Tips and advice on buying the perfect sunroom
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The advantages of a sunroom or conservatory
- Enables you to enjoy the benefits of
outdoor living 365 days a year
- Provides additional space, which can be,
used for a variety of purposes – as
a dining room, playroom, office, entertainment area, sitting room, home gym
or spa room with a hot tub. Even, of course, as a plant nursery.
- Increases your exposure to sunlight – medically
proven to be beneficial, especially for people who suffer from SAD (Seasonal
- Increases the re-sale value of your home
Guidelines for choosing a sunroom or conservatory
Large projects may need an architect
If your planned sunroom is especially large or unusual if might be sensible
to have plans drawn up by an architect. Although it adds to the cost it could
save you money in the long run. Objective, professional advice can be invaluable
in such circumstances and having drawings and specifications will enable
you to get quotes on a ‘like for like’ basis, making it easier
for you to compare prices.
Shop around for a sunroom supplier
Ask around and see if you can pick up some recommendations from friends and
neighbours. Get at least three quotations and don’t necessarily pick
the lowest. Check the specifications on each, especially the materials to
be used. If possible, look at work carried out by the company and speak to
Choose the best sunroom you can afford
Choose the best quality sunroom you can afford. Remember to set aside around
10% of the cost as a contingency in case the project involves unforeseen
work, or in case you decide to make changes once the job is under way.
See what warranties your chosen supplier/s will offer. A good manufacturer/builder
will always provide comprehensive guarantees to cover materials and labour.
Complement your home
Always go for a style that complements your home, trying to match materials
where possible so that the new addition blends in with the original house.
Always calculate the internal floor area required when ordering a sunroom,
remembering that most quotes are usually based on external dimensions. Mark
out the area using stakes and string to be sure you are happy with the proposed
Meet the builders
If you are employing one company to do all the work try to meet their builders
before confirming your order. These are the men who will be spending quite
some time at your home and you should ensure you will feel comfortable with
Tie up the details
Will the builder sub-contract plumbing and electrical work? If so, will he
project manage the other trades effectively? Are there any financial penalties
Sunroom Planning permission / building permit
Check whether planning permission and building permits are required. Unless
specifically agreed otherwise, this is your responsibility, not the builder’s.
When the job is done
Remember to inform your insurers about your new sunroom to that premiums can
be adjusted accordingly.
Look after your sunroom by always following manufacturers’ instructions
on care and treatment of materials.
Conventional furnishings are likely to rot and fade in the intense sunlight
of your sunroom so choose wicker furniture. Avoid metal as it absorbs heat
making it extremely hot. Choose tough soft furnishings but be prepared to
replace them periodically.
Candles will add greatly to the atmosphere of your sunroom in the evenings
but remember to put them away during the day as they will melt and bend in
If you keep plants in your sunroom make sure they do not scorch. And provide
sufficient shading, moisture and ventilation for them if you go on holiday.