Planning a Sunroom

sunroom with plants and chairs
  • 32-40 hours
  • Advanced
  • 4,500-8,000

Adding a sunroom will not only give you extra living space but also add value to your home. Planning is the most important step for many home improvement projects, including building a sunroom. The following tips will help you prepare for building your sunroom and remind you of what you need to consider.

Step 1 – Taking Measurements

First, you should measure the area to identify what space is available and how big the sunroom can be. If there isn’t sufficient space to construct a sunroom in the garden, consider building a gazebo in your backyard instead. A gazebo is not connected to the house, but it’s a room that functions much the same way as a sunroom — providing you with extra space and plenty of lighting and scenery.

Step 2 – Obtaining a Building Permit

Building permits are crucial to most home renovations, including building a sunroom. Consult the zoning office and state that the building permit is required before building your room because most zoning offices will separate large construction projects from smaller ones. This means that you could get the building permit quicker.

Step 3 – Designing Your Room

Create a design of how the finished sunroom will look. This should include the number, size, and type of windows. In addition, the size of your room and its design will depend on its function. Will it serve as an additional family room, or a place to enjoy panoramic views of the garden? Will you want a European sunroom, or do you want to make one your own style?

Although you can complete this step yourself, you can also hire a specialist to design it for you. Regardless of whether you or professionals work on it, a detailed design plan will help a contractor carry out his or her work efficiently.

Step 4 – Hiring Contractors

If you’re an expert do-it-yourselfer, you could possibly build your own sunroom. However, it’s likely that you will want to hire a professional to build it for you. Be sure to compare several quotes from local contractors before deciding, and check their references as well as their licenses and insurance details.

Once you select your builder, meet with them face-to-face to set up a work schedule and plan.

Step 4 – Buying a Kit or Materials

It is possible to purchase sunroom kits from garden centers, but they tend to be mass-produced, not personalized. Some architectural firms will supply all the goods required to build the construction. If this is not the case, you will need to shop for the required windows and additional doors. Choose windows that will let in plenty of sunlight, but make sure that the sizes are correct and line up with the measurements from the design.

Step 5 – Considering Electricity

Lastly, the contractor should be able to build the sunroom in line with the specified requirements of the design with ease. If you intend to add electricity to the room, you will need to ensure it has the correct electrical fittings for lighting and other electrical equipment. Unless you are familiar with installing electricity, you should hire a qualified electrician.

Once you've considered these steps and have finished planning, you're ready to build your sunroom.