Below are commonly questions asked by our homeowners. If your specific question isn't listed below, email us and we will gladly answer it.
Why do homeowners invest in a sunroom?
Many reasons: sunrooms expand your living space and increase the value of your home. They bring the outdoors inside and offer an area for relaxation and enjoyment.
How do people use their sunrooms?
People use the extra space the sunrooms provide as a place to retreat and relax. Some people use their sunrooms for: family rooms, library/reading room, dining and entertaining areas, as a playroom for children or grandchildren, workplace area, exercise room, reading room, room to do arts and crafts, a room to gaze out at the stars or simply a room to close your eyes for a few minutes on a Saturday afternoon. The possibilities are endless.
What's better - a sunroom or a conventional room addition?
A sunroom is designed for comfortable outdoor living - it's not "just another room in the house." A sunroom provides more glass space than a conventional all-glass/window room. The expense for a sunroom can be considerably lower than a conventional room addition. Unlike conventional construction, a typical sunroom can be built in as little as a week with little mess or disturbance to your lifestyle. Because sunrooms have the feel of the outdoors, it has a different feel than a typical family room. They lend themselves to casual furnishings such as wicker and rattan, and provide a wonderful environment for plants. Most sunroom owners say it is their favorite room in the house.
Why is a sunroom a good investment?
Homeowners who sell their homes say their sunroom helped their home sell quickly, and they received a more than reasonable return on their sunroom investment. Imagine if you had to choose between two identical houses, but one had a sunroom in it - which would you get?
Families who have sunrooms talk about them as a place to relax, de-stress, and get away from it all.
Aside from being an investment that enhances your own personal lifestyle - you will get value when you sell. The 2005 Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling Magazine's research department shows Sunrooms recoup on average 74.5% of their cost when a home is sold.
Furthermore, unlike a car that loses its value the minute it is driven off the lot, the sunroom is literally enjoyed for the lifetime of the house.
What is the best type of glass to use?
Tempered glass is the safest. It breaks into tiny pebble-like pieces, while standard glass breaks in sharp serrated debris. Single pane windows have just one pane of glass. They offer less insulation protection from heat or cold. Double pane (or insulated) glass contains a sealed air pocket between the inner and outer panes to resist the flow of heat. Find out if Low-E glass is available. Think about how you plan to use your sunroom, and choose the type of glass that is most appropriate for your needs and budget.
Should I get a glass roof?
A glass roof lets in more light and provides a view of the outside. On the other hand, a glass roof increases the heat of the room, and is not suitable for sun facing locations. Also, a glass roof will need to be cleaned from leaves, bugs and dust; during the winter, snow can collect on the roof as well.
A room with a solid roof is not necessarily darker, since most of the time the sun is not directly above the room but on a side angle, shining through the windows. When the sun is directly above the room, it can overheat the room quite quickly - even in winter. An alternative is an opaque polycarbonate roof, that provides all the benefits of a clear roof while minimizing the negative aspects.
Do I need a permit for a sunroom?
Yes. In Ontario, you legally need a permit to add a sunroom (or even a regular addition for that matter).
What happens if I get caught building a sunroom without a permit?
The city can halt all existing work, leaving you with a half built room. You will then have to apply for a permit, with a penalty of about twice the regular permit fee.
How do I heat / cool the room?
Most of the year, you will not need to heat or cool the room. Because of the large amount of glass, on hot days you can open all windows for a nice breeze, and on cold days the sun will heat the room.
Heating and cooling comes into effect during the very hot days of summer and cold days of winter. You can get a regular heater from a big box store, or install a HVAC unit (same as in hotel rooms) in the wall of the sunroom.
Do you recommend removing the door between the house and the sunroom?
No. Your house behaves differently that a sunroom, since a sunroom is all glass. During hot days, you can open all the windows in a sunroom for a nice breeze, but you can't do the same in your house due to the smaller size of window openings. A better alternative is to install full french doors, so you can keep the opening between the house and the sunroom, but close it off on the extreme hot and cold days of the year.
What is the difference between a 3 Season and a Year round room?
Both 3 season and 4 season insulated rooms have an insulated floor and roof. The only difference is in the wall system. Because a 3 season room has a single pane of glass, if you heat it in the winter, you will have condensation issues - frost on the glass. A year round sunroom can be properly heated and occupied during the winter.
How long does it take to build a sunroom?
Typically 1-2 weeks. Compare this to an addition, that can take up to a year to complete.