Building With the Future in Mind Since 1955

Intelligent design and understated rusticity are the core components of this rural sunroom addition.  At the outset of the design phase of this project, the homeowners were willing to invest the research and time needed to plan a sunroom that would be true to its name.   By the end of the project some very unique elements were included in this efficient and beautiful living space.


Their house before we added the sunroom.

The image to the left is their home prior to adding the sunroom. The new room needed to be positioned correctly to make the most of the sun yet integrate well with the floor plan of the existing house.  Together, the clients and our design/build team worked with a solar/energy specialist to get the building location, the windows and interior materials just right.  The goals were to let the light in year round, maximize the sun’s warming rays in the winter and allow ways to cool the room on hotter days.

To meet the cold weather energy goals of the project we planned super insulating techniques, extra efficient glazing, and a heat-absorbing wall.  To cool the room in the summer we planned clerestory opening windows, a ceiling fan and window blinds.  The well-positioned pergola just outside the focal windows acts as a heat deterrent in the summer without interfering with the angle of winter’s warming rays.

Some further design and construction details: we incorporated SIP panels (structural insulated panels) in the roof; super-insulated walls (batt-insulated voids plus a rigid insulation layer atop the sheathing; ‘rain screen’ construction to address potential water infiltration); super-insulated windows and slab; dark floor tile and slab design for heat-sink capability.

sunroom 5

Here it is with the new sunroom and pergola attached on the left side of their home.

Due to their past experience with rodents, protecting the exterior patio from infestation became a critical design goal.  Our solution: we built in a 30” deep concrete perimeter along with hardware cloth above the sand layer. If rodents can penetrate this barrier, they deserve to!

On the aesthetic side of the project, we kept the style true to the original house….. with one exception.  The element that is most noticeable inside this sunroom is the exposed ceiling framing where a ridge beam and hand-worked, reclaimed rafters cap off the structure.

The reclaimed rafters were salvaged from the demolished Yakima Coop building and the stout ridge beam came from the deconstruction of Boeing’s Plant 2 in Seattle.

The largest timber arrived in our yard with plenty of surface wear that required our carpenter and Project Manager, Shawn Serdahl (pictured here), to craft the wood into the gorgeous, albeit functional, ridge beam.

shawn and beam

Project Manager Shawn Serdahl maneuvering the huge ridge beam into position.

The final touch to this rustic room is a sweetly designed gas stove for the cooler winter months.   The timbers and the stove design echo the beautiful setting of this super-efficient country-living space.   Our hats go off to our clients for their careful planning and open minded approach.  From our design-build perspective the entire project was inspiring and enjoyable.

  • sunroom 12
  • sunroom wood detail
  • Before
  • sunroom 2
  • sunroom 3
  • sunroom 5
  • sunroom 6
  • sunroom 7
  • sunroom 8
  • sunroom 9
  • sunroom 10
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