Introduction to sunrooms

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Every homeowner dreams of more space indoors at one time or another, especially parents lacking room or a place to escape from the children for a short while. If this is you, then maybe you should consider the extension of a sunroom onto the back of your property.

Why consider getting a sunroom?

Not only do sunrooms add extra space onto a property, but they are an invaluable zone of natural light and warmth. It is the closest anyone could possibly get to being outdoors whilst staying in the comfort of your own home, surrounded by your own Eden. Sunrooms are genuinely tranquil areas because they do not only offer extra space on the back of your home, but also supply you with the illusion of space through the transparency of glass. It is because of these reasons that the extension of a sunroom will naturally add to the value of a property.

Sunroom or conservatory?

One area of confusion that often arises is the application of the term ‘sunroom’. Is this the same as a conservatory? Or is it used to describe any room in a house that may allow for plenty of sunlight? The truth is that sunrooms and conservatories are almost one and the same thing. The main difference between the two is that sunrooms can have a solid roof instead of being composed entirely of glass. This is worth bearing in mind when considering what kind of sunroom might be beneficial. If the extra space takes priority, and you would prefer having a structure that appears more solidly as part of the house, then maybe a solid roof would be preferable. However, this would of course lose some of the resplendent benefits that sunrooms have to offer. One solution is to include a skylight in the solid roof, providing more natural light than there would have been otherwise.

How to position a sunroom

With regards to light, the positioning of a sunroom should be considered. Southern arrangements often afford the best sunlight, but you should also consider when you would prefer to have the light source at its strongest and take that into account. For example, would you prefer sun in the mornings or afternoons and, depending on which you select, where would the sunroom have to be positioned?

There are many roof styles available for sunrooms. One such roof style is a cathedral roof, where the roof slants upwards on either side into a point, adding some much needed headroom. For those who are determined to exploit as much natural light as possible, a solarium might prove to be a better alternative. A solarium protects the occupants more from damaging ultraviolet light by using curved glass corners and glass roofs, refracting the light more substantially.

Types of sunroom

Depending on the required purpose of your particular sunroom, there are a few types you might want to consider. The first is called a conservatory sunroom. This structure is composed entirely of glass and is used for kitchens, living rooms, seating areas. Insulation is commonly provided for the walls and the glass windows, making it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly. Because of this reason, it is the more traditional and common choice for homeowners when compared to conservatory patio rooms, which are built on top of existing decking or cement patio. These are less expensive but are not as environmentally efficient. Heat conservation is lost as there is little to no insulation and as such the usability of a conservatory patio room is lessened to two or three seasons of the year.

Small Children and sunrooms

There are, of course, many variations to these two designs to also bear in mind. If a child’s safety is an issue, perhaps a knee wall might be favourable over entirely glass walls. The knee wall runs around the entirety of a sunroom, at roughly windowsill height. There are hidden benefits too. A knee wall also allows for power outlets and internet ports. This is most useful if the sunroom is a separate room entirely but sunroom designs are occasionally extensions of existing rooms, adding some much needed space to living rooms or kitchens. By creating open plan areas such as these, it allows natural light to not only flood the sunroom, but the adjoining room as well.


The average cost can vary dramatically. A quote should be retrieved from relevant websites and showrooms for a more accurate estimate that reflects your individual preferences. Planning permission and building expenditure will add to this, unless DIY is a viable option. There are also the costs of electrics to consider. Ultimately, the extension of a sunroom onto your home is as affordable as you allow it to be. It enhances the very dynamic of a house, creating a new social area, separate and adjoined to a home, offering private relaxation and a more substantial relationship with the outside world.