June 28, 2013
It doesn't matter what you call a three-season porch - sun room, solarium, even conservatory – it still extends the space in one's home into a room that every member of the family will use. There's no need to restrict the decor, either. A sun porch that's used for most of the year deserves comfortable, stylish furniture, a beautiful hardwood floor like those in Anderson's Urban Pioneer collection and accessories that reflect the personality of the homeowners.
The difference between a three-season porch and an all-season sun room is that those used all year are fully insulated, heated and sometimes air conditioned. Unlike porches that are simply screened-in, seasonal ones have windows and screens similar to those used throughout the home.
Let the sunshine in
If homeowners want to add on a sun porch, the first rule of construction is the same in real estate - location, location, location, according to FrontPorchIdeasAndMore.com. The goal is to capture as much natural light as possible so the structure should ideally be facing the south where sunlight is strongest and ultraviolet rays will heat up the room somewhat during cooler weather.
Another consideration when installing a wood floor is to make sure that the surface height is the same as the flooring height in the home so that people won't trip as they move from one space to the next. It also helps to have a doorway leading into the home that's accessibly wide enough for someone in a wheelchair.
If the home doesn't have a great room, a sun room with a high ceiling provides a good substitute. The added height gives an airy, larger appearance to the whole room. Adding skylights to the roof covering the sun room brings light into that space, but also into the house, making up for light that's been lost by the addition of a structure onto the home.
Installing outdoor ceiling fans keeps air flowing, cooling it when necessary and dispersing heat into the space when the fan direction is reversed.
Homeowners who are building a new sun porch will save money in the long run by using as many energy-saving and sustainable materials as possible. There's also a cost savings in installing standard glazed windows, because future replacements will be easier to install and less expensive.
Adding architectural features such as arches, lattice work and bead board on walls or ceilings creates a room design that's unique and adds value to the space.