A Guide to Sunrooms

Contrary to its given name, a sunroom should offer more to your home than a space to enjoy when the sun is out — especially as we only see a few days of sunshine a year. Different from a conservatory , a sunroom is a permanent structure that acts as a transitional space between the home and the garden. They offer plenty of light without being entirely made of glass — usually several elevations are fully or partly constructed of brick, blockwork or timber.

The Sunroom

As part of the design process, you’ll need to consider how the addition of a sunroom will impact on adjoining rooms. Modern living has meant that small, individual rooms have been traded in for larger open plan spaces, with the kitchen/family area now being the centre of the home. The 'Centre' is an ideal place to add a sunroom as a continuation of this space. But, whether you make the sunroom open plan to the kitchen, dining and living area for a natural progression into the garden, or close the sunroom off using connecting doors, the sunroom should feel like it has always been a part of the home.

Light from Above

Introducing natural light into the space will be one of the key considerations when planning your sunroom. There are several ways to bring natural light into the space from above, i.e. roof lights.

Building Materials

Depending on the design you choose, sunrooms most commonly are built of brick , glass or uPVC. Unlike conservatories, sunrooms mostly tend to have a conventional roof.

As a sunroom should be a structural addition to the home, the materials you use should either match or complement the existing building. Matching roof tiles, bricks are all ways to make this new addition feel like part of the home

Opening Out

In your sunroom, how you enter the garden will be important. Which doors you choose, will depend on the style of your sunroom and how much light you intend to have entering the space.

If you’re going down the contemporary design route, bi-fold doors will be the ideal choice — offering full-height glazing and can often be opened back to provide uninterrupted views.

Traditional sunrooms, on the other hand, tend to favour French doors.

Will I Need Planning Permission?

Your sunroom extension will fall under Permitted Development so long as:

  • It is not higher than the existing roof

  • There are no balconies, verandas or porches

  • It does not extend beyond 3m for a semi-detached house, or 4m for a detached house

  • Any side extensions to be single storey with a maximum height of 4m

  • It doesn’t exceed 30m² of living space

Heating and Ventilation

One of the problems with such rooms in the past was overheating in the summer and losing heat in the winter. For a sunroom that you can enjoy all year round, it is important to manage these problems by getting the design right from the outset. By insulating the walls and ceiling, and ensuring any glazing is thermally efficient, this will all aid in keeping the cold out. .


  • Imagine a new opening to the outside world..... These tend to differ from a conservatory principally because there is less glass used in their construction.

The word orangery can be applied quite generally today but usually refers to a building with glazed sides, built on a brick or wood support, with a partially glazed roof. With their natural style and elegance, orangeries have become increasingly popular, particularly combined with their ongoing ease of maintenance and heating.

Contact Astral Home Improvements for a Free Quote today.

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