Maximum Value Big Ticket Upgrade Projects: Sunroom

By providing tons of natural sunlight, a sunroom is the perfect addition to your home’s livable square footage.

A room for all seasons, you can enjoy the beauty of nature while still getting the benefits of an indoor living room. Many homeowners find a sunroom to be the perfect area for a comfortable TV room, dining room, kids' playroom or even a spot for all that workout equipment that's been stuffed in a closet for years.

CURRENT TRENDS

  • High-end quality. In years past, a sunroom was considered an enclosed deck space, similar to a screened-in porch. These days, sunrooms are being built with the same materials as the rest of the home, making them comparable to any other indoor space. Large windows have taken the place of screens, while quality flooring materials have made indoor/outdoor carpeting a thing of the past.

BIGGEST MISTAKE

Sunrooms might seem like an easy enough DIY project, but they are, in fact, quite the opposite. According to appraisal expert, Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, nothing kills home value more than poor addition construction or window installation.

"It's important to remember," says Sellers, "that the risk of taking on a sunroom addition yourself to keep costs down can backfire in the long run if something goes wrong." The cost to fix any problems that might arise, such as a bad window installation or an unlevel foundation, are great, and will likely double the cost than if you were to have it installed professionally in the first place.

EXPERT TIPS

  • On a Budget: Style, function and design do not have to be sacrificed when trying to stay on a budget. Vinyl is a great option and has become more popular in sunroom construction. Highly insulated, durable and virtually maintenance free, vinyl sunrooms are versatile and can be tailored to your personal home style. Although overall a solid material, it is important to remember that in a large space, vinyl needs to be reinforced to keep its strength throughout the entire frame.
  • Mid-Range: If you are looking to upgrade from a basic vinyl construction, consider an aluminum sunroom. Aluminum is a superb conductor of heat, extremely durable, resistant to deterioration, and is available in many different colors to fit with your home. Depending on where you live, it is necessary to keep in mind that without thermal breaks, aluminum frames will cause extreme temperatures, so remember this when planning a budget and future use of your sunroom.
  • High-End: If you are looking to create a one-of-a-kind sunroom with specific detailing and high-end construction, wood materials are the perfect choice. Wood acts as an excellent insulator, it can be finished to protect against the elements, and is available in various forms such as pine, oak, cedar, hickory, maple, birch and others. With quite a jump in price, wood should be considered if you specifically desire the look and statement the materials bring to the construction of your sunroom.

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