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A sunroom is an enclosed room that uses windows and glass walls to take the most advantage of available sun. There are many different types of sunroom designs, from basic versions with a simple bank of windows to conservatory-like spaces with glass walls and ceilings. Choosing the best of the many available sunroom designs will depend on budget, size, and intended use. Understanding some of the different sunroom designs can help narrow down options to the perfect choice.
Many basic sunrooms are available as prefabricated kits. These can be great for those who want to add a sunroom as an addition onto a house, but do not want to hire a building contractor to perform the work. These type of sunroom designs are typically aluminum-framed glass additions with many customizable roof, wall, and size options. It is important to consider the type of flooring desired for a kit sunroom, as most models are meant to be built on an existing floor. Another major factor to consider with kit sunroom designs is the availability and necessity of power, heat, and plumbing in the addition.
Building a sunroom from a kit or prefabricated plan may be less expensive than having professional addition put on the house, but brings its own challenges. Basic carpentry and construction skills are required to put together a sunroom, and failure to follow instructions exactly can lead to dangerous problems in the future. On the other hand, for confident builders, this can be a great family project that can result in considerable pride of ownership when completed. If this is the first large building project attempted, consider choosing a smaller model to make the process faster and less complicated.
More complex sunroom designs are often best left to professional builders, who can handle even the most dramatic and unusual requirements. This may allow greater customization of materials, as well as co-ordination between flooring, wall, and ceiling elements. Some sunrooms incorporate interesting features, such as waterfalls, built in hot tubs, or fireplaces. A contractor can help ensure these elements are installed safely and efficiently.
Choosing interior sunroom designs will depend a lot on the intended use of the room. Some people use sunrooms as conservatories for plants, particularly in cold areas where plants would otherwise die outside. A conservatory-style sunroom may need water outlets as well as flooring that can handle high moisture levels, such as tile.
A sunroom can also serve as a cozy breakfast or dining nook that offers beautiful sunshine while protecting from elements such as wind, chilly mornings, and hungry insects. For dining oriented sunroom designs, make sure there is a power supply for toasters and coffee makers, and consider adding a sideboard or china cabinet for easy storage of dishes and silverware.
As an all-purpose relaxation room, the possibilities for interior design are nearly endless. Bear in mind that low furniture is generally preferable, as high bookshelves or other tall pieces could block the sunlight. Cozy wicker seating, indoor/outdoor carpeting, heating and cooling systems, and even a sound system can help turn a sunroom into a peaceful retreat for any time of the year.