Picture this: it’s early evening on a Sunday, and you’re sitting outside in your garden drinking a glass of Pinot Noir. Winter is on its way, so you want to enjoy the outdoors before the bad weather and blankets of snow take over your beloved landscape.
There’s one problem. You’re getting uncomfortably cold, and your sweater isn’t cutting it. Resigned and disappointed, you sigh, pick up your glass, and head inside.
We’re used to the winter in Canada – it’s almost a way of life here. That means we’re usually seriously lacking vitamin D from the sun. And without adequate vitamin D levels, we’re more prone to disease, weak bones, and seasonal depression. Luckily, there’s a way to up your vitamin D and enjoy the outdoors all year long. The answer is as simple as adding a sunroom to your home.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this very worthwhile addition:
Which Room Is Right?
Before you commit to adding a sunroom to your home, take a minute and assess your needs. There are a few different options for indoor/outdoor living, and they each have pros and cons.
A sunroom is a non-climate controlled glass room that’s attached to your home. When built properly, sunrooms are super energy efficient.
In the winter, the sun heats them up excellently, creating a naturally warm room in your home with the best view in town. In the summer, you can throw the windows open to create a space with all the amenities of the indoors. Plus, you’ll enjoy the gentle breeze of the outdoors.
A four-season room is almost the exact same thing as a sunroom, except with added climate control. This feature allows you to easily use the room all year. Most homeowners find that climate control is superfluous, though, since the sun takes care of warming the room for them.
A screen room or an enclosed porch uses mesh for walls rather than glass. Since there are no discernible walls, screen rooms can’t be climate controlled.
They’re perfect for getting fresh air, hosting summer dinner parties in a space where the flies can’t reach you, and for smelling the rain (a known stress-relieving aroma) while staying dry.
Last but not least are attached greenhouses. These are similar to sunrooms, except they’re designed with plants in mind instead of people. Attached greenhouses usually have humidity, light, and temperature levels that you can adjust to make your plants thrive. While still a relaxing place to hang out, they can get a little hot to read a book in for hours at a time.
Location Is Everything
After you’ve decided that adding a sunroom is for you, think about its location. Since the room is entirely made up of glass or windows, you’ll want to consider the light at all times of the day. This will help you find the location that best suits your needs.
Up here in Alberta, South-facing sunrooms get the best light for the most hours a day since we’re North of the equator. Sunrooms on the Southern side of the house are ideal for those who really seek that extra kick of vitamin D in the Winter. Southern sunrooms also tend to be quite warm – a pro in the winter, a con in the summer.
North-facing sunrooms are said to have the best light for artists. In Canada, that’s because the room never sees direct sunlight, so the colors stay as true to tone as possible. It also means the room stays cooler throughout the year. This is great during the summer but makes for a cold sunroom in the winter.
Since the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, Eastern-facing sunrooms will have bright morning light and shady afternoons and evenings. Reflect on your work schedule. If you get home around five, some sunshine in your sunroom might be incredibly welcoming after a long day inside.
Many people who work from home choose Eastern-facing sunrooms because the sun gets them started on a happy and productive note in the morning. As work gets accomplished, the day fades into evening, providing a nice transition from work to relaxation for the self-employed.
Western exposure provides the opposite light pattern than Eastern exposure. West-facing sunrooms will provide great light in the afternoon. They will also allow you to glimpse some beautiful sunsets if you live near the horizon. Mornings tend to be shady and cool.
Western exposure is great for those who want bright, happy light in their sunroom when they come home from work. It’s also the preferred sunroom location for night owls. Those who work nights won’t be awoken early by blinding sunlight and can enjoy most of their daylight before heading off to work in the evening.
Why You Need a Contractor
As tempting as the cost of DIY home renovations can be compared to hiring a contractor, adding a sunroom is one renovation you won’t want to skimp on.
Since sunrooms aren’t climate controlled, and we get some pretty serious weather up here in Alberta, your new addition needs to be built properly to withstand the climate. Sunrooms require a special type of glass, proper framing, and adequate insulation. This will prevent them from overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter.
Hire a reputable contractor with extensive experience in sunroom construction to maximize your new addition and make it last for years.
Adding a Sunroom? Look No Further
If you’re interested in adding a sunroom to your Alberta home, you’ve come to the right place. We specialize in authentic, true-to-you homes that combine the best of nature with all the comforts of home.
Get in touch with us for a free quote, to hear more about what we do, and to discuss your vision and the details of your project!