Building a sunroom can significantly increase your living space and add value to your property. But how much does a sunroom cost in comparison to a home addition? And what are the most important factors to consider when deciding whether or not to add one? In this blog post, we’ll answer those questions and provide tips on getting the most out of your new sunroom.
A sunroom is a room with glass walls that let in sunlight and offer a view of the outdoors. Sunrooms are sometimes called solariums, conservatories, patio rooms, or Florida rooms. Sunrooms can be built onto the side of your house or as a stand-alone structure in your backyard.
Home additions are an extension or expansions to an existing structure. A home addition can be anything from building an extra bathroom to expanding your kitchen.
If you’re considering adding a sunroom or home addition, you’re probably wondering which one is more cost-effective.
Pros and Cons of Adding a Sunroom vs. Home Addition
Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of sunrooms and home additions and what you need to consider before making your decision.
A sunroom is a great way to add extra living space to your home—and what’s more, it comes with several added benefits:
More Natural Light
The sunroom will add additional natural light to your home. Sunrooms are usually built on the south side of a house, and they are made with large windows that let in a lot of sunlight.
Not only does natural light help to beautify your living space, but it can also help reduce your overall energy costs. Sunrooms do this by keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
More Entertainment Space
Sunrooms provide an excellent space for entertaining guests. They are a great addition to any home because they offer an extra room that can be used all year round. If you need help coming up with sunroom ideas, check out this guide on how to design a sunroom.
Of course, sunrooms are also ideal places to enjoy the sun and scenery without being outdoors. A sunroom is a tremendous benefit if you are trying to avoid mosquitoes or other pests or if you want to let your guests soak in the view without having to brave the elements.
Quickly Build On To An Existing Home
Sunrooms can be built onto existing homes without difficulty, which keeps costs down. Since sunrooms are typically built on an existing foundation, they are usually less expensive than adding a new room from scratch.
Increases The Value Of Your Home
While sunrooms will require some initial financial investment to install, they are a wise investment that will pay off in the long run. Sunrooms can increase the value of your home by 10 to 20 percent, according to most appraisers.
According to Bob Vila, the national average cost of a sunroom is $30,000. However, a sunroom cost can range between $8,000 and $80,000. The wide range in sunroom costs is typically due to materials and size, although labor, permits, and site preparation will also play a role in determining your final sunroom cost.
Less Expensive Than Home Additions
In general, sunrooms are less expensive than most home additions. While the national average sunroom cost is $30,000, the average cost of a home addition is $46,000, per Bankrate. However, similar to sunrooms, there is a wide range in prices for a home addition. Again, the final sunroom costs will depend on size, labor, and materials.
Sunrooms can be used all year long provided you choose a four-season sunroom (more on that option later). Features like heating and cooling systems and sun-blocking shades can make your sunroom comfortable during any weather.
So whether you’re looking to enjoy a cup of coffee on a chilly winter morning or relax with a good book on a hot summer day, a sunroom can be the perfect spot.
Since sunrooms are typically built with large windows, they let in plenty of natural light, making them perfect for plant lovers or anyone who wants to enjoy the outdoors without leaving the comfort of their home.
However, sunrooms can be used for much more than just growing plants or viewing the outdoors. Sunrooms can also be used as crafting rooms, reading nooks, dining rooms, home offices, or playrooms for children.
Sunrooms provide many excellent benefits for homeowners. However, they may not be the best option for everyone. Now that we’ve covered the many pros of sunrooms, let’s take a look at the cons:
Hot In The Summer
Sunrooms can get extremely hot during summer months if not properly ventilated. Although features like sunshades and cooling systems can help mitigate this issue, several factors can contribute to overheated sunrooms.
- Sunrooms are typically made with large windows that let in a lot of sunlight. Glass windows can make the room feel like an oven, even when the outside temperature is only mildly warm.
- Sunrooms are often located on a house’s south or west side, which means they receive direct sunlight for much of the day. This orientation can make the space unbearable to use during the hottest hours of the day.
- Sunrooms typically have less insulation than the rest of the house, making them less effective at keeping cool air in and hot air out.
For these reasons, sunrooms can be pretty uncomfortable during the summer months. Homeowners who are considering adding a sunroom should keep this in mind before making a decision.
Cold In The Winter
For homeowners considering a sunroom, one of the cons to consider is that sunrooms can get cold in the winter. The coldness is because sunrooms are not typically insulated as well as the rest of the house. As a result, heat can escape from sunrooms more quickly, making them chilly in the winter months.
