Glass Sunroom Additions and Solariums

A Sunroom Addition or Solarium is a Great Way to Brighten Up those Cold Winter Days

By Mark J. Donovan

Glass sunroom additions and solariums are a great way to enjoy more of the outdoors without necessarily having to stand in it. It is like being outside but not having to worry about the mosquitoes or cold, depending upon the season. Glass sunroom additions add light and allow you to you enjoy your home more, particularly during the winter months. A sunroom addition, or solarium, also provides more living space in your home, and frequently it becomes one of the most popular rooms in the home.

Glass Sunroom addition and solariums also provide an excellent return on investment. Today’s prospective homebuyers look for homes that are bright and cheery, and have that outdoors feeling without the side effects of insects and extreme temperatures.

When planning a glass sunroom addition or solarium make sure you carefully consider the location and position of it. In many cases people prefer to add a sunroom addition or solarium off of a kitchen or family room area for maximum utilization.

In many cases, homeowners actually use sunroom additions or solariums as their kitchen dining area, family room, and home gym space.

Ideally a sunroom addition should be facing a south / southwest exposure to maximize sunlight exposure in the afternoon and evenings, particularly if it is to be located off of a family room. If your sunroom addition is to be located off of your kitchen then you may want to have it facing south / southeast to take advantage of the morning light.

When building a four season sunroom addition or solarium it is important to consider how you will use it. Depending upon its intended use there are different features that you may want to consider in it.

Sunroom Addition Construction

When building a sunroom addition or solarium it is important that its design blend well into the existing home. The addition should meld into the existing home’s structure as if it was designed and built during the home’s original construction. You may want to enlist the services of a home addition architect to help with this process.

Home Addition Bid Sheets

Besides the use of glass doors and windows, as well as skylights, sunroom additions and solariums frequently include ceramic tile floors to help absorb the sun’s rays.

The roof pitch and its position towards the sun’s track are also important considerations. For example, if you live in a northern climate the roof pitch needs to be steep enough so that snow can quickly melt off of it. Likewise, there is no point of having a sunroom addition or solarium if the roof surface is facing the north.

Hiring a Solarium or Sunroom Addition Contractor

Once you have a set of sunroom addition plans, you can then begin the process of finding a contractor to build it. Selecting a qualified and professional sunroom addition contractor can be challenging. It is important to find the right one for your sunroom addition project to ensure that it is built correctly and to your budget and timeline.

One great way to locate a qualified sunroom addition contractor is to use a national home building contractor referral company. They have pre-screened and qualified home addition contractors all around the country and maintain their names and contact information in a database.

Sunroom addition

In addition, their services are free to the homeowner. The homeowner simply fills out a free online form for their specific home addition requirements and they will forward the information on to 3 or 4 sunroom addition contractors in your area. The contractors will then contact you to set up a time to meet with you and review your sunroom addition or solarium plans.

Obtaining Solarium or Sunroom Addition Contractor Price Quotes

When obtaining sunroom addition price quotes from contractors it is important to make sure that they provide you with a complete sunroom addition cost breakdown list of every phase of the project. The more detail in the sunroom addition cost breakdown list, or bid sheet, the more likely of an accurate sunroom addition cost proposal.

To help in obtaining accurate and consistent sunroom addition contractor quotes, see my Room Addition Bid Sheet. The Room Addition Bid Sheet provides a request for quote section that you can provide to prospective building contractors. It also includes a comprehensive room addition cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the contractor to include his projected room addition costs for every phase of the project.

When interviewing potential sunroom addition contractors make sure you check their references. Usually a good litmus test for evaluating a home building contractor is to see how long the reference list is.

The longer this list is, the higher the likelihood that he has a solid reputation. A long reference list also helps to get a feel for how long the contractor has been in business and his level of pride in his work.  Regardless of the length of the reference list, it is still important to contact at least 3 or 4 of the references.

Contact a couple of more recent projects completed by the contractor and a couple 2-5 years out in the past. This way you can see how he has been trending with his work, as well as to see how his work holds the test of time.

Finally, it is also important to note that glass sunroom addition construction costs are typically higher than building a new home. The reason for this is that a room addition requires additional effort to tie it into the home. In addition, a new home construction project offers economies of scale. With a sunroom addition, you may be adding only a few hundred square feet of area, whereas with a new home construction project you may be building 2,000 to 4,000 square feet of living area. In addition, windows are expensive and will represent a significant cost in the construction of your sunroom addition.

A glass sunroom addition or solarium is a great addition to any home and is well worth the investment. Just make sure you plan accordingly before breaking ground. By doing so you will increase your chances of a successful sunroom addition. Good luck with your sunroom addition project!

For more help on building a sunroom addition, see’s Home Addition Bid Sheets. Our Home Addition Bid Sheets provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. They also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating your own new home construction building costs.

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