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How to Build a Sunroom

If you love your home but wish you had more space, a room addition could be the solution to your problem. But what kind of room addition is the best choice and what type of home improvement should you choose?

If you love the sunshine but hate the bugs, heat and humidity, adding a sunroom could be the perfect way to enhance your home and even increase its resale value. With a sunroom, you can bask in the abundant warmth, view some spectacular sunsets and enjoy the beauty of nature, all without braving the elements or dodging those summer pests.

A sunroom is one of the smartest investments you can make in your home: it’s a permanent improvement that will add living space while it boosts the value of your property. But before you break ground and start building, however, there are some things you need to know.

Building a sunroom can be a complicated home improvement project, and it is important to have the right expert in your corner. If you need a quote for your custom sunroom project, just contact DC Enclosures or visit our website at We will be happy to work with you through every step of the process, from choosing the perfect location and choosing the right size to creating a budget you can live with.

Choosing the Best Location for your Sunroom

When it comes to real estate, the three most important elements are location, location and location. That is true withing the real estate microcosm of your own home as well. The location of your sunroom will have an impact on everything that follows, from the complexity of the building project to how much the finished room costs and how well you can use the space.

The great thing about a sunroom is you can place it virtually anywhere it makes sense; if the front of your home is blessed abundant sunshine, enclosing that space with a beautiful sunroom could be a great choice. If you value your privacy and want to do some indoor sunbathing, placing your sunroom in the back may be the better option. If you want to enhance the look of your home, adding your sunroom to the side could do the trick.

To find the perfect location, think about how you plan to use the space, as well as the layout of your home and where you most need the space. The floor plan of your home can be a valuable guide here, and you can use it to visualize how the project will lock when it is finished.

You will naturally want your sunroom to be constructed on level ground, so think about the exterior of your home and the lay of the land. If you already have a relatively level spot, that could be the perfect location for your future sunroom. If you do not have a level space available, you will need to do some excavating, and the cost of that grading will vary depending on the nature of the property and the extensiveness of the operation.

Keep in mind that you may need to obtain permits before the excavation begins. If you are unsure which type of permit you need, just check with your municipality to find out what is required. If you are working with a professional excavator, the company may be able to obtain the permits you need, so you can focus on financing the project and choosing the perfect spot for your brand new sunroom.

What Type of Roof Do I Need for my Sunroom?

There are many types of sunroom, but only two types of roofs. Before you decide on a sunroom design, you need to think about what type of roof is right for your home and family.

Some sunroom designs feature a solid roof, and that can be an excellent choice if you are concerned about excess heat or want to use your new space in relative privacy. With a solid roof, you can still enjoy the abundant sunshine, but the amount of light reaching your space will be somewhat diminished.

That can be a good thing if you plan to use your new sunroom as a home office or study space. Having all that sunlight flowing in may seem like a good thing, but the sun glare during the midday hours could be distracting when you are trying to get work done.

If you value that extra sunlight and want a sunroom with a more classic design, a glass roof may be more to your liking. A glass roof is certainly aesthetically striking, and also the perfect choice if you plan to use the extra space to grow plants; the ability to provide indoor warmth and exposure to sunlight can allow year round gardening. If you have always wanted a standalone greenhouse but were unable to justify the extra cost, choose a glass roofed sunroom can give you all the benefits without any added expense.

Heating and colling is another consideration when choosing a sunroom design. If you choose a glass roof for for your sunroom, the space will naturally absorb more naturally light, and the extra heat will be very welcome in the cold winter months. In the heat of summer, however, you may need to invest in air conditioning or run a fan to keep the sunroom cool and comfortable.

If you choose a sunroom with a solid roof, that could mean less temperature fluctuation, and possibly more stable heating and cooling costs. The space may not provide the same level of natural heat during the winter, but it should require less artificial cooling in the winter. Once again, you will need to think about how you plan to use the space and let that be your guide.

When you work with our design consultants, they can help you choose the right sunroom design, one that will integrate perfectly with the rest of you home and blend seamlessly with its surroundings. When you meet with our design consultant, you may be asked a number of questions, including how you plan to use the space, the size of your budget an the proposed location of your new room addition.

Indoor Sunroom vs. Outdoor Sunroom: Which One is Right for You?

How to Decide on the Best Look for your New Sunroom

You can choose an indoor sunroom, a design that attaches directly to your home. With an indoor sunroom, you can move directly from the adjoining room into your newly expanded living space, without ever going outdoors. With an indoor sunroom design, there is no door between indoors and out; you simply walk straight into your beautiful new space.

