Converting your deck into a sunroom comes with many benefits. One advantage is that a sunroom conversion increases the interior square footage. Additionally, the enclosure also increases the property value of your Howard County home. The other benefits include the optimized use of the space. Home owners use their decks in the spring, summer and early fall. However, they enjoy sunrooms all year long. We love the beautiful serenity of nature surrounding us. A sunroom conversion offers all the beauty of views, with indoor comforts. Here are a few tips to consider before starting your Howard County sunroom conversion.
Hire the Right Company
The first step for a Howard County sunroom conversion is hiring a contractor. Deck conversions require permits, licenses and professional construction management knowledge. Just assessing your deck and determining what’s possible involves experience with things like foundation and HVAC systems. The contractor must first analyze the deck and decide what the best approach is. Chances are, some fixtures need relocating. Also, your foundation may need more structural support to hold the weight of walls and a roof. The permitting process alone is enough to make you want a contractor. Professionals with industry experience know their way around Howard County government agencies. Their project management responsibilities include getting all the needed documents.
The best contractors work with the home owner as opposed to for the home owner. Home projects have a personal connection best influenced by the family living in the space. A good contractor includes the home owners in all major planning, changes, and decisions. A collaborative designing process guarantees you get what you want. Look for a company with a good track record and great customer feedback.
It’s All About the Windows
Sunrooms are practically floor to ceiling windows. They create a space for enjoying the natural environment surrounding a home. A room with all windows means very little insulation. Forget about controlling temperatures the way you do in the rest of the house. Also, consider the vulnerability of a windowed walls. That’s why, the quality of windows matters. Unlike the bathroom window on the second floor, or the kitchen garden window, a sunroom demands high performance windows. Research window manufacturers and supply companies during the buying process.
Install windows that have high energy star ratings and good warranties. Energy efficient windows are key. Familiarize yourself with terms like low E argon, double and single pane, and solar heat gain coefficient. Not all windows are created equal. For sun room windows, ask about the Solar Heat Gain Coefficient. This measures the solar energy transmitted through the windows. More simply, this lets you know how well your windows block the heat. To prevent your sunroom from becoming a hot box, choose a window with low SHGC. Another important rating for sunroom windows is the U-Factor. The rating of the U-Factor indicates how well your windows insulate. For those colder months, well insulated windows keep the inside warmer. Also consider the Condensation Resistance. As you may have guessed, it measures a window’s resistance to water build-up.
For more on Understanding Window Ratings, click here.
In addition to choosing the right windows, design a plan that integrates the sunroom with the rest of the home. On the exterior, this means making the walls and roof of the conversion blend in with the original structure. Talk to your contractor about matching the type of siding and trim. Also match the same type and color of roofing shingles. Integration also matters from an interior perspective. The sunroom acts as a transition between the home and your outdoor living space. Make sure the transition is a smooth one that feels natural. Design the sunroom to be an additional living space that coincides with the overall feel of the home. Even though a sunroom conversion adds a new room to the house, the best designs practices make it look like it was always there. Plan for a well integrated Howard County sunroom conversion.