(ARA) - Homeowners across America are choosing to invite the outdoors in with sunroom home additions. Once considered a luxury upgrade, sunroom additions have been growing in popularity and are now listed as the nation's fifth most popular remodeling project, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.
Sunrooms blur the lines between indoors and out, and can provide homeowners with the feeling that they are getting away from it all, like they are taking a vacation in their own home.
"Sunrooms share much of the appeal of decks," says Rob Enos, product manager, Owens Corning Construction Services. "They expand outdoor living spaces while adding useful square footage to a home, enhancing home value and offering owner enjoyment. Additionally, sunrooms are relatively easy and cost-effective to add on to existing homes, even older homes, and, unlike decks, sunrooms with high-performance low-e glass systems can, in some cases, be occupied year-round."
But before you spring into action and attach a sunroom to your home, you should -- as with any building project -- do your homework before getting started. Professional remodeler Scott Keegan, general manager of CKH Industries in Lodi, N.J., offers some pointers for planning the perfect sunroom:
* Consult a qualified installer to find out if underground obstacles, building codes or zoning ordinances limit your options for a conventional backyard addition.
* Understand that screenrooms and sunrooms are not the same thing; there are big differences in quality, price and functionality. Advances in building technology, including energy-efficient windows, have made it easier to create very comfortable new living spaces. A patio or screenroom may only be useful during warm weather, while many sunrooms can be made habitable for three seasons, or even all year long.
* Consider your timing since traditional wood-framed sunroom additions can take months to complete. New, innovative products are strong and durable with thermally-efficient windows and doors and take just a few weeks to install by a qualified professional.
While a well-built sunroom can add to your home's value and enhance the enjoyment of your living space, a poorly constructed sunroom can actually reduce your home's value. "If the sunroom is not installed properly, or is not strong enough to withstand the rigors of weather in your region, you could spend big bucks to repair it, and deal with damage that may occur to the rest of your home if the sunroom structure fails," Keegan cautions.
"Customization is high on consumers' lists for virtually every home improvement project these days, and sunrooms are no exception," says Keegan. "Homeowners want the option to create a more individualized space that can blend in with the overall look of their home. While traditional sunroom systems may limit color options, new fiberglass sunroom options can be painted the color of your choice both inside and out." Courtesy of ARAcontent