The terms sunroom and solarium are often applied correspondently. But what is the variation? Does it matter?
Traditionally, solariums were completely closed by glass. If this meant that there were three walls and a roof connecting the structure to the house, or if a separate greenhouse-style building was preferred, the goal of the solarium was to catch as much light as possible. They are often used in hospitals and sanitariums so that patients can enjoy the health benefits of the sun without being exposed to the elements.
It is a name that architects call any room with very large windows or even a glass wall. The structure is designed simply for its inhabitants to enjoy the sun and was developed from people who just wanted to enjoy their porch or patio all year round. If you check your patio with glass, you can enjoy the mosquito-free sun, cold breezes and rain.
Now the expressions; are often used to describe similar structures. Regardless of what you decide to call your new feature, it’s important to consider its intended use, design, and what it will be made of.
Dated solariums constructed of steel or aluminum and glass over existing patios get so hot that they are virtually unusable in the height of summer. Also, they may be dripping and leaking, leaving them frozen in winter. Fortunately, innovations in design and materials mean that most new solariums are not leaking. They are for use throughout the year or three seasons. Innovations in glass have resulted in panels that let in light and reflect heat. These are expensive, but it’s worth paying more for the benefit of year-round use.
What would serve you?
There are a variety of solariums and sunrooms on the market, from cheaper plastic designs to traditional metal-framed varieties.
Consider the practical elements to install your choice. If you plan to remove a section of an exterior wall to replace it with glass or gain access to your sunroom, you will probably need to reinforce the structure with a lintel. This is not a job to be practiced carefully. Get help from an able artist and review your local construction regulations before raising the hammer! Alternatively, you may be thinking of using an actual exterior door to gain entrance to the sunroom, in which state there are plenty of self-assembly buildings (including glass) that can be managed online and built by a sufficient expert—it-yourself over the subject of a weekend.
Where will you put it?
If you live in a hot climate, it is better to locate the solarium on a north-facing wall because a south-facing solarium would get too hot in the summer. On another game, if you live in a cold area, a greenhouse is facing south or southeast. It will capture the power of the sun for maximum effect.
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