If you’re considering a remodel, here are a couple of approaches that may help you to brighten your home — and even lend it more visual space.
Q: I’m tired of living in my dark tomb of a house. What can I do to add more natural light?
A: It’s been recorded that the last mortal words of the great German philosopher Wolfgang von Goethe were “more light!” That’s a sentiment also adopted by many a Seattle-area homeowner over time.
To be honest, taking greater advantage of natural light is a national trend for home designers (and homeowners). But in a region like the Puget Sound area — where overcast skies often subdue the light a bit — it’s extremely popular.
With that in mind, we wanted to highlight two ways that you can let more natural light into your Seattle-area home. If you’re considering a remodel, one of these approaches may help you to brighten your home — and even lend it more visual space.
1. Replace your windows
One approach is to use your windows to let in more light. If it’s been a while since you replaced the windows in your home, it’s an option you might want to pursue. For one thing, you’ll see significant utilities savings from heating and cooling — in addition to the comfort that comes from avoiding drafts and from insulating you from outside noise.
When it comes to taking advantage of natural light, modern windows offer significant benefits. Today’s windows tend to be larger than the standard windows that were installed in homes 10 or 15 years ago. On top of that, the trend has been toward sleeker, thinner frames. The obvious result of that is a window that lets in more light (and still keeps out heat and cold better).
2. Add a sunroom
In addition to letting in lots of natural light, sunroom additions are a very cost-effective way to add space to your existing home. Even if you’re not actually in the sunroom, the openness is something that is visible from other rooms in the house.
The National Association of Remodelers reported that a sunroom retains 92 percent of its value, should you decide to sell your home in the future. When you compare that to the 30 percent retention for a swimming pool or 70 percent retention for a family-room addition, it offers a great return on investment. Plus, sunrooms are very versatile and can function as a sitting room, a music room or even a casual home office.
It’s hard to say what Goethe would think of today’s windows and sunrooms, but I have a hunch he would like them.
Brooks Powell is the general manager of Powell Homes and Renovations and a member of the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, and HomeWork is the MBA’s weekly column. If you have a home improvement, remodeling or residential homebuilding question you’d like answered by one of the MBA’s more than 2,800 members, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.