Unfortunately, time outside was limited each year because of
squally weather conditions, bugs and other pesky annoyances.
In order to combat the outside elements, homeowners started to
screen in their porches and patios, some with removable windows for
use during the winter. This solution allowed them to stay out
longer, provided privacy and shelter, but did little to combat dirt
and pollen. Time outside was still limited.
After World War II, thousands of single-family homes went up, and
remodeling companies developed ways to enclose a patio or deck,
which extended the outdoor season. Lightweight, single-paned glass
in aluminum construction with a roof provided protection from
weather and bugs and gave the homeowners extra space.
It was in the 1960s that enclosed patios gained momentum.
Building materials improved, with maintenance-free vinyl and
high-tech glass to minimize heat gain. Today, an Internet search
leads to thousands of websites for homebuilders or do-it-yourself
homeowners to explore the options for an addition to their house to
keep out rain, snow, wind, bugs, animals and noise, while still
being able to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
A homeowner can choose from various styles of sunrooms:
, which began as outbuildings to country
houses and stately homes, for gardening, soon were added to
hospitals for sunbathing or therapeutic exposure to light.
Doctors frequently advised patients to spend as much time as
possible in the solariums. Even those who were healthy could
hardly resist spending time in the warmth of the sunlight.
Studios are easily adaptable to complement the décor
of homes designed in either a complex or simple style. The
single sloped roof easily works with most single-story
Cathedral sunrooms add height and appeal with vaulted
ceilings. They make a perfect "great room" to host family
gatherings or holiday parties.
Conservatories, originated by wealthy landowners in
the 16th century, were presumed to "conserve nature." The
homeowner in colder climates could grow orange and lemon
trees all year. Today, conservatories can be built in the
Victorian or Georgian style. Ideal for the stargazer,
conservatories are popular any time of day.
California sunrooms, ideal for multilevel homes,
employ a split-level design to help add modern interest to
Of course, along with these different styles, homeowners can
design their own signature sunrooms. A distinct design can be
integrated to match the unique architecture of the home.
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Like constructing any room for a house, there are things that
need to be considered before adding a sunroom:
With so many
styles available, homeowners must
determine how they are going to use the room and how they
want it to look on the house. A manufactured sunroom is less
likely to fit the architecture of a house than a room
constructed by a sunroom builder.
vary in different areas, and a
do-it-yourself homeowner needs to be aware of them or hire a
contractor who is going to obtain the building permits and
schedule any necessary inspections.
Like with any building endeavor, a budget needs to be set
for the sunroom project. Style of room, foundation
requirements, type of roof, quality of glass, contractors,
construction obstructions, permits and warranties need to be
considered when pricing a sunroom.
Local homeowners agree that a sunroom has been a fantastic
addition to their home. Enhancing curb appeal and the value of the
home, the addition of a sunroom can be measured in dollars as well
as comfort. With the installation of heating and cooling, it is a
room that is used year-round and often.
Interestingly, in today’s technical world, sunrooms are typically
found without television and electronics.
It is known that ultraviolet light exposure, in small amounts, is
associated with health benefits including vitamin D production and
improved moods. Sunroom owners are in agreement that the extra
amount of sunlight they are exposed to helps their daily outlook.
The sunrooms give them a feeling of being outside that helps boost
their energy and keeps them charged for everyday tasks and
Whether relaxing or entertaining, homeowners find that the
sunroom is a great place to exercise, read a book, enjoy a cup of
coffee, get rid of worries, share a laugh with neighbors and
friends, or just be in contact with nature.
[By LISA RAMLOW]