The weather has been super hot here in Colorado this year, and we’re only halfway through summer! But, before we know it, the leaves and the temperatures will fall. Looking for a way to extend your outdoor season? Of all the add-ons you can get for your Boulder home, a sunroom is one of the very best. Not only is it a beautiful addition, but it also adds functionality and value to your home.
What is a Sunroom?
A sunroom, A.K.A a solarium, three or four-season room, sun porch, or garden room, is a specific kind of home addition designed to let in plenty of daylight while sheltering you from adverse weather and bugs. Imagine yourself unwinding with a beverage and a good book in a room filled with sunlight and cozy furniture.
Why is a Sunroom a good investment?
Colorado is one of the sunniest states in the US, with an estimated 300 days of sunshine annually! A sunroom is a perfect addition to any Colorado home. A new sunroom is not only a cost-effective space for your family to grow, but it also increases your property’s ROI (Return on Investment) and has health benefits! Here are a few benefits a sunroom has to offer:
- Increased space and functionality
- Higher property value: As most sunrooms require a new roof, this addition to your home will increase its value considerably.
- Potentially lower electric bills: The sun’s rays will warm up the windows to your sunroom, providing you with effective and energy-efficient heating in the winter, and in the summer, provide airflow with all the windows that will open, in addition to bug protection with the added screens in those windows. During those winter months, it provides a barrier to your existing home, increasing your home’s energy efficiency. Additionally, your home will be flooded with hours of natural sunlight in that area, eliminating the need to turn on lights!
- Health benefits: Natural sunlight boosts your mood, increases energy levels, and improves focus.
Although any construction project will be time-consuming, a sunroom addition is much less disruptive than remodeling other parts of your home that get used daily, like a bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen. A sunroom addition adds space to your home without displacing or inconveniencing your family. Building your sunroom typically takes eight weeks from start to finish. However, we encourage homeowners to anticipate engineering plans, permitting, supply chain issues, and other logistics adding to their time frame.
The amount of time your project will take and which materials to use will be determined by the type of sunroom you choose to add.
Here are the 4 main sunroom options:
- 3-Season Sunrooms are home additions enclosed with floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows. This is one of the most popular choices, and you can see an example of our work here.
- 4-Season Sunrooms are designed with year-round use in mind. These rooms offer the best insulation of all four options. Depending on your preferred sunroom uses, they make for great all-season fun, work, or leisure!
- Screen Rooms are great when you want a balmy breeze to reach you or if you enjoy being semi-outdoors. This option offers the lightest protection from the elements. It is excellent for summertime entertainment or morning coffee with your favorite plants.
- Solariums are entirely glass except for the structural frame. The glass ceiling makes for unparalleled natural light. Textured or stained glass could be added to select ceiling panels to give an artistic touch without diminishing your outside view. If you’re interested in a Solarium but concerned about the slightly warmer climate, we can provide triple-pane windows and R-21 insulation to provide the best possible climate control.
Read on to start planning your year-round oasis.
Why Summer is the Best Time to Start Thinking About Your Sunroom
Summer is the perfect season to start your sunroom, so you can continue enjoying the great outdoors all year. During the summer, you likely prefer to enjoy the outdoors with your friends and family as much as possible. While you’re out on the deck, our team can get your sunroom built in time for cooler weather. Summer in Colorado allows contractors to work longer hours and finish the project in a shorter time.
Here are 9 considerations when building a sunroom:
- Uses: Will your sunroom be primarily for relaxing, chatting, eating, or enjoying hobbies?
- Materials: The type of sunroom you choose will determine which materials – glass, wood, vinyl, aluminum, etc. – are best for your project.
- Orientation of windows/sunlight: The sunroom will heat itself if conditions are right, making a direct connection to your existing heating system an option or adding ceiling heat blow options.
- Location of nearby trees: This will determine whether you will get winter sun or summer shade.
- Additional heat and cooling: Will you need it? Whether you opt for a three-season room, four-season room, solarium, etc., your sunroom may require extra insulation for year-round use.
- Roof overhangs or window treatments for summer shading: Sunroom roofs can be constructed from either solid materials or glass, each having its advantages and disadvantages.
- Type of flooring: Look for durability. Because they are exposed to the elements and foot traffic coming from outside, sunroom floors need to be sturdy and moisture-resistant.
- Ventilation: All sunrooms need it. Consider skylights and or ceiling fans. Pro tip: If your sunroom doesn’t have much headroom, your remodeling contractor can install a ceiling fan that lays flush with the ceiling.