There are more things to consider for a homeowner when choosing the right sunroom besides the number of windows or the architectural look to the room. In the northern United States and Canada it might be better to consider a solarium that allows more light in, keeping it warmer in the winter. In the Southern part of the country, it is probably best to consider a sunroom that has a hard roof that can block out a lot of the hot mid-day heat from the sun.
Some companies offer PVC frames that have better survival rates in extreme weather conditions while other companies might use treated wood frames. There is also the option of single- or double-glazed windows that can make a difference in how efficient the room is and for how long it can be used throughout the year. Solariums can be used more for more year-round use and come in curved or straight eaves. These have a roofing system and walls of glass, but are only suggested for Northern areas of the United States were the winters might be milder because all glass rooms can collapse or weaken from years of heavy snowfall. On the other hand, a hard roof sunroom can be made to match the rest of the home’s exterior and tends to stand up better to those heavy snows.
For a remodeler the choice is yours to go with a company that will install the sunroom, send you the kit to install yourself or even choose to become a dealer for an added product offering. Be aware though that each state has a different building code it has adopted as a standard for sunrooms and it is best to check with the local municipality to see which editions of the code they enforce. Some states are relying on the 2000 or 2003 editions of the IRC or IBC codes while others are working to embrace the 2006 version of the IBC.
A great source of information concerning sunrooms can be obtained from the National Sunroom Association. Headquartered in Cleveland, the NSA is a member-directed trade association dedicated to the advancement of the manufacture and construction of safe, energy-efficient and environmentally conscious sunrooms, patio rooms and solariums. The NSA holds or supports several events, meetings and speakers to keep up on codes, news, technology and standards affecting the sunroom industry. This includes structural materials and window choices for sunrooms.
As more homeowners look to expand their living space and outdoor living becomes an increasing bigger standard in the United States, sunrooms are nothing to overlook in a remodeling business. Sunrooms can be a great investment for homeowners where the national return on investment is 66.3 percent of the original investment back upon resale of their home. This average can of course be higher or lower depending on the region of the country.