Sunroom, solarium, atrium, conservatory, patio room, even greenhouse… these are some of common terms used to describe sunrooms. When potential clients contact Kalsi Aluminum, our first question is often, what do you see as a sunroom?
Often the term “sunroom” is used to describe a room that consists of a framed addition with one or two patio doors and lots of windows. To others, the term “sunroom” is reserved for glass roof additions. To help avoid confusion, Kalsi uses the following terminology to help clarify sometimes significant and sometimes subtle distinctions between the different types of sunrooms, and their purpose.
Greenhouse: A room that usually, but not always, includes a glass roof and side walls built mostly from glass and designed primarily for the growing of plants. They usually have single glaze glass or a plastic/acrylic material with minimal insulation performance against heat or cold. They can be built off of an existing house or as a stand alone unit.
Three Season Sunrooms: Much the same as a greenhouse, these rooms are usually built without the benefit of added insulation, no or minimal installed heating, low performance glass, and with either a glass, a Styrofoam/aluminum skin core, or an un-insulated framed and shingled roof. Their main function is to provide bug-free and rain-protected additional living space during the summer and shoulder months without having to commit to the full expense of an all year sunroom.
Patio Rooms: Patio rooms have experienced significant growth in the US and Canada recently. These rooms, manufactured and sold in kit form by several companies, are usually built with 3 to 7 inch insulating Styrofoam panels sandwiched between two sheets of aluminum. Vertical walls generally include operating aluminum sliding windows and patio doors. Upgrades to achieve reasonable winter performance would include double paned glass, thicker foam insulation (e.g. 7 inches in the roof panel), thermal breaks separating the inside metal from outside metal, and an insulated foundation.
Conventional Shingle Roof Sunroom: Basically this is your standard home addition with windows and/or doors usually on all three sides with a conventional shingled roof. One or more skylights are often added to provide additional lighting. These rooms are almost always built for all year use and generally are part of the existing house.
Glass Roof Sunroom: Kalsi uses the term “glass roof sunroom” to describe rooms that are designed to be bright and cheery, with proper heating and cooling, and to be comfortable 12 months of the year. Built with high performance glass, these rooms are often integrated right into the home by removing the wall between the existing house and the new sunroom. The structural frames for these rooms can be built using aluminum, aluminum with PVC cladding, or wood.
Conservatories: a term previously used to describe traditional glass and iron frame rooms that were popular for growing plants and flowers in Europe during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Conservatories are usually constructed in a Victorian or Georgian design with considerable attention paid to cresting, the finial, and other decorative features. Modified with North American building methods and materials in order to stand up to our more rugged climate, English style conservatories are increasing in popularity.
Solariums: This term is generally restricted to glass roof additions and is used to describe both glass roof greenhouses as well as all-season glass roof sunrooms.
Atrium: This term refers primarily to two storey (or higher) glass roof courts and entrances to larger buildings.
Passive Solar Heater: A glass or shingled roof sunroom that is designed to permit entry and then capture of the sun’s infrared solar heat, rather than to deter its entry.
Kalsi Aluminum sunroom products are custom tailored to every job ensuring a proper fit. The end result is professional, sleek sunroom system that will perform and last for years with minimal maintenance.