Tag Archives: four season rooms

Top 5 reasons you don’t want all glass sunroom

Leawood Kansas Sunroom

Leawood KS Sunroom

When I first sit down with my customers who are looking for a new sunroom, one of the things most people say they want is an all-glass sunroom. There are many reasons why an all-glass sunroom is not a good idea but I will share the top 5 of them here.

1. You will bake

Remember that experiment we all did as kids where we put a leaf under a magnifying glass in the hot sun and if we did it just right the leaf started to shrivel or even get a burn hole in it? Now imagine you with an all-glass roof in a room in the heat of summer. A sunroom should be designed so you can enjoy the view of your yard and a certain amount of sun. But you want to enjoy the warmth and not the baking effect that the sun can have. You want to enjoy light but also want to have a place to hang shades or window cover for when you’re looking for a little more privacy in your sunroom.

2. Your furniture will not age gracefully

Are you considering putting indoor furniture or wooden furniture in your new sunroom? Are you considering having fabric covered chairs, sofas or table covers? Nothing will fade furniture and fabric faster than prolonged exposure to hot sun. Even when the sun doesn’t feel very hot outside, the elevated heat as a result of the glass windows will put your furniture and upholstery aging on overdrive.

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lees Summit MO

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lees Summit MO

3. Working the heater overtime in the winter will work over your budget as well

On the flip side, as much as glass holds heat in the summer, so does it fail to hold out cold in the winter. There is a direct correlation between the number of windows, the low temperatures, and the cold that comes into your sunroom. This does not by any means indicate that you shouldn’t use much glass. There are many things that can be done to still use plenty of glass but to use it in better sizes and in better places.

4. You will have far fewer months of the year that you can use your room

Following points #1 and #3, having an all-glass sunroom may keep you out of your room for a good part of the summer and a good part of the winter. Most of my customers hope to spend 80+ percent of the year in the sunroom. By having a more moderate amount of glass, you will extend the winter and summer hours that you can enjoy your room.

Olathe Kansas sunroom by Archadeck of Kansas City

Olathe Kansas sunroom by Archadeck of Kansas City

5. Golf balls, hail balls, falling limbs and other objects will not be your friends

Our hail out here in Kansas City can be very strong. None of us want to think about how a glass ceiling would hold up to hail balls, golf balls or any other falling objects. Limbs and other objects can easily fall on the roof of your sunroom just as they do on the roof of your house.

Here are some things you should consider to afford you the most enjoyment in your room for as much time as possible without suffering the effects of above.

The best “top” for your sunroom is a roof. We will design your roof to match your existing roof style and materials. There are many different roof styles that can be used. To maximize sunlight and give an airier feel, a gable roof is often a nice option.

Consider a knee wall. The knee wall is the solid wall below the window line. This knee wall provides a lot of protection from the cold and gives us a great place to wire your electrical outlets.

Take your contractor’s advice on windows and doors. He can recommend the right glass to control temperature and control price.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Read our blog for more articles and how-to’s. Please send us questions. We’d love to answer them and will get back in a very timely manner.

Contact us for a free consultation (913) 851 – 3325 kansascity@archadeck.net

Top 10 things you would not be able to do if you didn’t have a sunroom

Too all linguists, I apologize in advance for the double negative in the title. But, when thinking about things you would miss out on, it’s easier to talk about them this way. Many people might think of a sunroom as a room you enjoy in the milder months of the year. We think about enjoying the sunrise and sunsets of longer days at winter travels into spring. We think about looking out the windows and watching the green trees change their color during fall. But how often do we imagine spending wonderful winter moments in our sunroom?

Four-Season Insulated Room in Shawnee KS

Four-season insulated sunroom

Perhaps it’s because the name of the room that we imagine using the room to enjoy the sun. But, sunrooms are also popularly called 3-season rooms and 4-season rooms. A 4-season room will have insulation and heating so that it can be used throughout the year. A 4-season room is essentially a room addition to your home. Everything from the roof style to gutter style as well as interior details ranging from color to materials will be matched to fit your home. We always build to make the rooms look original to the home.

So here we go.

Winter moments in your sunroom.

