Remodeling Your St. Louis Sunroom: Ask These 5 Questions First

Written by Josh McDermott

sunroom remodelSunrooms, with their abundance of natural light, are a restful spot where you can snuggle up with a good book or just sit back and relax at the end of a long day. All-season sunrooms are popular in the Greater St. Louis area, as they allow you to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors even when the weather is rainy or cold.

 

Planning Your Sunroom Remodel

Whether you’re adding a sunroom off your kitchen or living area, remodeling an existing one, or framing in and converting a covered porch, sunrooms are a delight for the entire family. Before you get started with your sunroom remodel in St. Louis, ask yourself these five questions. Your answers will help you make informed decisions about what type of sunroom is right for you.

1. What will you be using the sunroom for?

It may seem obvious, but people use their sunrooms for more than soaking up the sunshine. Do you envision leisurely weekend breakfasts? Will it be a space for entertaining friends? Will you use it as a mini greenhouse? Your answer plays a major part in determining the location and size of your  sunroom remodel.

2. Is it better to enclose an existing porch or patio, or add on something new?

Like most things, it depends. If you want to add on, your lot will dictate where the sunroom can be placed. Many homeowners already have porches off their kitchen or living room, so it often makes sense to use that as a base.

One of the main considerations about where your St. Louis sunroom remodel is located is exposure. If the location faces west, you’ll want to use less windows on that side. You can make up for it by putting a huge bank of sliding doors and windows on the opposite wall. Four hours of direct sunlight a day is ideal for a sunroom, as is a south-facing location. Think, too, about positioning the room to overlook a favorite view.  

3. How big should the sunroom be?

You might immediately think “as big as possible!” Keep some important things in mind, though, before you decide. If you’re putting on an addition, you’ll need to consider how much outdoor space you’re willing to give up. Local zoning regulations may limit how much you can add on and how close to the property line you can build. Property taxes, too, will be affected by the additional square footage.

4. What’s different about designing or remodeling a sunroom?

You might be surprised to hear that there isn’t a lot that’s different from designing and constructing other addition. You still need a permit, as it’s considered another room on your house.

Sometimes, an architect is required to seal the proposed plan. One of the biggest benefits of working with a firm likes ours is that these types of details are handled under our design build umbrella. We bring the architect to the table and, if he or she says changes need to be made before approval, we do whatever is required to have the plan stamped.

A big design consideration is how to tie the addition into the rest of the house, both inside and out. Rooflines and existing materials can affect the final exterior look.

  • For example, you may not be able to perfectly match older siding. In those cases, we recommend using contrasting material or a different color, format, or texture siding.
  • If the home’s original roof line intrudes into the sunroom’s space, sections of it can be removed so the new roofline doesn’t look like an add-on.
  • Inside, it may mean replacing the adjacent room’s flooring to avoid an obvious transition. If you open up the walls between the rooms, you might want to paint both rooms the same or complementary colors.

5. Can a sunroom be heated with your home’s existing system?

Not usually. Typically, a mini split system is added to your existing HVAC setup. This requirement has less to do with ductwork and is more about your existing system being sized for your home’s current configuration. Adding 300 to 500 additional square feet makes a separate system necessary, but it can usually be put in an inconspicuous place.

There are several ways to manage the room temperature when you’re not using controlled heat. Blinds, curtains, or shades will help block the summer sun’s strong rays. Windows can be placed to allow for cross breezes. Energy-efficient windows can also help keep the room cooler. Many homeowners install one or more ceiling fans.

Learn More

Sunrooms, decks, and other outdoor living spaces are some of our specialty projects. If you’re thinking of adding or remodeling a sunroom to your Greater St. Louis area home, we’d love to show you how a well-designed and built sunroom can add years of enjoyment to your home. Contact us today to learn more. We look forward to working with you!

For Josh, it’s always been about relationships. As J.T. McDermott’s 2nd generation owner, he believes nothing matters more than the enduring friendships that are built with the homeowners he serves. “If I can help both our clients grow and the team grow, everything else will take care of itself.”

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