Guide to Adding a Sunroom Addition

Are you considering adding on a sunroom to your home? A sunroom is a great option for those hoping to enjoy the surrounding outdoor scenery while being sheltered from wind, bugs, rain, and cold weather. In addition, being exposed to natural sunlight can help prevent the “winter blues.”

 

 

Sunrooms are defined as glassed-in living spaces with access from the main home. They are an affordable way to add additional living space without the cost of hefty construction. As with any construction project, there are many factors to be taken into consideration when planning a sunroom. These include:

Main Function

First, it is important to assess how you primarily plan on using your sunroom addition. There are endless options which include, but are not limited to:

  • Dining Room
  • Family Room
  • Greenhouse
  • Home Office
  • Exercise Room
  • Playroom

 

Three Season vs. All Season Room

Do you want your sunroom to be a three season or an all season room? Three season rooms are typically enjoyed Spring – Fall, with the space seldom used during the Winter due to lack of insulation.

While sunrooms serve as additional living space, they may get too hot/cold in the heart of summer or winter. Typically, an all season room has some form of heating and cooling. This could be a space heater, electric fireplace, or another option. For the hot summer days in Virginia we recommend installing a mini-split system. To learn more about mini-split systems, please read this blog post.

 

Location and Size

When planning for a sunroom addition, it is important to consider where you want your new structure to be. Do you picture you new sunroom off of the back, or on either side of the house? Once the location has been decided, it is important to determine the amount of sunlight room will experience. In the event that your sunroom will experience direct sunlight you may want to consider window treatments or shades. In addition, don’t forget about any items in your landscaping that might affect your sunroom – is there a tree in the way that needs to be removed?

 

Overall, the size that you choose for your sunroom will be largely determined by the space that your yard allots and how you intend to use your sunroom.

 

Window Configuration

Sunrooms are typically comprised of single or double pane windows. Double pane windows are much more energy efficient and can help to save money on heating and cooling. There are many different types of double pane windows that can be installed in a sunroom addition. Some window types to choose from include:

  • Fixed Windows
  • Slider Windows
  • Casement Windows
  • Double-Hung Windows

Choosing the right windows for your home will depend on what functionality you would like from your windows and the style of the existing windows on your home.

 

Flooring

There are many types of flooring to choose from. These include:

  • Hardwood
  • Tile
  • Carpet
  • Laminate
  • Concrete
  • Linoleum

Each type of flooring has its own drawbacks and advantages, so it is important to pick the flooring that best fits your needs. For example, tile is a durable option that can retain heat; however, dark tiles can get hot after being exposed to the sun all day.

 

Sunrooms can be a great addition to nearly any home; after all, can even increase your home value when it comes time to sell. A sunroom is the perfect place to bring family together, from enjoying morning cups of coffee to observing the sunset at the end of the day. Your sunroom addition is sure to become the most popular room in your home. Wondering how to get started on the process? Contact Balducci Exteriors to set up a free in-home consultation.

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Planning an Outdoor Kitchen (And Why You Need One)

For many people, outdoor kitchens are a far fetched dream. They exude luxury entertainment and can be as well equipped as any indoor kitchen. Adding an outdoor kitchen to your home has many benefits. In addition to providing an awesome entertainment space, an outdoor kitchen can increase your home value. Some other lesser known benefits of adding an outdoor kitchen include: cooking healthier recipes, saving money by eating out less, and keeping bad cooking smells out of your home.

outdoor kitchen

When planning an outdoor kitchen space, there are several things to keep in mind to create an efficient and inviting space. here are some tips to make the planning process a little less overwhelming:

Establish the Location

Often, the first step in planning your outdoor kitchen is to establish where you want the kitchen to be located. Typically, it is better to have your outdoor kitchen closer to your house if you plan on using some appliances in the main kitchen, or if you have a smaller yard size. This set up works well if you plan on using your outdoor kitchen for mainly grilling and will keep condiments and beverages inside. placing your outdoor kitchen close to the house makes preparing meals in the outdoor kitchen more convenient. However, if you want a more extravagant outdoor kitchen, placing it farther away from the home will serve the space better. This is also preferable if you have a larger yard size. Plus, this will help to keep fumes and smells outside of your home.

Choose Your Equipment

Choosing a grill for your outdoor kitchen can be overwhelming. After all, it is typically the focal point of any outdoor kitchen. Will you have natural gas or charcoal? How many guests do you plan on cooking for? Grills can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Practically speaking, you will want a grill that has at least 12,000 British thermal units per burner, ample cooking space, and a grill cover. Once you have the basics covered, feel free to add on any bells and whistles that you desire.

In addition to the grill, it is also important to determine any other appliances that you wish to include. This can include anything from a small refrigerator or prep sink, to a kegerator and pizza oven. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing appliances for your outdoor kitchen is their durability.

Planning the Layout and Materials

Just as any kitchen should have a good, working design and configuration between the appliances and prep areas, so should your outdoor kitchen. A good way to ensure the efficiency of an outdoor kitchen layout is by utilizing a working triangle. In a working triangle, it is important to leave enough space between each appliance to allow for ample prep and cooking space without feeling too claustrophobic. Going along with the working triangle, it is also important to allot for ample countertop space. It is recommended that you have at least 12 inches of work space on either side of the grill to set down plates and utensils as you’re cooking. In addition to a work space, you can configure your countertops to also serve as a serving and eating space.

The countertops and all other materials that you choose must be hardworking. After all, it will be exposed to whatever the weather brings – from bright sunlight to snowfall. Some durable and low maintenance materials include stainless steel and tile.

Plan for Lighting

Lighting is an essential part of any outdoor living space, especially for outdoor kitchens. Including lights in your outdoor kitchen area can allow you to enjoy your space long after dinner. The best way to effectively incorporate lighting into your outdoor kitchen is by including both task lighting and ambient lighting. This can be accomplished by installing a couple of lights over the grilling and food prep areas, as well as any dining areas. To set the mood, it is also a good idea to include some decorative lights, such as string lights, solar powered lights, candles, and even tiki torches.

outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchens are a great investment for those who love to invite family and friends over by adding additional entertaining space. Planning an outdoor kitchen can be overwhelming; however, it can be made a little more manageable if you plan its location, equipment, appliances, materials, and lighting ahead of time. Once your outdoor kitchen is complete, don’t forget to plan that long awaited barbecue with family and friends to enjoy your new space.