Sunrooms combine the best features of indoor comfort and the openness of a porch or patio. While every home could benefit from a sunroom, taking the time to learn about the different types of sunrooms can help you find the style that best compliments your home. Here is a comparison of four common sunroom configurations to help you find the best style to suit your needs.
Screen-enclosed sunrooms are an excellent choice if you prefer fresh outdoor air to indoor air from your HVAC system. Screened sunrooms provide a clear view of your yard while still protecting you from insects. Screened sunrooms are typically the fastest option to install, and their lightweight aluminum frames make them a great choice for balcony sunrooms.
Screen-enclosed sunrooms provide a low level of protection from the elements. A glass-enclosed sunroom will likely be the best choice if you intend to spend time in your sunroom while it is raining or during the winter. Many homeowners choose to install a screened sunroom first, and then add glass panels if they find that they spend a lot of time in their sunroom.
If you want the simplest sunroom option, consider enclosing your existing porch with screens or glass panels instead of building onto your home. Adding an enclosure to your porch is the least expensive way to create an outside living space. In most cases, your porch will already be in an ideal location to provide an excellent outdoor view. As an added benefit, a glass porch enclosure with a lockable door provides a simple way to improve the security of your home without major construction.
Porch enclosures are the least insulated type of sunroom, making them best suited for spring, autumn, and cooler summer days. Window configuration options will also be limited to what will fit the layout of your porch. For many homeowners, these tradeoffs are worth the fast, inexpensive installation and improved appearance of their home.
All-season sunrooms are the best choice for homeowners who want the highest degree of climate control and indoor accommodations. These sunrooms are often constructed using conventional materials like wood and drywall and may also use an extension of your roof. All-season sunrooms are fully insulated and connected to your HVAC system, so they will stay at the same temperature as the rest of your home year-round.
Many homeowners like to install carpet or tile flooring in their all-season sunrooms and decorate them with couches, recliners, or other indoor furniture. These sunrooms are fully connected to the wiring of your home, allowing you to install televisions and other appliances.
Because all-season sunrooms are simply an extension of your home, they may not be the best option for homeowners who are looking for an outdoor, patio-like space. However, windows and glass doors can typically be installed in any configuration, allowing you to make the space as open as possible without sacrificing comfort.
If you want the most open sunroom available, a solarium is the right choice for you. Solariums consist of a large aluminum frame with glass panels that makes up both the walls and roof. Solariums provide an unobstructed view of your surroundings, making them an excellent option for stargazing on clear nights.
Many solariums are equipped with both polypropylene weatherstripping and dual-pane glass with insulated glazing. This type of glass holds in heat during the winter months while also deflecting a portion of the summer heat. You will be able to enjoy your solarium on most days of the year, especially if you furnish it with a space heater and fans.
Adding a sunroom enclosure to your home can give you the perfect place to visit with guests during the day and relax in the evening. Use this comparison to help turn your outdoor living space vision into a reality.