How To Build The Perfect Atrium

A home with an atrium is immediately striking. Even before you work on the interior decor, a good atrium will not just catch the eye but make people want to be in the space as well. It brings the outside in, and can be used for many different purposes. Whether you end up using it as a living area or a greenhouse, it will become central to your home.

How to Build the Perfect Atrium - collage of 4 beautiful examples

You may think that building an atrium yourself is impossible, but depending on your home, it may be easier than you expect. Here are some steps to build the perfect atrium.

1. Check the foundations of the space

wood framing and foundation for an atrium

Building an atrium as an additional room to your home can be a great way to start a greenhouse from scratch. However, an atrium needs stable foundations. Even if you are going to use the space for greenery, you have a lot of work to do in order to ready the foundations.

This is especially difficult if you have a vibrant garden. There are different ways to keep your property safe from tree damage that you will need to follow. If the roots run too deep and far, the space may not be viable.

The reality is that any building is a lot easier if you use foundations that have already been built. As such, if you can locate a space that has flooring, you have a headstart on the job.

2. Find the perfect space

plants and a wall in an atrium

What space will be perfect for an atrium? Any part of the home that has two walls forming an L-shape, and flooring built in would be ideal. This may be a parking space or a courtyard that you don’t feel you need.

3. Decide on a type of atrium

atrium with couch and breakfast table and chairs

There are many different types of atriums that you can build. You can build an atrium that makes for a comfortable living room. You can build an atrium that is open to the elements and which serves as a greenhouse. You could go for something in between. Decide on what type of atrium you want most and start working on achieving that goal.

4. Remove gutters

Gutters can stay if you are building an open-air atrium. If you plan on covering the atrium with a glass ceiling, the gutters will have to go. You should take this opportunity to consider how the atrium will affect rainflow in future and if you need to install gutters on its outside (or find a more aesthetically-pleasing solution).

5. Route plumbing and electricity to the atrium

This is where the job gets particularly complicated. You should get contractors to come in and do the work unless you are qualified to do so. This may not be ideal for those who want to do everything themselves, but ignoring your limits puts you at grave risk in these cases.

6. Install HVAC

Heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) are a huge component in any building project. If you are using the atrium as a living space, you will need HVAC installed. Again, this will probably be something you have to contract out.

7. Find a way to maintain privacy

an atrium with a privacy wall

If you are going to be using the atrium as a living area, you may need to consider privacy. The idea of an atrium is to be as open to the outside as possible. But when you are trying to relax at night or want to protect the house when you're away, you will need to install some privacy protectors. You could use a simple wall divider or even use decorative concrete blocks.

8. Choose interior decor with an outside-in approach

atrium with plants

When furnishing and decorating your atrium, you should play to the theme of bringing the outside in. Choose natural materials and find the perfect plants. You can use modern elements, but keep them to a minimum and ensure that they fit seamlessly into the theme.

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