Room for All Seasons 

Extend your living space with a room fit for four seasons

AdobeStock_127892074From colorful spring blooms to dramatic winter icicles, there is no such thing as a boring season in the Fox Cities. Homeowners have many options for making the most out of the natural beauty in their backyards. One of the best ways to bring a little bit of the outdoors safely inside is with an enclosed four season room.

Sunrooms and four season rooms are often an addition to a home and allow in an abundance of natural light through large windows or glass walls. One advantage of sunrooms and four season rooms is their versatility.

“Just as home trends change and things go in and out of fashion, sunrooms can be continually updated and modernized with the rest of the home, ” says Lucas Hoh, owner of Legacy Sunrooms in Appleton.

For homeowners seeking a personal sanctuary, sunrooms are the perfect place to relax and unwind, says Tod Raehl, owner of Tod Raehl Remodeling in Neenah.

“The purpose of allowing all the natural light and scenery into the home is to take a deep breath and relax,” he says.

Sunrooms can be the most useful when the weather outside is bleak. These climate controlled rooms allow people in the winter to sit and watch the snowfall from the warmth of their homes. In summer, people can enjoy beautiful blossoms while being protected from sweltering heat.

Ideal for a lake house or home with surrounding woods, there is no bad place for a sunroom. While sunrooms can add square footage to a home, that is not their main function. Sunrooms are a place to recline and relax, but will not alleviate the congestion of a cramped home, says Raehl.

Sunrooms work well for homeowners of all ages and can be tailored to each homeowner’s need. According to Hoh, the typical sunroom is around 12 feet by 14 feet in size, but can vary widely. The rooms can be custom designed, so that it’s a cohesive addition to the preexisting structure. Most often, sunrooms are added to the back of a house, but can be positioned on the sides as well.

When adding a sunroom, there are different options for building the structure. According to Tom Meersman, manager of AHT Wisconsin Windows in Clintonville, the main two options are to build on an existing porch or create a new base. If there is an existing porch, a sunroom could be built on its foundation, given that it is up to code. If there is no existing structure to build on, then footings and a new foundation will have to be added.

Glass roofs are becoming increasingly popular in sunrooms. According to Hoh, during the rain it feels like being under a waterfall. Quality products that are properly installed should be able to withstand any weather conditions. Damage like leaking can occur, especially in aluminum sunrooms when parts are not properly installed.

Working with a reputable contractor can help avoid these issues. A verified and trustworthy contractor who understands a homeowner’s goal is crucial to any remodeling or building project.

“People have to feel comfortable and the contractor must be reputable,” says Raehl.

When homeowners are thinking about adding a sunroom, the main factor to consider is how it will fit their personal goals. This is where working personally with a contractor or designer is important. A custom sunroom can offer homeowners the biggest benefit. While there are prebuilt sunrooms that can be attached, Hoh says the way to ensure quality and fit is by having a consultation and then custom building the structure.

Some contractors can create a holistic image using 3D software to visualize what the room would look like before committing. Free estimates offered through many different companies and contractors such as Legacy Sunrooms can help homeowners through the process.

Putting on an addition to a home is no small decision, but with the right people and a vision, a sunroom can bring more than just light into a home.

“There is no home that would not benefit from having a sunroom,” Hoh says. “All year, anywhere, they help bring the outdoors indoors.”

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