One further consideration when adding a sunroom to your home is how to access the new addition. Unfortunately, old perceptions regarding sunrooms can be difficult to correct. One such perception is that sunrooms are oven-like in summer and impossible to heat in winter. Consequently, many buyers can be understandably nervous, preferring to err on the side of caution and to keep the new addition physically separated from the main house and function as a separate climate zone. This can be easily achieved by leaving the existing exterior door in place so as to ensure that the sunroom does not affect the temperature of the adjoining rooms. For many, this arrangement also allows the buyer to avoid heating the new addition when it is not being used. Where the decision is to keep the new room as separate space, care must be taken to ensure installation of a cold air return.
A second option is to create an open passageway between the house and the sunroom by completely removing an existing door or window. This is a fairly inexpensive route since the headers above the door and/or window are already in place and no structural work is required, simply cosmetic finishing. Many buyers opt for this option as it is not final-they can always re-install a door if they feel uncomfortable with their original decision to have it removed.
The third option, and in our opinion often the most attractive and functional, is the removal of as much of the original exterior wall separating the sunroom from the house as is structurally possible. This approach works extremely well when the sunroom is part and parcel of a kitchen renovation. Not only is the new glass roof sunroom bright and cheery, but with the removal of the wall, the existing adjoining room also becomes much brighter than it was before the sunroom was added, even when the sunroom faces north.
There are other advantages to removing all or a large portion of the wall separating the new addition from the main house. Rooms that are opened up to the home are easier to maintain at the same temperature as that being maintained throughout the house. Also, wide open sunrooms seem to attract much more traffic and are more likely to become the focal point for the entire house. There is, however, one downside. Removing a portion of the exterior wall and installing a structural beam capable of meeting code and carrying the roof load will add to the overall cost of the project.