How to Build a Sunroom

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A sunroom offers the homeowner a warm place to experience nature when being outside is not practical. It is an ideal environment for a variety of houseplants and raises property values as well. Here is a reliable and safe way to build a sunroom.

  • Evaluate your home. Determine where the ideal place for a sunroom is. For best results, sunrooms should face within 15 degrees of solar south. Solar south is different from compass south. To find solar south, contact your local weather service.

  • Design your sunroom. To get ideas, look at pictures of sunrooms online or in catalogs. Consider both style and appearance, but also difficulty of building.

  • Decide on materials. Do-it-yourself sunrooms are often not as efficient as professionally built ones. To balance this out, use energy-efficient materials such as slab foundations with at least one brick wall.

  • Watch your windows. When deciding on your windows, check the U-value, which measures the window's ability to conduct heat. Lower numbers are more energy efficient and therefore often more desirable.

  • Find a handyman. Hire plumbers and electricians to get the sunroom up and running with all the amenities you desire. It is also highly recommended that you hire a professional to lay the foundation.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sunrooms kits are available, designed by professionals for their energy efficiency and reliability. These kits also reduce the number of small details that need to be considered and may easily be missed by the inexperienced designer.
  • Sunrooms go by many names. They are often referred to as solariums, greenhouses, patio rooms or conservatories.
  • Slanted-roof sunrooms that lean on the main structure are the easiest to build. They will also offer your home the most heat in winter, as they share the largest wall space of the different styles.
  • A kit will greatly reduce the amount of work necessary to build the room. Kits will come with boards that are pre-sloped to the specifications required for the specific room design.

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