Building a four-season porch, otherwise known as a four-season sunroom, can be the perfect addition to your home and offers many wonderful features. Sunroom enclosures offer bright, natural light, a wonderful view and are a natural family gathering place. Below are some guidelines for designing your own four-season porch.
As you consider the following steps, keep a tape measure handy, along with a pencil and paper to write down exact measurements as you decide them. As you work through the steps, draw a clean design on paper or, if you’re a drafter, you might use a CAD program to create your design on the computer, or you can have a drafter do it for you for a fee.
Step 1 – Location
Most sunrooms are built off a kitchen or a living room, but you may also choose to build off of your bedroom. Since they make natural family gathering places, building off the bedroom may not be the best option however the usage of the room is up to you.
Also, before settling on a room to build it off of, think about how big you want your sunroom to be versus how much yard space it will take up.
Step 2 – Measuring
Use your tape measure to measure out the length and width of your sunroom. Put a length of rope down along each of the sides to help you visualize how much space the sunroom is going to take up; just because you have the room for it, doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily like it taking up that much space. Of course, if you’re converting an outdoor porch into a four seasons porch this step is taken care of for you.
You’ll also need to decide whether you want any sort of high, vaulted ceilings and what their measurements would be. Many sunrooms have a ceiling that is higher than the average ceiling, but it may not work with your home.
Step 3 – Window And Door Design
Assuming you don’t keep a door that is already there, you’ll have to decide between: a hinged door to your sunroom (the average width being either 30” or 36”), a sliding glass door, no door at all, or even no walls at all. Also, decide on the type of door (if any) to lead outside from the sunroom.
Window design should be fairly simple; you can get creative, though generally, you’ll want plenty of windows on all 3 walls (or even a mostly glass wall) while keeping with the look of the rest of your house’s windows.
Step 4 – Wall Design
Many places having building codes dictating things like insulation, electrical wiring, and outlets, so be sure that your walls meet this standard for your area. If you want a different outdoor siding than the rest of the house, plan for brick, stone, or vinyl. It is important to consider the benefits and downfalls of each. On the inside of the walls, decide whether you want the walls painted, wallpapered, or covered with paneling of some type.
Step 5 – Ceilings And Floors
Part of the ceiling and floor design is choosing between heating and AC options. If the weather changes dramatically from hot to cold in your area, consider adding onto your current heating and AC system with more floor or ceiling ducts. Another option is to use baseboard electric heat and instead of using AC, to use open windows during the summer.
For your flooring: tile, hardwood, and carpet are popular, however, consider coordinating your flooring with the adjoining room. For your ceiling style, you may want wooden beams left revealed, a ceiling fan, skylights, or even an all-glass ceiling with window coverings that crank open.