With an indoor sunroom, you will heat and cool the space using your existing HVAC equipment. Depending on the size of the sunroom addition, you may or may not need to add additional heating and cooling capacity to handle the extra space.

If you like the idea of enjoying the sunshine without braving the summer heat or winter cold, an indoor sunroom could be the perfect choice. This design is favored by many homeowners, and it may be the right choice for your property if you want an integrated choice for your addition.

Other homeowners may prefer the privacy of an outdoor sunroom, this is a worthwhile consideration if you are looking for a home away from home or a refuge from your busy life, a standalone outdoor sunroom could be the perfect solution.

With an outdoor sunroom, you leave a door between your existing home and your newly constructed sunroom. This can provide an additional level of privacy and give your sunroom the feeling of separateness, something that many homeowners value.

If you do choose an outdoor sunroom, you will need to think carefully about how to heat and cool the space. Some homeowners choose to leave their outdoor sunrooms unheated, relying on the warmth of the sun to provide the needed heat. Others prefer to add heating and cooling units to keep their sunrooms comfortable.

Once again, how you plan to use the space will make a big difference. If you plan to utilize your sunroom daily, as an office, for example, you will probably need some additional heating and cooling. If your sunroom use will mostly seasonal and largely restricted to entertaining and summer get-togethers, additional heating and cooling may not be necessary.

There are pros and cons of both types of sunroom and it is important to weigh the benefits and drawbacks carefully. If you choose an indoor sunroom, the added space will be a fully integrated part of your home. When you want to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors, all you need to do is walk into your new living space. If you prefer a greater separation, an outdoor sunroom can provide a number of benefits, including greater privacy and a highly attractive, distinct design. Only you can decide which options is best for you, but our experienced consultants can help guide you through this important decision with the benefit of their extensive experience and knowledge of the project details necessary for each option.

How Long Does it Take to Build a Sunroom?

Adding a sunroom to your home is a major home improvement, one that must be carefully and fully thought out. Once you decide to add a sunroom, your contractor can work with you on all the details, including when to schedule the work, the best way to break ground and how to meet the various milestones of the construction project.

The amount of time the sunroom project will take depends on a number of factors, from where your home is located and where you plan to put the sunroom to the weather and the time of year. Your contractor can work with you to determine the best schedule, so you can spend less time planning for your new sunroom and more time enjoying the warmth and beauty of your new living space.

There are a number of considerations when calculating how long your sunroom construction project will take. It all begins with a complete site survey, a process that is explored in greater detail at the end of this eBook. Once the site survey has been completed and all the measurements have been taken, our consultant can work with you on the next steps.

A number of external factors could delay the construction of your new sunroom, including rules imposed by your homeowners association (HOA) and the difficulty of obtaining the building permits you need. If you want the construction process to go off without a hitch, you will want to research all of those requirements ahead of time.

If you learn, for instance, that a building permit could take a month or more to be approved, you can build that potential delay into your construction schedule. If you need to present your proposed projects at the next HOA meeting, finding out when those meetings are held and what is required will make your life easier and speed the rest of the construction process.

Financing Your Sunroom

If you are flush with cash, you may prefer to pay for your new sunroom outright instead of financing the home improvement project. But for many homeowners, adding a sunroom will involve filling out loan applications and meeting with lenders.

Before you go forward with your sunroom project, you will need to decide how you will pay for it. When you work with us, we can provide you with a custom quote, one based on the size of the sunroom, its location and other factors that could impact the price of the finished project.

Armed with that quote, you can seek out financing that is affordable, with terms that are simple and transparent. If you already have a home equity line of credit (HELOC) in place, you may be able to use that money to pay for your new home improvement project. With the HELOC in place, paying for your new sunroom could be as simple as writing a check.

If you do not already have a home equity line of credit (HELOC) in place, you may want to consider opening one. With a HELOC, you typically pay interest only on the money you are actually using, and that can give you additional flexibility as the sunroom project moves forward.

Another popular financing option is the home equity loan, a type of lending that uses the value of your property as collateral. Home equity loans provide less flexibility than lines of credit, but they can still be valuable financing tools for sunroom construction and other popular home improvement projects.

If you have not already done so, it is a good idea to check your credit report and credit score before you seek financing for your new sunroom. If you already know your credit score, you are already halfway there, and you can move forward with seeking financing. If you do not know your score, check with your credit card issuer; many cards now provide free credit scores on their member statements.

