Sunrooms and Sun Porches

Many people are interested in adding  three season rooms or sun rooms to their home.  An additional room can serve many functions, including entertainment, dining space, children’s play space, office space,or just a fun outdoor space for the entire family.   I field many questions about the design and construction of outdoor  sun rooms/sun porches.  Today the market is filled with companies advertising  rooms made with prefabricated aluminum covered panels.   This type of construction may have its place, but almost always results in an “added on” type of look.   One of the most common questions I field about sun rooms  is “how can you make the room look like it was built as part of our house?”   There are many design and material issues that need to be addressed in order to make a new room look like part of the house, and each one should be planned in detail to support the overall goal.  In a custom designed sun room the room can be tailored to the homes aesthetics and materials. In addition the room can be tailored to match the sun exposure of the site.  Exterior  sun porches have completely different  characteristics when placed on the southwest side of a house than if  the room is facing north or east.  The solar heating and cooling factors are drastically different and will change the comfort and performance of the room, especially if not accounted for in the design.   When these issues are not properly addressed the room can literally bake at 120 degrees or more in the summer and freeze on the mildest of days in the winter.  In future blogs I will address some of the issues that impact design and usability of sun rooms and three or four season porches.