Imagine sipping your morning coffee as you gaze out floor-to-ceiling windows from a plush loveseat. Maybe it’s balmy and buggy, or perhaps you had snow overnight. Either way, building a sunroom protects you from the elements and allows you to enjoy much-needed peace and quiet all year round.
A sunroom is perfect for homeowners looking to enhance their square footage and bring outdoor elements into their interiors. However, it takes a lot to build a sunroom, from budget and planning to construction and beyond. Here are several factors you should consider before diving into this project.
Cost to Build a Sunroom
You’ll need to save up if you want to build a sunroom. According to HomeGuide, you could pay anywhere from $8,000 to over $80,000, depending on the type of construction and intended use.
A three-season room may top off at around $50,000, while a four-season room will come in on the higher end. Additionally, it matters whether you opt for prefabricated construction or a glass solarium — the latter could reach upwards of $150,000.
Those interested in building a sunroom to increase their home value may be surprised to learn that the return on investment isn’t great — the cost vs. value dipped below 50% in 2015. You have to be strategic in your planning if you hope to recoup the expense of a sunroom. Otherwise, take solace in the fact that you’ve added a space you personally enjoy.
5 Things to Consider When Building a Sunroom
A sunroom isn’t something you should decide on overnight. Aside from the high budget you may need to save up for, you must carefully plan the perfect space to add to your home. Here are five things you should remember.
Research and Plan
A successful sunroom renovation project requires extensive planning and research. Homeowners should understand their municipality’s rules and regulations for building a home addition. Some cities may need to assess your project to ensure it doesn’t interfere with protected land.
You should also know about your sunroom’s intended use — this will help you decide what type of sunroom and materials are needed for optimal function. For example, do you hope to use the sunroom year-round? Do you want to plug things into an electrical outlet? Will you fill the space with plants that require ample natural light?
Finding inspiration for your sunroom project is essential to research and planning. Assuming you’re hiring a professional to do the work for you, you’ll want to be able to show them what you had in mind for the space.
Look at Pinterest, magazines and actual sunroom projects for design inspiration. If you have friends, family or neighbors who installed a sunroom, ask if you can visit and take pictures. A contractor may be able to show you previous clients’ completed sunrooms to help you hone in on your dream space.
Hire a Contractor
A sunroom may seem like a simple enough project, but you should consider hiring a contractor. Professionals understand the ins and outs of building a sunroom successfully and have the best shot at bringing your vision to life.
A reputable contractor also knows how to navigate a yard with a slope to carry essential equipment safely onto the property. For instance, a well-trained team has the proper training to use a longer ramp to reduce steepness and move at the correct speed.
Professionals will get your project done promptly and efficiently to avoid potential mistakes.
Prefab or Custom
If you’ve dreamt of a sunroom with a painted vaulted ceiling, beams, black-framed windows, shiplap walls and a brick floor, you can expect the cost to increase significantly. Custom sunrooms built at your home are often more expensive, especially if you envision your space a certain way.
A prefabricated sunroom kit is much more cost-effective if you’re on a tight budget. Prefab sunrooms take less time to put together. The actual expenses ultimately depend on the materials — such as the windows and siding or whether you include electrical work and insulation.
Three-Season or Four-Season
Adding electricity and insulation to your sunroom would allow you to utilize it year-round — particularly if you live in colder climates. This type of sunroom is called “four-season” because it opens up to the rest of the house and contains the necessary components for comfortable living in cold or hot weather.
Four-season structures often have an HVAC system connected to them with vents to regulate indoor temperature, with more energy-efficient features, such as roofing and glazing.
Conversely, three-season rooms are separate from your house and are accessible through a door. Homeowners can typically utilize their three-season sunroom during the spring, summer and part of the fall season. They are not connected to heating and cooling systems and are not insulated.
Building a Sunroom Can Make You Happier
A sunroom can deliver if you’re looking for a cozy room, more space to spread out or a way to immerse yourself in nature. Keep in mind that sunrooms typically don’t have the highest return on investment, but building a sunroom can help you slow down, relax and improve your happiness and life satisfaction at home.
Leave a Reply