It is also a good idea to review your credit reports carefully, especially if your credit score is less than stellar. A single error on your credit report could reduce your credit score by 100 points or more, and that could mean a higher than necessary interest rate on your home improvement loan or HELOC. If you do spot any errors on your credit report, notify the credit reporting agency right away. Then wait until those issues have been resolved before seeking funding for your sunroom construction project.

The cost of the finished sunroom will vary depending on a number of factors, including the size of the space, whether you choose an indoor or outdoor design and what type of roof you select. It is not always easy to tell how much your project will cost, but our consultants will be happy to work with you. We have many years of experience designing and building sunrooms, and we can help you estimate the cost ahead of time, so there will be no unpleasant surprises down the line.

It is worth keeping in mind that adding a sunroom could greatly enhance the appeal of your property and boost its resale value. When you add a sunroom to your home, you obviously increase its square footage, and that can have a positive impact on the value of the house. A sunroom also adds beauty and charm, and that can also make the home more valuable. In the end, the increase in home value could largely pay for the up-front cost of the construction and design, so you can recoup those expenses when you sell your home.

What Paperwork do You Need for Your Sunroom Project?

No matter what the home improvement project, you can expect some amount of paperwork and governmental red tape, and your upcoming sunroom construction project is certainly no exception. As your project moves forward, it is important to be prepared, so you will not encounter any unpleasant surprises along the way.

One of the most important parts of planning for a home improvement involves the homeowners association (HOA), and simply being a member of an HOA could complicate the project enormously. Some homeowners associations give their members quite a bit of latitude, while others are far more restrictive. Before you move forward and start building your sunroom, be sure to review your HOA paperwork carefully.

If you are unsure of the homeowners association’s stance on sunrooms and similar home improvement projects, check with the administrators to make sure your proposal meets their guidelines. Depending on their decision, you may need to make changes to your design plans, and we can work with you to redesign the project if necessary.

Even if your property is not part of a homeowners association, you will probably need a building permit before construction can begin. Adding a sunroom can be a costly and lengthy construction project, and you will want to make sure all the required permits are in place before you break ground or move forward.

Depending on where you live, you may need to provide a detailed plan for your proposed sunroom project, including sketches of the property, detailed information on the size of the space to be enclosed and a rough timeline for the construction to be completed. If you are unsure what is required, ask the supervisors of your township or municipality for more information.

Once you know what type of information will be required and which permits you will need, you can decide who will actually pull the permit. Will you pull the building permit yourself, working with your municipality directly, or will you leave it up to the contractor? If you plan to leave it up to the contractor, we can work with your municipality to obtain the proper documents, giving you one less thing to worry about.

Adding a sunroom is a great way to increase the value of your home, and simply having that additional living space could boost its resale value down the line. But you will have to pay for the home improvement project up front, and it is important to keep careful records detailing those costs.

When it does come time to sell, having those records in hand will make your life, and the life of your tax preparer, a lot easier. The money you spent to add the sunroom will become part of the cost basis of your home, and that could reduce the amount of capital gains taxes you owe should you sell the property later on.

Preparing Your Site for Survey

If you have decided that a sunroom is right for you, the next step is to schedule a site survey. This site survey is an essential part of sunroom construction, and the results will be key to everything that follows.

Having the site survey conducted ahead of time will help ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises once the construction project begins. It is not unusual for unexpected things to come up during such an extensive home improvement project, but the right preparation will go a long way and help you avoid unnecessary delays later on.

Before you schedule the site survey, you may want to sketch out a rough draft of the sunroom, including its approximate size and where you want it to be located. Knowing whether you want an indoor or outdoor sunroof and a solid or glass roof will also be helpful, so think about what you want from the space and how you plan to use your new addition.

Once you have scheduled the site survey for your new sunroof, one of our specially trained consultants will arrive at the time and date you specify. We now that you are busy, and we will work with you to find a time and date that works best for you.

After the technician arrives at your home, they will first evaluate the area, working with you to find the optimal location for your new room addition. If you have chosen an indoor sunroom, the technician will measure the area carefully, mapping out where the sunroom will be located and how it will integrate with the rest of your home. If you have chosen an outdoor sunroom design, the technician will evaluate the space carefully, creating a seamless transition from indoor living space to outdoor addition.

Careful measurements will be a big part of the initial site survey, and the accuracy of those measurements will help guide the project from the first groundbreaking to the final unveiling. If you are unsure how big you want your sunroom to be, our technician can work with you to decide on a size, so you can enjoy the extra space for a price you can afford.

Once the measurements have been taken, our consultants can work with you on the design, timing and price of the project. Even if you have decided on a design, working with our consultant may provide you with additional ideas, so you can maximize the value of the project and build a better sunroom.

