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Solariums and sunrooms are both enclosed structures that adjoin a home and allow its residents to comfortably enjoy the outdoors. But, solarium and sunroom are not interchangeable terms. Sunroom is more of a catchall name for a room with large windows that lets in plenty of sunshine and provides shelter from the elements. A solarium, on the other hand, with a glass roof and walls, more closely resembles a greenhouse and is specifically designed to capture sunlight. In this buying guide you'll learn more about solariums, including how much a solarium costs.
Benefits of Installing a Solarium
A solarium, which takes its name from the Latin word for "sun (sol)," is a literal and figurative bright spot in any home. Some of the reasons why you should consider installing a solarium are described below.
- Better Enjoy the Seasons: No matter what season it is, a solarium will help you maximize its pleasures and minimize its discomforts. From your new glass solarium you can soak up the sun during the cold months and combat the sluggishness associated with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In the summertime, work on your tan without being bothered by mosquitoes and biting flies.
- Garden of Eden: Solariums allow gardening during all four seasons and can add a natural look to your home with the addition of plants and flowers.
- Valuable Addition: Even a relatively small solarium drastically changes the dynamic of a home's dimensions by making it appear and feel more open. For your family and guests, this means a much more pleasant living space. And if you ever decide to sell, you should be able to recoup 90 to 115 percent of the solarium price.
Things to Consider when Building a Solarium
The major elements solarium design can be mixed and matched to create a structure that's unique to your home and tastes. When designing a solarium, keep the following options in mind.
- Type of Glass: At the low end of the spectrum there's single pane glass, which may not be appropriate for four seasons. Moving up in price and performance is double and triple paned glass, while Low-E and argon-filled glass are superior temperature regulators.
- Flooring: Tile and stone floors are popular in solariums, but you could also opt for hardwood floors or imitation wood.
- Exposure: Where you place your sunroom depends on where you live and your intended use for the space. A southern exposure, for example, maximizes sunlight and is good for northern homes, while in the south, a northern exposure that provides more shade might be preferable.
- Roof style: A basic solarium roof is curved, straight, or slanted; cathedral and gable styles add a touch of elegance.
- Climate control: Glass is a major determinant of how well a solarium regulates temperature. Other options to consider include heating, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and shades and blinds.
Solarium Average Cost
Individual design, local labor and material costs, the complexity of the installation, and other factors can affect the cost of a solarium.
- Solarium construction costs start at approximately $10,000 to $20,000.
- Pre-manufactured solarium kits might cost approximately $10,000 to $35,000.
- A custom built solarium could cost as much as $40,000 to $80,000 or more.