Consider location before building patio enclosure

Consider location before building patio enclosure

Indianapolis-area patio

and sunroom expert

Thomas J. Pearson, owner

Thomas J. Pearson Inc.

New Palestine, Ind.

Pearson, a trained carpenter, started his construction company after leaving the world of commercial construction in 2000.

“I wanted it to be my name and my company that did the entire project,” Pearson says.

So far, Angie’s List members say the name is synonymous with quality — their overwhelmingly positive reviews have helped the company become a multiple Super Service Award winner.

What should I consider before building a sunroom addition?

You first want to consider whether it can be built in the location you're thinking of. Consider the location of your home's electrical lines or the underground gas, water or sewer lines. If there's a utility line that needs to be moved, it can become cost prohibitive.

You'd also want to think about easements; if the addition is too close to the property line, it might encroach on the easement. Generally, the easement is about 20 feet from the property line, but every city is different. And if your neighborhood has an architectural committee, they would have to approve the addition before it's built.

A building permit is definitely required everywhere I work, and about half my jobs require that architectural drawings be submitted.

After that, most people want something that blends in with the architecture of the home, especially the roof lines, and they want it to be somewhere they can entertain or enjoy the outdoors.

You'll want to think how the room is going to be positioned in terms of sunlight. Most people want a lot of southern exposure that will keep it well lit throughout the day, but not everyone does. You also want to think about how you're going to use the space.

Adding a screened-in porch will let natural elements like dirt in, which will affect your furniture, where a sunroom with glass windows won't. You'll want to think about what kind of features you'll want.

Adding items such as low-E glass windows or certain types of insulation may count toward energy-efficiency tax credits. A lot of the sunrooms we're building now have skylights, ceiling fans or can lights. Adding a window bench seat or built-in bookcases are also popular.

How long you're planning to stay at your home is another consideration. Most of my customers are planning to stay at their homes for a while. A 16-foot-by-16-foot sunroom usually starts at around $30,000 and takes four to six weeks to build. I would say about 50 to 70 percent of what they invest adds resale value to their homes.

Generally, in the jurisdictions I work in, the tax assessor will come measure the additional square footage, which can affect your taxes.


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