Some home improvement projects add beauty to your property, enhancing its curb appeal and making the neighbors green with envy. Other home improvement projects expand living space for your family, so everyone can enjoy a new level of privacy. Other home improvement projects enhance the resale value of your home, so the money you spend will come back to you one day.

Adding a sunroom to your home allows you to achieve all three of these worthy goals. A sunroom will certainly make your home more beautiful, and you may find the neighbors want to share in that beauty. And a sunroom certainly adds to the square footage of your home, providing a flexible space that can be turned into everything from a home office and study space to an impromptu greenhouse. And last but not least, a sunroom can increase the value of your home, so you can recoup your costs when it comes time to move on.

If you have any questions about adding a sunroom to your home, including how to get started, how to choose the perfect size and how to pay for the home improvement, we are always here to help. Just give us a call or go online to get a custom quote, request design assistance or schedule a site survey. When you work with us, we will be with you every step of the way, from the initial design of your custom sunroom to the final unveiling of your brand new indoor/outdoor living space.

10 Smart Tips for Your New Sunroom

Adding a sunroom to your existing property is a significant home improvement, one that should not be undertaken without proper planning and careful consideration. From where your new sunroom should be located to how it should be attached to your home, there are many things to think about before you break ground or call the contractor. Here are 10 tips to make your sunroom construction project easier, less expensive and more successful.

  • Set a budget ahead of time. Knowing how much you have to spend can guide the process, so you can select a design that is as affordable as it is beautiful.
  • Know where the sun is. If you want to maximize the amount of natural light and make your new sunroof warm and comfortable, you will need to know where the sun is.
  • Aligning the sunroom to the south will allow you to make the most of the abundant energy of the sun.
  • Research permit requirements and anticipated timelines. It can take weeks or even months to obtain the necessary building permits, so do your homework and know exactly what you need.
  • Plan your décor and budget for the furniture you need. Adding a room to your home means adding furniture, so think about the décor you want and budget for the cost.
  • Do you want your new sunroom to integrate with your existing home décor, or do you want to create a totally separate living space and a whole new look?
  • Invest in a heating and cooling assessment. If you plan to add an indoor sunroom, you need to make sure your existing HVAC system can handle the extra load.
  • Consulting with an HVAC expert now will make the planning process easier – and keep you more comfortably.
  • Take your own measurements. It can be hard to visualize the size of a room that does not yet exist, so grab your tape measure and make your plans more concrete. Map out the space you have in mind, then measure it out and use those figures in your future planning.
  • Keep all your records, including cost estimates, lists of building materials and proposed designs. This documentation can help you verify the cost of the project, so you can update your home’s cost basis for tax planning purposes.
  • Contact your lender if you will be financing the cost of the sunroom. Getting a home equity line of credit (HELOC) in place ahead of time can simplify the financing and help the project move along more quickly.
  • Communicate with your contractor. Keeping the lines of communication open will be critical as your sunroom project moves forward. If you have questions about the design or construction of your new sunroom, do not be afraid to ask.
  • Make it a family affair. Once you new sunroom is in place, it will become a gathering place for the whole family. So get the whole family involved in the process, from the location of the new living space to its ultimate use.
  • We hope you found these tips for building a sunroom useful!

    How to Choose the Right Contractor for Your Sunroom Project

    Adding a sunroom to your property is a major home improvement, one that demands the right experience and expertise. The contractor you hire to build the sunroom will not only expand your living space; they must also maintain the structural integrity of your home and create a seamless look and feel.

    Not all contractors are up to the task, and it is important to choose your builder with care. Before you sign any paperwork or complete any contracts, make sure the contractor you are considering is fully licensed and properly insured, and that they have all the requirements needed to make your sunroom project a success.

    When choosing a contractor for your sunroom project, it is important to research the reputation of the builder, including scouring online reviews, talking to other homeowners and learning as much as you can about how they do business and how they operate. A well-established company with a fixed place of business will obviously be a better choice than a fly-by-night builder who is here today and gone tomorrow. You only have one home, and you want to treat it right, so do yourself a favor and hire the right contractor for your new sunroom. When you look out those glass walls and bask in the beauty of nature, you will be glad you took the time to do it right.

    If you are thinking about adding a sunroom to your home, you probably have a lot of questions. We hope you have found the answers to many of those inquiries right here in our eBook, but if you still have questions we are always here to help. Just contact us today to discuss your sunroom plans, so you can start enjoying your newly expanded living space as soon as possible.