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Sunroom Designs

Sunrooms – Sunroom Design - Screened Rooms / Porches

Looking for a new Sunroom or Conservatory? Want information on the latest designs and styles? Request a free Sunrooms Brochure for details of this and a whole lot more!

So what’s the difference between a sunroom and a conservatory?

Although both words are often used to describe the same structure, the term ‘conservatory’ usually refers to vinyl-framed structures with pitched roofs. Also 'conservatory' tends to be very much a British term, while 'sunroom' is a term more frequently used in the USA and Canada.

While our UK and Ireland visitors will also be familiar with the term sunrooms, these particular sunroom articles will be of most interest to our USA and Canada visitors and it should be noted that in particular the “Get a Sunroom Quote” and the offer of a free copy of "The Insider's Guide to Sunrooms" is only available in the USA.

While our UK and Ireland visitors will also be familiar with the term sunrooms, these particular sunroom articles will be of most interest to our USA and Canada visitors and it should be noted that in particular the is only available in the USA.

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So what’s the difference between a sunroom and a conservatory?‘Sunroom’ usually refers to solid-wood-framed structures in studio or shed-roof styles.

There are many variations on the sunroom/conservatory theme and many manufacturers blur the traditional characteristics of each, so for the purposes of this article we will write in general terms that can be applied to both structures.

Sunrooms - bringing the outdoors indoors

Installing a sunroom or conservatory enables you to enjoy the benefits of outdoor living whatever the weather, whatever the season. Rain? Mosquitoes? Barbecue smells from next door? Tucked inside your sunroom you will be impervious to them all – while still enjoying the invigorating feeling of space and natural light that your garden provides.

Sunrooms - bringing the outdoors indoorsA sunroom is one of those ‘I can’t imagine how we ever managed without it, I wish we’d done it years ago’ purchases that is a genuine lifestyle enhancer. And a purchase that you will continue to use and get pleasure from for many, many years.

Because of this it is essential to give plenty of thought to your requirements before making what is, after all, a major purchase. It’s not a decision to be rushed as there are many things to take into consideration before you take the plunge.

To help with your choice we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions and a number of guidelines.

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Frequently asked questions

What is a sunroom?
Sometimes known as a porch enclosure, a sunroom has window walls and a roof of either solid foam-insulated panels or glass.

What do they cost?
How long is a piece of string? Costing from a few thousand upwards, there is a sunroom to meet every budget. The price will depend on such factors as size, materials, the site, whether the sunroom is ‘off the peg’ or customized and whether you have it built for you or do it yourself.

buy a sunroom over the internetSo are sunrooms available in DIY form?
Yes, some firms supply sunrooms as ready-to-install kits. Thanks to advanced computer technology, you can even buy self-installation kits that are customized for your home. The kits come with a detailed manual giving step-by-step instructions and with each part labeled for easy reference. There is usually a free telephone helpline service, too, for those ‘whoops, what comes next?’ moments!

Can I buy a sunroom over the internet?
These days you can buy virtually anything over the internet, including sunrooms. It is easy to send photos, drawings and documents electronically to anywhere in the world. Purchasers, suppliers and contractors can work together – from different continents if necessary – to collate the relevant information required to design or choose the right sunroom for your needs.

Do I need a building permit?
Almost certainly yes. It depends on local building regulations, as well as the type and size of your proposed sunroom. It always pays to check out the legal situation before you begin. Do this right at the outset in case there are restrictions that will affect your purchasing decision.

What does getting a building permit involve?
Local regulations cover things like size, height, style and proximity to neighbouring structures. You will need to submit professionally-produced drawings along with detailed material specifications, etc.

Which direction should a sunroom face?
A south-facing room will provide most sunlight. Conversely a north-facing room will provide least, although this could be an advantage if you live in the south. East-facing will be sunniest in the mornings, west-facing in the afternoon/evening.

However, north, south, east or west – you will enjoy the benefits whichever direction your sunroom faces.

Could it get too hot if it faces south, then?
In theory, yes. In practice, not necessarily. This aspect of your sunroom is something to be discussed with the supplier/designer in the initial stages of the project – materials, ventilation, blinds, etc. should be chosen to take into account the factors affecting your chosen site.

Will I need heating in my sunroom?
If you want to get maximum use from your sunroom, 365 days a year, then probably yes – depending on where you live, of course. As above, this a question to be resolved at the design stage.

How long does the whole process take?
We’re back to the piece of string again! Factor in building permits, whether your sunroom is customized or not, whether you are building it yourself, the time of year, the weather, the work-load of any professionals involved. It could be as short as a few weeks – or as long as several months. The sooner you get going, the sooner you’ll be reaping the rewards!

For our other Products, please visit:

Sunrooms | Buyers Guide/Tips | Jargon Buster | Free Sunroom Brochure | Get a Sunroom Quote

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