and cooling service as the rest of the house makes your sunroom, not just a supplemental space but a true room addition. You can use the room as your living room, and it is not different from the rest of the house because you can spend time in your sunroom all year round. To have the HVAC facility in your sunroom, you may have to pay more, but it can make your sunroom a comfortable living space that stays at a preferable temperature despite the extreme outdoor weather.
Most custom-built sunrooms are wired for electricity so that the room can be used at night, on a hot/cold day and you can use electrical appliances in the sunroom. If you want to skip heating and cooling system support, you can opt for electric service in the sunroom only. You can install lights to use at night, include ceiling fans, and buy a space heater, split air conditioner, or a small swamp air cooler to adjust the temperature inside your sunroom.
Choosing the Right Sunroom Contractor
When choosing the sunroom contractor, it is essential to do your research and choose a contractor that has ample experience in building sunrooms because, if you chose the wrong sunroom contractor, a lot of things can go wrong, and you might end up wasting a lot of money. You should work with Deck Builders Jacksonville, to avoid problems such as:
- Unexperienced sunroom contractors may cut corners, take longer or the sunroom may not turn out as you expected. At Deck Builders Jacksonville, we guarantee customer satisfaction. We offer a unique blend of modern designs and professional workmanship that will turn your dream sunroom into reality.
- The contractor may not pay attention to leaks; the structure might not be sturdy or have other problems. But we pay special attention to details and make sure that the structure is 100% problem-free and matches your expectations as well.
- The contractor might use prefab pieces and the sunroom may look out of place. At ‘Deck Builders Jacksonville’, we build your sunroom from scratch and make it a highly personalized addition to your house that blends in.
- Some contractors may not be insured or licensed. Having an insured and licensed contractor means that you are protected against lawsuits from worker injuries that may occur at your property and your contractor complies with the rules and regulations regarding property additions.