Sunny side up

Sunroom remodeling additions synch up with trends in feng shui and retirement living

May 01, 2000

According to the Feng Shui tradition, fire is a basic element that should be represented in every home. Sunlight, as an extension of fire, is theorized to bring more energy and overall mood balance into a room and house. With the trend of Feng Shui design finding its way into more homes, remodeling projects are incorporating harmonious natural elements--including sunroom additions.

According to Money magazine, sunroom owners can expect to recoup 70 percent of the average $22,000 it takes to install a sunroom. However, it's the emotional appeal that is the major reason why additions of this type are installed.

"Sunrooms offer a rare combination of practicality and whimsy," says Rick Jones, president of Patio Enclosures Inc. "Imagine opening up a wall of your house and bringing the great outdoors right into your home. It's really quite exhilarating. The best part is that you can enjoy the outdoors while being completely protected from the elements. A properly designed sunroom gives you all the control."

Typical sunroom additions include full-length rolling glass doors and screens. The glass is usually single-glazed or insulated, and maximum ventilation can be achieved by opening the glass doors. Custom manufactured sunrooms, tailored to fit a particular area, provide viewing areas without filler that may be required to bridge the gap between standard-sized windows and doors. Typical sunroom remodels are extensions off of a family room or living room, but homeowners also often request sunrooms created as surrounds for an existing porch or deck.

Sunroom additions are especially sought after by aging baby boomers and recent retirees. Sunrooms provide an alternative to moving for homeowners to create a sunny relaxation area in the same home they've lived in for years. Sunrooms are used for dining, reading and entertaining as well as relaxation, and can provide families with space to garden or picnic indoors.

Full solariums, with all-glass roofs as well as walls, provide excellent areas to grow indoor plants. According to feng shui tradition, plants can help relationships grow, and the green color represents freshness and tranquility as well as growth.

Manufacturers who provide sunroom products can supply contractors with glass and screen enclosures including complete three-season and fully insulated year-round rooms as well as greenhouse and solariums. Accessories, such as sunroom-specific blinds and shades are also available.

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