Is your home feeling cramped and dark? Are you dreaming of big windows and plenty of sunshine? Most of us can’t pack up and move south, but there are things we can do here in Nova Scotia to take advantage of our beautiful landscape all year long.
Sunrooms are a great way to add more square-footage and allow natural light to flood your home. These bright and airy rooms draw you in and invite you to relax. The large windows let you enjoy the great outdoors – even when it’s 40C below outside!
By definition, a sunroom is any room that’s attached to the home and has 3 windowed walls. But recent advancements in the building industry make the possibilities almost as endless as your imagination (and, of course, your budget).
Solariums or conservatories are beautiful, but slightly different. These aluminum-framed glassed-in rooms resemble a greenhouse and are great for growing plants, but can get a little uncomfortable for people. So much glass makes it hard to regulate the temperature. The cost to heat and cool the space properly can be prohibitively expensive, so needs to be considered during the planning stages.
Screened room additions let in plenty of sunlight and get you closer to nature, but aren’t really usable in colder months. While the roof and screens protect you from evening insects and rainy days, these rooms aren’t weather proof, so a big storm will blow right through. Propane heaters or fireplaces let you enjoy these spaces in early Spring and late Fall, but you’ll still have to wear a snow suite in January if you want to sip your morning coffee in here!
3-Season rooms are similar to full sunrooms but aren’t insulated for the coldest months. If you like to hibernate in winter and entertain in summer, you might only need the space for 3-seasons. They can save you money up front on insulation costs, heating in winter, and window selection, but you’ll really need to think about how the room will be used. It’s much more difficult to upgrade later, so you need to be certain that this is the choice for you.
Modern SUNROOMS combine the best features from the options above to create a comfortable and usable space all year long. They’re built to complement the architecture of your existing home. The new roof lines are shingled to match and blend seamlessly. They shouldn’t be tacked on like an afterthought – their design should look as beautiful on the outside as they do on the inside.
Like solariums, large glass windows span from floor to ceiling and are used to infuse the space with as much light as possible. Around the Halifax area, you’ll need to consider double or triple-pane insulated windows, which will help regulate the temperature throughout the year.
Skylights can help exhaust hot air in the summer months. Transom windows are set above a door or larger window. If you have open ceilings, Gable windows sit in the triangle or peak of the wall. These window options are usually more decorative then functional, but create interesting design details and bring even more light into the space.
Ceiling fans are helpful for circulating the air, especially if there’s an open or vaulted ceiling. In winter they help push the warm air down and in summer they can keep the air moving and help push the hot air out. Consider adding a fireplace; they provide ambiance, beauty and warmth like no other design feature can!
Not only will adding a sunroom to your home increase it’s value, but it will give you a functional and beautiful light-filled room to enjoy year-round.