There are a few ways to combat this problem, such as adding insulation or installing a space heater. However, these solutions can be costly and may not be enough to keep the sunroom comfortable during the colder months.
As a result, homeowners should be aware that sunrooms can get cold in the winter before adding one to their homes.
Windows Can Be High-Maintenance
One of the most significant disadvantages of sunrooms is that the windows require more maintenance. Because sunrooms are exposed to the elements on all sides, the windows are constantly bombarded with UV rays, dirt, and debris.
As a result, they need to be cleaned more often than traditional windows. In addition, sunroom windows are more likely to develop condensation and moisture problems. So unless you’re willing to put in the extra work, a sunroom may not be your best option.
Zoning And Permit Cost
A sunroom is a fantastic way to add extra living space to your home and enjoy the outdoors without dealing with the elements, but the zoning and permit cost can be a con for homeowners.
To build a sunroom, you need to obtain a permit from your city or town, which can be costly and time-consuming. You also need to ensure that your sunroom complies with local zoning laws, which can vary depending on the jurisdiction. The sunroom cost can quickly outweigh the benefits if you’re not careful.
So, should you build a sunroom? It depends on your specific needs and situation. A sunroom can be a great option if you want to add more living space and enjoy natural light year-round.
But keep in mind that there are some drawbacks to consider as well. By weighing the pros and cons of adding a sunroom, you can make an informed decision about whether this home addition is fitting for you.
Now that we’ve covered the pros and cons of adding a sunroom, let’s look at the pros and cons of a home addition.
Home Addition Pros
A home addition is an excellent way to increase the living space in your home, and it comes with many great benefits:
Build Onto Any Size Home
A home addition can be built onto any size home, making it the perfect solution for expanding families or homeowners needing more space. Since home additions can be built onto any size home, they are an excellent option for homeowners who want to add extra living space without moving.
For example, a small home addition can provide extra storage space or an extra bathroom, while a more extensive home addition can provide a spare bedroom or home office. So whether you’re looking for extra storage space, an extra bathroom, or an extra bedroom, a home addition can be a great way to add additional living space to your home.
A home addition can serve multiple purposes, making it a versatile and cost-effective home improvement. For example, a home office addition can provide much-needed extra space for working from home.
A home addition can also be easily converted into a guest room when needed. Another widespread use for home additions is a home gym, playroom, or informal entertaining space.
A home addition is also a great way to create extra storage space. Extra room for general clutter can help to keep your home clean and organized.
By considering the many potential uses for a home addition, you can maximize its value and make it an integral part of your home.
Home additions can be constructed for any purpose you desire, such as an extra bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen. Since home additions are typically custom projects, you have the opportunity to tailor the space to your specific needs.
There are also many different home additions, from adding an extra room to expanding the kitchen or building a second story. For example, if you’re looking for a home office, you can design an addition with plenty of storage and workspace.
Or, if you need a larger playroom for your kids, you can build an addition with built-in shelving and toys. No matter your needs, there’s likely a home addition that can meet them.
Can Be Built On Any Level
One of the best things about home additions is that they can be built on any level of your home. So whether you have a ranch-style home with a single-story or a two-story house, you can easily add an extra room.
Since home additions can be used to add stories to your existing home, they are a great option if you only want to build upward but not outward. Home additions are also ideal if you don’t have an existing porch or deck.
Home additions provide a tremendous amount of flexibility when it comes to design. You can choose to match the style of your existing home or go in a completely different direction.
You also have the freedom to select the materials, fixtures, and finishes you want. Depending on the size and scope of the project, you may even be able to do some of the work yourself and save on labor costs.
Home Addition Cons
Home additions provide many excellent benefits for homeowners. That being said, they may not be the best option for all homeowners. Now that we’ve covered the many pros of home additions, let’s take a look at the cons:
More Expensive Than Sunrooms
Home additions come in all shapes and sizes and can be customized to meet your specific needs. However, they also come with a hefty price tag. In fact, home additions are often more expensive than sunrooms.
The sunroom cost is typically lower because sunrooms are built using prefabricated materials, while home additions are custom-built from the ground up. Home additions cost $46,000 on average, but you could easily spend more than $150,000 depending on the size and scope of the project.
It Takes Longer To Build
It might take longer to build a home addition than it would to build a sunroom because there is more construction involved. Sunrooms can be constructed relatively quickly and with minimal disruption to your daily routine.
In contrast, home additions typically take longer to build and often require a new foundation. As a result, home additions can be more expensive and disruptive to make.
Consider your budget, timeframe, and needs when deciding whether to add a sunroom or a home addition.