  1. At the crack of midnight, toasting your beloved while watching glistening snowflakes fall from the sky
  2. After the kids are asleep, noticing the moon keeping an eye out for you as you play Santa and wrap the children’s gifts at Christmas
  3. Sitting in your sunroom in early evening on Thanksgiving day with a turkey sandwich and a plate on your lap since the food coma from the Thanksgiving meal finally wore off and turned to the grumblings of hunger again
  4. Sitting in your robe and slippers with your feet on the ottoman watching the sun begin to rise through the steam from your very hot morning coffee
  5. That second cup of coffee that your spouse notices you need and delivers to you with a breakfast treat before the sun has completely risen into the sky
  6. Watching your teenaged daughter talking to a young suitor near your pool at the back to make sure all “intentions” are good
  7. Sitting on your sofa loveseat with your laptop playing on the computer while you listen to the rain outside the windows
  8. Setting up the family puzzle on the table in the sunroom and greeting family members as they drop by, put in a piece or two, and tell you a little bit about their day
  9. Enjoying a cup of afternoon tea with a beloved grandparent and lingering as you listen to stories of old
  10. Having a room with windows on 3 sides to watch the birds, the snow, the moon and watch grass grow
Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lees Summit MO

Large Gable Roof Sunroom with Attached Deck in Lee's Summit MO

With a limited view of the outside from many of the rooms in our homes, we often don’t think of all of the things we could do if we could enjoy a full view of the yard whether day, night, hot or cold. Many romantic and timeless memories could be made and shared if you had a sunroom/4-season room to enjoy throughout the colder months.

Consider adding a new sunroom to your home to enjoy the winter moments as well as those in the fall, winter, and early spring.

Steve Folsom - Kansas City deck and porch builder

Give us a call to discuss for a free consultation. We welcome and look forward to the opportunity to speak with you about adding a 4-season room to your home. (913) 851 – 3325 or send us an email at kansascity@archadeck.net.

Take a look at some of our photo galleries at our website:

Kansas City sunroom pictures and photo gallery

Kansas City area 3-seasona and 4-season pictures and photo gallery

Sunrooms and Room Additions

In many peoples minds the idea of a sunroom or room addition on their house meshes with how they can use the room.  Will it be used only in mild weather, or will it be most valuable to them if it will be used in all seasons and all temperatures?  At some point the idea of a sunroom may cross over into a full room addition with multiple functionality.    If  a homeowner wants all season/all-weather use of the new room addition, then energy efficiency in design and in construction come into the equation very quickly.   Wall thickness, insulation type, window type  & design, roof overhangs, floor insulation, and remote heating and cooling all interact to impact comfort levels and energy usage.  Even if the consumer is not focused on energy efficiency, wide temperature swings impact comfort levels and can make a room less comfortable.   In many cases it is difficult and expensive to extend the houses existing hvac ducts to the new room.  Even in the case where there is ready access to the existing heating system there is a potential issue if the existing system is adequate to heat and cool the new room.   In many cases a remote mounted dedicated hvac unit is the best alternative.   Fortunately great improvements have been made in the design of these units in the last decade.  Everyone is familiar with the wall mounted  air conditioner that is so loud it interrupts your sleep in a hotel or motel.  Today similar units combine heating and cooling, are very quiet, and use  digital thermostats to allow dedicated temperature control of a room addition or sunroom.   This dedicated unit can offer many advantages, not the least of which  is the ability to regulate the room temperature independent of the existing home.   In addition when the room is not in use it is possible to conserve energy by setting the thermostat to the best temperature for energy efficiency.   In many cases the installation cost of such a dedicated unit will be less than extending the existing duct work, and it will work better.  If energy efficiency is taken in to account in designing the room,  it is possible for the new room to be more energy efficient and comfortable than the rest of the house.

Sunrooms and Sun porches Kansas City

We frequently get a call from a prospective client asking us about adding windowed room for their back yard.  In many cases the client is interested in a sunroom that will expand their living space and be usable for 8-12 months out of the year.  There are, of course many ways to expand living space on a home, but a sunroom is one of the most popular.  Frequently the homeowner would like to put this on an existing deck area.  Unfortunately, this strategy can lead to all kinds of future problems.  Very few decks have been built strongly enough to support a full room and roof weight.  We have seen rooms built on existing decks that created innumerable problems with the existing house and the new room.  These problems can include sagging, settling of flooring, roof leaks,  and jammed doors and windows.   In some cases the existing deck can be braced or supported to carry the extra weight of the new room, but in other cases the cost of the bracing, and the difficulty of installing it can exceed the cost of building a new support structure from scratch, especially if the old deck has any rot or structural problems.  Since  a properly designed and built sunroom enhances a homes value and usability, as well as expanding living space, it is always a good long-term investment to get an expert involved in the structural design, even if you are building it yourself.   If you are planning on building it yourself or with a friend, you may want to enlist the help of an architect or licensed engineer to design the structural support.  Different types of structural design and support may apply based on conditions such as height, size and shape of room, roof type, and type of house.   All of these situations and more need to be taken into account in the load calculations for the room.    If you are dealing with a design professional or a licensed and accredited builder, the structural design and support are some of the things you should ask specifically about.  If your builder has the proper experience, background, and training in room design he/she should be able to assist you with a permanent,  usable solution that will enhance the value and features of your home.

 Steve Folsom