A sunroom lets you enjoy the natural light and feel of the outdoors, with all the convenience of being inside. With large windows and an expansive view, a sunroom can feel like an extension of the outdoors while keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These features make a four-season sunroom an attractive home addition for many homeowners.
The possibilities are endless for this space—use it for entertaining, a breakfast nook, a home office, or simply a room for reading and sipping your morning coffee in peace. Before your project gets underway, however, there are several important decisions to consider. Read on for tips on making your sunroom addition planning go smoothly.
Budgeting for Your Sunroom Addition
First, consider your finances and determine your budget for the project. In Pennsylvania, the cost of a sunroom addition averages between $75,000 and $150,000 depending on the size, complexity, and price level of selected materials. Setting a budget will help you and your contractor define the scope of your project and determine what features are in your price range.
Write down your priorities in order of most to least important, so if unexpected costs hit your budget, you’ll still achieve your top priorities. The right contractor will keep you in the loop on any plan adjustments, reallocations, or additional expenses, but don’t forget to set aside an additional 15 to 20 percent for the unexpected.
If you still aren’t sure what your budget should be, we can help. Once you’ve established your budget, put it in a spreadsheet and monitor your spending so you can stay on track.
Decide How to Use Your Home Addition
Four-season sunrooms are essentially a part of the house: they’re enclosed in glass, are wrapped in siding, utilize temperature control, and have nice flooring. They can be wonderful places to relax and enjoy the view with protection from bugs and inclement weather. But as with any design, form follows function. It’s important to decide how your sunroom will be used before you dive into aesthetic details.
Will your sunroom be for relaxation, entertainment, or work? Consider how much square footage you will need to effectively accomplish your purpose. Where the sunroom is placed in relation to the rest of your house is also key to how the space will be used. For example, if it’s accessed from your bedroom, it likely won’t be used for entertaining or dining. Will the space overlook a pool, backyard, or side yard? Consider how much direct sunlight the room will get. Aligning the sunroom as close to true south as possible can provide the maximum heating and lighting potential. Also, visualize the sight lines from the street to ensure that the placement of the new structure won’t impact your home’s curb appeal.
Consider Features for Your Sunroom Addition
Your sunroom’s function will guide your choices for materials and finishes. When making your selections, it’s important that you keep the design in harmony with your home’s existing style–both exterior and interior. The sunroom’s flooring, furniture, and overall design should complement the rest of the home. With that being said, choosing the aesthetics still allows an opportunity to flex your design creativity in a way that truly embodies your vision for the new space. A variety of window, door, and flooring options will also help control heating and cooling costs for the room.
The beauty of a sunroom is its abundance of natural light that blurs the boundaries of indoors and outdoors. Think about what combination of window options you’d like to use, such as sliding doors or windows, skylights, frosted glass, warped glass, or glass grids, which are attractive, easy-to-clean options. Using thermal glass will capture the sun’s energy to provide heat, and vented skylights can aid ventilation while allowing sunlight into the room. However, building a glass sunroom addition doesn’t mean the entire room should be glass. Some insulation will be required to keep the room usable in colder months.
Doors and Entryways
Doors and entryways impact both the flow and function of the room. For instance, are you going to have access from the sunroom to a back deck or patio that will require an exterior door? Will you keep the entryway from the sunroom to the rest of the home open, or would you prefer to incorporate a feature such as French doors or sliding doors? Think about whether you want entryways more fluid or closed off.
When choosing exterior doors, look for those with screens that can be removed or covered. This feature will help with ventilation during the summer months.
Flooring will also impact the form and function of the space, and there are a number of options suiting every taste and style. Consider materials such as wood, tile, carpet, or plank and how each will withstand the intended use of your sunroom addition. Keep in mind that stone tiles will absorb heat from the sun and keep the room warmer during the winter.
Finishing touches will bring your sunroom to life, such as vaulted versus standard ceilings, paint colors, moldings, trim, siding, lighting, decking, and ceiling fans. These features will help produce the look and feel you want to achieve.
Choosing the Right Home Contractor
The right contractor will ensure your sunroom addition comes together as smoothly as possible. To start your project on the right path, download our free eBook, created to help you choose a professional contractor. The eBook will guide you through what questions to ask your prospective contractor, what history to look for in a reputable company, and the level of customer service you should expect.
If you choose to partner with Tilghman Builders, we’ll work closely with you throughout the design-build process to ensure your four-season sunroom addition is completed precisely to your vision and expectations. Our goal is to make the addition seamless on both the interior and exterior, as if it was a part of the original house: the rooflines will line up, placement will make sense, and we will recommend all the right features for your project.
If you’re unsure of where to begin, we’ll use our decades of experience to make recommendations and guide you through the process from beginning to completion. Rest assured that we take the stress out of home additions by observing all zoning laws, obtaining any necessary permits, and scheduling and communicating all inspections.
To see a sunroom addition built for one of our happy clients, check out our Montgomery County case study. This Meadowbrook family wanted to add a 16 x 16 sq. ft. sunroom adjacent to their existing kitchen. The homeowner selected unique features for the sunroom such as a cathedral ceiling, floor-to-ceiling beadboard, faux beams, and wood plank floor tiles. We joined the sunroom to a new outdoor space featuring a covered deck, walkway, and paver patio with firepit that the family will enjoy for years to come.
Tilghman Builders has served homeowners like you in Bucks County and Montgomery County for more than 40 years, specializing in home additions and renovations. If you’re considering a sunroom addition, contact us for a consultation. We look forward to creating a space you’ll love.