The history of the sunroom goes back to the 1800s, when the science of glass had advanced and when international trade brought seeds of exotic plants back to enterprising people who decided to build the glass paneled conservatory or orangery in which to grow them. The famed Crystal Palace built for the 1851 Exhibition in London started the craze for what became today’s modern sunroom. And while this craze lasted into the 1920s, the science of the materials used had advanced enough by the 1970s that sunrooms became a permanent fixture on the home design front.
There are as many reasons to install a sunroom as there are designs to employ. The design that you choose depends upon the shape and size of the area into which the sunroom will extend as well as your intended purpose for the room. Designs range from the simple lean-to, solarium, or a single gabled sunroom, to a breezeway to connect two buildings, to a Victorian-style (rounded with sloping or pointed roof) or the larger scale Edwardian-style (rectangular with extended glass roof) conservatory.
The most common reason to install a sunroom is to extend your living space while adding more light and openness to a home. Often the sunroom becomes a family room, den, “Florida Room,” or an indoor enclosure for a swimming pool or a hot tub. The design of the sunroom is also determined by the materials used to build it: stone, brick or wood bases with aluminum, wood, or PVC window frame systems.
The design may also be determined by the kind of windows to be utilized. Aside from simple expanses of choices include casement windows, dual sliding windows, window grilles, and solid or glass kick panels. Other considerations include the type of glass to be used, type of roof and roof finishing, heating or air conditioning system, blinds, ventilation, furnishings designed not to fade in the sunlight, and floor covering. Sunrooms add not only function and attractiveness to a home, they also increase the value of your home!
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