While there’s been a big push to increase tourism in Alberta, any residents already know that there’s a pretty short summer season. If you like Alberta in the summer, you might want to consider a sunroom addition to add more space to your home. Sunroom planning takes time and you’re going to have to know the right questions to ask a contractor to make things go smoothly.

Here are five things you should talk about with your contractor.

1. How Much Can You Afford?

When you’re looking to plan a sunroom, you want to find out how much you can get for the money you have. If you have to apply for a loan, it’s going to be challenging to afford what you’re looking to add. However, if you can pay for space you’re looking to add to your home with your current savings, you could expand without having to refinance.

You might find that the addition that is made to your home causes you to pay higher taxes. If you need to pay extra year after year based on this addition, it might not be worth the cost. If you need extra space, then you need to consider whether this addition is going to be valuable to you and your family.

When you pay a lower cost, you often end up getting a sunroom made of less than ideal materials. When you’re willing to pay more, you get a sunroom that’s able to last for years, helping to raise the value of your home and ensuring that you don’t need repairs.

2. Can It Be Eco-Friendly?

When building a sunroom, one of the greatest benefits is that it could be eco-friendly. During winter months, the light that it brings in can help to heat your home. Trade out the glass windows or panels for something tinted in the summer months and you can have something bright that doesn’t overheat your home.

You can also have it built so that it’s powered in an eco-friendly way. Your sunroom could have electricity at night with the help of solar panels that charge up during the day. All that sun that your sunroom collects could power the room itself or even other parts of your home.

Your sunroom allows you to have a bright and airy space that’s eco-friendly because you don’t need to use as much electricity. Even a sunny and spacious home often requires you to use electricity to see during the day. With a sunroom, you can work, read the morning paper, and even have an early dinner without touching your light fixtures.

3. Will It Be Useful in All Weather?

Alberta’s winters are longer than the summers so you’re going to need a space that’s valuable to you during those colder months. If you want to have a space that’s truly valuable to you and your family, you need a space that’s useful even in winter. While you might not expect your sunroom to be used much in the winter, a well-insulated one can add value all year long.

Sunrooms add extra space to live in and to move around but they also add extra space for you to heat. If you’re already worried about your heating bills, you could be paying a lot extra to heat a room that’s mostly exposed to the elements. However, if properly constructed, you could have panels added to help generate heat or electricity to offset the costs.

Sunrooms can be useful during the winter just for the sake of recreation. Often your kids will want to run in and out when they’re playing outdoors. They’ll open and close your home’s door over and over as they go out, get messy, come in to warm up, and then run out again. The sunroom can be an intermediary space for them to hang out in, drink cocoa, and then play without making your home dirty.

4. Will It Improve the Value of My Home?

The value of your home is going to be calculated based on the amenities that you have, the additions that you have, and how well your space can be used. If you’re adding a sunroom, you’re going to want it to add some value to your home. However, not all additions are going to add very much to your space.

If you want your home to be valuable, you need to think about materials, design, and how the space is integrated into your home. If it’s merely tacked on in a slapdash way, not only will it not look as good but it will likely be much more drafty.

Ask your sunroom contractor what can be done to maximize the value.

5. Will You Need to Pay For a License to Build?

One of the lesser known elements of building a sunroom is going to be the potential of paying for licenses and insurance. The cost of building is pricey in general. If you need to pay for these extra elements, then the cost is going to start climbing up.

If your contractor has included licenses in the price of building, then that’s not going to be an issue. However, if you need to put up the money to pay for these things, you’re going to struggle to add up all the costs on your own.

It could end up costing you much more than you realized to get the space you want to add built on your home.

A Sunroom Addition Can Be a Great Value

There’s so much you can get from your sunroom addition when it comes to space, the ability to entertain guests, or just to enjoy your mornings. However, if you’re not able to think carefully about what can be gained from the addition, you could end up making a decision that doesn’t suit your needs.

For more on the rates to build homes in Alberta, check out our latest guide.

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