Keep your partial sunroom bright and UV-free
A partial glass sunroom can add brightness and warmth to your home. Often built as an addition to a kitchen, living room, or den, these sunny structures are essentially rooms made of windows, two- to three-foot-high "knee walls," and solid roofs or glass skylights. A beautiful sunroom not only can potentially improve the aesthetic appeal of your home but also its worth.
So let's talk energy efficiency
When building a sunroom, it's important to choose the windows wisely: You should consider the year-round range of weather conditions and how much direct sunlight the room gets to select the right type of glass. You want sun, but you also want maximum energy efficiency for maximum savings on your utility bills.
Among the most efficent glass options for your partial glass sunroom are these four:
- Single solex: This green-tinted glass is designed to reduce the penetration of heat and harmful UV rays.
- Double pane: An inert gas is sandwiched between two panes of glass, acting as an insulator. This type of glass helps keep heat from passing in and out.
- Triple pane: This glass uses the same insulating principle as double pane, but with an extra layer of glass and gas. This type of glass is highly energy-efficient because of its insulating properties, making it a great choice for sunrooms.
- Low-E: Low-emission glass (known as low-E) is coated with a microscopic chemical layer that allows light to pass through but blocks out UV rays. It also greatly reduces heat transfer, keeping heat out during summer months and in during the winter.
In addition to energy efficiency, you might want to consider safety, especially if you have small children. Tempered glass--which breaks into safe chunks instead of sharp, jagged splinters--is a good safeguard against glass-related injuries.
Some popular sources for windows and other sunroom-related materials include these manufacturers:
- Four Seasons
Calculating costs for a partial glass sunroom
A 2008 article from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry indicated that the average cost of a sunroom could range from $12,000 to $70,000, depending upon the materials used and the size and intricacy of the design. When figuring out a budget for your partial glass sunroom, consider these cost components:
- The length, width, and height of the room you want to build
- Glass type (single solex, tempered, double or triple pane, low-E)
- Other materials, including wood, aluminum or vinyl (used for siding, frame, floor, knee-walls, roof)
Starting your sunroom project
Building a sunroom can be a complex, lengthy process that requires a lot of careful planning, so you'll likely need the guidance and service of a professional contractor. You can ask for contractor recommendations from trusted sources like friends, family, or neighbors who have built a partial glass sunroom, or use the form on this page to help you conenct with local contractors.