DIY Portland Sunrooms Add Curb Appeal

portland sunrooms

In Portland, the one thing we can always use more of is sun. And if you’re selling your home, a sunroom is one feature that might help your home stand out from the crowd and get your Portland real estate agent’s phone a-ringing.

A sunroom, solarium, enclosed or covered patio, attached greenhouse, or conservatory are all variations on the same theme: a room, preferably south-facing, that is designed to let in the sun and keep out other elements. They’re a space to keep tropical plants and start vegetables in the spring, or to hang out and watch a storm or the stars. In Portland’s climate, summer days are numbered, but on clear days in the spring and fall your sunroom will trap all that solar heat and have you reaching for some lemonade.

If this sounds like the perfect summer project to boost your home’s value, you might start by checking into a building permit and other legal considerations, like if your property taxes will go up when you add square footage.

You should also decide what kind of sunroom you want. To truly use your sunroom year-round, you’ll want it to be heated for the winter and cooled for the really hot days. This will add to your monthly energy bill and offset any energy savings you might get in the in-between months.

The best choice for a sunroom in Portland, Oregon, especially if it will be added on to an existing structure, is a three-season space that is not heated or cooled using electricity. In fact, adding on a simple sunroom will improve your heating efficiency by collecting solar heat and keeping drafts from entering the main part of your home in the winter. Keeping your sunroom’s doors or windows open on hot summer days will prevent it from becoming too much warmer than the outside temperature.

Next, decide how much time, energy and funds you have to commit to this new addition. Many builders specialize in sunrooms, or there are do-it-yourself kits you can buy. But why not build your own? If your home already has a deck or patio built on, you might be closer than you think to having your own personal greenhouse. If you can use recycled building materials , your cost will be even lower.

Whether you do it yourself or get some help along the way, adding on a sunroom can easily be completed over the course of a summer if you have a plan in place and materials ready. If you happen to be showing your home for sale during this period, keep in mind that Portland buyers will want to know that you have a plan to finish the project, and you should keep the construction zone as visually appealing and obstruction-free as possible. Avoid undertaking other remodeling projects simultaneously, and if you do, be clear about how and when they’ll be finished.

Once your sunroom is complete, show its potential by adding in a few potted plants and some inviting patio furniture. Highlight this exciting and unique part of your Portland home! If you’re excited about it, your buyers will be too.

For more information on building your own sunroom and some images for inspiration, check out the following sites:

http://www.buildyourownsunroom.com/

http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Sunspace/sunspaces.htm

June 11, 2012
AUTHOR

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. and a top 1% agent in the Portland Metro. Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales in the Portland Metro area. Call him direct: 503-714-1111.

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