Designing a new sunroom is always an exciting project because it truly transforms the feel of a home. Enjoying the morning paper and a cup of coffee with the sun streaming in and the outdoors close at hand is the perfect way to start the day. But what does it take to get from point A to point B? Let’s take a closer look.

While there are many facets to sunroom design, deciding on what material to use in your roof structure is by far the most critical. Use the wrong material and you may find yourself unable to use the room. It could get too hot to enjoy comfortably, or it may not let enough light in. Making these decisions can be very difficult if you don’t know what your options are, let alone knowing how they affect your new space.

Acrylic, glass and insulated roof panels are generally your choices for a sunroom roof. Within each of these categories are subcategories. For example glass can be tempered or low-E or triple glazed or both. Each of these options has different characteristics with respect to Shading, Solar Heat Gain and insulating properties.

Another consideration is how much Ultra Violet light you want to come through… If your plan is to grow plants then you probably want lots of UV! But if you have valuable furniture you want to protect, then you need to restrict the amount of UV transmission in the room. Are you starting to get a sense for the different options available to you? Over the next number of posts I will provide some basic information that should help you make informed choices. In the meantime you may want to ask yourself some basic questions which will drive many of your design choices.

The basic questions you will need to answer are:

Step one is always to determine what it is you really want. You can build from your vision – if you have the right people to guide you. Stay tuned for Part 2, where we will explore Solar Heat Gain and how it affects planning your perfect sunroom.


Ben Hume

Your Sheppards Sunroom Expert