With windows and a glass roof, a sunroom offers a space packed with natural light. Perfect as a place for dining, relaxing, and hosting guests, sunrooms are a welcome addition to any home.
A sunroom bridges the gap between the indoors and outdoors. You get to enjoy all the creature comforts of indoor living while taking in all the beauty of the outdoors. You can style to your heart’s content, be protected from flies and other insects, and enjoy the feeling of being outdoors even when it’s windy, rainy or too hot.
This article explores the benefits of having a sunroom and the importance of selecting the right walls and roof for your sunroom. It will look at roof ideas, wall ideas and what to consider when choosing your materials.
Why have a sunroom?
If you’re tired of dodging mosquitoes, a sunroom is a flexible indoor/outdoor space that can increase the square footage of your home and help you enjoy the outdoors throughout the year. You can cozy up with book, catch up with friends over a coffee, turn it into a hobby room, and increase the value of your home.
A sunroom is an extension of a home that’s walled off by either windows or screens and is usually covered with a glass roof to create a never-ending stream of light. The materials you choose for your sunroom will depend on your budget, how you plan to use the room, your location’s climate, and the style of your home. You can customise your sunroom with a fireplace, a wet bar or a built-in entertainment system, but let’s for now concentrate on the screening and roofing of your sunroom.
Roofing ideas for your sunroom
The two most common types of roof slopes in sunrooms are gable and single-slope. A gable roof refers to a more traditional style of roof and looks a bit like an A-frame. It’s characterised by two sloping sides that meet at a peak in the middle.
A single slope roof is similar to that found on a shed. Single slope roofs require fewer materials and labour to construct and are often the more affordable option. The drawback is that you won’t get as much ceiling height with a single slope roof as you will with a gable roof. This can also mean less ventilation in the room and less opportunity for getting creative with lighting and decor. The same goes for a flat roof. It’s budget-friendly, but not offer the visual effect and comfort you are chasing from your sunroom.
When it comes to materials, the most common types of sunroom roof materials are glass, shingles or aluminium. Deciding on the material is a matter of preference, lifestyle, budget and needs.
A glass roof features glass panels in place of an enclosed, solid ceiling. Glass offers your sunroom maximum sunlight and views of the night sky. If you’re looking to truly connect with the outdoors from your sunroom, a glass roof is an excellent choice. The downside of glass asa roof material is that it can be expensive to install and costly to repair if it gets broken, cracked or chipped.
A solid roof of shingles or aluminium blocks overhead sunlight, reducing the amount of afternoon glare. A solid roof can also limit solar heating, making the room more comfortable in summer.
Wall ideas for your sunroom
If you’re considering a glass or structured ceiling, you may like to consider insulating your walls instead of your roof. This will help to ensure you can use your sunroom throughout the year and not just when it’s comfortable. Options for insulating your walls include:
Double-glazed windows offer added security and sound proofing, making them a popular choice for sunroom walls. The disadvantage to double-glazed windows is that they cannot be fixed if they are damaged as they can’t be pulled apart. This means that the entire window would need to be replaced in the event of any damage.
A cheaper and lower-risk option to double-glazing is tinted windows, which come with the added benefit of increased privacy. The downside of tinted windows is that tint can block the UV rays in all seasons, making your sunroom too cold to enjoy in winter. The tint could also take away from the views you want to achieve.
Mesh screen windows
An alternate affordable option is using fly screen mesh instead of glass, allowing you both fresh air and views. Your sunroom will be warmed in winter thanks to sun exposure, and in summer you can benefit from breeze without the fear of flies and mosquitoes. If you opt for retractable fly screen walls, you can even open up the sunroom completely, allowing you to move freely between your covered sunroom and the backyard.
Why roof and wall materials matter
There are two main types of sunrooms – three season sunrooms and four-season sunrooms. The design elements you choose for your roof and windows will determine which one you end up with.
The point of distinction between the two comes down to comfort. If you want to use your sunroom all year round, you need to use materials that will allow maximum comfort whether it’s summer, spring, winter or autumn. If you don’t create comfort through your roof and window choices, you may need to turn to central heating and cooling systems.
Enjoying your functional sunroom
With the right design, your sunroom will increase your livable space and quality of life. Your sunroom will get you closer to the outdoors, boosting your health and mood while raising your property’s value. Consider each element of your sunroom’s materials and the impact each will have on the utility of your sunroom. If you’re unsure where to start, talk to the team at Artilux, Australia’s leading supplier of high-quality retractable flyscreens. We can talk you through thermal efficiency, convenience, style and budget, and devise a solution to ensure your enjoyment of a fully-functional sunroom no matter the time of year.