May Require A New Foundation
Home additions generally require new foundations, which can increase overall construction time. In contrast, sunrooms can be built onto most existing homes without difficulty.
Creating a new foundation can add thousands of dollars to the cost of the home addition, making it difficult for many homeowners to justify the expense.
Zoning And Permit Cost
You have to decide what kind of addition you want, and you also have to deal with the zoning and permit costs. Zoning ordinances can be a significant obstacle to home additions.
In some cases, you may not be allowed to build an addition. Even if you are allowed to build, the zoning regulations can dictate where the addition can be located and how it can be designed.
You may also need special permission from your homeowners’ association or local government. The permit cost for home additions can also be high.
In many cases, you will need to hire an architect or designer to draw up plans for the addition. These professionals usually charge by the hour so the cost can add up quickly.
Which is More Cost Effective, Sunrooms or Home Additions?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, such as the size and location of your home, the climate you live in, and your personal preferences.
Sunrooms are less expensive than home additions since they don’t require as much construction. Sunrooms can often be built using prefabricated materials, further reducing costs.
However, it’s essential to remember that sunrooms may not add as much value to your home as a home addition. So if you’re planning on selling your home soon, a sunroom may not be the best investment.
Your specific situation may also determine the most cost-effective option for you. For example, if you live in an area with cold winters, you might want to consider a four-season sunroom to enjoy it all year round.
Or, if you have a deck or porch that’s already attached to your house, you might be able to save money by adding a screen room instead of a new home addition.
Ultimately, the best way to decide whether a sunroom or home addition is right for you is to consult with a professional contractor who can give you an estimate of the costs and benefits of each option.
Three-Season and Four-Season Sunrooms
When it comes to sunrooms, there are two main types: the three-season sunroom and the four-season sunroom. Read on to discover if a three-season sunroom or four-season sunroom will work best for you:
One of the most popular types of sunrooms is the three-season sunroom. These sunrooms are designed to be used during the spring, summer, and fall months.
A three-season room typically has a double-insulated glass roof and windows that can be opened to let in the fresh air. A three-season room is a great way to enjoy the outdoors without spending much money on heating and cooling.
A three-season sunroom may be a more cost-effective option if you live in an area with mild weather. A three-season room is typically not as well insulated as a four-season room, so it can only be used when temperatures are above freezing.
Four-season sunrooms are fully insulated and can be used year-round, regardless of the weather. A four-season sunroom typically has double-paned windows and is climate controlled.
While they are more expensive than their three-season room counterparts, a four-season room offers the ultimate comfort and convenience.
Things to Consider When Deciding Between a Sunroom or Home Addition
Before you decide whether a sunroom or home addition is proper for you, there are a few general questions you should ask yourself, such as:
- How much money am I willing to spend?
- Do I want a space that can be used year-round or just in the warmer months?
- How much time and effort am I willing to put into maintenance?
- What is the climate like where I live?
- Do I need any permit from my city/town?
- Will this project require me to hire an architect? Structural engineer? Landscape Architect? Soil Engineer? If so, how much will that cost?
After asking yourself the questions above, it may be helpful to breakdown your sunroom or home addition project into 7 key considerations:
As we mentioned earlier, the cost is often one of the most significant factors influencing this decision, so it’s important to get quotes from multiple contractors before making your final choice.
What do you want to use this space for? If you’re not sure yet, then maybe a sunroom is best since they tend to be more versatile than home additions.
3. Maintenance Requirements
Both solariums and home additions require regular cleaning, but solariums may require additional maintenance due to condensation issues.
Where do you want this new space located? If you want it towards the back of your property, then maybe a sunroom is best since they do not require new foundation work as home additions do.
How large do you want this new space to be? If you want something smaller, then maybe ask about getting quotes for both options.
How soon do you need/want this project completed? If time is of the essence, ask contractors about their projected timeline for each option.
Finally, what’s your budget?
Deciding whether to add a sunroom or home addition can be tricky, but we hope this blog post has given you some things to think about that will help make your decision easier.
Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what’s most important to you regarding budget, maintenance, climate, and permits.
Contact Classic Home Concepts
So, what’s the bottom line? When deciding whether a sunroom or home addition is right for you, both sides have pros and cons. Ultimately, the cost-effective option depends on your specific needs and situation.
If you want to add an extra room to your home but aren’t sure if a sunroom or home addition is the way to go, contact Classic Home Concepts today for a consultation.
We can help you figure out what will work best for your property and estimate how much each option would cost. We know homes inside and out—and we’re here to help you make the most of yours!