Cost-Effective Sun Rooms

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Adding a sunroom to your home will not only increase the total amount of usable space in your home, it can also help you save -- and make -- money. Building and furnishing a sunroom doesn't have to cost a fortune, either. With smart design selections and savvy strategies for selecting materials, you can add an attractive, functional sunroom that will be durable and cost effective.

Uses

  • Augment the usual usage of a sunroom -- as a sunlit spot for reading, sipping coffee and growing decorative plants -- with uses that help you save or even make money. Grow your own herbs, sprouts and salad greens in windowsill trays. This can be a substantial cost-saver if you eat a lot of greens or buy expensive fresh herbs. Outfit the sunroom with a yoga area, complete with mat, bottled water, relaxing music and a fountain, and cancel your pricey yoga-studio membership. Set up a storage and work area dedicated to a craft hobby of yours and turn it into a small business. Treat that area of the sunroom as your office.

Financial Benefits

  • While building a sunroom costs money, of course, in the long term the expenditure may save you money. A sunroom increases the overall square footage of a home and adds an attractive lifestyle element, both of which are likely to increase the home's sale value. In addition, a well-placed, well-insulated sunroom can absorb substantial amounts of solar energy and disperse it throughout the house, reducing the amount of energy needed to keep the house warm in the winter. Conversely, sunrooms also help keep houses cool in the summer. Invest in an experienced sunroom designer to ensure you get an optimal design for your sunroom.

Construction

  • Save money on the construction of your sunroom by using recycled or reclaimed materials, building for longevity, and making use of materials you already have. For example, purchase reclaimed architectural materials like moldings from a salvage yard or shop. Use tile left over from remodeling your bathroom to tile the floor of the sun room. Pick the most durable exterior materials and finishes for your area's climate so the sunroom will last as long as possible without needing major repairs.

Furnishing

  • Furnish your sun room in a cost-effective manner by selecting low-cost, durable and classically styled furnishings. Common sunroom furnishings include chairs, side tables and shelving for plants. Decorate with timeless, functional style in mind rather than succumbing to the lure of trendy decor that will look dated in a few years, prompting a costly redecoration effort. For example, paint the walls a neutral shade, such as white or taupe. Light, "warm" colors will appear to amplify the sunlight, making the sun room seem even brighter throughout the day. Skip brand-new, cheaply constructed furniture in favor of used, high-quality furniture made from long-lasting materials like leather and heavy wood.

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