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Sunrooms go by many names including porch enclosures, conservatories, patio rooms, solariums, and green rooms, and their possible configurations are even more numerous. From a simple screened in deck to a climate controlled room built on a foundation, the only limits on a sunroom are your imagination and budget. To simplify the process of installing a sunroom addition, this buying guide breaks down what you need to know about sunrooms and provides information on sunroom costs.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Sunroom
To ensure that you buy a sunroom that meets your needs, keep the following points in mind:
- Year Round vs. Seasonal Use: A seasonal sunroom typically has single pane glass and screens and no central heating or air-conditioning. A sunroom designed for three or four season use, on the other hand, usually has an HVAC system in addition to wind and water protection. In warmer climates, a seasonal sunroom might be used year round.
- Whether you decide to install a two, three, or four season sunroom will to a large extent determine what type of windows (including single, double or triple paned, Low E, Argon filled, and tempered glass), wall structure (aluminum, clad, vinyl, or wood), flooring (wood, tile, stone, or imitation wood/stone), roof (solid, straight, slanted, or curved) and exposure (northern, southern, eastern, or western provide different amounts of sunlight) are appropriate.
- Kit vs. Custom Built: It's possible to purchase a pre-fabricated sunroom kit or have one custom built on site. The former are generally less expensive while the latter allow for more extensive customization (usually at greater cost).
- Extras: To help with temperature regulation you can install a ceiling fan, blinds and shades, and use a space heater. You'll probably also want to add artwork, curtains, furniture, and other decorative elements.
- Building Permits: Depending on where you live and the type of sunroom being installed, you may need to obtain a building permit. At any rate, be sure to contact the local planning department in order to make sure the structure complies with all codes.
Benefits of a Sunroom
Sunrooms are a brilliant addition to any home for many reasons, including the following:
- Healthy Living: Studies have shown that ample amounts of sunlight and fresh improve well-being. A sunroom allows you to enjoy both while avoiding exposure to the elements.
- Green Heating: A sunroom doesn't have to be heated to warm your home. By allowing in extra sunlight, sunrooms provide a source of warmth that is especially welcome on cold winter days.
- Increase Home Value: The intrinsic value provided by a sunroom can't be overstated, as it provides an unbeatable place to relax and entertain. But, it doesn't hurt that 90 to 115 percent of the cost of a sunroom can be recouped if you sell your home.
Sunroom Average Cost
The cost of sunrooms depends on many factors, including design, local labor and material costs, complexity of the installation, and more. For the most accurate sunroom prices, fill out the attached form to receive estimates from prescreened contractors in your area.
- A screened in deck or porch costs approximately $1,500 to $15,000 or more.
- Sunroom kits cost around $10,000 to $35,000, but could be double that amount for more elaborate designs.
- Custom built four season sunrooms cost approximately $100 to $400 per square foot. For a 100-200 square foot space, that's a total sunroom price of $10,000 to $80,000.