When you have a sunroom, less-than-ideal weather conditions can’t stop you from enjoying your surrounding landscape. A step up from an exposed deck or patio, sunrooms provide shelter from rain, wind and bugs, essentially extending the outdoor season — hence the term four seasons sunrooms.
There are no limits when it comes to uses for this room. Commonly, people take advantage of the plentiful sunlight and use them as informal conservatories or a garden room. If you don’t have a green thumb, you might use it as an additional indoor living space or create a relaxed outdoor feeling with a screened-in porch. With plenty of sunroom ideas to draw inspiration from, it’s helpful to know some of the basics about these structures before you start your addition or remodel.
What materials are Sunrooms built with?
A combination of brick, cement and wood often make up the base, or “knee wall”, which supports the large windows. Clear insulated glass or storm windows are used for the majority of the walls — they allow the maximum amount of sunlight into the space while also trapping heat. With a screened-in porch, the glass might be replaced with window screens to allow for airflow in warmer climates.
Roofing on a solarium can vary. Depending on the preference of the homeowner, the roof may be consistent with their conventional roofing, or could also be glass/plastic panels that let in lots of light. If you’re willing to pay a bit more, these panels are available with coating designed to reflect ultraviolet rays. Flooring in sunrooms was traditionally tiled to deal with possible leaks, but improved building methods allow for all types of flooring to be installed.
What type of Sunroom Furniture do I need?
Chances are your sunroom furniture will see a high amount of direct sunlight. Keep this in mind when choosing pieces, since some fabrics and materials can quickly fade or become uncomfortably hot. Outdoor furniture will generally stand up well to the heat and light exposure of sun rooms and patio enclosures, but don’t be afraid to mix and match with indoor pieces as well. Wicker and seagrass are good options, while you might want to steer away from plastic or metal pieces. Installing shades or blinds is a smart way to prolong the life of your sunroom furniture when the space is not in use.
Can I use my Sunroom as a Conservatory?
Absolutely. If your solarium roof lets in light, a conservatory or garden room is an excellent use for the space. You will want to fill it with plants that like lots of sunlight and are resistant to temperature change (conservatories can be hot during the day and chilly at night). Succulents and more exotic plants tend to do well, but if you are prepared to pay close attention to your plants, you can grow most varieties in a sun room, including fruits and vegetables.
Now get out there, experiment and make your sunroom ideas a reality!