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What is a Sunroom?

A sunroom is a covered area connected to a house that usually has screened openings to allow airflow. They often act as sitting rooms — a peaceful place to enjoy conversation with friends and family or to relish by yourself in a good book. Sometimes, they are constructed using materials that can withstand cold temperatures. They often go by other names, such as solariums or patio rooms.

Kinds of Sunrooms

There are two primary kinds of sunrooms, three and four seasons. Three-seasons sunrooms are constructed using light-weight materials and usually have screens to allow airflow. They are designed to be enjoyed from spring through fall, but not winter. Four-seasons sunrooms — built with heavier materials, heated, and insulated to shield from the cold — are designed to be used year-round.

Pros of Adding a Sunroom

Adding a sunroom to your home has several meaningful benefits that are worth considering. They add space to your home that is connected to the outdoors — a place to enjoy some fresh air without having to leave the house. They act as an additional room to gather with friends and family, and since three out of the four walls of your sunroom will have exposure to natural light, you won’t need additional lighting during the day. They may also increase the property value of your home, as many view a sunroom as a welcome addition to their home.

Cons of Adding a Sunroom

Without a doubt, the largest downside to installing a sunroom is cost. Homeowners will incur expenses for installation, a potential increase in taxes, and increased heating expenses for four-seasons sunrooms. It is also worth noting that, when sitting in your sunroom, you can be seen by people outside of your home. Those valuing privacy can install screens to avoid this.

Cost of Adding a Sunroom

The costs associated with adding a sunroom to your home are varied. There are at least five variables that go into a sunroom’s total cost. The primary contributor to the cost of a sunroom is its size. The larger the room, the more expensive it will be. Likely the next largest factor is who you hire to install your new sunroom — a high-end contractor or home remodelers may do a more professional job, but you’ll have to pay substantially more. Likewise, an inexperienced contractor may offer a good deal, but you won’t know how well the job will be completed. These factors must be weighed heavily before making your decision.

You want to find a contractor who has experience and references — someone you can trust to do an acceptable job for a fair price. The next largest factor in determining the cost of your new sunroom is your location. For those in places that stay warm year-round, a three-seasons sunroom will do. However, those wishing to install a sunroom in colder climates who wish to enjoy their sunroom year-round, consider a four-seasons sunroom — the additional costs associated with insulating and heating your sunroom will make the project more expensive.