Building a Sun Porch

With summer fast approaching, many families will be considering additions to their homes – by way of a sun porch. This is one of the least-expensive ways to add to a house, and can offer years of relaxing mornings and evenings, enjoying the outdoors while remaining indoors. You don’t have to worry about pesky flies and gnats, but the beauty of your backyard is there for you to view, providing a serene retreat for all family members.

The great news about sun porches is that there are unlimited ways to design and install. Some companies, such as sunporch.com, provide fully installable kits that can be purchased through their online catalog. Others prefer to design their own by purchasing their own materials, which can be a fun activity for the whole family. And the people who are not constructionally inclined can hire companies in their home towns to install sun porches for them, according to their own specifications.

The benefits of a sun porch are many, not the least of which being that a sun porch greatly increases the value of your home. It adds up to 40% of living space, which can make a small home seem much larger, and it provides a brightly lit, comfortable haven for reading or drinking morning coffee. It could also be converted into an office, a spare bedroom, an indoor pool, a spa, a workout facility, a laundry room, or any number of other helpful uses.

Building

Before deciding to build your sunporch, it helps to weigh the pros and cons of building yourself or hiring a contractor to build it for you. If you have no construction experience, or if you aren’t sure how it’s done, then hiring a company in your area to build the sun porch might be your best bet. They know how to make a safe, energy-efficient, durable sun porch that will last for decades, which will safe money later when you might have had to make repairs. You might also want to purchase a sun porch kit, which comes to you in its entirety, with full instructions on how to install.

The most important thing to consider when building your sun porch are the various attributes that will benefit your living situation. You don’t want to build a sun porch and then discover that it goes unused – the point of building one is that you will benefit from its existence. That said, you don’t want to build a work-out room if you despise the treadmill and are afraid of weights.

You will also want to consider the climate where you live. If you reside in the south, where summers are scorchingly hot, I recommend that you install shades across the top of your sunporch to block out rays during the summer. You can also install windows with both screens and glass so that you can cool the sunporch when it gets too hot. Some sun porch companies offer the option of light-difusing glass across the top of your sun porch so that when it gets to bright, the sun won’t shine entirely into the room.

You will also have to consider the flooring of your sun porch. Some people prefer regular concrete, while others lean toward more exotic flooring, such as crushed stone or granite. Determining what type of flooring to use will largely depend on what you use your sun porch for. If you plan to install a spa or pool, then tile floor will work best with dripping feet. If you are looking for a cozy sitting room, you might want to go with hardwood floors.

Uses

Carefully plan out the use for your sun porch before beginning to build. Maybe you want to use it as a greenhouse, or as a workout room, or as an indoor spa. The choices are many, but you don’t want to be uncertain and then make a mistake in the construction of your sun porch. Having a clear understanding of what it will be used for can greatly reduce the possibility of future problems.

Here are the most popular choices of uses for sun porches:

1. Sitting Room – With a couch, a couple of arm chairs, and a table upon which to set drinks or plates makes for a cozy escape in a sun porch. You can use light pastel colors to compliment the sun that will be pooring into your porch, or go for darker colors to create a more formal decor. You might want to add a few potted plants in corners, a painting or two on the house wall of the porch, or a chess set for quiet games. I also recommend floor lamps by each of the chairs and couches for reading after dark, and some people add a television set.

2. Indoor Pool or Spa – If you enjoy relaxing in water, but prefer not to do it outdoors where leaves and dirt can enter your sanctum, a sun porch is a great place to install it. Above-ground jacuzzis are the perfect place to relax after a long day at work, and an indoor pool can provide hours of fun for parents and kids. You can add a towel-heating machine, a few potted plants and perhaps a mini-refrigerator to store cold drinks.

3. Office – If you work at home, then staying indoors can become depressing for many. A sun porch allows you to work while basking in the sunlight, and rids your office of the cooped-up feeling that many work-at-home professionals experience. With the right desk, the proper furniture and perhaps an ornamental floor rug, it will feel just like a professional office.

4. Spare Bedroom – If you’ve always wanted to sleep under the stars, but hate to camp, then a sun porch is an amazing retreat from your normal bedroom. You can sleep here, or keep it only for guests, and decorate it however you wish. A waterbed can be a great addition to a sunporch spare bedroom.

5. Porch – Many people install sun porches to be used as just that – a porch. Hang a hammock on one end with a small entable for books or drinks, and set plastic patio furniture on one end for intimate conversation. This is also a great place to add storage space for kids’ outdoor equipment.

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