Older sunrooms built in the 1980’s and before were usually single skin aluminum with no insulation so they offered very limited use. The most common statements we hear about older existing patio rooms:
- It’s too hot. We can’t use it during the day.
- It’s too cold, we can’t use it at all in the winter.
- It has some leaks, we get them sealed but they come back the next year.
- It’s unattractive, doesn’t blend with the house.
- It came with the house. We really don’t know why we keep it.
- We get condensation if we add heat in the winter.
Sound familiar? Patio rooms built from the 60’s to mid 90’s don’t have any of the technology that we have available today.
When we hear “too hot” it means either there’s no insulation in the roof and/or there’s no tint or UV protection in the windows which means faded carpet and furniture along with extreme temperatures.
“Too cold” means much of the same. There’s no insulation in the roof so there’s no way to hold the heat in the room. More than likely the windows are clear single glass without Low E or reflective capability. Now, we have double glass with double tint plus Low E in the windows and our roofs are always insulated.
The recurring leaks point to a foundation problem. Expansion and contraction of the ground cause the slab to rise and fall ever so slightly. Even a fraction of an inch in movement can break a seal and cause a leak. Attempts at sealing the leak are made, only to be foiled by the next freeze-thaw cycle. To combat this, we always make sure rooms that we build have a footer.
A lot of older rooms and some modern ones can be described as unattractive. The design is everything. There are package rooms that meet needs for some people, but custom design to the homeowner’s taste is the best solution. We try not to judge as beauty is still in the eye of the beholder.
If it came with the house and doesn’t serve your purpose, ditch it for a room that works. The technology we have today is literally 5 times better than it was 7 years ago. Use it.
Condensation is a relative humidity factor and a function of how the room is built. “Thermal design” is something we offer on a case by case basis. We have rooms with swimming pools that don’t condensate. Tell us your expectations and let us turn a room you can’t use into a sunroom you won’t want to leave.